Sunday, April 27, 2008

a week in words...and pictures

mommy and loralai time - we have some good laughs during the day.

before bedtime, a sleepy loralai gazing into her papa's eyes. precious.

todd's mom and loralai (aka: baby bird)
me and loralai checking out the backyard.

a rough patch on the weekend called for some snuggles. sweet sweet baby.

mom playing with loralai.

let's see...sleep. i'm in need of it. last weekend i found myself breathing like a guppy. i had the worst cold. and still, it lingers. i have these cough attacks that make me nearly gag. pretty, huh? so at one point i was nursing the baby in the middle of the night with a mask over my face. uh huh. like the ones you see people wear when they're painting and such. you laugh. i wasn't playin'. consider the feeling of knowing you gave your baby a cold. so now this week, i'm determined to kick the cold's butt. or at least part of its butt. it seems to be a strong little cold. enough about that.

we had a few visitors last week. my mom and todd's - different days, but similar adventures. they came to love on the loralai and give me a nice wave hello. babies definitely take front seat over mamas - but how can you blame them? babies are awesome. they are, in my opinion, the most innocent thing that God has given us so far. even when she's screaming her head off or won't settle in for a nap, i can't get mad at this baby. she's just so precious. she cry cry cries...i go in to finally get her out of her crib and what does she do? smile. what a stinker.

so nothing new, really, to report. i'm considering trying to get back into shape. ha. laughable most days. b/c most days i'm so pooped by the time todd gets home - the time of day that i actually have a little bit of time to maybe possibly go for a run - that i just want to crash by the time he gets home. so today i did some pushups, did my arm weights and then went for a walk w/ loralai (in hopes that she'd sleep in the stroller for her last nap of the day - no such luck. instead she laughed at me when i would lean in the stroller to tell her to sleep. again, stinker.).

so maybe one day when i get more of a rhythm to my day - like in a few months, possibly? - when loralai is a little older, stays awake longer, sleeps less during the day - maybe theeennn i'll be able to get back into my workout routine. until then, here's to situps, pushups, squats and arm weights in between feeding the baby.

some days, while being a mom is the most wonderful thing in all the world, and nursing is the sweetest time EVER with my baby - i swear i feel like a milk cow.

who knew :)

Monday, April 21, 2008

the weigh in...

a sleepy sleepy loralai staring at a fan; waiting for dinner.

the aftermath of getting her shots. crash.

nine weeks later our 9lb 9oz and 21in. baby is weighing in at 13lb 4oz and 23.5 inches.

today was loralai's two month checkup - which meant shots. yowza. that was painful to watch. but she was a trooper. a few loud screams and then she just crashed on the ride home. poor little babe. it wore her out to go to the dr's and get those shots.

but man, i just can't believe that two months have passed. i can't believe how quickly she's growing and i'm just in awe of all the new things she does daily. i used to think it was crazy how other moms used to go on and on about their child's progress. but now i get it. i just want to tell the world that loralai smiles and giggles,and reaches up for us, and wiggles around in her crib, and turns her head to look at us when we walk in her room to get her.

i'm just so smitten with this baby. she's the best thing that ever happened to todd and i. i'm so thankful that the past two months have been filled with her. mm mmmm. God knew exactly what he was doing when he created babies.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

inside out...

being a stay-at-home mom is the best thing i've ever done. but i have to say that i'm so thankful for having worked at ppd. it was there that i made some of my best friends. who knew that while making trackers for trackers and getting mad at people for taking your print jobs or pottying in public would result in real friendship. i guess God knew and had a really good sense of humor when he put four pregnant women on one row of cubes. talk about hormones :)

but one in particular ended up being a treasure. rachel and i were pregnant together - and while she delivered in november and i in february, the time we had together at work was priceless. and hilarious. every day we would check in with each other and laugh or cry about the high's and low's of pregnancy. we would compare about what hurt on our bodies, what had changed, what we could not see anymore, how many times had we pottied that day (lots of our conversations ended up happening in the bathroom - we considered moving our computers in there b/c of the time spent there), or what was the latest food craving or meal we cooked. truly, i think that she helped to keep me sane, and undoubtedly was a source of encouragement for me.

so it was such a treat when she delivered her baby, faith. i remember her leaving me a voice mail to tell me that faith had been born. hearing her cry over the phone still makes me smile - the sound of her voice announcing that her baby had arrived was priceless. joy.

and today, finally, our girls got to meet. no more big bellies for us -yay! just two sweet little baby girls who couldn't quit staring at each other and checking out the other. it was just so neat to finally get to introduce them to each other. for so long rachel and i had talked about how much we longed to see our babies. and we talked about them seeing each other one day - not that babies can talk from womb to womb..but there's just something special about being pregnant at the same time and spending so much time together when you are. so to see these two little ones together was so sweet.

