Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ramblings on Motherhood

I must say I have never been one of those women who feels my entire worth is wrapped up in having a child. I know a lot of women like that--like that is their whole mission & goal in life--to have children. I've had lots of "female problems" since I was a teenager--I don't know why--I had a lot of xrays as a young child (ovaries are sensitive to xrays & can be damaged by them), I was once standing in front of microwave that caught on fire when I was 12 (radiation exposure maybe?)--who knows. But I guess from a young age I knew there was a chance I wouldn't be able to have children & I just accepted it. I was really ok with it. I never lost a minute of sleep over it & never felt sad or self pity (though I don't think I've ever felt self-pity over anything in my life!) over it.

I have to admit when I first started dating men that had children it was a bit awkward for me. But I eventually found that it added a whole new dimension to a relationship--a good one. Vacations & things (albeit more expensive) were much more fun with kids.

I've been a step-mother for over 4 years now. It hasn't always been easy, but I do love these kids with all my heart. I have taken my role as step-mother VERY seriously & am always aware of the examples I set before them & always have their best interest at heart. I always try to put myself in their shoes when considering things that will/might affect them. We have really come a long way in 4 years I must say. But I also must add that they've been older & independent for the most part since I married into this family. I've deliberately avoided a real "motherly" role directly with them because I never wanted them to feel that I was trying to replace their own mother & they really didn't need that role anyways. They both have a good relationship with their own mom.

Whenever people have asked me if I did fertility treatments I tell them hubby & I discussed it & decided not to. They always nod & mention how expensive it is. The truth is hubby & I didn't even discuss the financial side of it. Hubby said he would go with whatever I wanted regarding it & I felt very strongly against it--I felt like I'd be forcing something that perhaps wasn't God's Will.

I must say hubby & I were content with our family as it was. And we were thinking in just a couple of years we'd be free to travel on our own & do mission trips & volunteer more at church, etc. So when we discovered I was pregnant we really had mixed feelings. I must admit I did not enjoy being pregnant, it was quite torturous (sp?). And the labor & emergency C-section wasn't any better. And then the first couple of months of motherhood were really, really hard. But for the past month or two things have been getting better. Much, much better. And through it all, no matter how hard it was, I found myself doing what was best for little Joseph, without even having to make that decision. It just comes naturally.

I must say that I am finding that I absolutely love motherhood. I always thought that a part of me would miss my child-free days, but that isn't the case. Yes, on days when I have a ton of errands to run it's very hard to do & I do get frustrated sometimes, but that isn't the same as me longing to be child-less. Some things just have to be done differently now.

None of this is really something I can put into words, but it is quite shocking to me. I am hoping that I am a good mom--that I can raise him to be a good person & to have a strong relationship with the Lord. I have read the book "Shepherding a Child's Heart" & hope to be able to follow the advice of this book in raising him. For quite some time now I have prayed daily to be a better wife & be more appreciative of my husband (things weren't bad & I wasn't not appreciative, just wanting God's best) & it has really taken our marriage to a whole new level that we both are thrilled with. I am now also praying daily that I can be a better mom & step=mom & instill the ways of the Lord into my children.

I'm done rambling for now............

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The latest updates on lil J.....

So lil J is 3 months now (or was he already in my last blog....I can't remember now?).....

He is grabbing everything within reach & thrilled to be able to do so. We have a cabinet above the changing table (where we keep formula, bottles, burp clothes, etc) & on the knobs on the drawers on it I keep a rubber band (at night when I get up to feed him I put my hair up so he's not grabbing & pulling it) & the other day I changed him & then sat down to feed him & he had my rubber band in his hand all excited about it. Yeah, he's getting sneaky like that, so I have to be more careful of what's in his reach now.

Tonight he was picking up his pacifier (with his thumb mostly) & trying really hard to get it in his mouth. He never quite got there, kept holding it sideways, but he was trying really hard. He later started holding the bulb part of it between his thumb & finger, which was quite impressive, but of course that wouldn't get it in the mouth either, LOL!! It was quite entertaining.

He loves when I read to him now--I can remember the early days when I don't even think he was aware that I was reading to him &/or he would just fall asleep to me reading to him. He probably still doesn't know WHAT I'm reading about, but he gets very calm & attentive when I read to him. Another thing I like to do is play my guitar & sing to him. And he appears to be trying to join in as he coos & makes all his verbalizations while I'm singing. It's absolutely adorable. I REALLY want to try to get a video of this!! Our little mother/son worship time, it's so great!

