Sunday, April 26, 2009

4 weeks!

I know I say this every week...but time is just flying! I can't believe 4 weeks ago today we got to meet our little Miya, and each day has been an adventure since then! This week has been good as we are learning more about our little girl. She has started to be more awake, some days more than others. I love when she is awake and happy, she will just lay on her little play mat and kick her legs, move her arms and coo. It's very sweet :) I will go through the pictures to tell what this week had in store for us.

Napping with Mama... She is such a cuddler! That is a nice way of saying she really wants to be held most of the day...and night :) We are learning to work with it. Some days she will be fine and we can sit her down etc... but recently she will fall asleep in our arms and we will try to lay her down...and what do you know, she is awake, and crying to be held! We're hoping it's a phase, we are trying to put her down to sleep as much as possible, but these days being somewhat sleep deprived ourselves, we are choosing our battles! Plus we love cuddling with her too.

Snuggling... Speaking of sleep, we did hit a big milestone this weekend! Saturday night she was kind of fussy and acting like she was starving! I fed her and fed her pretty much from 7 until 10 then she finally fell asleep....and much to my surprise she slept until 4:30am! Yes, that's right our girl slept through the night for the first time on the eve of her 4 week birthday :) Then after that I thought it couldn't get any better but I laid her back down at 5:15 and she slept until 8:45! I woke up and felt like a new woman...I would love to see the trend repeat itself...but am not getting my hopes up :)

Hanging with Dad

Still working out those little biceps. Her neck has gotten so strong! And her little legs are strong too, I can't believe how she can scoot herself over the pillow using her legs!


This is her in her little bathrobe :) She is still quite fond of her bath time, except we did learn a valuable lesson. Don't wake a sleeping baby to give them a's never worth it! We tried and let's just say we had one VERY unhappy girl on our hands. I think it took her a good few hours to calm down after that!

Little Miya got to meet her Auntie Cherai for the very first time this weekend! She loved getting to meet her and enjoyed her visit very much! We also enjoyed being able to eat dinner in peace while Auntie Cherai held her for us...I have grown accustomed to eating with Miya in my lap, but it was nice to get to eat without worrying about dropping food on her head!

Giving hugs goodbye

"playing" during one of her happy awake times

Big yawn!

no more pictures please!

Giving meema big smiles...I love it :) This past friday she started smiling while awake, it's the best!

Her hair has started to get some wave, she has this one cute little curl in the front that I just had to get a picture of :)

Miya also has another new trick. She will hook her fingers around her pacifier and pull it out of her mouth and keep it in her hand. It cracks us up because she eventually will try to get it back in her mouth and that never goes very well....but it's lots of fun to watch! We don't know what she's thinking but we think she's pretty smart :)

love her little toes!

Not quite sure what she's doing with her little hands here :)

That's it for now! We are so thankful for every day with our little girl. This upcoming week she has her one month appointment with the pediatrician, we are wondering how much she weighs now, she has been eating well, and those cheeks are only getting bigger!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My portion. My cup.

My Mom reminded me of this encouragement from Elisabeth Elliot's book "Keep a Quiet Heart" (one of my favorites!)

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1 Cor 10:13)

Think of that promise and keep a quiet heart! Our enemy delights in disquieting us. Our Savior delights in quieting us. "As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you." is His promise (Is 66:13). The choice is ours. It depends on our willingness to see everything in God, receive all from His hand, accept with gratitude just the portion and the cup He offers. Shall I charge Him with a mistake in His measurements or with misjudging the sphere in which I can best learn to trust Him? Has He misplaced me? Is He ignorant of things or people which, in my view, hinder my doing His will?

God came down and lived in the same world as a man. He showed us how to live in this world, subject to it's vicissitudes and necessities, that we might be changed- not into an angel or a storybook princess, not wafted into another world, but changed into saints in this world. The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.

He whose heart is kind behond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best,
Lovingly it's part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling til with peace and rest.
-Lina Sandell
Now just to clarify I don't in any way view Miya as a "trial" she is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received! But the new responsibilities and the dying of my selfishness is the biggest battle, and caring for a newborn has a unique way of bringing out selfish tendencies. Although I must say loving and caring for Miya is surely a delight! I am still a selfish person, and am learning daily to battle it! I have thought things like: "being a Mother will get easier when she is sleeping through the night" or "once she doesn't need to eat as often we will be able to get out a lot more" or "how long until Lew and I can get out together, just the 2 of us?" etc... So often I find myself looking ahead to the promised "comforts" of tomorrow thinking that "then I will find rest". But in looking ahead I am often missing God's provision today, He is providing rest (even in the midst of sleepless nights), rest just comes in different forms right now! Last night it came in the form of a sweet husband and a sleeping baby that allowed a 2 hour nap after dinner. The truth is God is here in the midst of my current circumstances working on my heart and providing rest in the most unexpected ways. My prayer is that I will learn to look for those "rest stops" throughout the day. Which is hard for me because I am very good at relying on my own strength.

Lord thank you that the solution is Christ in me....not me in a different set of circumstances! Help me not to rush past this sweet season you have me in by looking to the next one as "easier" but instead let me see this as "my portion" and my "cup":
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Psalm 16: 5-6

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Washing feet...

