She turns three in a just a few days. Time warp.

Putting away the newborn clothes and switching to size one diapers. It goes faster and faster every time.

A big kid bike for a kid who is big. Hoping to loose the training wheels this summer.


Three Weeks

Three Weeks

Just a little crosseyed here. No worries. She’ll get them straightened out soon enough. Let’s not rush anything this time.


There were lots and lots of comments from all kinds of people about having a third baby. They fell into three camps, for the most part. 



These were the admonitions about how hard it is to be outnumbered by tiny people in your home.  I put all of the “you’re going from man-to-man to zone!” comments firmly in this space, along with all of the horror stories people gave us about what their THREE children could destroy in seconds versus the time when there were just two. There were stories about not showering and not sleeping and not being able to get anything at all accomplished. Questions about if we’d be done after this one (with a “and you should be” kicker).



This package of comments were the congratulations that went along with predicting the future of a gaggle of children in our home. Questions about buying a new house since ours would be busting at the seems were filed here. The stories about how having a third child when your older kids are as old as mine would make the addition completely undetectable. You’re not sleeping anyway, so you might as well just keep adding tiny cries to the middle of your night! 



I don’t remember who said what, so don’t take anything I wrote up there personally. I’m not trying to call anyone out. I’m positive I’ve said things to people that have not been helpful. It’s a way we all process through our experiences – by sharing the hard stuff and by encouraging people with the good stuff. Somehow all of the things that we tell expectant moms is really more about our own selves than it is them. Their experience will be uniquely theirs – a fussy baby, a calm one, MSPI or the graduating to solid foods super early. Who can know what kind of personality or body the Lord will choose to give them? So maybe we should just keep our own thoughts to ourselves.

And yet, there is something wonderful about all of the comments I received from other moms. There is community in the shared struggle. There are moments of clarity for my mind in the middle of the night when I’m awake and unable to help a child get back to sleep. There is a sweetness in shared experience that refreshes me and comfort in knowing that difficult times aren’t unique to our family, that there’s grace enough for me when I am loosing my mind and grace enough for the kids as they navigate this new era too.  

A good friend recently wrote this: We are constantly falling short of our obligations to those around us and are occasionally aware of it! (a good starting place as we approach our fellow man and a good reminder of the tremendous grace we continually receive). 

I couldn’t agree more. Thank you all for the grace you have and are still giving to me. 

You Can Keep Your Tie-Die

This morning I woke up to two happy children playing games next to me and one tiny baby still sleeping soundly. After asking the two bigger ones to turn off the overhead light, I groggily brought myself to a sitting position and looked around at the disheveled room. Game pieces were strewn across the floor. A trash can that needs to be emptied sat next to the tiny table of wipes and diapers. A basket of clean clothing sat mocking me on the other side of the table. The room was in complete disarray.

Greer woke up shortly after me and I nursed her. The older kids scurried off to eat breakfast and play in their rooms. Soon Gideon was dressed and ready for school, with no effort from me to get him that way. Piper was heading to me while my father was taking Gideon off to class. She watched ‘a kid show’ while I diapered the baby and took off to shower.

I hurried to get myself ready but by the time I was dressed and combing out my hair, Greer was demanding her morning snack already. I, of course, obliged, but filled up my water cup first. Fed, burped and sleeping soundly, I played sous chef/taste tester to Piper’s executive chef-dom. She made oatmeal out of Yahtzee dice and chocolate out of Sorry! pieces and then Greer woke up and needed to eat again.

Gideon was back from school and lunch was on the table when I realized that my hair was completely dry. Wavy and straight, frizzy and frayed, my hair was a total mess. With no makeup and and no hair product or heating tools applied, I walked past a mirror and realized that I would’ve made a really terrible and ugly hippie. Thanks for saving me, Jud.

On Sleep and Stomachs

Greer will be three weeks old tomorrow. She is adjusting to this big bright world just as she should. Her infancy is reminding me so much of Gideon’s. First, they look very similar – my skin tone, blue eyes, Poppy’s hairline, long bodies with skinny appendages. Her chin is slightly different, more feminine and girly and her smiles reveal a dimple in her cheek – my first baby with one! She has long skinny feet with the same toenails as her brother. Second, they both love to sleep upright on someone’s chest. Gideon ONLY slept that way for six weeks and I am assuming that’s how long it will take this little girl to let go of being upright too. Third, they love feats of strength. She has decidedly non-2-week-old neck strength and control, just like her big brother did. If you put her in a pack and play or crib or on any other solid surface on her tummy, she will scoot and spin around in an uncoordinated, cheek rubbing experiment of mobility. It’s adorable and scary all at the same time. There’s probably more, but I forget now.

