Monday, April 18, 2011

A Birth Story

I was being sentimental today, so I made a little video of Cole's birth that I thought I would share with you. Each stage that brought him closer to us is precious to me; memories that will be forever etched into my mind. I think as a new mother the story, our story, of how our Cole was born is so intensely personal, yet at the same time too beautiful and natural not to share. I hope you enjoy this video.

Love & life to you,


Our 5-Month Old

Cole reached 5 months old on Saturday. My, how time flies!!! He's changed so much. It seems like just yesterday he and I were taking naps on the couch together, a sweet little bundle of a baby tucked under my arm. Now he's all squirmy, rolls over constantly, laughs and giggles and makes the most adorable baby noises (some pretty loud'd think a bobcat was outside the window!)

Here are Cole's stats to date:

Weighs over 15 lbs. (50%)
Measured 26 1/2 inches long at 4 mo. (95%)
Rolls over (both ways--tummy to back/back to tummy)
Grabs at toys/puts in mouth
Starting to sit up better (not quite there)
Hold head up and can raise up on arms when on tummy
Looks up when Mommy or Daddy enter room and smiles
"swims" when on tummy
Stands upright (when supported)

Here's a little photo shoot I did with him last week:

He's always looking outside

Drooly little smile :)

"Please, Mom. Not a diaper change now!"

I love this sweet face!

Grins and giggles

You talkin' to me?!?

"Hmm....I wonder what's outside.."

How YOU doin'?

You caught me!

Sittin' tall

I've got a secret!

My Sweet Son!

Have a Happy Monday!


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Surprised by Kindness

When our sweet Cole entered our lives, with him came a lot of stuff. It seems like our house is being taken over by baby stuff! Our living room's now home to a baby swing, toys, books, and baby bouncy jumper, to name a few. I remember thinking before we had a baby, "I am NOT going to be one of those people" know...the people whose homes look more like a large toy box when you walk in the front door rather than an actual home. Well....guess what?

I've succumbed.

I won't ever totally give in cause I want our home to be beautiful and appealing to me too, but I'm not going to worry about a few toys or baby things here and just goes to witness that a baby does live here and we don't keep him locked up in his room all the time. Haha!

Another huge change I've had to get used to is the enormous amount of stuff I have to take with me whenever Cole and I venture out of the Toy Box. Let's see.....Baby, carseat (which by the way weighs a million lbs), pacifier (an essential), blankie, diaper bag, stroller, my purse and me! That's a lot to cart around people! I am quite a sight strolling around places or taking him in his carseat to and from a store.

With all the extra things weighing me down, it's made me really aware of how some people can be so unkind. Now, I know that people who are out running errands are in a hurry and aren't always aware of their surroundings (ie: a weighed down baby mama like me) and they certainly aren't out in the world just to help me out, so really...I'm not complaining, it's just an observation I've made. Serious. It's just interesting to me that some people going into a store will move right past a person with a stroller and not offer to open the double doors for them....or even wait while they open the door and juggle keeping the door open while simultaneously pulling the stroller through the door...?? (reminds me of a certain parable...). What gets me most are the young guys. Chivalrous men are a dying breed....and it's sad. Am I the only one that feels this way? I hope not. I find myself more and more surprised when I encounter kindness from others rather than surprised by disrespect. It shouldn't be that way.....

Yesterday was different though. I was on the hunt to find some jeans to fit my newly trimmed down post-pregnancy body (boo hiss...not my favorite kind of shopping trip) and had to go in and out of many stores to find "the ones". As usual, getting around took a little extra time (I now have to think like a handicapped person when I use the stroller), but I was getting along fine. At one time when I was approaching a door and fully prepared to do the juggling act, I heard someone running (yes running) behind me to help me by opening the door so I could pass through with the stroller. Fully expecting it to be an older man or woman, I was surprised to see that it was a young guy who appeared to be in his late teenage or early college years. It totally caught me off guard because it was so obvious that he was making the effort to help me. I mean c'mon....he was running! It really warmed my heart, too. So maybe chivalry isn't dead?

Dear Lord,

Give me the strength to be an example of someone who is living in Your Spirit by showing kindness to others too...a fruit that can only truly come from living in You. I too often am too busy or distracted as well to see that others are in need. Encourage me to give grace to others who may not be able to extend this fruit because they do not have You living in them. And Lord, prepare me and Matthew that we might be able to raise our son(s) to first know and love You, that they might be an example of extending the fruits of Your spirit to others, too. We love you.


Monday, April 4, 2011

I can't BELIEVE my baby.....

....sister is all grown up!

