Rapid Recovery & On the Move

It’s amazing how God made little baby bodies. After the wicked tumble off the changing table that LL took, I thought for sure she’d be brain damaged in some capacity, especially when the ER doc sent us home with paperwork on “Child Brain Injury!” Seriously, way to scare the crap out of new parents. Sheesh! I think that the medical field exists to torment new and unsure parents sometimes…I digress. 

Yes, LL has had quite the rapid recovery…no obvious damage and in the last 4 days she has become super MOBILE! She is no longer content to just roll around on the smallish area rug. Oh no, that will not do! She has managed to crawl…ok army crawl if you want to get technical, from one end of the house to the other. Just today she was perusing the bookshelves, aka Visaggio Reference Library, eyeing up the Teaching Science as Inquiry and 7 Keys to Comprehension education section when she finally decided on none other than Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. At least it seems we’re raising a brainiac πŸ˜‰ if not a daredevil!

So what to do about baby-proofing?? Obviously we need to bolt the bookshelves to the wall asap. Outlets are plugged. Cords are stored and tied back. Doorknobs are covered…and honestly, that’s the one that drives me bananas! I can’t open the freakin’ door without an added 5 seconds each time…sigh. 

My to do list consists of just putting the cabinet locks on. I think that will do. I’m not sure what else there is to do. I contemplated moving breakables up higher. But then again I kind of want to teach her not to touch those things. Am I begging for trouble? Probably. Will it be more work for me? Definitely. But really how much of my house am I supposed to remove or rearrange??? 

Did you know that there are actually businesses whose sole purpose is to baby-proof your home? Take a look at all the gadgets on babyproofingshop.com! I mean really, how many ways can you lock down your toilet??? Why not just shut the door to the bathroom is my first thought. But then again, my little daredevil can’t get into the bathroom…yet.

In what ways did you baby-proof your home? Is there a face-palm baby-proofing idea I’m missing? I am still majorly sleep deprived so I can easily see myself forgetting an obvious item. Please HELP! The last thing we need is a second trip to the ER in a week!!!


How Did They Let That Happen???

“How did they let that happen?” I am so embarrassed to admit this now but I have thought or said these words about parents too many times to count. I might possibly have been one of the most judgmental parents before I had one of my own…especially before today.

Today, the unthinkable happened. My sweet Laura-love flipped herself off the changing table landing smack on the back on her body, heading smacking back on the floor. Even writing what happened now makes me want to vomit. I was standing right next to her…less than a foot away from her…how did I let that happen? I was turned sideways but what still right there…how did I let that happen?

Her reaction makes me feel even sicker. She held her breath for a moment or lost her breath, I’m not sure. Then she let out a blood curdling scream as I picked her up and tried to comfort her. She cried so hard…harder than she has ever cried…how did I let that happen? Her eyes wobbling and glazed over…how did I let that happen?

We took her to the ER. We were those parents…the frazzled, sobbing (on my part), complete train wrecks terrified that our precious gift from God was somehow irreversibly damaged…how did I let that happen? Being our spunky lil’ LL, she was laughing and playing by now as well as eating, charming the pants off anyone who walked by. We were fast tracked to the see the doctor, though…how did I let that happen?

She’s all checked out and seemingly no physical damage or otherwise done to my sweet girl. Thank God for His incredible protection. Still…how did I let that happen? She needs to be watched for the next 24 hours to be sure everything is just fine but as of right now, she’s our same little girl as always. 

The damage to my nerves & dare I speak for the hubs, his, too, are less than fine, far less than the same. How did I let that happen? I keep going over it, second by second, and can’t figure out why, this one freaking time, I didn’t strap her down. EVERY SINGLE TIME since she’s started squirming & rolling & crawling, I have strapped her down…except this one time. How did I let that happen? What was I thinking? What was I so preoccupied with that I missed that one small step that I harp on everyone else about? How did I become the seemingly careless parent whose baby got hurt? Was I rushing? For what? What the hell happened?

I don’t think that anytime in the near future that I won’t become physically ill when I think about what happened or even worse, what could have happened to my sweet baby love. But I have to trust that God forgives me, Laura forgives me, my husband forgives, and hopefully I forgive myself. God sent His amazing angels to cushion her little head and body. How indescribably merciful He is. His mercies are new every morning. He will command His angels concerning us to guard us in all our ways…I have to trust and stop wondering why…and stop ever judging another parent for what was an accident. 

Dear Father in heaven, thank you beyond words for never ceasing to take care of our sweet Laura in spite of us. Forgive me of my daily failures as a parent. Forgive me for today. Ease my mind and give me peace & trust that You are in control and there are no better hands for us to be in. Heal Laura & restore her fully to the precious blessing, healthy & happy, that she has always been. Give me strength to resist the temptation to blame & beat myself up for what happened. Help me to stop questioning this accident but rather leave it at the foot of the cross. Help me to never, ever, judge another parent for the simple mistakes that can happen so easily. Give us rest and comfort knowing you never slumber nor sleep and always have a watchful eye and loving hand over us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Ugh Days

It’s been one of those days. I’m sure you know the type. A blah day. An ugh day. A day for which you wish you could call “do over.” Well, that is if you’re at all like me. I am a die hard “I can do it myself” person. My attitude gets so skewed that I even kind of resent people who offer help as if they’re saying I can’t do something on my own. Well today was one of those days. Trying to control everything around me…all day long. And what do I have to show for it? Nothing but disappointment & exhaustion. 

