Day 212- 10 months and Swimming! (and thankfulness)

Caleb turned 10 months on the 26th! I'm just now getting around to posting about it because we've been busy with a visit from my mom (yay!), work, and Alan finishing his first semester of school! We had a hard time getting Caleb to be still for this one. He's getting more and more mobile! Dear Caleb,
You amaze me everyday. For one, I didn't know that it was possible to love you any more and I do every time you smile at me, scrunch your nose, or even when you're naughty (because it reminds me that I have a big responsibility in raising you). I just can't help but swell with love. You've had a big month... standing independently, saying "dada", holding a bottle on your own, nodding, scrunching your nose, getting 2 more teeth (numbers 5 and 6), meeting your Great Grandma and Grandpa Hunt, and I'm sure more than I could think of. You love playing with your ball, rings, shape puzzle, toy car, and reading books (or eating them sometimes :) ) You are sleeping beautifully through the night and napping well (when not at daycare). You take 1 or 2 naps a day (mostly 2) of about 1.5-3 hours. You sleep through the night from around 7:30 pm to 7:30 am with Dad feeding you around 11pm. You are taking a bottle of between 4-8oz, 5 times a day. You wear 12 month clothes and size 3 diapers. As you move even more towards independence, I'm trying to treasure this time when you still like to cuddle before bed and touch my nose a hundred times a day. I love you and pray for your health and future everyday.

Caleb playing with his ball
First time swimming at a "real" poolHe loved it!
He didn't like his hat so much (it lasted about 1 minute). It's cute though- right!?
Hopefully I'll get some pictures from my mom of when she was here visiting. We had a really lovely time together. It was short, but it was really sweet!
76. that my mom was able to come a visit
77. going to the pool with Caleb and Al
78. a really good message at church this morning
79. finding some good garage sale items on Saturday for Caleb- jeans, 2 pairs of shoes, a fleece, a shape puzzle, and giant legos- all for $5!
80. a nice run tonight
81. a relaxing weekend
82. having Mondays off
83. finding a 1/2 marathon to run in October! The Kansas City Marathon
84. reclining couches
85. re-meeting some of Al's classmates on Friday for an end of summer celebration
86. that the church we think we're going to settle at has a MOPS group
87. the zenias that my mom brought up for me
88. the home grown watermelon that she also brought me (I've been enjoying a little everyday!)
89. Al went out and got doughnuts this morning
90. we were actually on time to church this morning


Day 209

Thankful that...
71. My mom got to come visit
72. Caleb started standing on his own today
73. I got to talk to a good friend who just got back in country
74. Another friend got a good diagnosis on a medical test
75. Alan has one test left in his first semester of grad school

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Day 206- Monday Meditation

"You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise." Deut 11:18-19

62. God's unending faithfulness, even from the beginning of creation to today in my life
63. for the traditions in my family as I grew up
64. The birthday wish
65. Christmas tree assembling races
66. Getting to pick birthday dinners/cake
67. The discipline of Saturday chores
68. the "Galbo wave"
69. Easter eggs on Saturday, celebrating real Easter on Sunday
70. The wrapping paper toss (thank you, Stacy)

...Thinking about what traditions I want to put in place for our family


Day 205- Learning to be a mom... And what it means to be a good samaritan

-warning- long post-

For me, the transition into mommyhood has been a lot harder than I would like to admit. For some reason I thought that once my body had done the physical act of nurturing and birthing a baby, the rest would be easy. I'm sure you are rolling your eyes at my naivety, but really... I thought that being a mom would just come naturally. I'm sure it does for some people. However, I'm not naturally domestic, or really nurturing. In fact, when I was a child, I didn't pretend to be a mommy so much as a doctor or teacher or writer or missionary. I kind of grew up thinking.... I'll do something BIG with my life (and maybe I'll get married and have kids too).

Somehow, I'm starting to realize that the biggest thing I do with my life (certainly the thing I spend the most time doing) will be being a wife and mother. That is totally not to say that I can't or won't have an impact in other ways, but this is HUGE! Back to learning to be a mom... So, it's taken me pretty much the last 9 or 10 months to actually get in a groove. To not feel like things are unfair when I get up out of bed at night or wonder why I'm cleaning up things in the living room for the zillionth time. I'm *starting* to just do them. I'm domestic out of necessity. I cook because I want to start establishing healthy eating for my child. I do laundry because he needs clothes to wear to daycare. We go to the park because mommy is bored (haha- Caleb doesn't really know how cool the park is yet).

