Thursday, March 26, 2009

March year ago

It's hard to believe it has already been one year since my beloved mother passed away. I feel strange giving much notice to this day since it's not this day that I wish to remember about my mother. No, in fact, I don't really want to recall this day very often. Rather, I'd like to remember her life every day before March 26, 2008. She was such a wonderful mom to me and my four older siblings. She was my best friend and confidante. She was a beautiful role model as a mother, a wife, a co-worker, and a friend. Her life represented love, joy, patience, consistency, perseverance, FUN and laughter, goodness, gratefulness, and happiness.

My two life-long best friends sent me precious cards to let me know that they were thinking of me and my family today. All day long, I really felt their love, support, and good thoughts. What gets me the most is that the words on each card represented a unique side of my mother. Although the cards were meant for me, I could easily recognize my mother's strength and character in the words:

"Friends cherish the special times they share when they're together. Friends look out for one another. Friends bring happiness into our lives. In every situation you know just what to do, you have that special touch that is uniquely you. I am thankful for a friend whose love is so well expressed by all the little things you do to bring others happiness."

I'm touched to be considered such a friend as mentioned above; however, I believe that I see those same traits in my mother. She was the best friend to me, which means she showed me how to be a friend.

"I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10). Every day God's presence is with you...His thoughts of you are countless...and His love for you is perfect."

My mother used to remind me of this scripture on a regular basis! So when I received it in this card, it just went all over me! It was meant to encourage me, and it did, but it also reminded me of the awesome influence and encourager that my mother was to me all of my life. My siblings and I were SO blessed to have parents who constantly challenged us and encouraged us with scripture.

So on this day, I remember my precious mother's life and all that she was to me and did for me. Her example is one that I hope to emulate as I mother my new baby PJ (and any other children we hope to have). So here's to YOU, Mom. I know you're celebrating and worshipping in the amazing, awesome presence of God Almighty! Frankly, I'm a little jealous...but I will join you one day when we will reunite again. In the mean time, keep an eye on all of us because we think of you daily and love and miss you terribly. Give Jesus a big hug for me, will ya?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Payton is 3 months old!

PJ giggles!

It's kind of dark but I caught Payton on tape showcasing one of her first giggles!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Visitors Galore!

Michael's half-brother, Anthony, came to meet ALL of us over New Year's:

My best friend, Rachel, won the prize for our very first visitor from Springfield! She came when PJ was 7 weeks old:

Then many folks from the Payton family decided to visit during the month of February in this order...

Papa and Aunt Annzi were here for PJ's birth but then returned for a visit:

Cousin Caitlin drove just to meet her baby cousin (well, she had such a good time with us that she decided not to continue the previously scheduled drive to AL to visit with friends but, rather, just go back home to MO. Thanks, Cait!):

Uncle Garry & Aunt Shelley drove in the next weekend:

Cousin Brittany and her boyfriend, Andrew, drove in the next weekend:

Michael's Aunt Toni is here from California right now! I don't have any photos of her yet, but I wanted to count her visit anyway.

And we cannot overlook the weekly visits from Great Uncle/Papa Jess & Aunt Elaine!

Thus concludes four weekends in a row of family visitors. Hey man, when it rains it pours! PJ's been waiting to meet all of you. THANKS FOR COMING! We love you!

So Many Milestones!

I cannot believe how quickly the weeks have passed since I last updated this blog. I enjoy writing very much but I enjoy spending time with my precious daughter and husband even more. Those things always take precedence over everything else these days. But, there are a few exciting milestones that little PJ has passed that are worth mentioning.

11 weeks old
Payton turns 12 weeks old this coming Wednesday. It confuses me, though. Is she three months old, then? Michael says she's not three months old until March 17th since she was born on December 17th...but I count her age from week to when she is technically three months old, she will be the equivalent of 12 weeks and 5 days. Oh what does it really matter, I guess!?!? :-)

Now on to the milestones:

First, she began sleeping through the night around 6 or 7 weeks of age. Technically, sleeping through the night is considered only 5 hours but we all know that is not enough sleep! Little Miss Payton usually sleeps anywhere between 6.5 and 8 hours per night. What a bless-ed child, I say! It feels absolutely great to get uninterrupted sleep, and I feel very lucky that she started so early.

Second, Payton started sleeping in her own room around 10 weeks of age. From her first day at home, she was sleeping in the cradle right beside our bed. At 10 weeks, we moved her cradle into her nursery, and she did not even seem to notice the difference. One week later, she started sleeping in her "big girl crib." Again, she did not even seem to notice! Again, BLESS-ED CHILD! I guess we can take apart the cradle and store it in the attic until baby number two joins us.
This is a funny face, so I had to share.

Third, in the middle of the bed changing moment, she had her two-month vaccinations. I was quite trepidatious to say the least! As most of you know, I try to control worrisome thoughts or tendencies in my life. Whenever an anxious thought arises, I remind myself of 2 Cor. 10:5, which encourages us to "...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." And MOST DAYS, that works for me. But it was especially difficult to keep my mind from wondering how the vaccines would effect my sweet baby girl. She weighed in at 12 lbs, 10 oz. and measured 23.5 inches. When the nurse told me to lay her on the table while holding her hands, she just gazed into my eyes and smiled up at me with utter trust and love...until that first prick! I thought my heart was melting. She cried so hard that she was silent! You know that cry? When they're so shocked that no sound comes up but the face is contorted and the whole body turns red? Oh it still makes me sad thinking about it. Luckily, the nurse completed the other four pricks within nanoseconds and it was over more quickly than it had begun. I just held her as close to me as possible to console her. She actually recovered in less than three minutes and was cooing at me in her carseat 10 minutes later! She's a trooper! Here's a picture of her green snoopy band aids:

Then tonight, Michael and PJ shared a very cute milestone together. He fed Payton her very first bottle of expressed breast milk! She took to it like a pro, of course. Michael just beamed and said to her, "You like me NOW, don't you?" It was such a sweet moment. I caught the whole thing on tape! We had been waiting until she was three months old before giving her anything other than the breast. We still plan to only breastfeed her for a long while, but it will be nice to have the occassional option to feed her breast milk through a bottle if Daddy or Granny are babysitting and Momma's not home yet (or if Momma just needs a break).

So that sums up our milestones up to three months of age for our beautiful baby girl, Payton Joy! I'll try to make more frequent updates so as to keep each posting shorter but I make no promises. Like I said before, spending time with and taking care of PJ is my number one job. Everything else has to wait. Until next time...Happy Spring!