Saturday, August 30, 2008
First of all, my grandparents. My grandpa was diagnosed with prostate cancer (his second go-round) a few weeks ago and is in the midst of chemo treatment. Not fun! There is also a suspicion that my grandma's breast cancer is back. A suspicious lump on her lung is being monitored. I love these people and it makes me hurt to see them hurting. They are wonderful, hard-working people who love the Lord and have served Him faithfully for many years. My prayer for them is one of comfort and healing, that God will ease their discomfort and pain and will surround them with people to support them and lift them up. I hope I can be one of those people. I am also praying for a 100% recovery and healing from this awful thing we know as cancer.
Second of all, we learned today that some close friends of ours are separating. I'm not sure who all reads my blog, so I'm going to be purposefully vague about this as I do not want to cause any problems for them or other friends in our circle. However, my heart is burdened by this and very sad for them and their families. I firmly believe that full reconciliation and restoration are possible (isn't anything possible with God? Yes!). I am fervently praying for them . . . also for comfort and healing. Comfort for the one who feels that life, as it was known, is over and healing for their relationship. My heart is saddened by this because I have seen their love and devotion to each other in action.
So tonight I am writing this with a heavy heart. Life is just not easy sometimes!
If you are a praying person (or if you aren't! :) ) please join me in praying for these people, even though you may not know them or know their names. Tonight I am thankful for my heavy heart, as it will remind me to be in continual prayer for these family and friends who are hurting and in despair.
On my knees tonight . . .
Thursday, August 28, 2008
She has my hair and coloring, it seems, but the face shape is all Andrew.
Thanks for all the comments regarding decorating. I'm just so hesitant to even begin for fear I will make something look bad! I guess I pretty much know what I don't like and I go from there.
I also feel like we're having a milk crisis here at the Schechter household. Abigail has been on a rampage for milk lately. She at TWO SEVEN OUNCE bottles this afternoon. That is fourteen ounces, people. Sadly, I only pumped four so I'm WAY behind . . . and discouraged. I guess I'm going to have to add an evening pump. At least I got my new hand pump so I'm good to go with that. Perhaps it will make up at least some of the difference.
In work related news: My boss is moving forward very swiftly with finding someone to volunteer/sub for me on Fridays so I can have the day off! Every.single.week! I can't believe it. I certainly hope it happens and doesn't fall through. Have I mentioned lately how great the place I work is. If I haven't, I've been remiss. I love it there. I love the caring people. I love the environment and I love their flexibility with this new mom. Seriously, it's great people!
Ok, I'd better get moving on laundry and dishes before I fall asleep at the computer. It will be an early bedtime tonight!
P.S. I haven't forgotten about the Hawaii post. I'm still working on it. Does anyone who went with me remember what day we went to the Gazebo for breakfast? Susan, Maggie, Jennie, Carol, or Andrew (I think that's all of my readers on that side of the family - does Graham read this anymore?)? Do you remember?
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I can only see something I like and imitate it. I can't create. So, if you're driving past our house and you see our yard, virtually bare except for some freshly planted trees and two bushes that were gifts, it's because I have no earthly clue what to do . . . oh, and my husband really doesn't have a lot of time to weed eat. My third excuse is money. We could spend our money on landscaping but I'd rather do other stuff with it, like pay off debt!
With regards to decorating my home, I am very fortunate to have made some very special and extremely talented friends in Sterling, who offered us their awesome advice when it came to paint color and other such household items. I really love the Lightners (one is now a Haspels!). Seriously, you guys rock! My house looks pretty good for someone who doesn't know what they are doing simply because I liked their advice and ran with it! :) I lack the talent to take it anywhere from here. Part of my dilemma is again 1) money (like I said, it's all going elsewhere right now) and my second dilemma when it comes to decorating is that I truly do have an . . . ahem. . . opinionated husband. Therefore, not only do I have to figure out what I like but I have to explain it all in a way that he will understand and approve. That's probably why we haven't done anything since moving in!
I have a few things in the planning stages. I know I like black furniture. . . and I have black paint (so it's cheap), so I may turn a few other things in our house black, when I have time. Otherwise, I may periodically ask for help from my cool friends. Whether I just know you from the Internet or in real life, I'd love your help and opinion on these things. Of course, you must keep in mind that I am generally cheap and don't want to spend much on these things, which I'm sure makes it more challenging.
I'm admitting these things to you all, my friends, with humility. I have always had the preconceived notion that cool women know how to decorate and landscape. So, in my mind, admitting this (finally) makes me not cool. I'm okay with that.
I certainly hope this post makes sense. I'm not sure it has much of a purpose. I'm beginning to think that I'm still typing simply to avoid folding and putting away the heaps of laundry in our bedroom. At least the clothes are clean. . . .
Good night ya'll!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I can do everything through Him who gives me strength!
There are many verses in the Bible that I struggle with and that I read over and over but can't quite get (like the don't worry one!) but this one I get. I guess it just clicks with my personality. I BELIEVE this is true. I believe that God has given us the ability to WORK HARD along with Him as our guide and map-maker. I believe that a little self-denial and sacrifice is GOOD for a person (see verse below)! It builds character! I have to watch out for the fine line between healthy self-denial and martyrdom, which I am frequently guilty of.
