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Hooray!  My son learned how to smile for the camera!

My Little Sweetie!

And just for fun, here are the before and after shots (unedited):

"Say Cheese Caleb!"

"Oops, I blinked!"

So, this is a few days late of one month, but it’s close enough.  Here are my thoughts of being a mom so far:

  • When I first gave birth to Caleb, and the nurse handed him to me, it was not love at first sight.  I don’t know about other moms, but it took quite a few days for me to feel some attachment to him; breastfeeding really helped with this.
  • I think I was a walking Zombie for the first two weeks; I had no idea that babies needed to be fed at least every 3 hours…that’s no more than 2 hours of sleep at a time!  I’ve always been a heavy sleeper, but it was amazing that I was able to wake up for every feeding.  I guess I do have mom instincts.
  • Recovering from birth takes a lot longer than I expected as well.  This may have something to do with the lack of sleep…
  • Breastfeeding is difficult-it definitely takes some getting used to, by mom and baby.  Talking with a lactation consultant helped immensely.
  • Though a bit on the pricey side, Special Addition, in N. Austin, is the best store I’ve been to.  I highly recommend checking it out.  The staff helped me find a great nursing bra that fits perfectly, and gave me lots of tips as well.
  • Caleb pretty much just sleeps, eats, and dirties his diapers.  Oh, and cries (I hear him now).  I love the times when he just curls against my shoulder after eating, but I’m also looking forward to him being a little older and able to interact with him more.
  • I am very grateful for the people who brought us food the first two weeks.  I think I may have starved if not for them. ❤
  • I really enjoy watching Matt interact with Caleb.  It makes me happy.
  • A marriage is definitely challenged by a baby.  There are already things that Matt and I have disagreed on, which is tough and will take working on.
  • Our marriage is also enriched by having a baby;  it’s a pretty special thing to become a parent with your spouse.  I wouldn’t have picked anyone else to share this with.
  • Matt and I are reading BabyWise, and trying out this method of organizing the insane task of feeding and getting Caleb to sleep.  There have been some challenges, but we’ll see where it goes.  There’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding this book, so the jury is still out on it.
  • I love cuddling with Caleb.  It is very satisfying to have a little baby sleep in your arms.
  • Even though having a baby is hard, I have this feeling that it’s only going to get more challenging as he gets older.  Someday I may think back to when Caleb was a baby and relish these early baby moments.

Last September was my last post (wow!), and I realized that it was also about the time I was finding out I was pregnant with our first baby.  This whole pregnancy thing has been interesting, frustrating, emotional, happy, sad, exciting, terrifying, and full of hope.  I think I’d like to write a few things that I’ve learned through it all.

1. Breaking the news of pregnancy is a tricky thing.  Telling some friends is easy and wonderful, because they are just as excited as you are.  Telling others is a little difficult, because you know they are dealing with their own disappointments, so it’s hard for them to be as happy for you.  I also wanted to surprise my family with the news, but couldn’t because they figured it out early.  This frustrated me at first (I was being a little selfish), but then I realized they were excited anyways, so it didn’t matter.  Sorry mom.

2. There is no sickness like morning sickness.  I was afraid it would never end, but thankfully, between months 3-4, it passed.  Probably the hardest part of my whole pregnancy was feeling so unlike myself during this time.  I also noticed it was alot worse when I was stressed and tired, but taking my vitamins before I went to bed helped.

3. Maternity clothes are expensive!!!  I am very grateful for those lovely women who passed on their clothes to me.

4.  I was surprised at the dynamic shift in my relationship with Matt.  I’m not sure if he noticed anything, but I felt like we grew closer emotionally through this time.  I’ve enjoyed that.  I am looking forward to having our physical relationship go back to what it was before I got pregnant, hopefully.  I am a bit apprehensive about the different ways having a baby will change our relationship.  I’m not really sure what to expect.

5.  The first time I felt this baby kick I was talking about it with my friend.  It was strange, sort of like a small muscle twitch, and it took awhile for me to get used to it.  Since then, the baby got really active, especially during the 5-7 months.  I wonder if he’ll have Matt’s energy-I think so.  Now, he doesn’t have as much room, and it looks weird (and sometimes hurts) when he stretches out.

6.  People always comment on how you look when you are pregnant.  I don’t think I really liked this, although I got used to it by the end.  At least they’ve been saying nice things for the most part.