I try telling myself that if I didn’t care so much or love so much, I wouldn’t try to make everything right and good. But sometimes, when it boils down to it, there’s no reason other than a loss of focus. Satan’s pretty sneaky & quick to find the diversion away from Christ that I fall for every time. You’d think by now I’d be on guard enough to see it coming…maybe not stop it but at least see that wicked train coming. Nope. Fail. Every. Time.

Well at least there is a big fat goodness moment waiting for me. My crap day that I’ve created for myself can be turned around and only by the grace of God. His Son, Jesus, took my self-centered, know-it-all attitude and nailed it to the cross so I wouldn’t need to be in control. Jesus gives me the gift of being able to say that I can stop, breathe, relax, and give it up to Him. What better place to lay all my worries, disappointments, & frustrations? Not one that I can think of. 

So since I took a big dump on my day, I am going to smack my forehead and have a duh moment. I am going to stop & realize that today is done & be thankful for that. I am going to praise God that He knows what’s best and I don’t have to have all the answers. I’m going to trust fully in the promise that He gives us in Jeremiah 29:

11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, β€œplans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

A List (Oh Hubsy Wubsy, I’m sure you’re delighted!)

I don’t like lists…at all. Well I should specify. I loathe to-do lists with an unholy passion. But today I was playing with my little LL and being my ever-so-reflective-self I was thinking about how much she has changed in a short nine months. So here’s a non-to-do list!

Ten Things That Rock About My Nine Month Old:

  1. LL genuinely thinks I’m funny. She giggles & cracks up at the absolute silliest & dumbest things I do. If I could get paid for her giggles, I’d be a millionaire…I’m that good. πŸ˜‰
  2. LL thinks bouncing and jumping is one of God’s greatest gifts. She loves her Johnny Jump & would bounce it in for hours if I let her. 
  3. LL actually reaches for me now. She wholeheartedly loves her scraggly, sleep-deprived, stinky & sweaty (hello, I live in Florida) mommy so much that even when I’m totally gross, she reaches for me. Sigh…one of God’s gifts to me.
  4. LL mimics what she hears now. She is the definition of a chatterbox. I have no idea where she gets that from πŸ˜‰ She even repeated “Go, go, go!” in the car the other day! I better watch my road rage. 
  5. LL is a singer & music lover. She joined in the Hallelujah Chorus on Easter Sunday & frequently sits up while I’m rocking her at bedtime and “sings” along. It’s HILARIOUS. I do wonder though when she reaches up & shuts my mouth while I’m singing…..hmmmmm…..
  6. LL gives kisses now. Granted we usually get slobbered on with her mouth gaping open but still…a baby kiss is a baby kiss!
  7. LL is definitely starting to develop some real personality. Scratch that…she’s found more ways to show the personality that has always been there. Since day one, this kiddo has been doing things on her own. She held her head up in the hospital the day she was born for goodness’ sake! Now she only wants to eat from her bottle if I let her try and hold it first.
  8. LL loves to eat veggies, lots of veggies. The fact that I have a baby old enough to be eating real food is mind boggling but I love that she is already I better eater than I ever was.
  9. LL lights up when her daddy comes in. She truly adores that goofball. Since he started working from home she looks out her bedroom door for him as soon as I get her up from her naps. *Melting my heart*
  10. LL hugs & snuggles more than ever. She has never been the lay on mommy’s chest type of girl (see point #7..yeah that strong-willed, determined personality one…;) Now at night time I get legitimate snuggles. She lays her head on my shoulder & presses her cheek to mine & even goes forehead to forehead with me like she’s got some big secret to share.

Goodness I am totally in love with a nine month old & not a bit ashamed of it! πŸ˜‰ 

Grief then Happiness and Eventually Clarity

“Grief. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That’s the deal.”–C.S. Lewis

I know a bit about grief. I know a lot about happiness. In my mere 30 years I’ve experienced quite a bit…much more than most people will ever know. I’ve been so sad that I literally couldn’t pick myself up off of the floor. I’ve been immobilized with fear. I’ve been in the depths. I’m an emotional person. I always have been just didn’t always think it was okay to show it. I’ve watched as my dad’s heart monitor count down from 22 to 8 to 0. I’ve shook and been unable to speak when postpartum depression grasped so tightly on my mind and heart that my ever so strong husband was afraid to leave me alone. I’ve been through some things…some big things…some major grief causing things. 

