Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Motherhood

It's 3:57 am...Curtis' phone goes off with a text message at 1:45 am and here I am...awake...I need my sleep...desperately.  I go through this often.  The smallest of sounds will wake me up and I am up for the rest of the night.  The checklist going on and on in my mind.  All the things I have to get done and without any sleep...and then I am completely overwhelmed. 

Motherhood...how it has drastically changed my life.  I no longer sleep through everything.  I can barely sleep through anything.  I am always exhausted...always.  Taking naps or having that rare morning when I get to sleep in no longer rejuvenates me, but leaves me more worn out and tired.  And when was the last time I sat down to a hot meal and ate without any interruptions?  At least not in the last 11 months. 

Now I have a little girl who is really showing some independence.  Yesterday was hard.  She was in a mood, I was in a mood, neither one of us was feeling good, we were both extremely tired from the very busy week and weekend we had, mommy had lots to do, Ava wanted to explore everything that she wasn't suppose to, Ava threw fits every time mommy took something away from her she shouldn't have, Ava would rear back every time mommy picked her up and would cry, leaving mommy feeling unloved, incapable, and lost.  And asking, God where are You? I need You, so bad right now!

But motherhood was never a promise to be easy.  In fact, even after teaching classrooms full of 7 and 8 year olds, I think being a mommy is even harder.  And while being a stay at home mom is such a blessing and I wish all who wanted to stay at home could, it is not easy (despite what others may say).  Sometimes I feel like maybe I wasn't made for this...what is the point?  Why am I here? 

Don't get me wrong.  I love being a mom!  I love Ava!  I am truly blessed by her life and the one that is on the way.  I find these children as gifts that God has blessed us with.  But am I doing it well?  Am I making God proud of the way I am raising and taking care of this little one? How am I going to do with 2 little ones under 14 months old?  Can I make it happen? 

I read tonight that motherhood is about nurturing, loving, protecting, instructing, creating a place at home that allows the children to grow and mature in their relationship with Christ and to help them grow a heart for God and teach them so they are able to one day leave my home and live their life with fullness and meaning.  It is so hard to do this and to feel like you are doing a good job with a 10 month (almost 11 month) old.  You basically do the same thing every day and hope that she is catching on to something.  But as long as I am doing this thing called motherhood with love, self-control, and not with selfishness, then I am honoring God. 

That's all I want...I want to honor God with what I do.  I want to honor God with the raising of these children...after all, they are ultimately His.  He has just given them to me for this time here on earth to do all those things mentioned previously. 

So, if you are on the motherhood journey and are feeling purposeless, lost, frustrated, afraid, etc., remember to just love and nurture those kiddos.  Protect them and cultivate in them a heart for God and God will pour down His blessings upon you and remind you how great your job as a mom is. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

22 Weeks

22 weeks!
How far along? 22 weeks and 0 days.  My doctor said I am measuring a little ahead of where I am.  Woo Hoo!

How far to go?
Due Date: February 24, 2014 ( will C-section a week earlier) In fact, Kathy, my mid wife is looking into scheduling that right now with Dr. Wicker.  Yay!
 
Baby? About the size of a papaya (10.5 inches and 12.7 oz.)  She looks more like a newborn but is a really thin newborn.  Sally should have more of a sleep cycle now- 12-14 hours. 
 
Maternity Clothes:  maternity pants and maternity shirts, leggings and regular shirts.     I need to go get a few things. 
 
Stretch Marks:  Oh goodness!  I sure hope not!

Pregnancy Symptoms: I can feel my pulse all over the place, achiness in my lower abdomen, backache, bigger appetite, breathlessness, big belly, hot flashes, little indigestion, COMPLETE EXHAUSTION, weight gain (depressing)

Sleeping:  I am sleeping with the Boppy pillow to my right and a smaller pillow to my left. 
I only sleep with one blanket and sometimes I don't even use that.  I get so hot at night. I like to sleep in tank tops. This week I have had a few nights where I got the urge to "nest" and woke up in the middle of the night and got to work. 

Best feeling this week: Oh that heartbeat at 146 beats per minute and hearing her kick on the doppler.  Also hearing im measuring a bit bigger than I am and we are looking into scheduling my C-section!!!!
 
Movement: Yes, the past couple days this girl has been a wild thing. There were a couple days that I was worried because I hadn't felt her at all.  I asked Kathy about that and she said that was normal.  At about 28 weeks you should feel at least 10 kicks in a 3 hour period during a 24 hour day. 
 
