Thursday, March 27, 2014

1 Year Ago Today

Dear Felix,
On this day, one year ago, we found out about you. 
You were a BIG surprise.

Mama had been having a lot of backpain, unlike any other pain she'd ever had, so she decided to ask Dr. Grandma about it. 
Mama knew what she would ask first, so she decided to get that out of the way and just confirm that she WASN'T pregnant. 



Well, you can see where this is going.
When that little blue line appeared I started shaking and crying.
I walked in circles around our little apartment.
I put it down on the dresser to see if it would change, it didnt.
I called your Dad and he didn't pick up. So I called again and again, indicating it was an emergency. 

He picked up, in his semi-annoyed tone as if I was bothering him at school, which I was. 
"Um Seth, can you go outside?"
"Yea sure, why?"
"Actually, can you come home?"
"WHY?"
"Seth.....I'm pregnant."
{sob, sob, sob, sob}
"Wait, I thought that wasn't possible?"
"Yea, me too"

Dad rushed home.
In the mean time, I called Dr. Grandma to cancel our lunch date. I had found the source of my back pain...ta-da!
I called work, because there was no way I could come in on time in this condition. 

We drove to Walmart to buy more tests, just to be sure.
More pink lines, blue lines, and yes appeared on the little screens. 
We were terrified. 
I remember as we drove to Walmart in complete silence, both of our minds racing, Dad said, "Well, this sucks."
Little did we know at the time what an amazing gift you would be.
You see Felix, we didn't plan on having a baby for a couple more years. We wanted Dad to be done with school. We wanted to be financially independent. We wanted a couple more years to just be, Seth and Jamie....instead of Mom and Dad.

We called Grandma and Grandpa Van Nuys, they were tearfully overjoyed. 
That made us feel a little better. 
Some family members weren't so excited about you at first, but thats ok. They are definitely excited about you now.

I headed to work, because I couldn't just skip out on a whole day last minute.
I called Tia Ashley on the way, you see, she and Auntie Mel had a bet. Mel thought I would get pregnant after a year of being married, but Ashley thought I would get pregnant after 6 months of marriage. 
Well, if you look at how far along I was and the date around when I got pregnant - it was exactly 6 months. 

I called Ashley in the car, knowing she probably wouldn't pick up.
But she did. 
She must have known.
"Um....Ashley."
"Yes......."
"You may....have won a bet."
{insert screaming, crying, laughing, OMGing}

I got home from work that night around 9:45. 
Dad was hanging out at the computer. 
I walked in, sat on his lap and we hugged a long, silent hug. 
It was our silent agreement to accept our fate, whatever the cost, whatever the hardship.
We would hold hands, stay side by side, and walk down this wild road together.


And now, looking at you.
Almost 4 months old. 
Smiling and cooing your way into everyones hearts.
Life wouldn't make sense without you in it.


Thanks for being the best surprise your Mom and Dad could ever ask for. 
We love you. 







Tuesday, March 25, 2014

From this Valley

From our drive up the coast this past weekend.
I think it's ok to admit I'm in a tough place spiritually right now. 
Maybe it's becuase I haven't sat through an entire sermon since November.
I've been revisiting my testimony trying to find a glimmer of...something, but no matter how much I read, revisit, or remember I feel nothing. 
Worship songs that I usually love lack meaning.
I'm easily frustrated by church people, church things, church anything.
To be perfectly cliche, I'm just going through the (church) motions. 

I read a blog post last night about being in a spiritual desert, and I felt for the first time in a few months that there were words put to a feeling I couldn't identify. 
I haven't walked through this desert before. A desert, yes. But not this one. 
This desert is a place of transition, searching, confusion, and pain.
As I am transitioning into an entirely new identity, I find myself waiting for God to catch up, waiting to meet me here in this new place. 

This desert I'm in, is lonely. I'm searching for an identity I used to be familiar with, but everywhere I turn I find that I no longer fit. Blinded by the blazing sun I squint my eyes, hold out my hands, and trudge aimlessley around looking for something to grab hold of.
 It's like I'm captain of a different ship, in a different ocean, with a different crew, sailing to find a new land.

Yesterday I walked into my closet and threw out a ton of clothes. Most of them didn't fit anymore, but I sat on the edge of our bed thinking..."would I keep them even if they did fit?" Much to my husbands demise, I wouldn't keep them, even if they did fit. Because they don't belong to me anymore. They belong to a version of me that is gone.

I wish I could blame this on lack of sleep, but alas, my kid has slept through the night for the last two months. I wish I could blame it on lack of leadership, but my husband is constantly pushing and encouraging me to keep going to church and to group. I can't blame it on God, because He is the one who has not changed, who has never changed, and who never will change. I could probably blame it on myself, but being hard on myself about not reading my Bible enough or praying enough somehow seems like it would make matters worse. 

