Friday, April 30, 2010

6 Months

This update is coming a little late due to a very fussy/teething baby, no Internet and a whole host of ants in my kitchen. So, I know you will understand. I'll make it up to you... in pictures. =)
Stella had her 6 month check up a week ago and she was 29inches long (97%) and 17.11lbs (75%).
Our doctor re-gave us the go ahead on solids but I am still dragging my feet. I did make her some sweet potatoes in the puree form and in the sticks form... so I can do some baby-led weaning but also feed her a little if I choose. I've basically been driving my self insane trying to figure out what method I want to use and what foods I want to start her on etc etc. I think, like every thing else, I'm going to have to take a middle of the road stance. I wish I could be 100% baby-led weaning and just start her on solids and let her go at her own pace but at this point she is still not enjoying sitting up to eat even and yet is super interested in food and fussy at all naps and not gaining quite as much weight. So I'm going to give her a little puree to see if that helps get her jump started and then hopefully we'll quickly switch to the whole forms of food.
More than you cared to know? Sorry.
SJ has officially stopped being swaddled and has even learned to suck her thumb. This is a bittersweet thing for me because I too was a thumb sucker. In fact, I was an advanced, extreme, skilled thumb sucker. Confession: I sucked my thumb until the third grade, when my parents put so many appliances in my mouth that I couldn't even fit my thumb in. I don't want this for Stella. I don't want a thumb addict. However, a thumb is a lot easier to deal with than a paci. A thumb never gets lost and irretrievable in the bed. And, it's so darn cute... seeeee

I stole this shot of her during a nap but the pre-flash woke her up a little... don't worry, she went back to sleep.
In other news, I survived a night alone last week while Drew went on a manly men's retreat. I stayed home with a friend and watched girly movies and ate girly food (Panera!).
Wedding season is also upon us! This Sunday will begin a shotgun of weddings for us... 3 in the month of May and 2 in June. I am SO pumped for all of these weddings but we need babysitters! I also got a new savvy (hot pink with ruffles) dress and get to get one more for a wedding I'm semi-in.
I made it through April and a killer Spring with NO sinus infections and NO bronchitis. That might be a first! It has been a beautiful (and chilly) Spring and SJ has really been enjoying her stroller and car seat... which makes it that much better!
I'm also working on changing the way we eat/live. We are switching as much as possible to whole foods (aka no sugar free, fat free, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils etc unless it's naturally that way). Don't worry... I'm not completely going off the deep end. I still enjoy the occasional (or occasionally frequent) Dr. Pepper and we still eat out and eat at other people's houses with out even worrying about it. We just want to start doing a little better in the home. I want the food we buy to be food... not chemicals (yes, I realize I am a total hypocrite and that soda is 100% chemical). I want to support farmers and companies that are working hard to be ethical in their treatment of humans, animals and the planet. I'll probably have to do a whole post on this soon... I'm still wrapping my mind around it and deciding which areas/foods we are going to change first. In all things, moderation here. I'm also trying to be a better homemaker by preparing things in advance/in bulk so that we will eat out less and also be healthier. So... this week's preview is homemade pizza crust! We love pizza...a lot... and it's SO bad for you. So I have started making my own whole wheat crust and tomato sauce and then turkey pepperoni (not whole or natural, I know). It turned out great! It got a little over done but that's what happens when babies want to nurse right after you put it in the oven! It was still tasty.

And the dough made enough for three pizzas and so did the sauce... so now I'm stocked for a couple more weeks' worth of pizza! Domestic Genius! haha
Well enough ado about nothing... here's what you really came here for....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oh Stella Jane

