Monday, October 24, 2011

If I had a Song....

If I had a song I would sing it to you
If the words came easy, I know what I would do
Sing to you---all the night through---
If I had a song, I would sing it to you.

And in this song there would be a forest
Enchanted and lovely and lying before us
With paths to explore, and secrets to keep.
If I had a song, I would sing like a creek.

If I had a song I would sing it to you
If the words came easy, I know what I would do
Sing to you---all the night through---
If I had a song, I would sing it to you.

And in this song there would be fish that shine
With scales that glimmer like silver spun fine
Darting beneath the folds of the blue
If I had a song, I would catch one for you.

If I had a song I would sing it to you
If the words came easy, I know what I would do
Sing to you---all the night through.
If I had a song, I would sing it to you.

And in this song, there would be graceful deer
Grazing in beauty without any fear.
With eyes that reflect the morning like dew
If I had a song, I would show them to you.

If I had a song I would sing it to you
If the words came easy, I know what I would do
Sing to you---all the night through.
If I had a song, I would sing it to you.

And in this song there would be a wise owl
Perched in a hollow tree, while the wolves howl--
As mysterious as the harvest moon
If I had a song, I would sing you this tune.

If I had a song I would sing it to you
If the words came easy, I know what I would do
Sing to you---all the night through.
If I had a song, I would sing it to you.

And in this song there would be me and you
Marveling at what the Lord God can do
And even should this land turn cold and dark
We know he's still there---lighting a spark.

And when there are no more songs to sing
Should the words escape us, on fleeting wing
Still in the silence, He's there beside us
And everyone knows He doesn't need words to sing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"Winnie-the-Pooh" Quotes

It was hard to choose quotes from this book---mostly because it is the entirety of each story that is funny or charming---or at times insightful (even for a bear of "very little brain")---and you lose the magic when you try to extract one bit from the whole tale---but I tried to find a few stand-alone quotes anyhow.

Stuart and I would sometimes read this one to Miriam together---one of us holding the baby--the other one reading---and maybe we're just completely sleep deprived---I don't know---but we often found ourselves laughing somewhat hysterically at this book.  Neither one of us have ever read this book before now---but we both enjoyed it.  It is full of humor and warmth--and the good natured banter of close friends.  I'm so glad we have a kid now---it gives us a valid excuse to read kids' books.  Everyone should read this book.  You'll be a happier person after you finish it.  :)

"Then why can't you call him Winnie?"
"I don't."
"But you said---"
"He's Winnie-ther-Pooh. Don't you know what 'ther' means?"
"Ah, yes, now I do," I said quickly; and I hope you do too, because it is all the explanation you are going to get.

"I don't know. But something tells me that they're suspicious!"
"Perhaps they think that you're after their honey."
"It may be that.  You never can tell with bees."

(Rabbit to Pooh after Pooh's south end got stuck in Rabbit's burrow)"And I say, old fellow, you're taking up a good deal of room in my house--do you mind if I use your back legs as a towel-horse?  Because, I mean, there they are--doing nothing---and it would be very convenient just to hang the towels on them."

"Because my spelling is Wobbly.  It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places."

"Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain."
"I know," said Pooh, humbly.

"Hallo, Rabbit" he said, "is that you?"
"Let's pretend it isn't," said Rabbit, "and see what happens."

"I'm not asking anybody," said Eeyore.  "I'm just telling everybody.  We can look for the North Pole, or we can play 'Here we go gathering Nuts and May' with the end part of an ant's nest.  It's all the same to me."

And the last and smallest friend-and-relation was so upset to find that the whole Expotition was saying 'Hush!' to him, that he buried himself head downwards in a crack in the ground, and stayed there for two days until the danger was over, and then went home in a great hurry, and lived quietly with his aunt ever-afterwards.  His name was Alexander Beetle.

"An Ambush," said Owl, "is a sort of Surprise."
"So is a gorse-bush sometimes," said Pooh. 

"It's a little Anxious," he said to himself, "to be a Very Small Animal Entirely Surrounded by Water.  Christopher Robin and Pooh could escape by Climbing Trees, and Kanga could escape by Jumping, and Rabbit could escape by Burrowing, and Owl could escape by Flying, and Eeyore could escape by---by Making a Loud Noise Until Rescued......"

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh.  "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said.

Smile if you have stinky britches.....

Usually gets me a good smile!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Miriam's Lullaby

I know that I have this lullaby posted in pieces randomly throughout this blog---but I just decided that I'd really like to have this lullaby posted on here in its complete form.  So please excuse the repetition.

