Monday, June 22, 2009

Weirded Out

I have loved reading all my friends' Father's Day posts, but it is so weird to look at these goofball roommates and college friends and absorb that, yeah, they are FATHERS! I'm not talented enough (and Brendan has all the photos spread out over two computers and about a gazillion operating systems) to come up with my own sweet little Year-in-a-Nutshell post like my Beth, but I can say that it has been a great year. Brendan has proven himself to be quite the feeder, diaper-changer, consoler, love-tank-filler, etc.

Brendan summed it up best when we gave him his Father's Day gift (a hand painted mug complete with Ezra fingerprints and a scrawly message from me): "I feel like I just was making these for my Dad!"

Yeah, For REAL! How did this happen? Life is flying by-- and I hear that it starts going even faster! It's funny, though, even though I now see that, chances are, my parents felt as clueless as I do now (at times...) about being a parent, I still deep down believe that they always knew exactly what they were doing. Even when my mom let's me in on the secrets that they didn't, I still think, "nice of you to condescend, but I'm pretty sure you had your ducks in a row." Hopefully, my kids will think the same of me!!! Unfortunately, I'm a spazzy over-sharer, so my chances are SLIM...

See blog-of-the-future in 25 years to find out.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vacation Bible School

VBS at CrossPoint Green Lake will be held July 11, 13-17. Call 206-789-7320 for more info or email me. I'm "in charge"of publicity, so I figure this counts somewhat toward my goal. Please send your kiddos! They will have a blast and hopefully learn great truth. It is a very well done curriculum focusing on Christ's journey from Heaven to earth to become and live as a man for our sakes and go back to Heaven to secure our place there. This is the best news there has ever been, and I pray that many children will grow and learn of their lover, brother, and friend!

As convinced as I am that the Gospel is powerful and God's greatest gift to man, I am still so hesitant to share the news with my friends and contacts. Pray for my faith and for boldness to speak of Him to others- especially as I have been charged with reaching out for perfect strangers to come to our VBS. Why am I more afraid of 30 awkward seconds with someone as I hand over a flyer than I am of her or her children losing an opportunity to hear of eternal life!?! Such selfishness. What's that song? "Hide it under a bushel? NO! I'm gonna let it shine." Huh, probably learned that at a VBS...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Formula Recipe

Our recipe is adapted from this website. We do not use chicken liver because, well, ew. I do occasionally give Ezra egg yolk. Ezzie also eats plenty of meat each week to make up for the missing B vitamins and get all the iron he needs.

2 Cups Goat Milk
1/4 Cup Whole-Fat Organic Yogurt
1/4 tsp MaxiBabydophilus- acidophilus powder for infants
1/4 tsp Acerola Powder (we use a multi-whole-food-source vitamin C supp. powder)
1 tsp Cod-Liver Oil (we use Carlsen's Lemon Flavored Oil)
1 tsp Expeller-Pressed Sunflower Oil
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tsp Coconut Oil (which I now use all the time in my cooking also)
2 tsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes (Whole Foods makes a good one)
2 tsp Gelatin
1 7/8 Cups Hot Water (umm... usually just comes out to be 2 cups)

Dissolve gelatin and coconut oil in hot water. Dump it and everything else in the blender. WHIR, WHIR, WHIR. Divide among number of bottles needed for a day- for us that's 6. Usually we do 2 ~7 oz bottles and 4 4-5 oz bottles. Repeat every morning.

I recommend these additional steps:
- Have a wonderful accommodating husband who does it every day

- Use a LITTLE BIT of simple syrup (or alternate sweetener) when switching to this from the crap in a can they call baby formula. It is SOOO much sweeter than this homemade stuff. I gave Ezra maybe 2 sweetened bottles in a row to help him adjust, and then he was good to go on the regular stuff.

-By all means, if you have time, make the whey from Kefir and use that. It is not difficult- just difficult to find Kefir that will seperate. Lifeway works. We just went to using straight kefir or yogurt because we didn't see the need to separate the fat out, and he still gets the good enzymes. He eats yogurt every day also to make up for whatever difference there may be in enzyme content between whey and whole kefir.

Ezra's digestive health (read: pooping) has been pretty much great ever since he went on this stuff. I think the acidophilus helps a lot. We added it all up, and a day's worth of our formula has more calories than the canned junk. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! It's just all-around been very good for Ezra and for my peace of mind.

Now, here's the deal: I am not a nutrition specialist or doctor! This is just what we do for our child, and I think it works well. Any support I have for it is strictly anecdotal. I ran all this by our pediatrician before we started it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Whiskey (Tasting). Tango. Foxtrot.

MY GOODNESS! My little stay-at-home, mother-of-one life is busier than I expected it to ever be! But, I'm glad. I like things to be a little frenetic. No, frenetic is not the right word. Full. There. Full. I like that.

First of all, Ezzie is quite the handful (armful, crook of knee-ful, lapful, etc.) these days. He's so much fun to know. My friend recently made the nicest comment I think I've ever heard any one make about Ez: "I want to know THAT guy." Yeah, me too! He's fascinating. He murmurs and mutters little comments all the time, and I swear that half the time I know just what he's thinking by the intonation and eyebrow usage alone. He's going to walk any second now. He can walk along with me or his "car," but he's not quite brave enough to do it on his own just yet. He has exhibited shocking disobedience and bad attitude and equally stunning tenderness and compliance all in the same hour- let alone day! He continues to scare other children with his completely overbearing personality (which I secretly sort of like... maybe b/c that means he like me. don't worry. people always wind up appreciating that about me in the end... I think...). The times that he reminds me of his father (earthly or heavenly, come to think of it) are the times that I love him the best. I am continually thankful for him.

