Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Daily Routine

I'm realizing, more and more, just how nice it is to have a daily routine. This routine is not rigid by any means, but it is a general roadmap for our day, and it benefits both Maggie and me. Maggie is growing and changing so much these days, and she is quite the sponge. I can tell she appreciates having a routine as well, because she has a sense of what is coming next. I thought I"d share with you all the daily routine from our little life, just for the heck of it. These "times" are not rigid, just a general timeline.

Between 6 and 7 a.m.: Rise and shine/nurse in bed with mom who is not ready to get up yet :)

7:15-8:00: Play time in the living room, with all her toys. Raffi or Putamayo
Kids CD's usually on in the background.

8:00- 8:30: Breakfast Time!
* my little chow-hound usually eats scrambled eggs, yogurt, gluten-free waffle,
and bananas (mostly all by herself)

8:30-9:00: Play time in the office.
*Maggie LOVES playing in the office with a box of pens, and other office supplies
on the floor. We have a 2nd fridge in the office (ask Daniel what this stores) and
she likes to play with magnets on it. I enjoy this time, because I can be on the
computer while she plays. I think she has more fun in the office than with all
her toys in the living room.

9:00 (or 2 hours after waking up): Morning Nap
* I always change Maggie's diaper first, then we go into the room and close the
curtains to cue that it's sleepytime. I nurse her and sing to her, then lay her in
her crib. She usually sleeps over an hour. Sometimes she wakes up after 30
minutes, but I quickly go to her and put her back to sleep. I've found that laying
her on her tummy and patting her back works wonders for keeping her calm
when I lay her down for her nap.

10 or 10:30 (after nap): Diaper check......Get dressed for the day.

Wake up time-2:00: We usually go out to the store, or to a friend's house to play between
morning and afternoon naps. I'll pack food for her if we aren't home for
lunch. Maggie has 2 friends her age that we see almost every day. It's

2:00 (or 3 hours after waking from her morning nap): Afternoon nap

3:00 (or whenever she wakes up): We play, or go out an about again. This is a good time to run
errands or visit with friends, before making dinner.

5:00 p.m.: We're usually home by this time, and I start dinner while Maggie plays in the kitchen. We look forward to daddy's arrival home.

6:oo ish: Daddy's usually home by now. We have dinner together, Maggie eats a ton!

6:40-7:00: Daddy's on bath and bedtime duty now (lucky me!). He gives her a bath and gets
her jammies on, gives her a bottle and cuddles, and puts her to bed. He is great
with her. Maggie seems to like this routine. Once it's bathtime, she knows bedtime
is coming soon. I am liking that Dad can put her to bed's a nice break for

Maggie's usually down for the night around 7:00. I don't go to bed early enough, but it always works out. She's been waking up a lot lately, but it's ok. Our daily routine makes the day go by so fast. It's been so good for me to have routine as well.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Season for Change

I haven't blogged in awhile.....sorry for those of you who actually check my blog now and then. I don't mean to stay out of touch, I just don't have much free time these days, and when I do have an hour or two, the "creative juices" aren't flowing.

Maggie's sleep update: Well, it's been up and down, that's for sure. We actually did try out a sleep training method (as Carrie suggested); one that allowed for frequent "check-ins" so she wasn't left to cry alone. It was hard, though she didn't cry as hard as I thought she would have. Anyway, this was a couple of months ago, and it went fairly well. She started only waking up once or twice a night, and usually put herself back to sleep. We were enjoying this respite, but with several trips and mess-ups of routine, we're back to frequent night wakings. I know we should probably just "re-train" her, but it is more complicated now. She is in the throws of an "8 month sleep regression", which is a typical thing for babies her age as they are hitting some major developmental milestones (i.e., crawling, standing up,) and this can disrupt their sleep at night. Maggie has been waking up and thrashing around the pack 'n play, trying to crawl, and getting herself jammed in one corner of it. She gets really upset, and needs help going back to sleep. I don't want to ignore her during this time...not to mention she's getting closer and closer to cutting a tooth. I'm just thankful she goes right back to sleep for me, and doesn't stay up for an hour or two in the middle of the night. Sure, some nights I get annoyed, but I try to keep everything in perspective---she won't be doing this forever, she won't want me to even hold her for much longer, and the closeness we have during night nursings is special. I think we'll give sleep training another shot when she is a little older, like maybe one or 1 1/2. Now, she cries a lot harder and gets more upset when we don't go to her (not like before when we tried to train her), so I don't have the heart to leave her alone to cry.

