Monday, June 17, 2013

Why did God do that? Babies.

Today (thursday) was our second day in a trip that Travis and I are getting lead in Minneapolis with some of our high schoolers.  The trip consists of us joining in with several local ministries to show and share the love of Christ with people in the city.  This morning we went to a place where they had a kids club going on at a near by park and also a ladies day happening at the center.  Our group was asked to play with and love the kids at the park.  We were ready to go when one of the staffers asked if one or two of us might stay back in the nursery to help with the ladie's small children and babies.  I immediately knew I should.  Maybe it was because I'm missing my own baby, or because I'm the only adult female or because the Holy Spirit prompted me ((likely all three), but this kinda thig is not in my big of tricks - or so I thought.  6 months ago, having to stay back and help with the smallest ones would have ruined my day, and possibly this trip for me.  Especially when it ended up being a small room with 20 small kids and 5 babies and 4 adults - of which I was the oldest, most confident, and most experienced with kids.  **enter long sigh and internal eye rolling **

So what's this post all about?  Was it the life shattering experience I had always known it to be? No!  God was SO faithful!  
As the day went on, one baby at a time would have an inconsolable fit.  No one else could do a thing to settle their poor souls. Each time I had not only the experience, but the patience and the intuition to take that child and calm them almost instantly - half the time just putting them to sleep.  What??  This is the power of James 1:1 at work. 
"Consider it PURE JOY when you face trials of many kinda because you know that the testing of your faith developes perserverance."   
I was prepared for such a day as this. 
I am so thankful for all those days and nights of working with Charlie, listening to Charlie, and mostly, praying that God would have purpose and use for those times.  In one new (but not complete way) he has again made me a new creation. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

What annoys me about kid parties

Have you ever looked at kid's birthday parties on Pinterest?  They are seriously dumb.  
I mean, isn't a Birthday party supposed to be geared at who's ever birthday it is? Come on moms - get with it.  
Let me comment on some things I've seen from a kids perspective: 

I'm so glad my mom spent all day laying out this dessert table because I DID NOT want to play with her.  I was mostly concerned that the table would look excellent - and that we would have several options of desserts because cake isn't enough and everyone knows that. 

And I really like the antiques my mom incorporated here.  I'm turning 4 *yeah, this is from a FOUR YEAR OLD PARTY* and I'm super into trunks and old glass doors.  I'm glad I don't like to run around and crash into them.  And the gift bags up by the glass windows was genius because no one would ever try to reach up to get one and fall into a window!  

My mom did all glass for my birthday for environmental reasons. And that's cool because we all like it when adults constantly yell at us to slow down and watch out because we're running around with glass mason jars.  I also like paper straws a lot because they kind of melt in my mouth and I can swallow them.  Plastic straws are all sturdy and last all morning.  

I wanted to play, but instead my mom spent all afternoon sewing up pouches of crayons that my friends will just throw into their box of other crayons.  No one will appreciate the pouch thing with the special tag on top, but I sure appreciated it when my mom was stressed to get dinner ready because she worked on this all day! 

When I was one, my mom made this ultra boring, brown hats.  I don't like colors anyway.  I'm one, and everyone knows that kids like neutral colors. 

 Other kid party pet peeves: 
- Labeling food. Yeah, I know those are cookies and kids can't read anyway.  No need to make special food signs. Kids don't care and adults can figure it out. 
- Crazy expensive / designed invitations. Everyone just looks at the date, writes it down, and throws the invite away, right?  I know it made you feel awesome when you spend $12.99 on 25 pictures of your kid to mail out, but come on.  No one kept it. 

In all - how about you just skip all the theatrics and spend time hanging/playing/ and loving on your kids.  THAT is what they will remember and love you for.  Forget the "theme".  Forget "pulling it all together".  Pinterest creates unreal expectations sometimes and our kids don't need that.  They need moms.  They need fun.  They need to be kids. 

Pinnin!!! Winnin!!

Well here we are.  Another edition of Pinterest wins and fails.  Before I start in to the good stuff, I just want to say a little something about this.  On Mother's Day our church was gracious enough to lead us through Proverbs 31 - Be a Godly mom.  Watch it HERE or below if you want.  It was great!  Jeff issued a challenge to the woman of our church to take a 30 day fast from social media and start DOING some of the projects they've pinned.  After that service a handful of people stopped me and said that they thought of me because of my pinterest posts - they commended me for being industrious.  Well let me tell you - I sure do make a point to act on a lot of the things I pin, but there are about 5000 things on there for every 1 thing I have completed.  Oh, boy, do I spend my fair share of time with social media.  But if my pinning and winning inspires someone to spend their time more wisely, then go for it!  But don't be thinking I'm some super industrious, know what I'm doing, kind of person.  I have friends like that.  I admire that.  

