Category Archives: Uncategorized

1st kid vs. 2nd kid

​1st: every comment someone makes you take personally 

2nd: you don’t care what people say

1st: watch them at all times to make sure they’re breathing
2nd: leave them sleeping peacefully in the other room

1st: time going out so you minimize possibility of breastfeeding in public
2nd: breastfeed anywhere without worrying what others think

1st: overstocked diaper bag
2nd: yah, I think I have enough diapers

1st: hold the baby all the time
2nd: put the baby down, let others hold him
(This one has a bit to do with their personalities though)

1st: carefully swaddle baby and put to sleep in the rock n play, pack n play, bassinet, etc.
2nd: forget swaddling and bedshare from day one

1st: worry about every cry
2nd: he’ll be okay, oh he needs to be burped

1st: get emotionally hung up on how baby is developing, growing, etc.
2nd: trust instincts, advocate better, less stressed

1st: record every pee, poop, and feeding
2nd: who has time for that?

1st: I’ll go pee, eat, etc. later
2nd: multi-task and/or be okay with baby crying for a minute while you take care of your needs

1st: take 5 million pictures, record every milestone, new place visited, etc.
2nd: take half as many pictures, remember later that it was the first time doing something

1st: take on full responsibility for caring for the child
2nd: let others help

1st: worry about every noise, rash, etc.
2nd: it’s all normal

1st: stress about jaundice levels
2nd: know that everything will be okay even if phototherapy is needed

1st: spend hours stuck on the couch with a breastfeeding/sleeping baby
2nd: walk around while breastfeeding…yay for multi-tasking

1st: make sure everyone washes their hands before holding/touching baby
2nd: okay, you look clean enough and like you aren’t sick

Waiting 

​Oh, how I have been waiting. That’s what happens at the end of pregnancy. I was convinced that Everett would come early. His big sister was 2 days early, and what everyone says is that the 2nd baby comes sooner than the first. Of course that isn’t true for everyone, but I thought it would be true for me. So, when the time that I thought he would have/should have been born by, I got a little discouraged. What is this kid waiting for? Doesn’t he know we want to meet him? 

When 40 weeks came and passed, I thought, well, at least I know what it’s like to be 40 weeks pregnant now. I didn’t get to experience that before. When 41 weeks came yesterday, I tried to have the same attitude. It is kinda neat to experience something that I haven’t before. And I have an ability to relate to others that have been or will be in this position.

The truth is that pregnancy, especially the end, is an emotional roller-coaster. So many ups and downs. I’m okay one minute and a complete wreck the next. I’ve had to alter my expectations. I’ve been having contractions for 3 weeks now, like real, painful, make you stop what you’re doing, kind of contractions. Every time they happen for a bit, I think, maybe this is it. But alas, they fizzle out eventually.

The thing is that this sweet baby boy of mine has been making me wait since the very beginning. We wanted to get pregnant for a while, but weren’t sure if it was ever going to happen. We waited and hoped for another baby. When it finally did happen, we were so excited!

And oh, how many lessons this boy has taught me before he has even been born. Lessons about waiting, trusting, hoping, enjoying the moment, appreciating my body, staying healthy, letting go, surrendering my expectations.

The one thing I can be pretty certain of at this point is that my sweet Ev will join our family sometime this week. That’s really exciting! In the meantime, I’m trying to be present in the moment, to soak up the time that I have with Chrysantha and my hubby. Each day I’ve gotten new opportunities to love on her, watch her grow and develop (and oh how much she has been changing lately). So, in the midst of waiting, I’m trusting in God’s perfect plan and enjoying the moments I get with my family. This may not have been what I would have chosen, but I am thankful for the things I’ve been able to do and be a part of in this time of waiting.

A Day to Never Forget

I remember exactly where I was 14 years ago. I was on my way to school, running late as usual, when I heard something on the radio. It didn’t make sense to me. I didn’t understand what I was hearing. When I got to my government class that morning, the teacher had already turned on the TV. We all sat and watched in silence and disbelief as we saw the towers fall. How could this happen? Especially, here, in America? We’re supposed to be safe, immune from the chaos in the rest of the world. Wars and tragedies like this happen in other lands, but never on our land, in our neighborhoods.

September 11th was a day that woke us up. It changed us as a nation forever. My generation that had only really known peace, now knew what it meant to experience tragedy on a grand scale. A little bit of my innocence and carefreeness was lost that day. We were finally faced with the reality that no one is safe. We are not untouchable, invincible, immune to the evil in the world.

Something great also happened that day. We were bonded together. We all experienced loss. Something that was meant to destroy us made us stronger. Many heroes arose that day. Passengers, First Responders, common citizens.

Today I remember all those who lost their lives that day, the families that were changed forever. I remember those who have sacrificed to save others, those who bravely served our country.

