Oooo... my blog is all pretty now! :)

This is thanks to the wonderful and talented Kim Neyer! I started following Kim's blog back when we were both pregnant with our little ones and I'm so glad that I did. She is awesome! If you get the chance, check out her blog... you won't regret it! Kim is not only very talented with computer graphics, she's also a fantastic writer. She even writes the pregnancy blogs for! And as if that weren't enough, she's also a super crafty lady with some cool things available for purchase on etsy. I tell ya... Kim is one impressive chica!

Thanks again, Kim, for the awesome layout! I love it!
The other night after I finished feeding Lydia at 10:30, I found myself just holding her close to me and not wanting to let her go. I love the way her chubby chipmunk cheeks look smooshed against my shoulder. I've occasionally contemplated trying to drop that late night feeding (since Lydia goes to bed between 7 & 8, so I have to get her up out of bed to feed her before I go to sleep)... but honestly, I love it too much. I find myself missing her after she's put to bed and I long for 10:30 to arrive so I can spend just a little more time cuddling her before the day ends.

These are the moments that I wish I could capture and re-live whenever I want to. I don't want time to stop, or even necessarily for it to slow down. I LOVE watching Lydia grow. The amount of pride I have in her accomplishments is beyond words. But it sometimes makes me sad to think that these precious moments will go away and even the memories of them will fade. 20 years from now I probably won't remember *exactly* how it felt to rock my sleeping 16-pound lump, heart bursting at the seams with adoration as I stare at that beautiful little face.

So I'm sad. Not that my sweet little girl is growing up so fast... but that there is no way for me to truly capture these moments. Can someone please invent a way to capture time before all of these treasured memories slip away? Please?
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About the Baby:

Lydia is doing fantastic these days! She is such a happy baby. I am so blessed by her smiles and laughs every single day. She has still been completely random with her naps lately, but we're going with the flow. The hardest thing for me right now is that she's had trouble lately being away from me. She screamed and cried in the church nursery a couple weeks ago to the point that they had to page me to come back to get her. And last Friday Brent and I tried to go out to dinner for his birthday & had my mother-in-law stay with Lydia, but she cried pretty much the whole time we were gone. I don't know if it is separation anxiety or what. She is usually fine around the house if I put her down somewhere to play and even walk out of the room. Who knows. Regardless, I do love that she finds comfort in being with me!

Lydia is learning all kinds of new skills these days. She continues to do well with rolling (when she feels like it). She loves to kick at things and can aim to kick a specific target like the bar on her play gym or my hand. Lately I've noticed her getting a lot better at reaching for and grabbing objects. She used to mostly reach out with both hands and bring them together in front of her to grab something. Now I see her reaching to the sides with just one hand, rolling and grabbing toys that are lying next to her, and reaching to pick things up off of the floor from a sitting position. Oh yeah, did I mention that she's really getting good at sitting too? I've only seen her sit unassisted for a couple of seconds before toppling over, but she can sit very well nestled between my feet.

About Me:

I've been feeling frustrated lately by all of the things that demand my time. It seems hard enough to balance being Mom, Wife, CedarCreek Employee, and Housekeeper... then trying to include Friend, Student of the Bible, Daughter/Sister/Aunt, Ambassador for Christ, Home Group Leader, or just plain "Sarah" can feel overwhelming at times. But I've realized that the frustration is my own fault. Firstly I need to re-prioritize and make sure that God comes first. I've been struggling to come up with something fresh and exciting to do with that relationship, though. I browsed through my bookshelf and found a book I read a long time ago called "Becoming a Woman of Faith" and Brent encouraged me to do some journaling (which I haven't done in ages), so I think I'll start with those things.

Beyond that I am reminded of a blog post my friend Kim wrote about how we DO have enough time to do everything that God desires that we do. I just need to give my time over to Him and let Him direct me. In doing so, I can be sure that I will be managing all of my "roles" in the right way at the right time.

More stuff:

Visit to Cinci - Lydia and I took a roadtrip, just the two of us, to go visit my mom last week. She had been on a 10 day mission trip to Haiti and was really bummed that my dad would be gone on a business trip when she returned. I hated the thought of her returning to an empty home after such a cool experience, so we went down for some fun girl time! It was a good time hearing about her trip and hanging out with my sister-in-law and nieces. I really loved the special Mommy-Daughter time... both with my mommy and my daughter!

