Live. Learn. Repeat.

Mother’s Day came and went, and while I had a “picture perfect” day envisioned in my mind… it is absolutely not what I got!

Instead of breakfast in bed, I made everyone breakfast (I don’t mind, cooking, but it would have been nice to have someone else do it for a change), instead of hugs and kisses from my son I got the teething tyrant (poor kid was screaming his head off almost all day).

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Typically, Mother’s Day is where the dad steps in and takes control hoping to keep the mom sane, but my husband was preparing for a business trip….so yea, out the window went that idea!

Around 6 p.m. after a constant 2 hours of screaming from my son, (which he never does, Normally he is pretty calm) I was about to lose it. Tears were forming in my eyes and my head was pounding.I just wanted to comfort my son, but nothing seemed to help.

I heard a small voice tell me to breathe and of course I kind of laughed, but I did it anyway.

I focused on my breathing and calmed myself down, and then I was able to calm my son. This is a lesson I have always struggled to learn and it is one I am sure I will have to relearn over and over!

It is important to get yourself in order before you can help others. If you aren’t right, how can you expect to make others better?

I get it, human nature runs ramped and everyone wants to fix every problem they can – as long as its someone else’s life and not their own.  Eventually you will have to look into the mirror and see all of your own issues and if anything, you should be able to fix your own problems!

But we fail!

We will always fail if we constantly try to do things that are out of our reach. It is only by the grace of God that we can be made new. When death knocks on your door and you meet Jesus face to face he isn’t going to ask you who else you fixed. He wants to know that you accepted him and have tried to live your life according to his word. Yes, he wants us to guide others to him, but he didn’t ask us to fix them! He is the only one who can change a person’s heart!

He doesn’t want to hear that you were so busy trying to fix everyone around you that your forgot to spend time with him, or even talk to him.

If you really want to help others it comes down to this:

Love them unconditionally for who they are and who God created them to be. Live your life according to God’s word; be his example to the world. 

I can’t fix every problem, and I will go insane if I continue to try. So I am going to take a step back, breathe, and make sure my life is right then and only then will I be able to assist others.

Now, here is a better picture of my son Tobias and I for Mother’s Day!

Only Mother's Day Photo I was able to get - without crying that is!
Only Mother’s Day Photo I was able to get – without crying that is!

Happy Tuesday!

~Sarah

3 Games To Play With Your 3-Month-Old

Recently I had a great friend come over to visit my family. It was great catching up, and like all people who don’t have kids… they have questions.

Heck, I still have questions!

What Does He Really Do?

My favorite question that I get from almost all of my friends is,  “What does he do?”

I loved this question; because it is one I always asked. All my son seemed to do for the past two months was eat, cry, poop and sleep. I didn’t know how to play with him. Because of my experiences my response was “Honestly, they don’t really do anything.”

It’s true!

Don’t let anyone tell you different. Until a baby can smile at you on their own, not a reflex, there really isn’t much that they do.

Don’t get my wrong, you should smile, tickle and “play” with your baby as much as you can. This will help build not only your relationship, but also your child’s motor skills.

What a baby can do and what you can do with your baby are two totally different things – at least in my mind they are! If you don’t engage your baby then typically they are just laying there, staring into space, or at their hands if they have reached that stage (My son is fascinated by his hands right now).

Tobias playing with his hands...
Tobias playing with his hands…

Tobias still hasn’t developed his muscles enough to sit up yet, so our playtimes are limited to just a few activities. Here are 3 games my son loves so far.

3 games to play with your 3-month-old

  1. I’ve Got Your Nose

Yes this sounds like a trivial game, and your baby may not know what you are saying or doing, but you are engaging them with touch and sound. For my son I get as close to him as possible so he can look at me and watch my expressions then I touch his nose and say either I got your nose or Beep.

He loves it, a smile will spread over his face in a second and we can do that for 15 minutes before he gets tired of it.

Tobias playing I've Got Your Nose with momma!
Tobias playing I’ve Got Your Nose with momma!