Let us always remember!

More

More. It’s something we teach kids from very early on. When I first taught Chrysantha how to sign the word more, she would do it over and over again. I made her sign more before I gave her another piece of food. She quickly caught on how to get more of what she wants. She started signing more when she was playing on the swings and wanted to be pushed again. Wanting more of something is ingrained in us from an early age. We want more food, more toys, more money, more choices, more, more, more. It’s become a right and an expectation to be able to have more.

But, what about Jesus? Do we want more of Him? Do we pursue Him with the same passion and desire that we pursue material things?

I admit that I often fall short in my pursuit of Jesus. I say I want more of Him, but my actions tell a different story. I get caught up in my day to day life and in all of my things. I forget about Jesus and fit Him in when it’s convenient. But, what would it look like to have a life that is in pursuit of Jesus, that says I want more of Him?

The Gospels are full of stories of people pursuing Jesus. People knew there was something special about Him. They had heard the stories of His teachings and the miracles He performed. So people gathered where Jesus was. They went to Him to find out more. In Mark 6, we read about the story of another crowd coming to hear Jesus. But, let’s look at what happens before that.

Mark 6:7 “Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits” verses 12-13 continue to say “They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.”

Jesus sends out his disciples. He gives them authority to do His work. Then they come back and tell him about what they did. Mark 6:30-32 “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’ So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”

Like the disciples, I need more time spent Connecting with Jesus.

I need to go to a place free of distractions and demands. It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the things that need to be done. Taking care of our families, our work, our ministries, our homes. Those are all important things, and good things. But, we need to get away and connect with Jesus.

How can you spend more time connecting with Jesus? What does that look like in your life?

Let’s continue looking at the story in Mark. Mark 6:33-44 “33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things 35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[a]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.” 39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.”

The people were so excited to being able to spend time with Jesus. They followed Him where He went so they could hear Him speak. They kind of got in the way of the plans Jesus had with his disciples. But how does Jesus respond? With compassion. Verse 34 says “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”

I don’t know about you, but my first response when my plans are ruined is not to have compassion. I need More of Jesus’ Compassion.

Jesus took the time to teach the people that came to Him. He even made sure they had food to eat. The disciples weren’t quite on the same page as Jesus. They thought the people should stop listening to Jesus and go get some food to eat. But Jesus provided for the people so they could stay. Just like the disciples, I struggle with having compassion on others. Why should I have to go out of my way to care for someone else? I need to be more like Jesus in this area.

How can you have more of Jesus’ Compassion? Think of a specific situation now or in the past that needs (or needed) you to have more compassion.

Alright, let’s look at one more passage in Mark. Our story picks up after Jesus sent his disciples in a boat to Bethsaida. Mark 6:53-56 “When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the market places. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.”

The people recognized Jesus’ power. They were sick and hurting. They did whatever they could to get His healing. They knew that even just touching Him would heal them.

I need more of Jesus’ Healing. I want to be like these people that knew the power of Jesus. I forget that Jesus is Healer. I forget that I don’t have to live the way I’m living anymore. When I’m sick, when my body aches, when I’m emotionally and spiritually burnt out, I can call on Jesus for His healing. And just like His disciples, He has given us His authority to heal others.

Do you need Jesus’ Healing today? Have you ever experienced His Healing?

I think we all need more of Jesus in our lives. We need to spend more time connecting with Him, we need to have more of His compassion, and we need more of His healing. We need to be like the people in this passage in Mark that pursued Jesus, that did everything they could to hear Him, to be near Him. When we seek Jesus, He meets us. He is always there. I need to be more intentional about the time I spend with Jesus. I need to really go deeper with him, to build that relationship. When I am spending time with Jesus, then my life reflects it. I have more compassion, I am aware of His work around me, and I can help others to be healed in His name. I am tired of living a life that is not all it can or should be. I’m tired of pursuing earthly things. I want to be like Asaph when he says in Psalm 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”

So, do you want more of Jesus?

To Chrysantha on Your First Birthday

Dear Chrysantha,

I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year already. It seems like just yesterday you were being placed on my chest for the very first time. I was so in awe and so in love. I couldn’t believe that you were finally here and that you were mine. The day of your birth was one of the happiest days of my life. From that moment on, my life was no longer my own. The first 6 weeks was spent getting to know each other. You slept a lot, and woke up a lot to eat. I spent most of my days sitting on the couch holding you as you slept or feeding you. You were so tiny. You decided that you wanted to sleep on your tummy, so we put you in the pack n play in our room. You loved sleeping there! You still woke up lots at night, which was exhausting for Momma. But, through that, you taught me how to be thankful for the moments I had to spend with you. Oftentimes I would sit in the rocking chair in your room and feed you. I treasured those quiet moments when I got to be still and connect with God.

