6.16.2011

My Deuteronomy 5:5 Smack Down!

Today was the first of a six-week Bible study that I'm doing with young moms from my church.  I went this morning with excitement and anticipation of having time to be around women in my season of life and sharing our struggles and joys with one another.  What I got out of it this morning was so much more than what I expected...

Deuteronomy 5:5 - "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."

Well known verse, huh?  I have heard it a million times, and often thought, "Gosh, that is hard to do."  Now, it hits a whole new chord with me.  As a Christian, this is my first calling.  I have many roles - Adam's wife, Cale's mother, friend, daughter, painter, women's retreat planner, etc...  To do any of my roles well, I must fulfil my first calling.  And on top of that, my role as a wife and mother does NOT trump my calling as a Believer.

I so desperately strive to live out Deut. 5:5, but these days, I feel lucky if I'm able to sit for five minutes to read a paragraph in a devotional book.  It's easy to put that reading aside because when Cale goes down for a nap (which, may I remind you only lasts 45 minutes, max), I have a shower to take, laundry to do, a house to pick up, dishes to clean, bottles to make, dinner to prepare, and errands to strategically plan for the 90 minutes that Cale is awake between naps.  How in the world am I supposed to find time to read the Bible?

After doing some inner searching, I think I have realized that it is much easier for me to do things on my checklist of things in the above paragraph, because they are tangible to me and I see the fruit of my labor within minutes.  Although reading the Bible and meditating on the truths of the Gospel produce fruit that is far richer than any of my chores, it is not as tangible to me and, therefore, much less motivating to schedule into my day.

This morning, the question was asked, "When my children are grown, what will they say I loved?".  Would it be my cell phone, my clean house, my schedule, my car, my husband, the Lord, etc...

BAM!  There it was -it hit me like a freight  train.  I know that right now, if Cale could talk, he would tell people that his mommy loves her schedule.  So much so, that it has caused me anxiety in the past three months of Cale's life.  Partly, because I had false expectations, and partly because a scheduled life equals a controlled life to me.  And I. Hate. To. Be. Out. Of. Control. Period.  So, is the Lord trying to break me of this need for control?  I think so.  Is he using my son to help achieve His goal?  I know so.  And,  I can say now, for the first time, that I am thankful.

Why?  Because this is part of sanctification.  Painful? Yes.  Good? Yes.  Necessary? Absolutely.  Maybe, through the breaking down of my need for control, I will begin to see that it is okay for our house to stay messy on some days or that it's okay if Cale doesn't take the naps I think he should take on most days.  It's okay that dinner is not on the table at the same time each night.  Really, I have a husband that doesn't care if it's on the table at all, especially if it means that I was able to spend time reading the Bible and learning about how to love the LORD with my heart, soul, and mind.

My goal as a mom is to live as an authentic example and give Biblical instruction, so that my children will be pointed to Christ.  I can only do that if I am striving to love the Lord first.

So, does this overwhelm me?  Definitely.  Parenting is a daunting task and I often wonder if  I am up for it.  Why did the Lord choose me to fill this role for Cale?  I feel far from being an authentic example and don't feel like I know much about how to instruct him using Biblical principles...but I want to point him to Christ.  Here is the good news...

"But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, and in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then He is strong." - 2 Corinthians 12

6.16.2011 - Three Months Old



Weight: 14lbs, 4oz

Many friends told me that babies become so fun when they are close to three months old - how right they are!  Cale is learning new things every day and he is interacting with us so much!  We have loved watching his face as he discovers something new, sees his face in the mirror, focuses on holding toys and putting them in his mouth, and looking all around at his surroundings.

In his third month of life...


He took his first trip to Cabellas, where Adam showed him  all of the different fishing gear...I think Adam has BIG dreams for future father/son fishing trips!


He has also become quite the drooler...can you see that line of dribble from his mouth to his hand?  Yep, my shirts aren't quite as clean these days!  I'm gratefulwe aren't deeling with spit-up though...I'll take the drool instead!


