Montgomery party of six

Montgomery party of six

Friday, September 28, 2007

wassa matta you?

ok, so i hear that in the last post dad was talking some sort of nonsense about a father who is asked to kill his son isaac and so i wanted to put a kibosh on that as soon as possible. i plan on sticking around for as long as i can. who knows, i might just live at home till i am 32, but don't tell mom that.

well, life continues to go on here, and i continue to do some pretty amazing things. mom and dad say i am becoming a lot more aware, making eye contact for a lot longer, and with a lot more people. apparently it is a good developmental sign, whatever that means. sometimes i go cross-eyed, but that is just to mess with them.

i am settling down a bit, becoming a bit more mellow, and a little less whiny. i still have pretty bad colic in the evening, but i push through. i am a fighter after all. ain't no gas gonna put me out of commission.

grandpa alfred came over the other day to babysit. he seemed to be a bit upset about the padres playoff chances. i made sure to be on my best behavior so that he will come back to do it again.

we got a new bath bowl, one that i can sit up in by myself. i continue to get stronger, soon i am going to be able to beat dad in an arm wrestling contest. it is all about going over the top.

mom is enjoying a free 21-day membership at curves, she likes getting out of the house and leaving me with dad. everybody says she looks great, and i would agree. i have a hot mom.

dad on the other hand just broke a tooth yesterday. i am not sure what a tooth is, but it doesn't sound like much fun.

ok, i am going to go kick it in my swing. it is one of my favorite places to sleep. i will check you fools later.

peace in the middle east,

Thursday, September 20, 2007

the discipline of open hands

if there is one thing that i have learned in my 5 and a half weeks of parenting, it is that there are plenty of things to worry about when it comes to your kid. while we are super glad to have him safely out of the womb, and even though annie's pregnancy probably had a bit more drama than is typical, there is way more stuff to worry about now than when he was on the inside. from the word go, i have been bombarded by the what ifs: what if he can't hear? what if he can't see? what if he has autism? what if he is not supposed to be doing that with his arms? what if he likes ninjas better than pirates? at times it has been downright frightening.

i assume it is a natural part of parenting, that all parents worry about their children, and the number of junior high students i know with safety cell phones tells me this is true. the world can be a scary place, full of danger, plagued with evil. you want to protect your children, to keep them safe, to help them avoid pain. you want to prevent their lives from being destroyed.

this is why the story of abraham and isaac strikes me as one of profound stupidity. i am certain abraham loved isaac, wanted to keep him safe, especially since there was such a tremendous promise placed squarely upon the shoulders of his son. abraham was probably the archetype for the protective first time parent, even though isaac was not his first.

imagine the absurdity, the scandal, the kick in the gut when abraham heard the call: "take your son, your only son, whom you love and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering...". take your son, the son that you would die for, the son that you would kill for, the son that you would give anything for to ensure his safety, and become the agent of his destruction.

kill your son.

the only thing more insane is that abraham sets out to do it. his resolve holds strong for three long days of traveling. the fire in his gut causes him to bind his son, place him on an altar, and raise the knife above his head before being granted a reprieve.

to be honest, i have no idea how abraham got to this point. i don't know what sort of decisions he made in his life that enabled him to be so ferociously devoted. i am not even sure he would have done it. what i do know is that it teaches me something about the absolute necessity of parenting, and living, with open hands.

a few years ago annie was wounded by some things that had been said about her. while in prayer, she felt God was calling her to live with open hands, a gesture not only of a willingness to let go, but also a posture of being open to receive. in our world of temporary, we have a tendency to hold onto things too tightly. whether the kind words of a friend, or the stinging insult of an enemy, we clinch our fingers round, often missing out on greater gifts.

isaac is one of our most amazing gifts. the simple thought of losing him makes me want to throw up. when i think of some of the things that could potentially happen to him, killing someone to avenge my son does not seem terribly far off. i want to hold him close, to keep him safe, to protect him always. ironically, at that point i would be his undoing.

ultimately my role as a father is not as a keeper, but as a steward. if i refuse to let go, to offer him back, i will destroy him. while i am all for responsible parenting, they are not my hands that formed him, they are not my hands that gave him life, and they are not my hands that will redeem him. my hands must be open, holding him loosely, lest i choke the breath God has given.

regardless of how great being a husband, a father, or anything else may be, it is not these these things that are going to satisfy me. they cannot be my identity, they are not made of stuff strong enough to support that weight. it must come from a deeper source, a wider source, so that i may extend freedom, offer space, and live with open hands, lest my expectations, hopes, fears, and regrets become the ties that bind him, place him on the altar and slay who he was truly created to be.