He hasn't been sleeping through the night the past few nights, waking around 4 am. But he did it for quite a while there, so I am hopeful he will again soon. But he takes good naps & usually goes to bed around 7 pm or so, so it gives us plenty of rest time.

I had such a blast taking him to the pool the other weekend. Hubby suggested that we just get a little wading pool in our backyard & I can do that a lot more often that way. When I was at Costco a few days ago I saw they had one & got it. We went to a pool store today & compared what they had & we got a much, much better deal with the Costco pool, so we decided to keep it & hubby & I inflated it just a little while ago. I was just telling hubby today that for me summer is all about playing in the pool, bbq-ing, & eating lots of fruit!! Gotta love summer. It used to be about going to the beach as well, but we haven't made it there in about 3 or 4 years I think. We used to stay all day & then have bonfires at night, it was so great! I miss those days--hopefully when Joseph is a little older we can do it with him too.

As for the baby dedication--I had sent an email to my pastor regarding the situation. It was mostly because I felt someone else going through that could easily turn away from the church, or even worse, from God. I really didn't want to see that happen to anyone. I wanted to make sure they were aware of what was going on. Several days later hubby got a phone call from one of the administrative pastors. Hubby had no idea that I had sent an email--he was caught off guard & didn't really know what to say. So he called me, said the pastor wants to dedicate our baby & wants to meet us. He asked me why I gave him his phone number, but I hadn't. I guess he someone looked us up in the church records. So today after church we met up with him. He apologized, said the elder we met with was new & a little overzealous. So the baby dedication is set for September 27th. He said that both of our reactions were actually just as he would expect--for the mom to take it as if she is a bad parent & the father to not be quite as devastated by it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Updates on lil J.....

So life is getting better & better with little J. He cries less & less all the time it seems. He sleeps through the night a lot of nights, but still wakes once occasionally. He is learning how to use his hands more, he is grabbing anything in his reach & is excited to be able to grab now. He also keeps trying to get up when he's sitting somewhere. He holds his head up pretty well, but his chest area is still a struggle for him.

After several weeks of wanting to take him swimming & never getting to it, we finally made it there yesterday! It was a lot of fun. He did really well. If we put him on his back he would float, but he would also get scared. So the whole time daddy held him in an upright position & we never let his head go under, I'm sure that would've scared him. After spending over an hour in the wading pool with him we headed to the jacuzzi. We met a really nice Christian couple there (& got their phone #) & hung out there until little one got hungry & fussy. Then we headed back to our patio table & fed him & ate fruit we brought & sat & enjoyed the breeze. The couple we met in the jacuzzi kept commenting on how great I look for having a 3 month old, they both kept "prying" (their word, not mine) on what I do. It was nice cuz I do still feel unhappy with my body--still have 12 more pounds to drop.

On another note overall I've been feeling pretty stressed out & disappointed in myself. Life is hectic with a baby & I am a perfectionist so I get a bit frustrated at times. But what really did me in was my church. About 3 weeks ago we met with a counsellor to schedule a time to get little one dedicated at church. We had to go through a really extensive interview for this & were basically told that we weren't strong enough Christians at this point. We were completely honest, telling him that we read our Bibles several times each week, but not always daily, even though we try to. We were told we needed to start 3 things: DAILY PERSONAL Bible reading, DAILY COUPLE Bible reading, & to get in a Bible study at church. We have really, really tried, but are failing it seems. We are in a Bible study now, we both "usually" manage our personal daily Bible reading most days of the week, but cannot seem to workout the COUPLE Bible reading. For those who know me, you know my hubby works A LOT of hours, some days by the time he gets home from work I'm too sleepy to understand what we're reading. It's just not working. And all of this has been a HUGE effort with a 3 month old in the house I must say. I do understand that their intentions were good, but I still feel it's a bit unrealistic & I really can't believe that everyone else who is up there dedicating their babies is doing all of this. We are supposed to report back next Saturday & I told hubby I'm not going--I cannot sit there & have the counsellor tell me what a failure I am. I have been skipping meals & sleep to accomplish what they want. My other issue is that I don't feel my heart is always in the right place with this situation--I'm reading as a chore now, surely the Lord wouldn't be pleased with this. We haven't given up on the challenge, we are still working on it & will continue to do so, though we have given up on the dream of having him dedicated at church, but I am very sad with the situation. Every week when I see couples up there dedicating their babies it literally brings me to tears.