However, she is all her own person in this whole needing help to burp and sometimes spitting up thing. The other two were normally gassy babies, don’t get me wrong. They had those moments when I started to question what I’d eaten or how good their latch was for that last feeding, but they very rarely spit up. To be clear, she is not horking milk all over me, just tiny little dribble amounts, but I’m always caught off guard (my fellow slow learners, please raise your hands). And she needs SO MANY back pats to get those burps up. Her face contorts in pain and annoyance while I try to help her work it out. It’s not just the burping either. She’s a lady so I won’t say the name of the other kind of gas she has, but I think you might have an idea about it. She makes the same sad little faces with that but she adds little screams to the experience. Nothing makes a Mama feel sadder than her less one month old yelping in pain.

I’m pretty sure that the gas is caused by the ridiculous amounts of milk I’m sending her way. Affectionately known as hyper-lactation syndrome, I have a very abundant milk supply, so I produce copious amount of foremilk (higher in water content, higher in lactose and usually delivered with greater force during letdown – the gas triumvirate!). All of that foremilk alone could be making her stomach cramp, or it could be from all the gulping she’s doing. Upon this realization, I’ve started keeping her on one side longer and will start pumping right before I feed her to take the edge off. She for sure hasn’t been getting enough hind milk because she wants to eat constantly. We’ll change up our routine and see if it delivers positive results.

It’s the normal way for two week old babies to be awake more and to be more gassy, so I’m taking the whole thing with boulders of salt and thanking God we live close to my parents who have been a gigantic help to me while Jud has been out of town on business. They’ve helped make meals, magically made the gassy girl sleep for long stretches and entertained the older two while I nurse the tiny one. I’m sure I could do it without them but I’m so glad that I don’t have to.

The Name Game

The very first time I was pregnant, Jud and I began listing out names we liked on the white board in our office almost right away. It was a big deal. Naming a human should be a big deal, I think. They are going to walk around with that handle for the rest of their lives (barring a lot of work at the social security office. Okay, maybe not work, but at least a VERY long wait to deal with people who obviously hate life and wish they were not government employees in spite of their cush pay and benefits. Seriously. It is so much worse than the DMV).


We knew we wanted to name our children with names that meant things we liked. The meaning of their names seems especially important to us because names mean something to God. He has a lot of names:

(1) Elohim: The plural form of EL, meaning “strong one.” It is used of false gods, but when used of the true God, it is a plural of majesty and intimates the trinity. It is especially used of God’s sovereignty, creative work, mighty work for Israel and in relation to His sovereignty (Isa. 54:5Jer. 32:27Gen. 1:1Isa. 45:18Deut. 5:23; 8:15Ps. 68:7).

Compounds of El:

  • El Shaddai:“God Almighty.” The derivation is uncertain. Some think it stresses God’s loving supply and comfort; others His power as the Almighty one standing on a mountain and who corrects and chastens (Gen. 17:1; 28:3; 35:11Ex. 6:1Ps. 91:1, 2).
  • El Elyon: “The Most High God.” Stresses God’s strength, sovereignty, and supremacy (Gen. 14:19Ps. 9:2;Dan. 7:18, 22, 25).
  • El Olam: “The Everlasting God.” Emphasizes God’s unchangeableness and is connected with His inexhaustibleness (Gen. 16:13).

(2) Yahweh (YHWH): Comes from a verb which means “to exist, be.” This, plus its usage, shows that this name stresses God as the independent and self-existent God of revelation and redemption (Gen. 4:3Ex. 6:3 (cf. 3:14); 3:12). Compounds of Yahweh: Strictly speaking, these compounds are designations or titles which reveal additional facts about God’s character.

  • Yahweh Jireh (Yireh): “The Lord will provide.” Stresses God’s provision for His people (Gen. 22:14).
  • Yahweh Nissi:“The Lord is my Banner.” Stresses that God is our rallying point and our means of victory; the one who fights for His people (Ex. 17:15).
  • Yahweh Shalom:“The Lord is Peace.” Points to the Lord as the means of our peace and rest (Jud. 6:24).
  • Yahweh Sabbaoth:“The Lord of Hosts.” A military figure portraying the Lord as the commander of the armies of heaven (1 Sam. 1:3; 17:45).
  • Yahweh Maccaddeshcem: “The Lord your Sanctifier.” Portrays the Lord as our means of sanctification or as the one who sets believers apart for His purposes (Ex. 31:13).
  • Yahweh Ro’i: “The Lord my Shepherd.” Portrays the Lord as the Shepherd who cares for His people as a shepherd cares for the sheep of his pasture (Ps. 23:1).
  • Yahweh Tsidkenu: “The Lord our Righteousness.” Portrays the Lord as the means of our righteousness (Jer. 23:6).
  • Yahweh Shammah: “The Lord is there.” Portrays the Lord’s personal presence in the millennial kingdom (Ezek. 48:35).
  • Yahweh Elohim Israel: “The Lord, the God of Israel.” Identifies Yahweh as the God of Israel in contrast to the false gods of the nations (Jud. 5:3.; Isa. 17:6).

