Happy 1st Birthday, Julia Faith!

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Dear Julia,

What a wondrous year this has been! I wonder if I could have guessed, when I held your skinny, wrinkly, alien-like newborn body, what a lovely little girl you would become in only 365 days. You were so teeny tiny, and so very fragile, that all I wanted to do was hold you all day long. And I think I’d still love to hold you all day long…if you didn’t want to crawl all over the place exploring and discovering anything you can get your hands on!

We had a great day celebrating your birthday…well, after you endured a torturous two hours in the nursery while Mommy went to Bible Study. But then we got to go see Daddy at work…and his coworkers planned a little surprise party for you with lots and lots of presents! Daddy also got you a special ball, which you chased up and down the cubicle halls. You even whispered “Ball!” when you unwrapped it from the packaging. You are surely the office mascot.

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After that, we got to go see your first friend, Miss Casey, along with her mom, Ms. Eileen. They had presents for you, too! You loved tearing around their house on your hands and knees and seeing their fluffy dogs. When you opened the box that had a pretty pair of white sandals, you signed “please” until we put them on your feet!

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To make a good day even better, we went to Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop’s house because they finally arrived home after their trip to Africa! Boy, were they excited to see you! You had grown even in the three weeks since they had seen you last – they loved catching a glimpse of those two nice front top teeth that are really showing now. It is so cute how you show off your pearly whites when you wrinkle up your nose and laugh!

Besides words like “mama” and “ball,” you also like to say “uh-oh” whenever you drop something, and you will often say “Dadada” when your Daddy walks into the room. Recently, when we visited your Grammy and Grandad, you learned to say “Pretty!” when admiring Grammy’s earrings. And sometimes,  you just ramble off nonsense words that no one understands but you. You think it’s very funny when I start imitating your syllables, though! You are so fun to watch and interact with, and Daddy loves taking photos and videos of you in all your silliness. He recently made a little montage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUOYCt5vAQA&list=UUaZum2Oz89iBOQCIBIKnvWA

We’re working on getting you to eat table foods, but now that you’ve learned how to sign “please” and “more” and “all done,” you’ve realized that sometimes you have the power to be picky. So, Mommy has had to save your cheese and blueberries and crackers for only after you’ve had a good serving of peas or green beans. Fortunately, you still love Mommy’s milk (your other favorite word to sign), so I know you’re getting plenty of nutrition each day! It amazes me what a good little communicator you are, and I’m still in awe of the fact that only a year ago, your sounds were limited to a few little bird-like squeaks and cries.

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Daddy and I love spending time with you, Julia! We take you with us everywhere, and follow you around the house like your biggest fan club! Your favorite place to explore is going up the stairs, but until you learn how to come down safely, we’re going to keep that staircase gate securely locked. 😉 We’re proud of how fast you get around, and how much you love pushing your little walker, too, but we are glad that you’re in no hurry to take your first steps. You are a cautious little girl, just like your parents, and we love you just the way you are! Even when we had an early birthday party for you last week, you were very quiet and observant of all the commotion and the kids running around. You were especially cautious about the cupcake we put on your tray, since you had never eaten one before! But that’s okay. You are so cute when you are concerned.

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I am proud of all the physical milestones you have crossed this first year, Julia, but I am even more proud of how I see Jesus working in your heart. You are learning to stop what you are doing and turn around when Mommy says, “No, not for Julia,” and I am so thankful to see the beginnings of an obedient heart! These past few weeks when we visited your cousins, it was SO COOL to see you get along with other kids your age. You even learned how to share with your cousin Luke, and that made me so excited! (You also tried to tackle him once or twice when he had a toy you really wanted. Maybe we need to work on gentleness.) I pray that these little seeds of God’s Spirit working in your life will grow and grow every year as you learn about who God is and who He made you to be.

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Today was a happy day, little girl, but it also made me a little sad. Like every mother who has seen her tiny infant turn into a toddler before her very eyes, I can’t believe that I don’t really have a baby anymore. Every stage keeps getting better, though, and I love you more and more every month! May the Lord continue to bless your little life and work in your little heart this year, and in all of the years to come!

