Friday, July 27, 2007

Blessing Baby Burns- The Mix

Well, Baby Burns, now known as Elliot Doughty Burns, is officially 101 days old now. Old man! And Uncle Kook (formerly known as Kevin Sanderson-Doughty) and Auntie Sarah have been delighting in gazing upon him, singing to him, rocking him, walking him, bouncing him, talking to him, and just generally loving him for just under a week now. Auntie Sarah has been knitting up a storm. And the super soft pants she's been working on are now tumbling in the dryer at Baby Burns' house- she just prays this doesn't ruin them- it's what the pattern said afterall! This house, it seems is often filled with music, the lilting of mama's sweet voice singing to E.D.B., the rockin' of Sweet Home Alabama (E.D.B.'s fave) blaring from speakers, and so I've been inspired, at last, to get my contribution to this shower up- a playlist- the c.d. will be left behind for the Doughty-Burns clan to enjoy, but here is the list of songs it includes, all chosen by Auntie Sarah save for the last which is a contribution from Uncle Kook. For this playlist to be complete it ought to include the lullaby composed by Uncle Kook for Elliot, but.... alas, I don't have a recording of that. So... no time for commentary, just the titles and a c.d. left behind. And an affirmation that this baby whom we loved before he arrived we love even more having now held him in our arms and we pray many, many sweet sweet nights and days to come. Love, Auntie Sarah (who can think of no greater joy than singing to this little dear!)

Godspeed (Sweet Dreams) 4:42 Dixie Chicks Dixie Chicks Home
Somewhere Over The Rainbow 4:09 Pete Seeger A Peaceful World is Possible
Everything Possible 4:08 Fred Small No Limit
Burgundy Heart Shaped Medallion 1:37 David Wilcox Home Again
Bird Song 2:45 Jewel Spirit

My Darling Child 3:09 Sinead O'Connor Universal Mother
In this Heart 3:10 Sinead O'Connor Universal Mother
Born 6:13 Over the Rhine Drunkard's Prayer
With This Love (Choir) 3:20 Peter Gabriel Passion: Music For The Last Temptation Of Christ
You Are My Sunshine 4:27 Norman Blake O Brother, Where Art Thou?
April Come She Will 2:37 Simon & Garfunkel The Concert In Central Park
Lullaby 3:46 Trout Fishing in America Family Music Party

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A Letter From Grandma Fontaine

Dear Janet and Doug,
           I have been thinking ever since I heard the news that you're having a baby just how lucky that baby is. I say to the baby, "You will have smart, loving parents who will probably spoil you until you get a little older."
          It is a little hard for me to think back 64 years and how your grandfather and I frequently discussed if we could be good parents."Charlie, we don't know anything about it." We often thought in the years that followed that our efforts had been successful.
          I can't think of any special ways we treated them, but I do know that we were always truthful and expected the same from them. We were active in the church and Sunday school and there was no question whether they would go too, especially when we wound up at the Italian restaurant for fresh hot bread and good pizza afterwards.
          I love you both very much and anxiously await the arrival of baby Burns. Grandma Fontaine

And Janet and Doug just want to say...

Wow!! We have been feeling so blessed throughout this pregnancy, and this is just one more example of how thoughtful and generous people are being to us. Since you have taken the time to create such supportive entries, we certainly expect to respond to each of you in person, but we wanted to let you all know through this virtual shower how touched we are by this.

Your outpouring of kind words means so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you....what a wonderful family we have! And this little one has no idea how lucky a child it will be to be related to you great people!!

All is moving along nicely (well, okay, no need to be nervous, nothing is "moving" except the baby, and that's quite a bit) and we are definitely getting comfortable as the due date of April 15 approaches. Baby continues to check out fine at the weekly appointments, and Mommy's feeling pretty good (still sleeping through most nights, mercifully), and Daddy's excited, too (also sleeping through most nights....again, mercifully).

We look forward to introducing this child to each of you. Your blessings on us are truly a wonderful welcome for this baby. Thank you all!

Janet and Doug

Friday, March 16, 2007

To Baby Burns from your mom's Uncle Bill

BB, my wish for you is that you will have an "Aunt Betsy and Uncle Bob" as part of your life, especially for your teen years. They will be adults, either friends or relatives. They will love you and help guide you. Most importantly, they will be there to listen to you at times when it seems impossible to communicate with your parents (that does happen sometimes). They will prove invaluable in your life.

Love, Great Uncle Bill

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Poem By Aunt Dee

written for our eldest son, Dick.

           First Child

First child, you bring a special mix
       of joy and fear into my life.
Gazing at you, helpless infant
       --- whom I possess and yet do not possess,
       --- who faces the unknown in years to come,
       --- who looks to me for everything for life,
I think and dream.

What will the future hold for you, first child?
What unsuspected talents will appear?
Where will you go? Places I never knew...
What problems will assail and challenge you?

You are so precious, and so needful of my care,
And I'm so new at all this mothering.
First child, be patient, love me much,
And I will try to do the same for you...