7.  I started reading What to Expect When You’re Expecting early on, which helped a great deal.  It basically listed every pregnancy symptom, so I didn’t get too freaked out when weird things were happening to me.  It was also nice to know that I didn’t have some symptoms other women experience.

8.  I wasn’t really into the whole belly picture thing-maybe I’m vain-I wanted nice looking pregnancy pics of Matt and I.  Our friend Eric took some great shots for us, including the one you see here.

9.  I think I kissed regular sleep goodbye once I became pregnant.  I don’t know about everyone, but I definitely have to pee at least 2x a night, no matter if I drink a little or alot.

10.  We’re pretty sure we’re having a boy, which I think is great.  Even though someday I’d love to have a daughter, I’m a little intimidated  by it.  Plus, Matt told me now the pressure is off.  I guess it’s good to have someone carry on the family name. 🙂

11.  Walking is good…I’ve tried to do it more.  (So is stretching, but that’s been fairly difficult here in the last month or two.)  I think if I have another pregnancy, I’d like to try swimming.  This time I wasn’t really ready to be pregnant in a swimming suit.

12.  Decorating one room (for baby) is a whole lot easier and way more fun than decorating a whole house.  I think I must have gotten some nesting instinct at some point, because I also decided I wanted to repaint our bedroom.  Of course, that will wait until I can actually help.

13.  Maybe Matt has been nesting a bit too?  He’s been doing projects like crazy-fixing the car, building closet shelves, painting, and putting up molding.  I think he did a great job on all of them, but I think he should also take a break from projects for awhile.  Poor guy has been working hard, with little help from me.

14.  Matt and I decided that I should quit my job next year.  I was a little surprised at how sad I was to actually make it official.  Even though I complained about it, I think I found my job very rewarding and a great blessing in my life.  I hope that I either enjoy staying home with my kid immensely, or I get the opportunity to have a good job again in the future.

15.  Taking off some time here at the end of school (and my pregnancy) was a really smart move.

16.  I am excited about the change happening very soon, but I am also pretty nervous.  Will I be able to take care of a baby?  Will Matt and I continue to grow in our relationship and love for each other?  Will Matt love being a dad?  Will I love being a mom?  Will we be able to handle this change with flexibility, grace, and resilience?

17.  I find it funny how I’ve worried about this baby who isn’t even born yet.  I decided that I should try not to do that; it doesn’t make a bit of difference in what will be.

18.  I find it astounding and humbling that God would allow me and Matt to take care of another human being.  That’s a pretty big deal, and I’m pretty sure an amazing blessing.

Undoubtedly many of you have heard of Randy Pausch.  He became famous when his “Last Lecture” was aired on Oprah.  This book was written as a follow-up.

An educated man, Randy has accomplished much in his life.  He dedicates the book to his parents, who “allowed (him) to dream”.  Being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (the most deadly of all cancers), he reflects on life lessons and the importance of his own life.  Inspiring others through his position at a top university, Pausch tells others to acheive their dreams, his book detailing how he did that and how you can, too.  His last lecture can be watched here.

This book touched me, but perhaps not in the way it has done to the 24k people who’ve loved his video.  Near the end of the book, my eyes teared up thinking about the pain and loss that Randy’s family will suffer as a result of this.  Not only that, but Randy himself was forced to take into account his whole life and reflect back upon it, knowing that his kids would grow up without a father.  Death hurts.

I thought it was curious that Randy did not include any spiritual insights in his book.  This caused me to wonder.  Here is a man with much-happiness, family, fulfilled dreams.  Now, they are being taken from him.  Yet, he is still satisfied with his life.  He celebrates it, in fact.  Obviously this man doesn’t need God.  He’s got it taken care of.  My question is this: Do I need God?  Does he exist?  Does it matter at all that there might be a God bigger than we can fathom and he is intricately involved in our lives?  Randy seems to have all the answers: work hard, send thank-you notes, never give up, believe in others, do the jobs you don’t really want to, be a team player…all good things, of course.  But where is his need for God?  Hasn’t he just successfully taken Him out of the picture?

For many, that won’t matter.  They either don’t believe in God or don’t want to acknowledge that he exists.  Or, perhaps God is irrelevant to this topic.  But is He?  If He is who He says He is, than I should give more careful thought to the actions of my life.  I’m not so ready to accept Pausch’s encouragement.

Yes, this book is inspiring when you first read it, as Randy’s lecture is inspiring when you first hear it.  I’m tempted to think however, that it just might be a little bottle of poison wrapped up in a pretty package.