Stella is quite the mover and shaker these days.
First of all I am fairly certain that she is officially teething. The drool, which was already out of control, has reached new heights or maybe it's depths. Whatever it is... it's A LOT and it's all over everything! This is also confirmed by the lack of naps being taken in this house. SJ will look tired and be scheduled for a nap and I'll put her down and she'll talk and moan for a while (which she never has done at the beginning of a nap before) and then maybe drift off for 30ish minutes and then moan for a couple of hours. I have tried everything! I would go in and give her the paci, rock her, shhh her, get her up, let her cry etc etc and nothing was helping. We kept her up longer, put her down sooner... no naps were happening. Yesterday I about lost my wits. On top of this she is also either not eating much or becoming a speed eater and she moans (not a really sad moan but just a noise) while she eats. Hmm.. I had been holding out on the tylenol b/c I don't want to just give her drugs with out knowing what is really the case. But yesterday, at my wits' end I decided to check out the Hylands Teething Tablets I had from Whole Foods and I realized that it was totally homeopathic and that there wasn't anything harmful in them and they are all natural. So, I gave her a small dose right before a nap and bing bang, ladies and gentlemen we had a nap! However, it was the last nap, which she usually does take b/c she's so tired from a day of no napping... but still. So I tried it again this morning. Right before her morning nap I gave her a dose of it and she SLEPT HER WHOLE NAP THROUGH! I had to get her up when it was time to eat! YAHOO! So, that confirms it in my mind at least, that we are officially on the teething track.
I'm not really excited that she's teething but for her sake I hope they come in quick so she isn't in pain for long.
We also tried our first go at solid food... sweet potatoes. They were not a hit. She kept acting like she was gagging (even before I put them in her mouth) and then quickly spit them out each time. Thankfully, I am not in a hurry for her to take solids and thus just laughed about it the whole time. I let her try to eat them herself and she was really interested in squishing them but not in putting them in her mouth.
However, we did learn that she can drink from a straw. She is always reaching for my Sonic cups (which are full of WATER) and I always let her try and then Sunday she got a big mouth full... but drooled most of it on Dad. Yesterday and today I let her try some milk I had pumped after a feeding and she drank about an ounce each time! WOO HOO SJ! She also likes to drink her rice cereal from the bowl these days instead of being spoon fed... so I usually oblige, it's actually less messy.
Another new trick is rolling over in bed. She does this about once a a day it seems and it's usually if you leave her in her crib after she has awoken from a nap... she hates this trick and yet continues to do it. I think it's hilarious and can now pick out that particular cry that means, "I've rolled over and I can't get back!". HAHA!
SJ has received several nice presents from adoring gmas and so we had a little photo shoot... enjoy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

He Is Risen!

He Is Risen Indeed!
Happy belated Easter to every one!
We had a fabulous Easter, especially considering how last minute all of our planning was and how sick we have all been around here!
First I want to comment on our Easter Service. We went to the evening service as usual but we chose to walk with SJ in the stroller since it was such a wonderfully nice day. This was great b/c I felt all energized for worship! The worship was so well thought out and pointed us again and again to the empty tomb of our Savior... and not only that... but what that empty tomb means for us today. It means no more guilt in life and no more fear in death!
I have mentioned that stuff has been rough around here for a while and that sometimes gets me a little down about the Lord... wondering what the work is He is doing in our lives... wondering if and when he will ever answer so many prayers we have been praying for a long time. Wondering if he really deeply loves us or if we are just ordinary... you know the thoughts. Well, Sundays are always such a great reminder for me to let go of all the guilt those doubts bring and let go of the fear and let the Holy Spirit work in my heart. I love going to a church where we sing such gospel centered songs b/c even when my faith has been weak all week, I can heartily sing songs that are filled with truth. And as I praise my Lord by declaring his awesomeness... I am also reminding my heart... remember, we know these things... they are true. It's always refreshing. Even more so on Easter Sunday! I was refreshed and reminded anew of my Savior's deep love for me and that God has a wonderful Plan that is unfolding even today and that he wasn't out of control when the Lord lay in the tomb and he is not out of control today, thousands of years after he rose again! Amen!
We had two really fun celebrations with our church family also! First we had brunch with some really great friends from our community group! I made a quiche with bacon, mushrooms and spinach and I was so thrilled it turned out perfect! I haven't made quiche in forever and I was unsure of the recipe but it all turned out great! We also had some roasted potatoes and a cinnamon french toast casserole. We also had juice and tea, which we drank in our crystal (made it seem much more festive!). We had so much fun and SJ did GREAT and napped the WHOLE TIME! I was amazed. She basically had the perfect schedule on Sunday and was so much fun all day long!
Then after church we had some more great friends come over and they brought with them a roast with potatoes and carrot (an all time fave of mine) and I made braided bread and individual chocolate/strawberry triffles! YUM. It was SO delicious and the company was outstanding. We talked about life and ministry and food... it was a really great time.
We also got to have a relaxing afternoon with just the two of us and we sat out on the porch and enjoyed the perfect weather.
I am so grateful for such a wonderful and restful day to celebrate our Lord!
Here are a few pictures we snatched... obviously none of them are great but they are fun nonetheless!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