Brent's birthday - We returned home from Cinci early afternoon on Friday because it was Brent's birthday. Lydia gave him lots of slobber while I gave him a new computer mouse, chair mat, and some shirts. As mentioned before, we went out to dinner as well but Lydia was not a fan of being left out of that fun. :) We're planning to have a family celebration for Brent & his sister Natalie's birthdays after we return from our Myrtle Beach trip.

Myrtle Beach - This will be our first big trip with Lydia... not only a very long car ride, but also a whole week away from home! I'm excited and a little nervous at the same time, but mostly excited. :) I need to start making a list of everything we need to take for her - likely including her entire wardrobe. A baby can go through a LOT of clothing in a week! I think there is a washer & dryer at our place, though, so we should be fine. I'm not sure how relaxing our beach vacation will be, but I'm sure it will be a fun adventure that we'll always remember.

that my daughter will change on me the instant I think I have her figured out?

It is currently 2:15 in the afternoon. She is still in her crib sleeping after I put her down around 12:45. It has been a long time since she has taken any nap lasting longer than 35 minutes (45 at the absolute most), and just a day or two ago I had resigned myself to the idea that this is the way it will be now. So I adjusted, worked on establishing proper meal times so that she wouldn't be completely exhausted whenever it was time to feed her, and was all set to carry on with the general schedule of 2 hours awake + a 30 minute nap - repeat.

Then she goes and sleeps for an hour and a half.

Once again my stupid schedule is smashed all to bits. She was supposed to eat at 2:00, but heck if I'm going to wake her up for that! So much for having a plan for the rest of the day. I'll feed her whenever she gets up and we'll go from there.

Why do I even bother with planning?
I feel like blogging but I can't really think of what to write. I'm torn between writing about all of my thoughts and feelings as of late, or writing an update on what we've been up to lately. So as a result of indecision, I think I'll just do a bullet post.

  • I am not satisfied with my relationships right now and I think I've determined it is my own fault. I'm trying to work on this.
  • Lydia is doing great these days rolling both ways (when she wants to). I bought her a play gym at a garage sale so she'd have room to roll if she wanted to and she loves it!
  • Long naps have disappeared from my daughter's agenda. She still sleeps super well at night, so I'm not complaining... but it would be nicer if she took 2 long naps during the day instead of 4 or 5 30-minute ones.
  • Lydia and I visited my mom in Cinci for a few days last week. Mom was returning from Haiti and my dad had to be gone on a business trip. So we surprised her by being there so she didn't come back to an empty house. It was great girl time!
  • We took Lydia swimming with her cousins while in Cinci. At first she cried when I'd dip her in, but once she got used to it she really enjoyed the pool. Just like me, she takes some time to get used to new things.
  • Brent's birthday was the 17th. We went out to dinner and his mom watched Lydia. She cried the whole time (minus a short nap). It makes my heart sad when my baby has a hard time. :(
  • We got new Palm Pre phones recently. I've never before had a "cool" cell phone. I suppose if Brent and I are going to be the two-person IT department for the church, we should get with the times.

Why are people, especially Christians, so often so reserved and afraid to be real with one another? I was thinking today about my passions... what is it that I really enjoy. One of my passions is hearing the stories that others have to tell. Not the surface ho-hum stories about the doggie making a doo-doo on the carpet. The REAL stories. The things that define us... change our lives... impact the way we feel, think, and act. Call me nosy, but I am infinitely intrigued by stories of falling in love, experiencing heartbreak, amazing triumphs, and living through hardships that nearly broke all hope.

I think this is part of the reason I've been so into following blogs. There are several people whose blogs I have read for years... seeing some of them go from single to married to parenthood. My favorite bloggers are the ones who, even if just once in awhile, really hang their hearts out there. They share a little bit about what their lives are really like... what goes on in their hearts, not just a play by play of the actions.

There are so many people I know, online or otherwise, that I feel I have but a small fraction of a glimpse into who they really are. Even those I see often in real life rarely step deeper into conversation. How often do you give a simple "Fine" in response to a question regarding how you're doing? As Christians we are called to share joy and sorrow with one another... "rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep..." but how can we accomplish this if we all paste on a fake smile and refuse to be real with each other?

