Dearest Ladybug.

Darling Ladybug,
You are an absolute joy to know. I watch with delight as I stand nearby, privileged that I get to be on this journey with you as your mom. Terrified of all the things I could do wrong, hopeful for all the things He will do right.

I watched you today, brilliant, you.
You problem solve and work so hard. You are one of the most determined people I have ever met – and your personality shines so bright. You are just adorable. And I don’t only mean that in the precious cute pigtails sort of way. I mean, you were created to be adored, dear one.

You are beautiful. Stunningly beautiful, little girl. You are lovely in ways I never knew such a little girl could be. I see already the beauty that you will grow into. And I, as your mom, get all worried for what that will mean.
I worry that you could easily get caught up in finding your identity in your appearance.
Or I worry that you will hear how cute you are as the first words anyone says to you for the next several years, and that will leave you concerned about your looks all the time.
I worry that your outward appearance will cause people to miss out on the brilliance that is your beautiful little personality. You are so smart. It just blows me away. You’re brilliantly creative and you sometimes need encouragement. You love people, and you want to be with friends whenever you can.

Darling one, I see your Creator in you so, so evident. He put so much life and love in you. And I truly treasure and adore you, and getting to be in relationship with you.

I get sad sometimes, thinking that soon it’ll never again be just us.. that you’ll only be my only child for a short while longer {though you’re already not, as your baby brother or sister has already changed things up}. But soon, I won’t be able to comfort you each and every time you’re afraid because I’ll be tending a newborn. And I worry that I won’t make you feel as loved as I ought to. But I’m reminded that His love overcomes. And that I can have hope in His promises. And that your identity and my identity is in Him. And my dear girl, you are His masterpiece.

I love you, darling daughter.
And I treasure getting to watch you grow.
I look forward with anticipation and joy to the years to come.
– Your Mom.

Cloth Diapers and other things dads don’t talk about

Men are comfortable being warriors, providers and even husbands/lovers. But we don’t talk about being dads unless a joke is involved. TV shows such as Home Improvement and even The Cosby Show made men in the father role seem a bit dopey. Example: Mr. Huxtable might have been an MD but he was often bested in a verbal wrestling match with one of his youngest children. All wrapped in humor but the message is clear “Dads aren’t to be honored and followed.”

Well, thanks to a recent comment by one of our readers, I realized that while I do write about being a man and husband my parenting hasn’t gotten much attention here.

You asked for it.

To start I thought I would cover some of the “baby stuff” because we are just now in the toddler stage.

Cloth Diapers. Until we became pregnant, diapers didn’t cross my mind. Just like most people, I assumed that when the baby came you rip open a package of disposable diapers and that’s the end of it. Of course, nothing is that simple. Diapers, like anything we create, must exist after we use them. So landfills get millions of diapers a year and most parents just ignore the fact that someone has to live with that mess. We all get the final effect of water quality being ruined, adding more steps before water is drinkable.

Thinking about all of that there were still moments when cloth diapers seemed like a strange alternative, my goal was to have complete success with elimination communication but that was unrealistic. The amount of laundry and handling dirty diapers weren’t what I dreamed about when we started our baby journey. Still, knowing all the stats of diaper waste kept coming back around and once my wonderful, beautiful wife attended a cloth diaper meet up we were hooked. Lots of support and experience later and cloth diapering is the only way to go.

Makes me smile to know we don’t have to contribute to destroying the planet and we save money every week on diapers. Especially now with Baby Next on the way the money savings becomes a big deal. Of course this isn’t as simple as just using cloth diapers, the water used and other resources do have an impact. The goal for our family is to move closer to have a beneficial impact on the planet we were given.

Parenting is hard work no matter what you choose. Knowing that I am even more convinced that making informed choices that are the best for our family, our community and our planet is not just nice but vital.