Saturday, March 24, 2012

First Family Hike with Four. Make that Five.

It's been unseasonably warm, so we took advantage of a free Saturday morning and headed to Palmer Park. 

Lorien was quite the trooper. She hiked for almost an hour, wearing her floppy purple hat and her sunglasses. Most of the time she was carrying big bear and her water bottle too. She also saw her first horse. A rider passed us while we were on the trail. 

What a crew! Josh, Xander, Josiah, Lorien, and Mommy makes five. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Are we gonna baptism Josiah?"

On Sunday, March 18, we had the privilege of baptizing our son with family and friends in attendance. Neither Josh nor I grew up in a tradition that included infant baptism, but we have come to appreciate it. 

This baptism isn't like adult baptism, which symbolizes an adult's decision to follow Christ and identify with him in his death and resurrection. Instead, infant baptism symbolizes a child's welcome into the people of God. As Josiah's parents, Josh and I promised to raise him to know God and his love. And along with us, the congregation promised to live in such a way before Josiah that he would have every opportunity to come to know God. We prayerfully look forward to a time when Josiah is able to accept God's love, forgiveness and salvation for himself, thus bringing his baptism full circle.

(The title of this post was Lorien's question to us as we walked into church that morning. At least she knew something special was going on.)

Senior Pastor Jim Singleton prays for Josiah

"I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Food, Dude!

In addition to hitting the six-month mark, Josiah started eating solid foods this week. His first food was avocado, and of course, the faces he produced in response were fabulous!

Josiah - Six Months

Josiah turned six months old on March 14.

These blue eyes are just too much!

Friday, March 9, 2012

On Going Without

I find myself in an odd (for me) dietary situation: going without desserts, candy and wheat products.

It all started in January when our church decided to do a corporate fast to pray for some big upcoming decisions (including hiring a replacement for our Senior Pastor, who is leaving this summer. Remind me to write a post about how much I can't believe we're losing him!). Anyhow, I knew right away that I needed to give up sweets, because I really have a hard time with self control in that area. 

It's not hard to see why: Since about Thanksgiving of 2008, I have not had to discipline my eating habits at all. I got blessed with my mother's great pregnancy genes, meaning: I don't really get sick when I'm pregnant. But I do get really hungry. And I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, because nursing takes the weight off so fast it would make your head spin. Seriously. With both of my kids, I've been back at my pre-pregnancy weight minus ten pounds before they were six months old. Without any effort on my part at all. 

Don't hate me. :) 

But here's the problem: I can't handle that kind of freedom. It makes me have really bad habits. Which I found out the hard way when I weaned Lorien and immediately gained 15 pounds. 

I learned in college that one of the reasons for the spiritual discipline of fasting is to grow the spiritual fruit of self-control. So when the opportunity to fast came up, I knew exactly where I needed that growth the most. 

I cut out sweet things pretty hard core. Even juice at breakfast. It was good for me. But the one-week fast wasn't long enough to really change my habits. So when Lent came around, I knew I needed to do it again for the whole 40 days. (Except for birthday week, which is next week.)

And here's the complicating factor: We have suspected for weeks that Josiah has an allergy issue. (I won't say why we suspected this, except that it has to do with poop.) Since he is still exclusively nursing, his doctor encouraged me to try eliminating common allergens from my diet to see if it would make a difference. 

I started with dairy. No change. Then corn. No change. Then I had to psych myself up to eliminate wheat, because I knew that would be really hard for me. (I looooovvvee baked goods!) but once I gave up desserts for Lent, I figured I might as well go the whole way and try the wheat-free experiment too. 

Wouldn't you know it? He started sleeping through the night immediately. And the digestive evidence changed as well. 

Darn. We found the answer, and it wasn't what I wanted to hear. 

So that is the story of how I ended up sweets-deprived and more or less gluten free at the same time. (I will admit that I have bent a little on the sweets and will sometimes have sweet breakfast foods, just to help me make up for the major loss of wheat in my diet. But still no desserts or candy.)

Here are a few thoughts, in no particular order, on what I am learning so far: 

1) It is much easier to give something up for my kids than for myself. Lorien had dairy issues. Josiah has wheat issues. It has been surprisingly easy to give things up when it's their comfort at stake rather than my own. 

2) I am much better at fasting than I am at praying. Fasting is supposed to mean removing something meaningful in order to better Focus on prayer. I can be really disciplined at the fasting part, but still not get my mind focused on prayer. This is definitely something I want to grow in over the rest of Lent. 

3) Very practically, the no-wheat thing means I am learning to cook gluten-free, which means I can better serve my mother-in-law, who has been low-gluten for several years. That makes me glad. Over those years, GF often felt overwhelming to me, and I didn't have many tricks up my sleeve for meals that fit that bill. Now that I have to learn to cook this way, I am finding it less overwhelming, so that's exciting. 

That's what I know for now. Looks like the no-wheat thing will probably last at least 6 more months. And it will be interesting to see what else I learn from the Lenten fast between now and Easter.

Sick kiddos

We've been really blessed in our 2.5 years as parents to have pretty healthy kids. We've lived through a few colds and ear infections, but only one all-night stomach bug throw-up fest and no hospital visits. This week marks our first somewhat scary bout of illness.

Last Saturday night, Josiah started with a very mild cough. No big deal. By Tuesday, it was still hanging around, so I called the nurse line at our pediatrician's office. (I LOVE our doc, by the way, and the whole office staff. They are so responsive and helpful!) They said if he wasn't better on Thursday, to make an appointment. Wednesday afternoon he didn't have much of an appetite and Wednesday night he was fussy, so we decided to go ahead and take him in on Thurs.

It's a good thing we did. Thursday morning he woke up and was not himself. I got an 11 a.m. appointment, and by the time it rolled around, Josiah was lethargic, burning up and breathing hard. It was definitely a new experience for me as a parent: SO hard to see him that way. I was definitely not surprised when the swab turned up positive for RSV.

Thankfully, we were able to get him into an upward instead of downward spiral from there. Tylenol brought his fever down to where he felt good enough to nurse. The hydration thinned the mucus from the virus and made his breathing easier. Mommy and Daddy and Mimi and Papa gave him lots of love.

Then Lorien got a fever of 102 as well. So Thursday night we all had a slumber party in Mommy and Daddy's room.

Today, both kids are feeling better. Josiah is smiling and "talking" to us, which is so good to see! Lorien is relishing the excuse to lie on the couch and watch lots of Veggie Tales. Both of their fevers are staying down around 99 degrees without meds.

I remember my dad saying when I was young that we should be so thankful that God made our bodies to heal. I am indeed thankful!