Tuesday, August 28, 2012

safety and fear and God

recently, a friend and i were talking about safety.  she told me how, on her first night in her new house, she was so nervous about robbers.  she checked and rechecked her doors and windows - all locked.  she prayed, thinking of the verse 'i will both lay me down and sleep in peace, for thou alone, o Lord, makest me to dwell in safety.' (psalm 4:8, probably slightly misquoted, it's been a while ;) and she slept like a baby.

going out in the morning, she found her set of keys in the lock of the door.  all her locking and double-checking had been for nothing ... if anyone had wanted to come in, they wouldn't have had the slightest difficulty, for her keys were right there for the taking! 

such a great picture of how God alone keeps us safe.  we tend to trust in keys and locks (maybe because we can see them?), but the psalmist was right.  our safety doesn't rest in anything or anyone but God.

when i went to zambia, some people were terrified for me.  i was 21, traveling alone, to a place where i didn't know a soul, and i had committed to being there for a year.  there were all sorts of unknowns, creepy crawlies, and of course, my biggest fear: snakes. 

i don't blame them for being scared.  i had been, too - until God reminded me that He wanted me to go, so if i went, i could leave the worrying up to Him.  did i really mean it when i sang 'i surrender all'?  if so, i had to surrender all - that meant my fears too.

i was reminded of His care last week.  a friend of mine shared an article on fb that was written by a man traveling in syria (i'm sorry for my bad memory - i don't recall if he was a journalist, a soldier, an aid worker, or what).  he laughed at the idea of choosing a safe life over an adventurous life.  essentially, he was saying that choosing safety in order to preserve your life isn't really living - it's just hiding.

i couldn't agree more.

and i read a story yesterday that really brought this idea back to mind - i guess God is trying to make sure i really believe Him!  - in jeremiah 42.  the people asked jeremiah the prophet to find out from God if they should run to egypt or sit tight where they were.  egypt seemed really safe - strong and able to defend itself against the babylonians who had just decimated israel.  but God said if they stayed, He would protect them, be with them, and have mercy on them; and they should not fear the king of the babylonians.  if they left, though, they would meet exactly what they were fleeing from - the sword, famine, and pestilence. 

fear won, though, and they scorned God's protective presence and fled to egypt.

agh.  i think this story really frustrates me because i see myself in them.  i see myself being afraid to trust God, afraid that He really means what He says. 

no.  i refuse to live a life of hiding.  i don't want to spend my life running scared, trying to create safety by manipulating my circumstances. 

i trust in God, and He alone keeps me safe.  in zambia, in canada, then, and now, and always ... He is with me, to save me and deliver me. 

bring on the adventurous life; hiding is for sissies!

Monday, August 27, 2012

spinach & sausage soup

tonight was leftover night ... and mmmm it was a good one.

i tossed the following into the soup pot:

sliced sausages
brown rice pasta with homemade creamy havarti sauce
diced celery
garlic
a few extra pieces of havarti
chicken broth
pureed spinach
and a few twists of herbs provencal.

it simmered all together for about half an hour while we puttered around upstairs.  the aroma brought us down, and it did not disappoint.  this soup was ridiculously delicious.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

a grocery store story

tonight i was grabbing a few groceries in superstore, and i totally stopped in front of the ice cream cooler, unable to look away.  no, it wasn't the double churned breyers that snagged my eye, or the $3 markdown.

there was a little drama unfolding that broke my heart.

there was a mom, a grown-up daughter, and (i think) the daughter's husband.

the mom was huge-eyed at the ice cream.  'look at the price!' she pointed.

the son-in-law rolled his eyes and walked away.  the daughter stepped away from her mom, but didn't quite leave.  the mom looked up at her, excitement fading.

