Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Chaps and a diaper? Yes please!

Just to show you how much fun we have in Texas, here is my next story in pictures.  I could try to describe this, but really... the pictures do it the only justice.  Within the first few days Little Man decided to wear his Woody hat (from his Toy Story costume he wore last year), the came out the diaper jeans, then the chaps, then the laughs....

This may sound silly, but I couldn't help but hear the song from The Full Monty that goes "you can leave you're hat on...".  Feel free to do the same :)

Love it all!  Do any of you have a great diaper moment to share?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"No One Told Me" Thursday

...I would shed like a dog.
During pregnancy there are some pretty amazing benefits from the hormones and prenatals.  One of which is a lush mane.  My hair seemed to feel fuller, silkier, and shinier.  Then you have your beautiful little baby and it all goes down the drain.  Literally.
When Little Man was born I distinctly remember standing in the shower two weeks later, shampooing my head, looking down and what do I see?  Hair everywhere!  I ran my hand through my hair and looked at my hand.  Even more hair!  I felt like I was in the middle of a beauty shop horror film. For days I shed like this. 
I don’t know if it was the screaming baby or the long nights, but I swear my hair just freaked out.  It either went grey or just jumped ship completely.  I was so upset.  I had enough to deal with, being a first time mom and all.  I thought something was wrong with me and that I was going bald.  
Luckily that wasn’t the case.  I didn’t go bald and I was completely normal!  When looking online I read that while pregnant your head stops shedding hair.  When your hormons change after your baby is born all those wonderful hairs that held on for 10 months decide to make a run for it. So don’t worry if this happens to you!  You’re just shedding the hairs you would have lost all those months and it will slow down.
Why didn’t anyone tell me so I could have saved myself from a hair heart attack?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Wednesday Word

Do you see the signs?

Due to my vacation I have really been thinking about driving.  With my silly thoughts the way they are I naturally went from thinking about the super long drive with two teeny kids to thinking about the signs on the side of our life's "road".  There is always something in every event in our lives that we can find God in if we pay attention.  I believe he always tries to tell us, "hey, I'm here and you are not alone".  I wanted to share with you one of the events in my life where I was shown a sign of His existence.  I've had many other signals from God, too, and sometimes those signs were ignored.

I can remember being little and talking in my head to Christ.  I didn't grow up in a religious home so I didn't grow up with the knowledge of something greater than myself out there.  Yet I knew who it was I was talking to.  So I think we must be made with a longing to know our creator just like we are naturally instilled with the knowledge of right and wrong.  Okay, so maybe this isn't an exact "sign", but just knowing He was there was pretty huge for me.

Fast forward several years and past several signals to my being a teenager.  I had just moved from Idaho to Colorado and started a new high school towards the end of the school year.  I had only lived there a month or so when I started dating a boy who was not really my type, but very fun.  I had been ditching my science class for the first week we were together so we could hang out for two hours (that class was right before lunch).  It wasn't like we were doing anything cool- just "hanging out" in the library or cafeteria.  I was only a freshman after all- where else could I go?  One day my boyfriend wanted to ditch again and go to the library to hang out with some other kids from church.  For some reason I felt really strongly that I had to go to science class.  I didn't want to go to class, there wasn't any assignment due, I wasn't falling behind or anything, but I felt strangely compelled to go.  So I went to class and so did he. That was a day that would change my view on life and confirm my belief in God.

That day two students went on a rampage at my school and killed 13 people and themselves.  And where was most of the carnage?  The library.  One of our friends was killed, many others experienced something that I believe I am not mentally capable of handling.  I could barely handle what I went through that day and I know in my heart of hearts that Christ was looking out for me that day.  He knew what was going to happen and spared not only my life, but a total mental breakdown.  I got down on my mental knees that day and said "okay, you're there- I'm not alone.  I have faith in you".  That couldn't have been just me.  It wasn't just a coincidence.  I'm not psychic.  I had no idea what was going to happen that day, but I knew I couldn't ditch that day.  

