Friday, September 15, 2017

book club girls getaway and life lately

Last weekend the bookclub girls had our 2nd annual little getaway, and it was wonderful. We went to St. Joseph right on Lake Michigan. We got a hotel, walked on the beach and by the pier, ate delicious food, window shopped, and most importantly had some kid-free time and time talking about our lives (which of course included lots of talking about our kids and husbands) haha. I am so blessed to have these friendships. We've had our bookclub about 9 years now, and faithfully get together once a month for rotating dinner at each others houses, we always choose a book, but don't always all read it and talk about it a couple minutes, but it has just turned into a group of friends meeting, eating, talking, and sharing life together. What a blessing. We've been through so much together, marriages, my divorce, movings, the birth of 11 kids and 2 more still on the way, and the death of a spouse. It's been a true blessing to share life with these wonderful, encouraging Christian women.
Doug and August dropped me off so we could all carpool
The girls, minus Courtney, she couldn't make it this year (or last year! :( ) and we met Kathryn, who has since moved to Chicago, there.
Beautiful Lake Michigan
We are daydreaming about bigger trips, "bookclub girls do Prince Edward Island" or Europe. Those are pretty far off in the future though as some of us are still having and nursing babies. But maybe someday.
Doug did a great job of manning the fort at home. And I think August was a good sleeper for him.
He's been all over the map lately. Either sleeping all night or getting up anywhere up to 10x. It's crazy. The night before last was one of the worst. He went to sleep 9, up at 12:30, wouldn't fall asleep till 2am, I picked him up no less than 6 times from the crib to hold him, rock, sing, hush, nurse, you name it. Nothing. Finally laid him on our bed till he fell asleep, then transferred. He still woke up another 3x because his binky fell out. Then up at 7. The next day was one of the worst days for me yet. All day he was fussy. He would cry if I was ever out of sight, and even when I was close he just seemed to cry on and off all day. The only cry-free time was our stroller walk in the park. I was exhausted. I literally screamed at him twice. Screamed. Loud. Which of course scared him and he screamed more. It was a real low in my mothering life. Two times I called Doug at work crying and sobbing. I felt horrible. I was in the bathroom looking at my Colossians Bible verse and begging God to give me patience, compassion, and kindness and then I went straight over to him and screamed at him to shut up. And then burst into tears. I felt like a monster. My poor sweet baby being screamed at by the one who is supposed to love and comfort him.
Finally Doug came home and like the flip of a switch he was fine. We went to our friend's who made us a delicious Indian feast and we met their new baby. Then came home, put August to bed. He laid down and didn't even cry one time. He slept all the way until 3am when I woke HIM because my breasts were painfully full and they woke me up. So nursed him, put him back to sleep and not even a peep even though he was awake, and he slept till 8am. What the heck. But seriously I'll take it.
So I don't know what is going on. I think I need to come up with some strategies for the next time. I know he likes walks, he likes being in the backpack, it might just mean sitting with him and doing nothing. Maybe going for a drive. But I don't ever want to do that to him again. So I continue to pray for patience and that God would increase my love and care for him. I wonder if I might finally be getting my period back and some of that could be related to PMS? But anyway, it was a true low.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

weekend update

We were supposed to see Doug's sister-in-law and kids last weekend, which I was really looking forward to August meeting his cousins, but they cancelled on us unfortunately. So that was a bummer but we ended up having a pretty impromptu fun day.
First we randomly decided to go to the airshow in the morning.
This is as close as I hope August ever gets to being in a tank.
We got to see the planes from WWI and WWII and then we had to leave. We'd double-booked our day and had made plans the day before to meet with some other friends at Greenfield Village.
Here is August and I in front of the Martha and Mary chapel. So my dad actually built the pipe organ there, and I'm pretty sure I even helped work on it with him as a child, and these 2 old lady guards wouldn't let me in to see it. They even quizzed me on the name and city of the builder and they were like 'oh yeah that's right', but they wouldn't let me go look at it. Like there's some top secret plan to break into a teeny church at the village. I was annoyed. I feel like asking my dad to take me next time he goes to tune the organ there and then pushing past those ladies 'member me?!?' as I start playing the organ. Haha. Anyway, Greenfield Village was cooler than I remember from my grade school field trips.
So my day had actually been triple booked because I had planned the week before to go to a 'sexy dance class' with a friend, and then we delayed it a week because she said the song for the week we had chosen was "too raunchy". So I appreciated that. We ended up learning a dance to the opening of Chris Brown's Freak at Night. I would've thought with my aerobics history I could've remembered more, it was hard to remember the order and it was just 30 seconds of a routine!! Anyway, it was fun. I was the only white girl which was definitely a blast from the past feeling, and felt like 'white girl can't dance' ;) but it was actually really fun and nice to see that friend and spend time with her.
The other big thing this weekend was August started crawling!
Heeey, hoooo!
He's been wobbling on hands and knees for awhile, but I turned on the cat's favorite toy and that was the big motivation for August's first crawl! He crawled right over to it and tried to put it in his mouth. So now begins a new adventure of turned over trashcans, hands in the cat water dish, computer laptop wires being pulled, the possibilities are endless. Poor little guy is also getting the entire top row of his teeth so he's been a sad little guy lately, and back to waking up 6-10x per night, so we've all been a little sad lately. Hope that stops soon!

