Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Smoothie...Gone Wrong

Happy Leap Day!

In today's honor, I decided to give tiredness the boot. I decided to ignore last night's abnormal sleep schedule and leap (ha!) into all the wonderful things this day had in store. After a quick breakfast of yogurt, homemade granola, and berries - I took Lucie for a fun little visit with her Great-Nana Zella (who Lucie is middle-named after) and Aunt Lisa. 

After our visit, I brought Lucie home to nap. Rather than nap with her, I decided to take advantage of the free time (if such a thing exists anymore!). I leapt into a devotion from a book my loving mother-in-law had given me. Feeling good! I leapt into a yoga workout in our living room. Feeling healthy! I leapt into a conversation with my neighbor's cat, Marley, through our living room window. Feeling neighborly! And weird...

Anyway, with all these wonderful feelings leaping around inside of me...I decided to harness my unbridled momentum and make a green smoothie! Green smoothies, in all their splendor, are extremely trendy at the moment - especially if you use the current celebrity of leafy vegetables: kale. They are an easy and delicious way to incorporate nutrient-packed greens into one's diet - and during late pregnancy, my sweet husband hefted me (yes, hefted - no leaping then...) onto the trendy bandwagon. So yes, a green smoothie would be just lovely on this Leap Day! Right?

I should have taken a nap with Lucie. Here's how it went down.

I gathered my ingredients. Kale. Spinach. Baby carrots. Strawberries. Mango. Papaya. Banana. Vanilla soy milk. Ice. A wooden spoon.

A wooden spoon. The utensil of my downfall. Apparently, using the spoon to shove the smoothie ingredients closer to the blades can...well...have consequences...

...for the spoon...
...for the ceiling...

...for just about everything!

Oh well...when all else fails, there's always Fruity Bunnies...and Leap Day naps... :)

Figuring it out - one mess at a time,

"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him." Psalm 28:7

P.S. Be sure to stop by tomorrow for my first "Thrifting Thursday!"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our Little Owl!

Our 10-week old Lucie LOVES to "talk!" :)

Hours of entertainment! We just love it!

YES, my mom is in the clip above...making a poor attempt to hide in the background! Ha! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Glimpse of Heaven: Relief

Relief. What a fabulous feeling. It might sound strange, but after this past week's events, I'd argue that "relief" can hold a candle to even love or joy. Let me explain...and perhaps you'll see what I mean. 

First, a trivial (but OH SO REAL) example. I have a small bladder. So pregnant me had an even smaller bladder. Too much information? Sorry. It is necessary, I promise! Ok - so with that in mind, pretend you're me and imagine the following scenario:

You're driving along. Your abdomen has been lovingly hi-jacked by a growing baby, dancing right on top of your tiny bladder. You come upon a traffic jam. You're stuck. No where to go. And you HAVE to pee. Not the "I can wait" way. The "if we don't start moving soon, I will abandon this car and start walking to the nearest gas station" way. After ten agonizing minutes...the jam clears. You race off the freeway, find the nearest open business, waddle inside and desperately ask if you can use the restroom. The Front Desk Worker says, "we don't have a public restroom." Your eyes begin to well up with tears. Out of sheer sympathy for your pathetic condition, an exception is made for you. You shout out "oh, bless you!," promise to name your child after said Front Desk Worker (I didn't...woops!), and run, as well as a pregnant woman can, towards the bathroom door. Relief...thank the good Lord!

Relief. Again I say, there may be no greater feeling, right!?

Ok, so on a more serious note...this past week, John and I endured the most nightmarish day of our entire lives. Our sweet 2 month old, Lucie suffered a severely adverse reaction to her first vaccination. Before I proceed, two things: (1) Lucie, from what we can tell, is absolutely fine now - relief...thank the good Lord! and (2) this is not a "you should or should not vaccinate your child" post. I realize that debate could rage for ages, and I firmly believe parents should make their own decisions regarding what is best for their specific child/situation. For the sake of the story, however, I found it necessary to include the vaccine detail. 

Anyway, John and I found ourselves in a situation where we had absolutely, completely, NO control. It felt as if, for the first time in our lives, there was literally nothing that we could do to remedy what was happening (I've since realized this will be the continual theme of parenthood!). We just had to wait in agony, terror and heartbreak while whatever Lucie was reacting to exited her little system. NEVER has the message of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 - "Pray without ceasing" been more real to us. We prayed hard. We prayed audibly. We prayed with our whole beings. We prayed through tears, tears, and more tears (I'm even weeping now!).

Relief. After twelve horrible hours, our Brave Little Toaster slowly became herself again. Relief. We praised God for His healing hand and asked for continual protection over Lucie. No relapses came and she continued to improve. Relief. The next day, we met with our very empathetic, understanding pediatrician who listened intentionally and provided sound, common-sense advice. Relief. What a wonderful feeling it is. 

Since that day, we've admittedly wondered why God allowed Lucie, such a sweet, innocent little thing, to go through so much pain (as I'm sure many parents have done when their kids are sick/hurting). We realize that we might never have the answer to that question. We're also coming to terms with the fact that, while we can do our best to protect our little one, God is in complete control of her life. And on this imperfect side of Heaven, that can seem like a very scary thing. But, if we really trust the Lord who has given Lucie life, we must look at what happened and learn something from it. 

