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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CECS Class Post (i.e. The Blog is Not Just About the Baby)

For regular readers, I'm taking a course this semester called Learning and Cognition, and I'll be posting here a few times with items related to the course. The readings have been interesting so far, so I hope you find it interesting, too!

For those of you coming from the class, welcome!

Again, I'm Tiffany in Fort Worth, and you can contact me at

I'm working on my PhD in Information Science and as the Public Services Librarian at Southwestern Seminary. I'm interested in cognition and learning especially as it relates to student workers in academic libraries--a group I'm interested in studying both professionally and academically.

I'm a fan of incorporating new technologies into the library experience, and I'm fairly proficient with technology (but I'm no tech wizard or anything).

As one of our classmates said, I hope this course helps us better understand the mind of the information seeker.

Thanks for all your congratulations on baby Catherine. This new pace of the school-work-life balance is challenging to say the least, but if you have patience with me, I'll do my best. :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Catherine's Birth Story

I'll try not to get all gross with this, but I did want to go ahead and record what I remember (because forgetful pregnancy brain does not go away with the birth apparently). I'll also intersperse with a few more pictures, so hopefully you won't get too bored. ;)

I was due on Tuesday and more than ready! We were scheduled to have another doctor's appointment and ultrasound on Thursday to get an idea of how big she was getting (more on that later). But my water broke on Wednesday night right after supper. I had just gotten up to get a grape coke (that was the last pregnancy craving).

Side note here. One thing that has really surprised me about pregnancy is that not everything is obvious. I wasn't sure when I felt her first movements, and I wasn't sure that my water had broken. But I knew something different was happening, and I thought it was probably that. It's just not like you see on television.

So we went to the hospital, all nervous and excited. They couldn't tell at first whether my water had actually broken, so they had to do a couple of tests. After the second one, they concluded it had, so we knew we weren't leaving until we had our little girl!

However, I was not having any contractions, so after monitoring me for a few hours, they kick-started those. I didn't want to have an epidural, but the contractions were progressing more rapidly than the rest of my body was. It was looking like it could be another 12 hours or so (and it was), and the contractions were between 1 and 5 minutes apart. After two or three hours, I caved (see Ray Stevens' Having a Baby the Natural Way), and now I totally understand why epidurals are so popular. 

We got just about to the point where I was ready to push, and I had not felt a thing. In fact, I had slept for a few hours. However, her position was a little off, and she was pushed up against my pelvic bone (an area immune to the blessed epidural, apparently). That, combined with her size, made the pushing part long and difficult. 

But I was so blessed by my doctor and nurses (and They were just the right mix of compassion and encouragement, letting me rest and coaching me to keep going. And pretty soon she was here!

We sort of fell over-the-cliff in love with her immediately.

The hospital stay went well, too. She had to spend her first night in the NICU and supplement her feedings with formula because of persistent low blood sugar, but it didn't take her long to get that under control. She is also a bit jaundiced, but we should see the doctor today about that.

Otherwise, we are so very thankful for our healthy girl. Our lives have just gotten a lot more complicated, but we're so excited to be her parents and to teach her about God and everything else she will need to know. 

If you've made it this far, thanks for reading about Catherine's birth! (It has taken me three days to write this post. I fear this is how life is going to be now.) ;)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Baby McBookworm!

Also to be known as Catherine Gayle Janice Norris (or just Catherine).

She arrived Thursday afternoon and weighed in at 9 lbs. 1 oz. 

Aside from some low blood sugar issues, she's doing great, and we just adore her already!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Baby's Office

We've just about finished the baby's room, which she is sharing with Jason. (So we've been referring to it as the baby's office.)

Until the last month, this was my least favorite room in the house because it had become the catch-all place for our random stuff. I hate clutter, and it was nothing but clutter.

But now it's one of my favorite places because, for one, it's clean! But also because it's going to be my little girl's room. And the walls are painted a light gray (the official Alabama light gray...Roll Tide). Mostly, though, I love it because so many things in here represent this huge outpouring of love and support we've gotten from our family and friends (as well as my husband's hard work).  

So here's a quick tour...

This is her little book nook. The shelf is filled with books we've collected for her and books we received at her book shower. (That's also where the sparklies behind the frame are from...courtesy of my pal Shelley.) We picked up the Pooh print at Half Price, and the rocking chair and banks (except the one on top) were mine.

And this is the other half of her half of the room...

I'm a little smitten with the "N" drawer pulls. Meanwhile, Baby McB's dad painted the picture many, many years ago, and our talented friend, Brittany, made the book mobile out of a Jane Austen book. (I am still so excited about that.)