(3) Adonai: Like Elohim, this too is a plural of majesty. The singular form means “master, owner.” Stresses man’s relationship to God as his master, authority, and provider (Gen. 18:2; 40:11 Sam. 1:15Ex. 21:1-6Josh. 5:14).

(4) Theos: Greek word translated “God.” Primary name for God used in the New Testament. Its use teaches: (1) He is the only true God (Matt. 23:9Rom. 3:30); (2) He is unique (1 Tim. 1:17John 17:3Rev. 15:4; 16:7); (3) He is transcendent (Acts 17:24Heb. 3:4Rev. 10:6); (4) He is the Savior (John 3:161 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10). This name is used of Christ as God in John 1:1, 18; 20:281 John 5:20Tit. 2:13Rom. 9:5Heb. 1:82 Pet. 1:1.

(5) Kurios: Greek word translated “Lord.” Stresses authority and supremacy. While it can mean sir (John 4:11), owner (Luke 19:33), master (Col. 3:22), or even refer to idols (1 Cor. 8:5) or husbands (1 Pet. 3:6), it is used mostly as the equivalent of Yahweh of the Old Testament. It too is used of Jesus Christ meaning (1) Rabbi or Sir (Matt. 8:6); (2) God or Deity (John 20:28Acts 2:36Rom. 10:9Phil. 2:11).

(6) Despotes: Greek word translated “Master.” Carries the idea of ownership while kurios stressed supreme authority (Luke 2:29Acts 4:24Rev. 6:102 Pet. 2:1Jude 4).

(7) Father:A distinctive New Testament revelation is that through faith in Christ, God becomes our personal Father. Father is used of God in the Old Testament only 15 times while it is used of God 245 times in the New Testament. As a name of God, it stresses God’s loving care, provision, discipline, and the way we are to address God in prayer (Matt. 7:11Jam. 1:17Heb. 12:5-11John 15:16; 16:23Eph. 2:18; 3:151 Thess. 3:11). And then there was all of that stuff about God’s name: (1) Abraham called on the name of the Lord (Gen. 12:8; 13:4). (2) The Lord proclaimed His own name before Moses (Ex. 33:19; 34:5). (3) Israel was warned against profaning the name of the Lord (Lev. 13:21; 22:2, 32). (4) The name of the Lord was not to be taken in vain (Ex. 20:7Deut. 5:11). (5) The priests of Israel were to minister in the name of the Lord (Deut. 18:5; 21:5). (6) The name of God is called “wonderful” in Judges 13:18. (7) To call on the name of the Lord was to worship Him as God (Gen. 21:33; 26:25). Consequently, from this we can conclude that such phrases as “the name of the LORD” or “the name of God” refer to God’s whole character. It was a summary statement embodying the entire person of God.2

When we turn to the New Testament we find the same. The name Jesus is used in a similar way to the name of God in the Old Testament:

(1) Salvation is through His name (John 1:12).

(2) Believers are to gather in His name (Matt. 18:20).

(3) Prayer is to be made in His name (John 14:13-14).

(4) The servant of the Lord who bears the name of Christ will be hated (Matt. 10:22).

(5) The book of Acts makes frequent mention of worship, service, and suffering in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:18; 5:28, 41; 10:43; 19:17).

(6) It is at the name of Jesus that every knee will one day bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11). So, just as the name of God in the Old Testament spoke of the holy character of God the Father, so the name of Jesus in the New Testament speaks of the holy character of God the Son.

3 (Thanks to J. Hampton Keathley, III for compiling this information)



So, names. They have importance to God and if they are important to Him, we want to see the importance of them too.