Cravings/Aversions:  mandarin oranges, pasta with alfredo sauce, PB&J sandwiches

Belly Button: In...but belly...sticking way out!
 
What I miss:   I feel completely lazy.  I have some energy but don't want to clean or organize anything this week!  
 
What am I looking forward to:   Besides meeting her, seeing how she and Ava will get along.  I hope that Curtis and I can teach them to love one another and that they will play well together.  Someone told me today to raise them almost like twins.  I can maybe do that!

Sneezy, sleepy baby

Miss Ava has learned how to pretend sneeze thanks to her grandma.  She is so cute, but almost gives herself whiplash when doing it.

However, this morning, she has had no need for fake sneezing because the real thing has been occurring often.  I think she may have some allergies.  She may also be teething.  She was gnawing on a toy at my parents like a dog and drooling everywhere.  She has had a runny nose.  No fever, which I am pleased to report.  She was super cuddly before her nap this morning and wanted one of my hands underneath her face as she laid on my chest.  She would hold on to it and get super snuggly. 

She is also trying to say "uh oh".  She just says "oooohhh" when something drops.  It's cute!  (Of course I pretty much think everything she does is cute.)

She likes to say "whas tha?" in a real quiet tone.  Oh guess what?  That is also cute! 

Last night, she woke up crying at about 11:30.  We listened to her for a while and then I could only take so much.  Curtis went and got her and brought her in the room.  We tried letting her sleep with us, but that is one crazy sleeper.  She was all over the place.  I got smacked in the face a few times, banged on the lips with her head a couple of times, legs sprawled across me and Curtis, arms flailing, and little noises galore.  Needless to say, about 1:30 she laid with Curtis in her chair for a few minutes and then he put her in her crib and she slept until 7ish.  She would have slept later, but I had to wake her up to feed her and get her ready for my doctor appointment.  I saw somewhere on Facebook say-"I don't mind losing sleep because of you."  Ava, that is so true.  That sweet face and warm body are so addictive and captivating! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Flashcards and a 10 month old

So, I got this bright idea that I needed to start working on numbers, colors and shapes with my 10 MONTH OLD!  I know...really?!?!  I just want to teach her so many things...I can't wait. 

So, we are working on colors and the circle shape and numbers 1-5.  Ava sits in her highchair and we go through our flashcards.  She seems to enjoy it.  I don't know what or if she is understanding any of it, but it is still cute and fun to see her smile at the pictures and giggle at mommy as I make the sounds and stuff. 

She also watched the Aristocats the other day and I kept saying "cat, cat, ccccat."  She is trying to say it.  It is pretty adorable.  She also will clap her hands sometimes and say "glab, glab, glab."

Still no "mama" or "dada" discriminately..waiting, waiting...oh so patiently waiting on that. 

She enjoys a song sung by Israel Houghton, called, I have a Friend in God.  She gets a smile to spread across her face when it comes on and she starts to clap.  So precious!

Forgiveness

Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for the do not know what they are doing."
Luke 23:34
 
Forgive them...this was Jesus Christ's request on the cross...I am left speechless. 
 
Jesus asked our Father, in heaven to forgive us-He desired, longed for our forgiveness, all while being mocked, beaten, scorned, discredited, persecuted...crucified on a cross.
 
I will never understand this.  I can't believe this.  I am overwhelmed by this.  Why, Jesus?  Why do You love us so much?
 
If Jesus can forgive me while being nailed to a cross, why do I have such a hard time forgiving others.  I have NEVER been put through what Jesus was put through.  I have never had to endure anything like that.  Yet, I cannot forgive others with the love of Christ. 
 
Jesus sets a good example.  He shows us that what seems impossible is possible.  Because I am pretty sure that I would have seen forgiving us as an impossible task if I were the one dying on the cross.  He shows us the richness of His mercy and grace, the capacity of His amazing love, that my King would die forgiving me. 

I love You, Jesus.
 


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wimpy Christian

"But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified and their shouts prevailed.  So Pilate decided to grant their demand.  He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, and surrendered Jesus to their will." Luke 23:23-25
 
 
I am a wimpy Christian.  I can't help but wonder if I would have surrendered myself to the crowd for fear of standing up for what is right.  I would like to tell myself that I wouldn't but I don't know.  I think about now and how I rarely stand up for what I believe for fear.  Fear of what others might think, what I might look like, losing friends, losing popularity, looking stupid and na├»ve.  It is so sad, but it is so true. 
 
