Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012 in Canton GA

Liam's First Christmas! (in the outfit I made him from my dad's old sweater)

Liam on Christmas Eve in his new jammies-- made from a flannel receiving blanket

Cousin Time!  Liam & Roo bonding

Best family Christmas pic we got --at Woodstock Baptist Church

Eowyn in her new Christmas Jammies (made from my
grandma's turtleneck)
Cousins.  They are 3 months apart.

Eowyn got a Fisher Price nativity set-- we are growing our basket of special Advent/Christmas toys, and I love it!
(one funny moment was when I heard her making a "whoo-oo-whoo--oo" noise while playing, and her explanation was "Mary's pumping for Baby Jesus.")

Poppy the Bearded One

Christmas Dinner at Grams & Poppy's (Ryan's parents) down in Canton GA

"Poppy", Ryan & Greg (his older brother) making breakfast the morning after Christmas--
one of Ryan's gifts (really a gift to me & the kids too!) was an all-male breakfast-cooking lesson from the experts!

Possibly my very favorite Christmas picture from this year

Liam opening gifts with Daddy

Opening his gift from Mommy & Daddy

Singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus-- Eowyn helped bake the cake!!  It was a bit crumbly but tasted amazing!  We joked that it was a birthday crumb-pile, lol.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mom's Christmas Surprise

The biggest Christmas gift I worked on this year was for my mom.  While she & my dad were off celebrating their Silver Anniversary in Costa Rica...
My sister Nicole & I (with Dad as our financial backer) were re-doing her downstairs back at home.  Yes, my sister lives 5 hours away in NC and we have 3 little ones between us.  We plotted & schemed for weeks leading up to it, organizing babysitters, buying groupons, & planning purchases.  She drove down with her baby girl and stopped at IKEA on the way (so wonderful on a budget!).  Wonderful friends pitched in to help watch our kids (and enjoy Eowyn's dress-up clothes):

Eowyn & I baked dinners & breakfasts-to-go ahead of time:

And we did it!!  We hired a painter to repaint the stairwell & upstairs hallway, we hung a wall of pictures, we framed and arranged family portraits & artwork Mom's "always wanted to hang", bought new furniture (found at TJ Maxx, Craigslist, Marshall's & Hobby Lobby), and many more small tasks.

Mom. Was. Thrilled.

Score for Dad. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Letters to Liam- 5 Months

I love your new little tucked-lip-smile!
My dear little man-

You've really started to be on the move this month.  It started with rolling over, then you added dragging yourself along, and now you positively army crawl, your arms smacking rhythmically and your toes grasping for purchase on our hardwood floors.  You push yourself to nearly a sitting position, sometimes forgetting to balance and tipping over.  When you smack yourself on the floor or a toy, you show us the Drama King within by screaming with more rage then pain.  However, kisses from Mama quickly make it all better!  You've got the arms of a swimmer and anything you grab (paper is a favorite, and diaper rash cream a new attempt today) goes straight into that adorable little mouth of yours.  Family dinner table with you involves lots of prevention and re-snatching.  You have found your feet and grin at me with extra glee when you grab both socks in your meaty little hands and p-u-l-l.  Such fun!  Your favorite spot is in my arms, though anyone's arms are better than no one's-- yesterday your grandpa GB carried you for much of the evening, remarking "you sure like to be held, don't you?"  Daddy complains that whenever he picks you up, you immediately crane as far over as possible, so as not to miss any view advantage.

Speaking of Daddy, he is definitely your favorite dude.  Mrs. Wendy gave you a cool camo outfit that says "Daddy's sidekick," and that is the truth!  A few nights ago you started crying when he left the room and lit up when he came back for you.  He loves coming into your field of vision because your face erupts in a smile and you begin your "happy flap," kicking and grinning.  You also grin lots for your sister.  All three of us love to elicit chuckles and belly laughs from you, either by playing "peek-a-boo!" or by tickling your little chin or your ribs.  You have the best laugh.

You've begun sleeping pretty consistently through the night from 9ish to 6ish with a dream-feed around midnight on most nights (some nights you skip this and make Mommy VERY happy).  I sing "Be Thou My Vision" to you and this settles you down really well.  You are nursing 90% of the time, with me only giving you a bottle with added probiotics every 3 days or so.  I love this.  You seem to, too.  Your digestion seems to be settling down (yay!) so the bottles are reserved for days when other people watch you... however, lately, you've begun to prefer to just wait until I get home --so far Daddy, Nina and Tia Olga are the only ones you've taken a bottle for!  After all I've gone through to get you to nurse, this is a-o-k with me!

