September 28, 2011

Dear Jude :: 6 months old

Dear Jude-bug,

You are SIX MONTHS OLD!!  You have been in this world one half of a year, and I can hardly believe it!  Not to sound like an old record... but it has FLOWN.

You are getting increasingly interested in the world around you.  You are getting more and more interactive with your daddy and me.  It is so fun to see you start to show more affection, because you love us.  You give big slobbery kisses and grab us to bury your face in us, which I consider a form of hugging. :-)

You are sitting up pretty good on your own, but are still a little bit wobbly.  You still LOVE standing and your jumperoo.  You aren't crawling, but roll all over the place to get to what you want.  You also have started pushing yourself on your belly with your feet a little bit.  On your video monitor, most of the time you have scooted yourself off the camera.

You are now mostly a side and belly sleeper!  You have started to eliminate your 3rd nap, which makes for some long awake times and interesting evenings.  You now go to bed closer to 7pm most nights and will wake up around 3-5am and wake up for good between 7:30-8am.  We are starting to do a bottle at night before bed to make sure you get a good feeding, because at night you tend to get impatient nursing. :-)  It has been a struggle for the past couple of months at night, but we hope that a bottle will fill you up and keep you from waking because you are hungry. 

According to my inaccurate scale, you weigh approximately 16lbs and are somewhere around 28-29 inches long.  You have a doctors appointment in a couple of weeks where we will get a more accurate reading.  (You were 15lbs 6.5oz and 27"... dropped to the 11th percentile for weight and the 70th for height, but still very healthy!)  But you have consistently been in the 50th percentile for weight and about the 95th for height.  You also just moved into 9 month clothes.  Yes, I just said 9 MONTH clothes!

You don't have any real words yet, but you do a very distinctive "mummummum" especially when you are being whiny. :-)  I wonder what your first word will be?  You have also started to do fake laughs and coughs.  It is hard to tell which you intend it to be.  Haha.  But you think you are quite funny.  And so does mommy. :-)

Your 6th month also marks Mama starting to be a stay-at-home-mom!!  So we get to hang out EVERY DAY! :-)  I can't wait to see you grow and discover the world.  It is such a joy to be your mama.

Love love love,


September 25, 2011

Small changes.

Sometimes, it really IS the little things.  I did yoga today for the first time in months.  And I feel great!  I haven't felt so energized, but relaxed (different from tired or exhausted!) in a long time.  I am so glad I took a little bit of time this morning for myself.  It is SO easy for me to get caught up in the mommy-hood fog and I forget I need to take care of myself too!  Yes, right now, my life revolves around Jude.  But all too often lately, I am recognizing that in order to be a better mommy, I need to stop and make sure I am right.

This goes back to my whole I'm going to be more intentional about my time goal.  Yes, that again.  Ugh, but I gotta say I've failed miserably.  It is hard to have energy and motivation to do things when you are running on low sleep.  But it is so important that I take care of myself or else I am just a zombie in baby-land who hasn't showered in 3 days and whose life consists of dishes, diapers, and laundry {and I've lived there for awhile, trust me}.

And because I love lists and I am using this to encourage myself to action, here are a few small changes that I think will help me to be the best me.

Get in the Word. I've been better at this lately than I have been in years.  Something about being a mommy that made me realize I need to be on my knees more often than I'm not.  I've been going through 1 Peter the past month or so, and it has reminded me that I belong to Christ and not to the world any more.  That is a lesson I could stand to hear every day.
Exercise.  Yes, I plan to keep up my 1 day trend of yoga in the morning.  I feel too good today not to.
Nutrition. I've been gluten-free, and dairy-free for the past 4 months (slipping on gluten from time-to-time, but not dairy).  I know not everyone is like me, but I truly feel what I eat right away.  If I eat crap, I feel like crap.  If I eat healthy, I feel great.  'Nuff said.
Housework. UGGHH.  It HAUNTS me.  But it is the little things, once again, that add up.  Taking 5 minutes to wash a few dishes helps it not become an overwhelming task later.  Doing a load of laundry each day is easy, and there is no daunting "laundry day" to dread.  I function much better in a clean-ish home without those tedious tasks hanging over my head.
Focused time with my boys.  Quality time is my love language.  Simple as that.  If I take care of the rest of these things, I feel better and am able to really let myself have that time with Jordan and Jude without thinking about the housework.  So, I get on the floor and read books with Jude or play "superbaby" or "airplane" or "blast off".  And I can be 100% there.

I really want to be the best me, so that I can be an intentional mother.  So I can keep up with my boy (who is already wearing me out at 6 months old).  And have a life filled by the Spirit.  So, more important than blogging a certain number of times a week or checking facebook 5 times a day, I'm going to make sure I'm right first.  The rest of that stuff just doesn't matter.  I want to encourage and support Jordan like it's my job.  I want to love on my boy and discover the world with him.  And teach him about Christ.  But I cannot do any of that unless I am abiding first and foremost.

As a good friend says, give the Lord the "first fruits" of your day.