Another favorite verse of mine that has made an impact is found in James.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
The verse on being able to do everything with Christ has been stuck in my mind lately. When I first went back to work, I wondered how I would ever have the time to cook dinner AND spend time with my kid. I finally feel like I'm getting it (this week at least). I just have to keep working hard and doing the tasks that are set before me! I guess I'm feeling this way because I actually exercised last night and made lunches for both myself and Andrew!
I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else but me. I was just hoping to spread a bit of enouragement and energy - during this Tuesday lunch hour - because I am definitely feeling enouraged and full of energy today. Perhaps it is because this is the fourth night in a row that I haven't had to get up during the night!
Psalm 16:7-8 - I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
*Update: Our renter was just inquiring about purchasing our rental house from us. We are now working out details and trying to decide how much to ask and if we should really sell. I think we want to but there are lots of things to be worked out. I'd love to have a big chunk of cash to place on the student loans!
Monday, August 25, 2008
I can actually say that I had a productive weekend, for once. I did laundry (wash, dry, fold, and put away), vacuumed most of the house, cleaned upstairs bathroom, cleaned living room, cleaned kitchen, got new toys/stuff for Abigail, grocery shopped, worked on scanning pictures for sister's wedding slideshow, made lunches, and made some food for Abigail. Whew! It felt great to get ahead on some stuff. I, of course, hung out with my Abigail and Andrew. Boy, I do miss them when I'm not with them. Ok, must stop thinking about that! Ah!
This week is a very busy one for me at work. Preschool is beginning and I have LOTS of financial paperwork to enter before they start in a week. I also have three newsletters (the regular one that I do and two for the fall), the fall server schedule to complete, and all the church classes (SS and Adult) to have attendance records ready - all before Sunday.
Oh, and there is something wrong with our rental house in Sterling. I got a message from our renter but haven't called her back yet. We've already fixed more than we can afford to on that house! Ah well, life goes on!
On a positive note: I was very dedicated to pumping all weekend and I have a great supply of milk started for Abigail this week. I must not slack off during the week but it's nice to have a head start.
Next Subject: Babyproofing. Our girl is beginning to scoot around. What sort of things did all you moms do to babyproof? We're going to get outlet covers, put a gate at the top of our stairs, and of course, keep small objects, any sort of toxic or dangerous materials out of her reach. Anything else?
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I firmly believe that one of the main things that Abigail has to teach me is patience. I do not have a lot of it! As I have said before, I like to make things happen. If I think something needs to be done or I want something, I always try to take immediate action. Well, let's just say that this doesn't work with an infant (I'm learning). I can't force her to sleep just because I want to go do something else. I'm slow in learning this but I will get it in time.
Abigail struggled with a rash in June. The doc gave us/me a diet, prescription cream, and a homeopathic remedy to try. We always thought it was the cream that cured the rash, but I think we were wrong. At her last appointment, she had a little rash/irritated skin behind her knees so I didn't treat it with cream the day before, in order to let the doc see it. He encouraged me to only use the homeopathic treatment and not the cream, unless it looked like it was getting worse. So, we have done that the past few days and the rash is disappearing! I kept thinking that Andrew was applying cream and I didn't know but he hasn't (he knew about the plan). I'm slightly ashamed of myself for not believing that it would work!
Also, last night, the only thing I did differently was to give her some Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets, as I think she's working on her upper teeth. I'm now wondering if that helped her sleep better. She was pretty mouthy and a little irritable all day (except when she had a pacifier in) so we really think those might be bothering her. They don't look quite ready to pop in yet, however.
Ok, I'm off to bed now. Andrew and I are singing for his grandma's church tomorrow. I worked out a deal with him that I would make a difficult phone call if he would sing with me. . . so he is! I wish he would sing and get involved in more music. Such a waste of talent! :)
Friday, August 22, 2008
The positives: This book's main theme addresses what I feel is wrong with "religion" in the US today. William (Willie) Young so wonderfully and lovingly points out that God is not interested in our "rules" (go to church, tithe, be responsible, etc) but is instead wanting a relationship with us. He wants to be our whole life, instead of just a part of our lives. It was eye opening and challenging. It's not that those things I listed above are bad or even wrong to emphasize but they should come out of love and close relationship with Christ, and not as an obligation or to put on a good front for others around you. In my opinion, this book's greatest attribute (and there are many) is the fact that is so strongly emphasizes God's love for us and His perfect goodness in the face of an imperfect and sinful world. It does a wonderful job of explaining why bad things happen to good people, which is a difficult question to answer. It also shatters many of the preconceived notions that we hold about God. For me this meant that I realized that the Savior I thought I knew was what I thought, but He is also SO much more and able to do much more than my limited mind can conceive!
Another strong theme that struck a chord with me was trust. This is a difficult one for me. I'm a go-getter. I like to just work hard for what I want and typically I don't enjoy relying on others around me (unless they are very close to me, like husband or parents). Many times I struggle with letting go of control and putting my trust in others. I was definitely convicted of the lie I was believing . . . . that I was the one in control. This book is just so loving, it's hard to describe any other way, and it really touched my heart and convicted me to place ALL my trust in God for everything, not just my salvation or the spiritual aspects of my life. He deeply cares about it all!