This Day

What do you think this day was like 2000ish years ago?
As I sit here in my pjs I wonder if the day was a little like today. It's a little gloomy (the weather... not my emotions). It's still dark outside, although it's almost 11am and the house is completely quiet except a few comforting noises...the pit pat of rain and the click of the keyboard and the hum of my little space heater. It's a day for tea-drinking, cuddling, reading and reflecting.
What were the disciples feeling on this day?
I know that after a close friend or family member has died it seems to me like the next morning is always the weirdest. You have that crying hangover from the days, weeks or months preceding and probably very little sleep and then here is a new day and you don't know what to do with it. This person, who was a vital part of your life, whether mentally or physically is now gone and yet here is a new day... the world has just kept right on turning despite the fact that you are fairly certain it had stopped. So now you have to catch up... teeth still need brushing and bodies washing and food should be consumed at some point. Then, depending on your relation to the person there are all those details... funerals, clothing, all their possessions and letting every one know the news. It just doesn't seem real. I've only experienced this a few times (for which I am extremely thankful) but it is always during this period I find it hardest to cry b/c it just doesn't seem real. The day of, buckets of tears, the funeral and days following, tears tears, but this morning right after a devastating event just feels like holding my breath.
There is a lot of to-do about Good Friday and Easter Sunday (and rightfully so) but I wonder about this Saturday (though it probably wasn't a Saturday at all) and what it was like. Jesus, the beloved teacher, leader, friend and son... dead... tortured but also buried. Gone. Or seemingly so. They had Sabbath meals to prepare and attend and prayers to say... how could they have prayed? What did those prayers sound like? Did any one hope? Did they remember all those times their teacher had mentioned rising in three days? Rebuilding that temple? Did they deep deep down hold out hope?
I'm sure they were scared a little... the cross isn't a really appealing way to die and Herod and others like him were known for their paranoia and ruthless killings.
Were they quiet except for the occasional sob or sigh?
What are people thinking today?
I am sure there are people who think of themselves as high religious...whether Catholic, Baptist or whatever and are so wrapped up in preparing for the big day that they are forgetting what Easter is really about... the significance for their eternal soul! There are easter dresses to press and where are those white hose we bought and then all those white shoes and find your slip and the right hair bow. Others are fussing over the right table cloth and marinating the meat for just the right amount of time and worrying about what cousin so and so will say about this or that and who will sit by whom. Then there are the millions of children looking for that bunny and hoping for toys and candy and eggs and wondering when they can change out of those itchy clothes.
I wonder if there are others who are dreading their bi-annual visit to church. Wondering if they are missing something... if there is something more to it all or if this really is just an annoying ritual in a purposeless life.
What does the Pope feel on Easter... what about the homeless man downtown?
I just wonder what God sees and hears on this memorial day. I am confident there will be praise from thousands of faithful believers and I don't want to underestimate that... but if we could look the world over in one gaze, what would we see? If we could look our own hearts over what would we see?
For me, I almost forgot it was Easter. With a week long stomach bug, I didn't even know it was the weekend much less time for Easter. We don't have definite plans and I don't have a new outfit to wear. We won't go to church in the morning, but at the evening service like usual (which feels very un-Easter-y). We won't get to be with our families (well, not blood at least) and SJ won't have any clue that this day is any different from the other days when she eats, poops, sleeps and plays.
I pray that today my heart... our hearts... will be thankful that today doesn't have to be a gloomy and hopeless day for us because 2000ish years ago Christ went into the tomb and came out again! We don't have to wonder who the Messiah is or how we will ever accomplish all of the law. We don't have to fear even death because Christ already paid all our debts before God and allows us to come before Him with a clear conscience in His name and have peace (NO CONDEMNATION) with God!
So, Happy Easter a little early....Peace be with you!

Friday, April 2, 2010

On a Lighter Note....

She is so stinkin' CUTE!