 
I have heard sermons lately and read scripture lately that have discussed taking a stand and not being a wimp.  Then I look at Peter.  He loved Jesus.  He wanted Jesus to cleanse all of him, not just his feet.  He took an ear off a soldier who was arresting Jesus.  He truly loved Jesus, and yet, he denied Him three times.  After those denials, he felt horrible.  He wept.  He couldn't believe he could treat the Son of God that way.  Yet, there was still so much hope and so much courage built up for him.  He went on to be a courageous warrior in the fight for God's kingdom. 
 
This gives me hope.  I am not a natural born leader.  I am not a naturally fearless person.  But with God, His strength, His power, His love, His encouragement, and His guidance, I can be a courageous warrior like Peter in the fight for God's people and His kingdom.  I want to be that...Lord, help me to be that.
 
Dear God, I come before you today embarrassed of my timidity.  I am ashamed of how quiet I have been when it comes to standing up for You.  Lord, I want to be unashamed when I stand before You. I don't want You to look at me and ask me why I didn't take a stand.  Father, I know that taking a stand doesn't have to be something loud and forceful.  I know that You desire Your people to take a stand in a peaceful and loving way.  Father, give me your strength, encouragement, wisdom, guidance, courage, and love to shine like a star, to be light on a hill, and to not lose my saltiness.  Father, I love You and I want to please You, but I can't do this alone.  I need You.  Amen.

Monday, October 14, 2013

21 Weeks

21 weeks!
How far along? 21 weeks and 0 days

How far to go? 133 days to go
Due Date: February 24, 2014 ( will C-section a week earlier)
 
Baby? Butternut Squash 10.5 in. Sally probably weighs about 1 pound now.  Baby could  be described as the size of a small doll.  Sally should have eyebrows, eyelashes and maybe some hair on her head.  She can perceive light and dark. She can hear my voice and heart beat, my stomach noises. She is also having fun learning about her new experience of touch. 
 
Maternity Clothes:  maternity pants and maternity shirts, leggings and regular shirts.     I need to go get a few things. 
 
Stretch Marks:  not yet that I can see!

Pregnancy Symptoms: I can feel my pulse all over the place, achiness in my lower abdomen, backache, bigger appetite, breathlessness, big belly, hot flashes, little indigestion

Sleeping:  I am sleeping with the Boppy pillow to my right and a smaller pillow to my left. 
I only sleep with one blanket and sometimes I don't even use that.  I get so hot at night. I like to sleep in tank tops. This week I have had a few nights where I got the urge to "nest" and woke up in the middle of the night and got to work. 

Best feeling this week: Sally seemed more active and I could feel her more. 
 
Movement: Yes, Sally moves with light little kicks and stuff.  Sometimes they are hard to differentiate from other things going on in your body.  I think I have felt hiccups a couple of times, too. 
 
Cravings/Aversions: I really wanted the ready bake cookies, mandarin oranges, Froot Loops

Belly Button: In...but belly...sticking way out!
 
What I miss:   Honestly, margaritas and sushi  
 
What am I looking forward to:   Seeing what Sally looks like and what she and her sister have in common.  Will they have anything in common?  Will they look anything alike?  Will Sally resemble her mommy more than her daddy?  Who knows?!?!?!

Scary Scary Spider

Today, my niece Ashleigh, Ava and I went to the Spirit Halloween store to look at costumes for Miss Ava.  Poor thing had no idea what was in store.  Ashleigh was holding her and there was this huge (fake) spider that jumped out at her.  She was terrified.  She jumped and started crying pitifully.  Then all she wanted was mama.  She wouldn't let Ashleigh hold her from that moment on.  I felt so bad for her.  I couldn't snap a picture of the scary, scary spider and thought it would be cruel to torture her just for a photo op.  So, this is a picture less post.  From that moment on, Miss Ava was Miss Grumpy.  She wanted only mommy and she desperately needed some serious cuddling and nap time.  I hope when we walk around with the kids on Halloween she can handle all the spooky things.  She has me a little worried after the episode with the spider.  Poor little thing!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I have never met a Pumpkin I didn't like

 
Hodges Family Farm and Pumpkin Patch
 
 
Oh, what a fantastic day!  We got to visit a pumpkin patch with grandpa and grandma.  Grandpa took these amazing pictures!  We had so much fun!  We were quite pleased, not to mention, surprised at how cooperative our little pumpkin was. 
 Ava was so adorable (if I do say so myself) with the sunflowers.  We have a few pictures of her trying to eat those.  I don't have those or even half the pictures on here because my dad took like 156 pictures. Haha!  But we had to keep pushing them away from her mouth.  There are a couple where they tickled her and she looked like she was about to sneeze. 
 
