Friday, April 27, 2012

We made a tent.

We've decided to forget the house and live in a tent in the backyard.

Just kidding.

But I'm seriously taking a nap out there soon.

Evie already has.

We played in the tent for 2 hours yesterday afternoon - reading books, lounging on pillows, and making up stories.  I also taught Silas how to use my big camera and he actually did a pretty good job!

 At one point I had Evie on her tummy across my knees and Silas started giggling and said that she was tickling him.  I didn't know what he was talking about and then I saw this:

Evie's Baptism

Last Sunday Evie was baptized.  Our church practices Covenantal Baptism which basically means we believe that the Old Testament practice of circumcising infants as an external sign of membership to God's people was replaced by baptism. It does not signify a statement of faith but rather a statement of identity.  Evie's baptism shows that she is part of the family of God and will be raised accordingly. Our pastor explains it this way: Just like a person who is not a believer may choose to believe and become part of the family of God, Evie will one day have to decide for herself if she wants to remain part of the family or break the covenant. She'll have to make her own statement of faith later, but for now she has been identified as a part of the family.

One of my favorite parts of Covenantal Baptism is that it isn't just about Justin and I promising to raise her as part of the body of Christ - it's also about the church promising to take an active part in raising her too.  It's an "it takes a village" thing, and we are thrilled to belong to a local body of believers that takes seriously their role.  :-)

We asked Zach to pray as part of the baptism (he did for Silas too) and one of the things he prayed was that  Evie never remember a time that she didn't know the Lord.  He didn't know this, but I've been praying the very same thing (verbatim) over both of my children since I first knew I was pregnant with each of them. That was special. 

Dave left, Zach middle.

We decided to have her baptized last weekend because my mom and DD were visiting and I wanted them to be there for it.  The Moons came too. Evie wore a little cotton dress that was my Dad's when he was a baby.  Silas was baptized in it too.

Four generations (but so no one is confused, DD is my Dad's mom)

Every Sunday as soon as the service ends, I run get Silas from the nursery and bring him to the front with me so he can watch the drums up close while the band is still playing.  He LOVES this and I do too.  Mom snapped a picture of us right after.  Cutie boy!

Mom and DD stayed until Thursday and Silas had a BLAST playing with them.  He had them doing all sorts of nonsense and it was hilarious. Here's one of the calmer moments of just looking at his Spiderman sticker book. :-)

On Wednesday it finally warmed up again and the crazy wind stopped blowing so we spent most of the day outside playing.  

Evie and Mamay (I've said from day one that Evie looks like her)

Instagram pic of my two loves.  Apparently Evie looks like a perfect little baby doll because everyone kept commenting the same thing!

 Can't get enough of our craziness (and my sweet babes)?  Follow me on Instagram.  @stephmoon

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Strawberries and Moon Sand

Silas has entered a new "phase" that has been a bit difficult lately. He's adjusting to our new life with Evie and this adjustment is manifesting itself in behaviors that are not good.  Mostly it's in the form of extreme disobedience.  He also gets upset with me and treats me "ugly."  Thankfully he LOVES his little sister and has never been mean to her - I'd much rather him be ugly to me - I can handle it. 

Last Tuesday was a TERRIBLE day.  I don't even remember what started it all (it's always something very small) but he was crazy bad all day.  He yelled and threw fits and threw tows and refused to obey me no matter what it was I asked him to do/not do.  By the end of it all I was yelling too and it was just UGLY all around.  NOT our finest moment.  This parenting thing is not always a piece of cake. {insert "duh!" here}

Silas is learning about consequences to his actions and discipline.  He gets time-outs and loss of privileges and spankings (when necessary).  Our approach to discipline is that we don't want to teach him to just change his behavior and do what is "right" because he doesn't want the consequence - we want to teach him about his heart and help him figure out why he is acting the way he is in the first place.  We want him to learn that his heart is where everything starts. The same way the Lord doesn't just want us to do the right things - he wants our hearts to be right too. That means lots of conversations.  It also means frustration on our part sometimes because it is hard to talk about these things with a not-yet-three year old who has the attention span of a gnat.  But we are committed to "training him up in the way he should go" and are praying for grace and patience as we work with him. Justin had a long talk with him that night about respecting and obeying me.