The Jars of Clay song "Disappear" kinda echoed my thoughts today...

I'd really love to know
I'd really love to climb
My way into your heart
And see what I can find
I'd walk into your skin
Swim through your veins
See it from your eyes
I'd really love to try the next time I ask you how you're doing, I'd love to hear a real answer. I want to know the REAL you.
Lydia went from absolutely hating tummy time, to tolerating it, to occasionally being ok with it for very short periods, to discovering that she can roll over and not have to deal with it at all. I've seen her roll from tummy to back several times for the past month or more, but now it seems it has finally "clicked" with her that she can do it all on her own whenever she wants.

In other news, we tried rice cereal for the first time on Saturday. Lydia wasn't a huge fan, but she didn't cry or anything. She typically takes a few tries before she is okay with new things. I'm still not rushing it... we'll try again, but I don't know how soon. No real need to keep trying it until she is 6 months.

It also seems Lydia "discovered" her feet today. For the first time ever I watched her try to grab them. So cute! I am so very blessed to be able to be with her at home and witness all of her new discoveries. :)
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Some random stuff on my mind:

- My mom is in Haiti right now on a mission trip. She left on the 3rd and gets back late late late on the 14th. I'm so excited to hear about it!

- I love our deck. Went out and layed on it today for the first time. I was out toasting myself in the hot sun while Lydia sat in her new "sun dome" to keep her shaded.

- Lydia continues to get better at rolling... at least when she is interested in trying. Today she did her first barrel roll, going from back to tummy then continuing on to her back again.

- I'm super excited about upcoming plans for but a little nervous about how much work it is going to be. I really hope Lee likes the changes! Meeting next week to discuss it with him.

- After I finish this post I think I'm going to go enjoy some cookies'n'cream ice cream.

- Lydia spent a large portion of today grunting and straining as if she was trying to poo... but she shouldn't be constipated. She poo'd a TON yesterday. I hope nothing is wrong! :(

- I wonder if I should try solid foods with Lydia soon. She watched me in awe today as I ate apple slices. She also grabs at my glass of water every morning when I'm carrying her around the kitchen. Maybe she's ready to try new things!

- Brent's birthday is a week from tomorrow and I can't come up with any creative things to give him. Sigh.

- Still praying for our friends the Shortridges and their son Jackson. They thought he'd be able to go home early this week, but he's been throwing up so they are still at the hospital. My heart breaks for them.

- In less than two weeks my baby will be 5 months old. I can hardly believe we are approaching half a year already!!!
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Every morning I play a little game called "Guess where Lydia will be in her crib when I walk in there." Lately the answer has been "upside-down & kicking the rails." :) I find it so funny! She really doesn't move enough during the day to change positions when I lay her down, but at night she must get bored and just go to town swiveling around in her crib! She now loves to roll from side to side and typically ends up falling asleep on one side or the other. Thankfully I think her hair is starting to grow back in now that she moves her whole body instead of just her head! Anyway, just wanted to post a reminder to myself of how much I love walking in to get her in the morning to find her all topsy-turvy with a big grin and beautiful bright blue eyes looking up at me. I love my job. :)
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...not just the other way around.

I can't help but grin a little when I think about how much Lydia is affecting me. I have always been very much a planner. I like to schedule & organize things and am not very often a "go with the flow" person. Spur of the moment things are nice once in awhile, but in general I like to know what is going on and when everything will happen.

Lydia is not this way.

She has been the biggest lesson in patience I have ever had. Despite my best efforts to have consistency in the home, Lydia is a completely inconsistent child. Every day can be identical as much as I can make it, yet Lydia will continue to vary when & how long she naps throwing everything else "off schedule." Right now she's about 2 hours into what I assume will be a 3 hour nap, yet for the past 3 days she's not taken any naps longer than 30(ish) minutes and the day before that she took her long nap in the afternoon instead of morning. I simply never know what she will do from one day to the next.

I used to hate this but I'm learning to accept and even love it. She is teaching me to loosen up a little and be more willing to take things as they come. I enjoy the long naps and try to get as much accomplished as possible, but I'm learning to be less irritated when a long nap is nowhere to be found. I do what I can in the 30 minutes then welcome the opportunity to enjoy my bright-eyed baby girl.

She has shaped me so much in the last 4.5 months... how much more to come in the years ahead?!