Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Things Above

A glimpse into my morning routine:

"What day is it?" 
"Do we bring toys to school today?" 
"Where are we going?"
"Is it school day or church day?" 
"Is it gymnastics day?" 
"Who is coming to our house tonight?"
"Is it Saturday tomorrow?" 

She has to know all the details of her day to feel content. I don't mind answering, even though I clearly remember dreading the "questions" phase of her life. But, I get it. Being a Type A/planner person myself, I know all too well the uneasiness of life without a plan. My little three-year-old is already trying to wrap her mind around time and understand her little world. And I want to do my best to help her figure it out... all while trying very hard to teach her to be a little more flexible than I am. :) 

Here lately, I find myself also asking a long list of questions. I'm not exactly sure where the fascination began or why, but I literally have just been completely overwhelmed with thoughts of Heaven. There have been times I literally have almost become sick thinking about it. Not because I don't want to go - trust me, I do! But, to be very honest, I'm scared. That may sound silly - Heaven is supposed to be a place of no fear! And I'm not necessarily afraid of Heaven. Afraid of dying, yes. But in regards to Heaven - I'm just more perplexed than anything. The scary part, to me, is that there's no one to really give me any definitive answers to help ease my mind the way I try to help ease Maleah's mind every morning. There's no one to tell me exactly what to expect. 

Some of my questions are: 

"What will my body be like in Heaven?"
"How old will I be?" 
"How can I not be sad about people who aren't in Heaven with me?" 
"Will my existence in Heaven have purpose and meaning?" 
"How will I not get bored? What will I be doing for ETERNITY?"
"If there is no night, will I rest?" 
"Will I get to eat!?" (Serious question, there!)
"How will we all fit in one place?" 
"Will it be about the size of Earth, except we will all be more like the size of ants? Surely that's how we're going to ALL fit in this place FOREVER." 
"Will I have a job?" 
"If I have a job, what will it be? Are there any problems to solve in Heaven that require a job?"
"Will I get to meet a lot of people?" 
"Will I be conscious of my life on earth and, if so, how will I not feel remorse or guilt about anything?" 
"Will Kari Jobe have a special auditorium where she sings for hours on end?" (No, really.)

Those are just a few. As I said, my mind has been filled with questions. This isn't the first time I've ever pondered these things. But I will say this is definitely the first time I have really wrestled with any of it. 

I do remember going through a similar phase as a teenager. I was terrified that I'd never get to experience having children on earth and, therefore, I wouldn't have any children in Heaven. And I do remember when I became pregnant with Maleah (and, eventually, when she was born) having this sense of relief. Like, I have done everything on this earth I wanted to accomplish. Of course, I still want the joy of raising her and her sister, but I have now "checked off" (for lack of a better phrase) something I dearly wanted to experience in this life. 

But, I'm really wrestling with all of these things. I have been reading more about Heaven and trying to wrap my earthly mind around some potential answers for my many questions. 

Last night, as I lay awake around midnight, the questions came pouring in faster than I could even process. I was frantic, trying to explain Heaven to myself. Trying to calm myself. Trying to imagine the joy I will experience once I finally know. And finally... it just hit me... 

I don't need to worry about Heaven. Wonder, yes. Worry, no. If I can trust God with my salvation, I can certainly trust Him in the joy of Heaven. If I can find satisfaction in Him here, how much greater will that be when I can actually be fully satisfied in Him? 

I can tell I'm headed on a journey in the near future - these questions are too loud in my mind to ignore. I'll be learning a lot more about Heaven in the coming weeks and I want to write about my questions and the answers I find. Maybe you have questions, too. And while I'm not on the hunt to find specific answers for every single question I have, I do want to learn more about what we can know about Heaven while we live on earth. 

But I am very confident in this - Heaven is too great a place for my human mind to even fathom. And that fact alone is so, so satisfying. 

Colossians 3:1-3: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is youra life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

1/3 of a year old!

The fourth month is such a fun little stage of a baby's life! They're slowly becoming more aware of the world around them and their little personality begins to really show! Macey is definitely enjoying being a part of our family (oh, the smiles she gives her sister!!! SO sweet!) and is really workin' on her smiling game. Sister can melt your heart in a second with her cute little grin! We are loving her new-found awareness and are looking forward to the changes that I'm sure lie just around the corner!

Just for my personal reference, here's a sample schedule of a day in the life of Macey Doodle-Bug:
6:30 am - wake up, chug a 5 oz bottle
6:45 am - diaper change, get ready for school, play for a little bit
7:15 am - leave for daycare and she usually falls asleep on the way (or if we're at home, she goes back down for a nap around 7:30/7:45)
9:30 am - 5 oz bottle
11:00 am - nap? Her naps are rather inconsistent at daycare, but at home this is when she would usually go back down.
12:30 pm - 5 oz bottle
2:00 pm- nap
3:30 pm - 5 oz bottle
5:00 pm - mommy's back! She usually falls asleep again on the way home!
5:30 pm - get home and play "is Macey going to stay asleep or wake up" game. Sometimes she will sleep for 30-45 minutes, other times she just stays awake. This will hopefully be the first nap she drops! It is so inconvenient because this is right when we need to be making dinner, unpacking their bags, etc. 
6:30 pm - another 5 oz bottle
7ish - bath & bedtime routine (including LOTS of cream for her eczema!)
7:30 pm - time for bed! I usually rock her and sing some songs before putting her down. 

Eat = Macey still eats on a 3 hour routine and takes 5 oz each feeding and has 6 feedings a day. She is still getting mainly breast milk with the occasional formula to supplement. I am really proud of pumping for so long and I hope to be able to continue for at least 2 more months, if not longer. We are trying to get her to take one bottle of formula a day so that I am not stressing if I don't make quite enough for her each day. So far my supply has been more than enough, but sometimes she takes 7 feedings in a day and that's when I get behind. And, if I do want to end pumping, I want her to be adjusted to formula for a while so we don't bother her tummy. 