I've learned to follow that pull within myself.  I know what it is and I know what it means.  I have also found out the hard way what happens when I ignore it.  Now I look for the signs.  I try to see where God is in every situation and am often shocked by how obvious He is, and yet how easily I can oversee it.

What about you?  Has there been an instance in your life, whether big or small where you saw the sign? I would love to hear it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"No One Told Me" Thursday

...About the Jell-O Belly.

Okay, I did not expect to pop out a 7 pound, 3 ounce baby and have my stomach bounce back to a size 4 but I didn’t expect what was to come.  
When you are fully pregnant and ready to pop all there is in your abdomen is baby.  Everything else has been moved out of the way, most are up towards your ribs or hovering around your bladder.  I don’t know why but I fully assumed that all those organs would just kind of fall back into place pretty much immediately.  Not so!  I felt strangly empty in the ab area and when I pushed on it, it felt like pushing on a ball of dough.  I was afraid my hand would get sucked in there never to be seen again if I pushed too hard.  Plus it was really unflattering to look at. Just like, you guessed it, a bowl full of peach Jell-O.
Have you ever seen that Simpsons episode where the scientists are measuring Homer’s body fat?  They smack his belly to time how long it jiggles and it just keeps going and going with little waves of fat all over his tummy.  That is exactly what my stomach looked like!  I had to wear my maternity pants for what seemed like forever just to keep the fat from exploding out into the world in a Jell-O sunami.  I wished I could have kept wearing my maternity pants to keep my stomach in for longer, but you really only have so much leeway after having your baby.  It would probably be a faux pas to wear maternity clothes on my childs first birthday.
In the weeks that follow childbirth your trusty organs move back to where they belong and I felt more solid.  The Jell-O may have been gone, but my stomach moved on to another tasty treat.  The ever hardy, ever present muffin top.  Oh how I wished I could have zapped back into my pre-pregnancy body like the bionic-bodied friend of mine who was back in pre-pregnancy clothes just two weeks after her first baby looking like she never gave birth!  (Oh and she just had another baby and zapped right back into her pre-preggo jeans. Ugh. Hey Jealousy.) The evidence of my birthing a child can be seen just by glancing at me from across the room.  You can see that I greatly represent another food in overall appearance now, an overripe pear.
It does get better.  I’ve noticed with this baby I have lost the weight much faster and am on my way to being at a comfortable size.  While I may never again see a size 4, I am seeing the jiggle leave my Jell-O.  I just need to somehow get my hips to come back together and maybe then I'll be able to fit at least one leg into my old jeans.  Heck, at this point I'd settle for just my calf to be able to fit in those things!  But that’s a topic better left to another day.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Wednesday Word

“Bad Advertising”
I was watching Last Comic Standing Monday night and felt incredibly convicted when a very non-politically correct comic made the comment that went something like, 
I hate it when people say ‘Jesus loves you’. If that were true then he would have sent someone else to say it to me.  You’re not a very good representation.
I should have been offended, instead I thought, 'oh my gosh it’s true'.  As a Christian and a follower of Jesus I have been there.  I have judged others for their actions and told them of a better way.  But I hardly ever find myself thinking, ‘if I was looking at me, would I want to be saved?’.  If someone was to see me on the street, in my car, or pushing my kids in the stroller would they be able to see the light I represent before I ever open my mouth?  What about when I do open my mouth, what am I expressing?  Is it love or is it condemnation.  
Let’s face it, we find it easy to judge.  It’s a heck of a lot easier to see and point out what others are doing wrong than to look into ourselves for faults.  I’ve done it.  I did it yesterday.  I found myself fuming in my head about a family member who I was thinking was so judgemental, unloving, and misrepresenting Christ.  So while I condem their judgement, I am judging too.  Where is the love?  That’s what we are called to do.  Love.  Why is it so hard?
If we were truly trying to lead by Christ’s example and bring others to God we should not be pointing out what will “drag them to hell” because no-one would ever listen.  No-one likes to be told that they are wrong (just see yesterday’s post).  And that is not what we are called to do.  Plus, let's not forget that we are all sinners.  We all deserve horrible things and not one of us is above another.  I am so thankful that someone better than us crazy people came along to save us and show us some love.  Okay, so everyone knows this verse I’m about to quote about God’s love.  I bet you’ll say it in your head the second you see the verse.  It’s on signs at football games, bumper stickers, and wrist bands.  It’s John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so who so ever believes in him will not parish but have ever lasting life.
But what about the verse after that.  Do you know it?  It completes this thought and is an incredibly important example of how we are to act and how Christ loves us.  I can’t say that I knew it previous to this weekend.  I’m glad I know it now.
For God sent His Son into the world not to condem it, but the world thru Him might be saved
Why don’t we know this?  Why don’t we follow this?  Let’s put down our signs (whether real or figurative) that say “God hates ________”.  Lets show love.  Lets show why Christ is different and why life can be better outside of the world.  We can only show that by not condeming people, but showing them love so they might be saved.  Boy, that would make family get-togethers a lot nicer! Heck, if Christ isn’t condeming anyone then who am I to think I can?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Competitive Talking