My husband does a different game to this where he says he is going to “eat his nose” and will use his face to get a smile from Tobias.

This brings me to a side note, do you ever say, “I’m going to eat you up,” to your child? This saying really freaks me out and I recently just read an article that gave me a clue as to why people say that.

You should check it out!

Why Do People Want To ‘Eat’ Cute Babies? Scientists Say It’s Their Smell by Lizette Borreli on Medical Daily.

  1. Tummy Time Tug

Now if you haven’t tried Tummy Time then you are missing out. I even enjoy Tummy Time, but for an infant it has a lot of benefits. It not only helps them with their neck muscles, but it does also help with leg, arm and abdominal strength.

Tummy Time!
Tummy Time!

Since my son is a bit older now and has way better head control we took Tummy Time to the next level and added in some things for him to reach for. He loves reaching for the little toys and well – he just loves to be on his tummy.

On a good day he will do Tummy Time for about 10 minutes until he decided to roll over. If you really want to engage your child, get down on the floor with them and call their name to get them to look at you. As soon as eye contact is made you will be greeted with the cutest smile – I promise (unless you child absolutely hates Tummy Time that is!)

Tobias Tummy Time Tug - he loves reaching for the monkey!
Tobias Tummy Time Tug – he loves reaching for the monkey!

Note: this should be common knowledge, but just in case it isn’t please don’t leave your child alone while they are doing Tummy Time (or really ever!). They can get tired easily and if they drop their head they can hurt themselves.

  1. Dance Party

Now this game is self explanatory, but just in case – Pick up your baby and move! My son loves to dance with me. I will either hold him, or use a harness and we will dance around the house. Now this puts a smile on his face quickly, but it also overstimulates him.

That being said, only do this game in short bursts if you have a child that over stimulates easily. My son can personally handle this game for about 5 minutes then he is tired and wants a nap. It maybe a short game, but it keeps him alert and he is engaged with sound and touch while we are playing.

What To Do When You’re Done Playing

Keep in mind that every child is different and my experience is based of my child, but once games are done we typically have a cool down time. This is a time that we try and settle down right before its time for a nap.

Tobias personally likes to listen to music on his Boppy or laying flat on the couch. I have learned that nature sounds and classical music help him calm down (anything with words in it tend to overstimulate him once he is done with an activity).

Tobias was tired from all the fun we had!
Tobias was tired from all the fun we had!

Here is a link to Tobias’ Personal Favorites: Sleep, Baby Sleep by Twin Sisters Productions, and John Tesh Classical Music for Babies (and their Moms) by John Tesh.

If you have missed your window for cool down time and your child has reached the COMPLETELY OVERSTIMULATED phase of the day be patient and just hold them close. I have been there – a lot! I was having so much fun playing with my son that I didn’t watch him closely enough to realize he was just DONE!

Now It’s Your Turn

 Go and enjoy your infant and have fun!

I know I will!

What games do you like to play with your babies? Leave them in the comments below!

~Sarah

Becoming an Adult – Age is Just a Number

Peter De Vries has one of my favorite quotes about marriage and becoming an adult, “The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.” If you think about this, it is scary true! Just because you are over a certain age doesn’t make you an adult.

I always have thought that I was mature, but in all reality I was just selfish (Yes, I am admitting it). Having a child is a great equalizer. It doesn’t matter what job you had before becoming a parent or how much money you make, you are now mommy and daddy. Through parenthood you have now been bonded to other parents and congratulations – you are in the club. But surprise – there are no quick fixes and all the advice in the world cannot prepare you for those sleepless nights and all the heart wrenching cries you hear escape the mouth of your child.

Yes, you may attend important meetings and have coffee delivered to you by an intern and feel that you are important, but now you are the most important person in the world; you are a parent and you mean everything to that child!