The Negatives: I did see a little theological discrepancy from Scripture (which, I suppose, could be called heretics) but it didn't seem to take away from the overall themes of the book, which were wonderful. The way the book portrays the Trinity is interesting and makes you think, but I don't think it is Biblical. The book claims that the Trinity does not have a hierarchy but Scripture plainly claims that there is God the Father (the Godhead) who tends to be the"leader of the pack" for lack of a better way to describe it! I never thought about the love that the Trinity has for each other so the book was great in that regard. There are a few other things, but like I said, just treat it like an inspiring fiction book (like it is) and not as Scripture, and I think it will serve everyone well!
At times I found it hard to cut through some of the fanciful parts to get the real meat of what he was saying. There were times I didn't understand how the character, Mack, came to be behind a waterfall, or how the shack transformed, or some of the other "action" parts of the book. My imagination, at times, really does need to see someone else's interpretation to really picture things like that. Still, it did not detract from the message of the book.
The book starts out fairly slow and a little bit cheesy. I was beginning to think, as we started the book, that this was going to be another hokey Christian novel about meeting Jesus. I think those have their place but good writing is a must to capture my attention (most of the time). This book got progressively better as it went along. The end of the book was a little abrupt for me but I'm not sure where else the author would have taken the story. I guess I was used to the pages and pages of dialogue between Mack and one or all of the Trinity (which, amazingly, still held your attention) and then jumped to action sequences (which are easier to follow) in which things were continually happening. I don't want to give away the ending.
I would highly recommend that everyone read this book. If you have read it (or not and just want to comment) please feel free to comment about your experience. I truly think that different things will stand out to different people from this book. It is challenging and truly loving at the same time. I enjoyed it and have been transformed by its challenge to those who have and want to make Christ their life!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
I have had suspicions that she could be waking up to eat because she's not getting enough at her evening feedings but she eats/drinks breastmilk from a bottle all day (while I'm at work), so I think she's getting enough in general. I'm working with her caregivers to be consistent with her getting mostly breastmilk with only a little food right now. We're trying pureed chicken and so far, she's not a fan! I just said no to her getting banana if chicken doesn't go well (she's at the babysitters). She doesn't need to eat the chicken or banana to get what she needs as she could go months more on just the milk.
My milk supply is already better today. I think I can really increase it this weekend, so we'll see if that helps. I just bought (another) hand pump since my old one got put into the dishwasher (ahem!) and doesn't work anymore. That will help to work on pumping in the evenings. It isn't as effective as the pump-in-style but it will still help. I've already pumped about 8 ounces today and she only ate six, so that is GOOD!
Laura, I loved your comment about putting Brennan to sleep. Maybe I should wait 10 years before having another baby and then Abigail can take over some of the responsibility! :) I'm kidding! :)
I do try to eat healthy, although I could always do better. I definitely need to eat more raw foods. I try to eat whole foods. I don't drink any soda pop (except Zevia and the occasional Natural one) and do my best to stay away from trans fats and HFCS. I have had some caffiene lately, so maybe that is the problem. I'll really watch that over the next week and hopefully that will also help. Since we have been doing great with breastfeeding exclusively (and pumping) for six months, I'll stick with that. I would rather get up once a night (sometimes twice) than introduce formula at this point.
At one point, we suspected she might have a food allergy because of a terrible rash she had. Maybe we should look into that if she doesn't start sleeping through the night soon.
You know, I suppose I will look back on this in a year (or a few months) and wonder what the big deal was!
I got the greatest gift from my mom yesterday. Some of you who know me well know that my "love language" is encouraging words. Nothing else means as much to me as hearing those words. Anyway, while talking to my mom yesterday about our sleep options she said, "I just want you to know that I think you're a great mom, so whatever you decide to do will be what is best for Abigail." I'm tearing up thinking about it right now. I will hold that one sentence in my heart forever! Thanks Mom, for always being my greatest encourager and the best example a new mom could ask for!! :)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
As far as her doctor's appointment goes . . .
She is still a very healthy girl. She has only gained 1 pound since the last visit but the doc said that is normal. Babies start slowing down their weight gain after a while. She has grown 2 1/2 inches, however, so we think she may be tall like her pa! She also has a big head, although not abnormally large. She is still above the 90th percentile for all categories and is like 99th for head and length. Big girl, I guess. Everything else checked out great. He gave me some more tips in dealing with the minor ezcema that flairs up from time to time. I talked to him about her sleeping habits and what to do and here is his answer. . . .
"Sounds pretty good to me for a six-month-old baby." To be honest, I'm not surprised that was his answer. He is pretty laid back and go-with-the-flow. And she is, honestly, a very good baby. Perhaps I'm just a sensitive new momma!
Hopefully no men regularly read this since I'm going to talk about pumping and milk supply (my husband, of course, has to hear about this all the time). My supply has gone WAY down these past few weeks. I have gotten a little lax about making sure I'm pumping what she's eating and now I'm paying for it! I have heard that sometimes the mom's supply drops at 6 months. I don't know why. The babysitter has had to dig into the freezer stash for a few weeks now. This week I am working, working, working, at getting it built back up. I pumped 4 times (yes, 4 times!!) in one morning this week. It really works best to do it on the weekends because then she is nursing from me and then I pump extra. Also, this is one of the reasons that I have hesitated to cut out her midnight snack. My supply will drop even further if she drops a feeding. I really don't think I can make myself get up in the middle of the night to pump, as an alternative. I actually need to oversupply for a while, since I'm down to a very meager stash of frozen milk! So, bring on the engorgement (in moderation, of course).
