Friday, May 25, 2012

Two Months

Two months.  Such a short time, long time, amazing time.  Two months is short, in the big scheme of things.  I've been a mom for two months of my 355.  (Sure, go do the math if you want to.)  Two months is long, for Will, it's been his whole life.  It feels long, to me.  Remembering not being a mom is fuzzy.  Two months is amazing.  This little boy has grown so much, changed so much, can do so much more, is so much more his own little person.  Wow.  Two months.

Ginny checking out her "brother baby" (we call her his "sister dog") while he was at her level.
Development: Will weighed in at 10.9 lbs. yesterday, diaper included, so we can guess he weighs about 10 3/4 lbs in actuality.  He is now 22 inches long, edging in on two feet tall!  (I just read a story about a woman who never grew past 2 1/2 feet, but was fully developed.  Odd to think of.)  At lunch last week, Will's Nonna (my mom), Grandad (my dad), Daddy, and I all took guesses as to what he'd weigh and measure.  We were weigh (haha, get it?) off, as two of us thought he'd be over 11 lbs and two thought over 12.  Still, the pediatrician said he's gaining weight consistently and is doing very well!

He's also, as you can see, rocking the tummy time.  This little mister holds his head up like a pro, and has been doing so for a while.  The other day he scootched himself around 180 degrees to face the other direction.  When he's upright, he holds his head up and looks around, and he's already practicing "standing," too.  He's amazingly strong.

He continues to be very "verbal" - and often, those sounds are fun and happy.  We still get lots of complaining about things that are not okay with him, but we take delight in his cheerful talk more often now, too.  He has a BIG smile, and a sweet little laugh, and he's starting to smile at us when we come in after being gone.  Melts a mama's heart!

Personality: I think we are going to have our hands full with the little man as he grows up.  My dad would say it's payback, as I was quite the pistol, myself.  Will makes it clear when he's unhappy (although we can't always figure out why) and, when he's hungry, is basically inconsolable until he gets his little tummy full.  He's a little feisty, in some ways, but he's also really sweet and easy going in others.  In the right mood, he can contentedly sit in his swing and take in the world (well, the small part of the hosue he can see from there) with his big blue eyes.  If I had to guess, I'd say he's got some of his mom's stubborness and independence, and some of his dad's easy-going, laid back nature.  We'll see as he continues to grow!

Sleep:  Most nights we're up to about 3 and a half hours of sleep before he needs to get up.  If he wakes up earlier than that, we try to get him to fall asleep again... it works sometimes.  He's still sleeping in the pack-n-play at the foot of our bed.  I was contemplating trying his own room soon (he does take his naps in there), but the pediatrician yesterday told me she didn't think I needed to start that just yet, since we still do get up semi-often at night.  The thing we had the most trouble with before was with him going back to sleep, but he's doing much better with that these days.

Nap times are still frequent, and fairly short.  He usually doesn't sleep longer than an hour, max, and more often, only about 45 minutes.  Still, with wise planning, I can get a lot done during those little breaks.  But I still like to let him have at least one nap just cuddled on me.  It's a nice little rest for both of us, I think.  I like having him be my snuggle bunny, anyway.

Eating:  May I introduce you to Little Piggy?  That's why we thought he'd weigh more.  During the day he eats about every two hours still.  The only way he goes longer is if he's sleeping.  I've been pumping more and giving him a bottle; he seems to like it better, actually.  He has zero trouble switching between bottle and breast, though - as long as there is milk, he's ready to go.  When we give him the bottle, he puts his little hands around it as if he's going to hold it, and if you take it away, he tries to grab it and push your hand back to his mouth.  Okay, little piggy.  :) 

Likes/Dislikes:  He is much more into the swing now that he's a little bigger and a little more calm most of the time.  Like I said, he can spend a good chunk of time sitting there, taking in the bookshelf next to him, being content.  He almost always eventually falls asleep there, and takes a nap a day while swinging away.  He obviously likes eating, and dislikes it when you take the bottle away or move him to switch sides even for a second if he's not done yet.  He really lets you know, Mr. Talkative that he is.  If I may brag, he likes his mama a lot, but still is also good about letting other people hold him, too.  He's a StuCo baby, so he has to be used to it.  He does not like it when he has tummy troubles, or even if he has to poop.  He'll let you know about that, too.  One of the big dogs at my parents, Darcy, loves Will and wants to be wherever he is.  Ginny and Georgie (the other husky) are starting to pay more attention to him, too, and Will seems to be okay with it. 

