Monthly Archives: August 2013

Miss Eliza

tea ~ Black Currant

Although 7 weeks early Miss Eliza Grace Arentson was born May 23. Besides minor suck swallow breathe immaturities she was a giant premie. Weighing in at 5#14oz this little white girl was not wimpy. White male babies in the NICU are generally referred to as the Wimpy White boys because they generally have a more difficult time. Eliza had a 2 week stay in NICU that really helped her from a health stand point. She needed some time to sunbathe to help remove her jaundice. She responded really well. She went from gavaging all of her feedings to starting and finishing all of them on her own. After gaining some weight and proving to eat well they told us it was time to go home.
My recovery from natural birth #2 went really well. The bonding to baby #2 didn’t come as easy. I really believe that it has a lot to do with not breastfeeding her. I exclusively pumped until 5 days ago when I offered to breastfeed and she latched like a champ. Maybe my persistence to get her to latch and patience through the pain of a bad latch here and there helped to but I now will advocate not only the importance of that first milk but just the bonding that comes through touch with your baby. I still offer a few bottles of breastmilk during the day but she is doing really well with her feeding.
Coming home to a toddler not a baby was a shock. Elaine my firstborn turned in to a toddler overnight I swear. She really started to explore her world inside our home. Maybe the drugs I was on to stay pregnant fogged my memory, I think not. I think she really grew up in the 2 weeks I was at the hospital. Coming home to Eliane’s new curiosity meant more baby proofing. If you don’t have a space where you can contain your child to only the area you have eyes on, I totally recommend taking all saftey measures possible. My favorite saftey features of our home include the gas stove knob covers, Auto-close gates at the top and bottom of our main stairs, cabinet latches, and doorknob anti-easy turn knob covers. Each product has prevented many accidents.
I was always thinking that the outlet covers would be the biggest help, Laney can take them out of the plugs so I consider them a wash, I don’t pick that as my battle because she doesn’t stick things in them or around them. If anything the covers attracted her to play with them more. But once she has gotten the covers off she runs off to do whatever else she’s going to do.
Elaine and Eliza are really starting to bond as Eliza started smiling in the last 2 weeks. I think sitting Liza up in the bumbo so she can watch Laney play helps too.
Even though it’s August and the kids around here have started school and left for college it still feels like summer to me. Something about it being ninety degrees out doesn’t make Fall come and swoop in quickly. I’m starting to wonder what our winter will look like being trapped in a house with two curious little girls. I’m sure the Pinterest will have more than enough activities for me to reference if we get bored.
Well, that’s all from me on a baby stand point and a kinda where I am with the girls in general. I hope to get up and running as far as blogging more frequently here soon. It was nice to take the summer off.
If you want to pray for our family pray that we would continue to have abundant amounts of patience and energy. That my State of Missouri Cosmetology license would get issued and approved. That Elaine and Eliza would know Jesus when they grow up. That God would use our family to provide a hospitable place a launching pad for those who need to know love. That he would show us what his plan is for our adoption future. And that this fall our BBT, CBS, GG and Marriage groups would all grow us and stretch us in ways only God knows we need in order to mature to gain confidence in sharing the Gospel Message.

Amy

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Peacemakers and Broken Relationships

Tea ~ Moroccan Mint

They say that the middle child tends to be a peacemaker. Also independent, flexible and perhaps extremely competitive. Um, yes. But as a mediator, I really value everyone getting along and that all of my relationships are in working order. If they aren’t, I’ll be vulnerable for a moment to tell you that I lose sleep over that. Yeah, probably not the healthiest personality trait of mine, but I prefer a heart of reconciliation over one of indifference. Pick your poison, because what I have learned from this overt need to have relationships with (& please) others is that it puts me in a position to get burned. A lot. Often bending over backwards to make a relationship a priority (more than my fair share of the effort) and then compromising myself or my values to make you happy because I truly care about you. And unfortunately, by putting that much weight in a relationship or person, I put our relationship in future jeopardy because I am ultimately disappointed or let down by my ridiculous expectations of that same effort in return. If I’ve done that to you. I’m sorry. That part is definitely my fault and I’m working on it.

It’s ok if our relationship (or your relationships with others) is not a priority. It really is. That’s not a snarky comment or observation. There are too many family members, friendships, job requirements, causes and hobbies to appease them all! But let’s be clear, it’s not because you don’t have the time or money or energy to do it, it’s because it is not a priority to you. We do things and pursue relationships, hobbies and causes that are important to us. If you are not sure what is important to you, simply look at how you spend your time in any given week or day or who you write your checks to or what you swipe your credit card for. Look especially at your down time or free time. Is it spent reading, serving, watching tv, exercising, cooking, shopping, working, volunteering, surfing the web, spending time with friends or family, etc. You fill in the blanks.

One of the great responsibilities and burdens of each individual is to make priorities. The real hardship with relationships is that 1 person may find your friendship or relationship more of a priority than the other person. And that can present a problem if effort or expectations are not discussed and realigned. I’ve been blessed to both salvage a couple of relationships as well as had to step back or completely disengage from others. And both really are a blessing because we serve a God that gives us all that we need in any given moment. I am thankful for that! So sometimes it’s necessary to cut out things that do not serve us in an uplifting manner or those we are in relationship with. Hopefully we can do it with a spirit of patience and compassion and not one of anger and resentment.

So what happens if a relationship is in conflict or ends in anger and resentment (even between Christians, *gasp*)? Let’s remember a few things. Here’s 10 nuggets from past experiences for ya:

  1. Conflict:  It does happen (Christian & non-Christian alike), and no one is perfect. That’s why we have grace, mercy, compassion and forgiveness.
    1a. None of us deserves grace or forgiveness.
  2. Assume the best in one another, instead of the worst.
    2a. Maybe a friend has no idea that your relationship is a high priority to you. Talk it out or lower your expectations and judgement of their priorities; they are doing the best they can.
  3. God is still moving and working in their lives and yours whether you are in each other’s lives or not.
  4. No one is beyond saving and unworthy of prayer or forgiveness.
    4a. If you think someone is beyond saving or unworthy of forgiveness, go back to 1a. Check your heart and your pride.
  5. Don’t close & lock the door completely, letting your pride get the best of you. Leave the door of reconciliation cracked a little (& give it time and a lot of prayer).
  6. Holding a grudge and withholding forgiveness only hurts you, not the other person.
  7. Always speak well of others whether they are in the room or not.
  8. Tainting someone else’s reputation just makes you look bad; altering someone’s perception of another person is not your responsibility, better left unsaid.
    8a. People can usually taint their own reputations all by themselves.
  9. Love and serve others with generosity. Generosity of time, money and resources. You’ll never get to the end of your life thinking, “Man, I wish I hadn’t given that away,” or “I wish I had spent my money and time on something else (that doesn’t matter).”
    9a. Let others love and serve you!
  10. This last one is from my dad, “All we have and are given in life is time, and we trade it for things. Money, relationships, hobbies, etc.”

What are you trading your time for? What and who are your priorities? Are your unrealistic expectations of others hurting you or are you withholding forgiveness toward another person? I pray that you seek reconciliation and receive the peace and healing of Christ.

Be encouraged!