I really didn’t know that I could love someone so much. I spent almost all of my time with you. I never wanted to leave you, and you certainly didn’t want me to leave you either. But, sometimes I had to. In those moments you got to bond with Baba. You showed him how to take care of you and make you happy. You gave him an opportunity to love you and take care of you.  Thank you for cuddling with me, giving me kisses, and wanting to be close to me. I love being needed by you. It’s tiring and exhausting sometimes, but I enjoy being able to take care of you.

My favorite thing this year has been watching you grow. You have been a strong baby from the very beginning. You rolled over from your tummy to your back at 16 days old. Even though you were so little for so long, you were so strong and mighty. I loved seeing you reach each milestone and having the opportunity to help you along the way. You were scared and uncertain of these new things that you were able to do, but I encouraged you. When you rolled over, I celebrated. When you sat up for the first time and balanced yourself for a few seconds before falling over, I clapped at what a good job you did. When you pulled yourself up to standing on the couch, I cheered for you. When you got scared and couldn’t get back down again, I let you know that I was right there, and showed you how to sit down. We spent a lot of time working on falling. I had so much fun holding your hands and letting you go, so you could get used to catching yourself. Pretty soon you weren’t scared anymore. You learned how to be brave. New situations don’t scare you as much anymore. You figure out a way to change your situation to make everything okay again.

Oh my sweet girl, you fill my heart with so much joy. My heart overflows with love for you. Your smile makes me melt. Your laugh is a treasure. You are so focused and so serious a lot of the time. You quietly observe the world around you, especially when you are in new situations. You take time to be comfortable with other people and in new places. You are cautious, which is a good trait to have. This makes your smiles and your laughter so much more precious to me. I love finding ways to make you happy. I love your cheesy grin with your cute teeth showing. I call it your lizard face 🙂

I am so thankful that God chose me to be your Momma. I’m honored that I get to watch you grow into the person He is creating you to be. I love our bedtime prayer times together, where we get to pray for others and thank God for what He has done for us. I love reading you Bible stories and teaching you about Jesus.

It’s not always easy being a Mom. I have to put you before me a lot of the time. We’ve also had a lot of challenges this year with getting you to gain weight at a normal rate, helping you to sleep well, and helping you to be comfortable with other people besides me and sometimes Baba. And as you become more independent and learn to assert yourself, I have to help you make the right choices so that you can be safe. You don’t like when you can’t have what you want. But, it’s my job to teach you to be safe.

Even on the hardest days, I still love you and I will always love you. I’m certainly not perfect. I will make many mistakes. You’ve already gotten pretty good at forgiving me.

Baby girl, my little love bug, Momma loves you so much. I’m so excited to see what this next year holds for you. You are so smart and continue to amaze me at the way you see the world. I can’t wait to explore more with you and to learn with you.

Happy 1st birthday Baobeiah!

Love always and forever,

Momma

4 Months

It’s hard to believe that 4 months have already passed by. In the day to day of being a Mom it’s so easy wish away this time. I look forward to sleep one day. I look forward to not being needed constantly, to being able to let my daughter occupy herself for just a short while. Even though the days and nights can be hard, I don’t really wish away this time. I love my sweet baby snuggles. It’s one of the best feelings in the world to be needed so deeply by another. And she loves so unconditionally.

It’s been fun getting to know my daughter and to watch her personality shine through. I love how she looks at me with this crazy eyes and mouth wide open raised eyebrow look when I make her fly. And I love how she tries to fit both hands in her mouth and “talk” at the same time. I’m getting all teary-eyed just thinking about this.

Our lives have changed so much in just 4 short months. Her schedule is constantly changing. At 6 weeks, we got a nice routine and rhythm going. We had an eat wake sleep schedule. Then about 4 weeks ago, things slowly changed. Then a few days ago we were getting good sleep again. But of course last night, to celebrate turning 4 months, she decided to be fussy and wake up every 1.5 hours. And lately we’ve been on an eat wake eat sleep schedule.

Though I don’t enjoy my sleepless nights, I do enjoy being Momma to such a precious baby girl. She makes me laugh and smile constantly. But, I have to be careful not to laugh too loud, because then she cries 😉

Learn As You Go

Parenting is a very much learn as you go kind of thing. Sure, you can read books and “prepare”, but on the job training is reality.

My baby is constantly changing and growing. She keeps challenging what I thought I knew.

What I have learned though is that I can’t put her in a box. Just because something worked once or even 20 times, doesn’t mean that it will always work. And usually I *know* what I can do to help her, but I get stubborn and just want her to do things my way. It really works better if I just do what I should do. It just makes both of us frustrated when I try to force her to do something that she doesn’t want to do, e.g. nap in her crib.

Parenting is a daily adventure! 🙂