Saturday, April 30, 2011

Unconditional Love

I have always heard mommies saying they never truly knew unconditional love until they had their first child...  I always thought I understood, but I didn't really. 

I now know what they mean.  I mean, obviously I love my husband unconditionally.  I know God loves me unconditionally.  However, I truly love my daughter in a way I never imagined.  I knew I would love her....but not like this.  There is just this special bond between Abigail and myself.  I know Ryan feels the exact same way.
The miracle of life that is all from God-  It's just amazing to think about. To think this time one year ago, she was just the size of my fist, if even that.  And now she's this precious little girl- growing so fast!!   And she's mine.... she came from me.  I was her vessel (in the words of my mother in law, hehe!).  It's just so amazing- that's the only word I have for it.

Last night I was watching Abigail playing, and she gave me that big gummy smile. I love love love that smile, and it just brought this unmeasurable joy to my heart.  I love her with my entire being.  To know that she was made from Ryan and myself, along with the Hand of God,  is just soooo amazing.  She is the biggest blessing from God, ever.

I love her!!! Forever!!  I pray that she turns out to be an intelligent, strong, independent, loving, and beautiful young woman. 

 Her gummy smile.

Couldn't resist a picture of her fluffy behind!!  :)   She's just such a happy baby (99.9% of the time)!!  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

First Easter

Sorry I haven't posted all week- it has been quite the whirlwind week, and I am exhausted. 

This past Sunday was Easter Sunday-  Christ is risen indeed!!!  See the lyrics to one of my favorite songs appropriate for Easter at the end of this post. 

It was a wonderful, beautiful day- it was definitely a spring day!!!

We did not get to the 7:00 am "sunrise" service at church, but we did make it to the breakfast that my church has every Easter Sunday.  It was delightful, with an egg casserole, biscuits, ham, and fruit.  Abigail is big enough to sit in highchairs when we are out now!

Of course, she was decked out in an Easter dress. One of my favorite memories from growing up was getting a new dress for Easter Sunday- always so dressy!! That was probably one of the only times I actually enjoyed wearing a dress :)

Friday before Easter, Abigail took a little tumble on the floor and of course, her nose looked terrible on Sunday- she had a big scab!!! That combined with Ryan's black eye that he got at his state police training-  there was something wrong with all of us, except for myself!!

We had our Easter Cantata at church- I sang in it with the choir but Ryan did not this year, since he was not able to practice at all.  It was shorter than normal, but it was nice- I hope we sounded good!

I wasn't planning on it, but I ended up making Abigail her very first Easter Basket.  It had some new toys, an Eeyore onesie, and some other things.  She has loved her new toys!! Mom made her a basket as well, with some summer outfits.  Next year I am sure it will be full of candy!

We had dinner at our house, just us and my mom that afternoon.  It was a nice dinner, completed with Ham, Mac and Cheese, mixed veggies, potato salad and rolls.  We had pineapple upside down cake for dessert.  Ryan had to study for a bit, and Abigail was content playing on the floor with Camden nearby.  It was SUCH the nice spring day- I had to break out some of her summer outfits!!

Then Ryan had to head back to's always so hard to see him go, and Sunday was especially difficult for me, for some reason. 

I get to see him tomorrow night, though- yay!!

I will try to post more this weekend.

Glorious Day by Casting Crowns
One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever

One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet
will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

Oh, glorious day .....


Thursday, April 21, 2011

First Experience with Daycare

This week was Abigail's first "full" week in daycare (4 days a week).  She had been going one day a week for the past three weeks, so that helped to ease her in full time, I think.  It helps that I already knew the daycare provider, and she runs the daycare out of her home, so it's a comfortable setting. Plus, I feel very comfortable with her, having known her already, and having mutual friends/acquantances in the community, etc.  But it is still difficult leaving Abigail with someone else, even though I know she is in good hands. 

For those of you who don't know, since November 30th until recently, Ryan stayed home with Abigail in the mornings/early afternoon, and then he worked the evening shift.  This way we were able to avoid daycare for the first six full months of Abigail's life.  It worked out wonderful, except sometimes it was difficult fo rme to leave work early, seeing as my job is so very busy.