OK, I'm going to sleep now!
I KNOW she wasn't hungry. She almost ate 2 whole bananas yesterday and one was given to her at 6:30 pm then she nursed before she laid down at 7:30 pm. I think that she was wet when she woke up at 5 am (like her PJ's were wet) since Andrew got up and got her. She was probably uncomfortable. She sleeps on her tummy so sometimes the pee leaks out of her diaper.
She went to sleep very easily last night but just woke up a lot. Anyway, she has a doctors appointment today so I'm going to talk to him about it a little bit.
I managed to make her some chicken puree today so we'll see how she likes it. Seems very gross to me! :) Our blender didn't really do a very good job with it. I need a baby food mill or food processor. I know the food processors are very expensive, so that's probably out of the question. The chicken didn't make nearly as much as I thought it would. I used three chicken breasts, chicken broth, and breastmilk and it only filled up one ice cube tray.
I'm going to try and make some sweet potatoes and veggies this weekend to have on hand for when we introduce them.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Anyway, I couldn't tell if it was the gum trauma, the HUGE frappiccino that I drank, or some artificial sweetener that gave me a KILLER headache last night. I could hardly open my eyes. Thankfully Abigail went down very easily. She did wake up twice but she seemed very hungry both times, so I didn't mind getting up. I'm going to try and feed her "supper" tonight and see if that helps the hunger!
Monday, August 18, 2008
That is another great article I found on baby food. I have had several people ask me about her food intake. Many of them are astonished that she doesn't eat more! I love this article because it continues to emphasize the importance of Abigail getting most/all of her nutrients from breastmilk.
She is really starting to enjoy bananas. I switched her to egg yolks (no whites!) over the weekend but I didn't get myself organized enough to have them for her today. They are difficult to transport, so we'll have to see what we can work out. I am also going to try pureed organic meat. I will get some today, as I have been slacking on the grocery shopping, and make up a batch tonight.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
First of all, I want to preface this whole post by saying again on here that I love my job. Mainly I love the people that I work with and the people in the congregation. It makes it so much easier to leave for work everyday when it is such a wonderful environment. I have no idea how hard it would be if I didn't like it so much here. Anther pro for working is that I love the interaction that I have each day. I have some wonderful friends here and I enjoy seeing them everyday.
In spite of all of that, most days I still desperately miss my daughter. There are periods of time that I feel "used to" leaving her. Then there are the periods where I still cry when I leave her (yes, today) and feel almost desperate to reach her at the end of a day. It is not at all that I don't think she is getting good care, in fact, I think she is getting wonderful care! It is just that I feel a very strong pull and desire to take care of her . . . . not to miss the small things in her growing up. Somedays it is hard for me to even look at her picture(s) in my office because I miss her so terribly.
The biggest help of all lies in the fact that I am completely comfortable and confident in her care providers. We all know that Grandma Susan, Grandpa Wayne, and Aunt Jennie are just loving her up and are doing everything in their power to care for her when she is with them. I feel great knowing that she is in an environment where there is loving, learning, interaction, and healthy living. I feel the same way about her babysitter. It makes me feel good that Abigail is happy to see her sitter and is happy when I pick her up as well. She has a very kid-friendly home and is also particular about matters health, cleanliness, learning, breastfeeding, etc.
Another thing that has been a major help is that I am able to still bring her to work with me. It is getting more difficult to do so, because she is more interactive and won't just sleep through anything. Since my office is essentially in the copy room, it can get quite loud. I would still like to bring her so I'm brainstorming about ways to make it happen. This has helped tremendously with the separation aspect as well as being able to breastfeed Abigail. I told you my job was awesome.
At the same time, I am torn and I long to be the one to provide healthy meals and a clean and organized home for my family. I would love to have a garden . . . ok, I'd even take being able to keep my one hanging plant alive. I miss cleaning and organizing my home. I really do. I took for granted how easy it was to do before she came along, although I was probably equally as busy doing my other odd jobs.
I also am envious of the women who get to breastfeed exclusively (with no pumping). I have a love/hate relationship with my pump. I'm thankful that it has allowed me to only feed Abigail breastmilk for six months but at the same time after six months . . . it still hurts!
Another thing that I miss is cooking . . . I mean REALLY cooking. I do make dinner every night but it is usually things like whole wheat spaghetti (canned sauce), taco's, grilled chicken or steak with some sort of veggie. I used to REALLY cook and make great things like my own bread, homemade pizza (totally from scratch), super nachos, delicious soups (fiesta chowder, yum), etc. Now I am constantly thinking of what is the fastest and yet healthiest. It is quiet a juggling act. Many nights I wish I could pull out a frozen pizza but I resist that as often as possible as we also strive for healthy living. My struggle is to get dinner cooked and eaten before Abigail has a complete and total meltdown for bedtime.
Along with cooking, I miss eating. Oh sure, I eat (as you would know if you were around me very often) but I eat AT LEAST one meal a day in my car (I know, Mom, this is not good). Many times I eat two meals a day in my car, and the third one is usually with me sitting on the living room floor trying to entertain Abigail so we can scarf down what I just threw together as fast as I could before her bathtime comes around.