Our adventure in the next month will be starting solids! I'm actually pretty hesitant to go ahead and start, so it'll likely be a s l o w introduction! I'm planning on giving her just oatmeal/rice cereal until 5 months. No need to rush!

Oh, and man... I feel like she's going through a growth spurt every couple of weeks! I feel like Maleah's were more spaced out, but it seems like every time we turn around, Macey's hungry hungry hungry!

Activity = Macey Ellen is quite the wiggle worm! She is trying SO hard to roll from her back to her tummy. She'll get it! She has been practicing overnight as she turns herself around and around in the pack & play. She will seriously make a 360 turn during the night (I get up sometimes and check on her). It cracks me up how she can spin herself around while swaddled! Macey holds her head up quite well and likes to sit upright. She got an excersaucer for Christmas and, although she's still a little too small for it, we'll put her in there for 10-15 minutes at a time and she LOVES it. I can tell she's going to be a busy body. She LOVES toys and loves to play! She will sit and entertain herself for a long time in her bouncy seat!

Sleep = We had a little hiccup over the Christmas holidays with naps. Seems that rocking a baby to sleep really can affect their ability to take a good, solid nap! Since things were so crazy, I was holding her longer before her naps and when she would transition sleep cycles, she would wake up SCREAMING mad and could only be comforted if you rocked her. Then it turned from rocking her back to sleep to not being able to put her back down at all. This was fine for a few naps. But then it was EVERY single nap and it just wasn't working!!! So, we had to nap train her a little and she got back on track. At home, she usually naps in the swing or in her rocker and sometimes needs to be soothed in the middle of the nap, but she's gotten much better about going back to sleep and finishing the rest of her nap. Then she wakes up smiling and happy! 

We are trying to get her to sleep in the pack & play in our room so that we can eventually move her to her crib in the girls' room. She is actually doing really well sleeping in our room, but we're kinda ready to get our room back to ourselves! Plus, their room is literally right next to ours, so she won't be far away at all! Right now she tends to rouse around 2/3am and need to be comforted, so we're going to wait until she's really solidly sleeping through the night before we move her. Honestly, I'm kinda tempted to just put her crib in our room and share the room until she can have a room of her own. We'll see about that. ;) 

Life = We are somewhat adjusted to live with two kids. It's honestly been a really challenging phase. I mean, going from "none to one" is pretty tough, but at least you can get a little relief. If I was exhausted, Blake could take Maleah for a little while and let me nap. That's not the case anymore. We usually divide & conquer - we each take a child and do whatever they need. And then we pass out after bedtime! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Macey at 3 Months

How can it be that my little baby is 3 months old already!? This past month that I've been back to work has made time seem to fly by, that's for sure! Here's a little about Macey at this age... 

Eat = Macey eats every 3 hours, but now she regularly takes 4 oz at a time. She has dropped her early morning (4-5am) feeding, so she takes 6 bottles a day (6:30a/9:30/12:30p/3:30/6:30/10)! She is still fed breast milk exclusively and I'm really proud of myself for making it this far with my trusty pump! 

Activity = We have a rolling baby! She rolled for the first time the day after she turned 12 weeks. It was SO fun to watch! I really didn't expect to have that same excitement with Macey as with Maleah. But I was SO excited and it made my heart so happy to watch her roll over for the first time! Macey is still a super happy and relaxed baby. She likes to see what's going on around her and loves to be held. And she loves watching mobiles! I don't ever remember Maleah being particularly interested in mobiles, but Macey loves one. I think Santa might bring her one for Christmas! One funny thing about Macey is that she likes movement... A LOT. If she is sleepy while we're driving, she will be calm while the car is in motion but if we get to a red light... my, oh my does she let me know she's not happy we have stopped! 

Sleep = Macey is sleeping through the night now. WOO HOO! She takes her last bottle around 10pm and goes until 6/6:30 before she is hungry again. She still rouses some around 4am, so we're working to help her stay asleep. Sometimes all it takes is a pacifier and sometimes it takes a little extra effort (like finding something safe for her to snuggle with!). We are working on crib training her since she's sleeping so well. Hopefully by Christmas/Near Years she'll be in her crib all night. We're just taking it slowly! Macey is not the best napper, but she does nap! It just isn't totally consistent - she might sleep for 45 minutes, wake up for half an hour, and drift back off to sleep. Who knows, haha. She's such a mellow baby that I just kinda let her do what she will! 

Other = Macey has had her first cold this past week. :( She was really fussy over the weekend and earlier in the week, but it seems to be subsiding and our happy baby is returning! 

Overall things are going really well! Macey is just the perfect addition to our family. She is usually very happy and content. When she does get fussy, it's pretty easy to figure out what's wrong and help her calm down. Maleah is doing really well as big sister. She loves Macey and is really proud of her. She likes talking to her and showing her toys and her things. She is starting to be okay with the boundaries we have set and the jealousy is subsiding some. I'm trying to incorporate the girls' routines as much as I can so that they are doing things together (like going to bed, for instance) instead of separately. 

I won't lie, though, working full-time on top of taking care of two kids has really been exhausting. Blake does just as much with them and around the house as I do and, yet, we still can't stay on top of our to-do lists! We are just kinda making it at this point... but we know things will get a little easier with time. I am learning to just do what absolutely NEEDS to get done and try to get to the rest when we have time. I think part of the stress is that I went back to work right as the busy holiday season was picking up. Once we are done with this weekend (our church's Christmas program), we will be able to relax a little more. Plus, Blake will be done with tutoring and can be home every night of the week! Yay!