Once we found out Gideon was a boy, we felt a whole lot of stress to choose a strong and manly name. We knew it might be a name he would have to grow into, but we really didn’t want it to be something that would convey strength. Thus:


Gideon Charles – G means “hacker” although we initially only found the meaning of ‘warrior’, which we liked. Hacker seems slightly more violent than warrior, but we’re cool with that too. C means ‘strong, manly’ and is also my dad’s middle name. We would love people to know our son as a strong, manly warrior/hacker. We want him to stand up for justice and not shrink back from doing the right thing.


Piper Elise – P means just what you think it does, “one who plays the pipe”. We wanted her to have a musical name without being too overt.  Elise means “consecrated to God” and that is exactly what we want for our little girl and her music. We are praying that she will be a woman who devotes her life to His purposes and His will.


Greer Elizabeth – G means “watchful, vigilant”. One of the things we’ve noticed about the current state of affairs among people is their strong attachment to instant gratification and the present. We want her to be able to delay gratification by keeping the future in mind. Being watchful about her life and vigilant to stick to  the truth will be good tools to help her in that endeavor. E means the same thing as Elise – “consecrated to God”. We liked it for its meaning and also because our dear friend, Sarah, has the same middle name. We hope Greer is a woman much like Sarah. Her character is exemplary. Her heart is sensitive to the Spirit of God and we love how she loves on our children. We hope our new girl is much the same.


And that’s why we named them that.


What does your name mean?


There are always questions that people ask over and over again that new moms wish they could print on a t-shirt and just point to the appropriate answer. Here’s my t-shirt:

1. Were you too late to get an epidural? – Nope. Although the last two deliveries were indeed undertaken with an epidural firmly in place, they were also different in that I had pitocin on board after my water broke while I wasn’t in active labor. Since I’d already had medical intervention (the Pit), I was also for the idea of a pain killer. With Gideon I tried to not have an epidural and the complete lack of a break between contractions mixed with the constant pain was too much for me. I took a narcotic first and just felt drunk so then I went all in with an epidural. When I wound up on Pitocin with Piper, I knew we were headed to that same dark place and had the epidural pretty quickly. This time, since my body finally did the right thing and WENT INTO LABOR, I went with it and let it do its thing without any intervention.

2. Would you do it again without drugs? – Absolutely….if I don’t need Pitocin. The recovery was swifter and simpler and frankly I just felt better. Additionally, Greer seemed much more alert and those first two nights in the hospital seemed very much like the other nights I’ve been spending at home with her. In other words, she was herself right away. That’s a plus for me. BUT if I needed to be induced or my body once again decided to not go into labor on it’s own but my water was broken and the dread Pitocin was coursing through my veins, I’d be all over a needle in my spine.

3. Did you like the midwives? – Did I?! It was pretty routine during most of my appointments throughout the pregnancy. Maybe they spent more time with me than the average OB, but for the most part things were pretty standard. The labor process was completely different. I felt like I had an advocate directing the process and a guide walking me through the whole experience. I would absolutely recommend them to anyone, but especially to a first timer who wants to be helped through labor by a professional.

4. How are you feeling? – Pretty good. Somedays I feel so good that I try to figure out how to get running again sooner than six weeks out. And then there was yesterday where I vacuumed and started passing blood clots and bleeding too much. So, I’m sitting down now. And my house looks kind of crazy (think laundry piles and coats and blankets randomly strewn about), but we’re okay and the bleeding has calmed down considerably.

5. How’s Greer doing? – She’s a normal two week old. She is starting to be awake more but her days and nights are mixed up, so I am not all that excited about that development. She eats awesomely and frequently. Her diaper changes are not filled with screaming, so she doesn’t mind being cold too much. She had a bath the other night and she loved it.

6. Are you getting any sleep? – Yes, but 45 minutes spurts through the night are less fun for me. When my parents or Jud are at home, I try to speak up and ask them to hold her while I grab a nap, but sometimes I’m trying to get too much done instead of just resting and knowing that all the ‘stuff’ can wait.

7. How are the kids doing with the new baby? – Really well, all things considered. Gideon has declared a few times that he’s glad she is a girl and that he loves her. Piper talks to her like a sweet little Mama with lots of kisses and loving back pats. In the not so great category, Gideon has been a little wilder here and at school and Piper has been talking in an odd baby language that mostly contains the words “cake” and “coke”. I think both of these oddities will subside in due time.

8. What do you want to eat? – Everything. I am starving. Bring of the carbs and protein and lots and lots of vegetables. I am especially in love with yellow squash, zucchini and dark chocolate. I want orange julius and cranberry juice with sierra mist. I want to go to this event tonight where Rick Bayless is cooking. Instead I am making tuna casserole. It’s surprisingly delicious.

Anything I missed?