Monday, January 30, 2012

Big Changes for Sweet Girl... and Mama

In the months leading up to the baby's birth, there will be some big changes for my little daughter. After all, she is growing up. I predict they will be harder on me than on her.

The first is weaning. When I first got pregnant, I thought it would be nice to have a three to four month break from nursing before starting at the beginning again. Naturally, the times we nursed whittled down to only before nap and bedtime. I was glad for this because it was starting to be painful. Lately, it has been extremely painful, even though we nurse for only a few minutes at a time. It's always the beginning that is the worst. I felt reluctant to try to stop it because I thought it would be a battle. She always made sure we were going to nurse by signing it and got excited before we'd start. I knew she didn't need it to sleep, but she sure enjoyed it. I enjoyed it too, minus the pain. It was special, very special.

But Saturday when we nursed before her nap, it hurt worse than ever. And with a big thing coming up in a few weeks, I knew I needed to either do it now or wait until that was over. I decided I just could not wait. We nursed for the last time that night.

I wasn't positive that I was ready for it to be the last time, so I didn't know for sure. But I realized just how sad I was that it was ending. I hate "last times." Whenever we moved I would always think, "This is the last time I'll do this here." or "This could be the last time I see this person." It was excruciating. So I thought about it that night and the next morning and decided it would just be best that the "last time" was over. I was aware enough to be able to remember the "last time", but since it was uncertain, it wasn't as awful as if it were definite. And now there will be no dreading of the "last time." It's already happened.

The first time I put her down without nursing, I gave her a cup of milk to drink while I sang to her. She didn't realize it was replacing the nursing and cried a little when I put her in the bed. But she seemed to understand that there would be no nursing, and comforted by me offering to rub her back. Then she proceeded to play happily for twenty minutes before falling asleep. Night time was a little different and she cried a minute after I left. I went back and asked her what was wrong and she asked to nurse. I told her no and reminded her that she had her cup of milk instead of nursing. I offered to hold her more and sing to her and she wanted that. After a little while, she was okay with me laying her down again and then again to played to sleep. I sure don't mind doing extra cuddling, and it helps me accept the change easier too.

The next big thing will come in mid-February. She needs to have a minor, outpatient surgery. Again, it will probably be harder on me because she won't remember a thing! I'll write more about that as it comes up and happens.

The next, will be moving into a toddler bed. I'm sure it will be fun for her; she'll love getting out when she shouldn't! I'm hoping it won't be too much of a challenge, but I'll be sure to share the adventure!

And hopefully the last (for a while) will be the coming of her brother or sister! That will be the biggest adjustment of all, but hopefully the happiest too.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Human Rights

The matter of human rights has been rolling in my head this month. It's interesting to me that I read the book The Help, a novel revealing relationships between white and black women in the '60s, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday was observed on the 16th. But also, the abortion issue is big this month with the Right to Life march in DC, and I participated in a small one in our community the same day. Maybe all this doesn't seem to have an obvious connection, but to me, it all fit together.

As I looked up a slogan to put on my poster for the march, the only one that I thought was really good said "Human Rights Begin With Human Life." Really, if you don't respect life at the start, why would you at any other point? And it brought me back to my thoughts from The Help. It was eye-opening to me that women, people, could treat others with such disrespect and audacity. (Of course, not everyone in the book did.) Reflecting on how anyone could justify it, I had to remember that in the South, white people were brought up to believe that blacks were different, dirty, and dangerous, just like I was brought up to believe Jesus is good and the Savior of the world. However, as we mature, we all have to come to an opinion of our own. But changing beliefs takes a lot of circumstances to even make us reconsider.

To me, the point of fighting for human rights is to affirm that every life is important. Whether it is an unplanned pregnancy, a person with black skin, a homeless person, or an alcoholic. After all, Jesus loved everyone while He was on Earth, even though who beat him and crucified Him. That is the prime example for us.

I think the hard thing in the abortion issue is that some of those in favor of it claim that the fertilized egg, even the fetus, is not a real human life. I'm not up on that argument enough to know when they claim it is, but it seems to me the kind of thing that it hard to argue with. How can you prove a fertilized egg has a soul? You have to believe it. And you can't make some one have faith in something. They must choose to. So if someone truly believes that blacks are less than human, than how do you prove to them they aren't? But, through a great movement lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others, that belief is now unpopular and definitely unsupported. Maybe, God willing and God help us, someday the belief that a child in womb is not worthy to live, will be in our past as well.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This Year of 2012

So it's almost through the first month, and I'm just now writing about my goals and hopes for this year. May I offer an excuse? I'm pregnant. Yes, I'm pregnant! I've known since early November, but I wanted to wait for an announcement. I am now 15 weeks - due right before Sweet Girl's second birthday in July. I'm also tired. A lot. Today I am actually using this morning time before Sweet Girl wakes up to do something besides go back to sleep on the couch. (But I'm still tired.)

So this is why my posting has been delayed, or short. Why goals are not being pursued so enthusiastically as before this happened. And it will explain my overall goal for the year: simplicity and growth in the home.

This means no outside, long term commitments. No lengthy goal sheets each month or projects with due dates. What time I'm left with to myself after my duties to my family and the home will be spent solely on reading, writing or creating what I want! So far I've read a book, I've written several times in my journal the past week, and my to do list is getting smaller at a faster pace than it is growing! Partly because I have a little more energy and am usually able to go through the day without a nap. But also because I am pacing myself. I am trying to be balanced and think twice before adding something to that list.

At the same time, I want to grow within the home. I want to create a simple, organized, and lovely home to bring this baby home to. And I want our routines and habits to be formed and seamless so when this baby is here, we have them to fall back on and integrate the baby into, and therefore less disruption to our lives. I'm sure we'll have to adapt them, but we will be adapting a structure, not building from scratch.

I want to learn to be a better homemaker over all. Learn how to properly do laundry, set a table, and stock a house. For years I've had to learn how to move every six months, not build up a home. Now it's time to do that. And it would be fun to make something, maybe a quilt, for this little one.

I want to be able to be at home. To focus fully on my husband and daughter. To give this baby what he or she needs. I don't want to be rushing around doing this and doing that, not even knowing why I'm doing it in the first place. And I think that is a good goal for the rest of my life!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Homemade Christmas Gifts

As promised...

Two sets of this, a matching set. One for Sweet Girl and one for a niece. 
I just painted the pieces and made little boxes for the containers which are plastic freezer jars (and BPA free!).

Reverseable bags. One for my sister and two for nieces. They each got their initial on the front. 
These were simple, but it felt like they took forever to complete because I had to work in small segments of time. I was impressed at how well they came out! Not by my handiwork, for sure, but just a very good design!

A felt cupcake building set for a niece. I got the idea here.
I also made a pencil roll like for this niece, but I didn't take a picture of it.

Flower hair clips. One for a sister-in-law and another for a niece. 
I also made headbands for my sister-in-law but I forgot to take pictures of them. 

Popscile memory game. One for a niece and one for my godson. There are six sets. I got the idea from here

It sure felt like I did more, but I guess that's it!