Love,

Mommy

P.S. I think we really wore you out with all the partying today!

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The Chairs That Kept Coming Back

Flashback to 1978. My paternal great-grandfather was a retired Methodist pastor. He and my great-grandmother lived in a little old house in New Jersey, where my mom and dad would come visit from time while they were still dating. Whenever my mom and dad came over, Great Grandpa would pull out from the closet two small, folding rocking chairs for their guests. They would sit and rock and talk and sit and rock and talk. These two chairs were solid wood rockers, with upholstered seats and backs, and a bit of carving at the top. They were low enough to the ground that the two recent college graduates had the awkward sensation of their knees being propped up a little higher than was comfortable. But spending time with grandparents is important, and it was a small price to pay. Great-Grandpa was always full of stories and wisdom, and Great-Grandma could sing any hymn on the spot – all the verses, word for word.

Fast-forward to April, 1979. My parents were married in Gaithersburg, Maryland, where they would both be working for IBM. Great Grandpa and Great Grandma Wilson came to the ceremony, proudly delivering their wedding gift – a new set of identical folding rocking chairs.

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It’s too bad my mom wasn’t the biggest fan of those chairs.

But they took their dutiful place in the closet, ready to be taken out and used if company ever came and wanted to sit and rock and talk.

Twelve years and two kids later, my parents were getting ready to move from the Hudson Valley to South Florida. In the process of cleaning out the house, they held a large garage sale. The two rocking chairs did not make the packing list, so out to the driveway they went. They were purchased by an older couple from our church, affectionately known as “Papa” and “Mama” Tatsche.

Great-Grandpa’s uncomfortable rocking chairs had been conveniently done away with, or so we all thought.

It wasn’t too many years later that Papa and Mama Tatsche also moved to Florida. Our family drove over to Naples to visit them in their new apartment, and had a wonderful time catching up with them. My sister and I were in grade school by now, and were as enthralled by the chance to be in a new place as we were by the jar of candy that sat on the coffee table. As we were about to leave, Papa Tatsche caught us in the foyer and said, “You know, we live in a smaller apartment now, and we need to get rid of some of our belongings. However, I just can’t bear to part with those chairs we had bought from you all. We’ve decided that you should have them – you can store them away and give one to each of your girls as a wedding present one day.”

I’m sure my mom must have inwardly groaned as she cheerfully and thankfully loaded the rocking chairs into the van for the journey home. My sister and I were pretty indifferent to the situation…if anything, it just seemed weird that someone would give us back the chairs that we hadn’t wanted in the first place.  Those ridiculous, uncomfortable chairs just kept coming back! How could my mom get rid of them now?

So, the infamous chairs that kept coming back were dutifully stored in our guest room closet for two more decades and two more cross-country moves, waiting for my mom to find an appropriate, dignified way of disposing of them.

Fast forward to this summer. Mom and Dad had re-modeled their bathroom and put in a brand new walk-in closet. In the process of moving into their new space, they took the opportunity to sort through the contents all of the closets in the house, which they had lived in for almost fifteen years by now.

The time had come for the dreaded chairs to make their final departure from my parents’ thirty-four year marriage. So, into the Goodwill pile they went.

And there they sat.

And sat.

Because nobody could quite conveniently bring themselves to drop those ancient chairs off at the thrift store.

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Change of Scene: At about this time, my little eleven-month-old was going through an anti-crib phase, where she was suddenly refusing to nap in her crib. She would sleep there fine at night, but during the day, it was a different story. Even if I nursed her to sleep and softly crept up the stairs, as soon as I crossed the threshold of her room, Julia would wake, arch her back, and loudly protest any attempt to put her in the crib. She would rather stand in there, gripping the rails, and yelling her little vocal chords ragged for an hour, than actually lying down and sleeping in her crib! I tried everything. In the end, the only thing that started to have some success was to actually nurse her in her room, wrapped in her blanket, with the sound machine and fan on full blast. That way, I just had to tiptoe a few steps before gently placing my tightly-wrapped bundle in the crib, and although she usually opened her eyes, she was comfortable enough to fall back asleep on her own. (Babywise mamas: Don’t hate. These are desperate times.)

