Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Growing Up and Filling Out

I realized this morning after a chain of random happenings that all around me are signs of growth and passing time.

A couple months ago I reorganized Abel's dresser to enable him to reach all of his everyday/play clothing in order that he could start learning to dress himself. He has been very excited about this new "big boy" responsibility, but getting to the point where he could fully dress himself (minus the shoes) on his own happened only this morning. Pants and big boy underwear he conquered right away, followed much later by shirts. And now this morning I looked down at Abel to find that he had gotten his socks on all by himself. Perhaps that doesn't seem like a big accomplishment, but let me say that getting socks on feet as wide and thick as Abel's is sometimes difficult even for me. And so I realized, my little boy is growing up.

As I was getting Amariah dressed this morning I decided to try pulling back some of her hair to help keep it out of her face. I had never put anything in her hair before because I wasn't sure it would be long enough to stay. As I finished securing the little ponytail on top of her head, I thought to myself, my baby girl is growing up.

A little later this morning Abel asked me to play him a song. One of his current favorites is John Waller's "While I'm Waiting" (from the movie Fireproof). As he sat at the computer watching the music video on YouTube, he began singing the words in a softened voice--another sign that my little boy is growing up.

A little bit ago as I put my hands on my hips, I noticed that the muscles on both sides of my waist are sore. It was the same feeling of muscles stretching that I remember from both of my first two pregnancies (only it's coming a little sooner this time around!). Then I looked at myself in the mirror and saw that my formerly loosely-fitting shirt isn't so loose anymore--not in the belly or in the chest. And on the heels of the things mentioned above, I realized that with each passing day, growth is happening all around me. For my kids, it's a growing up; but for me, it's a filling out (currently speaking, anyway).

We all know that time brings change; and the changes I'm witnessing every day are a most blessed and exciting part of my life. Praise God for my children--for Abel and Amariah whose growth I'm watching daily, and for little Ande and these twins whose meeting I anticipate is growing me daily.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Veggie Tales

I think I've expressed in a previous post that our sweet little Amariah can turn pretty stubborn when it comes to eating.  Although things have gotten much better since the one-hour long training session we had several months back, she still periodically tries her hand at refusing to eat.

For supper last night I served the delicious meal that my friend Emily so graciously blessed us with--pork roast with potatoes, carrots, and green beans.  Amariah rather quickly devoured the bites of meat (doused in ketchup, of course) and promptly indicated her wish for more.  When I denied her request with an, "Eat your vegetables first," the battle began.

Her refusal to even taste the vegetables earned her a few swats on the hand until she submitted and opened her mouth.  However, about the same moment the vegetables made contact with her tongue, her tongue decidedly ejected them from her mouth.  I stuck to my decision to withhold another helping of meat since she didn't eat her vegetables and got her down from her highchair with the plan that she would eat nothing until she had eaten those vegetables--no matter how long it took.  (I guess I can be pretty stubborn, too!)

Amariah went to bed last night on what I figured was a somewhat hungry stomach, but she didn't complain.  (She probably knew that if she had complained, out would have come those vegetables!)  This morning the dreaded vegetables made their way back to her plate for a late breakfast/early lunch and were still intact at the end of mealtime.  Still determined to win the veggie battle, I put Amariah down for her nap, this time certain it was on a hungry stomach.  But again, no complaints.

After naptime, I put Amariah in her highchair with the same rejected vegetables from the night before and decided she would sit there until she was ready to eat them.  After some period of crying she suddenly submitted her will and ate her potatoes, carrots, and green beans--and when they were gone, she asked for more!

I tell this veggie tale as an encouragement to other parents of picky eaters and as a reminder to myself.  Persevere, and win these battles that seem so insignificant.  In doing so, you are laying the groundwork to win--and maybe even to avoid altogether--larger battles down the road.

Friday, November 14, 2008

11/14/08 OB Appointment

Today I had what was supposed to be my first OB appointment of this pregnancy.  (Because I was having some spotting last week, I was called in last Friday for an ultrasound which showed us not one but two healthy babies!  But, even though everything looked great last Friday, I had to keep today's appointment in order to get the "full OB workup," as they call it.)

