Sunday, December 18, 2016

Three Months Raising a Baby


Well on September 7, 2016, Matthew was born! Since then, he keeps me busy with his feedings, diaper changes, and play or snuggle time.

My maternity leave was four weeks long, but I have been able to work at home two days a week for these past two months, so I am very grateful to my employer for that! I'm also thankful for my baby slings that my friends gave me for a baby shower because little Matthew can snuggle against me while I sit at my laptop and work.

Everyone asks me how I like being a mom. Well, I've been a stepmom for two years and I like that, but I think being a full time mom to Matthew is nice too. I will be glad when I can sleep through the night because he has outgrown the need for midnight snacks, I like holding him and recently I've been treated to his little smiles after meals or when I talk to him. Do I enjoy that? Oh yes, I do!

Daniel is a really good big brother! He pushes Matthew in his stroller when all my guys and I go on outings and he keeps Matthew company in the back seat of the car. I make sure to chat with Daniel specifically about his life and that's easy when Matthew is dozing in my arms. I can just sit on the couch or in the living room and chat with my stepson.

Is life perfect with Matthew? Nope. Sometimes he fusses when we put him in his bassinet because he'd rather be held, and sometimes he spits up or wets or soils an outfit that I just put him in. Thankfully, he has not had bouts of colic or anything where he cries for hours. He just fusses when he's hungry or when Bri-Bri or I must put him down to sleep or to attend to something.

Anyway, that's my update!

Saturday, July 09, 2016

6 months of growing a human!

Well, I've been away from the blogsphere for a while, but for a good excuse! 

In February, I found out that I was pregnant. I was home from work due to an epic snowstorm and I thought, "Well, I've been feeling a bit off lately, I wonder if there's something up with me." So, I took a pregnancy test and lo and behold, it came back positive. 

Bri-Bri was sweet and understanding when I told him even when I was scared. He reminded me that God was in control. He also was excited and asked me if I felt excited. Honestly, my first response was that my mom would worry about us being unprepared for parenthood. Good friends reminded me that no one is really prepared and that made me feel a little better :)  

Small baby bump
Bri-Bri made me smile even on rough days!
The First Trimester

Growing a human and riding the light rail don’t always play well together, as in I got motion sickness the first few times I rode the light rail after eating a normal breakfast. After I began eating more of my breakfast at work, I wasn’t disembarking the train and running to the nearest trash can.

Thanks to being nauseous, I didn't eat much, so I slept a lot. Bri-Bri was sweet and would come in an check on me as I burrowed under the covers. Even before I got my visible bump, he was already telling me how strong I was with growing a baby and how proud he was of me taking care of the baby by eating healthy (when I could) and taking my prenatal vitamins.

The first trimester was also the time I worried a lot. I told my mom that she would be a grandma and she was a bit worried about how we’d manage with a baby and with Daniel and living in a 2 bedroom place with no 3 bedroom house or apartment lined up in  the near future. Bri-Bri assured me that we would begin looking for a place and if not, he was already brainstorming on where we could fit a little crib in our room. 

So, basically, I was nauseous, tired, and worried during a lot of my first trimester.

However, I still had happy moments. Seeing lil’ baby on the eight week ultrasound was pretty cool! It looked like a little lump, so for about four weeks, it had the nick-name “baby lump” or “lumpy.” Bri-Bri could see where its little heart was beating because he saw a flashing dot on our little lump that the nurse pointed out was a little heart.

Second Trimester

The nausea went away woo hoo!!! More importantly, we got to see baby at the 12 week ultrasound! It was moving around a bit and I thought I saw it opening and closing its little hands. It moved in response to Bri-Bri speaking and that was super cute! At 16 weeks, we heard the little heart beat!

Also at 16 weeks, I started to get a “bitty baby bump” which Bri-Bri quickly nick-named the baby “bip.” He would talk to it when he would kiss my stomach and that was really sweet!

At about 20 weeks, I occasionally felt little flutters and thumps happening beneath my belly-button. Baby was moving and from then on, I have felt more frequent thumps or wiggles or little movements in there.

At the 24 week ultrasound, we found out our little baby boy was healthy! The first thing I said to Bri-Bri when the tech told us that we were having a boy was, “You’re teaching him to go potty, dear.” Daniel’s face was priceless when we told him because he was grinning and it was way too cute!

