To stay awake, or not to stay awake...

27 January 2010

So I've been staying up later, consistently and increasingly, over the last few weeks. Today I realized why. If I'm awake when the wee man wakes up for a feed at 1am, then I don't have to wake up, too. I'm just dreading going to bed now, knowing that I can't just sink in and rest. My muscles tighten, I roll over slowly and silently, I wait for the scream. Maybe tonight will be different. Maybe tomorrow night I'll stop saying, "Maybe tonight..."

My theory on why God makes babies cute. So we willingly put up with them just for a chance to see that smile or hear that giggle or finally get to see them fall asleep sweetly.

Case in point:



So it's 12:09. Do I stay up and wait for him? Or do I just take what I can get? Beggars (or mamas) can't be choosers.


15 January 2010





14 January 2010

There was a baby on the news in the night. He or she was laying next to a broken hospital, on dirt and rubbish and remnants of old food, covered with a small white sheet. His legs and a limp arm were visible and the blanket did nothing to shield the fact that this child died that day. Perhaps thousands of children died that day. In the US we never saw pictures of dead children, but here, I finally see the image for maybe the first time. A real dead child. About the same size, maybe the same age as the baby I was feeding at that very moment, in the middle of the night, from my rocking chair in this warm home in a developed country. I don't know what he really died from, maybe from the earthquake, maybe from poverty, maybe from starvation or from neglect (I only say this because, at that moment, there was no one there holding him and crying for him).

I know devastation exists in this broken world. I'm told it time and time again and I read it in His word, which tells me that all of creation aches and groans for salvation. But not often do you see the evidence of it wrapped up as a dead baby covered in a white sheet.

So today, in my inbox, an email from Compassion International, in desperate need for donations for the children they support and love and feed and teach in Haiti. And another email from Samaritans Purse in Ireland (or the US) pleading for help so they can help. I've seen pictures on the news courtesy of World Vision, who are always the first people on the field in a dire situation. Just a few organizations that we believe in and believe that they can help.

Prayers, too, of course. We know (hope, want, beg) that He can help.

my own sleeping baby

2009 Wrap-up

12 January 2010

A friend of mine posted this on her blog and I thought it made a good wrap-up of 2009. Enjoy (and post your own if you so desire!).

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
given birth without 1) the aid of any pain medication, and 2) in a foreign country

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
no resolutions means no failure!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
my best friend Nicole had baby Luke and several friends from college had their 1st babies

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
this year I just stuck to Ireland! Well, and the US

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
more sleep

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
24 August (the birth of Asher) and 25 April (a wedding in the States with our entire family)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Besides having Asher, running two websites for an Irish organization that I care about. Feels GREAT to do something that you believe in.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don't believe in this question and therefore will not answer.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Besides being torn apart literally by a newborn? Only of the mental variety.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?

My husband, who tried to make a truly difficult and painful year for me easier by cooking, cleaning, and being the best dad ever. Really. Also Kim Clujsters, a mom AND a tennis champ. A first.

12. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Tiger Woods seemed to fit that bill nearing the end of 2009.

13. Where did most of your money go?
Gas and rent.

14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Returning to the States for a family holiday. And seeing some friends get married and have babies.

15. What song will always remind you of 2009?
At first I misread this question. And then I think... song?... hmmm... I listen to music all the time and I'm not sure I can think straight away of a song. But on New Year's Eve I went to Starbucks to write and listened over and over again to Sara Groves' new album, Songs & Fireflies. The title track, the first track, being what spoke to me the most. For some reason the line that says 'now we're standing in the kitchen' leaves me in tears, every time.

16. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
a) happier - no longer pregnant! b) about the same, having gotten really fat and then really skinny in a matter of days. c) there is no richer or poorer in God work. :)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Praying and sleeping and writing. And spending more one-on-one time with Jack & Ella. I miss them.

18. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Crying and worrying.

19. How did you spend Christmas?
With my wee family in Ireland.

20. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Yes, with the baby, praise God. Believe it or not, with number 3, I was a bit worried about that.

21. What was your favorite TV program?
Lost. Always.

22. What was the best book you read?
The Time Traveller's Wife, and The Truth Commissioner

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Bell X1 and Sufjan Stevens

24. What did you want and get?
to live in Ireland another year and do work I believe in

25. What did you want and not get?
A bigger car for my expanding family

26. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't believe we went out to a single film in all of 2009. But I did enjoy renting State of Play.

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31. And I cried and waited for the baby to be born.

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More time with family and certainty for the future and a place to call home.

29. Who did you miss?
My sisters and friends. 

30. Who was the best new person you met?
Loads of new people were met and loved. Meeting Asher, however, surpasses them all.


08 January 2010

No creative writing for me today. I'm just gonna vent.

We are now in day 8 of a never-ending snow storm. And by snow, I mean about a 1/2 inch of freshly packed ice. And by storm, I mean that the sun never rises high enough to melt anything. And by never-ending, I mean that in a country that rarely sees temperature below freezing or frozen precipitation (see my shambled attempt at ironic poetry below), there are no snow plows or shovels or salt trucks to do anything about it. We're just all stuck here, waiting for the big thaw... a thaw that is supposedly still 10 days away. Maybe. The housing estate we live in is now doubling as an ice skating rink and we are trapped indoors. Cabin fever has officially set in. I suppose we should do something productive with all this time we have on our hands, like cleaning or something. But I just don't feel like it. I wanna get out! Without it taking me over an hour to get anywhere. And we're out of milk. Ahhhhhhh!

So what's the weather like where you are? Are you in on this indefinite international snow day, too?



04 January 2010

In Ireland, you gotta have a good boot. Rubber wellies for summer, leather boots for winter. They keep out the rain and the mud, the sand and the ocean. But not snow. Never snow. Boots in Ireland are for surviving the flood. To keep you upright. To save you from drowning.

(Written the night before a snowfall. Ironically.)


03 January 2010

As if God were blowing seeds off a dandelion
scattering us,
into the arms of doorways,
under the shield of awnings,
fighting against the natural urge to fly into the air and far away.
To disappear between the tall reeds of winter.