Thursday, July 31, 2014

Coralie - 8 & 9 Months

June and July have been all about trying to find a new 'normal' after such a busy April and May. In some ways I'd like to say we have found the new normal but in that same breath I have to acknowledge that this new normal needs some serious repair, I'll discuss that more when I talk about her sleep habits...

Weight/Height: 20.5 lbs, I'll confirm her weight and get her height at her 9 month appointment coming up next Tuesday. 

Health: She is healthy as a horse. Occasionally we worry some about ear aches, when we see her pulling at her ears off an on but from everything I read, they can usually clear up without antibiotics, so I keep some expressed breast milk in a dropper and drop a couple of drops in as needed. So far, no fever and no signs that the ear infection has progressed from the two times we've suspected it.

Nicknames: "Cor-Cor", "Cora Bora", "Chunky monkey", "pumpkin"

Teething: This poor kid still doesn't have any teeth. On one hand, I'm quite grateful as I assume that this is handy in our nursing... but I can tell she is in some pain. She doesn't like teethers but she has given in and seems to really like cubes of ice stuck in the mesh feeders. She'll also gnaw on anything hard she can get her hands on (that aren't teethers). She's got about 8 teeth under the surface just waiting to pop out, so I'm sure once this process starts, she'll go from no teeth to a mouth full!

Clothing: She is in 9 month clothing, some 12 month outfits. She has completly outgrown everything 6-9 months. 

Diapers:Cloth at home but size 3 when in disposables.

Eating: Milk - She is still being nursed. She nurses at least once during the night most nights, once first thing in the morning, at afternoon nap, again around dinner time if she is cranky and needs a quick nap and just before and at night before bed. On occasion we'll squeeze in a "snack" nursing session at other times to soothe or solve a grumpy mood. Water- after her last pedi appointment we started giving her small amounts of water in a sippy cup to get her accustomed to drinking from one for when the time comes to start weaning her. So far we haven't had a lot of luck with sippy cups... we've honestly only tried two so far without much luck. On our vacation she had a day where she got a bit dehydrated. It wasn't ever serious I started realizing how few wet diapers she'd had for the day and started shoving pedialyte down her before it had a chance to become an issue. After that water became a big deal while we were still in desert climates. She gladly took a water bottle with a hole poked in the cap over her sippy cup... not sure what conventional sippy cup we'll return to but for now this ghetto method works. 
Solids - As John fondly states, Cora's favorite foods are the ones that we're eating. She eats like a champ! If it's soft and pliable or small enough for her to gum up and swallow whole she'll eat it happily! Some of her favorite snacks are vanilla wafers from Slaton Bakery, Veggie Straws, Cherrios (and ahem, anything sweet that Mommy may be eating).

ZzzZ...Sleeping: Oh sleep... I discussed this issue at length at the family reunion with many moms of differing opinions and parenting styles... I think we've found a solution but I just don't want to face it yet. I think we're going to have to resort to Crying it out... :( 
Starting about 2 months ago now, Cora started refusing to sleep in her crib! I really wanted to make her sleeping in her room work so I was crashing in the glider in her room or on blankets on her floor. We finally resorted to putting a twin bed in there for me. After fighting with her, wrestling her to sleep (the idea of her self soothing and falling asleep alone is laughable...) then putting her in her crib only to have her wake time after time. Eventually she just ended up sleeping in whatever uncomfortable position I was in. Now, she's back in bed with us. It's been the easy solution, and I am all for co-sleeping in certain situations but we're not really wanting to co-sleep anymore. So, as soon as we have the house to ourselves again (we have had lots of house guests I don't want to inflict tears upon), sleep training it is!

Our little Socialite: Cora is generally a pretty social baby but recently she has acquired some stranger danger. She doesn't really want to be passed around endlessly anymore. She's quite comfortable with the people she sees most, Mommy, Daddy, Grandpa, all her Uncles (even Josh who she hadn't seen since he left for Boot Camp!), and Aunt Stephanie. If you're not on that list you have a 50/50 shot at whether or not she'll have a fit if you hold her. 
She is very talkative, she clearly says "Momma" and "Daddy". We joke that she's also our little German Baby because as she has been babbling she likes to vocalize "nine-nine-nine-nine" as she is upset. 