This is just an update, not a complaint. Things don't feel so overwhelming anymore, and I'm finding that it's only as big of a problem as I let it be.

In other news.....we are gearing up for a big change.....a move to another rental here in town. We've had our eye out for a long time, trying to find a house to rent that was the same price as the place we are currently in (a granny unit), but we were having no luck. Labor Day weekend, I discovered an ad on Craigslist for a house on an organic produce farm that was the exact price we are paying now, so I had Daniel contact the guy right away. We just found out today that we got the place, and there is SOOO much to do now. I don't even want to think about the chaos we will be living in for the next few weeks and maybe even months. Oh well, it's what needs to happen.

In many ways, I'm sad to leave our cozy little granny unit. As I was eating dinner and looking at some of the packed boxes, I teared up a little....because we have so many memories in this place. This is the only home I've known as a wife and a mother. All my memories of Maggie are here. I know we'll make new memories in the next place, but I will always treasure the times we had here, the good and the bad. We'll be living in more of a rural setting, so I will definitely miss not living within walking distance of so many stores, coffee shops, downtown, and a great park. Oh well.....what we get in exchange is a house, with 3 bedrooms (so no more sharing a room with Maggie), a bathroom with a tub, a dishwasher, indoor laundry (ours is currently outdoors), and about 100 more cupboards in the kitchen than I currently have. Our little family definitely needs more room, and if we have another kidlet in the near future (nothing yet, folks), the space will be needed. Maggie will be crawling any day now, and I'm glad there are no stairs to worry about in this new house. This is a chance to have a clean start, in a new place, and we can "baby proof" it from the start, and have her mobility in mind when we arrange the house.

Anyway...that's the big news around here. Daniel and I are celebrating 2 years of marriage on the 23rd of this month. We've had 2 wonderful years, and I hope they are indicative of how the rest of our life will be as a couple. My husband is so caring, selfless, supportive, loving, and he's my best friend. God knew I needed him, with all his strengths to help my weaknesses. I'm so thankful for him, and I'm looking forward to the overnight date he's taking me on in San Francisco on Friday night. Friends of ours will stay here with Maggie. I'm sure I'll be thinking about her most of the time we're gone, but I'll try to relax and just enjoy our time alone (especially a night without waking up 3 or more times :)

Please pray for us as we face the task of moving, and getting settled into a new place, in a new part of town. I know it will take awhile for us to adjust, but we'll try to make it "home" as soon as we can.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I'm not sure if my responses to people's comments automatically notifies the person who commented, so I thought I'd write another post just to thank everyone for their advice and encouragement. It's such a help just to know that my friends and family care, and that I'm not the only mom who has been or is struggling with this issue.

I appreciate everyone's comments....and, yes, Carrie McCoy, I will talk to you again :) In response to your comment, I definitely have thought more about letting her cry....I just don't think I can let her go an hour and a half. She gets so worked up and hyperventilates when she cries that long in the car (and she does cry that long in the car when she's tired, so it makes me think she'll do it at home too). We're taking baby steps towards her learning to soothe herself. I know I've taught her to depend on me, and that needs to be undone eventually, but I don't want her little nervous system to get completely stressed out.....arrgh....what to do.... I do appreciate that you care enough to share your honest opinion. I have to say that my friends who work (whether it's part time or full time) seem to have babies that sleep better because their babies have had to learn to sleep in different environments and with different people putting them down for naps or to bed....and Maggie has only had Daniel and I, so we haven't had a whole lot of extra incentive (other than our own frustration) to get the sleep thing figured out, since we are the only ones who have to put up with it. I honestly don't know what to think of the cry-it-out method, but I do know sooooo many moms (online) who have said it is what finally worked for them, and I will give it some thought! Thanks for caring!! I truly appreciate it!