And another thing... Bonding. Yes, I loved Caleb from the beginning. And I did bond to some extent in those first few weeks, but I didn't really start to ache with love for him, to stare at him and wonder how I got so lucky until the past few months. I think it's taken me a while to get over the shock of someone fully dependent on me + hormones+ lack of sleep + my changing identity in order to truly "feel" the love I have for Caleb. Just different than how I thought it would be.

Final thought... At church this morning I had a revelation, perhaps from the Holy Spirit. The message was about the good Samaritan. I was thinking and thinking about who are my "samaritan neighbors"? Perhaps my husband and son are. At least they are those that I'm called to love and serve most often. In honesty, sometimes they are the hardest to love and serve. I hate that often I look at it as a chore, when I'm eagerly longing for the day when we can do medical mission work or volunteer downtown. I think God is calling me to love and serve in the mundane, as well as by reaching out. How can I love my neighbor in Sierra Leone without loving my family first?

And it's SO worth it. I mean, look, how beautiful is family?!
61. For the gift of family and the amazing responsibility to take care of these two men

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Day 204- Saturdays...

I am thankful for today because:
51. Caleb started scrunching his nose and it's WAY cute
52. I got to relax a little
53. The guest bed is FINALLY made again- been procrastinating that one a while
54. Had dinner with good friends
55. Watched a movie with the hubby
56. Read for a few hours at Starbucks last night
57. Al only has 1 week left in his first semester of school
58. the beautiful desk set that Al's grandma gave us
59. that my new work swimsuit was finally found- Fed Ex delivered it to the wrong place- my Lycra one was getting a little indecent
60. that my boss liked an eval that I wrote and that I had a co-worker send me an encouraging email

Coming soon... updated Diaper review. Watch out people. Perhaps I should just switch to cloth, then I wouldn't have to worry about all this.

Also coming soon... reflections on finally starting to feel like a mom (or at least function as a girl disguised as a mom)


Day 202- Torn

So, while standing in line after grocery shopping today, I got into a conversation with a gentleman. He wanted to know about Caleb, how old he was, etc. I noticed that he had a child with a disability, which he soon told me was autism. He warned me that it was the vaccinations that caused it. He said his son was developing completely normally and that they watched him sink into his own world after his 18 month vaccinations. He told me to be careful because he doesn't want the same thing to happen to anyone else's child.

Aaaahhh! How do you, #1 respond to that (smile and say you'll think about it?) and #2 take your son in to get his 12 and 18 month shots!? I toiled quite a bit over getting vaccinations and have worried about autism since I found out Caleb was going to be a boy. I just wish that there was some absolute source that could explain for sure the cause autism and why it has increased so rapidly over the past couple decades. I know there are no studies linking vaccinations to autism, but it's crazy hard to ignore the child self-stimming in the middle of Sam's and his concerned father.

Thankful for...
44. A healthy child
45. The huge bag of pita chips I got at Sam's today
46. Sweet texts from my hubby
47. Time to blog
48. That the extreme heat will take a break this weekend
49. That I live closer to the "Galbo" side of my family
50. That al and I are going to get away for a night in a couple weeks-thanks kayleen

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Day 201- really thankful for...

36. A child who can't yet say awkward, embarrassing things yet :)
37. Caleb just started clapping his hands
38. Being mentored at my new job
39. A friend that can call last minute to do things with
40. A day off tomorrow
41. Not having to worry about physical abuse in my house
42. My handimedown king-sized pillow-top mattress- thanks mom and dad
43. Sunscreen

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Day 200- 10 more things...

10 more things I'm thankful for...

26. hot baths
27. a flexible career
28. toaster-oven nachos
29. being able to wear workout clothes to work
30. getting tan while at work :)
31. the quiet in the evenings when Caleb is asleep and Al is studying
32. that the heat reminds me of a day when I'll be wishing it was back
33. small reminders of God's love
34. a new journal
35. listening to the cicadas outside


Day 199- 1000 Things I'm Thankful For...

I've seen other people go on a journey to record 1000 things they are thankful for. I think that during this time in my life, when I'm in transition, would be perfect for reflecting on all the good things that I am surrounded by daily.

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands. O Lord, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep."
Psalm 92:1,4-5

"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!"
Psalm 107:1

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning you"
1 Thes. v. 18.