This was taken with my iphone (sorry about the blurriness) when Cale was playing on my bed one morning.  He loves to lift his head way up and look around.


He is so smiley!  I never thought this day would come!  I'm so thankful for his sweet smiles - I just can't get enough of them!



He LOVES bath time more and more everyday!  Sometimes, I add bubbles for him, because I can't imagine not loving a bubble bath every once in a while.  Adam is concerned I'm creating a diva! :)  Naaaaahhhhh!


He is becomeing quite the little man!  I love his pot belly in this picture.

He is such a joy.  I love my job and am not taking for granted the opportunity to be at home with him everyday.  I would not want to miss any of these moments...

6.14.2011

First Road Trip!

In May, my sister, Courtney, graduated from the University of Arkansas.  We were excited to make our first road trip as a family of three.  Thursday morning Adam had class, so I was on a mission to get the car loaded.  I wanted to try and coordinate Cale's nap schedule with the time we left so that he wouldn't be awake and protesting the fact that he was stuck in his car seat for the next 6 hours.  I strapped him to me in the Baby Bjorn and went to work.  Cale seemed to be pretty entertained by the back and forth, inside and outside process that came with packing the car.  Apparently, it also wore him out because he didn't make it to the car seat before he fell asleep.


I was so proud of Cale all weekend!  He slept most of the way to Fayetteville.  He slept great in his pack 'n play at the hotel, and he was so good during all of the graduation festivities.  
He even slept through the night!  Major victory!!

Living in Dallas, Cale doesn't have many long-sleeved clothing items, because, well, we live in Dallas...where it's in the 90's as early as March.  We just happened to be in Fayetteville the weekend a cold front had just come through, and were shocked when the high for the weekend was only 55 degrees - in the middle of May!  Adam and I made a quick run to the mall (which doesn't have much of a kids selection) and found Cale a little cardigan to go over his SLEEVELESS outfit.  When I put it on him, I laughed at how closely he resembled Mr. Rogers...



It was fun to spend time with my family.  

This is a picture of "Bear, "Aunt Cookie", me and Cale before went to lunch on Graduation Day.  "Honey/Sugar/Lady" (the verdict is out on what he will call my mom) was there too...more pictures to come!

All in all, it was a great weekend.  Good to know we conquered the first road trip...now for the first plane trip!  Yikes!

6.10.2011

Milestone...

video 

On Wednesday, Cale rolled over!  He was laying on my bed having some tummy time, when all of a sudden he just decided to roll over.  I started clapping and he got so excited!  I put him back on his tummy a few more times, and each time he would roll over and then smile really big!  Too cute - I think that he knows he accomplished something big!

6.09.2011

5.16.2011 - Two Months Old


Two Month Stats

Weight:  14 pounds 6 ounces

95th percentile in height
85th percentile in weight
50th percentile in head circumference


Cale loves his bumbo chair!  He loves to sit upright and loves to look around.  He has recently discovered the TV and is mesmerized by it...uh oh!  He has begun talking (cooing) to me and Adam and he loves it when we coo back to him.  He slept through the  night on May 13th.  I had to go wake him up at 7:45!!  When I first woke up, I realized that I had not heard him all night and I flew out of bed to make sure he was still breathing.  I'm sure  I'm not the first mom who has done that.


He is getting stronger everyday.  He loves to push up on his arms and look around.  He has discovered himself in mirrors and gets a HUGE kick out of it.

4.16.2011 - One Month Old


One Month Stats

12 pounds 4 ounces
95 percentile for weight & height


He is such a strong boy!  He can hold his head up and has pretty good neck control.  He loves his mobile above his bed and he loves his play mat.  He is not really a fan of tummy time.  He already spends a lot of time on his tummy, because we broke the rules and we let him sleep on his tummy!  He sleeps so much better that way.  He can turn his head side-to-side, so that makes me feel a little bit better.