'why don't you pick out the one you want,' the daughter said, a slight chill in her voice.  'i'm going to get the margarine.'

and i just felt like i'd read a short story, where the whole awkward relationship was distilled in a few revealing seconds.

i could just see the backstory - the mom, coming from out of town for a visit with her big-city daughter, not sure of her place and a little insecure.  (at my last glance, she was tugging uncomfortably at her shirt - something didn't fit right.) the new husband enduring a visit from that most-dreaded species.  the awkward silences.  the uncomfortable meals.  the daughter, seeing her mom through the critical new eyes she married. 

ow.  it made my heart hurt.

i'm probably imagining it all, i know i'm chock-full of pregnancy hormones and have an overdeveloped scenario complex as it is.

but it made me really glad for the awesome relationship between patrick and my mom.  i saw the scene unfold with three new players - patrick, me, and my awesome mom.  and it went so differently.

'ooh look at the price!' mom would say.  and patrick would find out what kind she liked, and grab it.  and then at the cash, mom would try to grab it back and pay for it.  patrick would stubbornly refuse.   and eventually one of them would win.

and me? i would really win, because i am the luckiest girl in the world.  i have the best husband, and the best mom, and they love each other.  (Thank you, God!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

whew

i went for my ultrasound today.  with a different (SO different!) tech, in a different clinic.  and after half an hour of patient flipping, gentle prodding, and trying hard to relax, we finally got a picture of the vava girl's heart! 

in spite of her bum-up waggliness, he also managed to get a fuzzy picture of her profile.  i might be wrong, but i think she has a mccracken nose :).

oh vava, i can't wait to meet you in person!  and i will give you so many sweet soft hugs, you won't even remember the violent ultrasound poundings.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

goodbye bad tech!

i asked my midwife if i could be sent to another ultrasound clinic, and told her about the bruising.  she was furious with the tech, and knew who he was before i described him.  turns out, she's filed complaints about him before.  we're filing another one.

i love her.

so i don't have to see him again.  i'm so relieved!  and i'll have a nice calm appointment on friday at a different clinic altogether. 

here's hoping vava isn't afraid of this one, and turns over to say hello :).


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

a father's day sermon, by patrick

patrick wrote - and shared - the following thoughts on father's day this year.  as vava's arrival draws closer, his thoughts on fatherhood are especially dear to me. 

enjoy! :)

I want to talk about God's Fatherly tenderness. I first noticed it in this section of Matthew 7 and once I saw it here I started seeing it everywhere.

Growing up with the assembly, my conception of God was that he was, at best, distant and unapproachable. I believed that God ought to be approached with reverence and fear and that he was much too serious to be approached in any kind of familiar way. I didn't really believe that God was knowable. I believed that I needed to please God to earn his favour but that ultimately, as far as I was concerned, God was indifferent.

I had a hard time reconciling what I believed about God with passages like Romans 8.15-17:

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

and 1 John 3.1, 2:

Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see Him as He is.

So, if we’re born again, we have a new life and we have a new parentage. God is now not my Enemy but my Father. The relationship that a Christian has with God is indeed a warm and familiar one and God wants a family relationship with his people. That's why we're called His Children. We're not His subjects or His employees, we're his Children.

So I'm going to read at Matthew 7.7:

Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will give him a serpent? If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

I used to read this and think it just meant that God answers prayer. And that's true: this does teach that God answers prayer. But Jesus here is teaching a principle, he says, “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.” And he makes this promise: “For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” If he just left it there, we wouldn't really get it, so Jesus gives us an example of what God really is like, and it's the example of a father caring for his children. And he says: “If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”

God answers prayer like a Father caring for his children. It's not a chore for a father to give his children the things they ask for and the things they need. It's not burdensome; it's something a father delights to do. A father—a good father—doesn't delight in harming his children; doesn't delight in withholding from his children. God is not an abusive father. And he's not cold and distant and unapproachable either. God engages with His children, He wants to be known by them, He cares for them. God is really tender towards us, like a father is toward his child.

In Luke 11, Jesus' disciples ask him: “Teach us how to pray,” and Jesus says, “This is how you pray,” and he begins with, “Our Father.” God doesn't think of this as just a metaphor. He actually is our Father and He wants us to approach Him like He’s our Father. His heart is tender toward us. I never realized the tenderness of God's love for me until I became a father myself and I can't help thinking: If I love my son this much, how much must God love me?