image from lifesnip.com
I think it’s human nature to stand fiercly behind a belief you have, even if what you believe in is shaky.  Take your favorite football team, for example.  So they haven’t won a single important game in years and can’t even spell the word P-L-A-Y-O-F-F-S yet you get in a room with someone who is wearing red and silver instead of your trusty orange and blue and they become the enemy.  You’ll rip apart their team down to the awful boots their cheerleaders wear while at the same time lording the immaculate nature of your precious team over their heads.  And admit it, in your head you’re listening to their points and thinking, “hmmm, that’s true, they can’t catch a ball”, but it comes out “the ref wasn’t looking and we were robbed.  We Rock!!”.  You stand firm in the slop that is your football team and shove their greatness down your friend’s throat.
Feeling guilty of that?  I know I am.  Maybe not the football part, but about a lot of things (mainly baby related things).  It’s almost like I feel that someone is trying to personally offend me when they prefer a different brand of stroller, sippy cup, or even if their baby rolled over before mine and I feel the need to defend my life, hoping to show how “right” I am.  Huh?  What’s up with that?  Who cares if Timmy prefers his Dr. Brown’s sippy cup when my Little Man needs a Nuk?  Aren’t they both happy?  Neither one is right, and I know that.  Why, then, when around another intelligent mommy I feel the need to defend the honor of my favorite products or my baby's development, when their honor isn’t even being questioned?
It’s got to be deeply ingrained in us moms somewhere way down deep that we must be right.  We have to be right. We have to be the best or have the best and somehow that makes us right and the have-nots wrong.  Is that why we feel “wrong” when we don’t have what they have?  I can’t tell you how many times I have felt that it is wrong for me to be growing my family in a small, 1100 square-foot condo with no yard or even garage.  Other women at my young age with growing families have yards, garages, seperate rooms for their kids, and don’t even have to go up three flights of concrete stairs while wrangling a screaming toddler, sleeping baby, and groceries just to get to their front door.  I feel like I need to get on the “right side” of this topic so I can be right and have all the right things.  And yet, when someone mentions my living situation I feel an incredible urge to defend my choices.  
Why can’t I just say, “yeah I love where I live, and your house looks so wonderful too”.  Instead it comes out snarky and a bit too fierce.  Then I feel like I have to show them all the other things I have right; like how great is this accessory or that product that I just happen to have.  Plus, the way I live is not wrong.  I shouldn’t feel the need to defend anything!  And why is it that while “defending” our silly possetions we have to try to knock down what others have or believe in?  I act like I am defending the miracle of Christ or something, not just the best diaper brand. It never actually makes me feel better or truly right and I leave the conversation knowing that I didn’t change their minds because when moms get together, sometimes we are unable to “hear” eachother and are just competative talking.
Plus, my team’s due for a comeback - your team doesn’t stand a chance.
(Oh boy, I didn’t learn anything)