Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Prayer for Colic

For the first 3 months of Brielle's life I was exhausted. Brielle fought sleep, by simply not sleeping at all. It was a miracle when I finally did get her to sleep and I would sing prayers of thanksgiving. Once 10 PM hit, she was up and crying. I doubt I spent those first few months of her life sleeping next to my husband at all. Most of my sleeping was during her day time naps. She would seriously scream from 10 until early, early the next morning. The worst night was at Grandma's house where she screamed all night long, from 10 to 5 am.

When we relayed these details to our doctor she very pointedly exclaimed, "It sounds like she has a mild case of colic." Mild?! You call screaming all hours of the night mild?! I probably looked at her from dark ringed eyes and a scraggly hair do. I doubt my clothes even matched. I was running on nothing. I think back to those days as some of the most sleep deprived days of my life (not counting Greek week as a college freshman). I mean I was recovering from 2 surgery's, major iron deficiency and my doctor told me that the best recovery therapy was rest.

Haha. With a colicky newborn?!

So this morning when I read, "Prayer for Colic" out of my "Mommy Prayers" book by Tracy Mayor, I could totally relate.

Dear God, Have I offended you? I know I can be smug, what with my great husband, delightful toddler, and happy second pregnancy. Did I get too complacent or ungrateful? Because my new baby has colic, Lord, and at times it's so awful that if feels like nothing but a punishment from a vengeful God. Look at how my child is suffering! In a single day our happy, sleepy newborn turned into a howling, red-faced monster, and no matter what we try, we can't get him back. They say he's not in pain, God, but I'm not a fool. I can see with my eyes and feel with my heart that he's hurting. He's writhing and gasping and emitting that unmistakably ear-splitting colic cry for hours and hours on end. His big sister is angry and clingy and teary, and why shouldn't she be when there's not a moment of peace in the house from three in the afternoon till midnight, every single night? We've been to the pediatrician more times than I can count, and to every specialist in town. We've tried every feeding, holding, sleeping, and soothing trick in the book. I am clinging to the hope that this colic will very shortly end the same way it began - suddenly and without warning. Until then, Lord, please send us the strength and patience to somehow survive through these minutes and hours and days and weeks. You're our only hope, Lord. Thanks.

I think, had I read this 3 months ago, I would've cried. Now, I giggle as I relate to the feeling of desperation. I would have gratefully repeated the last line in bold, please give us strength and patience to survive! I laugh as I think of how I felt towards other mom's with newborns, holding their sleeping, not crying, baby and think, "Why can't my baby be like that?!" I don't ever remember my child sleeping peacefully in my arms, in her car seat, crib, swing, bouncy chair.... In fact, one night at Bible study a mom of three yelled over my screaming child, "Don't worry! Your next baby will be different, not all babies are like this!"


I mean my first experience with giving birth was an emergency experience, 10 days later I almost died from postpartum hemorrhaging, and while I was supposed to be recovering from both of these experiences I'm a sleep deprived, sickly, weak mommy of a colicky newborn. Having more children was not on any thought spectrum of either my husband or myself.

If you're reading this, while experiencing a newborn with colic, do not worry. It does end as suddenly as it began. The moment you try one thing and it works that one time, the next time it won't. But do not lose heart, you will get through this! You will be a more patient, loving parent because of it and you will be able to look back at this portion of your life as a refining fire, where your only hope was literally in the Lord and his strength!

In the mean time, I'm praying for you and all sleep deprived mommy's out there, trying to recover from labor and delivery, that you find rest in God and love the little blessing He entrusted to you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

15-22 Weeks & Yup, MORE Firsts!

