Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cry It Out

Elijah is my sweet baby boy and only 8 months old, but a lot of training has already been going on in his life.  Actually, since about his second week of life, because I chose to take a parent-led approach to raising him, based on the Baby Wise series of books.  After seeing other moms implement this approach with their children, I was sold, and can see the Biblical implications of such training.  (Please visit this blog to learn all you could possibly want to know about the Baby Wise approach!)

No matter what your philosophy of child-rearing, I hope you will read this post with an open mind.  Even with an 8 month old, I have already learned so much more about God from the opportunity he has given me to be a parent.  My goodness - the love I have for that tiny baby boy is almost more than I can handle some days and just puts me in awe of our Creator who loves me so much more than I can imagine. 

A part of the Baby Wise approach is establishing a good sleeping pattern for your child, which can involve allowing your child to cry it out sometimes while training them.  (This is where I may lose some of you...but please hang in there!)  In the beginning of our sleep training with Elijah, there were nights when I knew he wasn't hungry, he didn't need changed and was just waking up out of habit.  This was when I knew I was going to have to lead him as a parent.  It wasn't easy, but I had to let him cry it out some nights until he could learn to put himself to sleep.  I wanted to "start as I meant to go on" (which I've either read from Baby Wise or the Baby Whisperer), meaning that I did not want to have a 6 month old that needed rocking/a pacifier/a bottle getting him back to sleep. 

By the time Elijah was about 10 weeks old, he was sleeping 8 hours at night.  Now he sleeps 11 hours at night, consistently.  He is happy with our routine and knows what to expect each day.  We eat, play, and sleep in that order!  It also keeps me sane...knowing what to expect as a framework for the day.  (Check out a Baby Wise book if you want to know more). 

I tell you all this (even though I know it can be controversial) because of a great way this has illustrated God's love in an even bigger way to me. 

On the nights that I would stand right outside of Elijah's room, wanting so badly to intervene and pick him up, I had to keep reminding myself of the ultimate goal: good sleep!  In the big picture, I wanted Elijah to sleep well and transition through sleep cycles on his own so that he could get the best sleep.  On those nights, it seemed so crazy to hear his cries and not respond, so I had to rely on the Lord for strength.  In those moments, He showed me that He is always right there listening to my cries when things aren't going the way I want them to or something has hurt me so badly.  In my view of things, it seems crazy sometimes that God can't just fix things to be "good" for me right then.  But God has the big picture.  He knows what I need and knows what is for my greater good and His glory.  God's sovereignty is so hard to wrap my brain around, but I'm so thankful that He is in control.  I am calmed by that realization, not offended by it. 

Are there areas of your relationship with God that have been hurt by questioning why He didn't come pick you up when you were crying?  Confess those to Him today.  He already knows your pain and knows what is best for your growth, to lead you closer to Him.  Allow God to do the work that He wants to do in your life - to bring you to the ultimate goal He has for you. 

Psalm 56:8 says, "You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in your bottle."  What a good God He is to care about even the tiniest aspects of our lives.  He knows about every tear we shed!

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not evil, to give you a future and a hope."  Don't allow Satan to challenge this truth in your life.  Read Romans 8:28 and rest in a God who loves you so much and has a specific plan for your good and His glory!

What are some ways God has revealed a greater understanding of Himself to you through your children?

Friday, October 30, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

Friday...aah :)

1. I'm so excited it's Friday.  This means that Justin is home.  I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband.  Sundays and Wednesdays may be crazier for him, but I'm glad we get to spend Fridays together. 

2. We're going on vacation next week!  Monday through Wednesday Justin will be leading the music at a secretary's conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center.  I love Ridgecrest!  I worked there one summer, have been to several conferences there and just feel so at home when we get to visit there.  Pray for us!  I'll be playing piano and singing with Justin and he will be leading a breakout session on Monday.  Then, we'll spend two more days in the Asheville area, just having some down time, which I'm really looking forward to.  For the weekend, we're heading east toward Durham to stay with some friends and to attend worship at The Summit Church on Sunday.  Justin has never been to a worship service there and he really looks up to the worship pastor.  Should be a great morning!

3. After 2 1/2 weeks of Elijah biting me while he was looks like we're finally past that!  It was brutal, but hopefully it's over.  I just kept sitting him on the floor every time he would bite me and he finally got the idea. 

4.  Does anyone else experience this in their home?  Unbelievably, Elijah knows which toys are Jazz's and he would rather play with them over his own.  On the flip side, Jazz always wants to play with Elijah's toys.  Can't everyone just be content with what they've got??

