Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekend Fun

Friday night was another great football game at Frostproof High. They beat Avon Park 35-0! Go Bulldogs! Afterwards, Charlotte and I went over to the church for the Youth Department's 5th Quarter party. For the uninitiated, it is basically a party after the football game for the kids to come and hang out and let off steam instead of hanging out in the park of loitering at the convenience store. We served hamburgers and chips and basically just made sure the youth had a safe place to be that night (until midnight at least when they had to go home). I had fun meeting more teenagers, some of whom knew who I was because I'm the "teacher with a baby" at school.


Yesterday, Grandma and Grumpy came down to visit. I'd pretend they came to see all of us, but they really just came to see Charlotte and to put more pennies into her piggy banks. The first one is a very cute little piggy that is already full. And the second one is designed so we can write the dates of most of Charlotte's firsts on one of the sides. I've already filled in first smile - 2 weeks. I know it was real because she didn't pass any gas after the smile.


And because everyone loves seeing pictures of themselves, here are photos of Grumpy and Grandpa holding their sweet granddaughter. I should add for those of you paying attention... we didn't invite my parents down. My dad just called and said, "I'll be home this weekend and we are going to see Charlotte. What time should we be there?"

While my dad and Bruce stayed home with Charlotte, my mom and I headed over to Lakeland to meet 2 of my friends at My Girlfriend's Kitchen. They are one of those new food prep places where all of the separate ingredients are already prepared for you and you just need to assemble the various pieces for later baking or sauteing. The menu changes each month and we got in on the last day of September's menu. Last night Bruce and I had the Summer Lasagna, which is loaded with squash, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions. My girlfriend's and I had a blast learning several new recipes and preparing them for our families. We've already scheduled a return trip in November. Want to join us?

The trip to Lakeland was the longest that Bruce had been left with Charlotte minus mommy-supervision. I wasn't too worried since I left 2 bottles with him, then I got 3 phone calls in the first 30 minutes. Fortunately, they were just about the bottles I left and were easily answered with no threat of having to turn around and go home. When we came back we learned my lack of worry was justified... after he fed Charlotte she slept until my mom and I got home. What an easy day he had.

Today is Sunday and we are enjoying a quiet, lazy afternoon at home. We had some great fellowship this morning with our Life Group class at a local diner and got to show off the dome construction to our new friend Marsha.

Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4.12

SabinDome Update

Well, I finally did it! I managed to get our SabinDome website updated. It took a while just because we've been busy with Charlotte and adjusting to being back at work. No more Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer for us. :-) Go and check it out!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What a Miracle

Oh my, what a miracle this child is! It reminds me of what a miracle all life is and what a gift from God we have been given. You can look back through my archives and learn about the stages of a child's development in the womb. Of course, none of them do the miracle justice, but God's word does.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I
am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes
saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your
thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Psalm 139.13-17

I still do not understand how some people can believe that abortion is a "choice." If it is a choice, then it is a choice to kill another human being.

"If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [or she has a miscarriage] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."
Exodus 21.22-23

Friday, September 28, 2007

Does God want women to stay at home?

How's that for a blog title? Got your attention didn't it. That question sure got my attention when it was the title of this article. This is a fair and reasonable question and one every woman needs to address if she is going to be married and have children. I began wrestling with this idea when I was in high school, though from a completely different perspective than the one I have now.

In high school I was dead set on being a career broadcaster. I was going to work in radio, and if I had my way, even own my own radio station. There would be no need to "stay at home" because I was not going to get married (I had no need for a husband, I would do it on my own thank you very much). By the time I hit my sophomore year of college, I'd decided to work as a director-type for a news program, calling the shots live. It would have been a good fit for me. But God had other plans...

Bruce became a Christian that year and when we started dating it took him less than 6 months to decide he might want to make our relationship permanent. So, he subtly started bringing up the subject of stay at home moms (SAHMs). Unbeknownst to me, he had a very definite view that a mother should be home with the kids unless it was not possible (and trust me, he had a high threshold for determining if it was possible or not), thus began our dialogue on this issue. To be fair, he bought me two books, Mommy Where are You and another one about balancing work and children (title is long forgotten, it wasn't as catchy as the first). I read both of them and became convinced that a mother's first obligation was to her family and the best way to fulfill that obligation was by being at home. Indeed, now I would stay home if it were possible.

I knew that staying home would mean a different lifestyle. No big SUVs or large fancy houses or new clothes on a whim. Nope, I was going to be a mommy martyr and stay home driving a Ford Pinto and wearing thrift-store finds. This idea of sacrificing all suited me too... but not really in a God-honoring way. Since I had decided to be a SAHM, Bruce decided to ask for my hand in marriage. I accepted and we were married 6 months later.

