Back in the Day 1 (Everything is alright…)

Recently I have been revisiting some of my old writings.  This is from December 2013, when my wife was pregnant with our first child.  It moved me.  I don’t really remember writing it, but I can remember having all of these emotions.  I wasn’t a Pappy yet.  But I was on my way.
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“Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?”

“Everything is all right,” she said.

2 Kings 4:26

 

As my wife and I move closer to the birth of our first child, I am gaining a little more perspective on what a gift the sacrifice of Christ Jesus entailed for His Heavenly Father.

 My son will make his appearance in this world about nineteen weeks from now.  Through ultrasounds we have seen his ten perfect fingers and ten tiny toes.  We saw him bring his hand to his mouth and turn flips in his cramped temporary home. 

 He looks like a mini-version of what he’ll look like when he’s born. All his facial features are formed and hair is growing on his head. He is even acting like a baby and will occasionally suck his thumb or yawn. To me, these things are amazing.  He is already smart!

 His heartbeat is getting stronger and my wife and I have heard it beat. Even more miraculous are the complex things his body is doing.  For example, despite the extremely small size of his bones, his marrow is making blood cells. This may not sound that exciting, but it’s good news. It means that my son is on his way to being able to survive outside the comfort of his Mommie’s belly in this great big world.

 I can imagine God looking down on Mary.  He is the ultimate ultrasound.  Despite the fact that He is the creator of all, or maybe because He is, I envision Him looking at His son, God incarnate, in the womb.  Counting the hairs on Christ’s head, all the while already knowing which tree would be crafted into the cross on which this little baby’s short but world changing life would end.

I would spend all day every day staring at my son growing and moving if I could.  I am filled with awe and excitement every time my Wife grabs her belly because she can feel him moving.

 Like God did, I know my son is going to change the world.

 Jesus was the same size once upon a time.  So innocent, so fragile, so perfect. Just as He was when He made His trek to the cross. He was a warrior for man-kind.  A game changer.  An eternity adjuster.

 On (or around) April 13th, I will hold Asher Reid Bryant for the first time.  He is going to change my game.

 Move forward through this Holiday Season knowing that our Lord came to us as a child, grew into manhood, and then made the ultimate sacrifice so that we would live eternally in Him.

Show the world that the birth of Jesus Christ made everything all right.  Show them that we have a peace that can only come from Him.  Make that peace contagious.

 You may not have a kid on the way, or big plans for Christmas, or even feel you have much to be joyful for. I challenge you to change your game as this year comes to a close.  Explore how you can change your world and in turn change someone else’s.

 Remember the promise: “Everything is all right.”

 Not easy, not perfect, and sometimes scary, but no matter what, hold to the truth that one day you will run into the arms of your Savior, sit in His lap, look Him in the eyes, and know at last that it is indeed all right.

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She cried when she breastfed…

This is part one of The Pappy’s series about breastfeeding.  This is an important topic that is emotional for my family.  I, of course, talked to my wife before sharing our story, but we know we can help others.  If you have something you would like to share with my readers about breastfeeding, I encourage you to send me a message at thepurposefulpappy@gmail.com.

 

As my wife and I prepared for the birth of our first child we didn’t talk a whole lot about breastfeeding beyond the fact that she planned on doing it.  Although I made it a point to educate myself as much about birth and what she would go through as I could, I didn’t think too much about breastfeeding.  I took for granted that it would be easy for her.  I will admit something that in retrospect seems dumb, but I thought because she had big breasts it would be easy for her.  I guess in my mind her cup size indicated that she would have tons of milk which would in turn mean that Asher would be able to drink to his hearts content.

Our birth experience was long and emotional but beautiful.  We had a Doula who held our hands from start to finish and my wife was a tiger!  In the moments after Asher was born I think I forgot that my wife had any vulnerabilities because I had just seen her thrive under what were unimaginably painful circumstances.  I was in awe of her and I knew that she could do ANYTHING, so I never thought twice about the moments soon after birth when she would go to nurse our son.

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We cleared the room and with our Doula at our side she placed our son to her breast.  It was a beautiful moment of bonding between the two of them.  Asher, though, didn’t latch.  We didn’t worry though, and knew we would try later.

While we were in the hospital my brave wife tried. And tried. And tried.

We asked every nurse, every doctor, our Doula, and lactation consultants.  Asher never seemed to be able to latch.

My wife cried a lot when he would try and fail. No fail is totally the wrong word.  There was no failure involved.  She would cry a lot when he would try and be unable to latch.

