Two Precious People (& Baby Names Announcement)

I want to take this opportunity to share with all of you how thankful I am that I have had two little darling people to spend the last 16 days with. Though my husband and oldest son have been gone, our home has still been full of love, fun, and laughter.

You guys know I don't normally do "mom" posts. I write about issues here, and we have a family blog elsewhere where I typically share family stories, etc. But this last 16 days, I've spent all day every day with 2 little people, and I am so grateful. They are so much fun; I just have to tell you about it!!!

First, I want to tell you about my three year old son, Baxter. Oh what a funny little man he is. He is so sweet and sensitive, and if you need a snuggle, there is NO better candidate! I'm not a co-sleeping mom, never have been, and hopefully never will be (hey- I need my sleep at night in order to stay sane throughout the day!), but Baxter has slept with me over the last 16 days. The stress of Daddy and Ethan leaving would have been, I think, too much- so we have played together by day and snuggled together by night. I have, basically, had a built in back massager... his little feet and arms wiggle and flail more than I realized was possible while still being asleep. But his warm hugs and sweet "I love you so much, momma"s have been so precious. I'm so thankful we had this time together to enjoy each others' company.

The other thing I MUST tell you is what an absolute HELPER he has been around here in Daddy's absence. Doug specifically told him, "you'll be the man of the house while daddy's gone, so you'll have to take care of mommy and Maranatha while I'm gone", and that is precisely what Baxter has done. He has consistently helped take diapers to the sink to wait to be rinsed out, helped me cook, set the table, cleared dishes, hang laundry, and many other household tasks.

But the most fun thing, to me, has been seeing him love and serve his little sister. He has brought her toys just out of the kindness of his heart, fed her snacks while in the shopping cart so that I could focus on getting in, shopping, and getting out, and even pushed her around the living room in a box (mind you, they're within 10 pounds or so of each other; this is no easy feat!). She loved getting the box tour of the living room, and he was so sweet to continue pushing her even when I know he was tired. This little man LOVES... and it is so precious to see him already taking such delight in the joy he can give to others. I am so thrilled to have him as my son.

And now, onto Maranatha.

Let me just say that I used to say I wanted 5 boys, and I am so GLAD that God knew better than I did what I would need!!! This precious little girl already has such a funny sense of humor and is such a sweet companion. She watches me so carefully (truthfully, she watches everyone quite carefully) and imitates what I do. I am beginning to sense so much more strongly the importance of BEING the woman that I want her to learn from and imitate.

If I'm not in the Word, and if I don't love and joyfully serve my family and joyfully love and serve others and welcome them into our home, why would I expect for her to do any of those things? If I'm not a woman of prayer who delights in communing with God, why would I expect her to grow up with sense of dependence of God?

During this last 16 days, she has started saying some new things-- all very cute and sweet... "teh-too" for "thank you", "jee!" for "cheers!" (the boys have always like to clank their cups together and get a real kick out of it- now Maranatha does too!), and she even got to experience something new! Mommy painted her toes 2 days ago, and she sat so sweet and still the entire time. (Afterwards, she kept coming over and showing me again and again... what a little sweetheart!)

I'm telling you, this is a girl after my own heart... able to play silly and act like a goofball with her brothers, but then also ready to kick off her shoes and paint her toenails, or literally RUN to the dresser cause she's so excited to get to wear a pretty new skirt... this child is absolutely a delight to my heart. We're gonna have some good times getting pedicures and foot massages together as she gets older, I can tell you that RIGHT now.

There is just something so innocent, precious and sweet about having a little girl. Though she acts like she's tough, she is very sensitive and sweet, and I love that about her. I love the emotional vulnerability that has come with the addition of Maranatha to our family.

To those who would ask why we "keep on having babies", or "don't we know what causes that (chuckle chuckle chuckle)?", I would just say this: each precious life that God has added to our family has not only ADDED to our joy and fun as a family... it MULTIPLIES our joy and fun as a family.