And I am not saying anything is wrong with daycare, but I was just glad that we didn't have to start her so early. I wish I could be a stay at home mom, but financially we just wouldn't be able to do ti right now... maybe in the future.  Also, I know it is good for Abigail to be around other children. I don't have many friends around here who have children for her to play with. She seems to love it!  Plus being around those other children does help build immunities to various illnesses since she is bound to be around sickness at some point or other. (Of course, since she is still breastfed, that helps even more with building immunities!)

I was sooo glad that we were able to find last minute care for Abigail- God certainly does answer prayers.  Because believe me I was stressing about it.  But God says not to worry, because He will take care of everything. 

Abigail has been doing wonderfully in daycare. She hasn't had any problems taking naps, getting the bottle, playing with the others.  She's always so smiley when I go to pick her up. One day I received a picture text message, and she was passed out on the floor, with toys all around her! I wish I could somehow download it to here to show but I can't figure out how. 

I think she is like Ryan and myself, and that is flexible... I think there is such a thing as a flexible baby.  I know it sounds funny, but she is easy to get along with, and she loves anyone!! In fact, anyone who has watched her so far says she's an angel baby.  I tend to agree :)

Those of you who have been reading my blog know that I have been using cloth diapers with Abigail.  I have been using them more frequently the past few months (I started slowly using them the end of January). Now, it's really the only thing I use except at night time.  When buying the various cloth diapers, I would ask myself if it's worth it because I didnt' know if we would have to put Abigail in daycare in the future. I guess my fear was I would spend all this money on these diapers, and then would not find a daycare that would try the diapers out. 

Well, I was in luck, because our provider was more than willing to try them. She had never seen the "modern" version of cloth diapers, and once I showed her how easy they are to use (almost just like disposables!) she caught on very quickly.  Well, I hope she thinks they are easy, anyway! From what I can tell, whenever I bring them with Abigail, that is all she uses.  I always throw a few disposables in there just in case. I usually pack the diaper bag with 4-5 cloth, or less, depending on how long Abigail will be there.  I also pack a "wetbag" which is basically a waterproof bag for the dirty diapers.  She throws the dirty ones in the bag, and I take care of the poopy ones when I get home.  She was a little nervous about the poopy ones at first but now she has it down old hat.  No problems at all so far! I am sooo thankful that she has been so willing to try new things, especially since I have quite a bit of money invested into these diapers!! I hope it continues to go well. 

Here is a cute picture from today:

Abigail is already a hit with the guys at the daycare! 

Daycare has gone sooo well so far, I just hope and pray that it continues!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Letter for Six Months...

My Dearest Abigail,

On April 15th, you turned 6 months old-  6 MONTHS OLD!  WHERE has the time gone??  You are already HALF of a year old... I just cannot believe it.  I still think back to the day I had you- I never want to forget that day... it was just such a wonderful day.  You have grown SO much since then, and it seems unreal. 

You are such a blessing to me, and to your daddy. 

I am just loving my time with you... I love being your mommy. You make it so easy for me!  You are the joy to my life, you light up my world when you smile at me... I love that little gummy smile. 

Pretty soon you will have a toothy smile- I see a little white speck on your top gums!!  Maybe this month, a tooth will appear!

This past month has been full of changes for you.  Daddy found out he got a new job, and had to leave for training a few weeks ago... now you are no longer watched by daddy during the day. I know you loved your daddy-daughter time during the day, you got to watch him clean and work out, and you just spent time together.  Mommy was really stressed out trying to arrange child care for you at the last minute, but everything worked out.  Between your mom mom, your great aunt, and a some others, you were watched at home.  Oh, and at Aunt Cella's house :)

In the meantime you started daycare one day a week, and this week you started full time- 4 days a week.  You really seem to enjoy daycare.  Your daycare provider tells me that you are such an angel!  I think you enjoy interacting with the other children, I know it's good for you to be around other children, but I still wish you were home with me, in a way.  Believe me, if I could stay home with you, I would do it in a heartbeat. But mommy has to work right now.

In the past month, you have really learned to sit up on your own well!!!  Sometimes at night, I sit on the couch and you just hang out next to me, playing with your toys. 

 You love reaching for things- anything within your arms reach!!  I love watching you go.  If there is a bag within reach, you have to check it out! I Think you are nosy, just like your mommy.