I never realized how much motherhood means laying down your life. I mean don't get me wrong I knew it would require sacrifice...but I think until you are in the throw of things you don't really understand how much you will be laying down your life, preferences, and comforts for your child. Not to say it isn't a joy, it absolutely is, but one of the biggest struggles I have had is the loss of sleep which has become a bigger issue these past few nights. Miya has decided she has better things to do than to sleep at night...and on top of that when she does sleep at night she wants to be in our bed next to me...nowhere else. She used to love to sleep in her little comfy seat in our bedroom, but no more. Last night after her waking up about every hour or 2 by 3:30am I woke up to find a crying baby with a diaper that had oh so conveniently leaked all over me, our bed, and poor miya. With tears I looked at Lew and said "I don't think I can do this". In that moment I felt so weak, probably the weakest I have ever felt! My heart was saying "I want to care for my little girl!" but my body was saying "sleep...I so desperately need sleep!" Thankfully we were able to clean up the mess and I was able to feed her and get her back to sleep...but even this morning when she woke me up at 6, I felt that weakness turning into weariness. "How am I going to deal with a new day...and new challenges?"

Well I have found encouragement for my soul from many directions. First my sweet husband who gently and lovingly serves both of us and reminds my heart of truth when I am feeling doubtful. And my Mom who calls regularly to check in with me also called this morning. She reminded me that these are the years of sacrifice, Mothering young children isn't easy, but God gives grace! And my dear friend Renee who just listened to me and reminded me that all these temptations are common! Sometimes it helps just to be reminded that your normal :)

I also found encouragement in a book I have been reading called "The Ministry of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson. I was reading the chapter called "The Grace of Time Together" and it hit me: right now I am called to care for my daughter and the best gift I can give her is my time. Time to love her, be awake with her, feed her, nurture her, and tend to her needs. And as she grows the time I give her may look different, but none the less the gift of my time will always be a gift of grace to my sweet girl, and Lord willing other children we may have. Now what I have really had to come to grips with is the fact that giving her my time means not giving my time to many other things! A few examples: cleaning (this looks VERY different now!), leisure, cooking, getting out, sleeping, and yes even showering. Some days it's hard to get the basic stuff in... and I am battling to remind myself that I am doing the most important things. If at the end of the day my husband is loved and cared for, and Miya is fed, clean, loved, and happy....then it was a successful day. How different this life looks than it once did. But oh how I want to emulate the sacrifice of our Savior to my daughter.

This particular section in "The Ministry of Motherhood" spoke to me:

I once had great feats I wanted my children to accomplish with their lives. I wanted them to have strong moral character and to be a testimony for Christ. I wanted them to be leaders to their lost and wondering friends. I wanted them to be excellent in their manners and conduct, work habits, and schoolwork and to be gracious and patient to each other I wanted them to take up their cross and follow hard after Christ in whatever they were asked to do.

I still have those dreams, of course. But I've also realized that my dreams are not necessarily what really motivate my children to become the best they can be. What matters to them is my loving presence....If I want them to be open to my messages, I need to be willing to serve them- to voluntarily give up my rights and my time to meet their felt needs-just as Jesus was willing to give for his disciples.

The night before Jesus was to be crucified his heart and mind must have been filled with such weariness and exhaustion at the thought of what he would soon endure. The sins of the whole world-throughout all of history! were about to be placed on his back as he laid down his life to pay the penalty for all of us. He knew he would be rejected by those who loved him, He would be beaten and scourged, spit upon, and wrongly sacrificed in the most demeaning way upon a cross while be handles by rough and sneering Roman soldiers Yet it is at this point we see him making a beautiful gesture of love and service towards his disciples:

"Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him" John 13:1,3-5

Jesus spent his last night on earth with his disciples in service to them. How powerful their memories of that night must have been--The King of the whole universe touching and rubbing their dusty feet and gently drying them with a towel....

Passing on the gift of grace to our children requires commitment and yes, a sacrifice--of time, love, and heart service. The grace we give by serving our children will provide them with a pattern to follow the rest of their lives. When they relate to their own friends, bosses, neighbors, spouses, and children, the example of our lives will steer the decisions they make. The grace they show to others will largely come from parents who learned it first from our own servant King.

Christ truly knew what it meant to feel weary, yet he chose to lay down his own comforts and serve his disciples. I am praying for this heart, the heart of our servant King. I am becoming more and more aware that this is a season of sowing seeds into my daughters heart and life. Even just by meeting her most basic needs in this season, I can exemplify servanthood by putting aside my own preferences and giving her my time and love. It may be a long while before I get to see any fruit, but I am sowing in faith for the future. I am finding there are so many lessons to learn from Motherhood! And it couldn't be any sweeter.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

3 weeks!