Anyway, all that to say, there was not a chair in the nursery for me to sit in during this process of getting Julia to fall asleep. And since, in my mind, this was just a temporary solution to fix a temporary problem, I didn’t want to exactly go out and buy a piece of furniture. What could I use to rock my baby to sleep, besides the awful step-stool I was currently using to sit upon every day?

And that’s when I remembered the infamous chairs that kept coming back!

By this time, one of them was in complete disrepair, but the other was holding together just well enough to make it through this last mission. It has been sitting humbly in the nursery corner for a week now, where I go several times a day with Julia to sit and rock and hold and sit and rock and pray. Until she drifts off to sleep soundly enough that I can put her in the crib without a catastrophic reaction.

And since I’m only five feet, two-and-five-eighths inches tall, it’s okay that the seat is so low to the ground. I need my knees a little propped up anyway, to hold my little bundle without killing my arms. And it’s okay that the upholstery is sagging in the bottom, because it’s a reminder to be thankful that I’m not sitting there on a stepstool.

And it’s also a reminder that this is a temporary arrangement. Julia will not hate her crib forever. She won’t wake up in the middle of the night forever. She won’t be teething forever. She won’t have to be nursed to sleep forever. This too, shall pass. And then, it will really be the end of the line for Great-Grandpa’s rocking chair.

But just as it will be with much reluctance that I say good-bye to that old chair, as uncomfortable as it was, it will also be with some sadness that I move past even the difficult stages of Julia’s life. Because as uncomfortable as it is at the moment, I have to remember that one day I will look upon those nap time nursing sessions with great fondness and nostalgia.

In the meantime, I think Julia’s Great-Great-Grandpa would be proud.

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The Little Personality that Lives in my House

I get such a kick out of this girl.

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Julia turned 8 months on Saturday, and wow is she developing her own little personality!

I love watching her eyes and mouth open SO wide as she reaches…and rolls…and reaches…and army crawls… and reaches…until she finally grabs a hold of that tantalizing tag on the rug.

I love the enthusiasm with which she grabs my hair and pulls my cheek to her mouth when I say, “KISSES!!!!”

I love how she instantly starts bouncing her left heel on the table as soon as I put her in the Bumbo seat. Every time.

I love that little bottom lip that pops out when some strange adult is holding her and she sees her mommy take a step away.

I love how she sees me coming to pick her up and smiles so big that her pacifier falls out.

I love the random syllables she uses to talk to her toys.

I love the squinty-eyed, closed-lip giddy grin she puts on in the morning when she’s sitting in her pjs on the rug waiting for me to get dressed and spots me in the mirror.

I love how excited she is to grab her soft lovey bunny in her crib when I put her there for a nap.

I love how she bites her bottom lip as she bangs away on her little piano. As if she’s concentrating so hard to get those scales just right.

I love the little squeal of glee when I put her in the swing and say, “One…Two…Three…GO!!!”

I love the surprised little shout when, from her swing, she spots her Daddy in the distance, jogging another lap around the playground.

I love that little pursed-lip raised-eyebrows look she gives me from down in her stroller when we’re headed home after our evening walk that says, “This is nice, being outside and all, but will I be getting my bath when we get home? Just checking.”

I love the deep belly-laughs we shared tonight when she suddenly figured out what “splash” means and how to do it. Oh goodness, I haven’t laughed so much in ages! And I’ve never heard her giggle that hard, either!

I love how she goes from a squirmy wet bundle of giggles after bathtime, to the most peaceful, limp, precious sleeping face. I can’t resist kissing those cheeks one last time before surrendering her to the crib.

I love the person that little Julia Faith is becoming.

Am I a “Crunchy” Mom?

I was browsing facebook yesterday looking up a support group for a friend in another part of the country, and I ran across a group called “Crunchy Emerald Coast Moms.”

When I think of the word “crunchy,” I think of hippy-type homeschooling moms with eleven kids who wear long skirts and longer braids. Crunchy moms mill their own organic flour and have a compost pile next to the vegetable garden outside. Or maybe they live on a farm. They recycle and reuse everything, never wear make-up, use natural remedies for sickness, and their children are always perfect obedient angels who say, “ma’am” and “sir.”

