Thursday, January 29, 2015


34 weeks on the inside//34 weeks on the outside

We took advantage of the January thaw today to walk to a nearby park, and Noah found out that he can pull to standing on this playground toy! I think he surprised himself. And me. Where did my tiny baby go!?

Although I do have to say, this is a really fun age. Babbling all day long, imitating faces and actions, reaching for me, exploring different foods, having clear preferences for certain toys (like green alligators), rolling like a maniac, army crawling/scooting, looking so proud when he learns something new, and melting my heart on a daily basis. Gosh I love this little monkey!

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Day of Life with a 7 Month Old

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about resting while I had the chance. I don't regret a second of it! Life has been full speed ahead since Christmas. I had hospital orientation the first week of January, then we all got influenza, and this past weekend I worked all weekend orienting to my new unit.

In the meantime, Noah has NOT been napping. Honestly, it's so small in the scheme of things, but I can't help but feel like I'm letting him down when he doesn't sleep well. In the 7.5 months that Noah has been here, I'd say we've had a total of 1.5 months of textbook naps (at this point that means two naps a day, for a total of 2-4 hours of daytime sleep).

Last week, I spent entire days struggling to get one 45 minute nap in (thankfully we had a bit of a thaw and Noah did get a good stroller nap!). This kid needs sleep, but he has SUCH a hard time shutting down! He's always GO GO GO TALK TALK TALK WIGGLE WIGGLE WIGGLE. I LOVE it overall, but I wish I knew how to get him to turn it off. He needs rest, and I feel like it's up to me to coax him into it, but I cannot figure him out! I read all the books. I've tried all the tricks. Honestly, I think self-soothing is a developmental milestone that he hasn't reached because he's too busy with anything and everything else.

That being said, here's a fairly typical day for us since we're all still recovering from Influenza A: clear the schedule and get the kid to sleep at all costs!

0110: Noah wakes up. I get him and see that he threw up the avocado he ate for dinner. I change his sleep sack and feed him while Ross changes his sheets. Poor buddy!

0140: Ross puts Noah back in his crib and we all go back to sleep.

0430: Noah is up. I feed him.

0450: Ross takes a very wiggly baby back to his crib again. He doesn't fuss, but he also does NOT fall back asleep.

0530: Noah starts crying, so I feed him again thinking maybe it'll make him drowsy. Note to self: it never does!

0550: I put Noah back in his crib, where he proceeds to babble, whine, and practice balancing on all fours.

0630: He's obviously not falling back asleep. Ross gets him out of his room.

0700: I turn on the solar lamp in the kitchen to wake us all up and feed Noah some big kid food for breakfast-- strawberry applesauce with oatmeal. Yum!

0730: Play play play. This kid is on the move! He can scoot backwards, roll everywhere, and army crawl. Be still my heart :-)

0800: I dress and swaddle Noah, and then feed him. He's slowing down, so I'm hoping he will fall asleep after eating. Lay him in his crib "drowsy but awake" like all the books and well-meaning friends say to. He proceeds to whine, wiggle, and fuss for 45 minutes.

0900: I take him out of his crib and we play some more.

1000: Try to get him to nap again. Come up with some convoluted combination of rocking, feeding, listening to Gregorian chants, and putting a vibrating disc from the Rock 'n' Play on Noah's back. Whatever the magic is, it produces heavy eyelids which I haven't seen in ages! He also lets me give him the pacifier, which he rejects 99.5% of the time.

1020: Noah falls asleep in my arms (this NEVER happens). I hold him for 20 more minutes until he stops wiggling, and my arm goes numb.

1045: Successful transfer to the crib!

1100: I eat lunch. I'm famished! Also move laundry and do PT exercises.

1200: Marvel that Noah is still asleep. Watch an episode of the Mindy Project.

1245: Holy crap. If I'd know this was going to be a legit nap, I would've started on my to-do list right away! Feel like it's too late now. Move laundry again. Eat a bowl of cereal. Pick up the book I'm reading.

 1315: Noah is up. I feed him.

1430: Give Noah some pureed green beans. He's happy to be eating solids after stopping for a week when he was so sick!