and man are they cute!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

8 weeks later

so today todd and i walked around the yard with loralai. we were showing her all of the new things growing - a blueberry bush, azaleas, lantana, verbena, rose bush, irises, etc - and then we took pictures. and one of the pictures was just a wow kind of picture. i stood in the same place i stood 8 weeks ago - the day before i gave birth.

before we went to the hospital, todd took a few last pictures of his enormously pregnant wife. it's amazing to me, looking back at those pictures, that i was able to walk every day carrying a nearly 10lb baby in my belly. and then there i stood holding my nearly - who knows, i'm guessing 13+ pound baby (she's in her 3 month clothes now.). it's just amazing (i can't find another word) to me that my body carried loralai - that inside of me she was created. when she's in bed at night and i get to go in and peek at her while she sleeps - i just stare in awe. i never knew that it would be so much fun and so awesome to be a mom. every day it just gets sweeter.

42 weeks prego

8 weeks later

Saturday, April 12, 2008


The other day I indulged a bit and held my baby through the end of her nap. She woke early and I held her for about 15 minutes while she slept. And through her little baby dreams, escaped smiles, a scrunched up nose and sweet little giggles. I sat there rocking her, breathing in her sweet scent and kissing the top of her head.

And as we rocked I whispered to her: I will gladly hold you forever.

As I spoke those words, God spoke back to me: I will gladly hold you forever.

When your focus is on your infant, there are days that the world is foggy and the only thing clear is wanting to soothe the little life in your hands. And because your vision becomes tunneled, you sometimes find yourself weary. Your days are spent holding and loving everyone around you. And every moment that you’re able to love, you realize it was for these moments that you were created. You were created to love and hold and cherish and adore.

But at some point your batteries run low and you remember that as much as you were born to love – you were also born to be loved. You were made to love God but also to be loved by God. You were made to receive love as much as you were made to give love. And it’s so easy in our troubled days, our sleepy eyes, our busy hours, to forget what it is to receive love. Sometimes it’s in a phone call, an email, a hug or even in a quiet moment when you’re rocking your baby that the love you have just poured out on your sweet one was so tenderly returned by a reminder from the Father.

When I worship at church, I often dance with Jesus. It may sound odd, but I do. As I’m singing sounds of praise, I can see a dance floor laid out. And then Jesus takes me by the hand and we dance. For a few moments, the seas part and the dance floor is made just for the Lord to hold me and carry me across a golden ballroom. And when the music stops, Jesus hugs me for a moment and then we gracefully part. For me, that time is a time of rejuvenation. I am reminded of the absolute fluid and never ending love that God has for me through Christ.

And while I whispered: I will gladly hold you forever. God was reminding me that it was He who first held me and who promises to hold me forever. It’s up to me, to us, to slow enough to experience the dance, to feel the hug, to accept the offer of kindness and to rest when we allow ourselves to feel God extend himself to us in the most simple of ways.

I will gladly hold my baby forever.

It would be my delight to stroke her hair every day, to kiss her sweet cheeks, to hold her feet in my hands, to pat her back, to gaze into her eyes and to cherish her every smile and wet kiss. I imagine that it would also be God’s delight to take pleasure in us just the same – and I imagine that, like a parent, it would bring him such joy knowing that his babies understand his love and return it not because they have to, but because not returning it would never enter their minds.

When you are held by God, it is forever. His promise is to love us forever. And just like a mother desperately wants her baby to remember and be able to recollect her love when it’s most needed – so does God desperately want us to call on Him.

He will gladly hold us forever if we let him.

1John 4:7
7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

1John 4:19
19We love because he first loved us.

Monday, April 7, 2008

come ON kathy!

we're out of food. unless you enjoy eating lots of rice, dry cereal and canned veggies - we're out of food. i didn't want to make the trip to wal-mart, but it was inevitable. uggh. i thought that monday, mid-day, would be a safe bet for a low traffic wal-mart. but apparently unless loralai and i go after her 2a.m. feeding, there is NEVER a low traffic day at wal-mart. but we were doing good. great even. loralai was in the front carrier and snoozing away. and then...we made it to the front of the store and i wanted to cry. out of the 20+ registers, there were only 8 open. why? someone PLEASE tell me why this is? is it just to make us hopeful that one day checking out at wal-mart will be stress free? are the other 12 registers just for looks - just to say 'hey you shopper. just immmaaagggine if i was open. life would be so much smoother right now.'

instead, i stare at the register lights not turned on and i curse the wal-mart manager.

