Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

This just might be my favorite song of all time. It's definitely my favorite hymn right now. It's a modern hymn with beautiful and true lyrics. Enjoy! Christ is risen!




In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace, 

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all-
Here in the love of Christ I stand.


In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on tat cross as Jesus dies,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev'ry sin on Him was laid-
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;

Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine-
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death-
this is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck my from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home-
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

"In Christ Alone"
Words & Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Break

So, I thought I'd really "catch up" on blogging over spring break. I guess that hasn't happened. I had lots of goals over spring break, including...

1. Clean the house.
2. REALLY clean the house.
3. Make a Mixbook photo book of 2012 (we make a book for every calendar year).
4. Catch up on laundry.

5. Hang out with friends.
6. Spend precious time with the buddy.
7. Write several good blog posts.


So, umm.... #1 has happened.  And compared to "normal" time, #5 and #6 has happened too. I did #4, but now I'm behind on it again. And the rest... not even close. :/ I actually started break with a sore and stiff neck that wouldn't turn to the left, then ended up with a bad cold and sore throat. And so my productivity has been way down. Also, apparently the buddy has decided he doesn't like his afternoon nap and I've spent 1-2 hours most days of my break trying to help him get to sleep. This is VERY strange for him, so I'm unsure what to do about this, except to determine that he should stay up significantly longer between his morning and afternoon nap for awhile.

Also, I thought it was interesting that I found this article right after my SAD post. And it's so true. I 100% need to cook and eat healthier. I'll start that just as soon as I finish the rest of the things on my list. ;-) 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Let's Talk SAD...

You know, Seasonal Affective Disorder. Anyone else stuck with the winter blues??

I'll be honest. Life is good. We are blessed. The buddy is healthy and amazing! But, there are days I just want to come home, cry and go to bed. And I blame SAD (that and an overall lack of sleep).

I have never officially been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder. But, I do hate the cold and LOVE LOVE the sun! And even though I like to think I'm the type of person to avoid "drama," I can fall victim to depression and anxiety. And I do NOT think it's just me!

The winter can be difficult! Back in the fall when I started back to work, N always took his third nap as soon as I got home. This gave me about 1-1.5 hours to get the house cleaned up and dinner started. Then after he woke up and I fed him we would go for a walk. So, by the time he went to bed, the house looked decent, I got gotten outside AND some exercise and we were well fed.

Not so much anymore. I am extraordinarily grateful for my schedule. It means that the majority of the time I'm at work he's sleeping. So, I don't feel like I'm missing TOO much time with him and I get to start and end my day playing with and taking care of this sweet boy. But, it's also exhausting! But now, even though he goes to bed between 6:30 and 7pm, I look around and get overwhelmed. It's hard to even start the laundry, clean-up or (often times) dinner for me and Dave. :/ I'm already tired and feel like my "home duties" have to begin then! I don't know HOW you working moms with more than one kiddo do it! And single moms!? You're my heros!

Anyway, all that to say, I'm tired. And I want to be outside and in the sun. But, it's cold and perpetually cloudy. My spring break started this afternoon and I was hoping it would be full of trips to the park and the zoo, but with temperatures in the 40s that doesn't sound so fun.

So anyway, this post has no cuteness and no SAD advice included. I'm just being open and finally admitting that I'm struggling with it. Praise God spring should be right around the corner, but this lady would NOT be disappointed if it shocked us all and came early! I desperately need some sun and some Vitamin-D! Whew.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pictures are for sharing!

Here are just a few favorites from the buddy's 9-month photo shoot! Oh goodness... the many faces (both good and bad) of our boy! hehe :-) I do blame teething and the cold weather for some of these hilarious faces we got out of him! I promise he's a sweet little boy, even if some of these photos would indicate otherwise... hehe :)
Although I already feel like these pictures are "outdated" because there are two more teeth in that smile! 
























Also, isn't our photographer amazing!? You know you want to hire her! :-)

Monday, March 18, 2013

10 Months

Here we are at 10 months! Well, that was actually the 13th. :-) When we look back at pictures and video of him as a baby, or even at 5/6 months we are overwhelmed with how much he has changed!! We only got one "decent" 10 month picture and the rest look horrible. He's just so active!! See below. ;-)

Weight & Length:

I don't know his current weight or length, but at 9.5 months he was 16 lbs 9 oz. An impressive weight gain. :)

Sleeping: He's still sleeping through the night and recently has started "sleeping in" until 6:30! (ha) Since DST we've gotten two mornings of 7am which have been glorious. :-) He still has 2 naps a day, an occasional 3rd nap if necessary. He's always in bed by 6:30/7pm. Tonight it was 6pm because he was clearly over-tired.

This is what most of the pictures look like
Eating: We went from refusing to take a bottle due to teething to what would appear to be a growth spurt! And I'm NOT complaining about it! I am always glad when he eats more. :-)
7am Breakfast -He has a bottle, then fruit, yogurt & oatmeal We've been trying lots of fruits, which has been fun!
At 8-8:30am he gets his vitamins- which is butter and Cod Liver Oil (oh yeah!).
11:15 Lunch - He has a bottle and also breastmilk in a sippy cut. His solids are usually leftovers from dinner. And cheese. :)
3:00pm- Another bottle as a "snack"
5pm- Dinner! He gets milk or broth in a sippy cup along with his solid food. He really, really likes the Earth's Best meat combo dinners, but his favorite is REAL finger foods! Sadly (for us), our diet is not as healthy as his, so it's not as often as I'd like that I can just give him what we're having. He just loves pieces of chicken, cooked veggies, ground beef, etc. Unfortunately I forgot to save him some ground beef before adding the taco seasoning last night. I'm not so sure he's ready for chili powder and cumin quite yet. :)

Diapers: 
Still in cloth diapers and disposable size 3.