Nadine N. Doughty

You've Got Mail from Uncle Dick

Janet and Doug:

            First of all, please know that we are so happy for you both! The birth of a child is such a joyful event, and the birth of your first child is a passage into parenthood, the next phase of your rich, wonderful lives. This phase never really ends, as you each get to share life’s marvelous journey with your child.

            My sense at the births of our children was one of awe, of love and connection, and of a strong sense of responsibility to both Michelle and Suzy and to Barb. I was also scared…of failing, of not doing it right, of somehow letting down Barb or the kids. That fear was probably more detrimental than helpful to the kids, to Barb and to me. I had a model in my own Dad as to what a good Dad was, but it all seemed to get hazy when I was called to act on that real time. I came to trust Barb, as one who took her parenting seriously and who seemed to “get it.” That trust turned out to be well-placed. Were we to do it over (no immediate plans for this), I would focus on my intention to create and sustain a loving, nurturing, fun home environment with appropriate boundaries and opportunities for coaching, and be less judgmental or critical of my actual behavior. Kids are incredibly resilient, as well as being their own souls from the very beginning.

            We tried to create an environment conducive to growing and nurturing the kids’ self-esteem and self-love. Only they can attest how well we did on that, but I still believe that’s a noble objective.

            In some of the world’s belief systems, the child’s soul chooses her/his parents and the family to be born into, on the basis of what is most important for the child to learn at that time. I like aspects of this belief, because it honors the “teacher” in both the parent and the child, while keeping responsibility for the lesson learned with the “student.” I’ve found this perspective helpful when relationships have hit a speed bump, and try to ask myself what is the lesson I’m supposed to be learning here?

            I know you both well enough to know that Baby Burns is joining a family of two caring, loving, personally self-aware, healthy, capable parents. How grateful BB would be with this knowledge, and my belief is that he/she already knows this and joins this family with tremendous love and gratitude. Together you all will share each others’ life journey, and will weave together the rich tapestry of your lives together. Who knows what that tapestry will look like, but one thing’s for sure, no matter what the scenes, it will be beautiful.

            Barb and I send our deepest love to all three of you, and we look forward to meeting BB in person.

With love and respect,

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The A,B,C's of Parenting with love from Suzy

A is for Accepting your child for who she/he is and honoring his/her spirit
B is for Balance. I think it's very important to maintain balance in your life and your child's life. Do what it takes to maintain balance - you will be much happier.
C is for Consistency. It's very important for parents to be consistent with their children. Kids need to know what to rely on. It helps when both mom and dad are consistent too! :-)
D is for Discipline. Some child psychologists believe consequences are a better alternative to discipline. I have found that to be true with my children.
E is for Education. Educate yourself about whatever it is you need to make a decision on and make a decision. Never look back. Give your child the best education available.
F is for Family Traditions. I think it's great to have family traditions that the family can look forward to each year. This is what many children remember about their childhood.
G is for Guide. I believe parents guide their children. They are who they are and it's up to parents to help guide them (not change them) in a safe and secure environment.
H is for Health. I place a lot of emphasis on health and modeling for our children what healthy behavior, diet and habits are.
I is for Intuition. Trust your intuition. You know what's best for your child. Act on your instincts and trust that you know what's best for your child.
J is for Joy. Be sure to experience the joy of the child. Children are inherently joyful and their enthusiasm is contagious. Enjoy him/her. Kids are a joy to be around at all ages
K is for Kids. Kids are so much fun and so much work all at the same time. No other job will provide so much joy and heartache than being a parent!
L is for Listening. Listening is such an important part of parenting. Make sure you have a time each day when your child has your undivided attention. You'll learn a lot!
M is for Moderation. I believe that being too extreme about anything doesn't serve the child well.
N is for No. I find it's helpful not to say no too much to a child. Find other ways to communicate your desires (creatively) without saying no too often.
O is for the Outdoors. Be sure to expose your child to the wonders of nature and enjoy the outdoor environment. Sometimes that's the best way to calm a cranky child.
P is for Planning ahead and being Prepared. Always bring extra wipes, diapers, snacks, etc. You never know what might happen and you can never be too prepared with a child!
Q is for Quiet time. I believe every child needs some quiet time each day. And trust me, mom and dad could use it too.
R is for RELAX! Kids are far more resilient than you can imagine. Take a deep breath when things seem to be difficult and realize it will not last forever. Nothing ever does.
S is for Structure. Most children do best when they have structure to their day.
T is for Truth and Trust. I think it's always important to tell the truth to your children. It's okay for the child to see that you are human with human tendencies too.
U is for Unconditional Love. As a parent, you really experience what unconditional love feels like. It's beautiful.
V is for Values. Understand which values are most important to you and consciously find ways to impart those on your children.
W is for Wrong and Right. There is no right or wrong in parenting. You do the best you can with the resources you have. There's no such thing as a perfect child or perfect parent.
X is for eXtreme. Many books tend to be extreme in their recommendations. I suggest moderation (see M) as opposed to extreme approaches.
Y is for YOURSELF. Be yourself. Maintain your sense of self. Being a parent is a big responsibility and it's important to be "serving from a full platter" so to speak.
Z is for Zest for life. Enjoy!