I know I find that when I take the time to put my priorities in order, the rest of the day goes a whole lot better.  I feel more rested, but motivated.  It is the small changes day in and day out that add up to a blessed life. 

Thank you for putting up with my ramblings.  You know how it is when you have something on your heart and you just need to get it out!

September 9, 2011

My new job title.

I have had a job since I was 14 years old.  I worked for Janie's Cookie Company in the mall and baked cookies and scooped ice cream.  I can't believe my parents drove me to work every day after school, but I wanted to work.  I guess you can say I've always been a busy body.

Since then I've been a sales associate, tanning salon manager, direct care provider, community living support, leasing consultant, staffing specialist, and most recently (and most favoritely) Development Director at an absolutely wonderful non-profit organization for the past 3 years.

I have loved working for Access of West Michigan for the past 3 years.  They are an amazing organization that works with hunger and poverty issues in Kent County.  Even more amazing than the work they do are the hearts of those who do it.  This is a group of passionate people.  And passion is contagious.  I have been encouraged, challenged, and uplifted by people I call my Access family for the past 3 years.

And I'm going to really really miss them.

See, I really wanted to be one of those moms work worked a couple days a week and stayed home with my little guy the rest of the week.  I thought I had the perfect scenario to work from home 10 hours a week and in the office on Tuesdays.  But what I found is that working from home is HARD.  I didn't like feeling like the time my son was awake was an "inconvenience" because I had SO much to do.  I didn't like my attention split and not being able to compartmentalize my work vs. home duties.  I didn't like how I felt like I was failing as a wife and mother and employee, simply because I am not super wife/mom/woman.  In short, I felt like I was trying to do everything, and none of it well.

It was clear to me working from home wasn't working.  It was either work in the office 2-3 days a week or don't work at all.

Oh, how I struggled with this.  Like I said, I wanted to be one of those moms.  The ones who can work and enjoy a career and be a good mom.  I just wasn't settled with this in my spirit.  I just knew that it was best for my family for me to stay at home.  It was best for my marriage and best for my son.  But I had a very hard time sacrificing my role as Development Director.  Because I love my job and love the people I work with.  It would be a sacrifice... a big one.  Financially... career-wise.  And I wrestled with this for 3 months.  I prayed for clarity and peace.  I feel that God gave me insight into my own motives for wanting to keep working.  It is hard to let go of something that you have found identity in for over 12 years of your life.  My entire life until now has been about career.  I didn't go to college to learn how to be a SAHM.  "What do you do?" is one of the first questions people ask you.  I'll admittedly say that I struggled with letting go of this title I had define me for so long.

But the truth is, work doesn't define me.  Working at Access doesn't make me any more or less of a person.  It doesn't make me any more or less capable.  It doesn't make me any more or less valuable.  What does define me is that I am a daughter of the King and I have committed myself to seeking him with my whole heart.  And the answer is clear.  I know I will never regret the decision to invest in my son and my family with 100% of my focus and attention.  

So a couple weeks ago I sat down with my boss and told him I needed to stay home with my boy.  Tears were shed, hugs were had, and I was told that if I ever needed a job again to give them a call first.  And I definitely will.

So, in short, come the end of September I will have a new job title. Stay At Home Mom!!!  I am VERY excited to invest 100% in my sweet boy and my family.  I know this is the right choice.  It will not be easy.  Financially, we obviously aren't dink's anymore (dual income no kids).  But I don't think I'll look back and say I am so glad I worked so I could do that bathroom renovation 6 months earlier.  I love the idea of taking my new "job" seriously and planning fun things for me and my boy to do as he grows older.  And making our home a place that is stress-free for my husband.

But I am going to miss my Tuesdays in the office.  Particularly this group of people.

But I cannot WAIT to spend the next 18+ years trying to raise this little guy into a Godly man.

September 8, 2011

Little sickling.

I have a little sickling on my hands.  Poor little bubba.  He has a runny nose, cough, and is just all-around miserable.

So this mama is loaded up on the tylenol, humidifier, saline nasal spray, and lots and lots of cuddles.  My boy is a weirdo though.  He LOVES having his nose suctioned.  Loves it.  He'll squeal with joy after I do it.  He's a strange little one.  Kinda like he smiles while he coughs and laughs after he sneezes.  Weirdo.  Just another reason to love him to pieces.

Luckily even though he's a sicky he is still mostly in good spirits.  Naps are crap-tastic (hello 30 minute nap), but other than that I think I am more worked up over his sickness than he is!  He has had a few of those "hold me hold me don't put me down!" days.  So we've been doing a lot of this. {excuse the crappy cell-phone pic}

I'm so glad he loves his mei-tai carrier.  I was able to get dinner started, switch out the laundry, and feed the furry kids all with my little bubbado strapped to me.  And he was happy as a clam.

I have a lot to catch up on blog-wise.  Expect a few big posts this week.  Like how I quit my job.  And how I'm attempting a new venture in crafting.  And some updates on my goals and what I've been reading lately.  Lots to say, but right now my bed is calling me after a long day with my little sickling.