You can scoot around somewhat on your belly, but you can't crawl yet-  I bet it will be soon though!! You certainly try to.  I lay you down one way in your crib, and in the morning, you are the opposite way!!

Sometimes you like to sit on my lap when I am here on the computer and you like to type.  Sometimes you chat with your Aunt Susan on facebook!

The past month, I have been giving you some baby food- well, for awhile we did rice cereal, but you didn't appear to enjoy that too much.  We changed to oatmeal, which I think you liked a little better.  You have had green beans, applesauce (you didn't care for that) and bananas.  I love your faces.

However, you still love your mommy's milk!! I still breastfeed you, and that is how you get most all of your nutrition.  You still get bottles of my milk at daycare, and you still love it.  I hope I am still making enough for you to continue growing well!  This week we go to doctor and will find out. 

This past month you were able to meet your special Great Auntie Deb and Uncle Richard-  They live in North Carolina and are not able to come up to Salisbury very often.  They are very dear and close to me, and I was so excited for them to finally meet you!! I hope that you will get to know them very well throughout the years as we make trips down to NC, and as they visit us here.  I know they enjoyed their visit with us!

You still sleep soooo well at night!! I really believe that God answered my prayers with you- you are the bestest baby a mother could ever ask for!! You don't fuss (too much), you sleep straight through the nights, and you are just an angel!

I borrowed a baby carrier from Eric at work, so a few times I have taken you for a walk with Camden.  You really seem to enjoy this.

Just seeing your smile brightens my entire day.  I love you oh so much, and I know this love for you will only continue!

Love Aways,
 Your Mommy

Monday, April 11, 2011

BabyWearing..and Walking the Dog :)

I was recently given a Baby Bjorn baby carrier from a co-worker to borrow.  I figured I would check it out and see if Abigail likes to be "baby-wore".  I have read so much about "baby-wearing", as it's called, but just wasn't quite sure if it's for me and Abigail or not.   

Up until today, I had only wore the baby carrier once out in the yard a few weeks ago when Ryan was working in the flowerbeds.  At that time, Abigail was facing me, and quickly became agitated and didn't appear to enjoy it for long.  I found out that she can also face out and thought she might like that better.  She loves checking out her surroundings (let's face it- she's nosy, just like me!)

Today was a gorgeous day, as was this evening, so tonight I decided to try out a walk with Abigail and Camden.  Ryan had told me this weekend that he thought it might be a good idea to try and walk Camden on the nice evenings (try to get some of her energy out).  This could have very quickly turned into quite an adventure, or an ordeal, but actually, (surprisingly) it was a nice pleasant walk.  I had no troubles at all!! We took the "short route" which is probably 3/4 of a mile.  Camden ran into some dogs along the way, but I got her calmed down and she wasn't too much trouble to contain.  Abigail was content to suck on either her or my fingers for the entire walk.  She also loved watching Camden walk in front of us.

All in all, it was a very pleasant experience.  One I would highly recommend.  :)  I am looking forward to using the carrier again on another nice day, or evening.

I should also note that when in Baltimore last month, I tested out the Ergo baby carrier with Abigail and like that a lot better (so much easier for me to figure out how to secure her in, with the Baby Bjorn I have to fiddle with it a lot, and I get easily frustrated).  Abigail also seemed to really enjoy the Ergo.  I actually recently won an Ebay bid for a Brand New Ergo Carrier, and I got it for a LOT Less than the regular store price!! I am excited for that to arrive in the next few weeks, hopefully!

I am sure I will be posting more in the future on baby carriers and baby wearing!

Friday, April 8, 2011

God Prepares us in Unexpected Ways...

When I first found out Ryan was offically accepted into the state police academy, of course I was soo excited for him.  It is something that he was really hoping for, and wanting to do.  He wants to feel fulfilled and that he is actually making some type of difference, not just babysitting adults who messed up, which is what he felt he was doing at the prison.  I am very supportive of any decision he makes in life. 

Of course then I Started flipping out about finding daycare last minute, and just in general being by myself throughout the weeks and possibly few weeks at a time while he is away at this academy. How would I do everything and stay sane?? I didn't Think I was strong enough to do this.  But I did know that all in all, I would handle it and get through it.  I knew it's only 26 weeks...not the end of the world.  God would get me through-  with Him, we can get through anything. 

