Thursday, January 31, 2013

1 Month "Check-up"

So, how am I doing on my "mindfulness" goal?]


Life is busy, the buddy is pulling himself to standing in his crib at night and hasn't yet figured out how to get back down (read: we are woken up numerous times a night to a screaming baby who not only need help lying down but also settling down afterward) and the buddy and I both have a cold. Being mindful is hard when you're totally exhausted! 

But, I press on. I am grateful for our many blessing and want to focus on enjoying the NOW rather than wishing past it (ie: the cold, the exhausting phase, etc). This task is far too big for me I believe, but the closer I get the better. 

Here's a verse I'd like to meditate on in February and not only believe it, but learn to live it. I haven't seen this translation before, but I like the phrasing in the New American Standard Version.

"But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment." 1 Timothy 6:6

Yep. Who cares how many godly things you do when you aren't content are instead are constantly running on the hamster wheel of business and don't stop by enjoy the moments!? Hoe I got addicted to being busy I don't know, but I am and I am also glad for this verse to meditate on in the coming weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.

In other news, here are cute pictures. Most of them are kind of blurry because it is now impossible for the buddy to be still for a photo. :)

Ha! Going for the good stuff!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why I'm (attempting to) avoid facebook

A couple of weeks ago my status update was that I will be trying to avoid facebook temporarily and will be posting photos and news about us to our blog instead of to fb. While I haven't been updating my facebook page, I HAVE still checked it. Which is stupid. Because checking facebook is why I wanted to avoid it in the first place!!

In case you're dying to know, here are a few reasons why I've decided to avoid facebook, at least more than I used to. I know you can unsubscribe from peoples' newsfeeds, but it has gotten to the point that I hardly know what's going on with anyone anymore because I have had to block so many people (mostly about the political stuff sadly enough).

1. Over-sharing drives me crazy.
Whether it on the bragging or the complaining end it just gets old to me. Of course it's the same people that brag or complain about the same things all the time. I'm torn on this because I 100% understand that vulnerability and openness are important. But, some things may just be too much. Sure, sometimes I'm jealous of people who are always talking about how great their lives are, but it's also annoying.The complaining bothers me because it's certainly not people with cancer (or other life tragedies) complaining on facebook, it's people complaining about their hair or the weather. So, sometimes it just gets tiring to hear the little annoyances of people's lives.

2. Ultrasound & Bare-belly Pregnancy photos
I understand why people post these things. I really do. I'll admit that part of the reason I don't love seeing these photos on facebook is jealousy and the fact that they bring back infertility pain. Of course I wish I could have a baby growing inside me and the ability to take a photo and share it with the world. 

BUT, even more than that, sometimes it's these things that remind me that the lines between public and private are too blurred these days. I totally understand why these photos are exciting and wonderful! And when close friends and family are pregnant I want to see these photos. But, not from every acquaintance I have on facebook. If you are reading this and you've posted these, I don't say this to make you feel bad. Just to explain my point of view. Again, I really don't mind this stuff in real life or even on people's blogs. But, I was surprised by a first-trimester ultrasound photo at least every-other-day recently by people announcing their pregnancies and it got to the point where it just hurts too much. :/

3. Hateful Political Postings
I think this is the worst and is the biggest reason I'm trying to avoid facebook. It's shocking to me how much hate people have for each other just because they have different political views. Yikes! It makes me sad, but it also makes me angry. I just want to shout that no one has EVER come to another point of view by being belittled or ridiculed. I think reading these posts on fb is what has convinced me I cannot associate with one party over another until there's a whole lot more love and compromise and a whole lot less name-calling.

4. Come on people!? Stop ruining my shows! ;-)

We don't have cable. We DO have a tv antennae, but I do not want to spend my Sunday evenings watching Downton Abbey when it's one of the only evenings Dave and I have together (and not surprisingly he's not a fan)! So, I postpone it and watch it on Wednesday nights when he has choir practice. But, this week's episode was totally ruined by all the facebook status updates about the show. Tear. :'(

That's not really a huge reason, but I was reminded of it tonight, when the HUGE shock of Downton Abbey was not at all a shock. Sigh. :-)

So, there you have it. And really, facebook is a time-waster for me. It DOES let me see cute pictures of people, their families and their activities. And sometimes people write funny or very interesting things too. And actually, I LOVE it when people share interesting articles! But, mostly I find myself on there when I should be doing something else. And in all honesty I'm MUCH more into people's stories rather than short snippets of their lives. Which is why I prefer to follow blogs.