Fast forward... after 7 years in corporate America with a very well-paying job, we were ready to start a family. However, I was out of town ~22 days a month and knew I needed a new job in order to make that happen. So, I decided to become a school teacher. I was surprised to learn that I LOVED teaching and it turned out that I was pretty good at it (at least my principal said so).

After becoming pregnant, a part of me sort of secretly thought that I would keep working after our baby was born. Why not? Being a teacher is a great job for a parent. The hours are accommodating, not to mention June, July, and August. I don't really know why I thought this because over the years I really had come to believe that being a SAHM is what is best for children. I had even decided to home school my children. Okay, I take that back, I do know why. I was prideful. I liked being told on a regular basis that I was good at my job. I thrive on positive feedback. Just ask Larry my manager at Allstate. He knew that and gave it to me and I did great there. Where was I going to get positive feedback from an infant while I stayed home all day? It turns out after being a SAHM on maternity leave for 7 weeks that I do just fine receiving positive affirmations, from Charlotte and from Bruce. He knows this is something that I need as an ESTJ, and he makes an effort to tell me that he thinks I am a good mom and that he appreciates what I do around the house while he is gone.

All that being said, I firmly believe that being a SAHM is the best situation. And guess what, we are not in a position to make it happen quite yet. Once my maternity leave is over (date TBD), I am going back to school. Bruce and I started building a house in the beginning of 2007 right as the housing market tanked in Florida. Now, there is no one to buy our current house and we have two mortgages. I literally can't afford to not work until we are able to sell or rent out our current house. This makes me very, very sad.

As I re-read the article and comments from JClark and InternationalSpy, I've decided what I want to say is so similar to what they've already said it doesn't bear repeating. Most of the other comments are ad hominen attacks or have such glaring logical fallacies (as does the article) that they aren't even worth rebuttal.

I am still praying that God will make a way for me to stay home at some point, especially once our children are school aged. If you pray, I'd ask you to join me in that request.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
Proverbs 31.27-28

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cute Baby Noises

I am still a sucker for my cute little girl. While I should be finishing my lesson plans for this week, I shot this 30-second clip of Charlotte and the cute noises she makes half-asleep.


video

Now, back to my lesson plans! I must teach those 8th graders how to use apostrophes to show possession.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Truth

While I am posting videos... I found this one one another blog and felt it was worthy of sharing with all of my faithful readers. It is about 3 minutes long and might seem slow at first, but it is a worthy watch.


I really want to wax poetic about this video, but can't think of anything to add. I hope you enjoyed it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

L-O-V-E Charlotte

Click on the thumbnail below for a fun little video of Charlotte doing a dance of love for all of you. It is my first attempt at making a JumpCut video. I promise it won't take long to watch, less than a minute actually!



jumpcut movie:L-O-V-E Charlotte


Scroll down to read my post about the new site if you haven't already seen it and been formally welcomed to my new home online.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Welcome to my new blog home!

Welcome to FamilyMusings.com!

I am so excited to announce a new home for my little blog. I moved my blog because I wanted to take advantage of blog software upgrades from Blogger.com and I wanted an easier web address to share with my friends and family. I'll be in the process of adding widgets in the next few weeks to make it even easier for you, my reader, to follow the comings and goings of the Sabin family.

I chose the name Family Musings because I really feel it encapsulated what I want this blog to be. I want it to be about my family and how much I love and cherish them through whatever circumstance we find ourselves in. This is still my journal of love for Charlotte and whatever other children might come after here, but I also want it to be a snapshot of who I am at any given point in my blogging. Also, I aspire to be more contemplative in my life, to reflect more on what is happening to me and around me. Maybe even I secretly hope that someone will one day refer to me as elegant.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Momma Turns 30

Yes, you read that correctly... I turned 30 today. And you know what, apart from the arthritis that seems to have taken over my joints, the hemorrhoids, gas, and foggy memory that I am suddenly experiencing, I don't feel any different. :-) Just kidding... I don't have any of those symptoms though a certain someone suggested that life is all downhill from here. I just don't see it. I think life is great and only missing a few more hours of sleep!

Today was a good day, sort of. When I woke up, I found a note from Charlotte in my kitchen wishing me a happy birthday. And, my mom came down last night to spend my birthday with me and to watch Charlotte while Bruce took me out to dinner. My mom and I had a good day visiting and took Charlotte to Wal-Mart for her 6-week photos (which is why I don't have any to post here, there won't be in until 10/10). Then, we went to Crisper's for lunch... I love their Harvest Cobb Salad! While at lunch, and after nursing Charlotte, she took a head dive straight for the edge of the table!

