December 19, 2010

December 19th, 2010

Dear Sofia,

You have surpassed the two month mark! I was thinking, there are sooo many things I want to do with you when you're older, but I really like who you are right now. What better to post than some new pictures?

I love you (even though, as Julee said, you may never read that!),


You and me.

You and Dad.

You and Pousse.

Little hands.

Little feet.

December 14, 2010

December 14th, 2010

Dear Sofia,

I hope we can instill in you a love for the America we knew as kids, or at least cherish in our hearts.

In that America, we say "Merry Christmas!" with verve and throw change (or, gold coins as of late) in Salvation Army buckets at this time of year. You know, those red buckets that have been banned at so many places because the SA is a "Christian organization."

In that America we bake Christmas cookies and put up Christmas trees. We sing Christmas carols that are - surprise - about Christ!

I'm sure this makes no sense to you because in the America you've grown up in abhors the mere mention of Christ, especially around the anniversary time of His birth. There is no prayer in public schools: high school football players aren't allowed to thank God for their touchdowns, nor are parents allowed to thank God for their graduating students' accomplishments, or for the meal they are about to eat before a school fund-raising dinner.

Yet, Christmas day is a federal holiday. Everyone exchanges Christmas gifts (although sometimes they are said to be from a "Secret Santa." Christmas symbolism is everywhere because people like it - and they like it because, deep down, they know God is real, was born in a manger and is the Lord of all creation. They're only practicing "secular Christmas" because they are rebellious!

Like I said, I hope we are able to give you the Christmas traditions and memories that honor Christ, as they should. Where families enjoy - and don't dread - spending time together. Where it's not all about how many presents you get or, if you're an adult, how tech savvy or luxe they are (*we will exchange presents; they will be things we think will make each other smile, but we know they won't complete us or truly make us happy).

Christmas is about Christ. 'Nuf said.

December 9, 2010

December 9th, 2010

Dear Sofia,

Your mama can be a basket case. I hope it's a long time before you realize this, and perhaps being a mother will make me more responsible? I pray that is the case!

But.. I struggle with stupid things like spending too much time on the computer/internet and spending too much money on clothes (a sad admission). Since you've been born I noticed a down trend in both of those because I am spending so much more time with you. Hooray!

Here is a list I made last year of things I wanted to accomplish. I have put in bold the ones I actually did.

1. Pay off at least three substantial debts - some medical stuff and a major credit card

2. Sponsor a child from world vision - Gospel for Asia actually, but same diff
3. Learn how to take good photographs

4. Get my health under control: develop healthy eating, sleeping and exercising regimens - pregnancy has a way of helping you eat well! And I finally had a great workout regimen.. before I had to stop exercising because you were due soon. [sigh] I will get it back! And sleep? No, I'm afraid that is a mere dream now - no pun intended!

5. Put away more savings money; keep a budget

6. Spend significantly less than I earn; donate more than I do
7. Work a higher-wage job with more responsibility - Yes! This job is currently paying for you via short term disability.

8. Write with more clarity and on more variety of topics - Working on this. Started the fashion blog, too.

9. Read at least 20 books; decrease dependence on computer and internet for entertainment - Maybe not 20, though I read a whole lot in the summer. I'm reading "Burmese Days" by George Orwell now. There's plenty of time to read while one nurses!
10. Get involved with a social group of some kind (church, hobby, charity, sport) - Sadly, not yet. This is the biggie for 2011. Maybe you are my ticket into some women's groups, huh?

December 6, 2010

December 6th, 2010

Dear Sofia,

We are in winter now, serious winter. A few days ago I wrote that the snow had just fallen - ah, how lovely, the first little flaky snowfall! It dusts everything white and reminds you that Christmas is just around the corner. And then it melts, and you expect a few more fallish days (even though we are in December and it has technically been winter for awhile).

Not so in Wisconsin - or Minne-snow-ta, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan... Two days after I wrote about the first snow, we got our real first snow - all five inches of it! Oh, and bitter cold temperatures and wind to boot. Speaking of boots...

Since I was pregnant my shoe size has gone up 1/2 size! Darn it, that means I have to get all new shoes (yes, only one pair still fits). Buying all new shoes sounds like fun, but really it is not. And it requires you spend a bunch of money that I would rather spend on you!

Today you and I will find some boots for me. I can't be picky, so it helps that you will probably wake up mid-trip - and most definitely this will occur as I'm getting in line to check out - and scream your head off. Oh, what fun it is to ride around in a car seat. Not. Pobrecita.