1445: Nurse him again in hopes of another nap.

1520: Rock him again. He just takes a 15 minute catnap in my arms this time.

1600: Play inside, and then outside for a bit. Noah isn't so sure about the wind and the bright sun!

1710: Baby bath, aka water aerobics. Took this picture in the 0.5 seconds it felt safe to not have my hands on this wild monkey, lest he submerge himself!

1730: Nurse

1800: Rock a very overtired baby until Ross comes home and takes over.

1900: Baby is asleep! I eat dinner, shower, and pump.

2020: Ross and I are in bed, exhausted. We watch an episode of Downton Abbey before going to bed.

2100: Lights out!

2240: Noah is awake. Feed him. We all go back to sleep until 0230 when it starts all over again...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Year

Some years, I'm so ready for the New Year. A clean slate. Good riddance, and all that. Other years, I have so much to look forward to, that the New Year simply rings in promises of even better times ahead. This year, we're ten thirteen days in, the sun is shining, and I'm just now realizing, huh, it's a new year! (Even though I got used to writing 2015* on my new-hire paperwork during yet another hospital orientation this week.)

We rung 2015 in lying awake in bed, praying that the fireworks outside wouldn't wake the sleeping baby. (They did). Since then, it hasn't been off to the most auspicious start, since Ross got the flu last week, Noah got it mid-week, and now I'm sick and had to call in on the first day of my new job. Nothing like being sick to make you slow down and give you time to reflect.

2014... it was a wonderful year overall. It started off rough, when we lost my Grandma Ginny through undesirable circumstances. We struggled to prepare a home for a baby as our fixer-upper house continuously proved more than we had bargained for. But 2014 was also the year my brother got married. And the year our lives changed forever when we welcomed a sweet little baby boy into the world... the day before counter-tops got installed in our kitchen- ha!

2014 went by in the blink of an eye, and the last 6 months have been a blur of delicious, exhausting, terrifying, exhilarating newborn-ness. And here we are, somehow ten thirteen days into this new year. (And I still haven't figured out how to finish things when I start them).

The thing is, regardless of the date on the calendar, the excess of the holidays leads us to want to swing into restraint when it's all over. To hunker down and focus on something other than the dreary weather standing between us and spring. (Or maybe that's just me?)

I'm struggling to get back into a rhythm of daily devotional time, since naps are inconsistent and whatnot. But I read this today and I'm more convinced that ever that I can't put this off any longer. Getting back into the Word is simply necessary and it affects every other area of my life:

Yet I've never been more aware that spiritual formation based on the "binge and purge" cycle simply doesn't work. Our spiritual hearts need to be strengthened by the grace of the Gospel daily, all year long. We cannot afford periods of "cruise control" when we leave the banquet of your love for a buffet of comfort foods, fast foods, and junk foods. Just like the physical hearts you've given us, our spiritual heart muscles will atrophy if we don't take care of them.

So thank you for the "means of grace"-- the good gifts you've freely given us to help us grow in grade and the knowledge of Jesus. Thank you for the Bible, your written Word, through which you reveal yourself and feed us with the riches of the Gospel. Thank you for prayer, meditation, and corporate worship, by which you meet and fellowship with us. Thank you for the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper, these tangible expressions of your covenant love and grace.

Father, you won't love us more of less based on our use of these good gifts. But we certainly demonstrate and deepen our love for you as we do so. By the convicting work of your Holy Spirit, let us be far more concerned about flabby, graceless hearts than bigger love handles. Because you love us, don't let us get used to being spiritually lazy. May we come to the point where we'd sooner avoid oxygen and water than the means of grace.  {from Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith}

There are a handful of other things I'd like to do in the coming months, but first things first, right?

*As an aside, I remember early in grade school when I figured out I was going to be alive to see the change in millenia... from the 1900s to the 2000s. I did the math and realized I'd turn 15 years old in 2000, and that seemed so old. GULP. Where have the last 15 years gone!?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Influenza A

That moment when the flu has spread and you realize just how awful your sweet baby has been feeling. Poor buddy! So thankful for modern medicine offering at least some limited relief for him.