That freaked her out, and me too. I think the people in the back of the restaurant heard her wail after her head connected with the table's edge. Fortunately, she is as hard-headed as we expected and calmed down pretty quickly. Then though, she got really sleepy. I didn't know if it was because she had just nursed, or if she had a concussion, so I called the doctor's office. They had an appointment available immediately, so we went in and met with Dr. Sandavol. She was great!

Dr. Sandavol looked her over and told us what to watch for in the next 48-72 hours, but otherwise said that it looked like Charlotte was just fine. And so far, I've not seen any adverse affects of her table-dive. She even still lets me hold her. :-) I will say though, apart from being initially VERY scared, I think I handled this situation fairly well as I didn't cry myself or lose total confidence in my ability as a mother.

After we returned home, I nursed her some more and waited for my husband to come home. After he checked Lottie's head and gave me some good natured teasing, we left for my birthday dinner. Lottie was in the capable hands of her grandma and had plenty of milk in the fridge to hold her over.

Bruce and I went to Chili's for dinner and I discovered Buffalo Chicken Fajitas! Wow! So yummy... afterwards, we went over to the mall to find me some new clothes. I didn't want a lot, but needed something to supplement my current wardrobe of 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of exercise pants, and a couple of tops that also worked for nursing. I had cleaned out my closets this week and packed up all of my maternity clothes so I would have to confront the fact that I didn't have anything to wear!

You see, when I got pregnant, I was down to about 156 lbs and wearing a size 12 or so. Well, not all of the weight I gained during my pregnancy can be blamed on Charlotte, so I really don't have much to wear. I tried to remain frugal though and got 2 pairs of pants and 4 shirts for $27... all from Sear's 75% off-clearance racks. That should be enough to get me through for a little while until I can fit into my pre-maternity wardrobe (which is now hanging proudly and expectantly in my closet).

Thanks for checking in on my 30th birthday post. I've accomplished a major goal and that was having my first child before 30. Thanks Charlotte!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Go Bulldogs!

Lottie went to her 2nd football game last Friday night. I think she enjoyed it, plus she got to hang out with our friend Latrelle. The Frostproof Bulldogs beat Mulberry. Go bulldogs!


Lottie had another first this weekend too... she went to the church nursery - twice! We visited Northland Community Church on Saturday night and I left her in their nursery. It was a very high-tech experience. I got a beeper (like they give out at restaurants) and stickers. One sticker for her, one for her bag, and one for me to wear to show I was authorized to pick her up. They are very security conscience, which is why I felt comfortable leaving her in the nursery of a church that is not my own. Then, on Sunday morning, Lottie went to the nursery at our church for the entire morning! She didn't cry and was actually asleep when I went to pick her up.

This morning we had an unfortunate incident though... Lottie threw up on mommy. She was fussy while she was eating and I guess I know why now. She didn't cry and it wasn't the end of the world, just the first time she did it. I undressed her and cleaned her (and I) up and now she is sleeping in her swing. What fun!

Update: Doctor's office just called back. They said that f she did it again to bring her in, but that otherwise, since she had no other symptoms, she should be fine. The nurse mentioned something about food in my diet, but I haven't eaten anything unusual in the last 24 hours, so I doubt that is it. She's nursing again now and seems fairly content.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Breastfeeding

Time Magazine posted this article, "What Breastfeeding Can't Do," online and it seems to be fairly popular. Right now it is ranked #2, which I guess goes to show the fascination we have with breasts in this country, since so few people in the US actually breastfeed. I have made the decision to exclusively breastfeed Charlotte until 6 months and then to continue until she is at least 1 year old, adding solids to her diet as needed. The American Pediatric Association recommends exclusive feeding until 6 months and continued feeding until 1 year old, yet look at these statistics from the CDC.



I suppose I wanted to blog about this because I didn't like the title of the article. While I agree that it is every mother's right to decide how to feed her baby, it would be silly for me to ignore how perfect breast milk is for a baby, even if it might not do the things that some people thought (i.e. prevent asthma and allergies). The headline Time chose seems to reduce the significance of breast milk and support a culture that already tries to disparage breastfeeding mothers.

I know I am not doing a very good job of complaining about their headline, but it irks me and I wanted that on record. There are sound medical reasons why some women can't feed, but those are much rarer than most people believe. I am so fortunate to have a supportive spouse as that appears to be the biggest reason women give up breast feeding too soon. Thanks Bruce! (Even if you are still not quite comfortable with me doing it in public... you are getting there and understand how good it is for Charlotte.)