Monday, August 14, 2017

life lately

Doug and I had a busy weekend around the house. He'd been laying new linoleum in the laundry room, I just got done vacuuming and baby was napping so I finished reading this book my mom loaned me and I read it pretty much all evening yesterday and finished it this morning.
It was really good, and I'd been in want of a good book for a long time now.
However, it was a book with 2 women experiencing loss, and that is hard to read. I was sobbing several times through this book. One of the two storylines is about 9/11. That event never fails to bring tears to my eyes. I have cried through so many stories, documentaries, etc on that day. It's just so sad. I can't imagine the horror of being trapped in a burning building, or contemplating jumping to my death, or being on the ground looking up and feeling helpless, or running for your life as the building collapsed. So horrible.
I feel like the book did a good job of touching in on this woman's life, and it was a story of love and hope overall.
Much more mundane things have been going around in our neck of life.
This is about all I'm going to get from my garden. I have sadly faced up to the fact that I am a gardening failure.
How do some people end up giving away bushels of zucchini when my 3 plants in the top corner just shriveled and died? And I know it looks dry, but I did water them!
August has been introduced to eating veggies since he turned about 8.5 months. Here he is enjoying some spinach and peas. We went out for Mediterranean lunch yesterday after church and also gave him a bit of hummus and both black and green olives. I think it's good for him to get a variety of flavors. Just because mama doesn't like olives doesn't mean he won't, in fact he seems to like everything he tries.
Our neighbors had us over for a BBQ
August had a few days of horrible sleeping. Seriously he woke anywhere from 15-20x the one night, I lost track. In the morning Doug had left for the couch and went to tell me he was leaving and I had to get up with August who was awake. I literally kicked my legs under the covers having a tantrum, and instead just brought August in to bed. I am not a co-sleeping fan, and had even just read another story of a little 8 week old wiggling down to the mother's knees and smothering under a blanket. I had my hand on August's belly, no blankets on him, and he fell right to sleep. Here was us after we woke up 2 more hours later. Doug was really mad at me though. I seriously felt like I was in some sleep deprivation study though, it is so obvious how people make bad decisions when they are tired. I felt like it wasn't really a big deal, but on the other hand, is a little more sleep really worth the risk, even if small? The next night he woke up less, maybe 10 times, then the next night 5, and then the last 2 nights back to twice. I can see he's getting a couple more teeth, and I think he was having some constipation issues. Which is odd, he still is mainly on breastmilk, takes a probiotic, and the food he is eating is all vegetables. He had a huge poop and hopefully that's behind us. Owie, poor guy.
He's such a sweetie.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

9 month postpartum body

I meant to post this at like 3 months, and never got around to it.
Pregnancy takes your body on quite the journey. I feel so blessed I was able to conceive and carry my baby to term when so many women have difficulties. The way God made the woman's body to grow another body is so amazing!
A trip down memory lane, from 8 weeks pregnant
to 42 weeks pregnant on my induction day, 23 pounds later.
This is about 2 weeks after birth, I'd probably had lost about 20 lbs already.
Right at the 2 week mark I was finally healed up down there enough to be able to sit and move a little bit more without being near tears, so I think I started taking very short walks around the neighborhood with him on my chest around then, I can't remember, maybe that was at 3 or 4 weeks, but it did take about 2 full weeks to be able to not wince and/or cry from the birth tears. Ow! After birth I noticed some stretch marks under my belly button, and I thought, "no fair for them to come after delivery!" but maybe actually they were there before and I couldn't see them? Who knows.
That's at about 3 months after. And down another 5lbs. Pretty much stabilized. And been that way pretty much every since. Here's 9 months after
So I am lighter, I don't think my stomach is all the way down, altho it was never perfectly flat anyway. And the skin is looser, and belly button bigger (!!), but all in all I'm feeling pretty good and most times feel strong enough hefting this little guy all around. Othertimes I feel like an old lady after I pick him up, 'oh my back!'. They say breast feeding burns 500 calories a day and women often gain when they stop it, that will probably be me because I don't feel I'm really eating a whole lot extra. Oh well, we'll see.
I'm thankful I was able to have this little guy. I think it helped me stay strong and fit that I exercised my whole pregnancy. I'm sure I'll be busier the next time around, whenever that will be, with having less time now with August, but I will try!