All the stars, the bright moon too
They keep their watch over you
They wait for you to close your eyes
They sing you gentle lullabies
Lullaby, o lullaby
They sing you gentle lullabies
The breeze in the trees
Sighs through all the darkened leaves
The waves on the sea
Croon their weary melodies
And this song of wind and light
This song of quiet night
Will cradle you in peaceful sleep
As God above your counsel keeps
So rest your head and close your eyes
The angels sing you lullabies.

Within this room the light is pale
It leaves a faint and golden trail
Shapes are blurred, lines unclear
Edges soften now that you are here
Lullaby, o lullaby
This room is filled with lullabies.
Beyond these walls a sleepy sun must rest its eyes
Clouds in muted colors drift across the shadowed skies
And this song of love's delight
This song, this joyful night
Will cradle you in peaceful sleep
As God above your counsel keeps
And nature's voice will harmonize
With heaven in sweet lullabies
Rest your head, close your eyes
And listen to the lullabies.

So there you are, so small and frail
Each tiny feature etched in fine detail
And when your fingers deftly twine
In trust unspoken 'round mine
Love's design will loose a cry
That echoes in sweet lullabies
Deep within your heart may seeds of faith be rooted well
That in sadness or in joy, God is the same, Immanuel
And His hand will guard your sleep
In dreams so still and deep
While lullabies that ebb and flow
Hum and sing in voices low
From love's well, that never dries
But ripples out in lullabies
So rest your head and close your eyes
And listen to the lullabies

The Tragic Ballad of Gerard the Giraffe

So---I like to sing animal songs to Miriam while we play with her stuffed animals.  But I don't have a good giraffe song---so I thought I'd write my own.  Unfortunately, it came out rather disturbing.  This happens every time I try to write a children's poem.  Oh well---maybe Miriam will think it's funny when she's older.

Once, in a zoo
There lived a kangaroo
But he wasn't involved in this story
Nor was the turtle or calf
But rather, just one giraffe
Who dreamed of his own selfish glory.

Gerard the giraffe
Loved to laugh
At monkeys and zebras and lions
When they couldn't reach
A big tasty peach
Gerard snatched it without even tryin'.

The monkeys said: "boo"
And flung some of their poo
The zebras grew wild and crazed
The lions didn't much care
Meat was their preferred fare
And Gerard just munched on, unfazed.

"Don't blame me," he said
As he happily fed
"For the neck God gave me to wear.
It's glorious, yes?
You're just jealous, I guess.
Poor short necked creatures, there there."

Then out of nowhere
One brave monkey dared
To jump on a zebra's back.
The zebra reared
and the monkey appeared
To launch an aerial attack!!

"Arrg!" said Gerard
When the monkey hit hard
Right on the side of his hide
But when the monkey slid down
Helpless, to the ground
Gerard just laughed till he cried.

"You're a monkey, you claim?
But you're a bird brain!"
Said Gerard in an arrogant fashion.
"What a hare brained scheme
Who'd ever have dreamed
Of a monkey with such ill advised passion?"

As Gerard grew ever meaner
Ears around him grew keener
And the birds' and hares' voices  united
"As if we lack good sense!
Why, what an offense!"
"We'll show you who's dumb," they decided.

All it took was one wren
To pick the lock with a pin
And one strong hare to push open the door
And that which protected
Gerard from being digested
Suddenly was no more.

With the gate flung wide
The lions crept inside
To attend to a quite pressing matter
They licked their jaws and swiped their paws
And thought how they wished they were fatter....

Once upon a time
A giraffe in his prime
Was unfortunately devoured
And the peach of his bragging
And rather rude nagging?
The lions all found it quite sour.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The First Smile Picture

Miriam lovin' her music time.  It's very difficult to get a "smile" picture--especially when I'm the only one here---but I was determined and my perseverance paid off.  The "Bicycle Song" is always a big hit.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Five to Six Weeks