I hereby apologize to anyone who was just offended by the above misinformed generalization.

But then I read the description of the “Crunchy Mom” facebook group. It said, “The ‘crunchy’ way of life! (Breastfeeding, baby wearing, co sleeping, cloth diapering, etc!)”

Wait, is that what it means to be a crunchy mom? Because if so, I am falling dangerously close to this category. I definitely did not set out to be so… “granola.” Every decision I’ve made in the past year has been either for convenience or finance, and ultimately, what would glorify the Lord the most. And yet, somehow, I end up at 9am on a Thursday morning looking at facebook groups that have the word “crunchy” in them.

Let me back up. I grew up in a very metropolitan area. The concrete jungle is my kind of turf. I’ve been camping maybe once, have a Target, Publix, Toys R Us and Wal-Mart within biking distance of my house, and rarely go anywhere that doesn’t have wifi. I use paper towels instead of a washcloth to wipe down my countertops, and (confession here) I’m really bad at remembering to recycle. I am anything BUT a hippie. So anyway, I got a good degree or two, had a career that I loved, and then followed the higher calling of full-time motherhood, fully expecting to blend into the high-tech metropolitan mom world.

This transition into motherhood came with some decisions. The first one revolved around what kind of birth I wanted to have. I did a lot of research. A LOT. And became slowly convinced that although a lot of science and tax dollars had been invested in all of the medical interventions that often accompany normal hospital births, I believed that they interfered with the way the Lord had designed my body to work. So, I had a natural childbirth (in a hospital, to be on the safe side), completely spontaneous and unmedicated.

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I even sewed my own hospital gown.

The second decision had to do with feeding my baby. There was no question in my mind – not only was breastfeeding so much healthier for my baby than formula, it was also waaaaaay less expensive and super convenient! I am not suggesting it was always easy – I had more than my fair share of difficulties, especially in the first few months – but I never gave formula a second thought. Julia only drank mommy’s milk until she was six months old, and now as she’s starting solids, I’m looking forward to continuing to nurse her for at least a year.

Thirdly, where should baby sleep? Some people put their newborn in a crib, some let the baby sleep in their beds, but I felt most comfortable with Julia in a rocker beside our bed. Enough distance to make the transition to the crib easy, but convenient enough to nurse her in the middle of the night. After 4 months, she moved to her own room with no problem.

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Then, of course came the question, “So, when are you going back to work after the baby is born?” Well, I believe that motherhood is a calling from the Lord, and He has uniquely made me the best person to take care of the child He has given me. So, instead of letting someone else raise my child, Mr. Poole and I decided that I would be the best person for that responsibility. Full-time. So, I became a stay-at-home mom, which has been the biggest privilege and blessing ever! I’m so grateful for a husband who supports me in this calling!

But staying at home means the loss of an income. And as I am the one who is now contributing very little to the bank account, I am acutely aware of how much I spend. If I am going to have the blessing of being a full-time housewife, I need to be an expert steward of the resources that my husband works so hard to earn! So when it came to diapering our child, and I did the research and discovered how many thousands of dollars I would save by using cloth diapers, that is the route I took, and I’ve been loving it! I don’t mind the extra laundry (if I am going to be staying home, I might as well do a few extra loads a week, right?) and WOW are there some cute and convenient cloth diapers out there!

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So if you haven’t caught my drift, I have so far made five big lifestyle decisions that fall into the “crunchy” category. The sixth decision, babywearing, is something that has been more of a gradual process. At the moment, I don’t think I’d call myself a “babywearer,” but I think that some of my non-crunchy friends would assign that term to me. I’m actually pretty sure I don’t agree entirely with the “attachment parenting” worldview, which is the battle cry of most babywearers. Using a wrap, in my opinion, just makes life easier. Up until a week ago, all I had was a Moby wrap and a hand-me-down Baby Bjorn carrier, but I used the Moby every day. It was purely a convenience thing – why hold a baby in your arms when you can wrap her up and be hands-free, right? The Baby Bjorn is pretty uncomfortable for both of us, but the Moby has been a great blessing, especially during that dinner-making hour in the late afternoon when baby is fussy and mommy needs to keep things going in the kitchen.