{The Lord is showing me so much about my own heart through all of this.  I'm so grateful that His patience with me NEVER runs out!}

Another thing that we have noticed with him is that he acts out when he gets bored. After the LONG hard day last Tuesday I decided that we needed a fun day with lots of activities. I was kinda scared to wake up and face the day on Wednesday because I really didn't want another day like Tuesday, but the morning came. Justin prayed over the house before he left for work and left me a sweet note to encourage me. When the kids were up and fed, we loaded up and went to Southern Belle Farm to pick a gallon of fresh strawberries.  It was a GORGEOUS day, but it was chilly and very windy.  I forgot to check and make sure that the stroller was still in the van for Evie and when we got there I saw that it was not.  I didn't have our Moby Wrap either so I had to hold Evie the whole time.  She was perfectly fine, but it takes a while to pick a whole gallon of berries and by the end I thought my left arm and wrist were going to fall off! :)  

Silas did great picking the ripe berries for awhile and then he got bored and I looked up to find this:
He decided he couldn't wait until we got home to dive into them.  I can't blame him - I don't even really eat strawberries but they smelled so good I kinda wanted to munch on some right then too. :-) He was a very good boy the whole morning.

After lunch and nap, we went outside and made some Moon Sand.
I found the recipe on Pinterest (there are several different ones floating around) but this is the one I used:
8 cups of All Purpose flour
1 cup of baby or Canola oil (we used canola because that's all we had)

I don't know why flour and oil make the best stuff ever, but it does, and we had a BLAST playing with it. It holds it's form well so we made sandcastles and snowballs and used all kinds of molds.  It held his attention for nearly 2 hours and that is unheard of around here! 

After we cleaned up and went inside to get dinner ready, we turned on VeggieTales music and sang and danced all around the kitchen.  It was one of the best days that we have ever had.  We both had so much fun and I could tell that he was working SO hard at obeying me and choosing to be loving and respectful. 

The rest of last week and this week have been much better with him.  There are obviously still moments that make me want to pull my hair out, but he is trying and learning and so am I and for that I am grateful.

I love this little man - no matter what. :-)

and the list continues:

69. celebrating one month of life outside the womb for our Evie girl
70. dinner outside
71. that He has a plan
72. Silas telling me the story of Jonah almost verbatim "You can run away from God, but He will always come and find you." (Jesus Storybook Bible)
73. homemade pralines from a sweet friend
74. two fat robins splashing in the birdbath
75. todays that are infinitely better than yesterdays
76. Silas working very hard to be obedient
77. strawberry pickin'
78. looking up to find that Silas decided to eat a strawberry in the patch and his mouth is covered
79. moon sand and my little man's imagination
80. dancing and singing to VeggieTales in the living room with BOTH my babies
81. knowing that He came through for us - answered prayers
82. being encouraged
83. sweet, much needed, uplifting words from Magda
84. homemade frozen gumbo thawed for dinner
85. Evie's bilirubin count coming back normal 
86. fat robins splashing in the bath (apparently I really like this one since it's on here twice!)
87. the grace to hold my tongue when I want to lash out at incompetent people
88. Evie's smiles (especially at 5am feedings)
89. snuggling with Silas while he napped
90. that His patience with me never falters 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter 2012

Easter weekend was wonderful (as always).  

It's one of my favorite times of the year - celebrating love that held Him on a cross, a stone rolled away, an empty tomb, and the promise of His return.

Friday night our church had our annual Good Friday Night of Worship. I get to lead worship with these sweet friends and it is such an honor.

After our celebration of the resurrection at church Sunday morning, we went to Cherokee Run Golf Club (where Justin's dad is the GM) and had lunch with the Moons.
Afterward we took a few pictures.

It was BRIGHT outside. :-)

He was kind of over the pictures at this point.

The Moons

This is Silas' cousin Rachel (Justin's cousin's daughter). They have never been around each other when they would be old enough to remember, and Silas thought she was just the greatest.  She's so pretty!

After naps, the Mays and Cardozas came over for dinner and an egg hunt.  It is always so special when we get to spend holidays with friends that are celebrating for the same reasons we are. :)  
The kids had a BLAST finding the eggs (close to 100 plastic eggs that Leslie had saved up!) and then counting and opening them to see what goodies were inside.

This picture shows their personalities SO well. :-)
 William, Connor, Micah, Bella, and Silas

We're linking up with Emily today for Embrace the Camera.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Evie {one month}

Sweet girl is 1 month old today!