I've missed my weekly updates---mostly  because Miriam is becoming increasingly "busier" during the day.  Seriously---this little girl plays hard.  She likes to be awake for 3-4 hours at a time during the day.  And she engages you the entire time she is awake. There is little that gets done until she goes down for a nap---because she is very expectant of constant interaction. She is smiling frequently---and I think she's trying to laugh sometimes---whenever her smile is followed by a long, high pitched---"oooooooo"  She thinks diaper changes are hilarious now, grinning and baby laughing throughout most of the process--which is a nice change from the screaming till she changes colors things she did when we first brought her home.  Music time remains a big hit---and the surest way to calm her if she's upset.  We jokingly refer to the "magic rattle"---which is actually her 18 month old cousin Joshua's rattle that he left over here after a visit---but if you shake the magic rattle in time to the music---Miriam is entranced---and again, if crying---this usually stops it instantaneously.  Other Miriam faves---the "airplane hold" while bounced to (and here's a shocker) more music---baby sit-ups, where we lay her in a blanket and, holding the blanket close to her head, pull her gently up into a sitting position---she thinks this is funny too---as your face comes predictably into view with each sit-up--she smiles as if saying to herself "There you are!"; tracking her red ladybug from side to side; and cuddling with Mom and Dad with a paci at storytime.  She tolerates her swing more than she used to now---and will catnap in it long enough for me to do the dishes or run a load of laundry, which is nice.

She is super cute when Stu comes home from work.  Yesterday, when he walked in she started kicking her feet, grinning, and "baby laughing."  Ummm yeah, can you say adorable?  I told Stu---that has GOT to be the best part of your day.  Of course, that fact was already written plain as day all over his face---so no surprise when he agreed with me.

We have songs for all her stuffed animals---and she likes it when we bounce them around and have them "talk" to her as their songs play....that sounds really strange when written out.....hope we aren't scarring her psychologically or anything with our own weirdness.....ah well, she was bound to find out we're weird sooner or later, I guess.  The song for her turtle that she's holding onto in the picture:  "I have a tiny turtle; his name is Tiny Tim; I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.  He drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap--and when he went to bed he had a bubble in his throat.  Bubble bubble bubble.....pop"

Other milestones---hmmm--Miriam does a great job holding up her head.  She will tolerate tummy time--- only if Mom or Dad does Tummy time with her now.  She slept through the night Sunday night---which delighted Dad and terrified me at first.  But it's all good.  Baby girl plays hard---and baby girl sleeps hard in turn.

She's gorgeous, as you can tell from the picture---and again---she is more gorgeous today than she was yesterday; she will be more gorgeous tomorrow than she was today.  And so on and so on.  I'm not biased or anything---but I do think she is in fact the prettiest baby in the world right now.  

Life in our home right now is like a puzzle box turned upside down---and all the pieces have been scattered into a non-recognizable pattern which doesn't even begin to resemble the picture on the box.  And yet, somehow, it is indescribably more beautiful---more lovely---than even the picture we had in our heads of what this would be like.  God has blessed us immensely.  And the only thing to complain about in regards to this time is that it is going far too quickly.

"The Wind in the Willows Quotes

The beauty of this book lies in its language.  Miriam says it's a great book to snooze to while Mom reads.

After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.

(The water rat of the river)  It's brother and sister to me, and aunts, and company, and food and drink, and (naturally) washing.  It's my world, and I don't want any other.  What it hasn't got is not worth having, and what it doesn't know is not worth knowing.

.....and at last one morning the diffident and delaying dog rose stepped delicately on the stage and one knew, as if string music had announced it in stately chords that strayed into a gavotte, that June at last was here.

'People come---they stay for a while, they flourish, they build, and they go.  It is their way.  But we remain.  There were badgers here, I've been told, long before that same city ever came to be.  And now there are badgers here again.  We are an enduring lot, and we may move out for a time, but we wait, and are patient, and back we come.  And so it will ever be.'

'The Wild Wood is pretty well populated by now; with all the usual lot, good, bad, and indifferent---I name no names.  It takes all sorts to make a world.  But I fancy you know something about them yourself by this time.'

....simultaneously they turned and made swiftly for home, for firelight and the familiar things it played on, for the voice, sounding cheerily outside their window, of the river that they knew and trusted in all its moods, that never made them afraid with any amazement.

....they found a beaten track that made walking a lighter business, and responded moreover, to that small inquiring something which all animals carry inside them, saying unmistakably, 'Yes, quite right; THIS leads home!'

.....had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture---the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation.

till poor Mole at last gave up the struggle, and cried freely and helplessly and openly now that he knew it was all over and he had lost what he could hardly be said to have found.

Independence is all very well, but we animals never allow our friends to make fools of themselves beyond a certain limit; and that limit you've reached.

At last, over the rim of the waiting earth the moon lifted with slow majesty till it swung clear of the horizon and rode off, free of moorings; and once more they began to see surfaces----meadows widespread, and quiet gardens, and the river itself from bank to bank, all softly disclosed, all washed clean of mystery and terror, all radiant again as by day, but with a difference that was tremendous.  Their old haunts greeted them again in other raiment, as if they had slipped away and put on this pure new apparel and come quietly back, smiling as they shyly waited to see if they would be recognized again under it.

