Insomnia = time to blog in the quiet of the night.
First and importantly, we had our 20 week ultrasound for baby #2 - who happens to be another girl! We are so excited as we head into the last half of this pregnancy, and I know if I blink, it will be May. The name we have settled on is officially Amelia Kay - nicknamed "Millie," although I love Amelia so much that I may end up using it most often. I most often type "Lyddie" but call her Adelaide about half of the time. So, yes - Lyddie and Millie, 18 months apart. I think it's exactly right for us. This news also means an easier preparation, since we have so much girl stuff saved. I was just about to purge out the clothes when we found out we were pregnant, so I held off in case of just such a situation. Lovely girls, ribbons and bows are wonderfully exciting for a momma and I'm pleased to have a chance to reuse some of my favorite outfits. They will be exactly opposite seasons from each other, but here in the Northwest our weather is so spotty that even in summer I had a lot of cool-weather clothes and somehow ended up with some cute summery stuff that Lyddie could never wear because it was too cold when it fit her. I need to work on finding a dresser for big sister after Christmas, so that we can use the little one for the new baby.
Adelaide seems to be getting ready to potty-train, which amazes me. She has had a diaper rash so we let her go diaper free most of today and twice before she went "weewee" she went over to the bathroom - one time doing it on the floor right by the toilet! So on top of a dresser, I need to get a potty chair when the chaos from the holidays has settled down and start practicing in earnest. This stage of life has moved upon me much faster than I expected, but then, we have been talking about the potty and putting "poo poo" down the toilet, saying "bye bye!" for a while now. So I guess we'll see how it goes, I'm not feeling at all pressured but don't want to miss out if she's interested in starting!
I fear I am coming down with something with only one week left before Christmas. I still have various projects to finish up, along with all my baking and wrapping, so I really should be in bed, but after tossing and turning for a half hour, I gave up.
I have been mulling over Christmas traditions this year even though Lyddie is so small still. Traditions have always been an essential part of the holidays for my family and I am beginning to shape our little traditions into whatever works best for us. I know that many people don't have or value traditions or aren't proactive in putting them in place for themselves, which is alright, I guess, but seems like a bit of a shame, especially as a Christian parent. Throughout the entire Scriptures, the Lord is instilling holidays and observances with very specific rituals for His people. Many have the misconception that this had something to do with the actual salvation of the Old Testament Jews (e.g., sacrifices, Passover, etc) but this can't be, since Christ is and always has been the only way to the Father. Those things were all initiated by God to be a forward-looking reminder of His goodness and grace and justice and providence for their children and the grandchildren. They weren't meant to be a legalistic, empty-hearted action but rather an illustration for teaching the future generations what God has done and a reminder of His promise of what He will do.
Traditions for us as Christians should be no different. While it's fun and exciting to participate in many of the light-hearted traditions together as a family, I think the intent behind all of these activities should be pointing to what God has done and what He promises He will do. I'm not meaning to imply that everything has to be hyper-spiritualized or that if you can't find a spiritual application, you shouldn't do it - we are so much more free as His children than that! There is value in enjoying silly time together as a family - like decorating gingerbread houses like we did with my parents and brothers last night, or enjoying decorating your home to mark the "separateness" of this season from all the others! But as I begin to look forward to raising our children, I want to be specifically conscious of this -not just at the holidays, but also throughout the year. Why do we go to church every Sunday? Why do we celebrate Easter? Why do we do family devotions? Why do we fellowship over dinner as a family together every night? Why do we have family movie nights? Why? Why? Why? The big answer is: to honor God by our traditions. Sometimes all it takes is an action that "separates" the special from the mundane, like decorating your home or even dressing up for church, whatever it is. It teaches our children to mark this as something important and special, worthy of note.
Noel Piper has a book out called "Treasuring God in our Traditions," and I haven't read it, but would really like to. I have a feeling it's very much this same idea, so I need to invest in it when I have a little extra money.