Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Make Your Own Baby Food!

So, we started Abby on veggies and fruits last week. I decided a while ago that I want to make my own baby food- it's WAY cheaper, fresher, and I think it's actually really fun! Plus, I can just get extra of whatever fruit or vegetables I am getting for Andy and I for the week and puree hers for her. And even though commercial baby food (most of the time) doesn't have added preservatives or sugars, I'm not convinced that they are as nutritious as giving the real thing. And, it really takes hardly any extra time to do a big batch of food and freeze it in ice cube trays for the week.
Anyways, I found a GREAT website for making your own baby food, and wanted to pass it on to all my fellow young mommies out there! Check out Wholesome Baby Food DOT com if you are already doing your own baby food and want some new fun ideas, or if you are curious about starting yourself!
I'm off to the grocery store- we are trying apples and butternut squash this week!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Signs of Summer!

Summer is on its way, and this means....

Playing outside!

Working on my vegetable garden and flower beds!

Planting lots of flowers!

Eating outside!

Summer couldn't come soon enough!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tomorrow is going to be a hard day. This week has been a hard week. April 16th was the worst day of many of my student's lives, and for a lot of them, its as if they are living that day all over again. My heart is heavy for them. I have seen many tears shed already. Tomorrow I will spend the day with my brother, Dan, remembering how it felt to hear his voice that morning, relieved that he was okay, and wishing that I could just fly to Blacksburg to be with him. I am going to spend the day with my dear precious students, loving them the best that I can, just "being" with them.

Please pray for our campus tomorrow. Pray for our students, the faculty, the community of Blacksburg that loves this school so much. Pray for the media, that they would be sensitive and give people space to grieve. Pray for the families of those who were killed, and for Cho's family too- that they would be free from guilt and shame.

It is good for us to grieve and mourn. It is how we heal. And tomorrow, we will grieve together, as a community. And we will proclaim that our God is good, all the time. That we worship a God who is no stranger to suffering- that OUR God enters into our suffering, our pain, or grief, WITH us. He is not distant, and he is not silent. No other "god" can claim this. Jesus enters into our sorrow with us. Our grief reminds us that we were not made for this world- this place is not our home, and we must not cling to it. Tomorrow, as all days, we cling to the hope we have in Christ.

And HE ALONE can heal us.

Monday, April 14, 2008


John & Kate plus Ei8ht...

ever seen it?

Well if you have, you should know that many of the exchanges between John and Kate are JUST like Andy and I. John-laid back, sometimes a little oblivious, just wants to have fun. Kate-a planner, thrives on organization, gets stressed with disorder.

The funniest was tonight, durring a commericial break, an announcer's voice promotes the upcoming episode of John & Kate by saying,

"Kate just wants John to do work. John just wants Kate to chill."


And so like us, too...

All her little parts

I love nursing. I love knowing that I am providing my daughter with the best nutrition for her growing body. I love that I burn 500 calories a day, so I can eat that extra cookie, ha! I love that I never have to worry about having bottles, warm water, and formula around to get ready in a hurry when she gets hungry. I love the closeness I feel with Abby that comes from nearly 5 months of feeding her 6-8 times a day.
But most of all, I love that nursing forces me to stop everything I am doing, and for 15 minutes focus completely the needs of someone besides myself. Granted, I have learned how to surf the net with one hand (must check blogs, must check blogs!) and most of the time I can even read a book while feeding Abby. I am, afterall, the master multi-tasker. But a lot of the time, I mostly just enjoy being still with her for a few short moments.
The other afternoon I stripped Abby down and brought her outside with me as I was gardening-it was a hot day! When it was time to feed her I kept her clothes off because we were both so hot. I found myself reveling in her cute little body- what cute little toes, cute little hands, cute little belly button, cute little knees. And I started praying for her, that every part of her would be used to glorify her Father in Heaven. I prayed...

That her eyes would be fixed on the Lord, that they would not be blind to the needs of others, that they would look to that which is pure and not be captivated by the things of this world.

That her hands would do good works, that they would be lifted in praise to her God, that they would build up and not tear down.

That her feet would bring the good news of Christ to those who have not heard.

That her ears would be open and hear the word of God, and that they would hear the Lord.

That her mind would thirst for wisdom from the Lord and not from this world, would discern between what is good and true and what is not, and that it would be in awe at the wonders that God has done.

That her heart would be full of compassion for others and love for God.

Friday, April 11, 2008

News Flash!!

For the second night in a row, Abby has slept through the night!!! WaHOOO!!! Two nights ago, I fed her at 10pm and put her straight to bed, and she she woke up for the morning at 8am. Last night, I fed her last at 8:15, she fell asleep at 8:30, and woke up for the morning at 8am! Ahhhh blissful sleep.
Disclaimer: she did start fussing a little bit both nights around 1am, but only wanted her pacifier, and went right back to sleep. Her doctor had told us at her last appointment that she is big enough to be sleeping through the night, and that waking up at this time might just be out of habit. I guess he was right, so far!
It is wonderful to actually feel rested, probably for the first time since October! Let's hope she keeps it up!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

More of Abby lately

She is starting to teeth! She sticks EVERYTHING into her mouth. Sometimes, if she can't bring something to her mouth, she'll just lean forward and bring her mouth to the thing! And sometimes she even chews on her paci!

Naked babies are simply irresistable. She absolutely LOVES to be naked. sometimes when she gets really fussy all we have to do is take her clothes off and she is instantly soothed and happy.