If being a father teaches me about God, it also teaches me about me. There's this kind of annoying quality about babies: Everything is a major emergency. One minute everything is fine and the baby is happy and then suddenly the baby realizes he's hungry! And now we're in a major crisis situation, like, we've got to get on the phone to FEMA and get the army here and some helicopters and get some food into this baby, NOW!

So, I start to get the bottle ready, and this whole process only takes about a minute, but it's a minute too long for the baby who's behaving like the food's never going to come, that I'm never going to give it to him—even though, here I am, getting his food ready in plain sight—he's behaving like he really believes that I'm just going to let him starve to death, the poor thing.

So, I've learned that I'm a lot like the baby. My faith in God goes about as far as the baby's faith in me. I know I'm not going to let the baby starve to death—I'm not going to let anything bad happen to the baby if I can help it. And what we just read is Jesus telling us that if we can take good care of our babies, how much more can God take care of us?

But I still act like it's all up to me and I get bitter and upset when things don’t go the way I’ve planned them or I don’t get the things I want. So it kind of helps me to think of myself as the baby throwing a tantrum. God's ready for me, he's got everything under control. And most of the time I just don't see it; I don't trust that God cares and that what God has to give me is better than the things I want.

Sometimes, I've got to keep Sam's food from him for a minute because it's too hot, I don't want him to burn his mouth when he eats it, so it goes in the freezer for a minute. When he sees that it's disappeared in the freezer, he thinks it's never going to come out and he's never going to get fed and he really wants that food so he starts screaming and thrashing around.

Sam hates getting dressed. Getting him into a pair of pants can be a real struggle. He'll scream until his face turns red and he's got these veins that pop out on the side of his head and he'll fight and fight so that I've got to pin him to the floor with my legs. And he's a pretty strong kid, and he's only getting stronger. I've got to wrestle him into his pants, and into his shirt and his sweater, because it gets cold and he acts like he doesn't notice when it's cold, he'll go out naked in the snow if I let him. But I know that's not good for him, so I'm not going to let him do that, I'm going to put his clothes on him. And that makes him so mad so he'll scream and thrash and fight. And it never ends well for him, you know, he never gets his way. I never say, “Ok, Sam. Just this once, I'll let you go play in the snow naked.” No, I'm stronger than he is, I outweigh him by about a hundred and sixty pounds, he's got no chance of winning against me, but he still fights me. You've got to admire his courage, but he's a little stupid.

Sam wrestling reminds me of myself. I can't win, fighting against God, but I try anyway. I hardly ever just surrender and say, “Okay, I trust you. You know best. I'll go with you on this.” Instead I've got to try and do things my way, I've got to fight and fight to have things go just as I’ve planned them, just as I want them to go and all the while I'm praying to God to let things go my way because I've got big plans, you know, and I'm going to do everything I can to make them work out. My plans are that I'm going to get out of my clothes and go play naked in the snow, or run in traffic, play chicken with the cars, torment the neighbourhood dogs until I find one that'll bite my face off, or else just wander off and get lost. One of the reasons God gives us babies is so we'll see how
foolish we really are.

Jesus teaches us to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.” Thy will, not my will. I want God to help me with my plans? That's foolish. The Bible says that we can't even imagine what God has planned, and he wants us to be a part of it. When we pray, “Thy will be done,” we're submitting to God's will, we're saying “Not my plans, your plans.” We're letting God use us in His plans.

We don't pray because we have to remind God to take care of us. When we pray, “Give us day by day our daily bread,” we're not reminding God that we need to be fed. God already knows. I think Jesus gave us this prayer to remind us where our daily bread comes from. It comes from our Father. I don’t think prayer is so much about getting things from God as it is about getting to know God.