I cannot believe that my bean is already 5 months old! There is so much about this age that I absolutely love. She's becoming more animated during play time. She's giggling at things that she finds funny, like the puppies and sneezes. She's desperately trying to move, move, move! She's recognizing and thriving with her bedtime routine, which I honestly believe is her favorite time of the day because she gets to eat cereal, play in the bath, listen to daddy read a story, and rock with mommy. What's not to love? ;)

At 15-19 weeks Brielle...
  • ... began to show signs of separation anxiety. You might think I'm crazy, but the moment she even looked at someone else she'd burst into tears. If someone else held her, everyone knew she was upset about that. Big honkin' tears would stream down her face and it would take forever to convince her that everything was okay. As long as mommy or daddy held her, life was good. Going to the nursery at church without mom or dad was a bad idea. Someone else telling her how cute she was at the library during story hour didn't go so well. If someone else wanted to hold her at a basketball game, um, I had to decline. Life suddenly revolved very much around mommy and daddy, and mommy and daddy only.
  • ... rolled from her back to her tummy! She was officially on the move!
  • ... enjoys sitting in her high chair. She sits in it to play and eat.
  • ... followed intently along as books were read to her. It's pretty incredible. We noticed that she loved following along to the book "Crazy Farm" that's on my iPhone. If she's upset we put that book on for her to watch and she's instantly excited and all smiley (and I'm not exaggerating)! Still, after a bit she's ready to squirm on to the next thing.
  • ... tried cereal for the first time. She loved it and begged for more!
  • ... played at the park. She seemed to enjoy the swing and the slide!

Notice how Marley, our other baby, thought he HAD to join us... :)
At 20-22 weeks Brielle...
  • ... created new and fun sounds like, mmmmmmm and b-b-b-b (that also required bubbles and spit to produce effectively).
  • ... insists on standing, sitting, rolling. She does NOT want to be still!
  • She was facing the other direction under her activity "jungle gym" thing. She rolled and scooted herself closer to her toy basket!
  • ... laughs at mommy or daddy signing along to music. Apparently we have funny voices.
  • ... also laughs at the puppies. More so than at mommy and daddy. She watches her puppies like a hawk, they're so interesting!
  • ... found her feet in the bathtub and is now beginning to pull her socks off.
  • ... received a Valentine from daddy. It was so sweet and she loves her toy.
  • ... uses her hands to scoot... backwards!
  • ... copies daddy when he spits at her, greeeeeeeat!
All in all we have a very animated baby. When she's excited she bounces, when she's frustrated she clamps her fists and straightens her arms, when she talks, her arms are in motion and the spit is flying. I am so blessed to be her mommy! Thank you God for this wonderful, healthy, beautiful baby girl! (By the way, just LOOK at that round belly! It gets a lot of raspberries! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"How Tweet It Is" Baby Shower

I recently took over the task of throwing baby showers for all the expecting mothers in our church. I enjoyed throwing the first shower so much that I can't wait to begin working on the next one (Yes, our church is overflowing with BABIES and we LOVE it.)

I asked Laura, the mommy, to give me an idea of what little Reese's nursery looked like, and when she sent me a picture I immediately hit Pinterest to find ideas for her pink and green birdie theme. The IDEAS! There were so many of them and they were all so stinkin' cute!

Theme: "How Tweet It Is"

Color Scheme: Pink and Green

Theme Verse: Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"

Food: Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies, Kiwi, Strawberries, Green Apples, Grapes, Guacamole Dip and Chips 

