_________ versus _________

I’ve learned in a very short time how many decisions a parent needs to make. For the past year+, the hubs and I have been bombarded with information, opinions, books & articles from experts, nudges from well-meaning family & friends…enough to give me an ulcer, make my head spin, & literally cause me practically a nervous breakdown at the same time. Here’s the short list of the things that we as first time parents have “had” to think about:

  • obstetrician or midwife
  • hospital, birth center, or home birth
  • find out the sex or let it be a surprise
  • natural birth or epidural
  • breastfeeding, formula feeding, or combo
  • get LL vaccinated or wait and see
  • co-sleeping or bassinet & crib
  • no cry or cry it out sleep training
  • baby-wearing or allow LL independence
  • stay at home mommy or working mommy
  • in-home babysitter, small daycare, or larger center
  • disposable or cloth diapers
  • rice cereal or oatmeal
  • pureed foods or baby-led weaning
  • homemade baby food or store bought
  • conventional or natural & alternative remedies for LL’s ears

And those are only the items I can list at this moment! For the longest time I agonized over these decisions….until the other day at LL’s 9th pediatrician appointment in 6 weeks. She had just received her second of three horribly painful Rocephin injections in an attempt to beat this awful, seemingly never-ending double ear infection. I was emotionally, mentally, & physically drained and was pleading for her to be better. But, she needed yet another injection. I fought back tears as my sweet baby girl was holding her breath in pain & then let out a wail that still causes me to cringe & choke up when I think about it. I couldn’t think of anything to soothe her. No matter what I tried I felt helpless as she just screamed in agony. By God’s grace I began singing “Jesus Loves Me,” the KV version:

Jesus loves you this I know
for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
they are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you…the Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves you, He who died
heaven’s gates to open wide.
He has washed away your sin
letting little Laura in.
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you!
Yes, Jesus loves you…the Bible tells me so.

Amazingly she calmed almost instantly & began to smile. I could have cried for joy. A few days later as the hubs (& in my opinion the best daddy around!) was singing the same song to LL, he leaned over and said: “and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

In that single moment I realized that the only decision that has eternal importance for LL is that we teach her who her Savior is…that she know Jesus. We had her baptized the day after she was born. We pray with her. We sing “Jesus” songs & hymns to her. We take her to church with us to hear God’s glorious word. Of all the things that we “need” to make sure she knows, our single most important mission is that we raise this precious gift of God as a Christian doing everything we can to ensure that she will spend eternity with God. None of the rest of it is worth losing sleep over. While we will use our God-given intelligence to make the best choices for our family in our circumstances, in the long run, the only choice that I will always rest peacefully with is teaching her God’s word every day. There is an indescribable calm and strength like none other as a parent when you realize that simple truth.

That, my friends, is goodness defined.

LL’s favorite book! How I love watching her smile as she sings along in her beautiful baby babbling!


Introductions & Ramblings of the Sleep Deprived

Sleep deprivation does funny things to a person. For some odd reason, my lack of sleep has led me to believe that someone somewhere would want to know the thoughts that swim around my mind in the middle of the night as I wait for my sweet (loud, chatty, nighttime terrorist Achmed) daughter to decide her crib party is over & she’s going to go back to sleep. So, here goes…KV’s first attempt at this thing called blogging…

7 months ago was the last time I slept, really, truly slept. The hubs and I treated ourselves to a new Tempur-pedic mattress (and a monthly bill in the mail reminding us of said purchase)  when I was in the last weeks of my first pregnancy. Here’s a mental image for you: chubby preggo in Florida at the end of June hoisting giant bags of new bedding out of the trunk sweating like Richard Simmons & cursing blessed new mattress, being pregnant, and my hubby who was happily working whilst I prepared for delivery. Who in their right mind decides she can lift an old queen mattress and prop it up against the wall to make room for a new bed??? This girl. I’m kind of an independent, do-it-myself moron. I digress. 7 months ago, I slept….for a whole 4 nights on the new mattress before giving birth to our daughter, whom I’ll refer to as LL. I don’t remember what a full night’s sleep on that new bed feels like. Yes, I still have the new, can’t-afford-the-monthly-payment bed but that whole “full night’s sleep thing”…yeah, so not happening.

Through the night breast-pumping fests, lactose intolerant newborn screams, postpartum depression from hell, working mommy guilt, formula feeding guilt, chronic double ear infections….just a taste of what has kept me from a good night’s sleep. Yeah, that list is pretty grim. Let’s try this one: LL giggling away as she slides down her elevated mattress; laughing hysterically with the hubs in the middle of the night as we try to remember “before LL life”; trying to hide my laughter as I am being mother of the year in my mind singing my sweet baby to sleep as she reaches up, grabs my lips….and closes them; rocking sassy-pants to sleep and actually having her willingly fall asleep in my arms; watching her learn to pick up toys, hold her own bottle, sit up on her own, roll around the floor to get where she wants to go…those things are a good reason to lose sleep.

So on this blog you’ll find all sorts of stories: the good, the bad, & the hilarious…now, it’s 8:48p & I’m ready for bed….oh the life of a mommy…