(The swallows talking of their impending migration south) 'In due time,' said the third, 'we shall be home-sick once more for quiet water lilies swaying on the surface of an old English stream.  But today all that seems pale and thin and very far away.  Just now our blood dances to other music.'

He seemed tired, and the Rat let him rest unquestioned, understanding something of what was in his thoughts; knowing, too, the value all animals attach at times to mere silent companionship, when the weary muscles slacken and the mind marks time.

...the road itself, when he reached it, in that loneliness that was everywhere, seemed, like a stray dog, to be looking anxiously for company.

Secrets had an immense attraction for him, because he never could keep one, and he enjoyed the sort of unhallowed thrill he experienced when he went and told another animal, after having faithfully promised not to. in Toad's ancestral home, won back by matchless valour, consummate strategy, and a proper handling of sticks.

'Don't pretend to be stupider than you really are,' replied the Badger, crossly.

The Mole was a good listener, and Toad, with no one to check his statements or to criticize in an unfriendly spirit, rather let himself go.  Indeed, much that he related  belonged more properly to the category of what-might-have-happened-had-I-only-thought-of-it-in-time-instead-of  ten-minutes-afterwards.  Those are always the best and raciest adventures; and why should they not be truly ours, as much as the somewhat inadequate things that really come off?

Monday, October 3, 2011

"The Little White Horse" by Elizabeth Goudge/Quotes for Miriam

This was an absolutely lovely book---and I am sad to see it end.  It's one of those books that takes its time with the words---painting a truly beautiful landscape where its characters---richly developed and charmingly described---can go about their adventures within its secret tunnels and brightly lit parlors.

"yet they went bedwards with no sense of outrage, for a little oddness of behavior was only to be expected in a man who had been for twenty years bereft of the civilizing influence of female companionship...."

"For He talked to God as if he were not only up in heaven, but standing beside him in the pulpit.  And not only standing beside him, but beside every man, woman, and child in the church---God came alive for Maria as he prayed, and she was so excited and so happy that she could hardly draw her breath."

"The people of Silverydew had looked happy and prosperous, but people often had worries which did not show outside."

"A hare is not a pet but a person.  Hares are clever and brave and loving, and they have fairy blood in them.  It's a grand thing to have a hare for a friend.  One doesn't often, because they have a lot of dignity and keep themselves to themselves; not like rabbits, who are always underfoot; but if you do win the love of a hare----well---it's a fine thing for you."

.......the simple little words came easily, fitting themselves to the tune that had come out of the harpsichord.  It didn't seem that she made them up at all.   It seemed to her that they flew in from the rose-garden, through the open window, like a lot of butterflies, poised themselves on the point of her pen, and fell off it on to the paper.

The ends of Marmaduke's smile suddenly came out of his ears and attached themselves to his mouth again.

Sometimes, Maria, a story that one hears starts one off doing things that one would not have had to do if one had not heard it.

'Nothing is ever finished and done with in this world,' said Old Parson. 'You might think a seed was finished and done with when it falls like a dead thing into the earth; but when it puts forth leaves and flowers next spring you see your mistake.'

"...that nothing worthwhile in this world is achieved without love and humility."

"Though sometimes, you know, Maria, one's protector can be almost as alarming as what he protects one from."

All the best things are seen first of all at a far distance.

Truly the non-curiosity of men was beyond her comprehension.

'That's the way with quarrels, Maria, especially Merryweather quarrels.  They begin over some quite little thing, like pink geraniums, and then the little thing seems to grow and grow until it fills the whole world.'

There's nothing like protecting someone more frightened than oneself, she thought, to make one feel as brave as a lion.

......and Maria knew by instinct that if you get people thoroughly startled you can do a lot with them.

'I suppose we couldn't expect to succeed at the first try.  But there has to be a first try, and now we've had it, and it's behind us.'

The wickedest of men have good in them somewhere.

.....because however old you are you never forget the time when you were young, or the people you loved when you were young; indeed, the older you get the more clearly you remember the times and the more dearly you love the people.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Four weeks old today

Gosh---that seems impossible to me.  In some ways, the time that we've been privileged to spend with Miriam seems as if it spans just one very long day---definitely not four whole weeks.  I think it has something to do with those middle of the night feedings----it completely screws with my sense of time----which---admittedly---was never that keen to begin with.  (Ha ha--ask my husband---who remembers how old I am for me---I lost count at 30)   But--when I double check the calendar---it unmistakably indicates that Miriam is indeed four weeks old today.  Wow.