There were so many times when my sinful mind would doubt that God knew what I was going through. When I would ask how He could let these things happen. I have actually cried aloud much as I picture King David did when writing some of the Psalms. I’ve been there. In total agony and unsure that God cared enough about me to bring me out of the depths.

But just as surely as I was in the depths, He lifted me up. He renewed me. He took me from being unable to see & think clearly and gave me clarity & strength. He healed my heart and mind. I still can’t describe how He did it. I am amazed every day that I can actually be wholeheartedly happy. I am sure He used certain people in my life, certain medical interventions, certain therapists, and especially certain family members. But there is still that part of me that knows there was more on my side than I will ever be able to comprehend. I kind of love that. I love that He is so much greater and in so much more control than I can imagine.

I believe that God brought me through those things so strongly so that I can give Him glory and help others struggling with what I have been through. I’ve talked with many friends who have had parents die young. I’ve been able to cry with them & comfort them because I’ve been there and now I’m past there

I have somewhat taken up “a cause” though I despise that cliche. When I was struggling to breastfeed my sweet LL, I felt alone and like a failure. Everything you hear from pediatricians & read online about infant feeding alludes to formula feeding as second rate. I won’t waste time rehashing the truly mortifying & horrendous things people said and shared while I was struggling. There’s no use here….I’m healed. I’m out of the depths. But my cause is this: I believe that by sharing stories and information about the benefits & amazing blessing that formula can be, I am helping others who are secretly tormented & suffering because of the often self-imposed guilt that can come from the need or choice to formula feed. I know firsthand what the “breast is best” mantra can do to a wavering faith and struggling soul. I’ve made it my self-appointed mission to try to reach & comfort any woman who might be in the same place I was 8 months ago. I can do this confidently because I’ve been brought out of the depths. I’ve been made whole again by God’s sheer grace & mercy. I can’t imagine a more UNChristian thing to do than sit idly by while someone I know is struggling with these same feelings. 

Some may say that I need to get over it…I am–others are not. Some may say I am still hurting…I am not–others still are. Some may be annoyed… eh, I’m sure there are many things I do on a daily basis that are annoying. Some may say I need to get my priorities straight & leave this behind me (yup, I’ve heard that one straight away). I can’t. Not in good conscience. Not while others are still grieving. Yes, grieving. Brings it back to the beginning. For me, not being able to breastfeed my daughter turned in PPD which caused grief. I grieved the loss of being able to do something that is supposed to be natural & biological. I grieved the loss of a supposed unspeakably close relationship with my child (yeah, that one’s a myth, too.). I grieved the loss of control over the most basic of mothering skills…feeding a child.

Grief gives way to happiness. I can say that for certain because I have lived it. In my life I have seen how the greater the grief, the greater the happiness when the grief is lifted. So after a long & hard half of a year, I can say I’ve had my vision. I know what I can do to help. I see a purpose for what I’ve been through…to praise God for His strength & mercy, forgiveness & grace…and to help others. I get the amazing privilege of being an advocate, a shoulder to cry on, and a source of strength for the struggling. My hope & prayer is that people close to me can understand why I’m doing what I’m doing. My hope & prayer is that they see past me and see how God has rejuvenated and restored me. My hope & prayer is that I can always see the goodness & blessings that come from struggles & trials.

“‘Yes,’ she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, ‘I have had my vision.'”–Virginia Woolf–To the Lighthouse

“Stay the course, daughter. And show yourself some kindness along the way.”–Loving Frank

Goodnight Giggles

She giggles in her crib. A lot. We’ve been through the ringer with our sweet baby the last four months. A wicked double ear infection which lead to not wanting to eat which lead to feeding her at any hour she would actually eat which led to our current predicament. LL thinks that 3 am is time for her fourth meal (no not from Taco Bell) and an hour and a half party in her crib. Now I realize that I should be grateful for a few things. One, that she is actually eating again. Yes, now I can stop counting wet diapers and ounces eaten in a day. No worries of dehydration anymore! Two, she is just giggling away at 3am. She eats and then I put her back down and she plays happily until she falls back asleep…an hour and a half later

It’s that last part that is taking it’s toll. I keep trying to explain to my dear hubs that I am averaging five hours of sleep a night and those aren’t even consecutive hours! Never, ever realized I could be this tired. How is it that back in the day I could party, I mean study in the library, until the wee hours of the morning and then get up for class with no problems at all?! 

I must say I do love that my independent & sassy sweetheart can put herself to sleep. I absolutely adore listening to her chat away to whomever or whatever she is talking to at night. She cracks me up! I swear she’s having full blown, in-depth convos with Lord only knows who! She has in my humble opinion the cutest stinkin’ giggle in the world!

So I guess I’ll take the goodness & giggles along with the sleep deprivation for these times are short & precious & I have been abundantly blessed with this little bundle of sassypants! 

P.S. Please realize I have such a loving perspective on this subject because she finally slept completely through the night last night! Ask me tomorrow and you may get a sleep deprived, rage-aholic who will burn holes in your face with her evil eyes…fair warning! πŸ˜‰