Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This morning I spent some time in reflection of the blessings that God has given to me.  It is so hard for me to believe that only three years ago I was single and living in the basement of my brother's home.  I was working full time and spending my free time with family and friends.  Only a mere year after that my life took a huge turn when I married my sweet Monte, the most amazing man I have ever met and the love of my life.  On that day, I also was married to the four most wonderful children I could have asked for.  Oh how my life had changed!  Now, fast forward two more years, and we are a family of seven.  Our precious little Ethan has only been in our lives for six weeks, yet it seems completely as if he was in the plans from day one.  God has directed the plans He had for my life, and though they didn't always go exactly as I had wanted them to go, in the end it turned out perfectly.  I can't imagine a Christmas filled with more love, happiness and blessings than this one and I am eternally grateful to my Savior for the wonderful life He's given to me.

This Christmas, while we celebrate the birth of Jesus, take time to reflect over the blessings in your life.  We truly are blessed above and beyond what I could have ever dreamed!!

Merry Christmas to all of you - I appreciate the relationships that I've come to have with you and truly do pray that God pours out His blessings and His Spirit over you and yours.  You are amazing friends and I am forever thankful for the gift of YOU!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I know that many of you who read my blog are moms.  You've been through the sleepless nights, the cries that won't stop, the endless dirty diapers and the fact that doing anything now takes you three times as long to get done as it would have before you had a baby (i.e. making dinner now has to allow time to pause and comfort my sweet crying baby!).  You also know the endless hours of cuddling, the moments of studying your baby's every feature so intensely that it is forever burned in your mind.  You know the kisses and sweet whispers of love to your baby, you know the lullaby's and the little things that calm your baby better than anybody else knows.  You are the one whose voice your baby recognizes and is instantly calmed by your touch.

I never knew that motherhood was going to be this involved.  I will admit to my sheer naivety about becoming a mother to an infant.  My assumption was that there weren't many things in my life that were going to change, but that they were just going to take a little bit longer.  While this may be true for some things, it is certainly not true for others!  Somehow, while I absolutely knew that getting up multiple times per night was going to leave me longing for a full night of sleep, somehow I didn't really grasp the totality of the feeling until it actually came to me.

*Photo courtesy of my husband, Monte, who snapped this one evening after I had fallen asleep holding Ethan.  I found out about the picture when I logged onto my Facebook account the next day and saw this picture on there! :)

I love this little boy so much, I just can't get enough of him!  I can't seem to have enough hours in the day to do what I need to do because all I want to do is hold him, cuddle him, sing to him, change him and love on him.  He is my amazing blessing from God, and I am forever grateful to Him for the gift of baby Ethan.

My life has been changed forever, and I love it.  I wouldn't change it back for anything.

I'm quickly realizing something, though.  I'm realizing that my baby requires a bit more attention than I anticipated.  Granted, he has been dealing with what his pediatrician believes to be acid reflux (though I'm not sure that's all that it is), so it makes him uncomfortable.  ALL.THE.TIME.  My sweet little baby boy doesn't sit still for very long before he starts to grunt and groan.  It seems like he's pushing with all of his might to get some of the gas in his tummy to move and it just doesn't work.  I've become accustomed to these sounds, so they don't cause me to jump up instantly like they used to, but they're still just not right.

Today my sister and her daughter came for a visit, and it was a wonderful relaxing time to have them here!  Her little girl played with Colin, and Tanya and I spent some time reading magazines on the couch ("This Old House" and "Better Homes and Gardens" are two subscriptions that arrive at our house and it's usually quite awhile before we get to read them!) while baby Ethan was sleeping in his bouncer.  Then it started: grunts.  Repeated grunts.  Then he added the groans.  After awhile, his grunting and groaning escalated into a full cry.  I think this is the first time that someone who doesn't live with us (besides my mother-in-law who is staying with us for a few weeks) heard his grunting and saw just how much attention my little bundle of joy requires.  She saw how much he spits up .. what seems to be everything that he had just eaten.  She heard him cry and saw just how much he needs to be held and comforted.

After talking to her about it, I'm realizing that there are some things in my life that I enjoy that I may have to temporarily give up .. things like attending my MOPs group.  While I have a wonderful time at MOPs, it's just too hard to have my little guy there with me when he requires so much attention.  Maybe it's a good thing for me to devote more time to just being a good mom and taking care of my baby instead of trying to rush out the door to make it to MOPs.  Maybe.  I'm still thinking this one through.

While sometimes I will admit to feeling a little bit overwhelmed by this new lifestyle, I am mostly overwhelmed with my desire to care for my baby, overwhelmed by my love for him and my drive to help him work through these gassy issues (and yes, we've tried a LOT of things already, Gripe Water being the most recent thing - and it really didn't have any effect on him beyond making his spit-up really slimy!).  I'm okay with the thought of just being at home with him and Colin, making them my priority and focusing my attention on them.  That's what I've been called to do, and for right now it is what I will do.

I never knew motherhood was going to be this involved, but I also wouldn't want to be less involved to any degree, because motherhood is one of the biggest blessings I've ever received!

Please don't forget to vote for my brother's beautiful baby girl in the Gerber baby contest. It's so easy to vote and takes only a few minutes and is something that is very important to me and my family.  Will you please take just a moment to do so?  To vote for Abby, click here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

While I know many of you are anxiously awaiting more updates on how life is going with our sweet little Ethan at home, I have decided to take the time to blog of an update to help out my brother, Tory.  You see, his sweet little baby girl, Abigail, is entered in the Gerber Photo Contest with the possibility of winning a $25,000 scholarship, which would be an amazing award to win.  Is there any way that you can help out and quickly visit the following link and cast a vote for Abby?  The first time you vote, you will have to verify through an email you receive that you are indeed a person and not a computer, but it literally takes only a couple of minutes - and those couple of minutes are rewarded by seeing this adorable photo of my beautiful niece!  Please visit the following link to vote for her .. and remember that you can go back and vote every day (and we would appreciate it if you did!)!!

Click here to vote for Abby!

In the meantime, things on the home front are going as well as can be expected with our sweet little baby.  He is quite the fuss-pot, mostly due to the fact that he is an incredibly gassy baby - but even in the midst of all of the fussing, I'm just loving having him home and in my arms!  Please pray that his tummy issues will settle down, as we would love to not have to bring him in to more specialists to make his digestion a non-issue!

Have a wonderful weekend - hopefully I will be online to give you an update when I have the opportunity.  In the meantime, if you click here you can see the online photo album I've created of our beautiful little baby.