I do have to say that I feel we are strong Christians--we do study our Bibles on a regular (though not always daily) basis, probably averaging 4-5 days each week, we continue to tithe our 10% (and sometimes more) despite what our finances are like, & we continue to pray & seek God always. I'm just feeling very sad & hurt over this situation. Hubby doesn't like seeing me so stressed out & skipping meals & not sleeping, so he agreed that we not go back next Saturday & that we can just do a dedication to God on our own.

Alright, little one is hungry, so I must sign off for now..........

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

And now for something completely different: Corn

A little break from the blogs on little one......

So I didn't write any blogs on the last book I read. It was about a guy who was in the mob/mafia/la cosa nostra/whatever you want to call it. He got saved, left the mob, & lived. He spoke at my church a few weeks back & my brother in law bought us one of his books telling his story. Very interesting, but I didn't get to writing any blogs on it. I have now finished that book & started another.

I am now reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan

Basically we are walking corn these days.

Just about anywhere you look or any food you buy or consume is derived from corn. Corn is what feeds the steer that becomes the steak. Corn feeds the chicken & pig, the turkey & the lamb, the catfish & the tilapia. Increasingly, even the salmon--which is a carnivore by nature, but farmers are reengineering it to tolerate corn (GMO salmon--this is one reason why we eat wild caught fish & not farmed; there is also GMO tilapia out there & who knows what else!!). The eggs are made of corn. The milk, cheese, & yogurt, which once came from dairy cows that grazed on grass, now typically come from cows that spend their working lives indoors tethered to machinges, eating corn.

If you look at processed foods you will find even more intricate manifestations of corn. A chicken nugget, for example, piles corn upon corn: what chicken it contains consists of corn, of course, but so do most of a nugget's other constituents, including the modified corn starch that glues the thing together, the corn flour in the batter that coats it, & the corn oil in which it gets fried. Much less obviously the leavenings & lectithin, the mono-, di-, & triglycerides, the attractive golden coloring, & even the citric acid that keeps the nugget "fresh" can all be derived from corn.

To wash down your chicken nuggets with virtually any non-diet soft drink is to have some more corn with your corn. Since the 1980's virtually all the sodas & most of the fruit drinks have been sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Grab a beer instead & you'd still be drinking corn.

There are some 45,000 items in the average American supermarket & more than a quarter of them now contain corn. this goes for the nonfood items as well--everything from toothpaste & cosmetics to disposable diapers, trash bags, cleaners, charcoal briquettes, matches, batteries, & much more.

It goes on to explain in detail about the reproductivity of corn & that it never would have survived this long without the help of man, it would've become extinct. "No other plant has humankind so involved in it's sex life" as the book puts it. But the reproductive life of plants is something I am not knowledgable about, although I keep meaning to learn about it, I'm sure it will help me in my garden if I do so.

That's the most interesting of what I've read so far. I don't plan to do any sort of chapter by chapter blogging on this book, but if there's more interesting stuff in the book I'll be sure to share it here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Making progress

So this morning & yesterday morning little J slept til 6 am!!! To me this is a reasonable time to get up so to me this is sleeping through the night--yahoooooo!!

I have to say that I really, really like the schedule he has right now & I'm hoping it doesn't change much from here on out. He wakes up at 6 & eats, takes a little nap while I work out, shower, do my makeup & hair (he's not asleep the whole time, I usually put him in the swing & he dozes off & on). Then at 9 I bathe him & dress him & feed him. He's now taking a little nap. He'll be due to eat at noon & 3 & 6--he's still wanting to eat every 3 hours. I'm sure somewhere in the afternoon he'll need another nap. And around 6 or 7 pm he's usually ready for bedtime. So today I'm planning to put him in pj's at the last feeding. Up until now I really wasn't sure when his last feeding of the day would be so I never got to put him in pj's (cuz I never wanted to wake him just to put him in pjs!). But now I'm seeing a pattern emerge & I'm ready to do it. I'm also planning to read him a bedtime story. That way I can establish a bedtime routine for him. When I put him to bed in his regular clothes he kicks off his covers a lot (he moves around A LOT while he's sleeping) & in the morning his little feet & hands are really cold, so I think pj's will keep him warm even without covers.

This morning was soooo wonderful. A lot of times when he's REALLY hungry he's screaming his head off so desperate for food, especially while I change his diaper & he's hungry. And he also does this when he has a poopy diaper. He couldn't care less about pee, but hates the poop! So this morning I wake to hear him not crying, but just "talking". I look at the clock & it's 6 am. I look into the crib & he's wide awake, just looks at me like "ahhh, mom's here!!" I grab him (thinking he's on the verge of screaming) & start to change his diaper (which is full of poop!). The whole time I'm changing him he's just laying there smiling & cooing at me. I couldn't believe it!! Then I sat him down with the bottle & he just ate as calmly as could be. I was loving life!! I sure hope the day continues like this!! And I checked the clock today--I started his bath at 9 & then dressed him & made his bottle & was feeding him at 9:15--I'm getting much faster at the bath routine!!