One chapter back, at Matthew 6.25, Jesus says this:

Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore, take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal
shall we be clothed? ... For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Here Jesus is teaching about God's tenderness. God is tender towards his Creation: He feeds the birds, He makes the flowers beautiful. And Jesus says, “Your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” He's saying, 'See how well your Father cares for the birds and the flowers? How much more does He care for you?'

I was just thinking about the lilies and the birds. Jesus tell us here that they don't do any work, they don't do anything to provide for their future, they don't store up food, or plant gardens, the lilies don't make themselves clothes, they don't manufacture textiles. And yet both birds and lilies are remarkably beautiful because God made them this way. It's the way they are. We don't value birds and flowers because of any work they do, we value them because of what they are. They show off God's great glory by being what they are.

Same with us: God does not value us because of anything that we can do. Is there anything we can do that will impress God or make Him value us more? Is there anything we can do or fail to do that will make God value us less? No. We're like babies; we can't even do anything for ourselves. Why do we behave like we can impress God with what we can do? God values us because we're His Children, not because of anything we do for Him.

I love being able to do things for Sam. It’s so satisfying to meet his needs. And when he just trusts me, like when he’s too tired to fight and he lets me carry him and he just puts his head on my shoulder and holds me, nothing can make me a happier father. And sometimes, Sam just wants to be with me, he’ll walk up unexpectedly and give me a hug and a kiss. Nothing makes me happier than that, and I’m just so ridiculously pleased to be Sam’s father.

God gives us opportunity to show His glory by being His Children. Jesus teaches us that we should not worry about material things because we have a Father in heaven who cares for us. And when we trust Him and rely on Him and when we say, “Thy will be done, not mine,” we're showing the world that God is real, that God is dependable, and that God is tender and kind. If we just let ourselves be God's little children, God gets glory. And that's really what we're all about, glory to God.

The relationship we have with God is a familiar one. God is present, He cares for us, and He loves us. I never understood how much God loves us until I saw God's Fatherly care for us in the verses we read. I used to think that it was right and good to approach God thinking poorly of myself and telling Him how undeserving and worthless I am. But God, our Father, does not delight in pious self-abasement. He values us. If my son, Sam, came to me hanging his head and started telling me about how bad of a boy he is and how he doesn't deserve my love and how he's completely worthless to me and he doesn’t understand why I ever adopted him, I wouldn’t get any pleasure from that. That approach is no basis for a relationship. I love and value my son, and I want him to know me. I want him to know who I am and how much I love him. If he thinks he's too
undeserving to be in my presence, he's never going to know me and he's not going to enjoy my presence.

I'm convinced that God wants me to know Him, wants me to be familiar with Him and to enjoy His presence. I should approach God with humility, yes, and confess my sins with the confidence that God forgave my sins and that my sins are put away. I won’t earn favour by reminding God about my sins. We approach God like children entering a father's presence. Hebrews 4.16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” We can come boldly to the throne of grace because it is our Father’s throne and he delights in giving us grace.

My Christian experience was a miserable one. I felt that God disapproved of me—how could he approve of me, seeing as I am such a miserable sinner who can’t stop sinning? I didn’t enjoy God’s presence because I thought of God as a stern, distant, disapproving, and unapproachable parent. Before we’re saved, it is right to see God as unapproachable and stern because we are His enemies. But, once saved, once born again, we’re born into God’s family and He is our Father. And the Bible teaches that He is a good Father, a tender Father, a kind Father, a Father who loves his children tremendously. I never enjoyed God until I saw Him as my Heavenly Father. His presence isn’t fearful but enjoyable because I know that He loves me, He cares for me. I know that I can trust Him.

