Saturday, June 15, 2013

Sally's Lullaby

Sally's lullaby came to me a little earlier in the game than Walter's did--I wrote his at 32 weeks, and I wrote Sally's this week, week 29.  The pressure to produce a lullaby was a little greater this time. I'm worried in general about precedents we set with Walter and not being able to meet or exceed them with Sally; I want to take lots of pictures of her, write her a lullaby of her own (even though her brother's would have worked, with slight alterations),give her as much attention on this blog as I give to Walter and make sure that in the midst of all the hand-me-downs she gets a sense of her own special place in our hearts and our family.  It'll be interesting to reflect more on this worry after Sally arrives, because I honestly have no idea how hard it'll be to give her that special attention.  All I know is that I want Sally to feel as secure in her family's love as Walter clearly does.

I'm sure my worries are rooted in a scarcity mindset (there is a particular quantity of love available, and when it divided among more family members, everyone gets less.)  That's pretty wrong thinking right there, especially when the Christian model stands in such total contrast: Christ came so that we may have life, and have it abundantly.  Even as a pastor, I have to stop myself and conscientiously remember that God is about abundance, and so is God's creation, and so, especially, is God's love (and the love we have for each other, which comes from God.)

Sally, you are so loved.  You are loved abundantly.  You will never want for love: from your parents, from your family, from God's big family, and from God.

That's the basic message I wanted to get across in Sally's lullaby, along with other good lullaby messages such as: "go to sleep."  I've had some lyrics in mind for several weeks, but the tune didn't come to me until Monday morning as I was about to get into the shower.  Once I got the tune, the words came immediately.

And not a moment too soon, because the late night pummeling is really starting to pick up!  I hummed the lullaby to Sally late last night and her activity went from frantic elbowing to pleasant, rhythmic bopping.  I know better than to expect magical results from this lullaby--Walter's lullaby "works" as well as any quiet song we sing to him before bed, and currently ranks as his third favorite after Woody Guthrie's "Take you riding my car" and "Dona Nobis Pacem." But when he asks for "Walter, Walter" it always feels special to me, especially now that he sings along.  it may take some time before I can sing it to her without crying, but I'm glad Sally and I will have this song to share, these words of love that are just for her. 

Hey, Sally bug
Hey Sally bug
Let’s get a kiss, let's get a hug.
Hey Sally bug
Hey Sally bug
Lie down, close your eyes, and get real snug

Hey, Sally dear
Hey, Sally dear
We are so very glad you’re here
Hey, Sally dear
Hey, Sally dear
You’re loved, you’re blessed,
That much is clear

Hey, Sally girl
Hey, Sally girl
Your family is the whole wide world
Hey, Sally girl
Hey, Sally girl
And God will help your life unfurl*

Sleep well, Sally boo
Sleep well, Sally boo
Tomorrow is a new day for you
Sleep well, Sally boo,
Sleep well, Sally boo
One more kiss, goodnight, we’ll see you soon


After writing this blog post, I used my phone to record myself singing the lullaby.  If Sean can figure out how to make that type of file work with blogger, he'll put a link here. I put my phone near my belly while I played it back and Sally woke up to give an appreciative little tap tap tap.  Sort of the opposite effect intended by a lullaby, but it made me happy.

*Still not sure about "unfurl."  I like the image, but it's such an odd word for a lullaby. Gives it that "homemade" feeling, though.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Edited to add:

It is slightly less endearing when Walter is so eager to play that he decides to wake up (and stay up) at 4:30 in the morning.  Many thanks to the Daddy for taking the brunt of that early morning. Uff da.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Good day

Just a few stories from today that are too good not to record somehow:

  • When I picked him up from daycare, Walter picked up a yellow ball and showed it to me.  "What color is that?" I asked.  "YELLOW!" I think he reads this blog and uses it to figure out what skills he's going to work on, next. 
  • When I put my turn signal on to turn into our driveway, Walter said: "Home!"
  • Walter, who was recently on strike against all fruits, vegetables, and anything that might be construed as healthy, ate a very complete dinner of rice, salmon and green beans.  He especially liked it when Mama or Dada would feed him a little piece of salmon and a green bean together using chopsticks.  He'd never had salmon before, and I liked watching his face as he tasted it for the first time.  Very much a "this is new ... but not entirely bad" series of expressions.
  • Walter did great building with his blocks tonight, turning each one around in his hands a few times before carefully placing them to build a wall, and then a different kind of wall, and then a neat stairway like structure. You can tell his puzzle-loving mind is working overtime, trying to figure out how to turn what he's imagining into something he can build. 
  • Walter didn't want to go to sleep tonight, even though he was very sleepy.  He ended up being so endearing that I almost didn't want him to go to sleep, either ... I just wanted to snuggle him and sing and watch him do the funny little dance he does standing up in his crib. He sang "Dona Nobis Pacem" along with us so beautifully. Sally bopped along, in time with the music.  After Mama left the room there was some crying, and then a little drinking of some wawa, and then Dada left the room, and then zzzzzzzzzzz. 
Walter and the Wall

