Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Full Belly Laughs...

So Z is moving, like moving moving. It's crazy. I kept waiting for him to scootch, we would meanly put toys just out of his reach and tryto get him to move forward and he sorta could but not really. So while I was focusing on that, I missed the fact that rolling over could get you places! He rolled over from his back to his belly (finally!) and I missed him doing that. I was chatting with my sister in law and looked up and he wasn't on his back anymore! I was shocked but then he didn't do it for several days and I started wondering if maybe I was crazy, maybe he was on his tummy all along but then he did it! He rolled from his back to his tummy and then he did this thing where if I had him close to his exersaucer he would use that to roll himself back and forth, it was so cute. But then this new thing started - log rolling! I had heard of it but never really thought about it as a way to move. I thought babies just rolled over a couple times and that was log rolling. But Z doesn't just roll over, he moves all over my house. He can get from point A to point B surprisingly quick. Although I must admit, I'm really not sure if he actually is planning to get somewhere or just ends up somewhere and then happily plays where he ends up. But regardless, it's so fun to watch. Plus he's a lot more content these days now that he can do stuff on his own. The best thing ever was when he was on the floor by himself and I was just chatting with Mike on the couch and he managed to roll over to his car seat and get to his toy and he'd press the buttons and play with it and then.....he laughed. Like full out belly laugh. My heart just melted. This wasn't his first laugh, he giggles quite a bit. Almost always when I kiss his cheeks and say "mum-mum-mum" and when Mike gives him belly rubs but this was the first time he had laughed on his own, without us doing something to entertain him. It just seems so special, this laugh. It was a huge laugh, which is a newer thing to him, and it just seemed to say that we're doing something right. We are raising a happy, healthy child who loves us, who loves his life and is content. And then I picked him up and he smiled at me and gave me a giant sloppy open mouthed kiss. I love that boy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

From your Mama - Happy 6 Month Birthday!

Today is your half birthday my dearest son. You have changed so much in these 6 months. Until you were born, I had no idea what unconditional love is. The moment I held you in my arms, I loved you. You were this quiet little baby who looked at me with these deep soulful eyes that seemed to know exactly what was going on. I loved you so much but in comparison to the love I have for you, it was nothing. I remember holding you when you were about 4 weeks old and just crying because of the depth of my love for you. And it just continues to grow. You are absolutely everything to me. I love your eyes, the way they always seem to be taking everything in, I love your little “hero chin” and your chubby cheeks. I love watching you sleep. I love watching you learn new things. In 6 short months you have gone from basically just sleeping constantly to moving constantly. I remember driving home from the hospital with you and thinking, oh my goodness we are in charge of this little baby and being absolutely terrified. However nothing was more exciting to me than being your mother. I loved holding you, nursing you, I even enjoyed changing your diapers. I loved dressing you in these adorable little baby clothes and taking a million pictures of you. Your first smile, your first little giggle (which was this little “heh-heh” that sounded like a fake pity laugh), your first belly laugh. The first time you rolled over (which got me so excited that I scared you!), the first time you rolled from back to belly, the first time you sat on your own, your first meal, your first bath…all these memories happened in just 6 short months and I’m so excited for all the firsts that are coming up! I can’t wait for your first crawl, your first steps and your first words but there is a part of me that will be sad because every new first represents you moving away from babyhood into toddlerhood. But I am so excited for the next 6 months and the rest of your life. I’m so excited to see you grow up and I pray that you will always know how much I love you. Happy Half-Birthday!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just because

Z is trying SO hard here to move, one day he will shock everyone (including himself!) and actually move but so far, it' s just been fun to watch him try