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But the Moby wrap is really meant for infants, and it’s been getting a little uncomfortable for Julia, especially when I have to sit down with her in it. I was counting on her being content in the Moby when I started helping out with the school’s spring musical, but now she complains and arches her back when I sit down at the piano. So, I did my research again, sloshed through the unending baby carrier market, and ended up taking the cheapest route I could find – making my own woven wrap. This way, I could carry Julia on my back or on my hip without squishing her when I went to play the piano. I actually had a lot of fun finding the fabric on sale, serging the edges, figuring out where to put little loops for toys, and adding some decorative stitching. So far, Julia has really enjoyed it! We took a walk with her on my back the other day, and she was asleep within two blocks!

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With this new wrap, I feel like I have definitely crossed a line. Am I a crunchy mom? I don’t know. But it doesn’t bother me anymore. I am confident that every decision I has made has been the right one, for the right reasons, and I am constantly in prayer that God would give me wisdom to know how to be a good mom and a faithful wife. I have to trust that He will answer this prayer, no matter what stereotypes I end up becoming!

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“No.”

My little bitty girl is 6 months old today! We celebrated by going to my old school, attending chapel, and seeing my old students. And then, to make her half birthday even more special, I made my mom’s chicken and dumplings.

chicken dumplingsNot that Julia would get to eat any of it.

But this is the ultimate in comfort food for me! There’s nothing like a soft biscuit to sop up all of the juicy wonderfulness from the chicken, celery, and carrots on your plate. Julia must have gotten the memo, because she was EXCEEDINGLY interested in the pot that I was stirring on the stove.

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I mean, come on, wouldn’t you want to touch that shiny pot? I’m sure the savory smell was driving her nuts, in addition to the fact that she was sitting on her mom’s hip SO close to the action! She kept reaching her hand out, and I kept saying, “No!” It’s hot!” She even got to the point where she was leeeeaaaning as far as I would let her, trying to get her hand on that saucepan.

This is the quintessential sermon illustration on God’s sovereignty and wisdom vs. man’s worldly desires. Just like a mother will not allow a child to touch a hot stove (even if they really want to!), in the same way, God will not allow us to have something that will hurt us.

Even if we really want it.

Even if we’re PRAYING for it.

He loves us enough that He’d rather see us struggle with frustration and disappointment than give us something that would not be for our ultimate good and His glory.

I used to ask my 7th graders, “Does God always answer prayer?” The goody-goodies would say, “Yes.” The ones who really thought about the question and the fact that they prayed in vain for a porsche would say, “No.” The truth is that God DOES always answer prayer…but “no” is a valid answer!

So is “wait.” So is, “Yes, and I’ll give you even more than you asked!”

Now, I just need to remember this when I’m dealing with the disappointments that come every day. I know that everything that happens is orchestrated for my good, even if it’s not what I want! When I’m frustrated because things don’t happen quickly enough, easily enough, or inexpensively enough, I must keep in mind that the character qualities that the Lord is using these situations to build far outweigh the inconveniences I’m experiencing. God is just protecting me from the hot stove.

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Going Bananas

Today, we decided to go bananas.

Mashed bananas, that is.

My milk supply has worried me ever since Julia got sick, and then I got sick. Because then I got the world’s worst sinus infection, tried two different antibiotics and a decongestant, and still couldn’t hear out of one ear. Julia’s diminished appetite during her cold followed by my illness was a recipe for a decreased milk supply, and I knew it. And then there’s the fact that she is approaching 6 months, when milk simply isn’t enough to get her all the way through the night. So, sure enough, Julia has started waking up to eat in the middle of the night again.

Which means it’s time to start adding “real food” to her diet.