She smiled (for real!) at me yesterday and today and Silas got a pretty good smirk from her too. :)

She's sleeping like a champ at night and only waking up once between 4am and 5am to eat.

She LOVES baths (and she gets it honest from her Momma!).

We tried to do a little mini photo shoot today.

Of course she decided to be WIDE AWAKE for the whole thing.

It was kind of a disaster because big brother was in a mood and made it his mission to sabotage the entire effort.

But we got a couple, so at least it wasn't a total flop. :-)

Monday, April 9, 2012

thoughts and thankfuls

this sweet girl was born a year to the week after i met

this sweet girl.

over the past year my heart has done a lot of hurting for the latter.  i missed her, i worried about her, and i prayed constantly for her.  i was both delighted and jealous when other teams would visit Canaan's and someone would tag me in a picture of her or i would stumble across a picture on facebook of someone else holding her.  this should have thrilled me, right?  and it did.  but it also made me jealous - because she was MINE.  I loved her.  and i didn't always want to share her but there was nothing i could do about it - just like there was nothing i could do about getting her here to me or taking care of her in uganda.  even if we packed up and moved there i wouldn't be able to raise her as my own and that's just the way it is.  

it took a long time to be ok with this.  there were lots of tears cried and frustrations voiced to God.

and He gently reminded me that she isn't mine.

she is His.

and i was grateful.

as i thought back over the year during the late night and early morning feedings of Evie the first couple of weeks, i felt many of those same feelings all over again.
and for a moment i wished Sarah was mine like Evie and Silas are mine.

and then the reminder came that they aren't.

Evie and Silas are HIS too.

and i am grateful.

because if they were truly mine - oh what a disaster that would be.
but i don't have to worry about them - any of them - because they are in the best hands.
hands from which no power of hell or scheme of man can pluck them.

and the list of gratefuls continues.

I've not blogged our list of gratefuls yet so there's a good many to share today while I get caught up. We started our list in January.

1. a family choosing to be grateful
2. sharp kicks and elbows from an active baby girl in my tummy (32 weeks)
3. that Silas pooped (finally!) :)
4. the way Silas comforted me when I cried - "No cry Mommy - Silases kiss it all better."
5. the man the Lord saw fit to bless me with and 
6. that he'll come home from work to take care of me when I'm hurt or sick
7. for a bruised butt cheek because that means I fell on my butt and not my belly
8. the Target worker that went out of her way to be sweet to my screaming child not once, but twice
9. stickers at Target for a whiny boy and how they made it better
10. that the Lord puts up with my doubts and questions when I read the Old Testament and yell about how He just doesn't make sense sometimes
11. grocery carts full of food to feed my family
12. nap time and an hour or so to read the Word and be alone
13. a midwife that gives hugs and is a ray of sunshine in an otherwise annoying practice
14. Silas running around the doctor's office in his super hero cape and construction goggles
15. a friend that sticks up for me and gets upset on my behalf
16. heating pads
17. Silas' bedtime prayers "Mommy, say Thank you to Jesus for Micah, Connor, Baby Logan, Uncle Zach, and Aunt Sarah too."
18. again, a husband who takes care of me when I can't
20. finding our "Hear No, See No, Speak No Evil" monkeys under the covers in our bed because a little boy has been playing :)
21. Ambien
22. the sheer joy on Silas' face when he gets to run on the beach
23. road trips with my little family
24. Dr. Pepper
25. learning to be flexible
26. that He is near to the brokenhearted
27. when Justin and I think/say the same thing at the same time
28. exploring new places
29. Silas' excitement when he got to see a real "hopter-dopter" (helicopter)
30. visiting with friends that we don't see often
31. Justin's on-going freedom from the addictions of his past - thank you Jesus!
32. a pastor that preaches the TRUTH in a straight-forward, no-nonsense, no fluff way
33. laughter
34. that He came not to call the righteous, but sinners
35. Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies baked with my little helper
36. productive meetings - especially those that point to Jesus
37. a huge ham cooked today that will provide nearly a week of meals
38. 35 weeks of pregnancy and the loss of ability to breathe normal breaths - that means she's almost here!
39. time spent by myself running errands and crossing things off the to-do list
40. Grande No Whip Caramel Frappacinos
41. Starbucks gift cards
42. Silas' tender heart and sweet concern for me - "don't worry Mommy"
43. bedtime prayers
44. tall glasses of milk
45. yellow finches chirping in the backyard
46. 75 degree weather in February
47. long pregnancies that come to an end ;-)
48. beautiful, healthy, perfect baby girls and the reminder that He still works miracles
49. Justin
50. compassionate and funny nurses
51. that nothing is wrong with Justin's heart and that he feels better
52. songbirds
53. having my parents here to visit and help the 1st week home with Evie
54. how sweet and tender Silas is with Evie
55. friendship - Leslie serving us by being with us during labor & delivery
56. meals brought to us for a couple of weeks
57. the means and ability to build an awesome fort for Silas
58. quick and easy post-partum healing
59. NO post-partum blues or depression this time
60. watching Captain America or Thor run around the backyard
61. the sweet scent of freshly bathed newborns
62. an abundance of milk for Evie
63. the reminder the pray in proportion to His greatness and ability - don't limit your prayers
64. that He turned His back on His children ONE TIME - at the cross - so that He'd never do it again
65. friends that are family
66. learning to craft new things
67. the morning - because joy comes and His mercies are new
68. the stone rolled away and an empty tomb