Monday, September 17, 2007

it is about time

so mom and dad finally let me have a crack at this whole computer thing. i have been saying for a while now that i need my own laptop, but i will have to borrow mom's for now. i may get my looks from my dad, but i sure hope i didn't get his brains b/c he has been leaving out all sorts of important details lately.

first of all there is the fact that not only had i put on 22 ounces by the time we met with the doctor last friday, but i also had grown two inches. i am now at a very stout 21". apparently dad doesn't think that is such a big deal, but i am pretty proud.

next there is the sounds. dad tells you all about the gas that comes out of me, but he doesn't tell you about much else (there is a reason he works with junior high kids). i also make a variety of other noises, most of which sound like a coffee pot. i bubble, hiss, and flurp all day long. when mom's friend michelle james was here not too long ago, she said i was a percolator. plus, i recently started showing off my mad verbal skills by cooing. grandma jan says it is the first step to making real words, and most everybody around here thinks it is "the cutest thing they have ever heard". they ain't heard nothing yet.

yesterday we celebrated my auntie allie's birthday with a bbq and cupcakes. dad bar-b-qed while mom and i handled the cupcakes. of course i wasn't allowed to eat any chicken or even to lick the spoon. the only thing i got was more milk. all in all it was a good day though, and it was fun to have a chance to celebrate my auntie. she spends a lot of time with me during the week, and in fact she is one of the biggest reasons i feel like i need to be held constantly.

today mom made me do tummy time again, which i absolutely hate. it is supposed to strengthen my neck and all, but it just pisses me off. so i showed her today; i rolled over from my stomach to my back all by myself three times. it kinda backfired though b/c mom was all excited calling me her little athlete and talking about how i am going to thank her when i am older. i have a feeling she is going to make me do it again tomorrow.

apparently there is a rumor going around about me that i never cry. for any of you who are still silly enough to believe this, watch the video below from today's tummy time. despite what it may seem, my parents actually take really good care of me.

ok, i am out for now, but will try to get back on the computer again as soon as i can.


Friday, September 14, 2007

...and in this corner...

weighing in at 8 pounds, 9 ounces, isaac "chunk" montgomery!!!

22 ounces in 2 and a half weeks, we are pretty excited. he needs to be 10-12 pounds for his surgery, and he is well on his way there. we have our initial consultation with the plastic surgeon on october 16. thanks for your prayers, and for celebrating this great news with us.

Monday, September 10, 2007

babies and blackholes: two things that warp time

isaac turns four weeks tomorrow, and although it seems like he has been around forever, it also is crazy to think that it has already been that long. everybody tells us the 6 week mark is when things tend to settle down a bit and get better, so if that is true, we are two thirds of the way there.

as proud as i am of my son's gas, it has been a bit of a burden lately, keeping him (and of course annie) up for a good part of both the night and the day. yesterday morning she rolled over and told me that he had been up from 2am-6am. annie has been the example of strength and patience throughout this whole thing, so when she told me "i can't do this today", i immediately called for reinforcements. grandma jan was more than willing to skip church to come hang out with him, and he was more than happy to have her, as she has an uncanny ability to calm him when he is screaming and enjoy him while he is awake.

to say thanks to all the grandparents for grandparents day, isaac made them all cards with this footprints on them, with a little help from mom and dad of course. actually, he probably would have been better off on his own; annie and i laughed hysterically as we made a total mess of the ink, and every time we went to stamp his foot, he would move it at the last second, so we would end up with a blurry footprint.

as you can see, isaac continues to grow at a rapid rate. we go back to the doctor friday and we are rooting to break the 8 pound mark. annie's sister allison has nicknamed him chunk, but he has yet to master the truffle shuffle. he continues to love the nightly baths that mom gives him, just hanging out under the faucet, releasing gas, and ch-ch-ch-chillin.

grandpa alan has been officially dubbed the baby whisperer, able to soothe using his strong mental telepathy. he and grandma chris brought us dinner tonight, kept us company and tried to help isaac get his gas out. we will resort most anything, short of grabbing him by his feet and giving him a helicopter ride.

his eyes continue to get lighter, and he is going through his baby acne stage, which is mercifully much shorter than the adolescent acne stage. we are trying to cherish each moment that we have with him, especially since he continues to change so rapidly. it is just a little tougher when he is screaming at you with gas pain.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

too hot for the hot tub

i have come up with a new math principle (something that is always true) in the last few days. it goes like this:

hot, sticky weather + screaming newborn + 2am = hard times

now, you must understand that we live in coastal north county san diego, and we fully realize that both hot and sticky are relative terms. we have tried to maintain some semblance of perspective, reminding ourselves that we don't live in the afar desert of ethiopia, where it is 120 degrees every day during the summer, and where they don't have clean, cold water in the fridge or fans to keep them cool. we have also tried to be grateful that we don't live in georgia, where the humidity is thick enough to drown you in your sleep, but we live in san diego, and when it is 90 degrees in our house when we are trying to go to sleep, we get a little bit edgy. add to that a child whose only method of communication is screaming at you till you do something about whatever is bothering him, and a clock that would say something in the neighborhood of 2am if only you could get your eyes to focus, and things can get down right ugly.

fortunately there are only a small handful of days each year when an air conditioner would be anything but an absolute luxury where we live, it just so happens we find ourselves barely on the other side of a handful of these days. mercifully today was much cooler, and tonight the temperature is actually dropping down to a "comfortable" level. yes, we are sissies, but we are sissies who are more grateful for our san diego weather now than we ever were before we had kids.

sweating with the oldies:
the day great-grandpa herold came to meet isaac


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