Anyway, I won't disappear on facebook. But that doesn't make me any less annoyed with it either. hehe :-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

40th Anniversary of Roe V. Wade

I don't like to bring up controversial topics on here, but here I go again I guess!

If there is one issue that I've always been passionate about, it's abortion. I know this is because of my deep belief that just because an unborn baby is a life from the get-go. I know many people disagree with me, and oh my! is it an issue that is so controversial and emotional on both sides!! But, I just want to share my heart on the issue. Below is what I posted to facebook today:

"On the 40th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision I am full of gratitude that the buddys birthmother chose LIFE for him! If you disagree with this legal decision, and well, even if you don't, :) I encourage you to help foster a society and culture that makes adoption a viable and realistic option full of hope, and not "giving up" your baby! Adoption is a gift that takes two tragedies (infertility & unplanned pregnancy) and turns it into a miracle! There is SO much support both for birthmothers and mothers that choose to carry their pregnancy to term and parent out there if we just get the word out there! Let's make that the priority!"
Long before infertility I decided that if I felt so strongly against abortion then I should do something about it so I started volunteering at a Crisis Pregnancy Center. The center I volunteered at offered free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and counseling (including post-abortion counseling). I ended up working as a "Bridge" counselor. The "Bridge" program was for women who decided to carry their pregnancies to term, whether they chose to parent or place their child for adoption. There were free pregnancy, birthing, parenting, safety, and cooking classes offered to these women, as well as emotional support through counseling, both professional and that offered by volunteers like me. The women would receive points for this as well as other things, like good grades on report cards, paychecks and confirmations from doctor's appointments. These points could then be traded in for both new and used items such as maternity clothes, baby supplies, clothes, diapers, wipes, blankets, etc. It was such an amazing ministry to be a part of!

On this side of infertility, some of those memories sting a bit. I wish I could even have the chance to be in need of a free ultrasound or even HAVE a prenatal doctor's visit! But, that's not the point of this post. The point is to say that those that find themselves in unplanned pregnancies far outweigh the number of people going through infertility and their pain is just as great. It's an ironic truth, but it's a lonely road imagining parenting alone or with an unsupportive (or even abusive) partner. And I strongly believe that if Christians want to make a difference in lowering the number of abortions it should be on the front lines with women in crisis mode and not just legislatively. Stark opposition to any idea isn't the way to win people over. It's LOVE!
I wish we lived in a society were adoption was less of a "taboo" subject and where it was considered more of an honorable option! And that there was more support for women that choose adoption plans for their babies! In the two years I volunteered at the clinic there was not ONE woman that I worked with that chose adoption. The women I worked with chose to parent their babies and I 100% support their decisions! They were strong, amazing and admirable women! But, that doesn't mean it's the best decision for every woman that finds herself in that situation and I wish we looked more on adoption as a glorious and miraculous option. I can only imagine how it would seem that abortion would make the issue/problem "go away," but I also can't begin to describe how much would be missing from our lives if the buddy's birthmother had chosen life for him! I know he is going to make a positive impact in the world. He already has in our lives and I'm so glad he is alive and well to make his mark on the world! Praise God!

This entire post may have just been rambling. I didn't put together my thoughts very coherently, but I hope that no matter your opinions in reading this that you know that these words are typed with compassion, hope and mercy. I hope we can show that to every person we encounter as it's truly the way that Jesus lived and calls us to as well!

Peace to you on this somber evening.

After writing this I realized I wanted to add a few things.

1. If you have experienced child/baby loss through miscarriage, stillbirth, child death or abortion my heart goes out to you.

2. Just in case this post has made you think that adoptive parents are just greedy and want to get their hands on "anyone's baby" please think again. It is well known through the domestic adoption world that the time in the hospital is the most gut-wrenching experience for adoptive parents. As excited as we were about bringing our baby home, I couldn't truly be happy as my heart broke for his birthmother. She made the choice she thought was best for him, but it doesn't mean it wasn't SO very hard for her and that she grieved the loss of raising the baby she had just given birth to. And for that reason what I thought would be the happiest day was full of mixed emotions as my heart broke for her as well. Complicated stuff.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eight Months!