Friday, August 17, 2012

fear and loathing in ultrasound land

i hate the ultrasonologist.  is that even what they're called?  the ultrasound guy.  tech.  person. 

i get all queasy and teeth-grindy when i think about my next ultrasound.  and i've been in between ultrasounds for 2 months, because my wiggly little girl won't show anything but her backside to the tech, so they keep scheduling me to come back.  and back.  and back.

which would be okay (i get to peek in at her again! yay!), except the guy who wields the wand tries to force her to turn over by repeatedly pounding on my belly.  literally pounding.  every time i leave, my lips are bruised from me biting them and trying not to cry.  and my big belly full of baby is aching from the beating, and within two days i have bruises.

i feel a little bit like agnes macphail in the heritage minute ...



so, a few weeks ago i had an afternoon of torture appointment, and vava was turned away from the sadist ultrasound guy.  (note: i asked if there was anything i could do to prompt her to move, like jumping jacks or lying in a different position.  he said no, and kept beating on me with the wand for ten minutes before giving up.)  i called my midwives to have them reschedule me, and never heard back with an appointment time.  and it was such a relief not to have a beating on my calendar that i didn't follow up.  (momfail.  i know.)

today i finally screwed up enough courage to call and find out what happened to my appointment ... and they were closed til monday.

i can't decide if that's a relief or more stressful ... i just want to never see this guy again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

mac&cheese

i've been eating wheat-free for a while now - well, let's call it wheat-reduced.  i don't make a rule of it when i'm out and about; i enjoy whatever is served when i'm at someone else's house, and i absolutely can't resist my friend julie's scrumptious sugar cookies.  but in general, i've been enjoying eating without wheat.

(i'm definitely not judging people who do eat wheat; i have insulin resistance, so it's harder for my body to process wheat than most people's ... it loves to hoard it as fat instead of using it.  so that's why i started cutting it out of my usual everyday diet - i wasn't getting any nutrients from it anyway.)

anyway, all that to introduce a yummy food i thought i'd never make again ... macaroni & cheese!

btw, i'm sure most - if not all - of you knew this existed since you first started eating, but for me, it was a happy discovery.

i've always loved kraft mac & cheese - actually, i'd pretty much eat anything with sprinkly powder cheese on it.  when i was a kid, i'd sneak into the fridge and eat it straight from the can with a spoon.

but of course, kraft dinner contains wheat.  and the generic label cheese sauce also contains wheat (not sure about kd's).  so goodbye, kd!  but then the other day i was on facebook and saw that one of my friends had made gluten free mac & cheese.  my brain almost exploded from the happiness, and i immediately began thinking of ways to make a fake fake-cheese sauce.  i snagged some brown rice pasta from the bulk store, and tested them out.  i tried using yogurt & cheese melted together - it was good, quite tangy, but definitely didn't taste like mac & cheese.

then i thought, why not just try straight cheddar?  so i cooked the noodles, grated the cheddar, and just when i went to combine them, found myself putting butter and milk into the pot too - from sheer force of habit.  good ol' kd trained me well hehe.

guess what?  it was delicious!

last night we dressed it up a bit by adding havarti, parmesan, and beef.  mmmmm.  so good.  so filling.  such a nice pasta-y dish, one i hadn't expected to enjoy again!  and from such great ingredients too - brown rice pasta, cheddar, milk, and butter.  that's it - nothing freaky, no preservatives, just plain good food!

which brings me to one of my new favourite verses:

                                  Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
                                        and delight yourselves in rich food.
                                                                     Isaiah 55:2 (b)

;) 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

learning to walk

today i am loving the fact that God is my father, and He is still teaching me to walk.

on meltdown days, on tired days, on please-God-help-me-not-to-lose-my-temper days, He is holding my hands and helping me learn how to walk.

yesterday i took sam for a walk.  not in the stroller, just on his own two feet. 

it was funny, because he's known how to walk for ages - but knowing how to walk, and knowing how to walk down the street are two different things. 

yesterday i realized i'm still teaching him.  he knows how to balance, how to put one foot in front of the other, how to get up and down the curbs, how to step over holes.  but he doesn't yet know to watch for cars, to stay on the sidewalk, to resist the temptation to run into strangers' backyards to chase cats.  he doesn't know how to wait at a light, go carefully through a parking lot, or step courteously to one side when someone else passes by.  and he surely doesn't know that garbage isn't supposed to go into his mouth.