It seems I am becoming sort of an mini-activist about this. Recently, it was reported that Applebee's tried to prevent a woman from feeding her child while dining at their restaurant, despite state laws and common sense saying otherwise. Well, a nurse-in was scheduled and while I couldn't be there, I called the 2 Applebee's nearest to where I live and made sure they know about the law in FL. Of course, I did this in a respectful way letting them know I just wanted to make sure they understood nursing mom's rights. To their credit, while neither were aware of the FL law, they agreed it was appropriate and would not try to restrict any nursing mother from feeding her child.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Doctors & Dancing

Monday I took Charlotte to her 1-month doctor's appointment with Dr. Eason. He looked her over and said "she's perfect!" I told him I knew that already, but it was nice to have a professional confirm it. The nurse took her vitals and we learned that Ms. Moon is now 21 1/2 inches long and 8 lb 12 oz. That means she has grown 1 1/2 inches and gained 13 oz since she was born. Her weight is perfect for her height and she is roughly in the 70th percentile of all babies. Some people have commented on her weight gain so I thought I'd explain why she is perfect. Normally, babies lose some weight their first week and gain it back during their second week. So, the real weight gain doesn't start until week three. Doctor's expect babies to gain 1/2 to 1 ounce per day, so after another 2 weeks, a baby should have gained 7-14 ounces. My Charlotte gained 13. She is right on track! Breastfed babies rule!

I'm also trying to teach her sign language and she rewarded me by flashing this sign while waiting for the doctor:


Okay, not really... I had to position her fingers like that in order to take the picture. But I had fun doing it. ;) In addition to "I Love You," we have started to learn the signs for Mother, Father, happy, and blanket.

Onto the dancing... Charlotte and I hit the dance floor on Saturday night in honor of our friend Bill's 60th birthday. There are lots of other people you will see dancing in this video and just a smidgen of us, but I thought it was fun enough so I didn't edit them out at all. Happy Birthday Bill!
video

(This isn't the video I wanted, but it's a start... I'm having uploading issues!)

video

Charlotte also spent some quality time with Grumpy. He'd been looking forward to this nap all week long. I love how Charlotte seems to be looking up adoringly at her Grumpy.

While at the party, she finally met our friends the Tillers. Ed and Beverly just became grandparents themselves to a little boy named Jaxon.

Lottie actually met a lot of other people too but unfortunately, we didn't get any pictures. We were at the party for a little over 3 hours, and I probably only held her for 60 minutes, and that was only because she wanted some milky love.

Tomorrow night we get to go to our second Frostproof Bulldogs football game. I'll try to take some pictures to share (of us at the game, not of the game itself).

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

She's 4 Weeks Old!

Happy 4th Week Birthday Charlotte!

Today, our Charlotte Moon turned 4 weeks old. A good friend advised me to find a toy that we thought she would keep for a long time and take Charlotte's picture on it at regular intervals to track her growth. So, I took this adorable stuffed dog blanket she received as a gift from another cute little baby (thanks Eni!) and took some pictures. Here are my two favorite.


Isn't our daughter beautiful?


I decided to turn our photo shoot into an opportunity for some tummy time. We've been doing this a couple of times a day for the last 2 weeks and tonight was the first time she really held her head up for more than a quick second. I couldn't get a good picture of it because I was so excited for her. I thought this one though was really cute, even if her chin is resting on the dog's head just a little bit.I think the difference was that tummy time had been on the bed but tonight she was on the floor, which is harder and probably made it easier for her. I guess this is the sort of thing only a mother can get excited about. :-)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Catching Up


Wow, it sure has been a while since I posted a blog! Thanks to Tess for reminding me that there are people out there who actually read this thing. :-)

I'll start with a recent photo of Charlotte. This was taken last Friday, August 31.
Since I last journaled, I have lost the list I was using to track things to write about, so hopefully you won't mind settling for my random thoughts today.

Sleep - I am amazed at how I can get by with so little sleep. Charlotte wakes me up about every 2 hours during the night and we spend 30-60 minutes eating each time. Bruce has to be up for work at the awful hour of 5 am so we've been going to sleep by 9:30 pm most nights. Most days I am awake and out of bed by 8 am, so I guess that translates to about 6 hours of sleep a night. Today though, when Charlotte woke up at 5:00 am to eat, I couldn't go back to sleep, so I've been up since then and haven't even felt sleepy. For someone who used to require at least 7 1/2 hours of sleep a night this is quite surprising.

