Thursday, July 31, 2008

"I wish I was a Little Pea..."

When my brother was little he wrote a funny poem that he entitled "I wish I was a little pea". It went something like this:
"I wish I was a little pea. Oh, happy I would be. Heaven's where I want to be."
Ok, this may not be that funny if you don't know Ernie. He's a very tall, big, and shaved head guy who is naturally very funny. We constantly kid him about this poem to this day.
Anyway, here's a recent photo of our little ham! Check out that fabulous toothless grin. doesn't get much sweeter than this...until she learns to say I love you mommy!
Ella, dear, your smile is what makes me look forward to getting up every morning. Before you came along, I'm not sure what motivated me to get up every day. My new favorite time of day is at 7 am when I go to your crib and you flash me that beautiful smile!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

"God doesn't make fireworks..."

So, I can't possibly talk about mommyhood without bringing up my two nieces now and then. I am very lucky to have an older sister with two little girls. I've learned a lot from watching the two of them about being a mom. They are at an age where almost everything that comes out of their mouth is so funny; Abigail is 8 and Emma is 4.
Emma is definitely the motherly one of the two. She absolutely adores "baby Ella"-that's what she calls her. She would hold her all day if I let her. I think they will be good friends one day. Anyway, when I was pregnant, she asked me if I would make Ella's middle name "phant". When I asked her why, she said "Because then her name would be elephant-get it? hahaha." This was the same day she asked me how the baby was going to get out of my tummy. I, of course, said she should ask her mom that one.
Last week, Emma sat with me while I was feeding Ella. (Yes, I know it's confusing-Ella is a close name to Emma.) She looked at me with her big blue eyes and said..

"Aunt Sawah...did you know God made her?"
"Yes, Emma. I know. Why do you think He put her in my tummy?", I asked.
"Because He knew you'd be a good mommy for Ella.", Emma said.

sniffle, sniffle, sniffle (I was so touched!)

"And, Aunt Sawah, God made the trees, and puppies, and everything." Emma exclaimed.
"Yep, you're right!" I said.
"But there is one thing He didn't make...He didn't make fireworks. People made those."

Well, I wasn't going to argue with that. My daughter may forever be called "Ella-phant" by my nieces, but at least she has some smart girls to look up to!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Baby Whisperer

There is nothing better than watching your little baby's eyes roll back in her head at the end of the day and falling in to a deep least until 2:30am! I have been desperately trying to teach Ella how to fall asleep on her own. This past week, I decided to be really consistent with her. And I am happy to say, she seems to be finally getting it. There have been a lot of tears this week, but seeing the outcome makes those few awful days seem worth it. We have not yet perfected it, but she's starting to fall into a pretty good routine. We eat, then play, and when she starts yawning, it's time to go in the crib. We are using the "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" approach, which works better for us than "Baby Wise"...similar idea, but gentler approach. If you are a mom to a baby or soon-to-be mom, I'd recommend reading both...but, personally, I feel like the "Baby Whisperer" is much better and feels more natural.

It's amazing how much more rested I feel now that Ella only wakes me up once a night: To bed at 8:30, wake at 2:30, then morning time starts at 7:15 almost on the dot...with a big poopy diaper. Although I've never been a big morning person, I feel so motivated to get up because I wake up to this little person with a big, toothless smile looking up from her crib at me. Sometimes I think she's saying "Aren't you proud of me mommy? I only woke you up once!" Yes, Ella, I am VERY proud of you!

At the end of the day, every mommy has to do what works for her and for her baby. Every baby has different needs, but it feels so great when you finally feel like you have found a mothering style that works for you. It is so hard not to compare Ella to other babies, but I am learning that all mommies struggle with this. I'm sure when Ella becomes a toddler and we are faced with disciplining her, we will again have to find something that feels right to us. I pray a lot that God gives us discernment on how to raise our own unique child.

Here is my favorite quote from the "Baby Whisperer", which can be found in the first chapter of the book. It's actually the quote that made me want to keep reading it.

"Parenting should not be judged by how you feed or diaper your child or how you put your baby to sleep. Besides, we don't become good parents in the first weeks of a baby's life. Good parenting develops over years, as our children grow and you get to know them as individuals..."

I am so lucky to know many wonderful, Godly mommies! All of them have their own parenting style. I enjoy picking their brains about parenthood. From them and all the books I've read, I feel like I am able to find my own style. I'm also learning that you have to make some mistakes along the way...but, all bad habits can be broken...and Ella will never remember me putting her in her crib screaming for 20 minutes because I just needed a break...but, I digress...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

"In My Daughter's Eyes..."