Milestones:  It's all the little things, you know? From how much he holds his head up to how alert he his and how he talks and smiles and laughs.  He's gone to many more places - other restaurants, coffee shops, people's houses, StuCo functions.  On Mother's Day, we participated in a baby dedication at church, promising to do our best to teach him to love his Father.  Last night he attended his first wedding, although he was tired and so we stood outside the sanctuary and watched and listened through the glass while he went to sleep (because, of course, Mr. Talkative has to talk himself to sleep, too).  We go on walks, and have even jogged some.  I suspect that's more of a milestone for me, right?    His summer is going to be full of visitors - his grandma comes today for the weekend, his "Aunt" Brooke comes from Korea in June, and his Virginia family (includng his soon to be BFF Henry, age 5 months), is coming in July.  Then we'll be off for a week in the mountains.  I'm ahead of myself - these are future milestones! 

Several people have asked me recently if I love being a mom.  Well, of course I do.  It's the most amazing thing I've ever done.  But you know me, the non-Ms.-mush, honest to a fault - so I also tell them it's the hardest thing, too.  I'm tired.  The last time I slept for more than 4 hours was March 22nd.  Changing poopy diapers (which are now getting amazingly stinky) is not my favorite pasttime.  Trying to get a seemingly inconsolable baby to stop crying is exhausting, especially when you've tried everything. 

But I love watching his little face as we sit together in the dark of the night, with the light from the streetlight outside and the little monkey nightlight in the bathroom giving the room a gentle glow.  It's just his and my time, as his daddy sleeps on right beside us, unaware of everything. 

And I love that, once his diaper is changed, he almost always offers the sweetest smile as he rests contentedly on the changing table.  He does some of his best babbling there, too.

And once that inconsolable baby is consoled, well, he looks up at me with these big blue eyes, full of left over tears, and my heart melts.  Or he falls alseep in my arms, peaceful bliss upon his face. 

So I'll take tired, I guess.  The trade-off is worth it.

Four Generations- Great-Grandpa Bob, Nonna, Mom (that's me!), and Will. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

What He's Listening To

On Monday I shared with you the truth that not only is He listening, but He answers.  I couldn't share with you what prompted that post at the time, but I can now.

A week ago Thursday, Husband came home with a story of a not-so-good situation at work.  It shouldn't have been a big deal, but it got blown out of proportion, and more or less, his co-workers threw him under the proverbial bus.  Friday he worked at a different site while his boss was going to supposedly "work it out."  I say supposedly because, in my opinion, his boss had no intention of doing any such thing.  Monday morning he told Husband that they needed to talk, but he was too busy until Tuesday, so he'd have to wait.  In the meantime, Husband had the day off.  Bravely, Husband told Boss, "I was stressed about this all weekend, so I just need to ask.  Do I need to be looking for another job?"  Boss' reply?  "Possibly."

Hence, we prayed, and God listened and answered.

On Tuesday, Husband and Boss met for lunch.  Boss didn't even mention the incident from Thursday that was the trigger of all of this, instead citing that "the guys had been complaining" about Husband.  He could only reference one particular story, where both Husband and the co-worker were part of a misunderstanding.  Co-worker, though, apparently made it sound like Husband was totally to blame and that Husband isn't doing a good job.  Whatever, Co-worker.  I'm on to you. 

Finally, Husband asked Boss point blank if he was being let go.  "Yes."  They sorted out the details.  Husband asked a few questions.  Boss promised to be a good reference for him.  Whatever, Boss.  I'm on to you.

Husband's first words to me where that he felt like "this was a long time coming."  His opinion was that Boss had been saving up little things people had been saying about Husband, and rather than communicating them all along so Husband could work on things, just stored them up until now.  (Not that we know what those things are, since Boss had only the one example.) 

It would be easy to be frustrated, because Husband has been there for four years, longer than any of these other guys.  Husband has witnessed plenty of mistakes and issues from his co-workers, but he's not the type to go complaining to the boss.  He's shown plenty of loyalty to this company, but is receiving none back.

Yet mostly, I feel peace about it.  Yes, that's right. I feel good about my husband losing his job.  (For now.  Remind me of that in a month if he is still jobless.)

You see, there was no life for Husband at this company.  It wasn't an uplifting, life-giving environment for him.  I realize that no job can be that all the time, but this job was NEVER that.  And he was weary of it, most of the time.