Cale LOVES to take baths now!  I know that by his expression, you might be doubting me, but he really does love the water!  He gets so chill when we put him in the bath.  He will smile really big and kick his legs like crazy.  He is so content in the bathtub.  This is one of my favorite faces that he makes.  I call it his "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Willis?" face!  Anyone who has ever watched Different Strokes knows what I am talking about!

Catch Up...

Today, I'm doing a "catch up" post.  Since one of the main reasons for me starting this blog is to chronicle our new family of three, I'm feeling about three months behind.  So, please beware that the following post is going to be extra long....  Here we go.

This is Cale's birth announcement.  I had already picked out a general design, so when Cale arrived, all I had to do was fill in the information.  I just love the sweet picture of him.  It looks like he is praying so hard! :)

The night we got home from the hospital, I was ready to be out in some sort of social environment (imagine that).  We loaded up Cale and took him to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants.  Of course we covered his car seat so that he would not be exposed to all of the germies!



The second night he was home with us, we decided to get brave and bathe him.  We had to basically give him a sponge bath (because of his umbilical cord), and I think he got really cold.  Clearly, he was not a happy boy.



As soon as we wrapped him in a towel, he was MUCH better!



Adam and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary on April 2nd.  We thought it would be fun to take Cale with us on a date - all he did was sleep the whole time.



A few days later, we decided to try out the Baby Bjorn. We knew it might swallow him, but we thought we'd go on a walk and see how he would do.  We got to the end of our street, and Cale completely zonked out on us!  I know he doesn't look to comfortable, but clearly that doesn't bother him!



Next on the agenda (well, about 3 weeks later) was a haircut.  Now, I know that this seems absurd to think about cutting a 3.5 week old little boy's hair.  In most cases, it is absurd.  
In our case, it was SO necessary.  
Check out the before pic...

Yes, there is a mullet starting to form!  We had to take some off the back of his neck and around his ears.    


Now, the next thing most people ask is if I cut his hair myself.  My response is, "Are you CRAZY?"  I don't trust myself to cut hair in the first place - much less, my sweet little boy's hair!  I called the girl who does my hair and told her our situation.  She was SO excited.  He was her youngest client ever (not really hard to take that title)!  It was so sweet -  he slept on Adam's chest the whole time!

Brace yourself.  The picture you are about to see is of the same 3.5 week old.  Although he does look like a 5 month old, I promise I took this picture the next day!


Road Bump #1:

It was about week four (right after his haircut) when things started to go down hill.  Because of some milk supply issues I was having, we were having to supplement with formula.  After I had bathed him one night and was getting him dressed, I noticed a red rash all over his neck and chest.  I didn't think too much of it since I had just bathed him.  It didn't go away for several days, and I finally decided to call the doctor.  The nurse told me to watch it and if in two weeks it had not gone away, call back.  A few nights later, Cale started screaming...and wouldn't stop.  The next morning we called the doctor.  She suggested it might be colic, and assured me that he would grow out of it.  In the meantime, we could try and feed  him a hypo-allergenic formula.  She suspected that he could be allergic to cow's milk protein, which also goes hand-in-hand with a soy milk protein allergy.  The good news is, there is hope this allergy would disappear around 3 or 4 months of age.  We did start to notice a bit of a difference, but he still screamed a lot.  It was the kind of scream that is so alarming, we just knew something was NOT right.  After a week of lots of screaming, Adam decided we needed to take him in to see the doctor.  

Road Bump #2:
We spent an hour  discussing Cale's symtoms with the doctor.   She told us that she would like to start him on Prevacid and see if we notice a difference.  Adam, who is one year away from being a pharmacist, was tracking with her and immediately began to ask questions about reflux.  I was so confused - I thought reflux was when babies actually spit up.  Cale never was a big spitter-upper.  Who knew there was something called "silent reflux".  The doctor said that sometimes, babies stomach acid will come back up into their throat and stop there.  Therefore, these babies would still be in a lot of pain, but we wouldn't see any spit up to help us diagnose common reflux.  Hopeful the medicine would work, we decided to give it a shot.  

