Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Rambles...

I would suggest that, as a character building activity, you make homemade marshmallows by hand. Mix them only with a whisk all the way up to the point of dumping them out to dry. I just got done doing it myself and my hands still feel a bit shaky. Perhaps I'm wimpy? I had to wonder if marshmallows were invented before or after electric mixers. Anyway, I'm thankful for the heavy duty whisk my man bought me.

We were going to buy an electric hand mixer but decided that, in this country, we may as well buy a mixer that can mix bread as well if we're going put the money out anyway. So I use my trusty whisk. And when it comes to kneading bread, I do it myself unless it's a bigger batch, or I'm in a hurry. Then I call on the man of the house to come help out. I would have asked him to help with the marshmallows, but he's gone this morning. Don't ask me why I decided to do this when his mighty arm wasn't around to call upon.

Mr. Jackson is still with us. And he does indeed squeeze in under the door. Jube and I watch him do so the other day. We took him outside into the yard--Jube chased him to the flowerpots--and then we went inside. (Well, there was also the part about Jube playing with him outside by the front door and he kept trying to hop into the house. So we took him to the yard where, much to Jube's consternation, he began to burrow himself into the ground and disappear beneath the grass. Jube dug him and and that's when he ran to hide among the flower pots.) And just a few minutes later I decided to go and see if I could find a hole from the outside that he was getting in, and behold, there was Mr. Jackson, about to make an entrance.

And just now I went to start the laundry and as usual, he was hiding in the dirty clothing that was hung over the rack. I had almost given up on finding him but there he was. I have this other fear that one day he'll hide in one of Dru's pockets and he really will get washed. Right now Jube is outside playing with him--laughing wickedly in the perspective of a frog, I'm sure. I don't know why he keeps coming back. Kathy says they had a returning frog once too, a year or two ago.

I think I need to go rescue Mr. Jackson from Jube and sew a curtain for my kitchen now. It's odd, but I actually have time for such projects. The other day I was trying to figure out why I didn't have time before now, and then, very quickly, I remembered that I'd been pregnant. I'm so thankful NOT to be pregnant right now and very thankful for the very sweetest little girl. Maybe hard pregnancies make sweet babies or something. Hmmm.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Chubby Frog...

I have a pet frog. I didn't ask for him and he didn't ask if he could stay. I feel a little bit like Mrs. Tittlemouse did about Mr. Jackson. I have certain disdain for his presence, yet I'm growing slightly sentimental about his daily appearance.

For a while he was appearing on a weekly basis. He has now become comfortable with his surroundings to the point that he returns on a daily basis. Today was the third day in a row. I was looking for him this time. Sure enough, there he was cuddled in the dirty laundry basket.

I'm nearly certain he's the same frog. Today I tried to look up the habits of this particular frog, then of frogs in general, but I could find nothing about whether or not frogs like to return to laundry baskets that contain damp washcloths. But I did find out that he's an Asian Painted Frog, also known to pet owners as the Chubby Frog.

I'm nearly sure he's the same one. He's always the same size. And if there were more than one of them, I'd think I'd start to find multiple frogs in my laundry basket. Right now he's in captivity. I shook him out of my night gown into a mop bucket and put a cooling rack over him. He's stuck. But this time, before I let him go, I'm going mark him some how. Perhaps a string about his leg. I'm going to throw him out into the flowerbed like I have done in the past. If he returns, I'll let you know. And after his return, I shall take him far down the road and let him loose. And then if he returns...well, I don't know. I haven't the heart to kill him. And I'm not sure how he's getting in. Perhaps the crack under the door?

I do so hope I never accidentally wash him. I once washed a very small frog. He came out in two pieces. His front and his back. But, although this frog is not a very large frog, neither is he a very small frog. It would be unpleasant to find his remains in my otherwise clean laundry.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Note to My Son

Dearest Jubilant,

Next time you want to give your teddy bear a shower, please ask Mommy first.

How did you know that it was expedient for you to behave on the day that I was all geared up for several tedious training sessions?

My sweeper hose extension has been missing for months. Do you have any idea where you put it?

Although you like peanut butter and jelly "nammiches," there are other foods more healthy. And I'm not talking about muffins.

Where are my keys? Did you leave them out on the motorbike? Oh, and generally, people don't carry keys in their pampers. (Excuse me, disposable diapers).

By the way, you're too little to drive the motorbike yet.

I love you, little boy. You're growing up way to fast.

Love, Your Mother

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bad Mom, Wife, Missionary, Etc.