Beverage: Pink Lemonade 

  • I read a story to Reese called, "The Story of Blue Wings" which was in a collection of short stories and poems by Ada M. Skinner and Eleanor L. Skinner. If you run across this book, "A Very Little Child's Book of Stories" get it. This was my favorite part of the baby shower. Perhaps that's the nerd in me, but it's such a cute, cute story of a little girl who mends a blue birds wing until he is able to fly away on his own, even though she has to let him go, they'll be forever friends.
  • Tweet Little Messages for Reese 
  • This cute little keepsake book was where the guests signed in and where the gifts were written down. In it there was a section for these little "tweets" where the guests wrote pieces of advice or well wishes and glued it in the book for Reese to read someday.
  • Late Night Tweets for Mommy
  • Each mom can totally relate to late night diaper changes and feeding - they're exhausting. How much better would it be if we had little messages on the diapers to make the experience just a little bit more enjoyable? That's what we did for mommy. We wrote little "tweets" on these late night diapers. Some of them were pretty creative and funny, like "Surprise inside!" or "This one's for Daddy!" Everyone had a lot of fun with this activity and wanted to write on more than one diaper!
  • Devotional: Our pastor's wife used the theme verse (Matthew 6:26) to talk about how Jesus taught us not to worry, because he has promised to take care of those whom He loves. I mean, look at the birds? He takes care of them, so He will take care of you too little Reese, and don't ever forget that! Lean on Him. Trust in Him. And you will find peace and hope.
  • "A Little Birdie Told Me" and other Idioms Game
    • I read these idioms out loud and the guests were to guess the meaning of each. The one who got the most was the winner! At first it was a silent game, but after awhile they had fun discussing the possible meaning and laughing at all the possibilities.
      • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush (having something that is certain is better than taking a risk)
      • Mums the word (to keep quiet or say nothing)
      • Put the cat among the pigeons (to cause trouble)
      • Bird brain (stupid)
      • Feather in one's cap (Something to be proud of)
      • For the birds (not interesting, worthless)
      • In fine feather (good humor)
      • Lovely weather for the ducks (rainy)
      • dead duck (someone in a hopeless situation)
      • What's good for the goose is good for the gander (what's good for one person should be good for someone else)
  • I was surprised how many pink and green goodies Dollar General had! First of all the bags were an easy snag. They were $1 each with pink and green tissue paper. I grabbed pink aloe socks with pink and green nail polish as one prize, a pink Glade candle that smelled heavenly, individual pink lemonade packets with a pink cup and straw, and little pink buckets filled with Andes Chocolate Green mints.
  • "The Early Bird Catches the Worm" (The first person to arrive, got the first prize.)
  • The winner of the Idiom game also won a prize.
  • Lastly, under a few chairs there was a bird that said, "A Tweet For You!" Whoever was so lucky as to sit on one of those chairs also received a prize.
The Prizes with a feather wreath to hang in her nursery.
I had so much fun putting this together (okay, minus the time I was cursing the feather boa and hot glue gun) but the bird and the little flowers were so much fun and I LOVE how it turned out.
Above the fireplace I hung a clothesline filled with pink and green clothing, a birdie bib, and cute little socks. Birds were also hanging out on the clothes line... here's a close up of each of them that I cut out of felt, decorated and hot glued a clothes pin on the back...

Here are the centerpieces for the tables. It was so easy to find a stick, glue on a nest that I found at Hobby Lobby (2 for $3) and set my little birdies around it.

Close up of the table birdies that I made out of scrapbook paper and wire that I bent into "heart feet!"
Food Table...

I painted polka dots on the eggs, and didn't update my close up picture for some reason. :-/ It took me FOREVER to come up with a design that I actually liked for this frame. I created something, destroyed it, started over at least 3 times!

This frame has the theme verse on it, Matthew 6:26.

This frame was created to place a picture of Reese inside, after all, she is a tweety pie!

The sign says, "watch me grow" and was also created for a picture. I ordered the little bird house off of Amazon from a company called Miniature Gardening for $1.59! 
Invite: (There was only one person Laura needed an invite sent to that didn't go to our church, that was easy peasy! So I simply created one with the materials I already had!)

All in all it was a great time! I had fun putting it all together. I used Saturday afternoons when my hubby could take Brielle to work on it and used many nap times, and a few play times here and there on the off chance she was satisfied playing by herself. Thankfully, it was a no stress experience. I had a blast on the day it finally came together because it seemed like Laura, who this was all about in the first place, was enjoying herself. Hopefully, she liked everything and walked away with a smile.

I have to say it was all pretty "tweet" just like Laura's little Reese.