Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What happened at Walmart

Today Ziva and I went to Walmart for a few last minute New Years things. The first thing that happened was that Ziva threw up squash in the drape aisle. And since that never happens anymore, I have taken to leaving the diaper bag in the car on most shopping trips (one less things to carry) so I didn't have anything with which to clean up. Thankfully, a nice lady who witnessed the episode had a tissue, and I managed to make that one tissue work to clean up Ziva's face, sock, cart seat, and the splat on the floor. The next thing that happened was that we spent about ten minutes in the completely wrong section looking for those little safety latches for cabinet doors. So after all that, the next thing that happened was that we ran into an old friend/teacher/sweet lady, which was great, but she also had some interesting information (which, sorry, I won't share unless anything comes of it). Who knows? If the first two events had not taken place, I might not have been in that exact spot and run into her. But that's not all! The last thing that happened was that right after we checked out and were about to leave, I noticed a very small boy running back and forth between a few checkout stands, crying and acting rather frantic. When I tried to talk to him he seemed scared, but I kept asking if he'd lost his mama, and he said yes with a very trembly lip and big tears. So I asked him his name and took him to customer service to page his mom. When she came, she seemed mad instead of glad to see he was safe. I felt sorry for the poor little guy. I'm sure his mom was frustrated that he wandered off, and I'm sure he'd been told time after time to not wander off, but still. I hope if Ziva ever gets lost in Walmart, I will be thrilled when I find her. The whole thing made me think of the story of the prodigal son. His dad threw the biggest party ever when he returned, even though when he left he had a heart full of evil designs, not innocent 3-year-old interest in the candy bar display. It made me sad that this little boy's mom didn't celebrate his return. I hope I'll always parent in a way that reveals God's father heart to my children.

Moving on...

Ziva had her 9 month check up today, and she is in perfect health! (Kill the fatted calf, let's have a party!) Doctor said she is doing all the things a 9 month old baby should be doing, and all the things a 9 month old baby shouldn't be doing (i.e., getting into trouble!). Here are her latest stats:

Length: 29 inches (90th percentile)
Weight: 18 pounds, 1 oz (45th percentile)
Head: 17 3/4 cm (80th percentile)

Confession: I'm not totally sure if they measure heads in inches or centimeters, but 18 inches seems like a lot! However, I don't think I could even tell you what a centimeter looks like (so much for education). So who knows. Probably all of you reading this. The main point is, she is still long and lean (I expect she'll be taller than me by the time she's in about 5th grade), but it looks like her head is getting bigger! It looks totally proportionate though, so I'm not worried. She's such a cutie!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Crazy hair!

Here are a couple more art projects we got to bring home this week, made from Ziva's hand and feet prints.

Liliana has some competition....Ziva has been sporting some truly crazy hair lately. It's grown enough that it can be crazy, but it's not long enough that we can do anything about it! You can see the full Wolverine-ish effect in this picture...
Here you see the Alfalfa view....

And the crazy face to go with the hair!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Keeping Busy

Ziva and I stayed home again today since the roads are still pretty slick, and we have been keeping busy. Ziva really loves taking books out of her bin and taking all the DVDs out of the TV stand. So she takes them out, I put them back in, she takes them out, I put them back in...like I said, keeping busy. Check out her faces in these pictures. She's been making some pretty funny faces lately and the only thing I can figure out is that she's rubbing her top and bottom teeth together, or something to that effect. So cute!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Day!

This weekend I had a special treat and got to see some very dear friends from high school. We met in Siloam Springs and had dinner at a cute little cafe, saw Amanda's new loft (which is amazing and Southern Living worthy), and talked with Rissa's family some. And Ziva got ANOTHER free gift! (Thanks again, Vicki, for the devoted battery work!). It was so good to see these girls again....we laughed and talked and laughed and laughed...it felt really good. It's so great knowing that in spite of years, miles, and lots of change, we can still connect and have such a great time. I have been blessed with wonderful friends my whole life, and it's just a sweet thing. Here we are, all smiles!