I've let you taste a few things here and there-- kefir, yogurt, pumpkin, banana, egg yolk-- but nothing more than a taste.  For now you are thriving on mama's milk and I am happy to stick with that.  You are very long & lean, wearing 9-12 month clothes for the length.  Anything smaller and your poor little forearms and calves get so cold!  With your gentle hands and good coordination I think Poppy might have his little athlete after all.

You babble so sweetly, and when you get tired complain "daa-dee-daa-dee-de-de-de."  (I think this means Daddy should get up with you at night.)  You chew your fingers, suck a paci to sleep at times (like in church against my chest in your Ergo every Sunday), are fascinated with tags (the taggy ball from Grandma & Grandpa is a hit!) and love to gum Sophie & an iris-root from Switzerland.  You like something against your cheek when you drift off-- like one of your "bo-bos" (burro, puppy or doggy), your taggy blanket, mommy's shirt or your crib bumper.  It's so cute to watch you rub your little eyes or burrow your face into my chest. You have a "pick me up!" paddle you do when you've had enough floor time.  You also are learning "no toques" and have mastered "quieto" (be still).  When instructed not to touch something (like Nina's Chinese vase or the power strip), you stop, look at me, and begin tapping one foot thoughtfully.  Then you either go for it or turn away.  When I turn you around and get you interested in something else, you'll eventually start going back for it, and without fail you stop and look for me, as if to ask "so... can I go eat it now?"  

I love you so dearly, my little boy.  These arms are glad to hold you and I don't think any child could be more kissed.  I pray over you every night, that the Lord would multiply all the love going into you and use you to carry His love to the nations.  You have a heavy responsibility, my son-- to whom much is given, much shall be required, and you are daily given so much.

Praying you learn to run to Jesus very very soon,
--your Mommy

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Why I Ask What I Ask

I just re-read an excellent book, and this quote jumped out at me as capturing so well why I take the time to research rather than take for granted, and then go further by encouraging those around me to research, too.
"Priya never recieved her MMR due to her egg allergies, but otherwise was fully immunized.  After putting her on an elimination diet, she improved greatly.  She started to grow, and to sleep better.  She was happier and more alert. The dietary changes helped her, but her immune system remained hyperactive and hypersensitive, and never fully recovered. Priya died of an anaphylactic reaction to a trace amount of peanut in an egg roll.  I wish I could turn back time.  I wish I knew then what I know now, about the effects of vaccines and heavy metals on a developing immune system.  I sought out the people I thought would help, but I was sent down a path that led to tragedy."
~ Dr. Anju Usman, MD speaking of her daughter in a presentation on nutrient therapy & a biomedical view of ASD.  Quoted in Healing the New Childhood Epidemics, by Dr. Kenneth Bock (MD)
I never want a friend of mine to have to say those words.  If even one family is spared that kind of "I wish I'd known" burden because they looked into something rather than just going with the flow, then all the effort of blogging, posting, reading, talking and writing will be worth it.  In this world we all will suffer; there's no way around it.  But I would far rather have suffering come from something I could not prevent or foresee than through something I brought into my own life, even unknowingly!  Let's always try to go ahead with eyes wide open!!

This is why it's worth it to me to bring up issues like vaccines, water purity, breast-feeding, responsible farming and cheap manufacturing from child slavery.  Yes, it risks offending some because they think I'm judging them (I'm not, I promise.  I'm just asking you to ask some questions for a minute.).  But if the price tag might be higher than you're willing to pay, wouldn't you want to know that up front?  Again, I'm not saying I KNOW the final price tag on any of these or other issues-- my goal isn't to put my own answer out there for everyone to agree with.  My goal is to get the questions, the prayers, the asking started, so that God can guide you, whomever you are reading this, in areas where you might not have thought to even ask for guidance.  In each of these areas (and many more besides), someone else did so for me.

(Dr. Usman, quoted above, had her first 3 children fully vaccinated (minus the MMR for Priya) on schedule and all three of them suffer from many allergies and auto-immune conditions.  She chose to not vaccinate her youngest, and he is free from any such disease.  While this isn't a controlled matched study, it is startling.  I highly recommend the book! And no, Dr. Bock isn't anti-vaccine; he's just leery of the current CDC schedule and certain ingredients in today's vaccines.  He has a suggested vaccination schedule in an appendix of his book.)