It is such a blessing to be able to share frustrations with friends, and feel supported, especially since I don't always have people around me here who have been through this yet.

I will keep you all updated on how things go....and what finally works for us (if we end up finding anything).

Thanks again everyone and God Bless.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lord have mercy

Too bad I tend to blog when I'm frustrated or fed up with something---please forgive me for this. I just sometimes need to vent without anyone interrupting me and telling me I'm worrying too much about whatever it is I'm worried about.

Maggie's sleep patterns continue to puzzle me. The last couple weeks, I've stayed home all day, dedicated to giving her the best naps possible (no matter what it took). I found that laying down with her in our bed when she was tired worked well. The only issue being, she would nurse the ENTIRE nap, and would start to wake up if I took her off. I decided it was worth it, if she could get more than 40 minutes of sleep during a nap (which is her typical nap length these days). This was working well, some days she slept over 2 hours for a nap, and that made me VERY happy. Needless to say, her better daytime naps led to much better sleep at night! A win-win, right? Well, I'll always find something to gripe about. Today I got sooooo frustrated when I layed down twice with Maggie, and both times she only slept 35 minutes! If nursing her the whole nap isn't going to work, then what will? (other than "training" her to sleep on her own-which I am not gutsy enought to do yet). Not to mention how much of my day I spend trying to figure out her napping needs. Laying down with her 3-4 hours a day (as the books say this is how much she needs to nap), means that is 3-4 hours I am NOT doing anything around the house. It gets overwhelming to have NO time during the day when Maggie isn't needing me in some way, shape or form. I know she's more clingy because she isn't napping enough, but it's so frustrating sometimes.

Another issue is I am sooooo worried that she is chronically overtired, and that this might have some adverse effects on her later in life, like ADHD, sleep disorders, etc. Daniel says i'm ridiculous for worrying about these things, but I think there is some validity to them. SOMETHING has to be done to get her into a better napping habit---one where she can soothe herself back to sleep when she wakes up halfway through a nap. To be honest, I'm afraid to try anything for fear that then she won't get ANY naps, and it will only make things worse. I know I just have to try, and give new things time to sink in for both of us. Nothing changes overnight....especially habits that have been forming for 6 months now. It's not that I am against nursing her to sleep, or carrying her in the Ergo for her naps, it's just that she isn't sleeping long enough when I do these things, and that is what concerns me. Plus, I need to learn how to put her down for a nap on her own eventually, because there will be no leisurely 2 hour naps I can take with the next baby (whenever that may be).

Ugghh. I bought Elizabeth Pantley's "No-Cry Nap Solution" today, and I'm reading through it for ideas. I like her approach to sleep issues, but I don't know if I have the perseverance to really break these habits both Maggie and i have formed. I am at the point where I will do ANYTHING to give her consistent, long naps. I dont care if I never have "free time" to myself (well I do care, but I haven't had it yet with her) while she naps, as long as I can help her learn to sleep longer. I just want her to grow and develop healthily, and if I am the one hindering her from getting good sleep, I want to change.

There should be several classes on this for parents-to-be. I had noooooo idea what was involved with napping. I just assumed babies slept when they were tired, and that if they missed a nap, they'd just sleep all the better that night. This is definitely not the case, and there is sooo much to know about infant sleep patterns and needs. Of course, I wouldn't need to know any of it if Maggie naturally slept well, but she doesn't, so I need help.

I don't want to just "grin and bear it" for now, because I want her to get the rest she needs, and it doesn't seem like 3- 45 minute naps a day are doing it.