I know that God will meet me in this desert. 
I trust that water is coming. 
These song lyrics are ringing in my head:

Oh the desert dreams of a river
That will run down to the sea
Like my heart longs for an ocean 
To wash down over me

Oh wont you take me from this valley
To that mountain high above
Oh I will pray, pray, pray till I see your smiling face
I will pray, pray, pray to the one that I love

In the mean time I will cling to what I know to be real.
My baby, who must hold my hand while he eats, and who stuffs his hand inside my sweater when he sleeps.
My family, who is constantly supportive and caring for us.
My husband, who works hard every day and still manages to make me laugh like he did on our first date.
I will cling to the small faith I have at this moment, the quiet reminder that He will quench this thirst in His timing, by His hand, with His love. 

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God.
 This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.” 

Brennan Manning




Friday, March 21, 2014

Hair Cuts and the Happiest Baby Ever


I have been growing out my hair since Seth and I sat in church at Mars Hill listening to a story about a drastic hair cut Driscoll's wife got and how he ultimately preferred her long hair. I sat next to Seth, wondering if my recent drastic hair cut had any impact on him. We had only been dating a few months at this point so it never crossed my mind to ask him about my hair before. I whispered to him in a semi-joking tone, "So, what do you prefer on me?". He said something along the lines of, "Let's just say I'm on the same page as the pastor about hair."

Here we are in the summer of 08, my hair newly chopped
I knew from that point on that I would be growing out my hair, for him. And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that, as long as life agrees. I enjoyed growing out my hair for the last 5.5 years. My goal at first, was to have long hair for our wedding. 2 months after our wedding I got a bad haircut, and vowed to let it keep growing and growing and growing...and that worked up until Felix arrived. 

If you've ever felt my hair you know its thick, and that theres a ton of it. I could probably supply 4 people with full heads of hair. I was fine styling it every day, except now that I have Felix I'm lucky if I have time to go to the bathroom let alone style my hair. Not to mention you can't exactly hold a baby with hair that long, they spit on it, drool on it and now pull on it! I tried to make it work knowing how much Seth liked my long hair, and it was finally super duper long. 
mind you, this is curled 

I used to tell myself that once my hair got past my boobs, it would be long. Well, there you go. Freaking long hair. 

I was content wearing it up every day, until the weight of the ponytail started to hurt my head and break the hairs at my hairline. I had to use two pony tail holders to keep my ponytail up, but that gave me headaches. I tried wearing it low, but it was still always in the way. And then postpartum hair loss kicked in. Holy heck, my hair started falling out in handfulls. Hair has covered our carpet, our bathroom, and my car for the past few weeks. 

It was then when I decided that it was my mission to convince Seth to let me cut it. 
To my surprise, it didn't take that much effort. My argument went something like this:

"I love you. I love(d) my hair. I know you love my hair. Hair grows. We have 60+ more years together to let it grow out. I need to chop it off, having Felix is making keeping this hair pointless and difficult. I promise I'll still look like your wife." 

He wasn't exactly gung-ho, but he agreed. You wouldn't believe how fast I scrambled to the phone to call my stylist, only to find out she didn't have any openings till the end of April. I settled with a place here in Gilroy, I saw this woman once before for a trim. 

I showed her this photo from a cut that I had had in early 2008 when I first started experimenting with short hair. 

Collarbone length in the front.
Collarbone.

There is at least 2 inches between my chin and my collarbone.
But here I am with a haircut that grazes my chin. 
I digress.

Hair grows. 
The cut is growing on me. (HAH!)

This photo is when I first got home and was still in shock. 
I promise I'm not that upset about it now. 
I think its sassy and more mature.
And definitely a mom chop.

In other news, Felix is officially the happiest baby ever. 


The best part?
When he sees me he goes nuts. 
Like the biggest smile you've ever seen. He smiles so big he stretches out his legs and arms.

In turn, he makes me the happiest mama.
I'm enamored by him every day, especially now that he is changing so much.
He's rolled over from his belly to back twice.
He mimics us when we stick our tongue out at him. 
He's started to talk through his pacificer, according to Seth's mom Seth did the same thing.
He's trying to hold his own bottles. 
He loves standing up and observing the world. 

I'm excited for his 4 month appointment to see how much he's grown.
He's definitely already 14 pounds.
But, I'm not looking forward to the 4 month sleep regression.
Actually I think it may have already started. 
We've been up at 3:00, 4:30, and 5:00 some nights this week. 
I'm glad it's only a phase. 

Right now I'm debating between showering and drinking coffee while Felix naps.
I think I'll drink some more coffee.
Hopefully I can drink it while it's still hot!
#momlife 

Until the next nap time...