She pumped in the hospital and on the way home we stopped and rented a hospital grade pump from a lady referred to as the Nipple Nazi.  We were afraid of her fervent commitment to breastfeeding at the time, but in a week or two we would be so very comforted by her encouragement.

Mecalah pumped day and night it seemed, all the while working with our son to try to latch. I spent a lot of time laying next to her on the bed holding our small son while she filled little bags full of milk.  I felt kind of useless during this time because I wanted so bad to be able to help her, but aside from breaking down the breast pump and cleaning it, followed by transporting her milk to the freezer I felt powerless.  So did she.

Long story short, we tried many things, but Asher never latched.

As I look back, I see many things I did right and some things I could do better. I look forward to sharing both with you.

Yelling Sucks…

As my kids get older and more independant I have found that it takes more and more patience to get through the day.  I can hear the resounding “DUH” coming from all of my readers, but when I first started staying home with them I really felt I was a patient as I could be. Now I see that I have to continue growing it and thickening my skin every day.

I try not to focus on the times I fail as a parent, but 90% of the time a failure on my part ends with me yelling. I hate when I yell.  It is usually lazy parenting because I feel like I have run out of the ability to get on their level and be real with them. Yes, yelling usually ends whatever conflict was going on, but I didn’t solve anything in the long run.  If your kid is not learning from your discipline it is pointless.

Which is a why I say, yelling sucks…

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YELLING SUCKS THE JOY OUT OF THE ROOM. Think about the look on your kid’s face the last time you yelled at them.  That wide eyed look is one of fear.  If your child is obeying you out of fear, the second you are out of view the old behavior is going to come back.  I want my kid to look at me and know I love him.  When I am yelling, that is not how he feels.

YELLING SUCKS THE TRUST OUT OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP. This goes back to the whole aspect of your child fearing you.  A child who is afraid of you doesn’t respect you.  They may respect the pain that comes from your hand hitting them.  They may respect the sadness that comes from you loosing it on them. They don’t, however, respect you as a trusted teacher.  They don’t respect you as someone they can trust to demonstrate how to live a happy life.

YELLING SUCKS THE SATISFACTION OUT OF PARENTING. At the end of the day, when I lay my head on my pillow, I want to look back on what has happened with the feeling that I did my best to create a secure and happy environment for my family.  If you are flashing back to the times you raised your voice throughout the day you are not going to look forward to getting up and “Dadding” again the next day.  Parenting, although so very hard, is supposed to be wonderful, but unhappy kids are usually the result of lazy parenting.  No child is happy sitting and watching PBS Kids all day, even if that is what they think they want.

Yelling sucks.  We can do better Moms and Dads.  We can do so much better!

Space Racers!

 

IMG_0285    Earlier this week Asher and I were lucky enough to get a sneak peak at       the new Space Racers exhibit at the Virginia Air and Space Center.

 

I had never been there before, but was pleasantly surprised from start       to finish during our visit.  Space Racers is based on a TV Show and is a       special exhibit for Pre-Schoolers.

 

 

IMG_0287Asher was drawn in immediately by the cartoon pictures and we were instantly building a rocket.

 

 

 

 

 

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Next we were off to the mini Space Station where he conducted experiments and, his favorite, ran on the little tread mill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He got to dress up like an astronaut and never lost the smile on his face!

 

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We look forward to going back again when Momma and the baby can tag along!

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Here is your proof of a great time:

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Something special from The Pappy and Macaroni Kid!

I always think it is exciting when I get to offer y’all a prize that I know your kiddos will be happy about, but the best part of this giveaway is the chance to introduce you to a site that those of you who are plugged into the Kid Scene in The Hampton Roads Area will probably be shocked that I didn’t know about.  Heck, I am questioning my Pappy Status since it was new to me. (By the way, although they are providing the prize, I have not been asked to say any of this!)

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Macaroni Kid is your go to place to find out all the things there are for your kids to do in your area.

As a Stay-At-Home-Dad I love Summer.  Getting the kids out and about is central, though, to us not driving each other crazy!

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It was started by two Moms (over a glass of wine nonetheless) and now hundreds of Communities are included. Click the first picture of above to go directly to the Williamsburg site.  Click the pouting kid to go right to the one for Virginia Beach.

I was looking over their Event Calendar and there is LITERALLY something every single day.

In addition to great content, Macaroni Kid is also setting us up with a super giveaway that you can hide away for a rainy day.  (See, they really want to make you a hero!)

I encourage you to enter to win a copy of Jungle Book 2 on DVD/Blue-Ray.  Just click the cover of the movie to go directly to the giveaway.

I hope you are having a great week Purposeful Kid lovers!  And thanks again to Macaroni Kid!

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(Click picture to enter!)