These photos make it look MUCH easier than it was!
It took both of us to get him to sit still for just ONE second!
The buddy turned eight months old on Sunday! He's been a busy boy!

I'm obviously late in posting this. Dave was out of town the first week of January for his doctoral program. Part of that time the buddy had a cold and I actually had to miss a couple days of school because not only was Dave out of town, BUT my mom was also sick! What are the odds? ;-)

Then, poor Dave got a nasty cold the day he returned home. :/ He's still as helpful as can be, but I've been trying to let him rest and sleep as much as possible. But, of course he's still working and BUSY as ever! How can we simultaneously look forward to summer when we both have much more time off and dread it because our little guys will be over a YEAR old then!? AH!!

Weight & Length: We actually have no idea. I guess I should try the "stand on the scale both WITH and WITHOUT him and see what the bathroom scale says tomorrow when I drop him off at my parents' house. (Our scale is not digital).
We lowered the mattress for this active guy!

Sleeping: This has been the worst month of sleeping yet! Not sure what all the cause is, but we're in the middle of the 3-2 nap transition right now and it's kind of tricky. About a month ago he actually started waking up in the middle of the night and playing in his crib for over an hour before falling back asleep! This isn't a tragedy, but it WAS exhausting for us since there's no sleeping with a squealing baby right across the hall. :-)

After lots of experimentation we realized he likely didn't need the third nap anymore since his first 2 naps were usually 2-2.5 hours a day, so we've tried cutting out the third nap. This also means that he generally goes to bed at 6/6:30pm and is up at 6/6:30am. Which isn't ideal for several reasons (since we both work we both have to be up and ready before the buddy gets up for the day and then I drop him off elsewhere 3 days a week around 9am, and there's no way he can stay up that long without a nap), BUT it's better than being awake for an hour in the middle of the night. :) I'm pretty sure that this whole "baby" thing means that as soon as you figure something out they go and change on you. ;-)
Seriously. Could a face get any cuter!?

Eating: He's been eating like a champ the past couple of weeks! It's fun to see him try lots of new foods. I'm sure a lot of other babies his age eat more than he does, but I was SUPER impressed when he almost completely finished a 4 oz jar of baby food the other night! Surprisingly enough it was a sweet potato, chicken and apricot mix. We're trying to get him to eat more protein/meat, so I was pleased. :-)

We're still on a (mostly) 4-hr. schedule. Although it looks different from last month since he's waking up so early!

6:30am- Wake up and play in his crib until his "Designated Wake Time"
7-7:30am- Wake up & Eat (He's been having an entire EIGHT ounce bottle at this time and eating fruits and yogurt really well here.)
8:45/9am- Nap

11:30 (or so)- Wake up & Eat (This bottle is also 5-8 oz! Woo! Then he has some veggies with fruit and/or meat.)
1-1:30pn- Nap

3-4pm or so - Dinner! (Another big bottle & some meat & veggies)

He sometimes has a short (15-30 min) nap and extra bottle in the evening, but the past week or so he's been getting ready for bed between 5:45 and 6pm and out like a light by 6:30/6:45. His bedtime bottle is about 5-8 oz.)

When he was teething he had around 20 oz of breastmilk/formula a day, but he's closer to 30 right now! It might be a growth spurt, but we'll go with it. :-) I can't wait to see how much he weighs!
"Awww... you're sweet. I do believe I AM adorable!"

Diapers: We still do Cloth Diapers for the most part. Except when our washer broke and it took a few weeks to (successfully) get a new one. I think he's pretty near the end of Size 2 disposables and into Size 3!

Clothing:! This kid got the CUTEST clothes for Christmas!! I LOVE it! He's wearing mostly 6-9 month and 9 month clothes. AND some 6-12 month stuff.

Personality: I will continue to say it, but the buddy is LOUD! It seems like he's always either squealing with delight or screaming in tears. There's no doubt about how he's feeling. :) He's laughing more and more, which is so fun to see! He also definitely recognizes us and other familiar faces. It's so fun to see him break out into such a huge smile when we get home from work, or even come see him from another room. He's absolutely precious! :-)

He's also as active as can be. I think I took about 50 pictures trying to get him to pose for his 8 month picture. He is on the MOVE and won't sit still for a minute, unless he's completely engaged in his toys. I will say that when playing on his own he looks like a little mechanic, intently focused on whatever he's "working" on. 