It is time to put down the mocha and pick up a package of diapers; skip that “important” meeting and watch your child take his/her first steps. Life is now, more than ever, about sacrifice.Sleepy head

I will gladly sacrifice my own comfort so that my son can finally get some good quality sleep, even if it is on my chest or in my arms. Yes, I will complain later that I am tired, hungry and haven’t showered yet today, but as soon as he smiles up at me it is all worth it and believe me, he cries A LOT!

I was not an adult when I graduated from college. I wasn’t even full an adult when I got married, but I did become an adult the day I brought my son home from the hospital. My life became about sacrifice and never ending love.

We were given the perfect example of adulthood in the Bible. God gave up His Son and His Son gave up His life so that we could choose to have everlasting life through Him. Now I don’t want to get all preachy, but honestly I never saw it that way until I became a parent. Giving yourself over to another takes a lot of trust and patience. You are no longer your own, now you have a “little” person to look after.
So far the hardest thing for me has been discovering my son’s personality and coming to terms with the fact that my idea of parenthood is not what he has in mind. I have lost numerous hours in a day thinking I was a bad mother because I couldn’t figure out what he wanted, now I know that I have to slow down and look at things from his perspective. He is a person and already he has his likes and dislikes I just had to figure them out.

For example, every time I gave my son a bath he screamed his head off and I couldn’t figure out why. I thought for sure he would love bath time. After going through the different scenarios, I learned that it isn’t the water he hates, but rather the cold plastic tub we put in him for the bath. Eliminate the tub = enjoying bath time ☺

Fist Smile
Fist Smile

I am not perfect though, and my poor husband has watched me break down on a number of occasions, but with practice and patience we are starting to see our son’s personality form. Discovering my son’s personality helps me discover who I am more and more. This journey is one that is never-ending and even through the tough parts I am thrilled at the chance to discover my heart.

If you are a parent please share what surprised you about your child’s personalities in the comment section below. Also don’t forget to subscribe for more updates about the chaos of being a new parent and the journey of Discovering My Heart!

Labor and Delivery Story

It has taken me awhile to write this post, I had too process the events that occurred. It has taken me a few weeks to really come to terms with the fact that I almost lost my life, but I also gave birth to life. God has always been good to me, but I have yet another testimony to share with others about His grace. Not only have I been blessed with a son, but also I have been given a new appreciation for this life that God has blessed me with.

As with most of my pregnancy things did not go according to plan – but in life what plans really turn out the way we envisioned them? Finding out I was pregnant with my son was one of the best days of my life, leading up to his birth that is. My husband and I were overjoyed and couldn’t wait to experience parenthood and start a new journey together as a family.

Well just a few weeks ago our son was born, but there is more to the story than just a beautiful baby boy.

 

Tobias  I was induced late on a Sunday evening and waiting for things to progress. After 24 hours of labor I finally got the epidural. I wasn’t in that much pain, but I had a feeling in the back of my mind that I would need the medicine and I later found out it was a smart choice on my part.

Even after the epidural I still had not progressed with my labor. The dosage of Pitocin that was pumped into my system seems, now, quite ungodly. Each time they increased the dosage they had to request its approval from the doctor. 36 hours later I had no baby to show for my hard work. It was then that my doctor told me we had no other option, a C-section was needed.

At 5:00 AM I went into surgery with my husband by my side, since I had the epidural it didn’t take to much more medication to “numb me up” for the procedure- I was not that numb, I could feel every cut and every staple that went into my lower abdomen. Soon my son was born and I watched as they carried my crying child from the room.

Even though my husband wanted to stay with me, I sent him to be with our son. I was so happy when I got to hold Tobias for the first time, but sadly it didn’t last long.

After about 20 minutes being out of surgery a few nurses came in to check on me. At first I thought it was routine, but then they started pushing hard on my abdomen, I guess they didn’t care that I was just cut open, and blood started pouring out of my body. I didn’t think much of it, but then more and more nurses started to pouring in, my husband said that it was close to 20 nurses in our room. I was completely out of it, but I thought it was due to the medication, I know now that it was due to the blood loss. I had no idea that anything was wrong until I saw the color drain from my husbands face and they were taking Tobias from my arms.