How did Caroline Ingalls do it in the old days? What did she do with her babies while she did chores from sunrise to sunset? Plus, she NEVER got to go to town for "alone time", and was always gracious about letting Pa go meet up with the other men in town for checkers of just to socialize. I wish I could be more like her. I wish I didn't have any other idea of motherhood and being a wife than what the women in old times new, because then I wouldn't constantly feel like my life is somehow lacking because I don't get to have as much of a social life or the pleasant "freedoms" that I see other moms who don't stay home with their kids having. I LOVE being with Maggie all day, it just gets overwhelming at times, and I get sooo selfish.

I need perspective ........Maggie needs more naps........the house needs cleaning......the husband needs loving........Lord, have mercy!

Friday, July 3, 2009

New "Summer Do" (for my sister Katie to see :)

Here Katie--since you don't have facebook, and you wanted to see my new "summer do" :) Enjoy...Maggie is pretty adorable, isn't she?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thoughts for the day

I don' t have much to write about, yet I'm thinking about so many things all the time. I feel like writing some of my thoughts down, without agenda or desire to make perfect sense. I just want to "vent", in a way.

* It's very hot today, in the hundreds....i cut my hair kind of short....did the A-line bob thing, but it is a longer version. It was kind of spur-of-the-moment, but I like it. I haven't had my hair short in like 7 years!

*Maggie is still waking up every few hours at night. I'm lazy....don't care to try any "methods" right now....I'm sleeping better at least, no caffeine after noon is really helping me. I hardly notice when Maggie wakes up to nurse (since she is in bed with me.....which is probably part of the problem), and I fall back to sleep pretty quickly, so I am not complaining. I might start complaing, though, if the crib Daniel is building isn't done before she's too big to go in one :) I can say that because he never reads my blog anyway :)

*I'm still missing church in matter how hard I try, I feel like a "Sunday Christian" life doesn't permeate my daily life as it once did. I feel an emptiness inside...I don't do what I need to grow closer to GOd, and am very unmotivated to do much in the realm of spiritual discipline. I can blame no one but myself, but it's definitely hard not having many Orthodox friends we really feel close with here, it's such a difference from our church communities back home. Basically, my spiritual life is continually on the backburner, and I am constantly allowing other cares of life to distract me from what is important. I hope i can get my act together for Maggie's sake. I'm being a poor example for her. I long to be the kind of Christian who doesn't care about her appearance, and truly seeks to eminate God's love and beauty through humility and service to others. I am becoming more and more self-centered....I feel so far off track, I don't even know where to begin to get back on it. I feel overwhelmed by my apathy and lack of motivation. I am one of those people who really relies on my community to help encourage and push me toward spiritual growth, and oneness with Christ. I dont really have that here, and am basically failing at doing this on my own.

* I'm excited for my brother to live with us for a few months this will be so nice to have family around. My parents are visiting for over a week as well, and I can't wait!!! I really want my sisters to visit me this summer, especially the sister who has never visited before (hint, hint).

*I feel so unorganized around the house. Nothing ever seems to get done...and if something does get done, it's usually "undone' within a day. I know this is just life....but it's overwhelming. Add cooking healthy meals to that, and trying not to spend a fortune on food, and I really feel like I don't know what I'm doing.

*I'm glad Daniel is so patient with me....i wish I could say I was the same toward him. He is so loving and kind, and I can get so frustrated and nit-picky with him at times.

Well, Maggie is actually sleeping without me, so I should probably take advantage of this opportunity to have the bed all to myself (since Daniel will be up late with work he brought home---i"m hoping this is not a new trend).

Sorry for venting and complaining....i just don't have many people around right now that I can do this with.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sleep Saga

Every new parent hopes for the baby who will "sleep through the night" within a few weeks of birth, and brags about it proudly (as if they had any control over it anyway) when they do. I was one of those hopeful parents, but alas, my dear baby gives me very little to "brag" about in the sleep department. It always baffles me that the #1 question I get in public is, "Does she sleep through the night yet?" or " How's she sleeping?" I've decided to just lie...because those who ask don't have the time to hear the saga of Maggie's short sleep history.

At this point, when it comes to sleep, my baby...