The doctor we met with today is new to the practice since my last pregnancy and was therefore new to me.  Because my first pregnancy unexpectedly ended in a cesearn, the topic of repeat ceserean vs. VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Ceserean) is always up for discussion.  Although I was told by one of the doctors in the practice last week that a VBAC delivery of twins may certainly be a possibility for me--especially since I've already had a successful VBAC--the doctor we met today showed no glimmer of hope for a VBAC because "the College doesn't recommend it for twins."  I gently spoke with him about last week's discussion with the other doctor, but he didn't seem like he will be easily persuaded to even let me try.  Needless to say, I was super disappointed by his by-the-book attitude and expressly told him that I would be extremely disappointed if I wasn't at least given a chance at laboring.  Besides the fact that he was very pessimistic about my having a vaginal delivery, he was so rough when doing the pelvic exam.  Those metal things are never comfortable anyway, and especially for me whose cervix is tilted way back, but they are especially painful when rammed in at the wrong angle.  When I squirmed away with an "Ouch!" he coldly responded, "You shouldn't be that tender.  Are you always that tender?"  I'd like to know how "tender" he would be when undergoing the same procedure done by himself....

Anyway, I'm sure you can tell by my tone that I am slightly discouraged and maybe even a bit angered by today's experience with this doctor.  I guess now my prayers must get even more specific as I ask God to do the specific things that must happen in order for the (seven) doctors to collaberatively agree to let me have a trial of labor.

On a better note, we were privileged to have another ultrasound today and were able to again hear our babies' heartbeats (183 bpm and 178 bpm) and even to see them both wiggling around.  Since I've never had two back-to-back ultrasounds so early on in a pregnancy, I was amazed to see the changes that have occured in only seven days time.  The babies who looked like elongated blobs last week today had distinguishable stubs for arms and legs (which were already being exercised!).  How in the world can anyone believe that there is no Creator God or that life doesn't begin at conception?  What amazing miracles are taking place in my womb.  I feel so blessed to be a part of it.

My next appointment is scheduled for December 12th with my favorite doctor--the one who delivered my VBAC baby and who saw me through my recent miscarriage--and I look forward to hearing his opinion on giving me (or at least considering giving me) a trial of labor with these twins.  I suspect that in the meantime the doctors may be discussing my case; so pray, pray, pray I will!  May God grant the doctors wisdom, and may He also safely grant my request for a successful and natural birth of my babies!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Laundry Day

Laundry Day is an exciting day in the Squires household.  Abel and Amariah's button-pushing craze finally gets satisfied as they take turns starting the washer and dryer.  (Whoever designed my machines to require two pushes of the button was a genius... because one push and beep just isn't quite enough.)  Then, we all get to hang out upstairs where the best toys dwell while Mommy folds the laundry and fends off the little "helpers."  And finally, Mommy gets the satisfaction of every article of clothing being clean and in its place (if only for a couple hours).

Yes, fellow housewives, I may be strange, but I like doing laundry.  And ironing?  Well, I must say there is something satisfying about making things look perfect. :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Genetics of Twinning

So, I found out today that my great-Grandma and Grandpa Hanneman have 13 sets of twins in their family!  In fact, my great-grandma herself was a twin!  Apparently her sister died at birth, so that's why I never knew she was a twin.

It sounds like there are twins (and even some triplets) down other lines of my family, but we don't know just yet where in the family tree they fall.

I've always wondered what role genetics plays in the conception of twins, but only now do I have the motivation to look into it!  I did some reading on the Internet (I know you can't trust everything you read on the Internet, but several sites confirmed the same information), and here is what I came up with:
  • Fraternal twins run in families on the mother's side only, if she inherits the gene for hyper ovulation (the tendency to release multiple eggs during ovulation).  Men can carry this gene and pass it on to their daughters; but since men don't ovulate, a family history of twins doesn't make them any more likely to have twins themselves.*
  • Identical twins are random and do not run in families except by coincidence.*  The biological mechanisms that prompt the single fertilized egg to split in two remain a mystery.**
Obviously we won't know for a while if our twins are fraternal or identical, but we do know they are blessings from the Lord!  Praise God that He has blessed our family tree with many children! :-)


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today's Meeting

This afternoon two Jehovah's Witnesses, Don and Brooke, returned to our home for our scheduled meeting.  I wish I could say things went as expected, but that wasn't really the case.

