Life in April

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Rose was six months at the very end of March and so we have started introducing solid foods. This was her face when she first tasted apple sauce.

(Pearl was thrilled for Rose to start eating real food and really wanted to hold the spoon for her little sister. Later she told me that this now means she’s one of Rose’s parents.)

Rose is very excited to sit up at the table with us and eagerly grabs at any spoon or bowl within reach. Her enthusiasm doesn’t always extend to the food that goes into her mouth but she continues to be happy to try. So far carrots and bananas seem to be the favourites. No teeth yet.

We had a lovely Easter at home, including our annual Easter hunt in our backyard. Pearl remembered this tradition from last year and was very excited. And she didn’t mind finding Rose’s treats for her too.

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We celebrated Rose’s dedication to the Lord at our church. All of her grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles joined us for the occasion which was extra special. As parents, this is an opportunity for Peter and I to publicly state our hope that Rose grows to know Jesus, as well as for our church community to state their support for our family. It was a really lovely service and I even got to share a little about our family’s journey to meeting Rose.

After Rose was born and named, I looked for any Biblical references to roses. While we never sought to name our girls “Bible names” I do like that there are Biblical references to pearls (such as the pearl of great price). There are two references to roses in the Bible, depending on the translation. Here is my favourite, found in the King James Version,

 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

Isaiah 35:1

Both times roses are mentioned, it is as a flower that blooms after a drought. The first bloom springing forth in a desert place. It is the perfect reference for our sweet Rose Constance.

And seriously, Rose is the sweetest, happiest baby. I know ever parent thinks so but I really think you couldn’t get a cuter baby than this:

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She sleeps well, she nurses well, she is full of smiles. She loves to be around people and she loves it when people look at her. She loves singing and bouncing, loves to “stand” and to look at herself in the mirror. She is a proficient roller and can scootch around very inefficiently. She desperately wants to keep up with her big sister but isn’t quite there yet. She is bald and toothless and we love her so much.

I am enjoying their sister relationship so much. It’s not without its difficult moments and I know we’ll face new challenges as they grow but they are already learning to love each other so much.

The last couple of weeks have had some gorgeous weather and the girls and I have taken full advantage of it. Anyone else’s toddler’s behaviour improve drastically when you spend time outside?

You can tell I wasn’t ready for sunshine because I had to cut open last year’s sunscreen in order to slather it on my pale, pale children.

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The vacant lot next to our little neighbourhood “forest” was recently cleared and new houses will soon be built there. I’m sad to see our special spot get a little more exposed but Pearl enjoys watching the diggers work.

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(She rode her bike there. I don’t make her wear a helmet everywhere.)

We spend many hours in our backyard on these sunny days. Pearl rides her bike and plays in the dirt while Rose hangs out on a blanket (or naps inside). We eat lunch, colour, hang laundry, draw with chalk, pick flowers. It’s the best.

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Pearl gets fantastically dirty and takes great joy in “sink baths” to wash her feet before coming inside the house. It makes me happy to see her play so hard.

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Big sisters provide endless entertainment.

April has been a pretty great month.

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All the Many Parts

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Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14

This weekend we celebrated Pearl’s dedication at our church. This is the event where Peter and I, as her parents, make a public declaration of our intent to raise Pearl to know the Lord and we acknowledge her life as a gift from God. It’s also a time when our church promises to help us in this endeavour. I have always loved baby dedications and it was so wonderful to celebrate this moment in our girl’s life.

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It can be a daunting thought – to take on the responsibility of another human’s spiritual growth. It is our hope and prayer that as Pearl grows, she will know God in a powerful and meaningful way. And the beautiful thing is that Peter and I are not left to this responsibility alone.

When I think back to the weeks and events leading up to my pregnancy with Pearl, it was a time when I felt God’s presence very closely in my life. A hard and difficult time but there were moments of beauty, when I felt closer to my Saviour than I ever had before.

As I was remembering those moments, I wondered why I haven’t felt that same presence of God in the months since Pearl was born. And then I realized – I have. It just looked a little different. God was in the hands that our church elders laid on Peter and I as we prepared to meet our child, not knowing what her health would be. God was in the voices and prayers of people around the world who prayed with and for us as we waited, who prayed as we were in the hospital, who celebrated when Pearl was born. He was present in the e-mails, the text messages, the phone calls, the cards. God was at work in His body, His church. And His body has fed us and prayed for us, held our baby and showered us with love in the months since. Looking back over the first ten months of parenthood, we have been so blessed by our community and this weekend we were blessed once more as they stood with us, promising to help us raise this little one.

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We were fortunate, too, to have both sides of our family be there with us. Our little house was full of food, games, and mattresses on the floor for the weekend!

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