...It Pours

With the coming of Spring, comes rain... and for us it has been more than just a literal down pour.
Have I mentioned this year has been rough? Yes? Well, it has. Starting about this time last year things just got a little sticky. Relationships were messy, I was pregnant (though I loved being pregnant there were some bumps along the way), Drew was still (and is still) stuck at a job he less than enjoys...etc etc.... there was just a lot going on. Those things began to let up just the slightest bit and beautiful SJ was born. Her birth was a little less than ideal as far as timing and fashion go but we were glad to have her. However, once she was born my body began to change... yes it got smaller (praise the Lord) but it also got a lot sadder. I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with all the information I had ingested while pregnant and now had to put to use. Overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility heaped on my shoulders. Overwhelmed by visitors I wanted to host properly but then was overwhelmed by sleep. Oh, it was overwhelming. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of anxiety and sadness and I could see every one on the shore waving at me and telling me to swim but no one could get in the water and teach me to swim. Thankfully the Lord dove in. In the midst of this, SJ became overwhelmed herself with colic and reflux and screamed for the next two months almost non stop. Oh my. Then just as things were getting a little better we flew to Texas for a few weeks and had tons of crazy travel and late nights etc etc. Though it was fun... it was still hard on top of everything else. Then Drew took a major hit in the job department and we felt like we were at rock bottom... no a little lower than that because we definitely felt rocks on top of us too. We just felt like we hadn't had a chance to catch our breath since April. Whew. We weren't sad to see 2009 go by.
In January I thought we were seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. My anxiety and sadness were disappearing thanks to the wonderful power of the Lord and his Spirit working in me (and thanks to the helping hands he sent on earth to challenge me and turn me to him again and again). I let go of so much mommy stress and let Stella just grow into who she was going to be and she started evening out a little too. Drew's work was still the same but at least there was some routine established there. Then the colds came. I started feeling a little icky and got onto tackling it but before I knew it Drew was sick (he rarely gets sick) and he just hasn't really gotten over it since! He will get sick and mend just enough over the weekend or day off that he gets only to turn back to work and fall into it all again. Then he got a stomach bug and had to miss the baby dedication on top of all that and Stella started teething and this was getting me a little down again. Ok, maybe more than a little.
Drew got better just in time to celebrate his birthday last weekend (thanks for every one who came, it made it so great to have so many loving faces greet him) and then wham...bam...slap... I woke up Monday morning with a bad bad feeling... you know it, the tossing and turning of the stomach that can only mean one very bad thing. I laid very still and prayed not to throw up... a request granted to me at a very very high and frequent cost (if you get my drift)... and then ungranted (if that's a word) at about 6pm at which time I began to throw up every thing left in me... most of it still recognizable... sick. I HATE TO THROW UP. I will do almost anything to not throw up... so after an already long and hard day of losing my contents, this was torture. Drew had to take off two more days in order to take care of Stella and me b/c I could not do a single thing but moan... I literally couldn't even cry (though I wanted to) because I felt like that would be wasting any hydration I had left to nurse Stella with.
Finally yesterday I felt better enough (with some help from friends) for Drew to return to work. He got home and our neighbor comments that we have a flat tire (again)... they try to air it up... no go.. .it's a hole. So Drew comes in and takes the other car to get me some soup (b/c I still couldn't stand long enough to cook) and after he comes out with the food the car won't start... and he forgot his phone... and my phone is on silent b/c I'm wrestling, I mean nursing SJ in the other room....
I mean seriously... I could keep going but really, let's just all laugh at how absurd this is getting!
Oh wait... just one more thing... then... today... we had our roof redone
hahah ho ho ho ho hehehe... if you have ever had this done you are laughing with me b/c you understand how hilarious it is for a recovering sick woman with a small baby to be stranded at home with no car and with vaulted ceilings and hard wood floors while her roof is being redone.... hahaha ho ho... it hurts really... oh my.
Ok, seriously. Back to the point.
I am seriously laughing... I'm really not bitter (tired yes, but seriously not being sarcastic!). The Lord has done a lot of growing, pruning and refining in our lives during this last year and especially during this last month. I had a loving friend rescue me from my house today with a car seat for SJ and everything. I have had countless people pray for us, bring us meals, send encouraging words and just hang out. Hey, we got a new roof out of the deal for only the cost of our copay! I am launching into a healthier lifestyle for our family. I still have milk to offer SJ after 3 days of no food or drink.
The Lord is sovereign and so gracious to us. He is soooo long suffering with my constant sin and rebellion. He is full of ever lasting loving kindness and I am so so thankful that he has given me so many worldly comforts and yet also loves me enough to discipline me and refine me. I don't know when the light at the end of the tunnel will be the present and though I long for that day, I am also overjoyed to think about the woman I will be because of all he has led me through instead of continuing to be the woman I was forever (worrying, comparing, stressed, perfectionist).
So let's laugh and all say that it is so so very true that for the Lewisi... when it rains, it pours!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Great News

One of my favorite bloggers is offering a free giveaway from Lime Ricki bathing suits. These are THE CUTEST, MODEST....let's say that again... CUTE AND MODEST bathing suits I have ever seen. I wanted one last summer but was huge pregnant so I held my breath and waited until this summer... the day I was going to purchase one I saw she would be hosting a giveaway and/or promo code for a discount so I waited a little longer and here it is... I'm only sharing this with you b/c of my selfish desire for another entry... not b/c I want you to win it (just being honest hahaha)... b/c I want me to win it... however, since I NEVER win things, I would be happier if some one I knew won... so go ahead and check it out... here's the link
Even if you don't do the giveaway you should check out Lime Ricki online... I'm going to get the Claire top (I mean it's name is Claire, my sis' name... and it's cute!)
In other news, I am sick sick sick and have been since monday (you don't want the details, trust me).
Today is the first day I've been able to even sit up for more than a few minutes with out dire consequences and a friend just took SJ and so I'm actually headed back to bed.
Please be praying for us that we will all get well and that SJ will be spared from any sickness from her parents.