As I mentioned in a previous post, we invited Tom, a Christian friend who recently started a ministry to the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, to join us for today's meeting.  Apparently, Tom's name and reputation for being firmly grounded in the Truth has been buzzing around the Kingdom Hall--as soon as introductions were done and Tom started talking, our JW visitors recalled having heard about him and began to bristle.  They had no intention of allowing any of the three of us Christians--especially Tom--to do any talking, and though we approached the situation with much respect and gentleness, they stated that there was no point in having any further conversation with us.  I was able to say a few things to Brooke (the woman who had originally come to our door a couple weeks ago) before they left, so I pray that somehow God will use something that was said to culitvate unrest in her soul and to cause her to begin to question her own beliefs.  Also, Don, the older gentleman, did agree to meet one-on-one with Tom at the Kingdom Hall next week.  (It seemed that Don was both unprepared and unwilling to hold such a conversation in front of "these kids" (referring to Travis and me--my husband had to bite his tongue on that one!) since we are so "young and impressionable" (which was the gist of his words).)

It's hard to imagine that hearts such as these, hardened by false teaching after false teaching, could be softened to eventually receive the Truth; but praise God that He is able!  Though I feel a bit disappointed about today's meeting, I know that God can still use it for good; and I pray that He will!

Consider God's power to SAVE as you read Paul's words to Timothy....

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor.  Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.  It is a trustworthy statement, derserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.  Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.  Amen."  (1 Timothy 1:12-17)

And for encouragement to all you "kids" out there,...

"Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe." (1 Timothy 4:12)

Although we now probably have a big red X on our door, I hope God will entrust us with more of these opportunities.  I'm so thankful that we do not have to be afraid of non-Christians or their beliefs, for we have the gospel--the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16)!

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Double Blessing

Monday, October 13th, 8:00 a.m.:
I think I'm late.
Travis convinces me to take a pregnancy test.
Result:  Positive!

Monday, October 13th, 9:30 p.m.:
I tell Abel, "Mommy has a baby in her tummy."
Abel replies, "Two babies?"

Every Day, All Day:
I'm so sick!  My nausea is never-ceasing, and sleep is all I can think about.
Day or night, I must go to the bathroom every couple hours.
You'd think I were having twins or something....

Wednesday, November 5th, 4:00 p.m.:
I'm spotting a little.
I never spotted with Abel or Amariah.
I'm not really worried.
Should I be worried?...

Thursday, November 6th, 5:30 p.m.:
Another spot.
Maybe I should call the doctor.

Friday, November 7th, 9:50 a.m.:
Doctor orders bloodwork and an ultrasound.

Friday, November 7th, 10:45 a.m.:
Ultrasound begins.
Whoa, did I just see two black spots?
Ultrasound technician toggles to a different screen. 
She just typed "2."  What does that mean?
If there were two, wouldn't she say something?...
Why isn't she looking at the other black spot?
Suddenly, a heartbeat!  166 beats per minute!
Our baby is okay!  Thank You, God!
On to the other black spot.
At last, she speaks.  "Well, I don't know if you're seeing what I'm seeing..."
"Are there two?"
And another heartbeat!  154 beats per minute!
God, You've blessed us double!  And they're both okay!

Since Then...:
I'm shocked.
I'm ecstatic.
I'm blessed beyond comprehension.
Abel called it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

JW Meeting Postponed

Dear Readers,

I wanted to let those of you who were praying for our meeting with the Jehovah's Witnesses this past Saturday know that they postponed the meeting until this coming Saturday at 1:00.  We did go ahead and meet with the Christian man who will be joining us for Saturday's meeting, and he taught us more about how to approach such an opportunity.  We would appreciate your continued prayers in the coming days.  Specifically, we are asking for prayer that this woman and whoever comes along with her would question the authority of the Watchtower and that seeds would be planted for them to know the Truth.  May God be glorified.

In Christ,

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