Ok so things we've learned:

  • We are not kids anymore. We're adults who have been entrusted with raising another human being. And quite frankly, that is frightening.
  • Parenthood is absolutely terrifying! Holy cow. John and I were given a glimpse of what parents of really sick children go through 24/7...we honestly don't know how they manage to endure - bless their brave, breaking hearts. 
  • "Pray without ceasing" is not just a friendly catch phrase! It is a stern, loving invitation from a benevolent Creator to join in conversation with Him - to align with His He is ultimately in control of our lives. It is our means of sanity in the midst of insanity. And in the midst of last week's events, it was our means to relief...thank the good Lord!
Most importantly, we learned that...the feeling of relief is a glimpse of Heaven. You see, one day, when we are standing in front of the God who created mountains, oceans, and solar systems... the God who understands the agony of watching His Child in pain... the God who keeps His promises, who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith... when we meet Him, Perfect to imperfect faces, I suspect we'll breathe a collective sigh of relief ...and shout "thank the good Lord!" 

And then I'll run for the nearest bathroom. :)

Figuring it out - one prayer at a time,

"I love the Lord for He heard my voice. He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live." Psalm 116:1-2 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lucie's Two Month Photos!

Happy 2 Month Bday, Lucie (and Happy "We Survived 2 Months of Parenthood" John!)!
YES, 14 lbs 4 oz. / 25 inches long is big! She's in the 100th percentile for girls her age - and we LOVE our huge baby! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Progressive Pedicure.

So, I've been waiting for the "perfect" subject before writing my first post. A subject both earth-shattering and entertaining, both thought-provoking and inspiring. Well - that earth-shattering, entertaining, thought-provoking, and inspiring blog post subject is still floating out in no man's land with my as-yet-to-be-had truly original thought. And new motherhood has helped me realize that "perfect" might not even exist anymore (at least in its definitive sense...) - and that is absolutely OK. So perfect or not, here it goes.

On December 15, 2011, the Lord blessed John and me with the most amazing little lady on the planet. After 41 hours of labor (birth story post will happen one of these days), our sweet Lucie was born and our lives were changed forever. Of course, no one can every truly prepare a new parent, through good advice or otherwise, for how a baby changes things. New parents just have to experience the cluelessness, tears, sleeplessness, and absolute joys themselves to truly understand all the ways in which their lives have been hi-jacked and upended!

For me, this lesson in parenthood did not instantly arrive in an epiphany-sized package. Rather, it has been (and will continue to be, I suspect) small blocks of wisdom being placed on one top of the other, as I ascend this mountain with sweet Lucie clinging to me (literally). The past few days provided a tangible example of a little lesson in womanly resourcefulness.

Progressive pedicure. No, this isn't a fun "girl's night" idea, nor is it the latest trend in pampering. It is the new metaphor for my life. All I've wanted to do in these past couple of days is give myself a decent pedicure. Take one look at my feet and you'd understand (I'll spare you the pain of looking at a photo). Well, this relatively simple pre-baby task has proven quite difficult because of the beautiful little Parasite who now clings to me. Now...don't get me wrong - I LOVE it that she clings to me. There is nothing so tiring and rewarding as a baby that NEEDS you. I fully realize that she will believe she does NOT need me one day... (my heart already aches at the thought of teenage years...) I will soak up EVERY minute the Lord gives me now. But sentiments aside - is it too much to want her to sleep long enough to give my feet some decent attention!?

OK honestly, Lucie is such a good baby. And overall, she actually isn't even that clingy. The past few days, for whatever reason, she has just needed some extra loving - and as a mama, I am A-OK with that! But what happens when a mom's feet need some extra loving?! I know what you're already thinking - and the answer is: I'm too tired by the time my husband gets home to do anything productive - pampering included - so it had to happen during the daytime. Enter: progressive pedicure. If a "how to" existed, here's what it would look like...

Things you'll need:


-A clingy baby
-Nail clippers/file
-Nail polish
-Yoga pants w/ fold-over tops

How to proceed:

Hold your sweet little Clinger. Look at your feet. Sigh in desperation. Decide that today is the day you'll make a change. Determined, pull on your favorite fold-over yoga pants. With Clinger in tow, head to the bathroom cabinet. Take out polish, nail clippers, and a nail file. Shove items into the waistband portion of your yoga pants and fold-over to keep them in place and handy throughout your day. Remind yourself that only God can judge you. Continue with the day's usual tasks. Whenever your baby lets you put him/her down or takes a nap, un-holster the necessary tools and clip/file a nail. If you're feeling adventurous, pull out that polish and get to work. Don't feel discouraged if you can only get to one or two toes before your loving Little One demands your attention again. The key here is determination. Repeat above steps (clipping/filing/painting) until all toes are complete. This process may take up to three days, as in my case, but the end result (and feeling of accomplishment!) is WELL worth it (your husband will agree)!

Weird? Absolutely. Normal? No way. But, what is "normal" anyway? Sure. Days are more complicated, odd and exhausting. Previously simple tasks become strangely overwhelming with a baby. But, I have learned to be thankful for the lessons and proud of myself for the small triumphs (i.e. actually doing my hair in the morning - I didn't case you were wondering). Most importantly, through the joys, tears, perceived failures and triumphs - I am absolutely, completely and utterly LOVING every single millisecond of being Lucie's mama. And if I my gnarly feet must suffer a little longer as a result, well...I'm just fine with that. :)

Figuring it out - one unpolished toe at a time,

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day! 1 John 4:19