all of these skills are yet to be acquired.  which can make going for a walk with me - with my hand holding his - very frustrating for him.  i can see the impatience on his eager little face - i want to do this alone!  i know how to walk!  why do you keep making me stop before we cross the street?  and why can't i taste that melted half-cup of slushie beside the garbage can?  gah!

and the answer, of course, is always i love you, i'm caring for you, and i'm teaching you how to walk wisely.

and a little part of me can hear the same words coming from a holy voice when i start to get frustrated.  how come this parenting thing is so hard?  why do things turn out badly when i am trying my best?  and can't i just go to the bathroom without sam losing his mind on the other side of the door? 

i love you, i'm caring for you, and i'm teaching you how to walk wisely.

Monday, August 13, 2012

SamJam and MMDunkey Take Over Our Sanity

the scheduling of sundays is always a little tough on samjam.  his usual morning nap runs from 10 til noon, and our sunday morning meeting starts at 1030.  so we're sitting down in church just about the time of day he'd normally be snuggled up on monkey, sound asleep.

(he has been trying to call monkey by name lately, which often sounds like mom-mom-mommy or mmm-dunkey.)

we take monkey with us, but sam is way too social to sleep in a room full of people.  he has to see everything, play peekaboo, and dance along with the hymns.  as long as he has monkey, he's actually really well-behaved, and i'm definitely not complaining about his adorable churchy antics.  he is always so thrilled when the last announcements are made, and he can run across the room to collect more than his fair share of hugs.  once he's had his hugs and some cookies or a sandwich in the basement, he's ready to come home and have a nap.

today, though, he was determined to do no such thing.

we tried to stay for sunday school, and i think that just did him in.  he fell asleep on the way home, but woke up when we put him in his crib.  and if you have ever spent time with a cranky, unreasonable, uncommunicative, screeching little toddler, you might have an idea of the way we spent our afternoon.

every suggestion was met with a petulant refusal.

after a few bites, he didn't want his lunch.

then he didn't want to play.  he screamed and threw himself on the floor when we tried to play catch.

he shrieked for twenty minutes straight when we tried to settle him for his (desperately needed!) nap.

oh, the screaming :S.  i was starting to worry that the neighbours would call children's aid.

i thought a high-five from monkey might make him laugh.  he threw monkey face down in the crib and glared at me.

we tried drinks.  we tried a movie.  we tried silly dances.

our usually sunny little boy was a scowly thundercloud.

finally three hours had gone by.  i was sure i was going to lose my mind, and by this time, i knew he had to be hungry and needed to eat, no matter what he thought. 

so i put him in his bumbo on the counter and started feeding him.

and fed him.

and fed him.

and fed him.

finally, he reached the point where he wasn't screaming every 2 seconds.  his little belly was so full that his shirt was pulled tight across it.  so when he eventually refused a bite, i was very ready to stop.

he wanted to play on the deck, but shrieked when patrick closed the screen door between them.  so patrick went out to play too, and the screeching stopped.  just when i thought our neighbours might see us as kind parents, and not the vile elicitors of hideous screams, sam jumped on the back of a chair.  it collapsed with him inside.

patrick rescued him and brought him inside for hugs.  he had bitten his lip almost all the way through, and the sight of his tragic face, dribbling blood - oooh, my heart.  he snuggled desperately into my neck while patrick got him some ice, and then played blissfully with an ice cube in each hand while the bleeding stopped.

i don't know if it was the trauma or the full belly, or just the reassurance that both of us were right there and loved him, but finally, our sunshiney boy was back.  (or, it could be that my dad was right all those times, and sam just needed something to really cry about. just kidding.)

patrick gave him a bath, and the last thing i saw when i headed out the door tonight was a clean and happy baby, drinking his bedtime bottle.

whew.  it was over.

i am so grateful that every day isn't like this!  and i'm doubly grateful to have an amazing husband who loves us and takes care of us and makes sure our minds don't utterly meltdown when everything goes wrong.