Friday, September 27, 2013

Getting more sparkly around here...

A few weeks ago we took a new blood test that actually takes genetic material from the baby (crazy?!) and then today we had our 19 week scan which only served to confirm what the blood work told us...we are having a little GIRL!! Levi is going to have a baby sister!!

It's about to get a lot more sparkly around here, not to mention the influx of pink that I am sure she is about to happen. I'm not complaining, in fact, it's the opposite. I m thrilled.

It's 2 for 2 for my mother's intuition so far :) I had a strong sense it was a girl from early on, but didn't want to put too much stock in it in case it was a boy. I would have been just a thrilled to be having a boy so I didn't want to "pick sides" and end up disappointed when either outcome would have been just as beautiful!

I think it will take some time to really get used to the idea, but it's one that I am more than willing to get used to this idea!

[In other (almost as exciting) news Levi remembered how to sleep through the night again last night and in fine form he slept 6.20pm - 6.20am. Not a peep in between. It was so blissful and I was so tired that I slept right through, not even getting up to pee which is why when I finally did wake up my bladder was about to burst! I am not sure if it had anything to do with the amber teething necklace that he wore all day yesterday and slept in, but I'm not willing to take it off him to find out - plus it looks cute on him and doesn't seem to bother him at all.]

Here is just a little shot of Levi happily shopping for his little sister :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Grateful, even through the dripping!

It wasn't even 9pm, I had been in bed for over an hour. I got PJ'd up after Levi's first wake up - 20 minutes after he went down for the night. For his benefit as well as mine I'm glad to say that he didn't made a peep after that until 2am, a marked improvement on the night before. Jeremy was out of town overnight for work so I had no reservations at all about bringing Levi into bed at that point. I hate sleeping alone anyway even though a big part of me hoped he would wake me bright and early in the morning having slept all the way through :)

I was reminded the other day by my sweet friend Joanna, (she's the person I want to be like when I grow up) that in the midst of the not sleeping and the exhaustion of this season I should look for moments that fill my heart with gratitude. I know I am blessed. I have a faithful and gentle husband, a beautiful baby boy and a home to keep me safe and warm. How easily it fades to the background when lack of sleep is involved but how much life improves when we stop and choose to see the good.

Yesterday Levi struggled to be the happy little man we have come to know and love because of his teeth and possible cold - whatever is going on with him - he was dripping from every orifice and his eyes were bloodshot. I watched the beauty in this little life. I totally missed writing a 13 month update for him, but after intentionally looking for things that make my heart grateful, I couldn't help but just melt at a few things he is doing right now so I suppose this will cover both of those things.

Firstly, through his sneezes and sniffs, his little voice is emerging. More and more each day it seems like he is picking up new sounds and "words". He has a very small vocab of words that are actually identifiable by anyone other than me but its growing and hes becoming clearer. He says, "balloon" and "football" and on that theme "touch down", "peek boo". It's adorable! He also "talks" more in general and I cannot wait to know more of what he is saying. He makes his feelings very clear through non-verbal methods but still, I love his little voice :)

He is also starting to say "mama" and "dada" with specificity. He points to me and says, "mama" and then points to himself and wants me to say, "Levi", he does the same with Jeremy, saying "dada" he likes to point over and over and is starting to put together names and what or who they represent. I love to see his little mind grasping concepts of the world around him.

He is also killing me with how he wafts his hand and scrunches his face in disgust saying "pee ooh" when he hears someone farting. Mostly Jeremy of course :) We have done it to him when he has a poopy diaper but now he associated it with toots too and will let us know when he is the culprit as well as reprimanding us if we do it - or if he thinks we do. Yesterday as I rocked him to sleep for his nap, my tummy rumbled because I hadn't had breakfast and he lifted his head off my shoulder and gave me the look and the waft :)

Man, this kid is my joy and delight even on days like today when I am exhausted, and completely out of energy, he continues to make my heart swell with gratitude to the God who gave him to us.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sleep where art thou? and the kindness of friends

The rough nights continue in our house. Levi's teeth are really bugging him and he has been ending up in our bed a lit the past week. Two nights ago was a doozie and we thought that had to be the worst of it but turns out last night was its older, meaner, brother. Levi is half asleep through it all, tossing and turning and moaning and chewing on his lovie or his hand. We have given him medicine which can seem to help for a little while to soothe him but its certainly not a miracle cure.

After sucha  bad night we both took a nap this morning but after 45 minutes for him and about 15 (maybe) for me, he woke up all sorts of sad :( I rocked him in the glider for a while and he in his drowsy, half asleep cuteness showed clearly he was not ready to wake up so I kept rocking and rubbing his back and eventually brought him (again) into our bed so i could rest too and he could be elevated on a pillow since the clear teething snots are making it hard for him to sleep flat. He crashed but I was wide awake and quietly and carefully got up and dressed. He is still sleeping, an hour later - thank goodness!! He needs it!