Today is a snow day! Actually, more like an ice-covered-by-a-little-bit-of-snow day. Quite a change from hurricane days in Florida! So Ziva and I are staying inside bundled up. Poor Vince had to go to work, and he's been calling me with blow by blow accounts of the accidents he's seen. I'm praying he makes it to and from work safe and sound. I hate driving in this stuff! Ziva seems to be getting sick, so I'm hoping we can hold off the doctor visit if need it until Wednesday or Thursday when the weather clears up.

Yesterday Ziva took a couple steps!! I don't feel like we can truly call it walking yet, but she has been standing for a few seconds at a time on her own for several days now, and yesterday she did take a couple tiny steps from the coffee table to me before she fell. So exciting! The real thing can't be too far away!
This is very random, but if anyone watched Survivor last night, don't you think Randy is the absolute saddest person you have ever ever seen? My heart just broke to see him so hard and not even caring. I wonder what happened to him. I hope I remember to pray for him for a long time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Watch her go!

Ziva is playing with one of the toys she got from our mystery Christmas friend. She can push it while she's walking, but it's a little too fast for her right now. We have to hold it from the front so she doesn't tank. She likes to just walk around it in circles for some reason.

Check out Ziva's moves....the only thing keeping her from walking on her own is her realizing that she can!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Angels Among Us

Yesterday morning I took Ziva to school at 7:30, just like every other day of the week. 5 minutes later when I came back out to my car, there was a huge garbage bag propped against the driver's door full of clothes and toys for Ziva. The parking lot was pretty much empty, but I still stood there looking around for someone who might know something about this mystery bag. But there was no one, so I hauled the bag into the backseat and went to work. Once I made it to my campus I dug through the bag and found a card. There was a note that said, "I don't believe in Santa, but I do believe in God, and every year He helps me find a deserving family to bless. This year He helped me find you."

We are so overwhelmed and grateful for the gift from whoever it may be. I think I'm even more overwhelmed simply because we didn't need any of those things. The giver could have given to another family who actually needed clothes or toys, who had children old enough to know the difference....and I realized that while the gifts were really for Ziva, the message is for me: "How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us." I don't often look for the extravagance of God's love...it just doesn't come naturally to me. I easily expect Him to provide for my needs, but I don't expect much beyond that, even though the Bible talks about God giving us what we want, not just what we need. This gift was a whispered reminder that His love for me really is extravagant, over-the-top, running over, lavished on me.

Thank you, Lord, for Your great love. May we know how wide, long, high, and deep it truly is.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

First Snow

It snowed yesterday.....just a tiny bit, but after 5 Florida winters, that seemed like a lot! We can't wait until it sticks and we can go play in it!

Ziva is turning into such a little social butterfly. When I picked her up yesterday Miss Angie told me that when Allie, the youngest baby of the bunch, arrived, Ziva lunged at her and gave her a big kiss. (She does know what kisses are, but hers are awfully sloppy!) And then today Angie and Steph told me that Ziva waved at a group of 5th grade boys who had come by to visit. That's the first time she's waved, and we've been working on that, so that's exciting.

Now that Christmas is coming, and this is our first Christmas with a baby, I've been thinking a lot about how Jesus came as a baby. Of course that's a simple, obvious thing, but now that I really know what a baby's life is like inside and out, it takes on a little different meaning....more amazing, that the Creator King would condescend to wrap Himself in a baby's body and submit Himself to the care of others for such a long time. I hope and pray that we are able to keep our focus on the glory of that "holy invasion" (thanks to Frederick Buechner for the phrase) this Christmas season. Below is one of my favorite poems, and it just happens to be about Jesus' birth, but it's not the typical Christmas poem. This is one of the treasures teaching has afforded me.

"The Journey of the Magi"

"A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter."
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley.
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

-T.S. Eliot