Since Ryan has left and started the academy, I have been quickly finding that it's not AS difficult as I thought it would be- sure I am exhausted after getting up at the crack of dawn,  working all day, coming home and tending to Abigail (which I LOVE doing!) and then just keeping the household going, running the errands that need to be done, cleaning, cooking, etc, along with tending to our needy dog, Camden.  I have been sooo exhausted the past 2 weeks, trying to keep everything together.

Mentally I have been okay with things- Sure, I miss Ryan.  But I have talked to him much more than we originally thought.  Some nights I don't get to talk to him and  most nights it's only 5 minutes if we do. But any talk is better than none so I won't complain.  And more importantly, this week  I have definitely realized that God does work in ways we don't realize.  I believe that when Ryan started working that evening shift at the prison, God was already working in ways we didn't know.  He was preparing me for this change. I didn't know it at the time.  See, I am pretty much already used to Ryan not being here evenings.  I am used to coming home to Abigail and Camden with Ryan at work and having to figure out what to do with myself and Abigail during the evenings.  I very strongly feel that for the past 4 months, God has been preparing Ryan and myself for him to go to this academy, and preparing me for him being away. And I think it worked.   Because I am a lot better off (so far!) than I thought I would be!

I am actually kind of excited because for the first time since we have been married, we get to spend (most) all weekends together this summer!! He has always had some type of job where he works weekends! I am trying to find the positive in things, which is very difficult for me at times. 

All in all, he is doing well, for those of you who want to know.  He is exhausted, but has done well on the tests so far, and is doing well with the physical aspect.  He always sounds positive on the phone, just tired. He has never been a "runner" but he's keeping up.  He's already lost weight, so we will see how small he gets by September 23!

Abigail is doing wonderfully- my mom and aunt and others have been watching her for the past few weeks, and she has been to the daycare the past 2 fridays.  She does great with everyone!! She's an angel baby.   She starts daycare 4 days a week in 2 weeks... I think she will do just fine though.  I worry anyway!! Another plus of that is the daycare provider is willing to try the cloth diapers- she actually used them today, and didn't mind! I am super excited about that! 

I know I Haven't posted pictures of Abigail in a week, so I need to!! Here are some new ones:

Here are pictures of Abigail wearing a headband I ordered from  this Etsy Shop - I follow Kayleigh's blog over at modern cloth mama

I also bought one of the checkbook covers from that etsy shop, and I LOVE IT!! Great quality, and looks cute!!

My girl sitting up like a BIG GIRL!!!


Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Favorite Visit

This past Wednesday my favorite couple from North Carolina came into town, Auntie Deb and Uncle Richard.  They came to visit Deb's dad who resides in an assisted living facility outside of Salisbury.  The last time I saw her was in August 2010 when she came for my baby shower!  They came to Salisbury Wednesday and left today.  Too short of a visit, but I was able to see them!

They stopped by the house on Thursday afternoon and we spent a little bit of time together.  They got to meet Abigail for the first time!  They were so excited to meet their great niece- maybe their only great niece?  Not sure about that.  Of course, I have been blessed with a wonderful baby and she was a doll for her great- aunt and uncle!

They spent a litle while with us and then they headed to Bivalve, (if you don't know where that is, it's the end of the earth on the Nanticoke River), where Auntie Deb (and my mom) grew up together. 

Auntie Deb is not my aunt by blood, but she might as well be.  I have always considered her my aunt, and she has always been close to our family.  She is my mom's best friend- they grew up together. 

I've joked before that we have so much in common, at times I wonder if she might be my mom?!  We have been super close since I was in college, and I truly enjoy spending time with her and Uncle Richard. I love taking trips down to NC to see them, or stopping to see them on our way to other parts of the south.

I am looking forward to taking Abigail down to Swansboro, NC to visit this summer! I am thinking about making a trip either if Ryan doesn't get to come home a weekend, or I will just take time off during the week.  I think I can handle Abigail on a  road trip, what do you think?  I am hoping to be able to take Abigail to NC for her first time, and I sure hope she comes to know Auntie Deb and Uncle Richard as well as I do, and I hope she loves them as dearly as I do.  :)