Soon I was rushed back into surgery and I remember praying to God asking him for peace and protection. I lost over 2 liters of blood, but I am still here. After receiving a few blood transfusions, 4 to be exact, I was finally released 4 days after the birth of my son.

Yes, these events that took place were scary and even now I cry sometimes thinking about them, but truth be told I am so blessed every time I look into my sons eyes. Things did not go according to plan, but they all turned out okay.

Hopefully now that I am healing properly I will be back to my normal self in no-time.

Family Time

~Sarah

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures,he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever -Psalm 23:1-6″

Ramblings of a Pregnant Woman!

Various things have been on my mind for the last few weeks. In fact I had so many of them that I couldn’t even pick one thing to talk about last week, so I didn’t even post…sorry if I disappointed anyone.

I have been in my nesting stage for a few weeks now, and it is exhausting, but that is mainly due to the fact that I am not at home most of the day. Working full-time and trying to prepare for a child does have its difficulties, but I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to work while pregnant, and I have a great team helping and encouraging me along the way.

Okay so here is what has been happening in my world:  My son “dropped,” I find this term to be hilarious – like he can really go anywhere, and it is the most pain I have felt in awhile. All through my pregnancy I have been carrying him high and since he moved lower, there is a lot of pressure on my hips. This has caused me to look like an old hag! My hands have to be on my back to help support me when I walk, and  I waddle like a duck – seriously little ducklings should be following behind me! 

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I am pathetic! Don’t get me wrong, I can handle the pain, but I feel as though I am the stereotypical pregnant woman that they show in movies. However, once I get some Tylenol in my system there is no holding back. I will get everything done that needs to get done, and I will still complete it faster than my husband (Not a bash on him, just stating fact), that is part of nesting I guess.

I still have baby clothes to wash, but I am happy to report that the hospital bags have finally been packed, as well as a few things for my loving husband! Hopefully the Cardinals are in the World Series again and then we can bring our son into this world on a game day, but if not I am packing Big Bang Theory! The nursery is almost complete, just a few final touches that will go up this weekend and I will be sure to post a photo next week of the nursery!

One issue that has been bothering me lately is Cooper. That puppy just won’t put up his toys (I know what you are thinking, “what kind of dog puts up his toys?” Well, he knows how and he has a toy box they are all suppose to go into), and for some reason my husband finds it to be the most entertaining thing to watch me squat down and pick up each toy. I know that it looks funny, I am sure I would laugh at myself too if I could see it – maybe I will video tap it for laughs later on.IMG_1642

Cooper also knows something is going on. He is being both sweet and a hot mess all at the same time, or at least it seems so  He is super cuddly, but the next second he says screw potty training and will pee in the house… on my carpet…:(

Other than the feeling of constant pain, dealing with puppy pee, and being the entertainment for my husband, life is grand. Tobias is kicking constantly and of course giving me loads of heartburn; a great reminder that I am helping to bring new life into the world.

I know challenges will continue to present themselves and I know that stress will come and go, but as long as I keep moving forward with God and Discovering My Heart I can get through it all.

The biggest thing I have learned about myself these last two weeks, is that woman are stronger than we are given credit for. I am dealing with a lot of stress physically, emotionally, and mentally and yet at the end of each day I am happy with my life. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Sarah

“Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.'” -Matthew 19:26  

Preparation…

“Preparation is key!” Not sure who was the first one to tell me this, but honestly I am starting to feel like it is a bunch of bull. It doesn’t matter how much I try to get organized and ready, I still don’t “feel” prepared. Even though most of my thoughts have been dealing with getting ready for the birth of my son, I feel this way in life often.

Are You Prepared

When my mother would take my brother and I back to school shopping it just seemed like it was always more stressful than just showing up our first day with a pad of paper and a pencil. I mean honestly, there would be something that wasn’t on the list and we would have to go back and repeated the whole process. So it really didn’t matter how prepared we thought we were, we always were missing something.