Witnessing each precious child and the relationship he/she forms with older siblings is such a thrill. It not only increases my own joy in just getting to know a new little person and all that comes with that. It also increases my joy to see my children loving each other, playing together, serving each other with joy, and even encouraging each other to love Jesus, which has begun in the last year or so as Ethan and Baxter have begun praying for each other and for younger siblings to love Jesus and serve Him with their lives.

What a thrill! I cannot imagine life without one of these precious ones God has given us, and I know I will feel that way with each additional person God adds to our family. I can't wait to meet this new little person that is growing inside of me...

And speaking of that, let me joyfully announce the names we have chosen for this child, whether he's a boy or she's a girl:

VERA GRACE if she's a little girl- which means "truth and grace", two things that Jesus Himself was filled with. We want her to be filled with those two things too. Oh, and Grace is my middle name, so that makes it special for that reason too! :)

if he's a little boy. Silas was a great servant of God who faithfully told people about Jesus, and James is a family name - it's my dad's name, my brother's middle name, and Doug's dad's dad's name (not to mention my favorite book of the Bible).

And with that joyful announcement, I'll wrap up this post with an affirmation of Psalm 127: Children TRULY ARE a blessing!


Anonymous said...

What a great post Jess! I have two little girls and I can't wait to have another baby (boy or girl). My oldest daughter wants me to have "two babies at the same time." We'll just have to wait and see what God blesses us with :)

Anna S said...

Dear Jess, thank you for this heart-warming post. Such a strong contrast to your previous post (which of course was much needed too, in its own way). Your little ones are just so precious! And, I love the name Vera Grace. Vera is my mother's name, and if God in the future chooses to bless me with a little girl, I think she will be named Vera, too.

dariasmama said...

Silas is a great name--unusual without being weird, and easy to spell :).

Dove said...

Thanks for sharing your "mom moment" post. I like hearing mamas gush over their sweeties!

Silas is on our name list too! Good meaning, uncommon, easy to spell.

The Simple Shepherdess said...

GREAT baby names, Jess! We are having such a difficult time with baby names this time around. I am really stuck on a name and dh just doesn't feel it.

Your sweet little ones are so precious! I'm glad you have had the opportunity to focus on them during this time away from your hubby and son. It's a good momma who chooses to be "a joyful mother of children"! They truly are blessings...always, in every circumstance, that's what He made them to be!

*~Tamara~* said...

Oh, my goodness, the picture of those little toes nearly made me cry.

The kids are so adorable. Squeeze them for me.

LOVE the name Silas! Always have.

shannon said...

oh, so sweet! this post touched my heart. i'm so glad you enjoyed your time with your precious kiddos. i'm sure you are thankful to have the rest of your family home as well.
thanks for this sweet post :)

LisaM said...

You are "awesome" - to God be the glory. :)

Seashell / Chelsea said...

What lovely names! Too bad there isn't a boy and girl so you can use them both :-) Congradulations!

Serena said...

What a wonderful post. I'm glad Baxter has kept you warm at night these past days! When my husband is away, it's always the nights that get to me.

Your names are beautiful. Vera Grace is just wonderful. Silas was one of our names, (it's a good name!), but my husband's sister and her husband like it, too, so I think we will nobly let them have it. ;) That is, if any of us ever have boys! James is a family name on my side, and I just love it.

I thought I only wanted boys, too. I am so thankful for my beautiful daughter!

Bobbie said...

Hi Jess
Love the pics. Praise the Lord, you should be reunited with your hubby and son today.

Dan is leaving on Monday, he'll be away for a week. I guess it's my turn. Sigh!!!!


CB said...

So cute. Its so fun to paint those toddler toenails for the first time.

By the way, Silas has been on our short list too. Not pregnant right now ... but would be a top choice for us if we have another one.

Kim said...

Sweet names! I love them both!

Mom/Nana said...