but still. still i thought we were doing good. loralai was still snoozing and hanging in there. and then it happened. blink. blink. i see her butterfly eyelashes start to flutter and then open. dang it. i knew i was in for it. but i had to stick it out b/c i wasn't going to eat black beans and cheese for lunch again this week. (delicious, huh?) so i begin the bounce sway thing that all desperate moms do when they know their baby is nearing a break down. and it's working - sort of. loralai's eyes flash here and there taking in all the crazy colors and stimulation that consumes wal-mart. and FINALLY after 30 minutes of line waiting (i am NOT kidding) i make it to the register.

and do you know what? it gets worse. kathy - my check out lady says "awwee, what a cute baby." my response, "uh huh. thanks," as i look at loralai who's looking more and more distressed. and i realize something - it's going to take more than 20 minutes for kathy to check us out. why? b/c she is carefully and strategically placing items in bags based on their food category. all canned items together. all veggies together. all meat get the picture. and b/c she didn't post a sign stating her check out strategy, i didn't organize my cart as such and therefore her picking through my groceries to organize was taking a year. all i could think was - ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! so very lovingly i say to kathy, "i don't mean to rush you, but if you don't hurry, she's going to have a melt down." kathy just looked up at me. not a glare. not a concession. just a look. well what the heck does that mean? apparently it meant 'back up off my strategy little mama. I AM the check out lady. not you.' so i wait patiently. and i just stare at her as loralai begins to wail.

well, i told her so.

have a good day wal-mart.

next time i'm sending todd in by himself. either that or i'm really going to go in the middle of the night...and i'm steering clear of all OCD cashiers. that you know, once back in the car loralai ended up calming down a bit and then ate for an eternity when we got home. i think she was a little stressed ;)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

a weekend to smile about

this weekend was such a good weekend. friday, jordan came over and visited with me and loralai. it was especially nice having her here for a little bit. i forget how much like family she is to me. i guess when you live with someone, there's always that connection. i remember getting ready to go out on the town, in college, with her and maribeth. i think i liked us all getting ready together just as much as going out. not having sisters growing up, she and maribeth ended up being the closest thing to sisters that i had. and after we moved apart, my wardrobe really shrunk.

me, kate, jordan, jenn and kelli

then saturday night i met up with some of my other college friends while they went out to eat. i showed up late b/c i had to feed the baby before hand, but still was able to be a grown up for a few minutes that night. and what a treat. that group of girls always makes me laugh. it was such a breath of fresh air to get out and be with my girlfriends and laugh.

.such a cute little baby in her dress.

on sunday todd and i got out of the house and went for a long walk at carolina beach around the lake. i think we ended up walking about 3.5 miles. the weather was perfect. and because it was so warm, i dressed loralai in something more Spring-ish -a dress. she's never worn a dress...and i have to say, she pulls it off nicely ;) she was such a cutie. she snoozed in the dress as we walked. it was suh a good and relaxing day. all weekends should be this good.

after all that walking: bath time :)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Butt shakin', feet stompin', belly jigglin' heck of a good time...

tonight when todd got home from work, i had already put the baby down for her last nap of the day. dinner was going in the oven and i was itching for a walk. it's been so pretty here this afternoon - after the rain passed. and since it's supposed to rain the rest of the week, i thought this might be my only shot at a walk. so he said that he would listen out for the baby and for me to go ahead.

but sadly, my nano wasn't charged - so no good tunes to listen to. but i did have my old shuffle. and even though i haven't listened to it in at least a year, that sucker still had a charge. go figure. Go God! i needed this walk.

it was my first walk on my own without loralai in her stroller. i love going for walks with her, but i had forgotten how good it feels to just go.

but there was something holding me back. ME. there i was walking and thinking - i want to run. so y'all, i proceeded to run. my first attempt at running since giving birth. and let me just tell ya - things jiggled on this body that have never jiggled. my belly is looser than it's ever been. and my butt was screaming at me. with every smack of my foot on the pavement, it felt like the meat on my toosh was ripping away from the bone. and my boobs - well the milk was properly shaken for loralai's next feeding. but really, it was so liberating.

two minutes i ran. two minutes i walked. off and on for the duration of my little 30 minute excursion. will i feel this tomorrow? i sure as heck hope so! this woman needs to feel some progress being made on her body. i ran i thought about beth moore. she goes for walks in her neighborhood and sings her Jesus music to the hills while her neighbors look on at her and shake their heads. well i didn't have any good Christian music to run to - but i did have beyonce. so there i was singing beyonce's music out loud and i started thinking - this definitely praises Jesus. feeling this kind of goodness is a hug straight from God.

i felt the best i've felt in a long time running. and that is DEFINITELY a praise. and let me tell you what, if this body is a temple of the holy spirit, then Jesus hold your britches b/c i'm fixin' to get this body in tip top condition. i'm going to be rockin' a body that gives healthy opportunity to glorify the kingdom as long as possible.

so here's to learning how to enjoy a new body and feeling good for the run.