Clothing:
He's mostly wearing 9 month and 12 month clothes. Maybe because he's taller than he is big, his footie pajamas have to be size 12 months.

Personality: 
The buddy is still happy! But, he's also getting a stubborn streak! He's still loud and fun and makes us smile all the time. His personality is getting more and more fun as he grows up and is able to communicate more with us. The cutest thing is that he has learned how to say "uh oh" in context! Whenever he drops a toy from his playpen or even his spoon from his high chair he says "uh oh." It's funny because I didn't know we said that enough to make it his first official word! I guess all the "ma-ma" and "da-da" we've been saying are not as interesting to him. :)

A-ha! The closest we got to success!

Milestones & Firsts:
- He started clapping! (2/15)
-Started making the "w" sound (2/16)
-Says "da-da" ALL the time, but not to Dave in context yet. :)
-Started loving finger food, especially chicken and cheese
-Took his first steps! (2/28)
-Got his 3rd and 4th teeth
-Can stand alone for minutes at a time
-Takes as many as 8-10 steps!
-First word- "uh-oh"
-He decided he likes his milk cold instead of warm (PRAISE THE LORD! This is a HUGE time saver... no more bottle warmer.. wahoo!) 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Created for Care

This past weekend I went to the "Created for Care" retreat for adoptive moms in the Atlanta area.
It's hard to even write about my experience there because there was a lot of "stuff" in less than 48 hours. I'm still trying to process it all. I wrote about some of the reasons why I was planning to attend and I have to say I didn't get my expectations met in those areas.

1. Did I connect with other adoptive moms? YES! And it was amazing! But, for some reason I guess I thought I would meet someone in the EXACT same spot that we are in (infertility, wondering when/how to adopt again, etc.). Well, that was a silly expectation. I didn't leave with a new BFF (ha), but I met some amazing women and, wow! I just loved hearing everyone's stories! I do hope to stay connected with the women that I met. They are all so amazing!

2. Did I get an idea of how/when/from where we should adopt in the future? Not really. We are very much in a state of "flux" right now. We are wondering where (literally) God wants us and how He wants us to serve, whether that means right where we are or maybe even somewhere else. It's not like there is a specific opportunity for us to move elsewhere, but we don't feel 100% settled either. So, until this other part of our life feels settled I don't think we'll be led to pursue adopting again either. So... we wait. :) And pray. There were no big glorious signs that we should pursue adoption at a particular time or a particular place.

Just a few things that stick out to me about the weekend for now that I need to ponder and think/pray about more.

-Truly understanding that God is not only the provider of all we need, but also all that our son needs. This obviously doesn't mean that we should neglect him. but, it DOES mean that I should probably stop worrying so much.

-LOVE and connection are the guiding forces in my relationship with God, Dave and the buddy. I obviously already knew this in my head, but how does this look in daily practical life? As the buddy grows, how can I truly listen to him to hear his heart?

-God's love knows no borders. Children in all corners of the world need homes. I need to continue to pray about what part I play in this.

-God SEES me and he sees all of us, no matter where we are on our journey. No matter how hard life is at the time, He is there with us.

- I gained an even bigger admiration for moms of special needs children. And those who have adopted older children. And who have 10+ children. And a combination of all three of those things! Whew!

There's so much more and I'm just scratching the surface. I'm so glad I went and I'm sure I 
will sign up again for next year. It may not have been exactly what I was expecting, but it was was I needed. 

The retreat also sparked an interest in me to read the books below:

The Connected Child
Parenting is Your Highest Calling: And Eight Other Myths that Trap us in Worry & Guilt
Family Feasts for $75/week (The author of this book has 10 kids, so I'm intrigued.)


And a few new blogs I want to follow:
Hope at Home
OwlHaven (Blog of the mom of 10 from above)
Carissa Woodwyk (She is an adult adoptee from South Korea and a beautiful writer and speaker.)

(While I was gone, our kitchen remodeling FINALLY got finished after we started the project in October! I can't wait to share the pictures! Yay!)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Created 4 Care

So... on Friday I leave for a conference! My first non-Spanish-teacher conference. :-) It's a conference specifically for adoptive  moms! That's ME! :-) It's meant to be a weekend of encouragement, rest and restoration, a way to encourage adoptive mommas and create community among us.

I'm SO excited! I will admit that I often feel isolated as a transracially adoptive family. There is only one other family that "looks" like us at our church and we do kind of stand out in the grocery store and just about anywhere we go. I'm THRILLED this is how God has built our family, but I do sometimes feel like we don't exactly "fit-in." So, it will be so good to be surrounded by other moms who know what this is like and who I can connect with and share stories with. I DO follow A LOT of blogs, but in-person will be so great! I also want to devote more time to pray about how God wants to build our family in the future and I think this conference will be a good jumping-off point.


A week from now I will have gone and returned. I can't wait to share what I've learned and how I've been challenged. And I can't wait to meet more moms like ME! (Is this too selfish?)

I'm going to miss my guys at home so much though! For a whole weekend! But, I will also admit that I'm looking forward to sleeping in a bit. Even if that "sleeping in" means 7am. It will be amazingly glorious. :-)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Question

When a baby just takes about 2 steps then falls into your lap, is it still considered their first steps? ;-)