I al thankful for 5 minutes to work on some homework and catch up on my blogs and things that make me feel human. Hoping a little retail therapy getting some birthday presents bought and seeing friends possibly for lunch can help to life this day out of its sleepy teething blues.

When I woke up this morning the devotional that was waiting in my email was about loving our friends in deed not just word. I felt very encouraged, even in my tired state to find a way to bless oneof my friends today. I thought God must be teaching me to rely on his strength when my own is failing me, and while I am still looking for an opportunity and am eager to see that lesson unfold in my life, it also brought an acute awareness to the ways in which deeds have been done to me in kindness and friendship over the past few days.

Yesterday, I had a sweet friend bring by a meal for us, and then run an errand for me on her one day off so I could stay home and rest, and then this morning, I received so much encouragement from other mums and friends on FB about our little teether that helped me feel so much less alone in the exhaustion of everything. I also had another friend get in touch willing to pick up and drop by a teething necklace after she read on FB what we were going through. I am unbelievably blessed and encouraged and even more I am inspired by the beautiful hearts around me to seek out opportunities to bless others in small and big ways as I see them arise. It can be easy to think I don't have time, but sacrificing a little time to do a deed of kindness can mean the world - as I am so thankful to be in the midst of first hand.

In reference to y previous post, the bridal shower went off without a hitch and what a joy to celebrate the love of two such lovely people and after the fun of Sunday was over, Monday morning brought with it the first day of fall quarter and my first math class since I lived in England and called it "maths". And with that, I should get on with same studying while he's still asleep so I don't get behind before the quarter has even started.

Have you heard the one about the pregnant lady who was caring full time for a busy 13 month old and took on a math class, yeah, it's a bad joke really. One equation I can do is this, pregnancy brain + mummy brain = one tough class :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

About to get all kinds of crazy

We have been blessed that Levi has been sleeping through the night for a few months now. It's funny how quickly you can get used to that sort of rest again :) The past few nights Levi has been waking up in the middle of the night and really struggling to settle again. The first night as I rocked him he would fall asleep but then as soon as I put him down he would wake up and be so upset. I began to feel like I was on the verge of falling asleep right there in the rocker so I brought him back to bed with us here he tossed ad turned in a fretful sleep but only when connected to me. I tried to roll over once h was settled but he scooched right over and settled back. Needless to say, the slight pregnancy insomnia I have been experiencing was nothing compared to that night.

The next night we get up and gave him medicine to try and help him, but he still was up over and over not settling until the wee hours.

Last night, J and I were so tired that when he cried out we just brought him straight in with us. He once again managed to take over the whole bed leaving J and I with little sleep. Gravity is not a friend of a pregnant lady when you are fighting for room on the edge of a bed!

It's been exhausting to say the least, and I am hoping that the insomnia and Levi will let me sleep long and deeply tonight. We gave him some ibuprofen before putting him down so I hope that the endless chewing that has been happening today can be quieted tonight. Poor babe.

He struggles so badly with teething. I have no idea when the nest little pointer will actually pop through or which one it will be but poor kid he is paying in advance for the chance to eat steak one day.

This recent (and potentially continuing) lack of sleep does not bode well for the coming days and weeks with all that's on my plate. I am throwing a bridal shower this weekend fro my dear friend Anjie, and then have a bachelorette event and of course her wedding to look forward to in the next month or so, I am also starting to take an essential math class for my Associates degree (only 3 more classes after this one!) I am also involved in a big event for the Missionary Care team that I am on which will take place in early November. Not to mention that whole taking care of a one year old, growing a person, and keeping everyone fed while trying to keep the dust in our house to a dull roar and the laundry to a sociably acceptable pile :) It's going to be busy, but that's life, right?

Let's hope and pray sleep finds us so we don't all go totally crazy!

Friday, September 13, 2013

So this is 35

Today I celebrate turning 35. As I sit here and contemplate life today I can;t help but smile. When I turned 30, I was yet to meet Jeremy, my position with YWAM was uncertain and therefore my ability to stay in the US was also up in the air. I had an opportunity to uproot and head to South Africa to work with a fabulous organisation and was feeling torn about what my next steps would be. With so many decisions facing me, my desire to be married came strong and in waves that caused me to cry out to God over and over, "when is it my turn?" I wanted a mate to help me with all the decisions and be with me in the fall out of my choices. I mourned the life I wanted, the husband, the 2.4 children, the white picket fence, and I took a deep breath as I surrendered once again to God's will and tried to step out into what he was calling me into.