I also miss making Andrew lunch all the time. Since his move to a downtown job, his lunch spending as gone up. In some ways this is good, at least he isn't eating Taco Bell everyday like he was but in some ways this destroys the Dave-Ramsey-like-way we are trying to live. I feel the best about how things are going on the days that I get around to making his lunch. My husband's worst fault . . . here it is folks, is that he won't eat leftovers (unless I heat them up for him), so his lunch choices are limited.
Being a working mom is the biggest balancing act and one of the hardest (if not THE hardest) thing that I have ever had to do. At times it has turned me into an angry and frustrated momma bear (someone I don't like) when I feel like precious time with my daughter is being stolen. I feel like, on days when she doesn't come with me, that I essentially only have two hours with her. One in the morning before we leave for work, and one before bedtime in the evenings. In the past six months, I have gone from being totally appalled that my husband would suggest that I leave my daughter for an evening so we could go to couples Bible study, to finally a reluctant acceptance of the fact that I am called to put my marriage first, in front of work and child (in some ways, for her sake).
In many ways I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish (especially as far as breastfeeding and working). As I continue on this path, I'm sure I will face many more challenges and will receive many joys as well. I just need to do what I can and put my total trust in my Savior to meet all our needs, which is always easier to type than to do!
I'm laying it all out here. I'm not usually so transparent with my feelings. I hope that by what I have written here that I can be an encouragement to just one other person and that perhaps I will be better understood as a person.
Abigail after her second meal of bananas. What a sweet doll!
I'm still working on my Hawaii post. I am having a hard time remembering everything so I need some input from others. I could have worked on it last night but I chose to clean up our bedroom and Abigail's bedroom instead. It was worth it! Whew! It's nice when there aren't piles everywhere. Andrew did the dishes so our house isn't quite the same disaster as it used to be.
I am planning on getting some of this http://www.zevia.com/ this weekend to try it out. I was actually planning to go to this mall for some other shopping I need to do, so it will work out great!
Also, I want to wish a very Happy Brithday to my father-in-law, Wayne. I have no idea if he reads this but that doesn't matter! Happy Birthday anyway!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Just like childbirth, there comes a point each night that I feel like we just can't go on like this anymore with the screaming and fussing and it is at that point she goes to sleep, or in the case of childbirth - the baby comes out!
As I sat crouched by her crib so she wouldn't see me (it makes her scream louder and cry harder if she sees me leave the room), with my rear-end sticking up in the air, I was so glad that no one could see me in that moment. Ah the things we parents do for sleep!
I said to Andrew, "Why can't my baby just be like other babies I have seen and just fall asleep where they are at, instead of all this fussing, whining and fighting sleep. What is the trick?" It was at that point that I laid her on her back and put a pacifier in her mouth and she fell asleep. I have a feeling this won't be the only time the child will make me eat my words!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
She was fabulous! :) She simply sat on my lap looking around or played nicely on a blanket on the floor while we met for an hour and a half! She "talked" loudly a few times but never whined or fussed. I am so lucky to be able to do stuff like that with her.
This is also another opportunity to say how fortunate I am to work where I do. I LOVE my job and the people at the church. It is wonderful that I am able to bring her with me when needed and be flexible enough to get off for doctor's appointments or when another caregiver cannot watch her. I simply could not ask for a nicer place to work!
Monday, August 11, 2008
I am still working on my Hawaii review post. It's almost written but I also want to add pictures. We'll see what I can accomplish tonight. Andrew has a meeting for his 3rd job so I'll be alone on baby duty (which also means I get to do it MY way! :) ha) so I may not get much done.
Before and while in Hawaii, I read the Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (thanks to Jen for the recommendation!). This book is absolutely fascinating. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It is a memoir of Jeanette's childhood. Her family primarily grew up as drifters, homeless, or in very sub-standard living conditions. The family dynamics and stories she tells are gripping! I couldn't put this book down.
I also read Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. This book had the unfortunate place of following The Glass Castle and that is perhaps why I didn't like it as much as I would have normally. This is a very typical light-weight girly novel that tends to be on the trashy side. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book unless you are in need of something extremely easy reading with little or no thought-provoking material.
I am currently reading The Shack by William P Young. Andrew just finished this and has raved about it. I have been keeping an ear out for some of the controversy and other book reviews surrounding this book, so when I'm finished I'll be sure to share my thoughts.
Friday, August 08, 2008
I am also reading the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook. I hope to start eating more out of there for my own meals as well.
I was originally thinking an egg yolk for her first food but I have changed my mind. I believe it will be an organic banana. To be honest, it seems like just as good a first food with less hassle. There is no cooking involved with a banana as there would be with an egg and I can easily transport this to Abigail's care givers next week.
Can you tell that I have probably put WAY too much thought into this?
Now my goal for the weekend is to find BPA free baby dishes and utensils. Hmm, I probably should find BPA free plasitc bags or find glass containers for storage. Andrew says I'm too picky about these things but I think it is important to simply do what I can do. I know that I can't protect Abigail from everything but I might was well do what I can!
Sleep Update: She's still on Hawaii time! We tried to keep her up as late as possible last night but she was melting down at 8 pm. We put her to bed and she slept (so did I) until 9:30 pm. She then woke up ready to play! She laid in her crib playing until around midnight and then became fussy. I let her cry a bit (but was monitoring everything from my bed with the baby monitor) and finally got up and fed her a little around 12:45 am. She fell asleep after that and slept until I woke her up at 7 am. So we got more sleep than the night before but we still have a ways to go!
