Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pretty Little Peacock

Too bad my arms are in this picture!

Today we attended Michaela's cousins' (triplets!) third birthday party. They always have the best birthday parties! This year, their party was in a park across the street from their beautiful new home. The kids enjoyed a bounce house, face painting, balloon art, and games. We adults enjoyed the gourmet food trucks and wandering through the new house!

It was a fun opportunity for Michaela to dress up for the first time. Originally, I had purchased a cute flower costume, but as the party neared I realized that the weather was going to be too warm for that costume. I found this one on clearance at Gymboree, and I think Michaela looks so pretty in these jewel tones. It worked out perfectly.

Tomorrow there will be no dressing up in costume and "trick or treating". Michaela is too little for that, and I really don't think we will celebrate Halloween in the future. We will go to the pumpkin patch, like we did this year, but we will find Halloween alternatives at our church or another local church instead - alternatives that allow her to dress up and have fun without emphasizing the scary and pagan aspects of the occasion.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Patch 2011

Last Friday, I took advantage of having an afternoon off work to spend some time with Michaela and some of my family at a local pumpkin patch. We had such a good time! I had been wanting to have experiences like this with my own child for many, many years. The only thing missing was Michael's physical presence with us - a common feeling for me.

I'm looking forward to many more moments like this afternoon with my precious girl. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Michaela @ Five Months

Here's our attempt at the usual monthly shot, but Michaela wasn't really interested in sitting up pretty for me. She looks cute anyway!

Letting her do it her way, and we get a darling shot!

My beautiful daughter has just continued to flourish this past month. She reveals more of her personality with each passing day, and she's always learning to do something new. Being with her is so much fun.

Here's the latest:

Growth - We won't see our pediatrician this month, and so I don't have a precise weight and height for her. But I think she's probably close to 16 pounds, and perhaps has grown closer to 27 inches. She's just started wearing a size 3 diaper, and she's transitioning from six month sized clothing to nine months. I took advantage of sales and coupons at Carter's and Gymboree to purchase her cool-weather wardrobe, but we are still enjoying our Indian Summer weather here and probably won't be needing those things for a few more weeks.

Feeding - Michaela is still trying to decide what she thinks about this whole cereal thing. More winds up on her face than in her mouth, that's for sure. We've also added some bananas to her menu. She's not so sure about those either. I have purchased some organic baby foods just to add a spoonful of something new to her cereal mix now and then, but we've only tried bananas so far. I do plan to make my own purees for her eventually, but being that she eats so very little of what I give her right now, I'll wait until she's more enthusiastic about food.

Sleeping - Well, early last week we had several nights where she slept through the night, and it was so wonderful for Mommy! But that was short lived, and we have returned to getting up at least once a night for a bottle and some cuddle time. I attribute this to teething as she also has increased drooling, a desire to chew on everything, a few days of the runs, and fussiness (what happened to my easy-going girl?). The lack of sleep doesn't really seem to affect her, but I'm not doing so well. Also, she used to sleep late enough into the morning that I could get up and get ready for work before she woke up. Not anymore! That means that we are up even before my alarm goes off, or we are getting up at the same time. I can't get up to get ready for work any earlier than five, or I do not make it through my day without a caffeine drip. So getting ready has been a challenge. As for naps, she usually naps for less than two hours total during the day. The average baby (whoever that is) naps for four hours per day. This makes getting things done at home on the weekends very, very challenging. The only person around here who wants a nap during the day is me.

Fun Stuff - Michaela is a good shopper. I put her in the Baby Bjorn when we go to the market, and she likes looking around and smiling at the other shoppers. She just loves dogs! Michaela laughs heartily at our dog (the dog's only saving grace right now), my parents' dog, and my sister's dog. She just thinks they are so funny. I'm ashamed to admit that I let Michaela watch television, but I have found it to be a necessary evil at times. She really enjoys Nick Jr., and that's the only programming I allow her to watch. Some favorites are Olivia!, Peppa Pig, Wonder Pets, and the Backyardigans. If you have any suggestions for other ways I can occupy her when I'm pressed to get something done instead of letting her watch television, please tell me what they are!

I can't believe how quickly these five months have passed by! And sometimes, I can't believe that this child is mine. It just seems like a dream - a wonderful dream.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Run to You

Alas, more cereal winds up on her face than in her mouth! This post really isn't about Michaela, but how can I not post a picture of this sweet little face?

One of the good things to come out of all the heartache in the last couple of years was the spiritual growth I experienced. I made the choice to walk with the Lord and trust Him with the outcomes of our infertility, Michael's journey with cancer, and my life as a widow. And the Lord really showed up, filling me with peace of mind, a deeper understanding of His precious Word, and hope for the future. I shouldn't be surprised because that's just the way He is.

So you would think that after all I've been through, and how faithful my Savior has been all along, that I would learn that He's the first one I need to turn to when I am facing any challenge. But, it still doesn't come naturally to me. I'm such an idiot sometimes. Sigh...

The last couple of weeks have been pretty stressful for me at work, and that has triggered my grief to a certain extent. I long to come home to Michael's smile, his embrace, his offer to pour me a glass of wine, rub my feet, and listen to me tell him about my day. Long before we were married, I had developed an emotional attachment to him that included dealing with the stressors in my life by turning to him for comfort. In fact, one of the most stressful days of my life before Michael's cancer diagnosis, was the day a little more than six years ago when I witnessed an attempted murder and murder on my way home from work. It was a time when I wasn't seeing Michael, but the post-traumatic stress of that scene made me turn to him, and in retrospect it really was the turning point for our relationship. After that we began to make plans for a future together. So strange...

But now I'm in a season of life where I cannot turn to Michael. It is time for me to bring stressful situations to the Lord in prayer immediately - even if I can't articulate much more than help me! Running to another person, or depending on my own strength to get me through is not enough. Jesus is not my last resort. He is my everything. I really need to learn to trust Him with difficult situations in the workplace because that's where most of the stress in my life comes from. Seriously, I need to take Jesus to work with me!

So, as this new week begins, I am going to step into it prayerfully and mindful of all that is available to me when I call on Him. This is going to be my theme song this coming week:

Run to You (Twila Paris)

Faster now than ever, I run to You
Now I know You better, I run to You
I am a little older now, You know it's true
Maybe a little wiser, too, I run to You
And I can see deeper than I did before
I do believe, never have I been so sure
That I need You every minute, every day
That I need You more than I could ever say

Ooh, I run to You
Ooh, what else would I do?
I run to You, ooh, I run to You

Even on the sad days, I run to You
Even on the good days, too, I run to You
Even before all else fails, You know it's true
You are the wind in my sails, I run to You
And I can see deeper than I did before
I do believe, never have I been so sure
That I need You every footstep, all the way
That I need You so much more than I can say