Why is it that waking up with a stomach flu that really, really hurts, can make me feel like a bad woman? A bad wife because this was not a good day for Dru to have to "cover" for me--he's pretty busy. A bad mom because Jube ended up eating pbjs and doughnuts for breakfast. A bad missionary because the cell group won't be coming here tonight as they usually would.

Really though, I'm getting used to being bad. Getting used to getting sick at inconvenient times. Getting used to not living up to my own expectations. Getting used to not living up to other people's. One horrible pregnancy can teach you a lot. Thankfully, those days are over.

I think the hardest thing for me in those days was the guilt from not being able to appear and do with my husband as was expected. I missed countless prayer meetings. Dru ended missing meetings because I was morning sick/tired so much. Those were the nights that Dru stayed home to take care of Jube so I could rest. It got embarrassing. It felt like I was under a lot of pressure to be someone I just couldn't be at that time. (I heard later that yes, women such as myself do face cultural pressure here to function and run their homes a certain way...but that's a different story.)

I am SO thankful that those days are over. Praise the Lord!

Some day I'm going to post one of my journal entries from that period of time--just to see if other women ever feel "broken" inside like I did. But for now, I want to know, how do other women deal with life when they're emotionally and/or physically ill? What do you do when you can't face the outside world of church family and functions, and how is it received when you have to say, "No"? Or am I the only wimpy, incompetent woman on the globe?

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's nearly one o'clock and by now two thunderstorms have rolled through. No doing laundry today. It wouldn't dry fast enough.

Jube threw up twice today and is now sleeping on a foam on the dining room floor. He was so tired the novelty of not sleeping in his own bed didn't even keep him awake.

Dru asked for cookies a while ago and I can't even make him any because my stove ran out of gas yesterday morning right in the middle of baking muffins for breakfast.

I should go do my dishes and clean my house while both babies sleep.

I read Esta's blog, found it by means of traveling about other people's blogs, and no, I don't know her personally. Anyway, she made me homesick for wilderness. Even if my Wisconsin wilderness isn't anything like her Canada wilderness.

Wilderness. My family is in the wilderness of Minnesota this week. Just being family. Vacation they call it. What is that?

A bit more randomness: How do I capture these moments? This little girl sleeping in my arms. Her sweetness? How do I hold on to it so it will never get away? Ever. The little boy "helping"in the kitchen. His Thai/English/babytalk? His beautiful hair. How can I freeze this moment in time so it will always be with me?

And how can I, even as I long to capture these moments, be looking forward to the grandchildren stage? The days when the children are grown and I can minister with my husband like I did the first year of marriage before they were here.

Subject change again: Dru and I seem to be on the verge of change again. I could be fearful, but I'm strangely peaceful about it all. So much uncertainty. Big decisions. Where will this take us? Yet it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter because we're not alone. We have a church behind us in the States, who, when the money barely covers their own needs, let alone ours, they're still praying. Praying. I don't care how much money you give the missionaries, it's not going to answer questions like we're facing now. We are so thankful for prayers.

Furthermore, I used to worry about leaving Thailand, if we were ever called to do so--specifically, leaving Mae Wahn. But somehow, now that she's committed to Jesus, it would be okay if we had to move on. Not that it wouldn't be hard. Just okay. Ouch. Maybe. Right now it seems like it might be pretty hard. But somehow, still, there would be peace. I can't explain it.

The rain has stopped. Jube has scooted off of his mattress, and just now crawled back on. His eyes are closed again. The fan buzzes, birds scold. Havilah stretches. It's time to do dishes.


Monday, August 1, 2011

The New Woman

I do indeed feel like a new woman these days. It's been almost 2 months since I've posted and I'm not even going to try to catch up other than to tell a bit about Havila's birth. Other than that, I think I'll just start talking about my life right now and see if it's worth publishing as a blog when I'm done.

Havilah was born a tad after 9 p.m. on the 23rd of June. I think that was a Thursday. I'd been having contractions off and on since the Saturday before. I kept thinking that maybe this was it, and it never was. But on Thursday "things" didn't stop and the baby was getting pretty low and by six we found ourselves in the labor room.

The nurses told me that it was going to go fast. After 24 hours of back labor with Jube I was rather dubious and decided I'd believe it when I saw it. Dr. Supriya couldn't make it that evening so another doctor delivered the baby. I asked to have my water broken and they seemed relieved that I'd asked. That sped things up even more and the baby came out before I knew it. Things always seem faster after you start pushing don't they?

Our doctor was a nice lady--but looking back I think the nurse did most of the work. When I asked to have my water broken, the doctor did so. And I think she cut the cord. And she visited me the next morning as a routine thing to make sure bleeding was okay, etc. Other than that...well, everything went so smoothly that I'm pretty sure the nurses could have done it quite well on their own.