This past weekend I had the privilege of doing my sister Greta's updo for her school prom. She'll be a Senior next year and it's all starting to hit me....

She's so grown up! And such a lovely, young lady too.

She's 10 years younger than me, so to see her all grown up makes me feel...well...old. But oh is what it is! (or rather, I am what I am...and I'm going to try and embrace it!).

{The updo in process....excuse my very disheveled hair..haha}

{All ready!}

There's so much I love about this girl. She has the kindest and most generous heart in the world....and she's always doing something sweet for someone else.

She's also a true friend to those who know her. She cares about people, even if it means telling them what they need to hear rather than just what they want to hear. I love that about her.

{Where's my date?

{Beautiful smile ;) }

She loves the Lord with all her heart...and I can tell she's growing in Him each day as she looks to Him to guide her. That's a rare trait in a girl her cool.

I love that she's so creative, too. She's such an artsy person and extremely talented beyond her years. I love that we can share creative ideas and concepts and know exactly what the other person is talking about.

We're visionaries. ;)

{Greta and her date, Cole}

Greta also is such a carefree spirit and loves to have fun....loves to dance....loves to be with her friends and family....loves to be be active...and just loves to be. She's a lovely soul...and her enthusiasm and spirit is infectious. It's just so much fun being around her....and it's easy to be around her because at once you feel comfortable and at ease. You don't have to pretend.

Greta gets me. I have a very corny, silly type of humor that not everybody sees...but I don't care when I'm around Greta. She laughs right along with me....(even if it's after a slight roll of the eyes). She's just cool like that.

The year before my Mom got pregnant with Greta, I remember really wanting my mom to have another baby sister for me. I might have had 4 sisters at the time, but none of them were babies anymore. I was 9.

I remember I would lay the baby blankets out in the nursery crib, situate the stuffed animals and little pillows and then ask my mom, "when are you going to have another baby? How about now?"

{Boutonniere made by yours truly}

By the end of that year, I had my baby sister and I remember thinking "this one's gonna be mine". My older sister, Grace was the favorite older sister at the I think I must have had a little jealousy thing going on...haha..(of course, looking back, it might have had to do with the fact that she had a gumball machine in her room....Grace? Any thoughts on that one? ;))

But much as I truly love all my sisters and brother alike, Greta will always be my baby sister and will hold a special place in my heart.

And Greta...if you're reading this....

I love you, Treb.



Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pumping with Purpose

When our sweet Cole started sleeping through the night at only 1 1/2 months, I knew I was going to have to do something about my abundant supply of mommy's morning milk. To give it all to Cole was just too much for him...and he'd end up spitting half of it up anyways. Feeding him one breast in the morning was more than enough for his little tummy. :)

So I started pumping. And pumping. And pumping. Every morning.

I was accumulating quite a freezer full of Lansinoh milk bags, and because I rarely feed him a bottle, the freezer was just getting fuller and fuller. I knew something had to be done, so I contacted our birthing instructor Linda (who is also a lactation consultant) to see if there was anything I could do to regulate my milk supply to my baby's new schedule. The answer?

No. I was doing everything right apparently...bummer. So, I guess I'd keep pumping.

What she did ask though, was had I ever thought about donating my milk? What? Who does that? What does that even mean? I started to research more about it and visited the Mother's Milk Bank of North Texas website that she had recommended. Wow. I'm so glad I did. What I found was that healthy mothers like me who were lactating well could donate their extra milk to the milk bank to help critically ill and premature infants in the NICU in area hospitals. Formula is too harsh of a substance to give them because of their fragile state, so human milk is the best for them. Sooo cool. Isn't God awesome? For one reason or another, their own mothers are unable to supply them with their milk (their milk hasn't come in yet, etc) , so donations become invaluable.

Jump ahead about a month (after applying to be a donor mother and having the routine blood tests required before donating) and I am officially a donor mother. I know the concept sounds weird for some people, but for me, it's so rewarding to know that I'm helping other mothers out there nurture their own sweet babies with the blessing of abundant milk that God has given me. My own dear baby is well fed and doing remarkable...and if what I have helps other babies get there too....then that's nothing short of awesome. Only God could have thought of something as cool as this....and in the end, it's His milk anyway. ;)

So yesterday, I packed Cole and my cooler full of 100+ oz. of breastmilk bags in the car and headed to one of the donation drop off sites. On my way out of the donation center, I had a huge smile on my heart. I could have hugged someone walking by! I don't get paid to do this monetarily...but the rewards are great. God has given me life so that I could supply life to someone else. Ahhh.....sigh....(huge smile). :)

And now for some pictures of our own sweet baby....

Love & Blessings,