Thursday, May 30, 2013

7.5 Months

7 months - 21.5 lbs
When the time came to write a 7 month update (May 19th), I just couldn't find the motivation. Jude didn't have many new developments to write about since the 6 month post. But, the week following so many things changed. Mamas, does that happen with your little one too? All the sudden they make leaps and bounds?

So, all the pictures were taken on the 18th, but most of his new developments happened the week after.

First, let me say that a few of his developments are late, comparatively speaking. My friends' kiddos who are close in age have reached some of these milestones weeks and even months ago. Of course, it is fun to be the mama who gets to say, "My kid is already ______ ing!" But, even though it has taken him a while, I am not letting this steal the sheer joy of seing him grow and develop. Why do moms feel like this is a contest? I don't know why, but there is a temptation to worry if our kid isn't the first to roll, crawl, walk, etc.

Jude playing with sweet baby Vivian.
As he approached 7 months, he began rolling over. This started with him doing it in his sleep. He has always hated being on his tummy (probably why it has taken him so long to do this). This sleep-rolling resulted in a few nights of poor sleep. But, on the day he turned 7 months old, he mastered it and now prefers to sleep on his tummy. I love walking in to his room to get him out of his crib and seeing his little head sticking up as he looks around for me.

In the last week, he has gotten stronger so quickly (from the rolling and increased belly time) and can now almost push up to hands and knees. However, I have a hunch that he might be a but-scooter instead of a crawler. When sitting up he rocks back and forth, so we shall see!

Monday, May 20th, he woke up babbling. He has been such a quiet, serious baby from the start, so its really fun to hear the da, da, das and the na, na, nas all the time.

Jude chilling with his Granna (my mom)
He. Eats. Everything. Whatever we are eating he eats. I would love to tell you that I am doing this purposefully, but honestly, I am just too lazy to make purees or cook him a separate meal and don't want to buy baby food (for budget reasons). I do hope that this helps him be a well-rounded eater. At his cousin Calvin's birthday, his great-grandfather let him take a couple bites of his hamburger and gave him a bbq potato chip! He seems to like savory food (like meaty, garlicky  or cheesy foods) better than fruit. He LOVES hummus! Some of the other things he regularly eats: salmon, broccoli, yogurt, black beans, squash, zucchini, grits, chicken, quinoa. Oh, and of course, biscuits from Maple Street!

Held by his Mugga (Stephen's grandmother) and fed by my papa.

He gnawed on Papa's burger!
Jude has loved to try and drink out of my cup or bottled drink since about 6 months. I think more than being thirsty, he thinks it is fun. Just this past week has mastered straw-drinking. But, he has also figured out that something fun happens if he blows in the straw. Ut-oh.
Such a blessing that his GREAT grandfather can play with him like this!

Our schedule is much more flexible now. If his nap or bedtime is a little off he can stay awake and remain pretty pleasant. He officially moved to two naps over the past couple weeks (we weaned him gradually) at 9:30 am and 2 pm. He is also now on a 4 hour nursing schedule! I am loving this!

Thankfully, he is doing much better sitting for family worship time. Praise God for his grace in that. There were days when I thought, "He is too young, he doesn't understand, why are we doing this?" But, I am glad we continued. Sure, he doesn't know what is happening, but I think it is good to expect him to be a part of it now.

Jude and my granny.

Jude and my papa. This man loves babies!

He is beginning to understand the word "no." Not always. but sometimes when we tell him no he prostests. He definitely protests when you take a phone from him. Why are kids so obsessed with those things?

Parenthood is so much fun. Especially now that the "new parent syndrome" is wearing off. By that, I mean the determination that you are going to make all the right decisions and the anxiety that accompanies every tiny parenting decision you make as if that decision is going to impact your kid for the rest of their life. Try as I might, I was not immune to it. Thankfully, it is subsiding and [most] things are just not that big of a deal anymore.

We just love this little boy to pieces.

Love those rolls!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Words of Wisdom for the Wife-to-Be

Recently, I got this text from my man...

This question came from two Christian women he works with. I am so encouraged that they are asking this, and wish I had been as wise!

As you can tell from my response, I wanted to say much more than a text would suffice. I have spent a week two weeks contemplating procrastinating my response. In that time, I thought of many, many, many things I could say. I have learned MUCH through my many mistakes! I thought about doing a top three. Then a top ten. Then a list of 25. I finally settled on just sharing what has been the most important thing I have learned. The thing I wish someone had encouraged me to do. The thing that has benefited our marriage the most since using the advice.

Find a Godly, older wife to disciple you.

No kudos to me for this advice.  It comes straight from Titus 2.

It is so easy for us to think that we don't need someone to disciple us. When we first got married, I thought, "I am going to read the Bible; I understand the Gospel; I know what a wife should be; I should be able do it on my own." Right? Wrong.

This is not me JUST saying the typical "marriage is hard." I am saying more than that: your sinful desires will make it so difficult to submit to your husband in a God-honoring way that you will think you are doing "pretty good" when in fact your submission is only motivated by your sin!

And, there is nothing in the Bible that even hints that we are supposed to do the Christian life autonomously.  We are supposed to "spur" one another on - encourage, exhort, and disciple one another. But, this advice was so hard for me to practice early on... I was too prideful to admit that I needed help like this.

So, what does this look like?

Well, I think it looks less like a mentoring "program." Less like going up to someone and saying, "Hey, will you disciple me?" (Although there is nothing wrong with these.) I think it looks more like a Biblical, natural friendship. I have found that a more natural approach has yielded so much more fruit! Instead of finding someone to do a book study with, maybe find someone you can spend time with just doing life - watching, learning, and talking.

So, what should this woman be like?

Well, first she should be sinful. Why did I list this first? I say this because in our quest to be discipled there is a temptation to think that there is no one sanctified enough to teach us. OUCH. I have been there. Hello, pride. Except I said it this way, "There is no one whose marriage I want to ours to be like." Oh the sinfulness! So, don't assume you can't learn anything from someone just because you don't want to be just like them - because they are sinful. As we look to others for discipleship we are still desiring to be conformed to Jesus, not them. So, as you read the rest of this list, remember all women are sinful and won't be perfect! Show them grace.

She must have evidence of sanctification in her life. She is not in habitual, unrepentant sin. She is quick to confess her sins against you, others, and especially God. She is reading the Word. She is attempting to live it.

She bases advice on the Word of God. She shares scripture with you. She would tell you something you don't want to hear because it is in align with the word of God.

She tells you to pray about something before she offers her opinion.

She is quick to listen and slow to speak.

She prioritizes her God over her husband and her husband over her children.

She NEVER, EVER suggests you undermine your man.

She doesn't speak ill of her man.

She is older and more experienced.

The Bible says that women like this are hard to find - Proverbs 31:10. So, don't be discouraged if it is hard to find her. But, don't give up. And, don't assume you'd be better off not having a mentor.

Once you have found a woman who you want to learn from be friends with her. Spend time with her (but, not more time than you spend with your man). Watch how she relates to her husband and her children. Watch how she cares for her home. Ask questions. Minister to her. Pray for her.

Remember, she is sinful, just like you. Her advice should be filtered through the Word and prayed over. Don't let her become an idol. Don't be a relationship leech, either. Give back to her.

This is the wisdom I wish I had known early in our marriage. I believe this is the best advice I could give any wife-to-be or even wife-already. Oh, how I pray each of you finds a Godly woman to disciple you.

To all the women who have discipled me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have given so much to me, my husband, my child, and my future children!

What would be the wisdom you would share with a wife-to-be?