----sleeps well in arms, a sling, sometimes a swing, sometimes the car, and always well with a nipple (my nipple) in her mouth

----REFUSES to be "pacified" with a paci, even though she LOVES to suck

----Cry it out? oh....she will......for hours if you let her...but ofcourse, we have only learned this via long car trips, we cave in after 2 minutes whenever she cries at home. I'm sick and tired of hearing the cry it out method as the only advice for those of us with finicky sleepers. It's NOT an option for me at this point.

---Maggie naps long as I am pushing her in a stroller (which makes for LONG walks for me), wearing her in the sling, and moving.... I can't complain, at least she naps...

---we bought a "Cocoon Sleeper" (like the Amby bed) a few weeks ago. It worked well for a couple weeks, but now she wakes up the INSTANT we put her in it, and WAILS if we put her in it awake. Some say there is a 4-month-old sleep regression that happens due to brain development, and that could be part of the change in her sleeping.

----as of late, Maggie sleeps CONNECTED to me at night, which means she doesn't go to bed until I do.....uuuuggh!

At this point, I'm starting to look at some of the sleep books out there, but there are thousands, and they all recommend something different, but usually agree on the CRY it OUT method...which I don't want to do. The Baby Whisperer makes me feel like a horrible parent, so I don't read her much these days. I'm kind of at the point where I'll do ANYTHING that works, which means she is nursing half the night. UUGH!

Anyone have any NON-cry it out advice? I realize part of it is if your kids have always been heavy sleepers who could crash anywhere, anytime....don't give me any advice :) I want to hear from those of you who had finicky sleepers. How did things turn out for you? I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, but I am SOO confused about the different theories out there. Will doing "whatever works" right now screw her up for life? I don' t think it will, but some books make me feel like that. Was I supposed to be doing something different from day one? Did I miss the sleep training train? AAGH.

Well, we'll keep on keepin on. At least I'm getting enough's just not the most comfortable to sleep with a babe in the crook of my arms all night. We'll keep trying to put her in her bed, but for now, she's not having it. I just feel so down sometimes when EVERY other mom tells me how their baby sleeps 7-8 hours in a row, then goes back to sleep for 4 more. I know there are other moms out there with babies like just feels like I am the only one sometimes. It's hard because I do EVERYTHING for Maggie all day to keep her happy, and i need a break at night. It is physically demanding to have walk for 2 hours to give her a good nap, and then wear her in the sling for the second nap of the day. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy walking, and it's great for losing baby weight, but there are days when I don't have the energy for it. I long for the days when she peacefully sleeps in her crib, so I can get something done around the house!

Oh well...enought complaining. I really just want some encouragement and suggestions from ANYONE out there who has been through this with a baby like Mags.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Maggie Update

I can't believe Maggie is already 4 months old, going on 5 months soon! It seems as if so much has happened in that short time. I thought I would post a bunch of pictures to let everyone know what Maggie has been up to lately! I thought it would be fun to write from Maggie's perspective.

Hi everyone! I am only 4 months old, but I already have LOTS of nicknames....

Aunt Carrie and cousin Kirsten call me "Mags-dalena"

Cousin Jon-Jon calls me "Maggie Magoo"

Cousin Vasi calls me "Magdalunee"... and she always says I'm "so sweet!" Her little sister Susy can't talk yet, but I think we will be best friends one day!

Grandpa and Marmee call me "Little Fiddle"

Mr. Tony and Ms. Emily call me "Maggie Moo". They are my best friend Hazel's mommy and daddy. I'll talk about her more later.

My mom warned me that her side of the family loves to give nicknames. I wonder how many I'll have when I am a whole year old!

I spend almost every day going on walks outside and playing with my best friend Hazel. She has a nickname's Hazelbean. We are going to keep growing up together. Having her here in Santa Rosa makes being away from family a bit easier.

Last month, her mom and dad invited me and my mom to go to the Monterey aquarium with them. It was so much fun! I saw lots of the ones daddy always watches movies about. Even though I cried the WHOLE 3-hour trip home, I hope we can go again soon....and that daddy can come next time! He'd love it there.