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Day 1: July 24, 2008
We get off of work a little early, pack our bags, and drive to Indianapolis, IN. We stay at the Sleep Inn for the night.
Day 2: July 25, 2008
We get up at 4:00 am to catch our 5:00 am shuttle to the airport. Our flight leaves at 7:00 am. We meet some interesting people while waiting, a family going to Florida with TONS of stuff. They are impressed with us packing in only one suitcase. We arrive and get checked in at the airport with no problems. As we arrive at our gate, they announce first class upgrades for $80 per ticket (I think, it might have been $60). We splurge and spoil ourselves forever! Coach will never be the same. First class was amazing. We had a delicious meal, big luxurious seats, and foot rests (my favorite).
Abigail slept about 2 hours on the flight and was happy playing the rest of the time. We land at LAX at 8:30 am local time. Our flight doesn't leave for another 6 hours. The time drags on! We finally leave for Oahu in coach. We are cramped and a little cranky. Abigail sleeps maybe 1 1/2 or 2 hours and whines A LOT! It is now past her normal Eastern Standard Time bedtime and she knows it! We sat by a very nice Hawaiian lady who gave us $5 for Abigail even though she was crammed by the window the whole time. We had very rude and obnoxious teenagers on this flight.
We land in Oahu at 5:30 pm local time. Jennie and Graham pick us up at the airport and take us to our hotel. We stayed at the Queen Kapiolani (which soon earns the name Crapiolani). It is only 1 block from Waikiki beach but it is dirty, noisy, and hot! I put Abigail to bed while Andrew goes to get supper (Teddy's Bigger Burgers). I sleep lightly and wake almost every hour but Andrew and Abigail sleep decently. We rise again at 4:00 am for the Superferry.
Day 3, July 26, 2008 (saturday)
We take a taxi to the Superferry and think we've lost our travel book (with our boarding passes in it) when we get there. We wake up Andrew's dad at 4:30 am to finally discover that I have lost my mind and placed it in the bottom of the stroller. All is well and we board the Superferry. We find a nice spot on a leather couch and settle down for the 3 hour ride to Maui. It is delightful! The Superferry is very nice, comfortable, beautiful views, and we all feel great the whole time.
When we land, Andrew's uncle (Ron) and cousin (Maggie) pick us up (Thanks Guys!) and take us to the airport to get our rental car. It is hotter here than I expected. We get our car and figure out what to do for the next few hours before our lunch reservation and before we can check into our condo.
We find a beach and go there for an hour or so. Andrew takes pictures while Abigail and I pose and then stay out of the wind and sun. The Harp family calls and tells us about a scenic outlook so we head up there. It also happens to be the wind surfing capitol of Hawaii and we enjoy watching that. After our stop there we head over to Mama's Fish House for an enjoyable (yet expensive) meal. I had corn and crab chowder! Yum yum yum! Abigail is very tired and pretty fussy at this point so I do have to leave to put her to sleep. She sleeps through the whole lunch, thankfully!
We then head to Costco to stock up on supplies for the week. Andrew goes in and I stay in the car to breastfeed Abigail. It is the first of MANY times that she ate in the car on this trip. I tried to minimize that as much as possible, because it isn't pleasant for either of us, but at times it had to be done. We go and check into our condo after this. It is absolutely beautiful with a great view, etc. Others go down to the beach and I put Abigail to bed and follow shortly!
Day 4, July 27, 2008 (sunday)
We get up early since we're not used to the time. Abigail and I take a walk on the beach. Andrew offers to watch her so that I can go to church. My in-law's and I head to an Hawaiian church for the service. It was neat. They had contemporary music, an interpretive Hawaiian dance to one song, and a rambly but good preacher. I was so drowsy during the service!
We get back to our condo and have lunch and afternoon naps. Abigail takes a long nap and I lay down and try to sleep but can't fall asleep. I'm so tired that I feel like falling over whenever I stand! At 4:30 pm we get ready for the Luau. Abigail is still asleep so I manage to get her into the car seat without waking her. We arrive there and I feed her . . . again in the car.
We make it into the Luau. I am, once again, so tired that I feel like I can't stand up. Abigail seems pretty tired and a little cranky too. We enjoyed the food and the show at the Luau. It was authentic and entertaining (Old Lahaina Luau) and I would recommend it. Next time (ha ha) I would have liked to do it later in the week so I would be more rested and better able to enjoy it. Abigail managed to fall asleep during the show. This is AMAZING since there are loud drums, shouting from the dancers, and lights flashing.
Day 5, July 28, 2008 (monday)
We enjoy a laid back Monday with beach and pool time, lots of naps, and some eating . . . ok, lots of eating! I think some people in our group went snorkeling today.
DAy 6, July 29, 2008 (tuesday)
The Road to Hana day! We set out "early" for the Road to Hana and stopped and a lovely little place for breakfast called Anthony's (I think, someone correct me if I'm wrong) and once again, Abigail had breakfast in the car! :) We enjoyed many lovely stops along the road to Hana. The sights were breath-taking as we viewed tropical paradise cliffs, waterfalls, and rock-formations. Andrew, Graham, Linda, Abigail and I were in one car and Susan, Wayne, Maggie, Jennie, and Michael were in the other car. At one point we stopped at a waterfall. I began this stop by once again, feeding Abigail in the car. As soon as I got to the waterfall, I discovered Andrew and Graham perched at the top of the falls getting ready to jump.
