Monday, April 22, 2013

Sick Day

Last night was the first time I bawled as I watched my helpless baby suffer in sickness.
Penny's cold has turned into a terrible, terrible cough and left us with a rough couple of days. We put her pack n play next to my side of the bed last night so I could monitor her coughing. I sat quietly in our dark room with only the light of the computer screen while Tru and Pen slept. The room was humid and heavily scented of eucalyptus oil. My phone was softly playing white noise sounds next to me. The whole family, sleeping in one little room. Despite my anxiety of her returning cough, I was so happy in that moment. I was reminded of those first months of Penny's life when she slept right next to mama in her crib. At the time I was sleep deprived and completely miserable with breastfeeding but I miss it all so terribly now. Those moments were so fleeting and I'm thankful that I could re-live them last night. 

I prayed heavily that the Lord would give me energy and endurance to care for her through the night and He did. She woke up a few times and as I scooped her up into my arms and fed her a bottle I felt her immediately relax. She was in her favorite spot, mama's arms. And as helpless as I felt, I knew that was the best thing I could give her. We snuggled into bed and I stroked that wonderful bald head until she drifted back to sleep. It's so true that even though it's awful when they're sick, they are SO cuddly. I will cherish those memories forever. 

I'm thankful to say she's doing better today. 
She's still a little fussier than usual so I'm trying to find things to make her giggle. The mirror never fails.
And she has been cracking up at this Fisher Price animal app I have on my phone. It's annoying as all get out but I'll play it over and over again if I can hear that laugh.
She's currently snuggled up in our bed and I'm listening to her breath as the rain falls.
My heart is full. I am thankful.

...and can I get a hallelujah for the week-long 70 degree weather we have approaching? It's. About. Time. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Those Days

It's 9:35 AM and I'm still laying in bed in my snot covered pajamas (I wiped Penny's nose with my sleeve because there wasn't a kleenex within reach...whatevs) feeling totally defeated. The girl had a rough night. She was up multiple times screaming her head off due to either her cold or constipation. As I crept back into bed around 5:45 AM praying that this would be the last time I once again found those doubts creeping in. Satan is good, man. He gets me at the most convenient times. "She's not sleeping because you aren't strict enough about her sleeping schedule. She's going to be a terrible sleeper the rest of her life and it's your fault. You should have done what so and so did, their kids are perfect sleepers. You're a terrible mother for laying in bed and letting her scream for ten minutes hoping she'll fall back asleep." Those thoughts flooded my mind during the next three times I was up with her. 

The poor girl only has me to depend on, to show her love, to have sympathy. And instead of compassion I was angry that she wasn't doing what she was supposed to do. She's supposed to go to bed at 9 PM and wake up maybe once around 5 AM. That's what the books tell us, right? That if we do this and this and this we will have a child who begs to go to sleep at night. Well, books are my enemy sometimes, I'm discovering. 

So as I lay here in the dark watching the snow (seriously!) fall through the crack of the curtain, I'm reminded that even though I fail and even though I struggle with my own selfishness, I have a father who doesn't. Penny has a father who doesn't. God's never too tired to take care of us. He doesn't storm into the kitchen at 3 AM and angrily make a bottle. He lovingly accepts us no matter what state we are in and that blows my mind. Understanding that his love is unconditional and never-changing is so much easier when I see myself fail to show Penny that same love. Oh how thankful I am that I don't have to rely on my own self to show her (and my family in general) that love. 

It's just one of those days. And that's okay. I will take a cat nap, eventually brush my teeth (sorry) and muster up whatever strength I have to show that baby girl that I love her more than a full night of sleep. And I will only succeed by the grace of God.

Signed, a defeated by madly-in-love mother.
Monday, April 8, 2013

{Penny Emerson : 6 Months}

I can't believe my sweet girl is 6 months. She has changed so much since that first picture next to her little mouse!

I wanted some decent pictures for her half-year birthday (yes, we celebrate that in our house) so we took a few outside. She was much more interested in her surroundings than the camera and I can't blame the gal. We got a few cute ones anyway :)


She sits up all by herself now! I can't believe how fast it happened. It took her a few days to figure out how to balance and now it's all she wants to do. I learned the hard way that I have to make sure she isn't sitting next to anything hard (i.e. computer, fireplace mantel, etc.) because she has fallen over a couple times and hit her head. And so the baby proofing begins...
We've also started solids. Very slowly. She wasn't a fan of cereal at first but she is starting to get the hang of it. I have to make some pretty ridiculous noises to get her to be interested. Right now she has cereal every has become one of my favorite rituals to get up and eat breakfast together :)
She has tried a banana a few times but wasn't sure about the gooey texture. This week it's avocado!