I've been on a plane 2 times! The second time, mommy and I went without daddy. I had a diaper blowout on the trip there and on the trip back.I don't think mommy wants to take me to Portland without daddy anymore :) In Portland, this last trip, I got to go to cousin Vasi's birthday, and I spent some very special time with Grandjo, my great-grandma. I don't know if I'll get to see her makes me sad. I think it cheered her up to see me. I'm her 35th great-grandchild. I also got to see Grandpa Harold and Grandma Jeanie again! I pulled on Grandpa's was fun! They could only visit for a little while, but I'm so glad they came to Portland to see me.

In March, Aunt Carrie, Kirsten, Jonathan, and my Grandma Jeanie came to visit us!!! My mom was reak sick while they were here, so Aunt Carrie took care of mommy and me while she was here! It was so much fun to have my cousins here! We went to the park every day so mommy could rest at home. I LOVED seeing Grandma Jeanie...she always plays with me and teaches me new things!


For mommy's 1st Mother's Day, daddy and I got up early and walked to the shopping center to get her pastries, coffee, flowers, and See's chocolates. She was REALLY happy....but maybe her favorite part of it all was sleeping in a little. We did all this on Saturday. We went to Berkeley for lunch that day, and this is my mom's new favorite picture of me from when we were there! I love to wear my pink hat!

On Sunday, Mother's Day, we went spent the day in Redwood Valley, at Grandma June's house. Daddy made everyone dinner. Uncle Wayne was there too! He liked playing with me! I love visiting great-grandma June....she is so kind and loving! I'm named after her too!

And last of all, in my news for you...I had my first taste of food last week! Mommy let me suck on a watermelon rind because my gums were hurting, and it was really hot outside. I LOVED IT!!!! I can't wait to have it again someday


WEll, that's all for now! Thanks for checking in with us! We are excited about the summer and lots of adventures to go on as a family! Love to all our friends and family!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I've only been doing this for 3 months!

Tomorrow my baby girl will be 3 months old! I can't believe seems like she's been with us for so much longer than that, yet it also seems like she was born just yesterday! Last time I blogged, I was sick with a fever that lasted for over a week. It was such a trying time for me...being sick. Selfishly, I just wanted to go somewhere where I could just take care of myself, and not have to think about anyone else's needs. It overwhelmed me to realize that it will be a very long time (if ever) that I won't have other people to put before myself. I felt guilty for wanting to "escape", but I know I'm not the first mom to have those kinds of feelings. Being sick also made me feel so incapable as a mother, not being able to take care of Maggie by myself. I don't know why it threw me off so much, but I lost any confidence I had and just wanted to give up at being a mom, because I thought I couldn't handle it.

I realize this is only the beginning of my journey as a parent, and there will be thousands of trials to come. But, the most important thing I've learned through this is that I can't do all that a mom needs to do without the grace and help of God. The more I try to do it alone, the worse I feel about myself as a mom. I need God on those mornings that I'm not ready to start the day, but Maggie is. I need God when I don't think I have any more energy to walk Maggie around the house to get her to fall asleep for her nap. I need God to remind that in serving Maggie and Daniel, I am serving Christ. I need God to help me die to my wants and desires, to whittle away at the selfishness in the core of my heart. I need God.....that is the point.

I've lived most of my life trying to do everything by my own strength and my own might, and I succeeded at times and definitely failed at times. I've often quit when things got too hard, but there's no quitting motherhood. God is showing me that this old way of living is not going to work anymore. I have to "put off the old ways" and put on the ways of Christ. Without Christ, I don't know how I can meet the demands of motherhood. I'm not one who is faithful about reading Scripture or quieting myself before the Lord in prayer...but I'm doing my best to invite God into my day, and asking Him to guide me and help me. This is just the beginning...for our relationship with God is limitless. Marriage and family life can truly be a path to salvation, if we serve our family as unto Christ, and die to ourselves. Lord have mercy on me and help me as I struggle on this new path of motherhood. May it be blessed, fruitful, and salvific!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Being sick= Time to blog

Unfortunately, I haven't blogged in almost two months. I rarely have time to sit down and put some thoughts together, and quite frankly, I don't have much to say that matters :) The family is doing well, though Maggie has been sick with a cold for a few days, and as of today, I am sick as well. I have a fever and flu-like symptoms, but I'm hoping it's not the flu, and that it will go away soon.