 
 
 We couldn't believe how well she sat on top of this pumpkin unassisted.  She was having so much fun showing off for grandma and grandpa.  She was clapping and blowing kisses during these pictures. 
 
 We also got a few super cute pictures of the 3, I mean 4, of us. I keep forgetting I have my own little pumpkin growing inside me.  Although, how could I forget?  I look as big as a barn!  Anyway, Curtis and Ava look adorable.   
 
 
I feel incredibly blessed.  Blessed that we were able to do this today and that I  have a dad who takes such great pictures and parents who are so willing to go on little jaunts with us so we can capture the sweet moments and begin making memories!  I feel blessed that we had the means to be able to get ourselves to the pumpkin patch and pay for our pumpkins.  I know that sounds  silly but I forget the simple things so much that God and His kindness has blessed us with.  Most of all, I am blessed to have a healthy, happy family.  Thank you God for all the kindness You have showered on us. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

20 weeks HALF WAY THERE!

How far along? 20 weeks and 0 days ITS THE HALF WAY POINT!


How far to go? 20 weeks and 0 days

Due Date: February 24, 2014 ( will C-section a week earlier)

Size of baby? Mango (6.5 inches and .10 oz.) also could be about the length of an eggplant

Maternity Clothes: maternity pants and maternity shirts, leggings and regular shirts.

Stretch Marks: not yet that I can see!

Pregnancy Symptoms: I can feel my pulse all over the place, achiness in my lower abdomen, backache, bigger appetite, breathlessness, big belly, hot flashes, some dizziness, light headaches, pronounced veins, exhaustion

Sleeping: I am sleeping with the Boppy pillow to my right and a smaller pillow to my left.
I only sleep with one blanket and sometimes I don't even use that. I get so hot at night. I like to sleep in tank tops.

Best feeling this week: Being able to eat food and not pay for it later.

Movement: Yes, but Miss Sally moves few and far between.  It worries me sometimes because I start thinking something is wrong.  However, it is probably too early to be feeling her constantly. I will try and save my concerns for around 28 weeks where the kick counting needs to be starting ( I think).  But, in the meantime, I will just hope and pray that I will start feeling her more and more and the kicks I get won't be questionable. 

Cravings/Aversions: SWEETS!  Texas Roadhouse green beans, mashed potatotes and brown gravy.

Belly Button: In...but belly...sticking way out! Someone asked me today if I was expecting.  I told her I was.  She asked me how far along I was.  I told her 20 weeks and she said I was so small.  I love that girl!  Quite frankly, I think I look as big as a barn in the front and back. 

What I miss: I still miss My grandpa and I always will. I also miss being able to shove whatever I want in my mouth.  I miss sleeping on my belly. 

What am I looking forward to:   I am still trying to get a vision for Sally's room.  I have no idea what to do.  I am also anticipating meeting this sweet girl, of course.  The reality is setting in that there is another baby on the way.

I have had days recently where I am not sure I can handle 2 little ones.  Ava wears me out, but I am trying to chalk it up to being exhausted from the pregnancy.  I know God can give me the strength to do this!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Ava is 10 Months Old!!!!
 


I know you can do the math, but Ava will be a year old in 2 more months!  Where has the time gone?  You blink and so much about them changes....it's insane.

It's hard to believe another month has flown by.  A lot has happened this month.  We found out that Ava was going to be a Big Sis to another little girl that we are going to call Sally Jean.  We had to say goodbye to the best grandpa and great grandpa ever as he was welcomed into Jesus' arms.  Those two things have been a lot to take in during her 10th month. 

She did remarkably well as we traveled through the night to say goodbye to grandpa and even was in good spirits when we arrived at the hospital at about 3 am.  She didn't do as well the next two nights, however, because were were sleeping in the same room with her and we were so exhausted that we went to bed at the same time as she did.  Trying to put her in the pack n play and us get into our bed at the same time was not happening for her because she could see us.  So, for 2 nights, she ended up in our bed with us.  Needless to say, she was well rested, but we were NOT!  The last night we were in Ohio, Curtis put her to bed at her normal time and then left the room so she could have a chance to settle down and go to sleep like she normally does at home.  That worked like a charm and we finally got some sleep ourselves.  She did great on the way home and we all stopped at  Bob Evans.  After we ate breakfast, Ava, Jack and Maddie took  pictures next to this wagon that was all decorated for Halloween and Fall. 
 
