Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April 1st

Dear Mack,

A year ago today at approximately 5:00 am I took a home pregnancy test... waiting that 3 minutes seemed like an eternity but it was well worth the wait to see those two little pink lines.  I think my heart skipped a beat as I rejoiced - the Lord had finally answered our prayers.  Now I had to decide, do I let your daddy keep sleeping or wake him up... I crawled back in bed thinking I would try to get a few more minutes of sleep myself but the excitement made me restless and I couldn't wait to share the news. I woke daddy up and to his disbelief we lay there in shock - what now?  Daddy laid his hand on my belly and we prayed our first prayer over you.  It was a long day ahead of us as we anticipated sharing the news but the ironic thing was it was April Fool's Day and many didn't know whether to believe us or not. 

Oh the next 9 months were the longest as we dreamt about what you'd look like, what color your eyes would be, if you'd have any hair, would you be shy like mommy or outgoing like daddy... and here you are at 4 months - a good mix of us both, blue eyes, a little blond hair and just as perfect as can be!

March in Review

March - where do I begin...

Micah turned 27 on March 2nd, Cody and Tiffany share the same Birthday so we had Master's and Interns over to celebrate with us. 

Last June Micah officially became the youth pastor in addition to leading Master's so basically he was doing 2 full-time jobs and needless to say it was wearing on him. To make a long story short Pastor Rick encouraged us to get away for a few days without Mack.  As hard as it was for me to leave him we were all better for it.  Micah and I enjoyed a wonderful time on the Riverwalk.

Out of no where Mack began having diarrhea, after 2 doctor visits and lab work that came back normal we decided to switch his formula and realized he has a milk allergy.  This didn't completely surprise me since I was also allergic to milk as a baby.  He's been doing a lot better since we've switched his formula.  Yesterday he had his 4 month check-up.  Weighing in at 13 lbs 1 oz and 25 1/4 inches long he is in the 10% bracket which is a little under average but the doctor said that's right where he expected him to be with his weight gain history and said he's doing great!  A lot of people say he's long but he just looks that way because he's lanky.  He also got his 2nd round of immunizations which this time has caused him to have a fever.  He's just been very lethargic the last day and wants to be held. Here's my baby after his shots - it only last a couple minutes.

Due to the increased violence and unrest in Mexico, Master’s Commission is no longer working there. We have stopped our current projects as well as cancelled all our Outreach plans for the the upcoming summer including the summer internship.

Also, after much prayer and discussion, we have made the decision that our current class of Master’s Commission will be our last. This ministry has thrived for 16 years and been instrumental in many of our lives. However, as the leadership we believe that God has something new and different in store for us in the future. While we do not know specifics of that at this time, we are humbly taking it one step at a time.

This year for Spring Break, Micah took several of our youth students to Six Flags in San Antonio. Unfortunately one of the vans got broken into and 9 people's belongings were stolen including Micah's laptop. Overall though I think they had a great time!

Well it seems like there's so much more to recap but I've pretty much covered the big events so I'll leave it at that if you've even made it to the end :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mack - 4 Months

My baby is just growing too fast - He's 4 months already, where does time go!

My baby is beginning to perceive me as a separate individual from him. He now exhibits genuine pleasure at the sight of family members and others he knows and likes. He loves "talking" to me and almost anyone else who will converse with him.
We're finally starting to see a little hair - still looks very blond most of the time but in certain light it looks brownish - we'll see what comes of it. I believe his eyes are going to stay blue as they seem to only be getting lighter as time passes. Mack is officially in the drooling stage and may be in the beginning stages of teething.  
Even more pronounced than the alterations in my baby's appearance are the changes in his physical abilities. His body is beginning to fill out as his muscles grow. While lying on his tummy, he can support the weight of his head and chest on one arm. By the end of the month, he should be able to hold his head steady although he's doing quite well already. When lying on his stomach, he can lift and hold his head at a 90-degree angle. He can turn his head in all directions, lift it when lying on his back, and look at his feet. He's also gained the ability to stick those cute little feet in his mouth.