Likes: Her doggies, really any animals she can touch and pet. She has really started grabbing ahold of hair and yanking. She loves being worn by her Momma and Daddy has started baby wearing much to her pleasure! When fussy (particularly in the car when there's not much I can do to calm) she is endlessly fascinated with food and eating!
Dislikes: bed time! being passed around large groups of people, diaper changes (she tries to escape, but Mommy has figured out how to put a diaper on with Cora on all 4's!), 

New: She full-on crawls now! She is a fast little bugger and likes to chase Daddy around the house! In the last 3 weeks she has started working on standing on her own but can't stand without assistance for more than 30 seconds or so.
Fun things we did: Birthday parties for Ady and for a set of her twin cousins (June), play date with baby Becca (June), her first Fourth of July (including parade and fireworks!) (July), saw her Uncle Mike Aunt Val and Cousin Matt as they passed through town. Her first Vacation! Family Reunion, visited New Mexico, Arizona, California. Saw Uncle Joshua graduate from Marine Boot Camp.

Goings on with Mommy: Mommy is staying home with Cora full time now! I love this time with her! This is going to be our first full week of me being at home, so we're still working on a schedule but it is soooo nice not to mess with pumping! It was a little painful at first as my supply dropped down from the excess of pumping to just what Cora needs (and of course it was while we were on vacation & I didn't take a pump) but isn't an issue any more!

Goings on with Daddy: Daddy is loving his time with Cor Cor! She thinks he is all play! We'll have to work on her recognizing him as an authority, but for now it's great watching them play and interact! She gets a huge smile as he walks through the door each day!

Exciting Future: Next week is her 9 month pediatrician well visit and though we're not excited about it, Uncle Josh leaves again for more training with the Marines. It is possibly the last time we will see him before he is stationed (potentially) over seas. 
We're scheduled to go to a Rangers game with friends in a couple of weeks! After that really the only big things on our horizons are a Tech football game and Little Miss Cora turning 1!! (I'm of course already planning that party!)


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Life Lately - Living a Cross Shaped Life

Life lately has been... well it has been busy, but it also been a time of trials, unexpected surprises (of the good and not-so-good kind) and lots of prayerful soul searching. I don't have all the answers but I'm sure the Lord will reveal them to us in time. 

Anyway, enough about that for now. I've probably started this post five times. I never can find just the right words, so I figure if I'm ever going to publish it I'm just going to have to do the best I can and let the rest be. 

We live in the day of public information. We post about anything and everything all over social media. I can't remember who the first person I saw posting a picture of their food, but now that's the norm; you didn't have that meal unless you took a picture of it, right? Going to the gym, or out for a run is no different...


... What if we were more open about living a "cross shaped life" if we were more open about our Christianity. Imagine the difference we could make in the world. When did it become so important to not potentially offend someone that we stopped sharing our faith openly and publicly?

A couple of weeks ago our pastor was discussing the Protestant Reformation and the progression of Christianity in our country. He said something that has stuck with me, something that has haunted me since that Sunday. He discussed the fact that America is clearly not the Christian nation that we once were, that Christianity is steeply declining and that the country with the largest Christian population is China. CHINA. I just cannot fathom that, though I have no reason to doubt him. 

Once upon a time I was at dinner with some friends. I count these individuals among our close friends, I was discussing something that had happened in a recent Bible Study gathering and much to my shock I was laughed at. Not laughed at because of my faith, but because they didn't realize that people actually went to Bible Studies. They honest-to-goodness believed that the concept of Bible Studies were things that only crazy radicals attended. I couldn't believe that we were friends with someone who had never been to a Bible Study, and they couldn't believe that they're friends with someone "normal" who regularly attends Bible Studies. 

"So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I will spit you out of my mouth!
Revelation 3:16

Since that dinner a question that has been laid upon me (the night I first started pondering this post), am I living a cross shaped life or am I too much "of the world"?

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

Could someone from the outside identify me as a Christian based on my daily life? 
I invite you to examine your own life and question these same things. As I look at my beautiful sleeping daughter, it breaks my heart to know that she is being raised in a world that is not friendly to Christians who live out their faith. I am fearful for the world she will face as an adult and what world my grandchildren will face.