 
 


There have been more temper tantrums this month than there has been ever before.  We are also getting a little attitude at times.  She is one determined little thing.  And so stubborn. I have NO idea where she gets those character traits from.  Most of the time I tell her "No!" she just smiles and keeps going like I don't even exist. She loves getting into the cabinets.  She is allowed in one cabinet-the tupperware cabinet.  But other than that, the others are off limits.  We have got to buy hardware for our cabinets and drawers (I know...FINALLY, right?) so we can put safety locks on those suckers.  Anyway, she loves the tupperware drawer, but those other drawers have become more and more intriguing, especially since mommy won't let her in them. 

Here she is making a mess and having fun with the tupperware cabinet:
 
One day I took her to Target and we didn't have her grocery cart cover because I had washed it the day before and it was drying.  I was miserable without that thing.  She was buckled in the cart but that did not matter.  She stood herself up and turned herself around.  She was so naughty!  I swore to never leave that cover at home.  The next time we went shopping, I brought the cover and it didn't matter.  She has also discovered she can stand up and turn around with that thing, too. 
 
 
Ava can clap her hands, attempt to blow kisses ( but she rarely will for me) and is perfecting her hand wave.When she waves at you now, she will often say "Hiya!" Which we think is her way of saying hi!  She is so funny in the morning when I get her.  For the past 10 months, our furry brother, Winston, has come with me in the mornings to greet her with a "Good Morning Sunshine!" and then he gives her a little lick. She looks for him instantly now and waves at him.  She seems disappointed when he doesn't come which has happened a few times because  he doesn't always make it to the other side of the baby gate before I shut it.  It is so cute.  She loves that dog...oh, and the cat.  The cat is so mean to her.  He will sit somewhere in close proximity to her and let her get super close to him and then he dashes off.  She usually looks somewhat astonished at how fast he is and little sad, too.  She saw her first horse up close and it came up to her to pet.  Mommy, of course, pet the horse, but Ava just looked.  She wasn't too sure of touching it....it was SO BIG! 
 
 
Eating with Ava has become obnoxious!  Let me rephrase that: Feeding Ava has become obnoxious.  Those are the times of days I get the most frustrated.  She has become more and more picky.  She is so easily distracted...hopefully she is not ADD.  You know the teacher in me worries about these kinds of things.  She insists on rubbing her face, then her eyes, then her hair when I am feeding her, which leads to bathtime almost after every feeding ( or it should, but typically she just gets one HUGE wipe down with some baby wipes) Who has time to bathe a child 2-3 times per day?  If the mess is absolutely horrendous...like I can't pick her up, its so bad, she will get a bath.  And even then, I still find food caked in very odd places.  Places where food should not be. 
 
She is eating some chunkier things like cooked carrots, peaches, and some meat.  But that is about all the new stuff she has had.  I am funny about giving her big people food and I don't really know what my hold up is...just nerves I guess.  She is drinking from her juice cup a little bit better, but still she mostly likes to gnaw on the nipple and hold it upside down and shake it.  Her newest game is throwing it on the floor and seeing how many times mommy will pick it up and give it back to her to do all over again.  I am shocked she still likes to play this game, because I usually pick it up once (2 times at the most)  and  then I take the juice away.  She really enjoys her snack foods-puffs, yogurt melts, veggie sticks, little crunchies, Cheerios, and Rice Krispy's. 
 
 
 
She is extremely active and busy.  Everyone who watches her comments on how busy she is.  Haha! Believe me...I KNOW!!!!  She loves to discover and find new interesting things to get into.  I have realized that this age is a very tiring age and she isn't even walking.  Holy Cow! 
 
 
 
Things I have loved about this month:
  • She will play for a few minutes and then crawl over to me to check in and love on me
  • She likes to clap her hands when certain songs come on that she recognizes
  • She bounces up and down when she is trying to dance
  • She says mamamamam when she crawls to me...so I think she is saying mama. 
  • She has the funniest smiles and gets so happy over the silliest things
  • She laughs when we laugh even though she has no clue what we are laughing about
  • She can  actually stand and enjoy my singing
  • She throws fits over things we do every day, multiple times per day-like diaper changes
  • She is fighting me on those headbands and starting to show her independence there
  • She still loves cuddling with her mommy and daddy
  • She has no fear of anything- people, places, animals (except for maybe that horse)
  • She says "Hiya" when she waves