Milestones & Firsts:

Now THIS captures his personality. :)
-Right after turning 7 months he started getting on all 4's and rocking.
-Started making very pronounced and clear "b" sounds and saying "ba, ba, ba"
-He met his birthfather for the first time (and so did we!)
-First Christmas! SOO much fun for this (spoiled) little guy.
-Started sticking out his tongue
-He started shaking his head like he's dancing to the music.
-He gives huge open mouth kisses when one of us puckers up to get a kiss!
-He started crawling! I'm sure you already saw the video. ;-)
-He started making the "m" sound and it sounds like he's saying "mom." Of course he doesn't say it in relation to me or anything. He can just say the sound now.
-He LOVES walking through the house with his push-walkers. He just needs to be supervised very closely because he still doesn't know that if he lets go he will tumble to the ground. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beautiful Music Video

So, I found this video through another blogger and wow! What a beautiful song and what beautiful lyrics, no matter where you are in life, whether a season of blessing or of trial. I hope this song touches you like it did me. :-)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Just a short video post :-)

Today the buddy turned 8 months old! I don't have time to post the monthly update today, but I wanted to share this super cute video of him in his new favorite toy running in circles. :-) 

Can you tell I finally figured out how to upload videos to YouTube from our video camera? I have to say, it wasn't easy and I'm NOT stupid, I promise! :-) I don't know whether it's our software or our camera, but it was a frustrating process. BUT, I'm glad to say that I'll likely be posting many more videos since I've now figured it out. :-)

And why not? Here's another one from about a month ago, when he really discovered his voice. :-)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

THIS happened today!

The buddy has been trying so hard to crawl for about a month now and he succeeded TODAY! I have a feeling we're going to regret working so much with him to get him to crawl since we're going to spend all of our time chasing him around now. I think I'm about to be burning calories a lot faster. ;-) Especially now that he's down to 2 instead of 3 naps a day. These evenings are going to get CRAZY! :-)

The buddy is going to be ElGHT months old tomorrow! AH! Time is passing too quickly and he's growing so fast!! Did you know he started rolling over at 11 days old? Anyway, here's a video of him at 2 weeks doing just that. :-) I can't believe he was ever this little! I just want to freeze time and remember every stage so very clearly. Thank goodness for digital camera

Please try to disregard the annoying woman's voice (umm... mine) in each of these videos! And why we thought that playing loud salsa music for our newborn was such a good idea I don't remember. hehe...

And welcome if you're joining us from facebook and want to stay in contact. I may write more about why I've decided to take a step back from fb in the future, but for now you just get these adorable videos. :-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Resolution for 2013: Mindfulness

I like starting over. Wiping the slate clean and starting from scratch. Especially when life gets particularly messy. I think that's one reason I enjoy teaching. Every year I get a "do-over" where I get to start again from the beginning.

So, here's to a New Year! Although I have to say that I don't want to start this one from scratch. For me, 2012 began with heartache yet brought more joy than we ever would have anticipated! So, I don't want to start over with anything except for my attitude. And this year I hope to be more mindful in the present moment and appreciate exactly where we are.

If you know me, you know this is a pretty impossible task. :-) I'm always planning for the future, wondering what the next step is, and this year I'm going to try my best to keep my mind and heart present in the moment. Whew! It will be quite a challenge, but I know this will keep my heart focused on where God wants me each day instead of wondering where He wants to lead me next.

I recently read this prayer from St. Teresa of Avila and wanted to pass it along. It will be my prayer for 2013 no matter what happens in the new year. I hope it encourages you as it has me.

"Let nothing trouble you,
let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices."

Also, on a related note, if you are going through infertility and are feeling emotionally overwhelmed, discouraged, frustrated, etc. let me recommend a fantastic book to you. "Conquering Infertility" by Dr. Alice Domar was a HUGE help to me and I would say out of the many books about curing and dealing with infertility it was by far the most helpful as it addresses ways to cope with the many emotions of infertility.