I am noticing now that when he gets fussy it usually means he either has a burp or he needs a nap. Life is definitely getting easier.

Sundays are hard for me cuz I have to have me & him ready for church in the morning. Hubby usually helps me bathe him & feed him, etc to make this easier. I had assumed that he was just doing it to help me out, but last Sunday he shared with me how he looks forward all week long to Sunday mornings & getting to bathe him, etc. That just totally melted my heart!!

Mondays are hard cuz we go to Bible study at church on Monday nights. Last Monday he fell asleep on the way there in the car (6pm). I guess he woke up while there (he drank a little of his bottle, but not much) & was still awake when we picked him up at 9:45 pm. By the time we got home he had fallen asleep again, but when hubby took him out of the car seat he woke up & wouldn't fall back to sleep. We ended up putting him in the swing--but I hate for him to spend ALL NIGHT in the swing like that--just doesn't seem good. I think next Monday maybe I'll leave him in the car seat & see if he'll sleep through the night there--I think it's better than the swing at least.....

I think that's all the updates I have for now...........

Sunday, July 5, 2009

More lil J updates................

Little J still has good days & bad feeding-wise........I cannot seem to figure out what makes the difference.

He seems to be a shy-guy so far. When I took him to my work so my co-workers could see him he cried about having all these strangers looking at him & in his face. He did the same at hubby's work too. He clearly knows when it's someone he knows & when it's a stranger.

He has learned that he can reach farther with his feet than with his arms...as his lower body is easier for him to lift than his upper body is. He is getting really good at using both feet together to grab things. It's really amazing to watch as he so purposefully & carefully executes things such as grabbing a burp cloth & dangling it over himself.

His 3 am feeding for the last 2 mornings has moved to 4:30 am, yahoo!!!!! We are hoping it gradually extends to later & later & then to us sleeping all the way through the night.

I've been wanting to take him swimming soooo badly. We now have 2 pairs of swim trunks for him now (one I bought & one his big sister bought). So far we just haven't had the time to take him. We are still very busy & have no "fun time" at all. But as soon as we do we'll take him & I'll be posting pics! And yeah I'll be putting on my bikini, but I doubt I'll be posting those pics, LOL!!

As for me I am extremely happy to report that I already have my flat stomach back!!!! I was very worried about my weight & my body with the pregnancy, but I still managed to gain a whopping 47 pounds by the end of the pregnancy. After delivery I lost 27 pounds (the weight of the baby, placenta, water bag, extra blood I'm pumping, as well as the swelling fluid in my hands, feet, & face the last month)--so I still had 20 more to lose.

At a week & a half after delivery I started taking daily hour long walks with little one in the stroller. By 2 weeks I felt like I hadn't even had surgery & by 3 weeks I started working out again. At 4 weeks I started my diet again. I am now 7 weeks into my diet & have lost 7 pounds--so I have 13 more to go, I am very pleased with those results!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Little J updates............

So little J continues to do pretty well feeding-wise. Well, except for yesterday--he was super fussy & refusing to takes naps & constantly demanding to be fed & throwing up all day until he finally was beyond exhausted around 6 pm & passed out & slept til 1 am. But today is back to normal & all is well. He remains on the formula that has rice starch in it.

He still wants one feeding somewhere during the night--somewhere between 1-5 am. He will go 8-10 hours between dinner (5-7 pm) & the middle of the night feeding, but still can't get it lined up so he'll sleep through the whole night on that 8-10 hours......hopefully someday soon.

Just before he turned 2 & 1/2 months he moved up to size 3 diapers. And when he turned 2 & 1/2 months he moved up to size 6 month clothes.

He still likes to kick & explore with his feet. He is using his hands more & more & starting to be able to pick up some things (like blankets & burp cloths) & hold things I place in his hand (pacifier, rattle).

I think he's teething also (& so does grandma)--lots of drool & wanting to chew on stuff rather than suck on stuff.

He also continues to "talk" quite often & now smiles in response to a smile (before he would only smile in response to hearing a laugh).

Grandma (my mom) came for a visit today & got to see him smile & talk, it was a very nice day.