My mind instantly started preparing itself for the fact that I was going to be a widow! :) I didn't freak out on the outside because I knew it wouldn't do any good but I was definitely scared that they would die or get injured. Well, they ended up jumping and were just fine after the fact. Graham did let Andrew go first! :) Ha ha!
One of my favorite parts about this trip was all of the "local" stuff we got along the way; smoothies, incredible homemade coconut ice cream made with coconut milk, banana bread, etc. We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch when we finally arrived in Hana. We pretty much just drove straight back to our condo without stops. This road is very curvy and hilly. Everyone in our car was fine, except for poor Abigail, who did get car sick on the way back. She was one happy girl after she threw up.
Day 6, July 30, 2008 (wednesday)
Another relaxing day. We definitely needed it after being gone all day on the road to Hana the day before. We relaxed on the beach, pool, and Abigail got lots of good naps. Oh, we also enjoyed some competitive games of 500!
Day 7, July 31, 2008 (thursday)
Jennie, Wayne, Linda, and Michael did the Haleakala bike tour this morning. I think they all got up around 1:30 am to do it but they said it was worth it, so we're putting it on our list for next time! :) Andrew and Graham did more snorkeling. After the Haleakala bike people got back to our condo, Andrew decided to carry a tired Jennie back to our condo so she could babysit Abigail. Well, in the process of picking her up, he threw out his back (I think that's how the story goes). He still wanted to go to the Nakalele BlowHole, so off we went (Wayne, Graham, Andrew, and I). It was so much fun. The hike was a tad bit rocky for my taste but it was well worth it. After we got back to the condo and Andrew sat for a while, his back muscles really tightened up. He was unable to walk. I was pretty worried about how we would make the long journey back to Ohio with two members of our family unable to walk!
Day 8, August 1, 2008 (friday)
Boy, it's a good thing I'm starting to write this down now because I'm beginning to forget. It would be really bad news in a month! :0 I think we pretty much hung out at the condo all day, due to Andrew's back. I did some laundry and went down to the beach by myself, while Andrew watched Abigail.
Day 9, August 2, 2008 (saturday)
We got ready to leave for the Superferry. Once again, Ron picked up Andrew at the rental car place and transported him to the Superferry! Yeah! We got all checked in and were in line for the shuttle bus to take us to where you board the ferry. Andrew was moving slowly due to his back so we were in the back of the line. This turned out to be a good thing actually, as we got on a bus with only one other lady. The driver commented on how Andrew was making me carry the heavy stuff and we told him about the back injury. He offered to drive the shuttle bus onto the Superferry and drop us off right by the handicap (aka limited mobility) lift. It was such a blessing! I'm sure we wouldn't have died trying to walk the three flights of stairs into the ferry but with me carrying Abigail in the carseat and Andrew barely able to walk it wouldn't have been pretty!
We had a nice ride once we got on the ferry. I had some new found freedom in Andrew's back injury. He had to stay in his seat since he definitely couldn't really walk well with the boat swaying so I got to be the one to stand outside the whole time and take pictures. I also took Abigail to the kids play area and let her lay on a blanket and play with toys. She had fun! :)
We took the lift down the Superferry and were able to catch a rental car shuttle to go pick up our car. Andrew's back was improving by then. We headed to our hotel for some supper and bedtime for Abigail. I, once again, enjoyed the freedom of Andrew's limited mobility by having him stay in the room while I went to get supper.
Day 10, August 3, 2008 (sunday)
We received a nice set of maps from the rental car company and also a driving tour guide to Oahu so we decided to do that. I am so glad we did! The landscaping was absolutely breath-taking. We were able to see beautiful beaches, outlooks, etc on our drive around the island. I read out of the driving tour guide to Andrew (and Abigail when she wasn't asleep) and we all had fun. We had a little lunch at Haleiwa Joes, a delicious sea food grill. I had a fish sandwich and I think Andrew had coconut shrimp. I tried them . . . and they were good. That's not as easy thing for me to say about shrimp!
We took another leisurely drive back to an outlook near our hotel and then back to the hotel for Abigail's bedtime. I, again, left Abigail with Andrew and went down to enjoy Waikiki beach. I enjoyed it! It was crowded but the beach was beautiful. I also got to see some surfing at this point. We hadn't seen any before since the waves were too small. I did a little souviner shopping also. When I got back, Andrew was feeling well enough to make the trek himself, so he went down to the beach and took pictures. He also got us supper from our new favorite place, Teddy's Bigger Burgers.
Well, we're all having a difficult time readjusting to Ohio time, Abigail especially. She took a nice long nap yesterday afternoon and also fell asleep on the way home. I let her sleep about 20 more minutes when we got home before waking her up. She was cranky at about 7 pm so we started bedtime. She fell asleep by about 8:00 pm. I couldn't believe our luck. She was down for the night!
She woke up at about 9:30 pm ready to play. She did not want to be laying in her bed or falling asleep. Andrew took her for a while but when he went to bed at 10:30 pm, I took her into her room. For a while, I laid with her on the bed and let her play with a stuffed animal. When she started to look tired, I tried rocking for a while. Finally, around 11:30 pm, I laid her in her crib. She fussed just a little but I finally got her back to sleep around 11:45. Yes! I went to bed and promptly fell asleep.
