Fiona in January

Fiona in January

Friday, August 31, 2012

What's In A Name?

So Baby Knives is almost 11 weeks old and already has a myriad of nicknames.  The reigning favorite lately is "Bug".  The other day, her daddy actually stopped and asked me why I started calling her that and I had to stop and I thought I'd catalog the many names of Baby Knives:

- Baby Knives
- Fiona (her actual first name)
- Fi
- Snuggle Bug (the origin of the next name)
- Bug
- Babybug
- Babygirl
- "my little poopy" (in Spanish - but I can't quite figure out how to spell it)

That last one tends to surface on the days when her daddy has to clean up one of those epic dirty diapers only parents of infants understand!

And here she is, the subject of so many of my latest blog posts...hanging with her best friend the little turtle (who we've aptly named Yertle - thanks to Dr. Seuss) and having a true meeting of the minds.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Baby Knives' Favorite Things

It's been a busy few weeks, and I've been lax in my blog posting! Baby Knives is growing and very happy most days. Every once in awhile she has a rough day where she's just not happy and won't settle - unfortunately one of those days was yesterday.

Her favorite things lately include splashing around in her bathtub and giving her mommy heart attack by trying to dive under the water! She'll plant her little feet on her playmat and arch her back, trying to twist sideways and roll over...but she hasn't gotten her upper body quite coordinated into the effort yet, so we're still a little ways away from her mobile days (I hope).

She loves to hear stories and I tried to read to her every day, right now we're still working our way through Winnie-the-Pooh but look forward to even more stories soon. She also has discovered her reflection in mirrors - her favorite one is on the underside of her little stuffed turtle and she can happily babble away at it for most of the day.

For now, check out some of our latest photos!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Winnie the Pooh and Baby Knives Too

Baby Knives is officially 2 months old and I swear, aside from middle of the night feedings, time is flying by!  She holds her head up really well now, aside from the occasional accidental head butt to my sternum, and is starting to interact with toys.  She loves her little play mat with toys dangling from it and has started getting really vocal - which is so fun!

It makes such a difference for me now that she really responds to my voice and presence, even though she's not forming real words, she "talks" to me when I hold her and play with her - its amazing.

I still think she look a lot like her Daddy (see the identical squishy faces?), but other people say that she's starting to look like me too - I guess we'll see as she gets older!

I've started reading to her lately, we're working our way through the weighty tome that is The Complete Tales of Winnie The Pooh and she babbles along her own commentary and lets me know what she thinks of Pooh going after honey and getting stuck in Rabbit's house...its become a fun part of our day when she's up from her long nap.

Her napping is still kind of erratic, but I can usually count on a good 3-4 hour nap in the middle of the day so that helps a little bit.  Hopefully in the next month her sleeping habits will become even more regular!

Check out my latest video of her - she loves Winnie the Pooh...or at least the sound of me reading it to her!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

When God Gets Ironic

Have you ever had one of those days that was a complete train wreck? Yesterday was one that my husband and I felt we barely survived.  Baby Knives was a wreck and so were we.  She woke up at 6am and didn't sleep more than 30 minutes at a time (and that was rare) all day long and was just fidgety and upset.  She was exhausted, you could see it in her little face, but she'd fall asleep and then wake up 10-15 min. later for no reason we could find.  Poor kiddo...and poor us!

Thankfully, after tears from both baby and Mommy, two explosive dirty diapers, three major spitups and two baths, at about 9:30pm she finally fell asleep.  We held our collective breaths and she kept sleeping...all the way til 3:30am!  Then she went down for another 2 hours after eating, and then again and right now (at 9:45am), she's been sleeping for another hour.  I could cry in relief...and probably will!

I know days like this are just part of being a parent and you have bad days no matter what age your child is, and I love that little munchkin to death, but yesterday I was constantly questioning how I can do this, keep some semblance of my sanity and take care of my daughter.  It seems the most basic thing, to be able to figure out what's wrong, why she's upset and be able to fix it.  Isn't that a huge part of what motherhood is?  And yesterday nothing worked...I was feeling like a huge failure as a parent and hated that we were all miserable and nothing we came up with made anything better.

When she finally went down at 9:30 and we started to actually believe she might stay asleep for more than 30 minutes, I almost didn't take the time to sit down with my devotional book and Bible before bed...but I've been trying to make it more of a habit and a way to unwind before I fall asleep at I picked it up.  I've been reading a book called, "Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God" and each chapter is only about 3-4 pages and includes a short story about the author's experience and challenges raising her kids and has a scriptural tie-in.  It's a breath of fresh air and encouragement at the end of my day and has become a reminder to take it one day at a time and try to focus on the good days and happy moments, especially after a day like this!

Last night's chapter was called "The Pruning Hand of God".  This is the passage from the book that I swear God had jump off the page and smack me in the forehead:

A well-pruned vineyard looks stark. Dead. But only the pruned vineyard will produce fruit in season.  Likewise, my motherhood is often the tool God uses to prune me in order to produce healthy fruit. 

Before children, the garden of my spiritual life seemed productive, with neat rows and happy plants. Children upset my tried and true "quiet time".  Their late-night feedings wore my patience thin, their inherent neediness exposed my selfish heart. My spiritual garden had grown out of control. Children revealed to me my need for the "Gardener" and his gentle pruning hand.

When life is crazy and children are screaming, remember that God is using these very circumstances to prune your self-sufficiency.  Remember the hopeful truth that God is never closer to the "branches" than when He is pruning.

As if that passage didn't speak to me clearly enough, the Biblical tie-ins nailed it home.

John 15:1-2 - "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."

Galatians 5:22-23 - The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.  Against such things there is no law."

John 15:16 - "You did not choose me, but I c hose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last."

Bad days will come, I can't control that - all I can do is hang on and survive them, focusing on the One who can give me the strength to get through them, who cares enough to be with me every step of the way to make me a better wife and mother through these days.