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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Eighth Day Blessing

On the eighth day of the child's life, the service of naming is prayed over the child.

"O Lord our God, we pray to you and beseech you let the light of your countenance shine upon your servant Theodore Gregory and let the Cross of your only-begotten Son be sealed in his heart and in his thoughts, so as to escape the vanity of the world and every evil plot of the enemy and follow your commandments. And grant, O Lord, that your holy name shall remain indelible upon him, so that at the proper time he will be attached to your Church and be perfected by the awesome mysteries of your Christ; so that having lived in accordance with your commandments, and having kept the seal inviolate, he may achieve the blessedness of your chosen ones in your kingdom." —Service on the Giving a Name to the Child on the Eighth Day

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Watching Teddy after a feeding, I couldn't help exclaiming, "It looks like he's half hiccuping, half burping, and half throwing up." To which Magda had to reply, "Yeah, I think this one-and-a-half thing is really agitating him."

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I had been having some trouble breastfeeding. In short, Teddy was startling himself awake, and then chewing on his fists and fussing. I had learned to interpret this as, "Oh, the baby's hungry. I must feed him." Except that he wasn't hungry. Clever Daddy figured this out and swaddled him. Since then, we've been working on expanding the two-hour spacing for feedings. Mommy and Teddy both get more rest and are happier.

But during the five hours of struggling to get the little one to eat (as opposed to fuss and stick his mittened fists in his mouth), while maintaining good posture and relaxed shoulders (especially tricky with no contacts in so you can't see the baby without hunching over), I developed a pattern of chanting: the Jesus Prayer for nursing and "Παναγία Δέσπινα" for burping, both from the CD Panagia With Us All. Now I'm addicted to my system for the most part.

As I nurse little Teddy, the part of his anatomy most visible to me is his ear, and I feel like I am pouring goodness into his body and soul.

It also helps me relax my shoulders and sit up straight, so caring for my baby is nourishing my body and soul as well.

"Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control" (I Timothy 2:15, from Teddy's Orthodox Study Bible).

Friday, October 3, 2008

He eats a lot...

Today we went to the first-week check-up at the pediatrician's office. The doctor looked at the notes.

"Hmm. He's at 9 lbs., 14 oz., and his birth weight was 9 lbs., 10 oz. So he's gained 4 ounces over a week. Usually we like to see babies gain about an ounce a day ..."

My husband pointed out that when we had come in for the 24-hour visit on Saturday, the baby weighed 9 lbs., 3 oz., so he'd gained 11 ounces, not three.

"Oh!" Eyebrows went up. "Well, I'd say he's doing pretty well, then."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More Fatherhood Fun

M: "Thank you for cutting up the banana bread for me, and for making me banana bread"
P (interrupting): Oh, no. My wife is banana bread.
M: What?
T gurgles
P: Yes, he got the joke. (to Teddy) Didn't you?
T smiles momentarily
M: You're supposed to wait until he can at least understand speech! [ed.n. co-opting Teddy into poking fun at her]

M. note: "This is what I get for sharing the childhood story of 'Make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.' 'Poof! You're a peanut butter and jelly sandwich' ... which was not appreciated then, either."