Our journey

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things you'd know about babies if you were a national here...

1. Mommy and baby don't leave the house until at least 30 days after the baby is born.
2. Baby cannot be anywhere close to moving air or s/he will get sick.
3. The wind here is very dangerous; its not like other wind. (I can't type the sarcasm in my voice, but read with much sarcasm.)
4. Don't make the baby sit up until she is at least 6 months old or it will injure her hips.
5. If the baby sucks his fingers, he or she is obviously still hungry and needs to nurse more.
6. If it is hot outside and the baby is crying, she needs a drink of water. Water is very important for babies.
7. If you are holding the baby and walking around, the baby should be stretched over your arm, face down with head at the elbow and baby's feet at your hand. This is most comfortable and helps with gas.
8. You should put the baby in bed as soon as he falls asleep so he won't get used to sleeping in your arms. Nevermind that it is perfectly okay to spend 30 minutes rocking them to sleep until they are 3 or 4 years old.
9. The baby should always be wearing a hat and a sweater, no matter the temperature outside.

I'll add more as I am reminded of them by some helpful bystander--teenager, man, woman, grandfather, etc.

We're all still learning!

Eden is 12 weeks old now and she is so happy! I love talking to her, seeing her huge grin and hearing her gurgles in response. She's lifting her head up well, putting herself to sleep, sleeping between 8 and 10 hours without waking at night, and she smiles every time she sees her big sister. She is nursing a lot better now and her stool has turned back to mustard yellow--most of the time. She still spits up like crazy; so I'm thankful for my husband who finds some small pleasure in hanging laundry on the line!
Here she is posing for me as best as she can, but it is obvious that she feels like she's stuck in a corner.
This is how I found Selah yesterday while she napped. There is a long, ugly story leading up to this naptime--suffice it to say that I am never going to get used to disciplining my child. It breaks my heart every time. I can't stand to hear either of the girls cry; it makes every nerve in my body send terror signals to my brain--which then requires an awful lot of mental energy to combat the urge to give in and do whatever will make her stop crying.
In the end, I know it is better in the long-term to not give in. For example, yesterday Selah screamed "No" at me, which earned her a punishment. This sent her into another realm of angry while she lay on her bed screaming. I told her I'd come back later when she stopped crying. This is the first battle of the war in my heart and mind. I just want to hold her and stop the crying, but I can't let her control me with her crying. She's so smart that she'll use crying to accomplish all of her goals instead of using words or coping mechanisms when things don't turn out her way. So, I come back after she settles down, hug & kiss her and read a book. It was naptime...but she thought for a second and realized she needed a kleenex.
If you've been around our house lately, you'd know that this habit of asking for things at nap/bed time is getting out of control. She's obviously trying to delay our departure from the room. I said no to the kleenex and left the room. She proceeded to scream at the top of her lungs for about 45 minutes before passing out in exhaustion, as I imagine it went. I can't count the number of times I thought, "I could just give her the kleenex and this would be over." (Don't forget how I've already described the pain I endure when she cries.) But the smarter part of me speaks louder reminding me that I can't just give in. In the long run, she has to learn some lessons so that we'll have a happy family and so she can cope with life.
The list of things that we learn and endure as parents is longer and more over-whelming than I imagined. It's all worth it and I couldn't do it without 4 biggies in my life: a God who strengthens and teaches me, a supportive and encouraging husband, parents that were great models for me and support from friends that have already walked this road or are currently walking it with me. Thanks everyone and praise the Lord for His love endures forever and He is always patient with me!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Saying good-bye

We've now said "hello" and "good-bye" to Pops & Grammy, Stacie, Granddaddy & Ama, and Mark and Stephanie--all since Eden was born almost 10 weeks ago. We still have a 2 more guests coming, and one is my sister, whom we affectionately call "Auntie Lesh." We're excited to welcome Aleshia to our home for the first time!

Over the past few weeks, we have had a lot of happy things happening...namely, Eden is so happy and sleeping well. Actually, she sleeps well as long as I am not cheating on my diet. I admit it, I'm weak when it comes to food. All those oreo's and brownies and cheese that were specially ordered from the States are just sitting around waiting for me to eat them. But, I am trying to be strong. I haven't touched those (dare I add a "yet" on the end of that statement?).

Eden liked her pacifier in the beginning, but after a few weeks it was obvious that she wasn't such a big fan. I thought that surely if I found the right pacifier she'd fall in love. But she didn't. You see, I love the pacifier. It was a beautiful beautiful assistant to me in soothing Selah for the first year and a half of her life. Selah didn't fight very hard when we decided it was time to say good-bye to the pacifier. So, I was eager for Eden to discover all the greatness that a pacifier holds. I tried 6 different pacifiers to no avail. She decided the greatness lies in her own thumbs. In spite of all my trying, she is a very avid thumb sucker. As I say good-bye to my hopes of finding the perfect pacifier, I am happy that my little girl uses her thumb to put herself to sleep, making my job much easier. In the end, I'm happy she found something to sooth herself with and the great thing is that she'll never lose her thumb in bed--we hope.

I also had to say good-bye to almost 1 gallon of precious breast milk. Since I am quite certain that Eden has a rather sensitive digestive system, I had to get rid of all the milk I had stored in the first 2 months of her life. During 6 weeks of that time I was eating a lot of the things her body doesn't like. Too bad. It was hard to pour it down the drain. Now, I have 8 ounces of milk stored in the freezer. It's a start!
How many minutes of pumping does this add up to?

Mark and Stephanie did a great job with the kids. I give them our stamp of approval for starting their own family! Notice Selah is wearing a grocery sack. It makes a grate water-proof swimsuit (?) or over-alls.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ama & Grandaddy Visit

We had a great visit with Ama and Grandaddy. Ama was a great help for 4weeks! We stayed on an island, played in the park, swam and just had a good time. In other news, Eden is doing much better since Laura has adjusted her own diet to exclude milk products, beef, eggs, and nuts. So, Eden probably has an allergy to at least one of those things. We'll eventually figure out which one I'm sure.

In Ama and Gradaddy's hotel room on the island.

Plenty of room in our elevator.


Hiking on the island.

Ama doing some shopping.