I use to love country music when I was in high school. For some reason, I stopped listening to it, but I have revisited some old c.d.'s lately as I am sick of listening to the same songs over and over again on my Ipod(...was that a run on sentence?). Speaking of Ipod's, it is my guilty pleasure; I don't know how I survived before it was invented. I love music!...and I love that I can put all my favorite tunes on one little piece of equipment and take it with me anywhere...OK, I'm digressing.
So, there is a song by Martina McBride that I listened to over and over again while I was pregnant...and cried everytime I listened to it! I've heard this song a million times before, but it seems so special now that I have a daughter. The lyrics perfectly describe how a mother feels about her child. One of my favorite lines is when she sings
"...but the truth is plain to see,
she was sent to rescue me,
I see who I want to be,
In my Daughter's Eyes."

What is it about having a child that makes you instantly see all your own flaws? Who would have thought that a two month old little girl, who cannot speak words, could teach me so much about the person I want to be. I think children make you want to be better because you know that they will imitate your behavior. Although we all have some genetic predispositions that influence our personality, I really believe that most of this is learned. It scares me to death to know that I am ultimately responsible for how my child acts and behaves...and that she depends on me to teach her how to be...and that most of this teaching will come from her imitating my behavior.

I pray several times a day for Ella. I pray that she grows into a kind and gentle woman...that she's always able to find the good in people. I pray that she embraces others differences and never makes fun of others because they look or act different. I pray that she has enough confidence to go after her dreams...but enough humility that she does not think too highly of herself. More than anything, I pray that she always has faith like a that God will always be with her. I pray that she seeks God's will for her life and not mine and Andrew's desires for her.

Oh, I have so much to learn! She makes me so happy.

~Sweet Ella, you will never know the positive impact you have had on my life. But as I look at you sleeping in your crib, I can't help but cry (again). I hope you know that I am not perfect, but I will do my very best to teach you about love, patience, kindness, and about the Lord. Knowing how much I love you gives me a little insight as to how much God must love us. One day, when you have your own child, you will understand my love for you. Love, Mommy~

"...In My Daughter's Eyes, I can see the future...a reflection of who I am and what will be. And though she'll grow and someday leave... maybe raise a family...when I'm gone I hope she sees how happy she's made..for I'll be my Daughter's Eyes."-Martina McBride

Friday, July 4, 2008

"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness..."

So, I'll try and not start a political debate and keep this light and fluffy. ..

Today is the Fourth of July (Independence Day); it is the day that we commemorated the adoption of the Declaration of Independence back in 1776, declaring independence from Great Britian. Ok, so you'd think most everyone knows this...but you'd be surprised. For some people, it's time for cookouts and fireworks. For others, it's just a day they get off from work.

We all have our different views of what's going on in our country these days and with the war. Don't get me wrong, I hate that we are at war. Nobody likes this. I want these brave men and women home soon just like you. But, I also know, if they weren't doing what they are doing, our freedom that we celebrate today would be at risk. They are protecting the future of our world for my daughter and your children. Because of them, my daughter will continue to live in a country where she can vote, proclaim Christianity, and run for President if she so chooses. For this, I can never say thank you enough on behalf of my child! My grandfather fought in WWII...and who can imagine what this world would be like if Hitler had not been defeated.

Like I said, I'm not going to get into a political debate. I just want to say thank you to any one whose brother, sister, wife, husband, mother, or father is protecting us! Because of you, the little girl in the picture above gets to celebrate her first Fourth of July. God Bless America and our troops!-Sarah

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. "
(yes, I had to look this up because I couldn't remember all the words-I'm not that smart, ok? )

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Life as a New Mommy...

So, I've officially survived 8 weeks as a new mommy! People always say that becoming a parent changes your life. However, they don't tell you that it actually forms you into a better person. She is constantly teaching me how to be unselfish and patient.

Ella Grace is an answer to many fervent prayers. I say this over and over again, but she truly is our miracle child. Andrew and I are very open about our struggle with infertility. We are open about it because it helps to know someone who has gone through this...and we hope that God can use us to comfort others going through the same thing in the future. I know many people who question In-Vitro from a morality point of view. However, it was something we prayed night and day about for a long time. However, I'll talk more about all this in future blogs.

It's amazing the strength God gives mothers to take care of a newborn. Some nights when I finally shut my eyes, I wonder how I can possibly survive another night of little sleep...but, somehow I do! In the beginning, I thought surely I was going to die from sleep deprivation; but, you really do get use to it. I don't take naps during the day...I've tried, but those who know me know I'm a terrible sleeper. I look forward to Ella dropping one of these night feedings soon. She is on the small side (20th percentile for her weight), so it's going to take longer to get her sleeping longer!

Anyway, I will end this with repeating a very popular saying..."Being a mother is the hardest job you'll never get paid for." But I must say, it is the best job I've ever had!