Speaking of thankful, I must write, given some of my more sorrowful posts about it, that the 2 year anniversary of little Speck's death was yesterday; well, it was this whole past weekend actually. I did some crying especially because I've recently been reminded of the sad sisterhood of those of us who've lost babies (souls that are inexorably tied to our own that we will not know until, God-willing, Glory) and how it is forever growing. However, the sadness of that day stood out in stark contrast compared to the sunnyness of my current day-to-day life. Ezra is a joy and so are all the crazy goings-on around here. Speck's little death definitely was a dramatic opener to a truly lovely new chapter in my sanctification. A love for communing with my God in prayer was developed then and, by his great grace, it has continued to grow- goaded along in many ways by my SLEEPLESS nights with my firstBORN son.

Speaking of sleepless, I also want to write of some great thoughts I've had about the sunny-side of Night-Waking Street (and Inability-to-Continue-Breastfeeding Street too!). First, being up in the middle of the night EVERY night for the last 314 days in a row really has made for great opportunities to pray. It's been fascinating to see how God has changed my prayers (and my heart) over this time. They've gone from desperate cries of "HELP! I'm tired!" to prayers for patience, kindness, love, tender-heartedness in me and in Ezra. I know that the change is by God's mercy alone. Forming the habit of praying all night is finally beginning to transfer to the daytime too! I'm most thankful for that. I find myself thinking to ask God for help and guidance in the smallest things each day. Of course, I can also see my great deficits in prayer and trust in the Lord; good to know I won't be running out of things to work on any time soon.

The flipside of not being able to breastfeed has been a little trickier to appreciate, but I'm really starting to see it. When Ez was only 4 months old my milk started to run dry because of my thyroid malfunctioning. Despite my very valiant efforts, it just continued to dry up. And, Ezra, being the smart kid that he is quickly did learn that fast, easy food comes from a bottle. I was extremely depressed by the whole think and felt deficient in every way, but God calmed me over several months and helped me to just be thankful that at least Ezra was ok and had food to eat. I like to think that if Ezra had been breastfed exclusively as long as I wanted him to be he would just have turned out to be a much too exceptional human being, and God, in his mercy, decided to sanctify Ezra by removing that possible temptation to be arrogant :). Anyway, after all my fears during my pregnancy and wanting to do every last thing as carefully as possible, I think it has been good to have Ezra's food somewhat out of my control. God did graciously give me the idea (thanks to Cindie) to make our own formula, and that has been wonderfully healthy for Ez. I saw his vitality (and chub) change practically overnight when I got him off that CRAP they call "soy formula" (E's allergic to cow's milk).

So, here is the biggest benefit I've seen so far: I CAN GO OUT!!! I'm as extroverted as they come, and it has been so rejuvenating for me to be able to go out with friends while Brendan stays with Ezra. For the longest time, I have not wanted to be happy about that and have definitely not wanted to announce that I'm happy because it seemed selfish to me. The last thing I ever want is to be one of those mothers who is always desperate for a break from her children. I'm sorry, but that has always seemed so sad to me. In my case, I don't want the break from Ezra; I love Ezra, and I really would bring him everywhere with me if I could do that AND pay attention to whatever my friend/doctor/partner/etc is trying to say to me. After a real hermit-esque period following my miscarriage and then the tired haze of pregnancy and shock of bringing a baby (and stitches!) home with me, I have finally been able to re-access the part of me that LOVES to know, help, and even feed off of my girlfriends. The other aspect of that is that my two best girlfriends (aside from my mom and sister who don't live here) moved right when my hermit phase began. God has given me such an abundant answer to my prayers in enriching my relationships that were just beginning back then and giving me the freedom (thanks to goat milk formula and a wonderful husband) to actually have some "adult" time to spend on those relationships.

In the last month, I've had WAY too much fun (no, not in a drunk way...)! I got to out for a night on the town with a lovely batch of ladies- gosh, maybe even once every 10 days or so! I got to go to a whiskey cocktail tasting at Serafina with a couple of ladies, and I now have become a blossoming whiskey snob who just loves to mix up a Blood and Sand and can give you the whole history of the drink and tell you which kinds of vermouth NOT to use. I got to do wedding flowers for a new friend. I get to go to VBS planning meetings AND pay attention. I can make plans!!! It has been wonderful for my soul. I love to care for Ezra, and that is still, bar none, my favorite thing to do. But I also love to care for and be with adults; I thought that might be over, but it isn't! And by "care for," I mean: be friends with and drink fancy cocktails with :) I'm SO not a tea-partier (that's a soapbox for another time...). Brendan has been very kind in allowing and even encouraging me to take the opportunity to rediscover myself in this way. He definitely has a pile of "night-out" coupons in his back pocket. Although, I think he'd prefer that they be "night-at-the-computer-with-no-nagging" coupons. We'll make an arrangement.

That's what I've been up to. I'm exhausted, and every so often I cry because I'm just so tired and feel stupid for trying to have fun and get to know people while I have a 10 month old who doesn't sleep, but those moments pass. Ezra and my friends are worth me feeling a little spread thin sometimes. My newest friend is Anna, our student from Germany who moved in on Sunday. Short story: I love her, and I wish she could just stay forever.

More to come... someday