Stu and I wanted to wait about a month before putting Miriam into bouncy seats and swings.  We just wanted to make sure we held her enough---so that she would be sure to bond with us---and attach appropriately.  Well---she is definitely bonded to us---she looks for us---she listens for us---she smiles at us. We can put a big old check mark next to the box for bonding.  The pediatrician noticed this at two weeks---"Would you stop looking at them?  You get to see them all the time----look at me for a minute!"  (We love Miriam's pediatrician)    And also:  "Well, she certainly knows who butters her bread, doesn't she?"  As you can imagine, Stu and I are delighted to have made it through the adjustment/bonding period with flying colors.  Because--after all---we've been "bonded" to this baby long before we ever met her--- and we'd sort of prefer that she become a tad bit fond of us as well.  

Miriam was introduced to bouncy seats and swings for the first time yesterday.  She is not particularly fond of either---although we are finding that she's slowly becoming more and more fond of her swing.  Still--she prefers to be held.  Which is fine by us---you know---except when you'd really like to take a shower.  Ha!  For a while there---it was easy to sneak in a quick shower while she was sleeping---but now she's sleeping less and less during the daytime hours.  I do think she's figured out the difference between day and night----since she is very much alert and ready to "play" during the day---while only wanting to drink from her bottle before going into a "food coma" at night-----or maybe she's just figured out that we are REALLY boring at night---and much more fun during the day.  Either way---I'm glad for her night time sleeping patterns---four to five hours of rest at a time?  Awesome.  

Miriam is still enjoying her pacifier----we'll let her use it until she's 6 months---as recommended by pediatricians.  Only problem with the paci is---she's not great at keeping it in her mouth---and when it falls out---she screams as if the sky were falling.  

She's eating 3-5 ounces every three to five hours.  Which is a lot---but doctor said---feed her if she's hungry regardless.  And she lets you know when she's hungry---smacking her lips and turning her head from side to side with mouth open----it's baby sign language for "Hey--I wasn't finished!!"  

She is still enjoying her little music times---she has two little 20-30 minute "music classes" per day---and she will get fussy if you try to skip it.  Her favorite songs are "The Jumping Exercise" and "Hop, Jump, Leap, Bounce, Pounce"  Don't worry--I'm not throwing her up in the air or anything---her "jumping" is bouncing---and she loves it.  She also really likes "Creeper Walk" which is a silly song that invites her daddy to make lots of silly faces at her (and Stu is truly gifted in the goofy faces department, by the way)---which just tickles her to no end.   

Miriam is changing every day---physically and developmentally.  It continues to be our great pleasure to watch this little miracle grow.  We are exceedingly thankful to God for these first four weeks---and we can't wait to see what the coming weeks will bring as well.  Life is good as a party of three----our cup overfloweth.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Miriam's stash of hand-made goodies

These are some bibs that I made for Miriam.  I wanted to take a picture of them before I washed them too many times and the colors fade.  We love these bibs---even though they are HUGE on her---because they are super absorbent.  And while lesser bibs quickly become soaked with milk as Miriam does enjoy squirting you as she drinks---these bibs just soak it all up like it's nothing.  Thank you kitchen cotton yarn---you are the best for stuff like this.

Here are a few of Miriam's burp cloths---they are much loved---for the same reason that we love the bibs.

And this is Miriam's baby blanket---in progress.  You can see that I'm still hung up on the owls.  It's almost finished!

And here is the baby blanket I knit for Miriam when we were matched with C.  We enjoy it because it's big enough for Mommy or Daddy to snuggle up with the baby girl too.  (FYI--don't worry--we never put Miriam on her tummy to sleep---we know all about the "Back to Sleep" stuff---she's just posed for a special picture here)

And this blanket was---woven I think---I can't really tell how it was made---it doesn't seem to be knit or crochet---but it's beautiful regardless.  The blanket was made by Miriam's great-great grandmother.  Great Aunt Judith sent this to us when Miriam was born.  How lovely is that?

And here's Miriam sporting one of the hats that Lynn made for her.  Adorable, right?  Yeah, we know.

And here's Miriam stylin' in one of the bibs that her Aunt Kelly cross stitched for her.  Aunt Kelly sure does know how to make a girl feel special.  :)

And so does Nana---check out Miriam's blanket with Noah's ark cross-stitched with meticulous love and care.  Thanks Nana!  :)