Mack's senses are developing as well. He can hear almost as well as an adult now, discerning the source of sounds and responding to music. He also shows interest in making sounds and will recite some over and over. Between this time and 6 months of age, Mack will develop the ability to make some vocal sounds, which means we may hear the words we've been dreaming about, namely "ma-ma" or "da-da." While child development experts say it's too early for our baby to connect those sounds with me or Micah, that won't make hearing them any less exciting.  By the end of the month, he will be able to see in color. His eyes focus well now, and can see at distances up to about 12 feet. His eye movements are less jerky, and he can easily follow the progress of a moving object or person. He'll even move his hand toward an object with his fingers spread to its approximate size.
Another big accomplishment this month is sleeping between 10 and 11 hours straight and taking two or three naps during the day. To help him sleep better, I've learned to put him down while he's groggy and he falls asleep on his own.
Sometime between now and 6 months we will begin introducing solid foods. However, Mack has had some unfortunate diarrhea for almost 3 weeks so I may not be starting right away. After giving it a weeks time and no sign of improvement we had some lab work done only to come back normal so we've recently switched formulas in hopes this will help. 
Well that's not all inclusive but you get the gist - we'll be back next month with some more updates!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mack - 16 Weeks

Mack sure does keep me entertained, Micah and I often wonder what we used to do before having a baby.  It seems like so much has happened in the last 4 weeks... Mack has become quite accustomed to seeing himself in the mirror and smiles every time - although they say he won't realize it's himself until he's around 2 years old.

This little guy loves to hear his voice as he's been squealing at a pitch only a mother could love.  One of his most excited times is when he's getting his diaper changed.  He also loves to sing with me  -  a couple of our favorite songs are "Jesus is the Answer" and "Jesus loves Me".  One of our new favorites to sing along with is a Baby Praise video that creates a nurturing environment for the baby's spiritual and intellectual development.  This video combines popular praise and worship songs with images of children enjoying God's creation, colorful animation and real world objects.  It helps to actively engage a baby's spirit and mind, stimulating early learning in the areas of tactile, cognitive, social, emotional and most importantly spiritual development.  Mack loves it!

Mack had a few milestones this month as did Mommy. I'd been working on getting Mack used to a little play-time on his tummy although normally he gets very fussy. He's had no trouble holding his head up or even doing a mini pushup, he just prefers to be on his back. However, like I said, I've been trying to give him a little tummy time each day to get him ready for the next phase - crawling! About a week ago to my surprise he so gracefully rolled from his tummy to his back; a little early for his age.

I'd been checking out the church nursery since Mack turned 3 months (when they can officially be put in the nursery). I don't know, maybe I'm a bit extreme but I'd like to know who I'm leaving my baby with and how they handle the babies... well I finally left him after 3 weeks of scoping things out, of course I checked on him at least 3 times and yes he was perfectly fine. 
Then just 2 days later Micah and I went out of town for a little getaway and actually left Mack with the in-laws for 3 whole days! I couldn't believe it myself but Micah and I needed it and we're better for it - we all are.  

A few cute things Mack has been doing is sticking out his tongue,

and sucking his toes - gotta love it.

If you think of it, keep Mack in your prayers - he's had diarrhea for the last 5 days. He's already been to the doctor and is taking pedialyte. Doesn't seem to phase him but I'd like him to be done with this already.  Thanks!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Getaway

A couple weeks ago Micah came home from work and surprised  me by saying we were going to get away for a few days without the baby!  At that point I was still struggling to leave Mack in the church nursery let alone anywhere over night.  I had only left him with the in-laws for a few hours at a time.  I didn't think I could actually go out of town and leave my 3 month old baby behind.  However through many tears, prayer and the reassurance of my husband that we'd all be better for it, we made it happen.  The in-laws were ecstatic about getting a whole weekend with the little guy. Micah and I headed to San Antonio and we thoroughly enjoyed a relaxing weekend on the Riverwalk.  We didn't realize just how much it was needed... we are so grateful for a Pastor/boss who understands the importance of getting away - we are refreshed!

A Game...