I bought a little journal to record my thankfulness in, and my goal is to finish 1000 things by the end of the year. I thought I'd start off with 25...
1. A relationship with God
2. Alan
3. Caleb
4. My family I grew up with... Mom, Dad, Stephanie, Stacy
5. My new family... David, Kayleen, Matt, Jamie, Charlie
6. A/c
7. Good friends (even if we are scattered)
8. Being able to read/write
9. The opportunity to have travelled to Mexico, India, Thailand, Ethiopia, China, and Italy
10. That most people speak English in the world (since I stink at learning new languages)
11. My new shoes from target
12. Lightening bugs
13. Caleb's laugh
14. Caleb's health
15. Chocolate
16. Not having to work full-time
17. Going to Brookhill growing up
18. That I can't control the future
19. I don't have to be perfect
20. That my husband empties the mousetraps for me
21. Watching Caleb sleep
22. Sleeping in... Every once in a while
23. Having Bethany close by
24. Washing machines/dryers (even if I don't like laundry... These make it a lot easier!)
25. Hot water

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Day 199- Pajama pic

Here's a pic of Caleb in the pajamas I posted about below. And yes, he is trying to eat a tin whistle.


Day 198- Summer pics

Here are some recent pics of the little guy. Most are of this afternoon playing in his kiddie pool. Enjoy!


Day 196- Favs of the Week

2 Favs of the week this week:

Pajamas by babyGap...
Caleb currently wears the 18 mo size. SO cute! I also like Children's Place for pajamas. Caleb is probably 12 mo in their footy pajamas, but I have him in 18 mo to extend the pajama life. I found some on sale for $5 each with free shipping. I got him the camo one shown below, as well as one with monsters on it. I love that they zip and have little "stickies" on the bottom of the feet, so Caleb can walk and stand in them.

Homeade ice-cream!
Al and I have had this ice-cream maker for 5 years (got it as a wedding present) and still haven't used it... til last night. I made vanilla cookie dough. It was pretty good, but left a pretty filmy aftertaste. I tried doing it the non-cooking way, which is really fast (about 30 min start to finish). But... I think I'll try the other way next time, just to see if it makes a big difference in texture or taste. Any homeade ice-cream tips would be welcomed!

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Day 192- Monday Meditation

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love."--1 John 4:18

"The LORD is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid?" --Psalm 27:1

"Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." --Isaiah 41:10

Forgive me, Lord, for the many fears in my life. Fears of inadequacy, the future, provision, reputation, abilities... I know that you have conquered the world with your love, justice, and power. Nothing can seperate me from you. Teach me what is truly important and how I can bring your kingdom's restoration to those around me. Give me peace and obedience and assurance when I am afraid. Give me hope and truth and power to overcome my fears.


Day 185- the 4th

Well, I'll keep this one short...
I'm definitely thankful for this country, but I've never been a huge independence day fan. For some reason it feels like boasting and being prideful (although I never mind when others celebrate their nationality). I do enjoy a good fireworks display and grilling out though. This year, we were a little lame and grilled out at our friends, the Shelton's, house. The kinda lame part is that they were out of town! We had to use their grill because we didn't bring ours with us to KC. So, we spent the evening grilling brats and corn, watching Extreme Makeover: weightloss edition, and listening to fireworks. We stayed at their house cause we thought we might be able to see the fireworks, but alas, as soon as we got packed up with the sleeping baby to try and drive around and find the big show- the finale goes off. How did we know? We and our no longer sleeping child had no problem hearing the big show! Luckily, Caleb went back to sleep quickly and Alan and I truly enjoyed a simple night together relaxing. Thanks Sheltons for the use of your abode!

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Day 182- Fav of the Week- water...

I never realized how important water really is until the water main broke today in our county. There is a boil order on all water for 2 days for 400,000 people. (all because a raccoon got electrocuted in the breaker for one of the pump houses.) All the water bottles are sold out at stores and restaurants are closed or only partially operational. I went to Starbucks today after work to catch up on notes and totally forgot that you need water to make coffee drinks :). I ended up with a Bare Naked Berry drink and pumpkin bread. They were both very tasty. I wasn't really in the mood for coffee on the hottest day of the year anyway. Back to water... so, Al and I have a huge pot of boiled water on the stove for bottles, drinking, teeth brushing, etc. I'm trying to imagine what life would be like if this was an everyday reality like it is for so many around the world. I'm so thankful that my water will okay again at 5 pm tomorrow evening and that I have instant fuel to purify my water that comes out of my tap. Here's a shout out to charitywater.org... They help the millions of people who struggle with this issue everyday.