It's heartbreaking to see your little one suffer through an illness. I don't know how parents of chronically ill children do it! It must take such strength! Now that I am sick, I don't know what will happen tomorrow. The mom is never supposed to get sick....she is the one who has to take care of everyone else, right? I don't want Daniel to have to miss work, but with no family around, I don't know how I can take care of Maggie when I'm feeling weak and having chills. We'll see how it progresses.

Motherhood is going well, though. Maggie and I spend lots of time with our good friends Emily and her daughter Hazel. We get together almost every day to go on walks in the CA sunshine! This definitely helps the mood and is slowly working off those pregnancy pounds. Their friendship has been such a blessing...I don't know what we'd do without it. I would be pretty lonely, that's for sure! Sharing motherhood with a good friend is priceless! I wish I could be in Portland, as so many beloved friends are having babies, but this is where God has us, and I have to make the most of it. I think God knew we needed a friend like Emily to get us through some of the challenges of living away from family and friends, and of new parenthood.

Maggie is getting so big! She is holding her head up more and more, smiling lots, and loves to read books with me. I can tell she's a thinker, like her papa. She brings such joy to our lives!

Anyway...I'd love to hear some advice from you moms out there about what you do when you're sick!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Catching my breath

As my sweet baby snores in the sling, I thought I'd take a moment to write a post (as long as she lets me :) It's been 2 weeks now since M. came into the world and joined our family. I know babies grow exponentially in the first two years, even the first 3 months, and I have to say, there is a lot of growth taking place for Daniel and I as well. The first week, we were blessed to have Daniel's mom here to help out with everything around the house, and to offer an extra pair of loving arms for M. to snuggle into. I was exhausted from almost 3 consecutive nights in the hospital without sleep, so it took a good part of the first week to 'catch up', as much as I could with a newborn, that is. Daniel went back to work this past week, and I was on my own. The first day was rough. M. never wanted to be put down, I was starving, and any time she cried, I felt like a failure. I know this is not the appropriate response to a baby's cries, but I think a touch of the "baby blues" was affecting me, and I took it personally. I honestly started to wonder if I was "cut out" for this whole mother role. I know I've never wanted anything else than to be a wife and mother, but the reality of motherhood's demands with a newborn hit me hard.

A baby turns your life upside-down. Day and night have no meaning anymore, they all run together. Your time is no longer your own, it must be focused on the needs of the child, and let's not forget there is a marriage to nurture as well. Daniel has been an AMAZING father and I couldn't imagine a better partner to be a parent with. He holds her whenever he is home (unless she needs to be fed), which is a nice break for me and my back.

Selfishness has no room to thrive when you're a mom. Sure, you can have selfish thoughts, but the freedom to indulge them is just not there like it used to be. I'm realizing more and more just how selfish I am, and how easily I want to give up when things are hard. Well, God has given me the biggest (and greatest) challenge of my life, one that can NEVER be "quit". There is so much to learn, and so much I know God will teach me through motherhood. It truly is a path to holiness, if one seeks God first in everything (which I am FAR from doing, Lord help me!).

I'm thankful to say that I'm starting to understand M's needs more, which makes things a bit easier. I know she only likes the sling or the Moby wrap when she is ready to nap. She basically only cries when she is really tired, other than her 'fussy hour" around bedtime. She takes FOREVER to nurse, and I just have to accept this fact and enjoy a book or a movie during feedings :) She hates the swing, but we'll keep trying... If I want to shower, I just have to accept the fact that she will cry while I do so. Housework will have to wait til dad gets home, and then I run around like crazy getting stuff done (it's actually been more productive for me to have a newborn, because I see "free time" as time to work around the house).