1:00 am. I wake up to Abigail crying. I go in and try to put her back to sleep with the pacifier but she's not having any of it! So I nurse her for a bit and then put her back to sleep. She goes down pretty easily. I lay in bed awake (blogging in my mind) until about 2:00 am when I finally get up and go downstairs for a snack, since my rumbling tummy is keeping me awake. I finally fall asleep after a small snack.
3:45 am. I wake up to Abigail crying. I get her out of her crib and lay with her in the twin bed but that just makes her even more upset. I try nursing her which sort of works. I continue to lay with her in bed while she flops around trying to get comfortable and fall asleep and we eventually fall asleep. I can't see the time from the bed but I would imagine it was around 4:30 am.
6:15 am. My alarm clock goes off for work and yes . . . I get up! We're trying to not let Abigail sleep any more than normal today so hopefully each night will get better. Now for the second part of my post. . .
Andrew and I are very fortunate. We really agree and get along well with many things: We share a similar faith, similar political stance, similar family background, similar interests, and we generally agree on money issues. Amazing, right?! However, we are discovering that we do not agree on parenting! Around 9:30 pm last night, I was exhausted and just wanted to go to bed but Abigail was up and wanted to play. Andrew, being the good dad and helpful husband that he is, offered to keep her up for a while so I could go to bed. At 10:30 pm he came up to bed and put her in her crib. She instantly started to cry and sob. Andrew continues to completely close her bedroom door and to completely close our bedroom door so we can't hear her crying!! I am completely freaked out by this. What if she really needs us/gets sick/etc? We can't hear her!
Let me clarify. I am all for letting Abigail cry a bit when needed. She pretty much does whenever she goes to sleep. However, I am not willing to let her scream and cry in her crib while I lay there asleep and uninvolved. I at least want to be alert to know if she really does need something. The reason why this is causing some difficulty for us is that when Andrew offers to help me, at times I'm not so sure I want to accept his help because I don't like the way he will help.
Let me clarify again . . . I think Andrew is a wonderful daddy and I know he would never do anything to hurt Abigail. I simply feel like I am more in touch with the emotional side of parenting. I hope that makes sense. I have hesitated to write about this much because I don't want to portray Andrew as mean or an unconcerned dad at all, because he's not. We're just different.
Anyone else with this problem? Perhaps it is just me and my need to be in control, which is a different post for a different time. Anyway, this tired mommy is just rambling. I know Abigail's sleep will be getting better as she readjusts to this time zone. I mean, I had a hard time sleeping too!
Next up (which I may also post today): The Food Dilemma! Abigail is getting ready to start solids - probably this weekend. I am in a huge mental debate as to what her first food should be. I have done TONS of research on the matter and will share that at some point.
(All food will be organic or farm fresh/raised in nature)
A banana? Will she eat veggies if she tries fruit first?
Pureed meat? Sounds gross but that is what has been recommended.
Egg Yolk? Also has been highly recommended but I'm concerned about an allergy and the portability of this food for next week.
Rice Cereal? Has not come highly recommended by the whole foods books and articles I have been reading but this is what main stream America (doctors) recommend.
More on this at a later date.
Hawaii pictures will be coming as soon as I can get more than 4 hours of sleep in my brain.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Dear Sweet Daughter,
Happy half birthday! On the flight back from Hawaii I looked down at you sleeping on my lap. I was overwhelmed in that moment by how much God must love me. He must love me more than I can imagine simply because He gave you to me (and us) to love and raise. We love you darling daughter. We're enjoying watching you grow and change every moment and we're looking forward to what the future holds for all of us! We took you to Hawaii for your six month birthday. How will we ever top that when you turn 1 year old?! :)
I really am impressed with Abigail's flying ability! She doesn't seem to be too far off as far as the time-change goes. We'll see. She went to bed at 2:00 am and slept until 10:00 am. Then napped while still at home and on the way to the sitters. It will be interesting to see how she did this afternoon.
We had such a wonderful time in Hawaii. I was so sad to leave. To be honest my favorite part of the trip wasn't one specific thing we did but was simply getting to spend time with family, my little family and extended family.
I feel like I hardly get to see Andrew during the week, since he and I are either at work or he is at home working and I'm cleaning up or attending the baby. It was also a joy for me to get to spend a whole 11 days with Abigail. She got into a really great rhythm of napping, feeding (which she does MUCH better without switching to a bottle 1/2 of the time), and playing once we got there and got settled.
I really did enjoy touring around Oahu. We had to be pretty picky about stuff we did because of the baby, so we got a driving tour map and did that. It was incredibly fun! I didn't realize how beautiful the Oahu north and east shores are. Truly breath taking. We'll post pictures later!
Anyway, it was also great to sleep in our own beds last night. As my eyes droop while I'm typing this, I am also looking forward to this luxury tonight!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
We are heading out on the SuperFerry tomorrow morning. We will stay in Oahu for two nights and three days before our flight leaves for home. We're planning on visiting Pearl Harbor if Andrew's back is up for it. I won't have a computer there so I may not blog again until we get home.
I'll write a recap there. It will be nice for all of us to be in our own beds again, especially Abigail!
I think there is nothing planned but relaxing tomorrow. Yeah! We got lots of great pictures at the blow hole.