So here we are - the latest: 

Travis says I have to wait on this one to see if it really works or not, but I think it's fine.  Savannah and I potted some plants and hanging baskets.  We put diapers in the bottom - the idea is that the gel in the diaper helps hold in the moisture in so they don't dry out so quick hanging up there flapping in the wind.  I'm pretty excited about this one because I LOVE hanging baskets!  We'll see.  I bought a HUGE beautiful fern this year.  We also put a mixture of sugar and Epsom salt in each plant to help them grow big and strong (1/4 sugar : 1 salt ratio).   

These have saved my life lately!  How many days have I tried to get us all fed and out of the house only to leave late or completely miss out on eating myself!?  So many.  That's the answer.  Nothing makes me more frustrated then driving to church and realizing that my breakfast is sitting on the counter still waiting for me.  And I love a good smoothie!  So I found these recipes for make aheads.  You make them, let them sit for a day in the fridge, then put them in the freezer.  Put it back in the fridge the night before when you know you have a crazy morning coming up.  What's awesome about this is A.They have Chia seeds.  I'm just now getting into these so I don't know all the benefits, but I do know that they help thicken the whole thing up real good.  B. They have oatmeal, which keeps you full forever and if you blend that first you don't even know it's there. and C. You make a bunch at one time (I doubled it) so you use the whole can of coconut milk (or whatever you use) at once and you don't have to throw half away or figure out how to save it. 

Here's my version down by the sausages.  

Barbie Hair Shop
I saw this in a couple of places, so I'm not posting a link because I'm not sold. By the second day of Savannah's summer vacation it became clear that we needed some activities, so I'm making a goal to have one "structured" thing we do each day.  She has a ton of dolls with snarled hair, and that bothers me for whatever reason, so we started there.  One website said to have a spray bottle with 2TBS liquid fabric softener and the rest water and use it like leave in conditioner.  That worked for some of them and it did smell good.  Another website said to submerge the hair in hot water for a few seconds then comb it - that didn't really work.  We got most of the girls hair combed and styled.  (sorry about the nakey girl on the left) This is the place where the girls with long hair waited for the fashion show after.  There was also a station for short hair girls and one for Ponies.  I'm curious to see if this makes their hair over all easier to comb out. 

Arrows in shoes / GAME CHANGER!
This is simple.  Put an arrow pointing inward inside all of your kids shoes so they can get them on the correct feet.  Did this with permanent marker in all of Savannah's shoes the other day and this morning she said "Momma, thank you for putting arrows in my shoes so I can do it right by myself".  The proof is in the pudding on this one.  HUGE WIN!

Drinks in Mason Jars
Actually, the Pins I had were all about having jars (like in the picture) with drinks for parties.  I've just been mixing my own drinks at home (like a John Collins - best drink ever), popping the lid on, and taking it with me to cook outs and stuff.  Especially if it's BOYB because I just don't do beer.  But we've also been using them for smoothies and all kinds of stuff.  Mason Jars.  Get with the times bro. 

Hope you're getting some ideas here. I'm sure the next couple of weeks have plenty to offer.  Of friend of mine said tonight "I think Pinterest is one of the most practical things I do"  - I definitely agree!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Colic Chronicles - and Charlie is 5 months old!

Our little Charlie Baylor is now 5 months old!  
And you know what came in his 5th month?  The end to all the uncomfortable crying that we had all been living through! I thought maybe today I would log our journey with the unexpected and overwhelming - since we're **hopefully** out of the woods and I can think clearly on it!  But first some pictures.  Can you even believe this cute smile was so sad for so long? 

Charlie's new things: Playing constantly in the exersaucer, Sleeping with one are out of his swaddle blanket, and sleeping on a schedule.

(why is this sideways?  Who cares, that's what I say!)

