Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Eva Joy Riedl

For those of you who haven't heard already, Eva Joy Riedl was born just about a month ago! Jen did an amazing job giving birth to her, and she was thankful to be done with pregnancy during such a hot summer. Eva was actually born on the day after that 103 degree day in late July.

Nolan and Delaney are thrilled to finally meet Eva, as we have been talking it up with them for a long time now. I've been trying to make sure to give them tons of attention to match all the attention Eva is getting, although I think most of the attention she is getting comes from her two older siblings. :-)

Thanks again so much for everyone who has helped us out as we adjust to having three kids! We are pumped for this cute little girl's future and all the bumps along the way.



Friday, August 21, 2015

The Screwtape Letters

I finally finished reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis! After many years of wanting to read it, and many years of it collecting dust on my nightstand, and eventually realizing I would be more likely to finish it via audiobook, I checked it out of our fantastic Multnomah County Library. Just a few days listening to it on my phone was all I needed to feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders! I wrote my favorite parts below. For those of you who don't know the plot of the book, it is about a demon writing letters to his nephew about how to best tempt his patient (human) and ultimately their desire to lead him to hell. Such a great book.


"Before I knew where I was I saw my twenty years' work beginning to totter. If I had lost my head and begun to attempt a defense by argument I should have been undone. But I was not such a fool. I struck instantly at the part of the man which I had best under my control and suggested that it was just about time he had some lunch." (Letter 1)

"Let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy--if you know your job he will not notice the immense probability of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed." (Letter 3)

"My dear Wormwood, you mentioned casually in your last letter that the patient has continued to attend one church, and one only, since he was converted, and that he is not wholly pleased with it. ... Do you realize that unless it is due to indifference it is a very bad thing? Surely you know that if a man can't be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that 'suits' him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches. ... Being a unity of place and not of likings, [the church] brings people of different classes and psychology together in the kind of unity that [God] desires. ... The search for a 'suitable' church makes the man a critic, where [God] wants him to be a pupil." (Letter 16)

"Members of His faction have frequently admitted that if ever we came to understand what [God] means by love, the war would be over and we should re-enter Heaven. And there lies the great task. We know that He cannot really love: nobody can: it doesn't make sense. If we could only find out what He is really up to! Hypothesis after hypothesis has been tried, and still we can't find out. Yet we must never lose hope; more and more complicated theories, fuller and fuller collections of data, richer rewards for researchers who make progress, more and more terrible punishments for those who fail--all this, pursued and accelerated to the very end of time, cannot, surely, fail to succeed." (Letter 19)

"Superstitions, if not recognized as such, can be awakened. The point is to keep him feeling that he has something, other than God and courage [God] supplies, to fall back on, so that what was intended to be a total commitment to duty becomes honeycombed all through with little unconscious reservations." (Letter 29)

"The paradoxical thing is that moderate fatigue is a better soil for peevishness than absolute exhaustion. This depends partly on physical causes, but partly on something else. It is not fatigue simply as such that produces the anger, but unexpected demands on a man already tired. Whatever men expect they soon come to think they have a right to: the sense of disappointment can, with very little skill on our part, be turned into a sense of injury." (Letter 30)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Calm Down, Buddy!

The morning that Eva was born did not go smoothly. Nolan misunderstood where we were going that day. He thought we were going to his friend's house. However, we were actually thinking it might be the day that Jen would GO INTO LABOR.

We already had an appointment scheduled to visit Jen's midwife, since Eva was 1 week late past her due date. A double whammy made it worse when Nolan wanted me to wear socks and shoes instead of flip flops (you know, the important details! haha). So, with time ticking and sad-and-extraordinarily-depressed-Nolan refusing to hear any of our positive encouragements or pleas, we crammed him into the car kicking and screaming. After all, Jen started having contractions and might actually GO INTO LABOR!!!

He hasn't melted down like this in a long time. All the way to the Providence Maternal Care Clinic in inner SE Portland. Jen took the calm and cool Delaney into the waiting room and eventually the appointment, while Nolan and I stayed out in the hallway. Yep, he was still crying. We thought the toys in the waiting room might calm him down, but no way.

Often when I am parenting, flashes of Nanny 911 or Supernanny flood my brain. I loved those shows. I remember a few particular episodes when they instructed the parents to have their child sit on a mat if they need to calm down, and if they get off the mat, physically put them back on it. Over and over until they give up and stay. And so I did.

I was prepared for this battle to go on forever, but thankfully, after just about a dozen times, Nolan collapsed and decided to roll himself up in the mat. Yeah, it was probably dirty, but oh well. He actually calmed down! Something about being in his cocoon, his own little world where nobody was watching him and there was nowhere to run. As seen in the picture I took of him, I'm wondering if I can use this method of calming the next time any of our kids throws a fit at home! Sometimes the most helpful tools are just lying there in front of me!

After about 15 minutes just enjoying the silence, we had a father-son chat, laughed about the squares on the floor, and went into the waiting room and played with toys.

Then Eva was born about 10 hours later! :-)