Fail

Tuesday was a rough day that left me feeling like a failure on many fronts.  Jane was on a nap strike that was frustrating and exhausting for both of us.  I haven’t been frustrated with her like that in many months and I felt like I did not love her well.

I acutely felt my difficulty in communicating.  Effectively communicating has always been difficult for me; I’m not sure why, and I know that I have to practice in order to improve, but so often I just end up frustrated.

At the end of the day I opened up Facebook on my phone and was about to bemoan my exhausting and disappointing day when I read some wise words from a friend who was having a day similar to mine.  She chose a positive perspective and to look for the blessings in the midst of the mundane and difficult.  And she found them.  I was so thankful that I read her words before I posted mine and was reminded of one of the great things about parenting: God is refining me through this.  He is using my daughter to expose my ugliness and forcing me to deal with it.  He isn’t doing this to discourage me, He does this to grow me and transform me into His likeness.

In the end, it was still a frustrating day and I didn’t always react well, but God used it.  He used it to remind me of His grace and how many times He extends it to me, and how I must extend it to others.  I am so thankful for grace.

Seven Months Already??

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!

I don’t understand how time is passing by so quickly.  I almost can’t remember a time before our sweet Jane, yet I am astonished at how quickly she has grown.  Her little personality has just blossomed this month.  Previously, she was content to be an observer of everything, but now she is eager to be involved and engaged in what is going on around her.  She flirts with strangers and is very curious about the world around her.  Since she is getting closer to crawling, Jane has figured out how to rock her hips, which she likes to do when I am nursing (it’s so funny!!) and it’s also how she dances.  She is super chatty and continues to charm and delight us; we are absolutely intoxicated by her.  I just can’t get enough of her, which is probably why God finds it fitting to give me extra snuggles with her in the middle of the night.  Ha!

Weight: 21 (ish) pounds (off of the charts)

Length: 27.25 inches (75%-ile)

Head circumference: 45 cm (98%-ile)

P1110389Sleep: Hooray!!!  We have finally made some progress!!  We have started to put Miss Jane on her belly to sleep, and it seems to have helped her sleep in slightly longer stretches, as well as help her settle back in after middle of the night feeds.  This equates to less time in our bed.  We are still holding Jane for pretty much all of her naps, which is actually kind of nice because it means that we can just sit and relax.  She is taking between 2 and 4 naps per day depending on the length, sometimes she skips her morning nap, but she always skips her late evening nap.

Clothing: 6-9 or 6-12 month clothes and very comfortably.

Shoes: 3, but her feet are so chunky that we have a difficult time stuffing her little piggies in them.

Diapers: Size 4

First food... avocado!

First food… avocado!

Milestones: Jane is now a regular in the church nursery, eats some solid foods, scoots, and has a pincer grasp.  She isn’t too keen on solids, but she does like playing and making a mess!  We have tried avocado, steamed carrots, butternut squash, pears, steamed zucchini, spinach, and banana.  She likes the steamed veggies since she can feed herself, and although she lets us spoon feed her, it isn’t her favorite.  She would much rather handle the spoon herself.  As a result of introducing solids, Harrison is a lot more interested in her now!

Successes: Some improvement in sleep and just being able to enjoy spending time with my sweet baby girl.

Jane in a dress that I wore as a baby.

Jane in a dress that I wore as a baby.

Challenges: It is so difficult to leave her!  We are so blessed to have so much family close by that we do not have to utilize day care, but I would still much rather never have to leave her to go to work.  I am thankful for the work that I do and for the honor of caring for babies and their families in times of crisis, but it a lot harder than it used to be.

Christmas with all of the cousins.  They're so cute!!

Christmas with all of the cousins. They’re so cute!!

Reflections

Six years ago I underwent major surgery to resect a spinal tumor and subsequently have a spinal fusion. I had surgery a few months prior attempting to remove the tumor, but it wasn’t completely successful, so more surgery, radiation therapy, and physical therapy was required.

It’s strange that such a significant event in my life seems completely unreal now. Sometimes I wonder if it really even happened; but the hardware, radiation tattoos, and scars on my hip, back, and side bear witness to the fact that it did, indeed, take place. I was at a funeral tonight where I saw several people who I haven’t seen in many years and they all asked about my back. It caught me so off guard at first, but it served as a reminder that I am surrounded by an amazing community of believers.

As I rock my daughter to sleep I am taken back to the night before my surgery when my wonderfully kind ICU nurse held my hand as I cried out of nervousness and fear. I remember saying “Go Patriots” as I came out of anesthesia during a pre surgical procedure when I heard the staff discussing the upcoming Super Bowl. I remember that I was not at all lucid during the game (2 days after surgery). I remember another tremendously kind ICU nurse who took the time to really engage with me and my family and who came to visit me when I was moved to the regular floor. I remember a horrid nurse who treated me like my pain didn’t matter and like I was a bother. No, I will never forget her or the x-ray tech who slammed a tray on my freshly post operative incision. I will never forget the kindness of Drs. Portugal and Olavarria who treated me like their family and who went above and beyond to make sure I had the best care possible. I will never forget how Andrew and my family took care of me.

I could go on and on about the things that I remember from that time, and one day I will write down more of them. But the one thing that I hope that I will never forget is how God provided and how faithful He was and continues to be.