I agree with Tamara. When I saw those painted toes last night, I nearly started to cry, but my smile was so big, and before I knew it, I was laughing.
First of all, I'll start with Baxter. He IS the most precious little boy. He has spent a few nights with us alone, and it is so neat! He DOES love to snuggle, and papa and I LOVE taking naps with him! He loves to "help" and learn new things.
Maranatha is so much fun! She reminds us of you, Jessica, more and more each day. She DOES focus and watch everyone. You just can't ignore her when she's around, and you don't want to! And, I might add . . . I am going to get in on some of those pedicures and foot massages too! ha!
They are so much fun, and we can't wait to see what our next baby brings to our "family of grandchildren".

Abbi said...

It is cool to hear of another Maranatha. We named our oldest daughter that, she will be 8 next week. I had heard of one other girl named that after her but then none others. Do you know of anyone else?

the Girl said...

Thank you for sharing! such a nice post!

Queen said...

You decided to go with Vera Grace! What a beautiful name!!!

James is a family name of ours too and my favorite book of the Bible as well.

So exciting that you have a new blessing on the way!


Shalene said...

Hi Jess, what a wonderful post! I have four children and am expecting my 5th, and feel the same way you do when people ask me those same questions "You know what causes that." and "Are you insane?" Or even worse "Why?" :) They obviously don't have the imagination to begin to know the blessings that a large family brings. Mine are almost 15, almost 12, 5 and 2. My next blessing is due at the end of May. Congratulations to you on the addition to your own "small group." May the peace of the Lord be upon you. Please visit my blog sometime. In Him, Shalene

Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

Wow, I never thought about the fact that Vera means truth. Duh!! What a beautiful name for a girl - Truth and Grace. And I like the name Silas as well.

I loved hearing about your kids. Thanks for sharing!

Jess said...

I'm glad you noticed the contrast with the previous post. It was intentional... to show the absolute horror of abortion when there are such delightful people to love and know.

I think it's so neat that your mom's name is Vera. It's such a unique name, and I don't think I've ever met anyone in real life named Vera. Glad you like it too! :)

Maranatha was like that for us- I was stuck on it, and Doug didn't see it at first. But he began to like it more and more and one day told me that he knew it was supposed to be her name. :) I love choosing baby names- it's always a burning in my heart until we settle on 2 names.

I know plenty of people who wait to name the baby until they meet him/her; but for me, I just can't imagine doing that. My heart strongly connects to a baby through the process of choosing a name, and I always have felt the pressing need to do so as soon as possible.

We even chose names for the babies we miscarried (though we were only 4-5 weeks along).

I must admit that I went into the sonogram hoping that she would tell us that it was not one but two babies. But now we've had two sonos; it's fairly unlikely. Perhaps one day in the future God will give us twins. If not biologically, maybe we could adopt some. :)

How fun to meet another mom of a Maranatha! I don't know of any others in person, but I've heard of one through the grapevine that is now an adult. So fun to hear of others!!!

The more I get to know you, the more I find you to be a kindred spirit, like my long lost sister or something. I love the fact that your fav book of the Bible is James too! :) Just confirms our sisterhood.

Yeah, people think they're just *SO* clever when they say things about the size of our family... as if it never occurred to us that we're going against the flow, or as if no one ever made the same exact jokes/comments that they're making.

I find it such a breath of fresh air when someone DOESN'T make those comments, but people like that are few and far between. Most of the "congratulations" comments we got (from family and friends) was more along the lines of, "oh, you guys sure are going to be busy"... or just flat-out negative.

I always try to respond positively, like, "oh, busy-ness is a given with young children, whether you have one or many... but what a blessing!" I think sometimes just my attitude and framing the issue in a new way helps them to see that it's not a horrible or difficult thing- it's a BLESSING!

Thanks, everyone, for your comments- I do enjoy reading and hearing from you, even when I don't respond. But I'm going to start trying to be more diligent about faithfully responding to blog comments!