Entering the Third Trimester

Most notably, our little guy is on the move a lot more. Even as I type this blog post, I feel him bumping against the edge of my  computer which is gently resting on my (shrinking) lap and his little home. Yesterday we got to hear his heartbeat again. The obstetrician said both he and I were healthy!

I am also hungry a lot more. Case in point, I’m snacking on some wheat bread and peanut butter before dear Hubby warms up some Marie Calendar lasagna. Little guy needs fuel for his last in utero growth spurt!

Bri-Bri, Baby boy bump, and I!

Hopes and dreams for our little guy! 

Obviously, our hope is that he comes to faith in Christ and accepts Christ for his salvation. My hope is that he can come to us and other trusted adults with questions as he gets older and figures out what it means to have a belief system and code of ethics etc. 

I hope that he understands the power of resilience. As much as Bri-Bri and I would like to, we can't shield him from the hardships in this world. We hope that he wouldn't have any major catastrophes in childhood or in any stage of life that would impact his development later on, but we can't protect him from everything. Bri-Bri and I can share how our hardships tested our faith in God and gave us an opportunity to see Him work even in the hard times. We can also share how God has used us to help others who were going through similar hard times. We can show him that struggles in life can lead to someone being more empathetic. Of course, if he needs to vent about his situation or just needs a hug, we're there too! 

We both hope he sees Daniel as a good big brother and role model as Daniel will be 12 a few months after the baby is born. I also hope that I can maintain my connection with Daniel as his stepmom and reassure him that I don't love him any less even though I didn't carry him in me. During one conversation, I told Daniel that I carried him in my heart in a way once Bri-Bri and I were engaged because I knew he would become my stepson. That "carried in my heart" phrase was borrowed from a sappy adoption related pin on Pinterest, but hey, it's cool! 

Of course, as middle class American parents, we want our little guy to get a good education, make wise decisions about college (don't get into crazy student loan debt, choose a course of study that will make you happy and make you an income), and become financially independent. He doesn't have to be making six-figures, but we'd like him to be able to pay his bills, save for retirement, and provide for a family as a primary or equal breadwinner. 

Speaking of family, we'd be overjoyed to be at his wedding where he has found the love of his life, but we hope we can convince him to wait on God's timing and to find a spouse that truly loves him for who he is and I know Bri-Bri would want to teach him how to be a good spouse too. If he wanted to date someone who already had kids, I'd have input on how to love the kids of the person you love and how to trust God to grow your heart for their little family. 

Trusting God with this little guy's life and being a parent is going to be challenging, but God will give us grace, and all my parent friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, inlaws, and my mom would all say it is worth it! 

Friday, January 22, 2016

2015: The year of blogger slackdom

2015 was the year of blogger slackdom! 2015 was also the year of continued transition into married life. Now, some bloggers would post a ton about life transitions, but I guess I was so much in the thick of it that I hadn't had much time.

Last year, I also pondered the idea of monetizing the blog and making a bit of a second job out of maintaining this blog and my other blog: A Chance to be Loved. 

So what were my barriers?

  • Time - between cleaning Dork Manor, bookkeeping for The Bank of Dorks (the joint account), hanging out with my lil' man when he was here, hanging out with sweet Bri-Bri, keeping up with my friends so they didn't feel like Katie was sucked into Planet Married-Land with no contact with earth, and stuff like that, I just didn't have time
    • Solution: Time to bust out that Google Calendar! Oh, and my pink planner and actually make time for this! 
  • Tentativeness: Do I really want to get more serious about blogging? Am I sure it will work? What if it doesn't work? 
    • Solution: I just have to trust God if that is how He is leading me and I should probably talk to some Christian ladies I know who are bloggers so I can ask them for practical tips as well as how they trust God with this talent they have. 
    • Also, listen to the Problogger podcast that I have on subscription. Actually do recommended exercises. No time? See point above. 
  • I don't like delving into my past. Just when I saw that telling people about my past has been helpful to them, I realize that it's hard. I forgot how hard it was when I wasn't looking at it on a more regular basis. Yep, that's why my other blog came to a halt. 
    • Solution: See point above and also discuss with sweet hubby and he can be my support. Other solutions include widening the support network. 
So yeah, that's my plan for 2016 to be the year of less blogger slackdom! We shall see how it goes, but making this first blog post of the year is a start!