Now, 8 weeks later, we are praising the Lord for medicine.  Prevacid has been the miracle drug in Cale's life.  After one week of being on Prevacid, we had a different baby on our hands.

Road Bump #3:
Adam and I spent a lot of time "preparing" to become parents.  I'm smiling as I type this, because I have learned (and I'm sure I will continue to learn) that you can't really ever be prepared to be a parent.  Well, if I there was such a thing as being a prepared parent, I was determined to be one.  We read the books, we listed to the tapes, we went to the classes, we met with couples who were one step ahead of us in the parenting process.  Yep, we were going to be pros...ha, ha, ha!

I was sold on on the Babywise method (I know there are mixed opinions out there).  Being a type A person, I thrive on schedules, and knew that in order for me to function well, I would need to implement a schedule for my child.  This is great in theory and works well for many families - families whose children don't have reflux.

One thing the Babywise series emphasizes is sleep training and developing good sleep habits.  They are advocates of letting babies learn to self-soothe by crying-it-out.  I had seen this work many times with many families - I knew it worked.  But, because Cale had reflux, extended periods of crying would aggravate his reflux pain and it would be a slippery slope from there.  So, not only were we not able to sleep train, but we were having to use "sleep props" to get Cale to sleep!  I was panicking!  I just knew that this is what we would be doing to get him to sleep until he went off to college :)  Dramatic, I know, but it did  cross my mind.  

Last week, we got the "okay" from the doctor to go ahead and start letting him learn to self-soothe.  I'm proud to say that one week into it, if he cries at all, he only cries for 2-5 minutes max before falling asleep.  Victory!  Now, if I could only get him to nap longer than 45 minutes at a time.  I guess there is time to work on that!

6.08.2011

I've Caved.

For years I've been following the blogs of friends (to the point that, sometimes, Adam lovingly refers to me as a "blog stalker"), and now I'm taking the plunge.  Since our son, Cale, has arrived, I find myself emailing pictures and videos to family and friends on a weekly basis.  I am compiling pictures for Cale's memory book daily.  I often find myself thinking "oh, I can't forget to write down what happened today!".  So, a blog seemed practical...plus it is a little fun! :)

Those who know me well, know I almost always have a Plan A, Plan B, and usually a Plan C for most everything in life.  I've always known this about myself, but I didn't discover how tightly I tend to hold on to my plans until around March 16, 2011.  That would be the day that Cale entered our world.  Of course, the organized teacher side of me, mixed with the control-freak side of me had a plan.  My child wouldn't cry much, learn to sleep through the night early on, be a great napper, and probably be walking by six months (just kidding).  Well, of course that didn't work.  After WEEKS of Cale screaming for HOURS, he was diagnosed with having a cow's milk protein allergy.  After not much change, he was also diagnosed with silent reflux (the non-spitting-up kind).  What did that mean for me?  Plan A, B, and C all had to fly out the window.  Because of the screaming, my social, go-go-go self couldn't leave the house to go anywhere.  The extrovert in me was climbing the walls.  One night, after handing our screaming son off to Adam and heading to Target, I returned home.  Minutes later, Adam made the comment, "it is amazing how much your countenance changes when you leave the house for an hour."  Because of the reflux, we couldn't "sleep train" Cale (a.k.a., crying it out) like I had planned.  That meant that we were rocking him to bed, sometimes spending an hour putting him down for naps and bedtime.  And because he has "one-cycle-sleep-syndrome", his naps last 30 - 45 minutes, max.  Wow.

Lord, didn't you hear the plan I had?  I know He is just smiling and shaking his head.  You would think I would've learned not to "wrestle" with God by now.  Oh no, it's something I've been doing my whole life.  So, yes, I am a woman with a plan.  I am learning how to allow my plan to fizzle as the Lord directs my steps in this crazy life.  After all, His way is ALWAYS the better way, so I'm learning.

The good news is...Cale has turned a corner and I see the Lord's hand at work in my life.  More to come...