Monday, March 10, 2014

Distracted

Today was the first time I've opened up my Bible this year.
This YEAR.

I'm ashamed and sad.
The God that has blessed me so, has become my least priority.

Having a baby is not an excuse.
He sleeps.
And while he sleeps I usually try to do other thing like clean, work on crochet projects, or make more formula batches because he's eating like a beast.

If I'm honest though, I spend an unholy amount of time on my phone. Whether he's sleeping, playing, or in my arms I usually have my phone in hand.
I think I follow more people [on Instagram] that I dont know, than people I actually do know.

Admitting this sin is the first step for me to change things.
So here you go.
My sin of distraction, of time wasting, of laziness, of running from God.

I know I'll look back on these years and wish I had spent less time looking at a screen, and more time playing with Felix, tending to my home, and spending quality time with Seth.

I'll be signed out from Instagram for a while, as well as Facebook on my phone. My phone is the main culprit of all the distraction. We'll see how long it lasts. I'm hopeful that God will do something in my heart to make me less of a lazy, ungrateful mess.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Felix Alexander: 3 months


Dear Felix,
How in the heck are you three months old already?
I wish I could freeze time and keep you here in this smiling, easy, super fun stage of your little life. 
It is truly amazing to watch you grow, and you've grown leaps and bounds in the past few weeks. 

You are now in 6 month clothing. We don't know exactly how much you weigh since we don't go back to the doctor for another month. I'm guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 pounds. 

You still have lots of nicknames. The ones I stick with most are Nugget, Bubbs, and Bubba. How we arrived at those I do not know. But you are my sweet little nugget. 


This month you became homies with Pooh. Finally. 
You also became the smiliest baby ever.
I'm convinced we have the happiest baby in the world. 
Cuteness like this should be illegal. 


This month you got a special visit from your Tia (Auntie) Ashley. 
She came all the way from Washington to see YOU on HER birthday, what a treat!


Because you did a lot of growing this month, that means you did a lot of sleeping.
Mama can't resist a picture of you dozing, heck you're dozing as I type this up. 
I recently discovered that you prefer to sleep on your side, which worries me because you are swaddled at night. I found that if you're overtired and fussy and I put you on your side, you are instantly calm and sleep comes soon. 
Oh, and you're still sleeping through the night like a champ. 9 hours of pure bliss. 
Let's hope your future brothers and sisters sleep just like you do, you'll teach them how...right?


Your mama struggled with your constant water fountain-esque spit up.
After getting new bottles, a formula mixing pitcher, and a dose of hopefulness, we finally settled on a special formula for spit up. How about that. Why it took me three months to try that formula....nobody knows. 
Now we are both a lot happier! Your spit up is now quite chunky, but it doesn't cover your clothes as much and happens way less often. 
It's a win-win. 


This month we learned to take selfies.
You also started to get pudgy. I'm really excited about this extra layer of fat you've got going on. 


We went to Grandma and Grandpas house for a weekend visit. 
I had to bathe your stinky self somehow, so we filled up the tub with just enough water for you to float in and you loved it..despite the look on your face. Mama might have made the water too hot. 


Your Mom and Dad now have a pretty good handle on you (for now atleast). You're becoming kind of predictable.
Eat, play, sleep, repeat.
or
Eat, sleep, play, repeat.
That happens about every 3 hours. Though you can't be awake for more than an hour and a half before you get super tired. 
When you get super tired you start to melt down.
Speaking of tired, you've become a somewhat sleep ninja. 
Gone are the days when you could nap on your own, I think it's because you get distracted so easily. You now need a quiet room, a paci, and a very comfortable position (aka Moms arms) in order to sleep. 


The day before you turned 12 weeks you hit a huge growth spurt.
You went from eating about 4.5 ounces at a time to packing away 6, no problem.
That doesn't sound like a lot, but we struggled to get you to eat the minimum of 24 ounces a day for a long time, and now you eat at least 30! 


You make the best faces. 
And that smile, it knocks me over. 

This week you started grasping objects on your own.
By the time you'll be able to read this you won't think thats a big deal at all, but it is! 
I'd prefer you to grasp toys.
But sometimes its your poop during a diaper change, your moms hair, or your tongue which makes you choke. Fun times. 


Oh, buddy.
I honestly didn't think my heart was capable of love like this. 
I couldn't imagine a more lovable, sweet baby. 
As much as I want to freeze time, I love watching you change and grow.
I love your squeals, giggles, and coos. 
I love the way you instantly light up when you see me. 
Being your mama is a delight.
You are fun, cheery, and so gosh darn cute. 


I sure do love you.
Every.single.part.

Love,
Mama.