And the funny thing was, the nurses were all rather relaxed and cool and the room didn't fill up with nine people other than Dru and I and the baby the minute she came out. Very Odd. In fact, between contractions (I had plenty of time between them and they actually slowed down a tad between the initial pushes) once I noticed that all the equipment was in the room and there were about 5 people standing around watching quietly. I asked Dru what was going on and he said, "I think they think the baby is coming soon." I was still dubious. And I felt a little conspicuous being watched like that. "So much for dignity," I told Dru.

Then she was out and I held her for a bit and Dru went out with her when they weighed her and stuff. Actually, he came back in and told me he'd been flirting with the nurses. Then he explained that the nurses were all rather impressed with his Thai ability and I guess they just had fun weighing the baby and Dru got to tell them not to put the silly eye drops in, etc. With Jube he had to tell the pediatrician that he was going to come watch--and insist upon it. I was left alone in the room for a bit and it was just dawning on me that I was no longer pg and that I'd just pushed a baby out and we hadn't been in the hospital for ages before it happened--and I was beginning to feel a bit smug about it when Dru came in and told me a looked smug.

They waited a while before letting me go up to recovery so Dru and Havilah and I spent some time together than when I did go up they wheeled me up because I was feeling rather weak. When I got up there I took a shower and almost passed out on Dru a couple times but it was lovely to be clean.

Anyway, it all went very well and smoothly. She (7 pounds 2 ounces) was littler than Jube was by around ten ounces--and it made a difference. No tears whatsoever which made life super comfortable as far as sitting...I didn't worry at all about position and sat however I pleased. It was amazing.

I came home and waited for a week and a half to start getting my energy back. I thought I was going to come home a new woman after a long hard pregnancy and I didn't really feel any newer at all. I drank chlorophyll and that didn't give any immediate help, but I do think it gave a big boost in the long run. But I was feeling pretty sad there for a while and thought perhaps I'd be weak, tired, and sickly forever--and doing some crying and asking God why...all that. Even doing some soul searching to see if there was some specific sin in my life for which I was being chastised. Then it suddenly all got better.

It is AMAZING how fast I can work when I don't have to work around a HUGE THING out front of me. And my strength is coming back. I went out last Saturday and swept our concrete driveway, cleaned up the garage, and raked the lawn. Stuff I'd only longed to do before. (All that activity was actually inspired by reading Debi Pearls book. More on that later.)

I'm reading my Bible more and quiet time is coming alive again. And I'm falling in love with my man again. No, I did not fall out of love with him--but I think most women who've been pregnant know what I mean. Funny though, I'm having to put an effort forward to be a good wife. I needed a boost, some inspiration and perspective--so I dug out my Debi Pearl book. She is ouchfully honest. She talks about the dumb-duck wife. I came down and asked Dru how he managed to marry a dumb-duck woman. My mother isn't one, I know better. (A dumb-duck woman is one who doesn't seem to be able to do any of her own household fixing or lawn work, etc.) And after that I went out and did the yard work and it looks very nice. Next I shall tackle that pesky flower bed that will only grow luscious green weeds. I'm even going to try running the lawn mower and weed eater. (Watch me run over the lawn mower cord.) Dru would actually like to be able to keep up with all the lawn stuff, and he kind of thinks it's men's work. But he's got a big work load right now and I enjoy it when I put my mind and body to it--so why not?

Speaking of Dru's work load! We had a rediculously full week last week and I lived through it. I committed my days to the Lord one by one and it was all okay in the end. Alltogether, Dru had to prepare 11 English lesson plans, three of his mornings were full chaperoning IGo students teaching English at schools here in the city, Thursday evening we had supper at a Thai home, he had to attend a prayer/evangelistic meeting on Friday night, and Saturday was prep for teaching Sunday school and preaching. WOW! To top it all off, he went to bed last Sunday night with a fever. It went away Monday but he didn't feel real well all week and yesterday he was complaining of a very sore throat and this morning he took pain killer for a headache.

Again, we see changes in the future and need wisdom for decisions. Actually, it seems like about the time you have the big decisions taken care of there are more, doesn't it? So we're thinking about those decisions--but it's okay. They feel so much more "think aboutable" now that the baby's here and my brains are back.

So we're busy, happy, and still alive on our side of the planet. Oh, and go for baby pics here: picasaweb.google.com/druseth/HavilahGlory02 (Sorry, I couldn't get it to link the "right" way.)