Her first Easter! She absolutely loved the Easter service at the Holland. The music was fantastic and she was just singing at the top of her lungs the whole time...Grandma Joni will be happy about that one :)
First time sitting outside in the sun! I have been dying for the weather to get nice so we can play outside. She loves the outdoors.
First time at the zoo! I took her to the aquarium because I knew she would love all the bright tanks. We spent some time watching the penguins (I probably enjoyed it more than she did, ha) and she just started silently. Wasn't quite sure what to think of it yet! We will definitely be spending lots of time at the zoo this summer.

-She said "papa" and "mama" one day. It was so clear that it freaked Truman and I out. Of course it wasn't on purpose, but it was hilarious to hear an actual word come out of her mouth. And Truman was thrilled that her first one was "papa"

We have hair people!!!! It started to grow this month. There isn't much, but it's there! MAYBE she'll have a ponytail by her first birthday :)

Loves to be carried so she can see what's going on. We spent some time in the Old Market on a Saturday and she had a blast.
On Saturday mornings if she wakes up early I'll bring it her into bed with us to eat. She usually ends up falling back asleep and we take a family nap together. It's my favorite thing ever. 
Everything goes in the mouth.

-She LOVES to watch other kids, especially older ones. Our church group has a ton of kids running around and she just sits and giggles at they run past her and try to make her smile. I love watching her interact with other kids.  

 She loves to be rocked to sleep. I know that's a sin if you're an avid Babywise user, but I totally do it. She's able to fall asleep on her own and I think that's important, but her favorite thing is to fall asleep in my arms with a bottle propped against my shoulder. It's the quickest way to get her to sleep especially if we are out and about. There have been times where I felt like I was doing something wrong by rocking her to sleep, like I was a bad mother for not following the "rules" but I'm past that and realized that she won't always be this little and cuddly so I'm soaking up every second. Plus, I'm pretty sure her life won't be ruined by that fact that her mother rocked her to sleep :)

-She loves when papa tosses her into the air. She gets to giggling so hard that she can barely catch her breath.

We have so much fun exploring our neighborhood. She loves to be in the stroller. Oddly enough, we are surrounded by a few cornfields and I love it so much. I don't know why but I find so much comfort now in farming. I suppose it has something to do with my growing love for Central City and our short time that we lived there. Being in a big city has been uncomfortable for us but having those fields makes the area seem less...big, for lack of a better word. We also have a local farm supply (lol I have no idea what it's actually called) store a block away that sells fresh produce in the summer so I'm REALLY looking forward to checking that out!

Her facial expressions crack me up. Whenever she is excited she stiffens up and her legs and arms start flailing around like crazy. When the music started at church yesterday she about kicked herself rick out of my arms.

-She has started to cry when she's angry. I panicked a little because I'm not sure how to react yet. It is my biggest goal to always stay calm when my children are having a fit (even through those nasty teenage years) but I'm naturally someone who reacts quickly to things. So it will definitely be a struggle for me as she gets older and starts to throw more tantrums when she's frustrated. Only by the grace of God will I succeed in this one.

-For a while she was waking up at 4am to eat. I was so sad to give up those nights where she slept til 8am, but thankfully she is back to sleeping until 6:30 or 7. I think this has something to do with her getting hungrier faster. Hopefully once we have a regular solid food schedule she will sleep a little better. 

 This child does not like to stay still in her crib. She rolls and rolls until she ends up with her limbs in between the bars. Though it's hilarious to catch her like this, there were a few nights where she woke up screaming with her leg caught so I gave in and bought a breathable bumper and that seems to help.

What we're listening to:
 Spring is when I feel music sounds best. And there are a few great albums that have been or will be released this season. Lately we have been listening to Hem, Rilo Kiley, Gillian Welch, Willie Nelson, Junip, and everything with a banjo.

As always, this little gal is teaching me so much about myself and my role as a mother, wife, and homemaker. My "job" consists of studying and teaching her. I'm soaking up every giggle, every loss of balance, every snuggle in the rocking chair, and every dance session in the living. I am so incredibly blessed. 


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