Did you know that your initials are SNO? How funny is that?!

December 3, 2010

December 3rd, 2010

Dear Sofia,

I heard a staggering and horrible statistic this morning, that black people only account for 6% of Wisconsin's population, but acquire 25% of the state's abortions. What a sad state of affairs that black women are being led to believe the lie that they are better off not keeping their children.

For many women, myself included, being a mom is the most rewarding thing one can do. I know it's work, too, and a lot of women don't want to do it, or aren't ready to, or do have a medical issue that makes carrying to term risky.

But... most women having abortions - and they are mostly young women - don't fall into the high risk category; they have no idea what to expect with a pregnancy/motherhood so they believe whatever some supposedly well-meaning abortion clinic staff member (usually another women) tells them.

Sometimes it's, "Oh honey, you don't want to give up going to college do you?" (As if going to college is some guarantee of a happy or successful life! Please!)

Or maybe, "Now, going through the birth process will be VERY painful and VERY risky. An abortion is, by comparison, a much lower risk operation." (This is something a Planned Parenthood doctor actually said.)

And sometimes, "You don't have to keep this baby and raise it if you don't want to." (But they don't tell you that someone else may want the chance to, by adopting him or her!)

I've probably said this many times before, that even when I was a liberal the issue of abortion never sat right with me. I would frequently (because I am very timid in person) shirk the question of which side I fell on by responding that I'd "need to be in that position to really know what I'd do," or I'd say that I wouldn't do it but didn't think I'd want to restrict someone else's access either. Neither of those statements were really true. I never liked the idea of someone killing their baby, even when it was "just a fetus" (like using a different name for "baby" makes it less of a person - that never made sense to me either).

Wisconsin Pro Life is putting up billboards all over Milwaukee that say "Black is beautiful" and "Black babies are in trouble." Yes, they are in trouble because their moms are going to be fed a lot of lies about babies (you'd be surprised how little young women actually know about babies' growth and needs) and their ability to take care of them.

Be strong, pregnant young women in Wisconsin. I was scared when I found out about Sofia, too... a lot of apprehension surrounded the situation... but when I was "actually in the position" to make a choice, well... there was no choice. It was clear. And it will be clear in your heart and conscience, too. Black is beautiful, life is beautiful, and the bond you and baby will have together is the most beautiful.

December 2, 2010

December 2nd, 2010

Dear Sofia,

We listened to this together this morning. You loved it! How could you not, hearing that Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords? Allelujah!

December 1, 2010

December 1st, 2010

Dear Sofia,

Today is the first day of December, the first day of snow here in Madison, and Russ Feingold's last day in the Senate! Feingold has been the Wisconsin state senator for a loooong time. This year, voters here - including your mom and dad - voted him out of office. He has supported lots of bills that would hurt America, including the "cash for clunkers" program, the McCain-Feingold immigration bill (which should be called an illegal immigration bill) and all the stimulus packages put forth by President Obama (these were supposed to stimulate our economy and create jobs, but oddly enough they did neither). Feingold out, republican winner Ron Johnson in! I am excited to see him take over and help our nation, in whatever ways he can. We will pray for his ability to do this.

Many people today are talking about the recent "wikileaks" incident, which was the publishing of tons of information on our governmental affairs gathered confidentially. It was stolen by at least one person, maybe more, and given to the wikileaks organization, who chose to disseminate the info publicly. It is sensitive information and should NOT have been stolen, nor handed out. Who knows who has seen/read it by now?

It has been impossible to avoid reading some snippet of it, though, or hearing it on talk radio. There are some pretty incredible items in that information, including that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered associates to "gather information" on United Nations ambassadors visiting the U.S., basically to make sure they are here for their stated purposes. That's the kind of security we need our government to take measures for! Also, China spied on the U.S. and stole info transmitted through Google and its products. Things like... oh.. Blogger. Hmm..

And you know what else I learned? That U.S. officials under Pres. Obama asked other countries to take our Guantanemo Bay prisoners, and even offered a special visit with the Pres. to secure the deal! Yes, Obama really does think that much of himself; "You take these dangerous criminals but, in return, you get to meet Obama! Now, isn't that worth it, Austria? Plus, it will give you 'prestige' amongst the other European countries." Ugh.

Last bit of news for the day: Giselle Bunchen (a fashion model) is featured in Vogue magazine this month talking about her recent home birth! That's the kind of publicity home/natural birth/midwifery needs, I think. She had her son in a water birth, which is something I considered for you. Giselle loved the whole process and can't wait to do it again. Awesome!


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