5.  For the moment, I'm obsessed with blogging.  (You know it comes and goes with me!)  I guess I've gained some momentum with my new blog look.  I've been wanting 3 columns for awhile and I'm loving it!  I always have random blog ideas in the back of my head, so stay tuned for them soon...hopefully I keep this going.

6.  Here's a random picture from a few weeks ago.  This is the pharmacy near our house and it cracked me up everytime I would drive by.  (The sign was up for at least a week).  At first it read "Free Shingles Seminar"...then I guess they decided to get more generous!

7.  I'm hooked on consignment shopping lately.  In fact, with our budget tightening a little lately (since someone *ahem* stays at home now), I've been trying to shop consignments/yard sales with the money that I've made from consigned items.  The other day I only paid $3 for a shirt for Justin, a Christmas bib and a shirt for Elijah, and shoes for me.  The total was $21, minus the $19 I had earned from consigment, equals $3 from my pocket!  Love it!

Now head on over to Conversion Diary to check out what everyone else is saying for 7 QuickTakes Friday

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Autumn captured

I just love Autumn. I couldn't wait to decorate the house as the leaves began to change. Justin laughed because he said we really don't have to change much for Fall because everything I own is brown! May be true, but nonetheless, I love this season, so I couldn't wait to take part in my first You Capture It this week!

Here's what I found to capture Autumn...

tree at my parent's house

happened to see the leaf get stuck in the window pane one day

stuff on the deck

Now you join in...add your Autumn pictures for You Capture It


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Thousand Words Wednesday

Elijah played so hard his pants fell down!?
He kept stepping on his pants until they were around his ankles
(even though Jazz does look a little suspicious!)

"Mom, this doesn't seem right!"


It seems that my recent blogging has mostly involved catching you up on pictures of my sweet Elijah.  Although I know he is a cutie, I don't want my blog to simply be a place to check up on my son's growth!  I've got to challenge myself to some better blogging.  Hence, A Thousand Words Wednesday! 

Every Wednesday, plan to join me in sharing our lives in pictures.  Then, we'll all have an excuse to post the precious pictures of our little ones, a funny shot of our significant others, or anything that has caught our lens recently.  Feel free to write about your photos or simply let them speak for themselves. 

Welcome to A Thousand Words Wednesday!  Join in by adding the link of your photo post to the following Mr. Linky so everyone can check out your photos.  What a great excuse to blog...even when you're out of words! 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

new polls!

Make sure you check out some new polls to the right. I would love to hear your opinions about some topics that I plan to blog about soon...

Monday, October 19, 2009

8 months...

I honestly can't imagine my life without my sweet baby boy. It's hard to believe he has already been a part of my life for 8 months, but I'm so thankful. God has given us the sweetest child to bring joy into our lives each day. Obviously, he has become my inspiration for this blog (since I only seem to write about him...when I do blog!) Elijah truly is a joy and it has been amazing these last weeks especially to see how quickly he is growing and changing.

Here's a quick update into our lives with Elijah:
I've just starting adding a little bit of formula to his diet to make sure that he is getting enough milk. He will eat solids like I want to keep him from eating too much other food too quickly. And...he's been biting me and doesn't seem interesting in stopping, so breastfeeding just hasn't been as great the last two weeks!
Speaking of biting...Elijah now has 3 teeth...and more on the way.

I've been making Elijah's baby food, which he started eating at 6 months. So far, he has had avocado, pears, apples (just added cinnamon this week!), bananas, peaches, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, and carrots. He's also been loving Cheerios and saltine crackers for snacking. We're still working on the sippy cup...he'd rather chew on it, than drink from it right now.

Elijah is still in cloth diapers for about 95% of the time. I love them and actually dread having to purchase disposables when I do. He's still in the small Fuzzibunz and is weighing in at about 15 1/2 pounds according to our scale.

Since Elijah does seem to be pretty lean for his age...he's working hard to get around by himself. Yesterday, he was so close to crawling...just rocking like crazy on his hands and knees. I think he's going to put it all together pretty soon. He's standing up on his own and starting to "cruise" around things a little bit. He loves to stand up and try to walk with a push toy/walker he has. We put shoes on him for the first time last night...pretty soon he's going to be unstoppable. (Not sure I'm quite yet ready for this!)

Elijah takes two naps during the day now and still sleeps 11 hours at night. I'm so thankful for a child who sleeps well and has the sweetest temperment during the day. God has blessed us with a delightful child who brings so much joy. I know it's a blessing to be able to take him anywhere with us. He's such a flexible kid!