She sits up really well now if she is propped up against something and leaning back slightly. Otherwise, she slumps forward and falls on top of herself. Sometimes she falls forward, face plants, and then just starts playing on her tummy.

This is what we walk in on when she wakes up from her naps and in the morning- a happy happy baby! Sometimes Andy and I even fight over who gets to go get Abby out of bed. She's just so fun!

This has been Abby's favorite position the past few weeks. Once she discovered her feet, and realized that she can control them and her hands, they have somehow become permanently attached. She'll grab onto her feet and roll all over the floor, ALMOST rolling over, but she just won't allow herself to let of of her feet! I think maybe she's afraid she wont be able to find them again or something. Once she figures out she can get them back, I know shell be rolling like crazy.

I recently switched Abby from the stroller that holds her carseat to the jogging stroller (thank you, Brent and Heidi!!). She LOVES it! I think she really loves being able to sit up and look at everything while we walk. I even took her jogging the other day, though I only made it about 10 minutes before I had to start walking. MAN am I out of shape! I was feeling really ambitious, so I took the "hilly" route, and about died. I felt things jiggle that aren't supposed to jiggle! Note to self: when getting back into shape post-baby, start FLAT, very, very flat. And take lots of breaks.
In this picture she is wearing an outfit she got from Aunt Kathy and Uncle Mike for Christmas- isn't she so stylish? She looks like she's ready for a work out. Thanks Mike and Kathy!!

Bruiser likes to stretch out next to Abby when she's on the floor, and lately she has started grabbing onto his hair and "petting" him. He is even starting to get somewhat protective of her. It is a-dor-a-ble!

Abby loves reading the Bible in the morning with her daddy!

Ok, so I TOTALLY did not plan this. I put this outfit on Abby and set her next to Andy on the couch, and then realized that they matched and looked like they could be out of a magazine- JCrew or something. But, I thought it was pretty darn cute. Abby loves sitting next to us on the couch and just looking around. We don't normally let her watch TV, but in this picture they are watching basketball. I can't deny her some March Madness!

We love our baby girl! She has been such a joy to us since day one, and brings more and more love and joy into our home as she grows. How thankful we are for this blessing from the Lord. It's hard to believe that this time a year ago I was just starting to get over the SHOCK of the news that we were pregnant, and couldn't imagine my life with a little one around. I couldn't imagine the sacrifice it would take to raise a child- the sleepless nights, the way my body would change, having to put someone elses needs before mine, how I spend my time, the change in my social life (or lack of one, sometimes!), and my selfishness. And to be honest, at the time it all felt pretty overwhelming and not always completely exciting. Now, though, I can't imagine my life WITHOUT her around, and all of the sacrifices seem so insignificant compared to what I have gained. The Lord knew what he was doing when he created her and formed her in my womb, when he brought her into our lives, and in the midst of the hardest trial of our lives! Her name means "father in rejoicing" and "joy of the father." She has taught me so much about how much my King loves me, and how he rejoices over us! She is a tangible expression of Gods incredible love for us. I hope that I never forget this as long as she lives.

Spring Break 2

After leaving Nags Head, we spent the rest of the week in Charlottesville with the Berlins. My dad hadn't seen Abby since Christmas, so we were long overdue for a visit!! One new exciting thing about this visit: my parents let Bruiser come, too! Normally we stick him in a kennel because my dad is allergic to most dogs. But, since Bruiser has short hair and doesn't shed a ton, and they have wood floors, we got to bring him along with us. He LOVED it- I think mainly because there was so much more room for him to roam around than at our house in Blacksburg (three whole floors!). I also think we convinced my mom that she needs to get a dog.

The funniest moment was when we let Bruiser explore the basement. Our old couch from Harrisonburg is down there- we used to let him sleep on it when he was a puppy. As soon as he got downstairs he went straight for the couch, jumped on it, tail wagging profusely, and went crazy, snuggling into the cushions! In this picture of him with Matt, you can see that he is curled up on one of the cushions- we took one upstairs with us and he slept on it the whole weekend!

My parents were so cute with Abby. She has gotten so interactive and is really fun to play with now!

Abby helped my mom play Settlers, while eating her shirt

Probably my favorite moment/picture. Abby couldn't stop smiling at her Granddaddy!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

4 1/2 months old!

Abby had her 4 month check-up yesterday. The stats:
She weighs 14 pounds! Last thursday I took her in because she had hives (note: do not consume large amounts of peanuts for three days in a row if you are breastfeeding!!), and she weighed 3lbs. 9oz., so she gained 7oz in a week- thats good, right??
She is 25 inches long, and her head is 15 3/4 inches around. Who knows what that means. All I know is that she is still a flat head, but hopefully now that she spends a lot of time in her exersaucer, it will start rounding out some.

She can start eating solids now, but I am still debating whether to start her on rice cereal or wait a little while longer. There really aren't any other nutrients she needs, she is getting everything she needs from breastmilk, and I want to give her the lowest chance of getting any food allergies as possible, expecially now that I know she reacts to peanuts badly (scary!!). And, I will put up with another month and a half of waking up in the middle of the night to feed her, if it means lowering her risk of allergies. What to do?? I welcome any advice!

The doctor and nurse said that she is one of the happiest babies they have ever seen. That is, until they gave her three shots!! The worst is, they had ME hold her legs down while they plunged the needle into her sweet little thigh. She was fussy all day and just wanted to be held. I learned from last time though- give her infant tylenol BEFORE the appointment so it sets in before her shots. Worked like a charm.

That's all for now. I'll post some pictures in a bit of all shes been up to lately, and another Spring Break post.