Monday, July 31, 2017

9 months

Our little guy is 9 months already. Time is flying!
He's still mostly a breast-fed little guy, we've started some grains and veggies but he isn't too interested yet. He has nights of sleeping through the night, and then nights of waking up 1-3 times still. Honestly I am ready for that to be done. It's been so hard to muster up the energy to even check his diaper, sometimes I just give him his binky and that works, if he cries again then I check the diaper and feed him. I don't know what to say other than my body is done with the frequent wake ups!
We just came back from our first camping trip, which was good during the day, bad at night. We had this little packable sleeper box thing from his parents, but it was too small for him to roll onto his back. Plus it got pretty cold at night and his hands were icy cold when I nursed him at night, and stupid mommy hadn't packed any socks to even put on his hands. I wanted to tuck him into my bag with me, but Doug was worried I'd roll onto him, so he held him for a long time and eventually he fell asleep. And of course my whole family had woken up too, sorry everyone! My dumb phone is constantly out of picture storage space so will have to get the pics off Doug's phone.
Otherwise he's a pretty good boy. Addicted to his binky. Loves to reach out and grab anything he can possibly grab and stuff into his mouth. Sitting like a pro, but no crawling yet. Loves to be carried around and be with mom and dad. Will still sit and play with toys or be in his jumper, but not for too long, so that makes it difficult to get things done. Oh well.
He's always been so "easy", so when he's been more fussy lately it's been hard for me. Lately I've been struggling with feeling like a pretty lousy mom and have been praying so much for God to give me patience, kindness, and gentleness with him, and compassion for his needs. Pretty much praying Colossians 3:12-14 over me: "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."
It seems bad to have to pray for more love for your own child, which also makes me feel like a failure, but it can feel very overwhelming trying everything and he's still crying and upset. It's so easy to get frustrated and even annoyed. So I keep praying. I always felt this deep desire to be a mother and God has so generously given that to me, I pray that I can be the mom that August needs! Please pray for me.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

life lately

Not up to much these days. I've had the week off so I've been doing stuff on my to do list like hemming a pair of pants that have been sitting there for months, trying to figure out how to wipe my old laptop since I've finally transitioned to my new one, we celebrated Doug's birthday last week, making meals and taking family walks.
He's been jumping like crazy in his jumper
bugger nose! haha, sent this pic to his daddy. I think this was his 4th cold since birth? Already gone. We've been pretty blessed 8 months in and hasn't had more than the 4 colds here and there.
not crawling, but sitting up like a boss
He's started to do more of those annoying baby things like throwing his head back and arching his back when he cries. He fights naps and going down for bedtimes occasionally. Last night we tried the 'cry it out' but I couldn't take more than about 5 minutes. So Doug and I took turns holding, singing, and then Doug just sat next to him while he played around and eventually got tired. All in all he's pretty good though.
We started veggies. I made a mix of sweet potato, kale, swiss chard, and spinach. I don't think I minced the leaves small enough, pretty soon he was gagging and threw it all up along with huge amounts of milk that he had before the veggies. Whoops, maybe you're supposed to do milk more like an hour before?
We got a 'new' wooden highchair last night off a swap site, I don't really like the cloth one we registered for. Even though the fabric wipes down, too many cloth crevices for gunk to get stuck. I guess something can look great on a registry, but real life shows you need something else.
He's not really a huge fan of food. A bite or two and then he's done. Which is fine with me, breastmilk should be a baby's main nutrition at least until a year, and the WHO says until 2 actually.
less barfy, buggery pictures of our boy:
LOVES bathtime
our little cutie

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

grow garden grow

My mom came over and helped me plant the garden when we returned from Hawaii in May.
We planted zucchini, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, pole beans, san marzano tomatoes, cucumber, beets, broccoli, dill, and brussel sprouts. Mom set up the fence and we were good to go... or so we thought.
The neighborhood groundhog got in anyway (we think under the fence?) ate a bunch of the beet greens, almost all the leaves off the beans, a zucchini plant, all the broccoli, the dill, and 3 out of 4 of the Brussel sprouts. I went back to Lowes and got some replacement plants, but they weren't selling pole beans anymore, and I didn't bother with broccoli again. We thought we reinforced the fence, but the very next day he ate it almost all again. RRRRRRRR.
So we borrowed mom and dad's live trap.
I will spare you the other 4 groundhog photos, because they pretty much all look alike. Yup, we caught 5 groundhogs. One day we even got 2 in one day. So after debating what to do with them, we decided to let them go in this fieldy area about 5 miles away. And we took them all one by one to the same spot so hopefully they can reunite.
It's been a couple days with no more in the trap, and no more garden decimation. So that's good.
So far I have some green tomatoes, a little cuke growing, but everything else is still pretty small. Here's hoping for a better turnout than last year!
Speaking of fresh veggies, I hosted book club last night and made this awesome salad. The dressing was the star of the show, everyone loved it and it was all gone. Can't wait to make it again.