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I’m a believer in exclusive breastfeeding as long as possible, and had planned on waiting until 6 months to introduce food. But we’re only 2.5 weeks away, and with the sickness and medication and the waking in the night, I didn’t want to starve my baby for 19 more days just because the calendar said she wasn’t 6 months old yet! I did a little research and chose to give her bananas as her first food, given her age and my tendency to lean toward foods that God created ready-made, as opposed to processed rice cereal. Plus, we had ripe bananas on hand already.

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Julia wasn’t quite sure what to think. It was a puzzling experience for her.

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She was more interested in eating the spoon, and not so much the banana.

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I think she swallowed a total of 3 good spoonfuls, tops, before she started getting squirmy and wanting out of the Bumbo. I knew it would be a messy endeavor, but I wasn’t quite prepared for how much was going to end up on her clothes, her hands, the Bumbo seat, the tablecloth, her feet (?), not to mention her face and bib. Certainly, there were more than 3 spoonfuls of casualties. The biggest problem, I think, was that Julia didn’t understand the need to actually open her mouth. So, most of the time, I was trying to push banana into her closed lips, which was a pretty comical endeavor.

She sure liked getting her mouth wiped at the end!

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So, we have a bit of practicing to do for both of us, I think. I’m not sure that she ingested enough banana calories in the morning or at dinner to make a difference in her evening routine, but we’ll see. Should I try rice cereal next week? What times of the day should I give her food? Should I mix the banana with breastmilk? How do I keep banana from getting smeared all over my house? There are so many things I don’t know! I’m so thankful that every day, I can seek counsel from the One who created my little daughter to begin with. How I need His wisdom!

Mr. Poole took a video of Julia’s first few bites of banana today. Ironically, what cracked us both up SO hard when we watched the video later was not so much Julia’s expressive toes, or even her expressive face – it was MY face! Julia gets her demonstrative facial expressions from her mother, and it is nowhere more evident than in this video, where you can see me doing with my face what I’m trying to get Julia to do with hers! It’s really quite embarrassing. I’m posting this video at the risk of my own reputation as a normal human being.

In totally unrelated news, tonight while Mr. Poole and I were eating dinner, we put Julia in her Bumbo and put her little piano in front of her, right with us ON the dinner table. As she banged away to her heart’s content, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “It really doesn’t get any better than this.” In my soul, I asked, “Can I just ask for one leeeeetle favor, Lord? Can you just possibly maybe let time stand still for the next 70 years? I want to enjoy this moment for the rest of my life!”

But then 20 minutes later, after the dishes were done and Mr. Poole was holding Julia on his lap, sharing the piano bench with me while I rocked out to some Chopin, I thought again, “No, THIS is the moment that I want to last forever.” We were a little family, all cozy and snuggled up next to each other, enjoying each others’ company, and chuckling when Julia reached out with both hands to press the keys. It made my eyes get all watery.

Little girls won’t be little girls forever! They grow up into bigger girls who want to crawl out of your lap and do gymnastics and wear make-up and go to prom and study abroad. But I want my little five-month-old Julia to stay a five-month old for always! They tell me, “It only gets better as they get older!” but I don’t know how it could be true. Life is pretty much as awesome as it gets right now.

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What I Learned from Julia’s First Cold

Well, we made it to five months. But the inevitable, even for a breastfed baby, finally did come to pass. Julia got sick. We survived almost two weeks with Mr. Poole’s family, amongst the colder weather, sniffling, and sneezing coming from all sorts of family members and friends, but then three days after coming home, that suspicious-sounding cough appeared, and within two days, not only was Julia’s cold in full swing, but I had it, too! So, it was an extra-special challenge to take care of a little cranky sickness monster, when I was feeling achy and fatigued myself.

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But we persevered. When she got to the point where she couldn’t breathe through her nose (making nursing extremely frustrating), and I desperately needed sleep, I called the hubby at work and he was home within 30 minutes. What a blessing! Side note: When I was considering marriage, I have to admit, I mostly just thought about what kind of a husband Mr. Poole would be. But in God’s providence, I also landed a guy who would be the most wonderful father I could imagine! End of side note.

We’re still in the thick of it, although I’m hoping we’re on the upswing. So without further ado, here are the lessons I’ve learned thus far.