My New Favorite Thing

This morning in the quiet hours I quietly sat with Z while I gave him his bottle. It was was wonderful. I never realized how comforting and relaxing it could be to bottlefeed my baby. I loved nursing him, I loved the closeness and the cuddling and that wonderful feeling of contentment when he fell asleep nursing and I would just sit there and rock him for awhile but lately that hadn't been our nursing experiences. There was a lot of stress and a lot of tears. I could never tell whether or not he was getting enough, and I don't think he was. As soon as we'd finish feeding, there would be a lot of tears. I tried nursing him more to get my milk supply up but he would latch on and then rip off screaming. Mike finally suggested that I try formula, and even though I was never really all that attached to breastfeeding (or so I thought) I was shocked at how against that I was. I never planned to nurse him the full year, I always thought around 9 months but actually stopping - thats a HUGE step. You can't go back. Once you make that decision, its almost impossible to change. But after days of Z screaming, I needed to try something. And an amazing thing happened, he happily took a bottle of half formula half breastmilk from Grandma and then he stopped drinking and smiled. It had been weeks since he had finished a nursing session with a smile. After that, we decided to go for it. It was still so hard on me, I was surprised but I knew for me, it was the right thing to do. I know a lot of people think "Breast is Best" and I agree. I think everyone should at least try to nurse and they should nurse as long as they can because it is best and however much you can do will help your baby. But at this stage in Z's life, formula is the best thing for him. He's a whole new baby. He's happy. He sleeps better. He's even almost back to going through the night! He wakes up at 5:30 or 6:00 for a bottle and then sleeps until 7:30. Life has just been easier for us. And gently holding him while he quietly and contently has his meal, best feeling in the world!
I don't think people realize that bottlefeeding can still be a time of connecting with your baby. I think I was so scared to stop nursing because then would Z still love me the same way. Would he still be comforted immediately by me? Would I be any different than Daddy? I know he loves Mike but I also know that Z and I have a special connection, would that be gone when I stopped nursing? No. Nothing changed except I had a happier baby. I am DEFINATELY NOT trying to advocate formula because I truly believe that nothing is better for your baby than breastmilk. It's amazing. I LOVE how God designed our bodies. We have this amazing way to feed our babies that changes as he grows to be exactly what he needs, heck it changes during the day to be exactly what he needs. But I also know that just like I now give him medicine when he's sick and have the health care system to take care of him, there are alternatives to breast milk. Safe ones that will still allow my baby to be healthy and happy. And I think that a lot of people judge me for that. Especially Christians. It's not natural, it's not the way God intended, etc, etc. I've heard it all. And I've told myself that. But you know, I'm sleeping better, Z is sleeping better, I'm handling life better these days and now Mike can even help with feedings which really is huge. And I'm okay with that.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sometimes I hate being poor*

Typically living on a budget doesn't bother me. Actually the obsessive-compulsive neurotic side of me loves it. I love writing things down and crunching numbers and making lists. Coupon clipping and budget friendly cookbooks all give me this little thrill inside. I don't need to go to Mexico or live in a big fancy house. I'm okay with the fact that we live in a 2 bedroom condo and we had to borrow money to buy it. We bought a used car and we live in a house filled with me hand-me-downs. I'm okay with that. However I want an extra $25,000. What for you ask? I want a baby. Yes, I have a baby. This beautiful baby boy sleeping in the next room (and yes, he's actually sleeping, I'm shocked too) but I want another baby. And I do realize there are very cheap ways to make a baby. Heck in Canada it's really cheap. We don't even need health insurance to have a baby. It's kinda fantastic, Mike was so shocked when I got to the hospital and the bill was $0 for 2 nights in the hospital and everything that went with having a baby...but that's not really what I'm talking about. I want to adopt. I want to find a baby in Haiti that is orphaned and without a home and adopt that baby. I would love that baby and give him/her a good home. I literally break down and cry at the thought of all these beautiful babies in orphanages, not being rocked or sung to when they're sad. These babies not smiling when someone peeks into their cribs because they don't know love. Okay I'm crying again, but the point is, I want to help them. I want to love those babies. But it's expensive to adopt. Really, really expensive. And I've always thought that it is healthy for an adoptive baby to be the middle child. I know that sounds weird but I think it's great when the baby is just part of the family. Not an afterthought or a next stage of life baby, but just one of the family. So maybe in 10 or 15 years we could afford to adopt a baby, but I don't want to wait 10 or 15 years, I want to get started on the process now. That way when we do get the baby, Z will only be a couple years older. But it's so expensive which kinda breaks my heart. I feel this need, this call to open my heart, my life and my family to a child that's not from my womb but financially, I don't know what to do. It's not like a missions trip where I can fund raise for and sign up for before I have the money on a leap of faith that God will provide. Adoption agencies don't really let you sign up unless you have the money. And why is it so expensive? Really, there are MILLIONS of babies that need a home. I get that there needs to be paperwork so you don't get people adopting for wrong reasons, but why is it so expensive?? We make it by each month, but not with a lot left over, definitely not enough to put away the kind of money we would need to adopt. Part of me is bitter when I see people with money and they get to go to Mexico and buy stupidly expensive cars and furniture. We would do so much more with the money. But do I send Z to day care and try to get another job? Would sacrificing being a stay at home Mom be the right thing to do? Do I push my husband to not look for a job in youth ministry and stay with the bank because he'll make more money? Where do we find a balance? I can't stand the thought of not being there day in and day out for Z when we can technically (barely!) afford for me to stay home. And I could never ask my husband to not follow God and serve God the way he feels he has been gifted. So what do we do?