Cierra @ California Creations tagged me in this game

The rules are:
Open your first photo folder
Scroll to the 10th photo
Post the photo (no cheating) and the story behind it
Tag some peeps

So here's my photo:  Micah and me at our Wedding Shower in Kansas City, August 19, 2004

Alright for this little fun game I'm tagging:

 Lora over at Lola and Peaches

Monday, March 1, 2010

February in Review

February has flown by so quick but so much has taken place! Master's once again teamed up with Pastor Jose Camarillo, in Reynosa, MX to help start and train leaders to build a kids church/ministry within one of the church plants. This is a great opportunity for our students as they get a cross-cultural experience as well as the responsibility of planning and writing children's lessons.  
Axis, our youth group, officially went to 2 services on Sunday morning and increased roughly by 30% - that is exciting! Every year our church takes part in a season of Lent which is a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal - a time when Christians are invited to prepare themselves spiritually for the celebration of the resurrection of Christ.  This year Axis is taking part by fasting all beverages except water.  We've called this the Axis Water Project.  So anytime they would normally purchase a soda or other beverage, instead they set aside that money and Axis will put it towards putting in a water well in Africa. So not only are we giving something up, we are giving to others in the process.  Each student got a bracelet that says "The Axis Water Project" as a reminder.
As I mentioned before our church is setting aside some time for Lent.  It's purpose is to create space in our lives to experience God.  As a Christ-community, we are setting aside the next 40 days to be intentional about pursuing God in our daily lives. It is a season where we fast.  Why fast?  When we fast, we are one-on-one with God, offering not only our time, but the attentiveness that we otherwise might be giving to eating, shopping, surfing the web, or watching television.  Fasting aligns our lives (hearts, minds and bodies) with God and what He really wants to do.  

During this first week of Lent the church fasted television, music and media of some sort.  The goal this week is to help us develop an ear to listen for and become attune to the still small voice of God.  Micah and I decided it would be healthy for us to turn off the TV this week... instead we spent that time as a family playing with Mack, talking and we even worked on putting a puzzle together.  We realized it's not so hard to give something up for a week but it's important to understand the reason why we are doing this.  It's easy for us to "check off a box" but are we really gaining anything from it...We are looking forward to the weeks ahead as God has already been challenging us.

2010 Goals - well as you know goals that are set at the beginning of the year are a desired ambition but not always achieved throughout the entire year...  

  1. We are still doing family devotions and for the season of Lent we are using the 40-day devotional from Palm Valley.
  2. Instead of reading my Woman's Devotional Bible - Sanctuary I've decided to read along with the youth students in their assigned chapter a day reading.  I've actually found myself spending a little more time really reflecting rather than just checking a box that I've ready my quota for the day.  We've read through the book of John, Ephesians and now are on Acts.  We're still daily positing on facebook.
  3. I've kept up with my blog at least twice a month.
  4. I've faithfully kept a daily picture of Mack on photobucket - although I'm not great at posting daily - usually once a week I upload, sorry for those of you who continually check for new pictures.  
  5. I stared to read 2 new books this month but haven't quite been able to finish them.

  • One book I started was "A Reason for God" by Timothy Keller.  It's a bit heady for me and will take a little more time to finish. I think I may even take a break from it and come back at another time.
  • Micah and I also started reading together "Shepherding a Child's Heart", seems great so far - will let you know how it is once we finish.
Mack got his first little cold this month with a stuffy nose and a bit of congestion. The doctor said there isn't much you can do at this age but give it time to pass.  I think it was harder on me to see him coughing and sneezing.  He never seemed too bothered by it though.  Mack started exploring new sounds like squealing - it's so cute!  A pastor friend of ours said, "We spend the first few years teaching them to talk and walk, and the rest of their life telling them to sit down and be quiet". After working with Mack the last 2 weeks on getting to bed a little earlier he finally slept 10 hours (previously it'd been about 81/2 hrs.) last night and woke up just as happy as can be.  I've introduced a few toys to him, I think he likes them :)

On a personal note I've been very motivated to keep up with the house cleaning, it helps that Mack is like his mommy - he likes keeping a schedule, this allows me to have designated time to get things done around the house.  The other day while cleaning I got in one of those moods (Micah always says, "Oh Boy") where I had an itch to rearrange or redo something.  Without breaking the bank I decided it would be sufficient to simply work with what I had.  I switched out the decor in the guest bathroom and rearranged the living room furniture once again - I think I like this new arrangement, for now anyway.