1. You don’t have to go to the doctor the first day she coughs.

I did, which I suppose was the typical, safe, first-time-mom thing to do, but I wish I’d waited to spend my $20 copay until her symptoms were more than a little gunk in her nose. Later, after she’d thrown up a lot and was running a fever, that would have been a better time to take her in.

2. It’s okay to actually call the pediatrician if you’re worried.

I’d never called an actual doctor before (as in, “press 2 if you’d like to receive a callback from a physician”) until the night I went into labor and was calling to ask when I should go to the hospital. And I honestly hadn’t thought about calling Julia’s pediatrician about her fever until someone on facebook recommended it. I ended up calling because although I’d taken her in earlier in the week, she’d since then thrown up big time on several occasions and was running a 100° fever. Talking to the doctor who’d already seen her was great peace of mind. And there was no copay involved.

3. Buy baby tylenol before your baby actually has a fever.

The lady you saw frantically running into Walgreens at 6pm searching the shelves for the one remaining bottle of baby tylenol? The one who was hurriedly calling her mother on the way home to figure out what dose to give her 18-pound baby, who was meanwhile throwing up all over her daddy at home? Yeah, that was me.

4. Sick babies who are crying really hard sometimes start coughing really hard. Sick babies who cough really hard throw up really hard.

It’s a fact of life. And then, the medicine and milk you just tried to give them is all over the crib, and you have to wash and dry the sheets and the mattress cover before they can lie down in their bed again. And you have to wonder whether or not to give them more medicine. And you have to give them an early bath to get the vomit out of their hair. So do WHATEVER it takes to get them to stop crying and you won’t have any of these problems!

5. Let sleeping sick babies lie.

I run a pretty tight schedule around here, and this involves occasionally waking Julia up if it’s time for her nap to be over. But when a baby is sick, just let them sleep. They need more sleep for their little bodies to fight the germs wreaking havoc in there.

6. Your baby might not eat as much at each feeding, but she’ll want to eat more often.

This was a surprise. Julia is a champion eater, as evidenced by her 96th percentile standing for weight. I wasn’t expecting her to get tired from eating so quickly at each feeding. But then it made sense for her to go from eating every three hours to every two and a half during the day.

7. Be prepared for your previously perfect schedule to go nuts.

This is kind of a result of lessons five and six. Last night, Julia decided to stay up until 11:15pm, and then wake up at midnight again. And then, she was awake (as in, playing, wanting milk, talking, and crying, but not acting sleepy) from three until five am. Thank goodness for Mr. Poole – I took the first hour shift, he took the second. And then she slept in until nine, and would have slept longer if I hadn’t woken her up. Okay, so I broke rule #5 there, but I was afraid of having another horrible night if we let the madness continue!

8. Pray for wisdom and peace.

I feel like I do a lot of this these days – “Lord, I need your wisdom!” and “Please give me peace in this moment!” I’m so thankful that God answers these prayers!

9. Ask facebook for help.

Note: since I posted this the first time, I switched around the order of these last two. Prayer comes first. Asking facebook comes second. But I tell yah, there’s no better human advice than that which comes from the mommy friends in your life! I actually have a friends group called, “mommy friends,” and so when I posted a status asking for wisdom about what to do about the throwing-up-the-medicine problem, I only made the post visible to my friends who might actually have wisdom to give. That way, I don’t spam my entire friends list with baby questions. Also, I belong to a few mommy groups on fb that have people asking questions and giving answers all the time, but I instead preferred to hear just from my actual friends. Within a few hours I had almost 30 responses from some pretty amazing ladies. It was such an encouragement, and I felt so much better about the whole situation!

10. It’s okay to just sit in front of the computer and let your little one watch a baby video.

I am not a fan of TV. I think I have personally turned on our television three times in the past four years. I definitely don’t want my child growing up addicted to media. But when she’s just sick and cranky, all she wants sometimes is to snuggle up next to mommy and watch a video. And that’s okay. I’m learning to enjoy these precious moments, however difficult they are!

sick-a-bed day

Having a sick little girl is harder than I thought it would be. But I remember that “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 1 Corinthians 4:17