Now he's excited about some prospects.  He's looking for a job, obviously, but not necessarily a job he wants to keep for ever.  One prospect he's looking into is school.  Electrical Engineering.  You have to understand how huge it is that he would be excited about school, particularly something as hard as engineering.  School has always been very hard for him, and he doesn't love it. But he met with the dean at a local university that caters to non-traditional students, and he's excited.  I don't know if it's financially viable right now (we were in a tight situation before the job loss), but I'm excited that he's excited, and we're going to look into it.  God knows what will work out.

I should be scared and stressed.  Finances are tough.  I was going to post the other week about how we'd just gone through things and it was tight.  As in, don't know how we're going to pay for daycare in the fall tight.  As in, what can we get rid of to nickle and dime our way into having enough to live on tight.  As in, should we sell our townhouse and move into something cheaper, or with my parents, tight.  So this should stress me out.

But instead, I am hopeful.  Husband is excited.  And I keep being listened to, and answered.  Here are a few of the things He keeps saying.  (All from Jesus Calling.)

I AM YOUR LORD!  Seek Me as Friend and Lover of your soul, but remember that I am also King of kings - sovereign over all.  You can make some plans as you gaze into the day that stretches out before you.  But you need to hold those plans tentatively, anticipating that I may have other ideas....  Instead of scanning the horizon of your life, looking for the things that need to be done, concentrate on the task before you and the One who never leaves your side....  Trust me to show you what to do when you have finished what you are doing now.  I will guide you step by step, as you bend your will to Mine. 

(Proverbs 19:21, LUke 1:79)

AS YOU SIT QUIETLY in My Presence, remember that I am a God of abundance.  I will never run out of resources; My capacity to bless you is unlimited

(Philippians 4:19, 2 Corinthians 5:7)

COME TO ME with your plans held in abeyance.  Worship Me in spirit and in truth, allowing My Glory to permeate your entire being.  Trust Me enough to let Me guide you through this day, accomplishing My purposes in My timing.  Subordinate your myriad plans to My Master Plan.  I am sovereign over every aspect of your life!

The challenge continually before you is to trust Me and search for My way through each day.  Do not blindly follow your habitual route, or you will miss what I have prepared for you.  As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts. 

(John 4:24, Isaiah 55:8-9)

His promises are secure. I'm learning, though, that to really fully grasp ahold of them, we need to earnestly seek and spend time with Him.  As our pastor said last week, "once a week for an hour is not enough time to cultivate an intimate relationship with Him."  It must be more.

We are confident that He is with us, and with that knowledge, we can do this.  It will be a stretching season, a growing one, but I am sure, a blessed one, as He walks the path before us and with us. 

While we are not sure where we are going, we know it will be Good.  Pray with us for wisdom and discernment as we take each step, won't you?

Monday, May 14, 2012

He Answers

If ever I doubted that He hears us, consider my doubts removed.  He hears, and He answers.

At this moment, I cannot share with you the particular situation that Husband and I are facing, but I can tell you our initial reactions. 

Fear.  Feelings of failure and frustration.  Uncertainty. 

"Let's see what Jesus has to say," I said.  We turned to the devotional Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.  "Lord, let Your words be just the words we need to hear today," I prayed silently.  For Husband to hear, he needed to hear the perfect words.  And I began to read aloud, without scanning ahead.

May 14.

I AM A MIGHTY GOD.  Nothing is too difficult for Me.  I have chosen to use weak ones like you to accomplish My purposes.  Your weakness is designed to open you up to My Power.  Therefore, do not fear your limitations or measure the day's demands against your strength.  What I require of you is to stay connected to Me, living in trusting dependence on My limitless resources.  When you face unexpected demands, there is no need to panic.  Remember that  I am with you.  Talk with Me, and listen while I talk you through each challenging situation.

I am not a careless God.  When I allow difficulties to come into your life, I equip you fully to handle them.  Relax in My Presence, trusting in My Strength.

(Luke 1:37, 2 Corinthians 12:9)

About halfway through I began to cry.  "Okay, God, You're listening to us.  I see that."  We read it aloud twice, and then each silently on our own, praying through it.  Husband went back a few days in the book, to see what Jesus had to say the day this story began.  I didn't read it with him, but apparently the words were again in answer.  "Apparently we should be listening to Him more often," we commented. 

We talked about what we were feeling, and then prayed together, knowing clearly that God was listening.  We asked for wisdom, for clarity, for discernment.  For peace, for our identities to be wrapped up in the Lord alone, for provision.  We know He was listening, as He continues to listen. 

And He answers.

Friends, I look forward to the opportunity I will have to share the rest of the story with you in the future, as we know we are not walking alone.  Our path is lit (although we cannot see just yet), and it has already been traveled upon (although we do not know where it will go).  Until then, pray with me, won't you?
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