The Bible does talk in depth about preparation and I do think that it is a serious matter however, there is a huge difference in what I perceive as preparation and what God say’s in his word. When we try to prepare for our day, there is always going to be something missing if you didn’t fill your day with the love of God first. If God was not the first thing on your heart and you did not acknowledge him, then lets face it, you are not ready for the day.

I am not judging anyone, because I am totally guilty of forgetting or trying to do other things first. This is typically when I fall short and realize that I am nothing without God as the center of my life. Being prepared for the workday, and also being prepared for my child, although seem extremely important are nothing with out the guidance and direction the Lord provides.

Earlier this week I had my first nightmare about my son being born. I won’t go into to much detail, but I was not prepared and didn’t even have my son’s going home outfit (pictured below, so cute!) let alone his car seat.

Going home outfitSo in the dream they wouldn’t let me have my son, and were going to take him away from me because I wasn’t a “prepared” mother.

Needless to say I did not sleep well the rest of the night, I kept thinking about everything that needed to be done and everything that I was still missing. Especially things I needed that my husband and I cannot afford.

Just as I was starting to give myself a headache, I felt the presence of God wrap his love around me. He spoke the words that have echoed in my heart each day after having that dream, “These preparations are in vein if they don’t include me; let me show you what you need and lean on me. It is through me that you will not only have what you need, but the knowledge you need to raise this child I am blessing you with.”

I am honestly not one to cry often, except apparently when I am pregnant, but I broke down and cried in the bathroom as my husband continued to snore in our bedroom. I didn’t realize how much stress I was putting on myself to be perfect. The anxiety that I was feeling wasn’t just about the things I needed to be a good mom, it was about being a good mom. I allowed doubt to enter into my life simply because I didn’t feel I was prepared. There is no book you can buy that will tell you how to be the perfect mother, there are books that try but lets be realist! God is the only one who can teach and guide us to be who He has called us to be.

I know this may not seem that bad to some, but here is a sneak peak into my nursery. I will make sure to post an updated photo once I have it all done!

Preperation

Keep It Simple Stupid!

As an expecting mom there is a lot of worries that tend to arise, and for some reason the number one thing the doctors tell you is “not to stress,” great advice right? Wrong, if I am not worrying about my health, I am worrying about what the baby will need and it goes on and on. Trust me when I say the “To Do Lists” just keep growing.

Lately I have lacked focus on basically, everything! The only thing that lasts is my son. So instead of doing my chores I decided to mindlessly clear out my e-mail account. I know not very exciting, but I haven’t cleaned it out since my junior year in college (3 years ago). I found a great e-mail from one of my professors from a Mass Communications class and it was titled K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Stupid).

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Yes, the principle of K.I.S.S.  is about crafting your message to the public and is used in Mass Communications and Marking, but it can and should be applied in real life!

Life gets way to complicated and we are the ones who overcomplicate things. With all of the “issues” that I have in my pregnancy I have done nothing but worry, I haven’t been able to enjoy being pregnant, and I so desperately want to. Honestly this is no ones fault but my own. I created my own anxiety!

This morning when I woke up I could feel God’s presence and He reminded me that I am not in control, He is! I try to control every situation that comes up and really all I do is stress myself out! I have to start giving God every aspect of my life. This includes my health, the baby’s health, my marriage, my career – everything!

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

Matthew 6:33

I cannot guarantee that I will fix this issue of stress immediately, but I am going to try. I want to use this time to focus on my son and enjoy the end of my pregnancy. So for at least 20 minutes of my day I will reflex on my son, not the worries associated with him, but on him! I will pray over him and his health, read to him and even count his kicks.

I know this all sounds like the basics, but that’s the point of K.I.S.S! It doesn’t matter what I do, but it needs to stay simple. Slowly, I will implement this into the rest of my daily life, but for now I chose to focus on God and my child that he is blessing my family with.

I want to encourage you to reflect on your life now. What is stopping you for simplifying your life? What road blocks are you currently facing?

 

Sarah