All in all, we're figuring each other out. SHe is a wonderful baby, and I love her with all my heart. I'm trying to cherish this early stage, despite the challenges.

ok--baby is now wailing..... time to feed!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

More to come

Just wanted to write a quick post to say (if you haven't heard), that our baby girl was born on January 10th. Her name is Magdalena, and she weighed 8 lbs. 15.5 oz, and was 22 inches long. We are all doing well, thank God, and have been enjoying the help and company of Daniel's mom for this whole week. I plan on posting our "birth story" soon, but have not had a chance to sit down and put my thoughts together. I am pretty sleep-deprived at this point, and have not gotten into the habit of napping during the day like I know I should be. I would love to hear pointers from you moms out there on ways you coped with the lack of sleep. Also, if any of you had babies that didn't like sleeping without being held, how did you deal with that?

Being a mom is wonderful, though I know it will be the greatest challenge and blessing of my life. At this point, I'm trying to fight the temptation to get discouraged, compare myself to others, and wondering if I'm doing things the "wrong way" all the time. Oh well, we live and learn one day at a time.

That's all for now....I will write more about the baby soon, I promise :) THanks so much for all of your prayers and encouragement for our family!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Contentment in 2009

The year has had an emotional beginning....but not for the reasons one would expect. Instead of ringing in the New Year with my baby in my arms, I woke up on new year's day with tears of frustration and disappointment. I'm not blogging today to "vent", but in hopes of refocusing. I'm tired of being frustrated, angry, disappointed, and dejected about still being pregnant. Last night, as Daniel and I were driving home from a visit to his Grandma's, I decided that if I don't seek contentment and peace, I am heading for even more disappointment. I have to accept the fact that I have NO control over my baby's arrival, and no control over the fact that so much family has come to see us without getting a chance to see the baby. This has been the hardest reality for me...knowing our closest relatives and loved ones can't just "hop over" and see the baby whenever it's convenient. Instead, much of our family had made arrangements to be around when we "thought" I'd be due, only to have to head home in disappointment since the baby is still not here. I know it's "okay" and I shouldn't feel bad, but I naturally do. I want to share this joyous time with as much family as possible, and each day that she doesn't come, that dream fades more and more.

Back to the point of this blog....contentment. I realized last night that throughout my adolescent and adult life, I have struggled with being content. I've always held the carrot of the future out in front of me to get me through the current situation i was in. I think about what "could be", to escape from the reality of what "is." Even when there is so much good in my life, I somehow manage to always think about how it could be even better. This is sinful and selfish of me, and it really has to be addressed.

My wonderful big sister, Carrie, had a chance to visit me briefly this past week (which was amazing!) and she said something to me that really struck me....As she knows I have struggled with accepting the fact that I live so far away from family, she reminded me that Santa Rosa will be the only "home" Maggie will know, and I will have to do my best to make it MY home too, for her sake. No more fantasizing about life in Portland, and what it would be like to live closer to family.... because now Daniel and I have a family, and we need to make the most of our life here in California. I make very few resolutions for 2009, because I think this is going to be the greatest challenge of the year; a challenge that will take ALL of my focuse, energy, and strength.

By God's grace, I awoke this morning (early even) with no tears, but with a sense of serenity and peace; two things I have not felt in awhile. The sound of rain and the soft breathing of my husband next to me was so comforting. Immediately, I started thinking about all the things I want to do today, and realized I won't be able to do any of them for awhile after baby comes. This realization made me thankful for the day, and not to think of it as "just another day that I have failed to have my baby."

So, for today, I am still pregnant.....and that's okay. I hope to spend the day rediscovering my non-maternity clothes, sewing napkins, watching movies (maybe even GOING to a movie), reading, doing some last-minute shopping, etc. As Napoleon Dynamite says so eloquently, I think today I'll do "WHATEVER I FEEL LIKE DOING......GOSH!!!"

And I'll end with that.... HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!