Cleaning - I've read a lot that says you should lower your standards after a baby arrives because you won't have time to do keep your house as clean as you are accustomed too. To that I say, 'HA!' My standards were so low to begin with (not moldy, cock-roach infested low, but I am use to tolerating quite a bit of clutter) that I haven't been able to take that advice to heart. It just so happened that the weekend before Lottie was born we had company so my house had been fairly well cleaned just before the big event. It's been a month now and I am finally reaching my own threshold for uncleanliness. So, since I was up so early this morning I decided to tackle a few tasks. I cleaned our bathroom, except the floor. I even got the moldy corners of the shower cleaned up. I know, I said I didn't do mold, but our shower cleaner ran out a couple of weeks ago so a little bit of black was creeping into the shower. Don't judge me, I have a newborn to take care of. :-)

My Mom - She's wonderful! She finally agreed to come down for the first week after Charlotte was born. Then, she was so wonderfully helpful, after a short weekend at home to spend time with my dad, she came back for a second week. She made breakfast, lunch, and dinner, took care of the dishes, washed my laundry, held Charlotte while I napped, changed diapers, and just kept me company while I was home alone for the first time. She did have to go back to the office for the third week, but just came back and spent the long Labor Day weekend with us. Yeah Mom! In case I didn't say it enough while she was here, 'Thanks Mom! You were a lifesaver.'

Daddy's Diapering Changing Abilities - Contrary to his pre-baby claims, Bruce is changing diapers. Our current arrangement is that if I am napping and she needs a new diaper, then he will handle it. He had to get used to wiping it off of Lottie and dealing with the occasional smell, but I think he is coming along just fine. There are a couple of amusing stories here, but I'll let him decide if he wants them shared with the world.

Breastfeeding - I am so happy that this has been working so well for both of us. The first week I did get some chapped nipples, but a little Lansinoh after feeding Charlotte and everything was far less painful. Since we are reaching 4 weeks tomorrow, I went ahead and figured out how to use the Playtex Embrace breast pump that I got as a shower gift (from my mom, go her!) It wasn't hard to set-up and was pretty efficient at getting its job done. We did have one lactation letdown in the first week at home. Everything had been going well, then on day 14 Charlotte just decided to stop eating. After about 6 hours of her lack of desire for milk, I started to get really worried. I tried to tease her with my nipple, but nothing... except crying, no, make that wailing. Since we had to go back to get another blood test done (for her jaundice), I decided to talk to a Lactation Consultant at the Regency. By this point, it was pushing 7 hours of no interest. When Kathy, the LC, walked in and introduced herself, all I could do was start crying myself... I was so stressed out. So, Kathy took me back to her office and asked me to show her what I had been doing. I did the same thing as usual, and Charlotte latched on like a champ and took long, deep sucks for almost 20 full minutes! I felt like such an idiot. Kathy made me feel infinitely better though when she talked me through how to handle similar situations in the future and reminded me that breastfeeding is a 2-person job. Just because I am ready, willing, and capable, doesn't mean the baby will be. Since then though, we've got along handsomely in this department and I couldn't be happier.

Baby Gifts - It occurred to me this past weekend, that Bruce and I have not purchased anything for Lottie ourselves except some diapers. Everything we have to use in her care and amusement was a gift from someone. Some were from people very close to us, some from members of my church we don't know so well, and some from co-workers of our parents whom we've never met. The generosity of so many people has taken good care of my daughter and I am appreciative beyond words. (However, if you haven't received your thank you note yet, don't think I've forgotten... it's going to be there soon, see note below for explanation.)

Overextending Myself - I was asked to take a continuing education course over the summer to hone my teaching skills in reading. I kept up with it fairly well until mid-July then just stopped working on it. A few nights ago, during a feeding session, I suddenly remembered the course ends on September 8th. Oh my gosh!
When I woke up the next day and logged into the course, I realized I had to do one week's worth of work a day in order to finish by the deadline and not lose credit for what I had already done. It used to take me 2-3 hours to finish 1 week, but with caring for a newborn, it takes me close to 6-7 hours! I will write those notes... just give me another week pf grace please.

Overall, I am still amazed by how much time I can spend staring at Lottie. She is more beautiful to me every day. I don't mean beautiful in a celebrity movie star kind of way, but in a wonderful creation of God that I can't believe I've been blessed with kind of way. Do all new moms feel this way? If not, I wish they would.

I've been spending a lot of my time at home reading other mom's blogs. They are all more amusing and insightful than mine and really lift my spirit. This one today really struck me and I wanted to share it with all of you. Go to Multi-tasking Moms to enjoy an explanation of a mom's assignment from God.

Tomorrow Charlotte will be 4 weeks old. I'll try to find her cutest outfit (that fits) and post some pictures for you.