We haven't gotten her sheets yet (since we're planning for her to be in a cradle in our room for a few weeks), so we enlisted the stuffed elephant brigade to fill the space. The prints above the crib courtesy of The Handmade Home.

Fred isn't sure what to make of the room, but he likes the rug (that, oddly enough, turned out to look exactly like his fur). He's also trotted off with her doll a couple of times, so we'll have to watch that. :)

In other news, I've been having font trouble since switching the layout, so I'll be playing around with that for a few posts. Pardon any strange looks.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Conflict and Community in Corinth (and Commentaries!)

I've just finished listening to 1 and 2 Corinthians while reading Ben Witherington's Conflict and Community in Corinth. This was such a great experience!

Witherington, as usual, examines theological concepts thoughtfully and intellectually, and I'm not going to focus on reviewing the commentary itself.

I'm actually more interested in talking about biblical resources. Reading this was a good reminder that context and culture are incredibly important when trying to understand the Bible. I believe that it's always a good thing to read what I consider to be God's word to us, but there is so much that can be misunderstood if we just give it a surface reading (or a surface listen as I'm doing this year).

For instance, I knew Paul used some rhetorical devices when writing the two books, but I had no idea about the HUGE influence rhetoric played in his construction of arguments and in the organization of the entire books themselves. I also, for instance, had no idea about the role that head-coverings played in pagan worship at the time, a view that must inform how we read and apply these verses now.

Reading this commentary reminded me that the old saying, "The Bible says it, I believe it, and that settles it." is inadequate. Reading does not equal understanding. If we are to become more biblically literate (ask my husband about this topic!), if we are to truly grow in our Christian walk, if we are to even begin to understand what the Bible is all about, we need outside help.

Bible teachers within your church community, seminaries, and theological libraries are great places to get that help. I also highly recommend commentaries like these as valuable tools for your personal Bible study.

How about you? Any biblical resources to recommend? How do you go about understanding the Bible?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Learning to Listen

I'm much more of a visual learner than auditory. And, even though I've been listening to podcasts for awhile, I still have trouble focusing when I'm only listening.

But this year I'm trying to listen through the Bible. Jason found a version he liked and did that last year, so I'm going to try this year. (And I like the idea of Baby Girl listening with me, too.)

I've also started reading Ben Witherington's commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians--Conflict and Community in Corinth. I'll listen to a chapter, then read his notes on it.

One thing for the first chapter that stood out to me:
1 Corinthians 1 raises deep and abiding questions for our own culture...For instance, this chapter requires that we ask how much of our sense of self-worth and identity is grounded in our culture's evaluation of us in terms of wealth, education, and the like, and how much it is grounded in our identity as sinners saved by grace...Christian attitudes about wealth, family, country, and other things held dear are often more grounded in certain cultural assumptions than in any Christian teaching.
Good stuff (and a good reminder to always read your footnotes).

How about you? Do you prefer listening to reading? If you listen, do you just listen, or do you multi-task (i.e. commute to work while listening to an audiobook)?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Speaking of 38 weeks...

Getting closer! (Thank goodness.)

Fred was pre-bark in this picture. His little face cracks me up!

And forgive the white socks. Let's just say that very few things fit anywhere anymore. (Did I mention I'm ready?) ;)

Monday, January 02, 2012

Irony is...

...people telling you to rest before the baby comes "while you can."

Do these people know how much preparatory work a baby takes?

More realistically, do they know how hard it is to rest when you're 38 weeks pregnant, your back aches all the time, and you're awake every two hours at night and in the restroom every hour during the day?

Also ironic? Continuing to get clumsier (thus dropping more things) as it gets harder and harder to pick them up.

And irony is searching for a close parking place at the gym...but that doesn't really apply here.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Resolutions, 2012-style

I've always been big on making resolutions (the actual keeping being harder than the making, am I right?). But this year, we're having a kid. And that really does change everything.

We knew it would, and I think that's part of the reason we (or at least I) hesitated for so long about taking the plunge. I knew life would be different, and I knew I would be different. In my head, that was always a negative. But, month after month, as this little person has grown and seemed more real, it hit me that the changes I want to make are positive. 

Because I know she'll be watching and learning, I want to be a better person. I want to be in good shape spiritually, financially, physically, in every aspect of life--not perfect by any stretch--but stretching to be better. 

(Like this)
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

So I figure that is enough of a resolution for this year. Have a kid, and learn how to be a good parent to her, becoming a better person myself in the process. I suspect I will need plenty of prayers for this.

I might also try to conquer my fear of birds, but we'll see. ;) If so, that will be another post entirely.

Oh, and happy new year, everyone! I hope your 2012 is simply lovely!

Read from the beginning...