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Embrace the Camera 4/5/12

We're embracing the camera again this week!

We've been playing outside a ton since the weather has been so fabulous.  Silas like to "paint" himself with wet sidewalk chalk.  

Tried to get a couple of the three of us with my phone

He's fascinated by the feature on my phone that lets you see yourself while you take a picture.  Gotta admit, I am too. :)  Evie couldn't care less.

Get your EMBRACE on!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What to expect with an epidural

Ever wonder what it looks like to get an epidural?

If you're like me, then yes, you have.  I can't stand not being able to watch, so when my anesthesiologist asked if I wanted Leslie to take pictures of the process I was thrilled! He basically acted like he was teaching us how to do it and it was fascinating (even in the midst of all those contractions!).

Proceed with caution if needles freak you out.

Here's what happens:

First, you will lean over a massage chair with your face in one of those padded holes so you can breathe. It's like sitting backwards on a chair. Usually your spouse/partner/coach can sit in front of you for comfort.

the massage chair

Then the anesthesiologist will clean your back with a scratchy sponge soaked in an antiseptic solution like Iodine.  This will turn your back an orangy-brownish color like a really bad self-tanner and smell like a hospital.
After you are all scrubbed, they'll put a big plastic sheet over your back with a hole cut out at your epidural site (L3, L4 vertebrae). 
The next part is the worst, and by "worst" I mean not-really-bad-at-all.  
You will be given a shot of local anesthesia to numb the site where the epidural needle will be placed.  This burns/stings like a bee sting for a few seconds and then you don't feel anything.  If you are having a contraction when you receive the local, you will barely notice it at all. If not, it really does burn, but not for very long.

Next you will be asked to push your back out (really bad posture) and they will insert the epidural needle through which the catheter that will deliver the medicine will be inserted. You won't feel this AT ALL.

Inserting the epidural needle

Measuring how far to insert the needle

So cool!  There's just a needle chillin' in my back.

I don't have a picture of the catheter being inserted because it was hard to see that part, but after the needle is placed they will run a little catheter (just a little bigger than heavy-test fishing line) through the needle (like an IV).  Then they will give you a test dose of the medicine and ask you lots of questions about how you are feeling - do you feel hot or cold in your legs, etc. 

It takes about 3 minutes for the medicine to start working, but after that time you should start feeling immediate relief. If it is a good epidural it will take away all sharp and piercing pain, but you will still be able to feel a dull pressure during contractions and pushing but it won't hurt- you'll just feel it. 

The catheter has been inserted

Once it is determined that the test dose worked, they will tape the catheter all the way up your back and over your shoulder so they have access to it to give repeat doses if necessary.

All taped up so it can't come loose

At this point you are all finished!  They will have you lay on your back slightly tilted to your left side.

After you deliver, the nurse will remove the catheter and take all of the tape off of your back (at this point you will be really glad that you don't have a hairy back!).  

It will take a little while for you to get the feeling back in your legs enough for you to put weight on them (took me about 2 - 3 hours with my first one, and about an hour with the second).

You might be a little achy at the site of the epidural for a day or so, but that should be the only thing you notice.  If you get a crazy bad headache that won't go away or only goes away when you lay down, you need to tell your doctor immediately (even if it doesn't happen within 48 hours) because that may be a complication with the epidural.

There ya go!  I hope you found the whole process as interesting as I did. :-)