Another week has passed, and it's hard to believe. Lew is back to work and this will be Miya's and mine first full week together without Daddy here, we already miss him! This week has been great, and Miya is getting more and more alert. She still gets thrown off and can't quite tell the difference between night and day. We try to wake her up after dinner to give her some "awake" time before bedtime...but no matter what we do she occassionally likes to be awake from 9 until about midnight. She doesn't fuss, she just wants to be held and fed...and fed some more! So we usually compensate for those nights by sleeping in. Thankfully that doesn't happen often, but tonight happens to be one of those nights so as I type I am holding her while she stares at me with wide open eyes. I don't think she has any intention of falling to sleep anytime soon :) On the in between nights she likes to sleep for 3-4 hour chunks, which defintely makes up for the other late nights!

Another new thing this week was we found out Miya has reflux. We had been trying to figure out what was bothering her, she would occassionally spit up, but she also was choking and gagging a lot during feedings which was concerning to both Lew and I. So we took her to the pediatrician who gave her zantac. We tried that for a few days, but she absolutely hated the taste of it! So we tried something called colic calm that a friend of ours recommended, and it seems to be helping, she also loves the taste of it. Thankfully our girl doesn't have colic, but this stuff is all natural and can help with anything from reflux to baby gas and other digestive issues. The only problem is it has vegetable charcoal (so it's black and thick) in it which can be quite messy when we give it to her....but the relief is definitely worth it!

This week she has continued to do her tummy time but it usually follow this sequence:

"so what exactly do you guys want me to do here?"

"I'm supposed to use my arms and do what?"

"how about if I just lay here instead?"

"don't worry I'm not sleeping, I'm just resting my eyes..."


We actually did get her to push up with her little arms and use her neck muscles...but it only lasted for a moment. But you have to start somewhere!
this is her successfully using her little arms to do a "push up". She made mama so proud ;)

This is her in her cute baby gap dress (thanks Aunt Janet!) She wasn't too happy about being posed for this picture which explains the scrunched up face. This was the best out of 8 pictures if that tells you anything :) That is another thing we have discovered in week 3...Miya has very strong preferences and she isn't afraid to make them known! We are discovering these preferences slowly but surely, but no matter how much we seek to understand her, they change from day to day. The other day for instance we were changing her diaper and she began to cry so hard she turned purple from head to toe! It sure gave mama a scare, so much of a scare that I called her doctor. Her pediatrician patiently confirmed that if Miya calmed down once we finished changing her that this was simply her way of saying "I DON"T LIKE THIS!" with a good healthy cry. Apparently a cry that makes a baby purple just means they are healthy and have a good set of lungs :) Good to know!

These are some more pictures of Miya following tummy time. It's amazing how exhausted she gets after only being awake for an hour!
Resting on Daddy

She's out. I'm pretty sure she stayed like this for a while!

Yesterday we went to our first Church service, which went well. I was hoping she would sleep through the whole service which unfortunately didn't happen. She woke up right as the message started and started squeaking...which almost always leads to a good loud cry so I was thankful for the warning and whisked her out of the sanctuary. We enjoyed the message from a comfy chair in the lobby.

We then spent some time at Meema and Pop Pop's house. Aunt Rachel, Uncle Jeremy and Brendon also stopped by too! It was fun to get out and spend some time with family

Here she is very Uncle Jer

Loving on Pop Pop

If you can believe this...We just discovered we have absolutely NO pictures of the 3 of us! Yup it took us all this time to figure out that we have been so caught up in caring for our new girl that we never had someone take a picture of our new little family! Whoops :) Well no time like the present...
Here we are!
and one more.

And just because she is so cute and Daddy insisted....
I'm sure she will enjoy many a cubs games with Papa when she gets a little older :)

So that's pretty much the update for week 3! Hard to believe our girl is growing so fast. I can tell she is putting on lots of weight...mostly evidenced by her growing cheeks :) We are enjoying every moment with her!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dear Papa...

Dear Papa,

I just wanted to thank you for being my Daddy. Thank you for all the snuggles, and kisses and songs that you sing to me. I feel so safe with you especially when I hear your voice, that very same voice that talked, sang, and read to me when I was in Mommy's tummy. I love spending time with you, even though I sleep a lot, I know when you are there, and feel so safe and secure in your arms. I don't know if Mommy knows how blessed she is to have you, but I sure know that I have the best Daddy in the whole world. Thanks for staying up with me late at night sometimes so Mommy can take a nap before she feeds me next. I love reading Morning and Evening with you and singing hymns together, even when it's in the middle of the night.

Thank you for teaching me about Jesus and planting seeds in my heart! I love you so very much, and miss you now that you are back at work. Mommy and I are counting down the hours until you come home to us. We love you more than you could ever imagine. I am glad you are much calmer than Mommy, she tends to worry about a lot of things...but I like it when you remind her that God is in control, and not her. She needs those reminders a lot, and I'm glad she has you there to remind her. What would we do without you Daddy? I can't wait to snuggle with you again.

Love you so much!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

tummy time!

We tried some tummy time and Miya was cracking me up. She liked it at first but soon got tired of it...literally and fell asleep :) It was cute because at first she was even pumping her little legs to get over the pillow I had under her chest. She doesn't seem to love being on her stomach, she prefers her side, her left side, just like her mommy.

I love that her llittle fat cheeks squish her one eye shut :)

sleepy girl after her tummy time nap

she loves daddy

just because I love her toes...