My decision to go to Africa or find a way to stay here in Seattle weighed heavily and I prayed with my small group leader and her husband to seek the Lord.  truly felt as though He placed the decision in my hands. After much soul searching, I decided that the city that had stolen my heart all those years before was home and was where I needed to be. Little did I know how much God would bless my decision.

Sitting here today at 35 I feel as though life has been on the upswing ever since.

I am married to a wonderful man who woke me up with my favourite Earl Grey Lea latte, some chocolate and the sweetest card as well as a rendition of Happy Birthday which was made even cuter as Levi beamed looking between us enjoying the celebration but without any idea what was going on!

Levi gave me sweet cuddles and has been a delight all day - plus he did a nasty poop early this morning when Jeremy was watching him, so that was a special present I didn't have to deal with :)

I have been flooded with emails, FB comments, texts and phone calls as well as having a friend stop by with beautiful flowers and getting to visit with my friend Jillian and her sweet not quite 2 month old little guy. It's been a love fest. I feel so blessed.

My life at 35 is a dream come true. My sweet baby boy is napping upstairs my second baby is growing strong in my belly and my sweet husband will be home from work soon so we can go out for dinner as a family at my favourite restaurant.

I'm undeserving but I am so thankful to an ever loving and faithful God for the life I have today. It may not be perfect in the world's eyes but I see that God is using this life to draw me closer to Him and mold me into someone who looks more and more like Him.

Here's to 35 - Happy I made it this far and excited for all this year will hold!

Here is a picture of me and my boy at the beach last week - yes, it was windy!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The days in His book

Taking a quick break to capture some of the special moments of the past few days. We are on vacation with Jeremy's family for a few days on the Oregon coast. It's been a special time, full of sweet moments especially as Levi interacts with his Grandparents and Auntie who have a mutual appreciation society going on.

Watching the sunrise and sunsets from our condo the past few days I am reminded that each day is a gift. That we do not have a guarantee that we will see tomorrow and I want to cherish each and every moment of life to the full.

This intentional appreciation has been difficult in the past couple of months. The nausea of this pregnancy has faded but the complete and sometimes painful exhaustion remains, with only a few days of reprieve so far. My husband is amazing and for him I am truly thankful - when he is home in the mornings, evenings and on the weekends he does more than his share of the parenting and household chores but the tiredness has made my days drag, and time with Levi less enjoyable than I desire. Watching him this weekend with our family has been a joy as I have watched him be so loved on and laugh so hard as he is so completely enjoyed but it also makes me sad that I have not worked harder to ensure more of his days have been like that when its just him and I.

And being here, watching him embrace every chance to play and explore (to the point of wearing himself out totally by the end of the day!) I am reminded we don't know how many days have been written for him either. This is not to be a morbid thought, it's simply a reality, and I simply don't want to waste the days we have. He sees every new morning as a time to be joyful and thankful; a time to have adventures and learn new things and I want to be more like him.

With Levi sleeping so well at night these days, my evenings have become a time of more predictable space and I need to work a devotion or Bible Study in. I have let these evening hours be absorbed by the TV and "relaxing" but I have not felt more relaxed so I am hoping that being more intentional  with this time can bring some true peace and rest to this tired Mama. 

I have a Bible verse copied out onto my fridge (which is at home and of course my internet searches here have come up blank but I will include it when I find it!) which says, my interpretation, that the effort you put into life will be returned to you in equal measure. I enjoy this constant reminder to more fully give myself to those around me, my husband and son especially. God is watching my actions, he sees the effort I put in. There is grace to cover when my body fails me but when I chose to be lazy he see that too.

The past few days have been beautiful. I have had time to nap during the day and had opportunities to be fully and completely present with Levi and with our family. Here are just a few of the precious memories I don't want to forget.

* How you overcame your fear to gleefully splash in the waves at the beach, eyes closed, body bent over just hitting the water with both hands with all your might and giggling.

* How you loved to dig the sand and dump it on top of your head :)

* How you love to snuggle with Grandma to read stories or play the game on her phone with such concentration.

* How you laughed when Auntie put the cola box on your head - for a few minutes and then flatly refused to let us do it again. You are not a performing monkey.

* How you love to copy Grandpa by getting the tall broom out of the closet and going out to the deck and sweeping for ages!!

* How you loved to make faces against the glass in the door.

* How you are always so happy to see Mable the dog and even try to say her name!

* How you have slept in the pack and play in our room and how I have heard your sweet gentle snores anytime I have woken up at night.

* How you are so intent on chasing the seagulls :) (see below!)

Thank you little man for being the vessel God chose to use today to remind me to embrace every opportunity to really live. I love your passionate spirit and I can't wait to see where it takes you!


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