So if you made it this far then you wanted to know about the colic, right? 
I used to think that if you just followed "the schedule" that your baby would be predictable and sleep.  We started Savannah on a Sleep/Eat/Wake schedule when she was like a week old and by 9 weeks she was sleeping through the night and I could tell you almost to the minute exactly when she would sleep, eat, and how to meet her needs.  It was awesome.  So when Charlie came along, God decided to humble me.  He probably knew this was our last go at having a baby around so He had to strike hard.  
For the first few weeks Charlie was a pretty mellow baby.  Savannah was ms Crazypants from day one, and he was obviously more chill.  When he was about 3 weeks old he came down with a respiratory infection.  I think it hurt me way more than it hurt him.  That began our string of excuses.  
Charlie fusses and cries a lot: It's because he's tired of coughing.
Charlie fusses and cries a lot: It's because he has so much drainage. 
Charlie fusses and Cries a lot: He probably has gas from coughing....
a month later....
Is he teething? Maybe it's his formula.  Yeah - let's try Soy formula, that worked for Savannah!
Charlie pukes Soy formula everywhere. 
He's probably just tired....?

By the time he was 2 1/2 months old he was still waking up 2-3 times a night to eat and about 5 times in between just to be comforted.  And the day wasn't much better.  He'd sleep for 20 minutes, or 2 hours, or not at all.  And evenings were marked by lots. of. crying. 

I was at a loss.  One day I tried to go back to my morning Bible study, but after having to leave several times I just decided to sit in the foyer. It was then that my AMAZING pediatrician friend came out to feed her son (the same age) and just asked "how's it goin?"  I broke down in tears.  Trying to squeeze them back wasn't working so I just let it go and explained to her all the sleepless nights and restless days we had been through.  She was so kind.  So understanding.  She hooked us up with some formula samples of Antimonium formula.  The stuff is like $35 a can and smells like you wouldn't believe!  I was actually very relieved when a week later there was no change in his behavior.  

My friend was good to help me remember what was reasonable to expect from a baby his age.  And to help us figure out what WASN'T wrong, and then she told me - this is colic. The strict medical definition of colic is a condition of a healthy baby in which it shows periods of intense, unexplained fussing/crying lasting more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week for more than 3 weeks.[
Basically she helped us know that this was life.  So instead of working our butts off to "fix" whatever this was, we could start learning how to cope.  It was a relief.  We knew at that point that all bets were off.  No more trying to fit him into our box.  No more trying to make him stop.  Just cope.  

I found that when a baby is "colicky" that wrapping them tightly and holding them on their stomach with a pacifier held in their mouth is commonly soothing.  We also found that where gas drops helped Savannah, grip water was Charlie's choice of medicine.  We think it's because the gripe water is loaded with sugar and it gave him a little high.  There was a time when we were going through two big bottles of the stuff a week. That's $20 a week of gripe water.  But it calmed him..if even for 10 minutes.  We'd all sit in his room and sing to him, through the crying.  Sometimes we'd just put him in his crib and let him cry so we could love on Savannah alone.  Whatever it takes to get through it!  That was the theme. 
God was actually incredibly gracious in that Charlie always seemed to calm down and let me work/meet with people when I needed to.  But never for longer than an hour.  
Savannah was great through the whole thing.  She would remind us "He's crying to tell us what he needs".  One time I found her asleep in her room with headphones on.  And only every once in a great while she'd say "CHARLIE! STOP!" But then she'd be fine.  Just had to get it out. 

Fast forward to 4 1/2 months old.  I don't know what clicked, accept age, but the guy started straightening up!  He stopped fussing so much and started sleeping more.  But then it was clear that mr fussface had become prince charming - and when I say prince, I mean royalty.  The bugger was so used to us waiting on his every need that he'd whine if I didn't hold him 90% of the day.  He'd sleep for 20 minutes, then up for 30, then sleep for 40, then up for 2 hours, then sleep for 45.... you get my drift.  At 5 months old we started the schedule.  The Cry It Out, now YOU deal with it, schedule.  It only took about 3 days of intense crying and guess what!?!  You aren't going to believe this.   Two weeks later, after month of what we would describe as hell, CHARLIE IS SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!  And during the day he is totally predictable!  An hour and a half awake, and hour and half asleep, and then I wake him up and he eats.  And I always know.  And he doesn't cry and scream!  Hardly EVER!!!!  

I love baby Charlie.  And now, he's making it easier, funner, and that chubby little boy has captured our hearts. One friend told me about her and her "rough" kid.  She said that it bonded them because they went through the trenches together. I agree.  We did it.  He's 5 1/2 months old and we have climbed mountains together! 

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