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dancing belly, amazing boy

Right at the moment I'm a little distracted by my dancing belly.  I love this part of the pregnancy, where baby's movements are so big I don't just feel them, I can see them.  Anyone who happens to be looking could see them, too.  It's so weird and wonderful.

Trimester three, month #7, has begun in earnest, and I am definitely super pregnant.  All my appointments with Dr. M between now and my due date are scheduled.  The c-section will be scheduled, soon.  I've had my glucose test (no gestational diabetes, yay!) and all my numbers are looking stellar.  Sally's heartbeat and movements are strong and delightful.

There is terrible heartburn, there is an almost constant need to pee, there's muscle pain, there's a great deal of hunger.  There are weird, vivid, exhausting dreams: usually I'm planning a huge event or yelling at people for no good reason.  These I'm familiar with from being pregnant with Walter.  But there are some differences, too.  I'm still able to wear my wedding ring, which I couldn't do from the first trimester on with Walter.  My hands and feet are just starting to get slightly swollen, but nothing like the first time.  I'm not as heavy and I look better overall: healthier.  And I'm not on bedrest.  That's a pretty big difference, right there.

I'm grateful for my good health, and for Sally's.  Next week we fly to Philly and head to the shore to visit with Sean's family for a week; I was worried I might be too pregnant to have any fun, but I think I'll be OK.  Maybe some whimpering, but OK.  I'm looking forward to seeing Walter run around on the sand.

Walter is all sorts of remarkable, as you know.  Tonight he counted to ten.  On his own he can count to six quite reliably.  He is a very good dancer.  He's still not very consistent with identifying different colors, but he's intrigued by the idea and he's working on it.  He opened up to one of the kids at church on Sunday and demonstrated his excellent command of every possible animal noise, including giraffe and camel.  He's been doing that for so long that I hardly think about it anymore, but D. was so impressed.  "Listen to the this!" he told us.  "He's AMAZING!"
Mama, Walt and Sally: pretty amazing

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Three little words

I mentioned before that Walter has started in on three word sentences.  Tonight's was the best yet.

We got home a little late from an outing to Kohl's.  Baba was in the kitchen, putting stuff away. (Baba is staying with us this week while Sean is out of town.) I was with Walter in the living room, taking off my shoes.

Walter was doing what's he's done every day this week ... as soon as his feet hit the floor, he's off and running to his train track.  Baba and Walter fashioned a tunnel out of a piece of his Noah's ark, and sending his train through that tunnel has been a source of endless entertainment.  Recently he's been reinacting his favorite video of the moment, "Cookie Monster and the Ballad of Casey Macphee," which Walter calls "AB choo choo" or "Cookie uh-oh."

It's the epic tale of a heroic engineer faced with both danger and an ethical dilemma. It has also added the word "avalanche" to Walter's vocabulary.  He knows Cookie is going to be OK, but the avalanche makes him nervous every time. Retelling and acting out the story seems to help.  He does this by putting crayons on his train track, sending his train over them, and then rescuing the train when it derails.

Tonight he was setting the stage for this drama when a piece of his train track came loose.  The track is made to fit together like a very basic jigsaw puzzle. I've pointed this out to Walter before, and any mention of "puzzle" intrigues him, but so far he hadn't been able to put it together himself. Tonight he asked for help right away. "Help please Baba!" he called out. Baba answered from the kitchen that he was on his way.

In the amount of time it took Baba to get to the living room and for me to take off my left shoe, something remarkable happened.  Walter ran over to me and said, very proudly, "Walter got it!"

I looked up and, sure enough, Walter had put the track together himself. "That's wonderful, Walter!" I said. "You put the track together all by yourself.  I'm very proud of you." He smiled a big smile and went back over to the table to play.  "Are you proud, too?" I asked.  He looked up at me and nodded.

"Walter got it!" What a great sentence. What a great kiddo.