* Disclaimer: I don't mean to offend anyone by calling myself poor because I know that I am not poor, in fact I think we're probably considered middle-class. I am exaggerating and simply looking at ourselves in comparison to family members and the society we live in.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top Memories of 2010

I could do 2010 memories, this year was the most amazing year of my life, but I will limit it to my top 50 memories. And as great as this year was, I think about 2011 and how great it will be watching Z grow up and learn new things and develop as parents with Mike.

1. Being handed my beautiful baby boy for the first time
2. Being told "It's a Boy" at the ultrasound
3. Buying our first home
4. Playing a "risky" boardgame
5. Getting our TV for free
6. Getting to see Z and his cousin play together
7. The incredible generosity of the people in our church
8. Watching 2 of my closest friends get married
9. Texting while in labour
10. Watching and rewatching HIMYM
11. Z's first Christmas
12. The first time Z giggled
13. Calgary trip with the girls
14. The Olympics - Go Canada!!!
15. Being able to be a "sassy" pregnant lady
16. Feeling Z's hiccups inside me
17. The look on Mike's face the first time he felt Z move
18. Our "homecation"
19. Edible Arrangements
20. Bringing Z home from the hospital and having this "holy crap we're parents" moment
21. Getting shoes for valentines day
22. Decorating the nursery
23. Girls Night
24. The thrill of that first painful contraction and knowing it was time
25. Long walks around the block with Mike trying to get Z to sleep
26. Seeing J wear a "big brother" T-shirt
27. Taking O & H to West Ed and seeing O stand with a sea lion
28. Watching Mike gently hold our child while he sleeps
29. Flying with Z and having people come up to us to tell us he was the best and quietest baby they had ever flown with
30. Being able to take Z to California to visit his grandparents and great-grandparents
31. Angela's stagette, nothing like the big pregnant woman dancing to Journey
32. Timing contractions at Joella's wedding
33. The first time that Z was crying and crying and then stopped the second I picked him up
34. Celebrating my parents 30th Wedding Anniversary
35. New Friendships
36. Old Friendships staying strong, even with the giant life changes we all went through this year
37. Running our first load of dishes in our first ever dishwasher!
38. Being pregnant at the same time as my sister AND sister-in-law
39. "But Not The Hippopotamus"
40. Being asked to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of two of my favorite people!
41. Coffee at Tim Horton's with my Dad
42. World Cup final...it was a devastating loss but still a fun party
43. Really getting to connect with my sister in law
44. Quietly rocking my newborn baby while he slept in my arms
45. Being able to fly to Regina to spend some time with my sister
46. Painting coasters with Mike at CrankPots
47. Seeing Moulon Rouge
48. Seeing the joy and excitement on J&J's faces when they announced they were pregnant!
49. Seeing the man I love be not only an amazing husband, son, brother and friend but an amazing and incredible father
50. The realization that as hard as it seemed at the time, looking back it was all great memories