Tuesday, July 31, 2012


A friend of mine shared this on Facebook and I couldn't help but share it here. One thing I have learned since entering the parenthood game is that there are far too many people out there that will happily jump at the chance to judge the choices you make as a parent- especially if they are different from theirs.  Unsolicited advice is around every corner and I make every attempt to take it gracefully. I had a beautiful  epidural free delivery that I would have loved to (hold your gasp) have done at home, therefor I am kicked out of most birth conversations as "crazy".  As a breastfeeding hippy, organic, cloth diapering Mom who works in a Pampers, formula, prescription filled NICU, I can see both sides of the fence. Lets follow the advice of this author and get over it- if only for the sake of our sanity :)

excerpt from Out Of The Spin Cycle: Devotions to Lighten Your Mother Load
by Jen Hatmaker

An ode to the marvelous woman called “Mother”
Though not one of us is exactly like another. 

From the second we’re born to the minute we die 
Our preferences are as limitless as stars in the sky.

We might have been perfectly gracious before 

But childbirth entered us in the Mommy War. 
Rather than letting everyone else be 
We criticize parenting that isn’t exactly like . . . me.

So once and for all let me put this to rest 

None of us owns the title of “best.”
Natural childbirth does not make you a hippy 
Epidurals are not just for women who want to feel trippy.

In a bathtub with a doula or in a hospital bed

We all got a baby with limbs and a head. 
Nursing is great if nothing goes wrong
But some nipples turn inward and refuse to play along.

This is a choice for each mom–it’s her route

So it’s just A + B and everyone else can C their way out.
Schedules and timers do not make you cruel 
Feeding on demand does not make you a fool.

In the nursery with a monitor or in the family bed

Every chick gets to pick where her baby lays his head.
If I see one more mom roll her eyes at “organic . . .”
“Partially hydrogenated” throws some of us into panic.

But neither judge Sonic burgers and fries

Some of us just want to enjoy food before we die. 
Preschool, home school, public, or Montessori
Listen, my friends, and I’ll tell you a story:

Two moms differed on favorite school trends

Their kids turned out pretty much the same. The end.
If a girl gets the title of “mom” accidentally 
The worst thing we can do is treat her judgmentally.

How about some love, some help, some advice?

She needs our love and we shouldn’t think twice.
Discipline through various methods will prevail 
Look, we’re all just trying to keep our kids out of jail.

These things are just preferences, not right or wrong

What matters more is teaching our kids to get along– 
To love and to share, to speak gently and kind
To obey so that mom won’t go out of her mind.

Showing them Jesus is our common ground

Teaching them how he can always be found
He’s present in public school and Waldorf (so trendy)
He’s over at Whole Foods but also at Wendy’s.

Jesus never cared about these sorts of things

It’s our hearts that he wants and the worship we bring.
It’s time for us moms to declare a truce 
Regardless if we buy Capri Sun or 100 percent juice.

My way is not your way, and your way isn’t mine 

But both of our kids will turn out just fine.
Rather than judging and looking down our noses
Let’s enjoy the common ground motherhood poses.

As believers, we all love the same good Lord

We all have children who tell us “I’m bored.”
We all need more sleep than these tiny five hours
Most of us struggle to find time for a shower.

We haven’t been to the bathroom alone in an age

Our mothers have all told us, “Relax, this is just a stage.”
We all love our babies so much we could die 
We’d take a bullet for each one without batting an eye.

Though we are different, we’re in the same tribe 

Motherhood requires a similar vibe– 
Love and affection, sacrifice and grace 
Laughter, which keeps the whole mechanism in place.

Though different, by the grace of God, I suspect: 

ALL our children will rise up and call us ... collect.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Claire's 4th and 5th Month

We have been busy enjoying our summer and totally dropped the ball on giving an update for June, so here is a little of what June and July have held in the world of Claire :)

Claire is FIVE MONTHS old! Well, now 5 1/2. I cannot believe how fast time has flown by. I feel like it was just yesterday we brought her home.  She is getting to be such a big girl! (Bittersweet sniffle). I love watching her conquer new feats daily. I look at things completely different now as I experience her taking in every detail of the world around her- to which she pays extra close attention.

Claire is getting big! Well at least to us... She is still weighing in at around 13 pounds, hanging out in the 5-10th percentile.  We just this week were able to start putting her in her extensive 3-6 month summer wardrobe.  We were stressed it wasn't going to get much use, but with temperature above 100, there is no end of summer in sight. Our pediatrician has given us continued reassurance she is growing just fine, it is just her genetics- both parents being the runt of the litter :)

Claire is so incredibly alert! She perks up to every noise, will pause to listen anytime someone speaks, and loves music toys. She also loves to talk- we wake up every morning now to her sweet little voice gabbing away in her crib and quickly report to her side to hear about (what we assume are) her dreams from the night.  Claire is full of smiles, kindly giving them out to everyone she sees for free or, complete opposite, will get in moods where you have to really work for it (jump, sing, or just look like a total goof!).  She has also started laughing fairly regularly and has become quite ticklish.  Claire will laugh at everything from a simple diaper change to moments in a conversation to make you feel as though she had to of known what was said.  She will also quickly jump into a talking a frenzy if you create an awkward silence by just staring at her :) Claire adores her growing library of books and has even lately taken to anxiously "turning" the pages.

Here is great video of her laughing- unfortunately, it took being a "goof"...

Here is Claire telling bedtime stories

Along with turning those pages, Claire's motor skills have grown tremendously! She is rolling all over the place, which is now her mode of transportation.  She is a pro at her baby push-ups, ensuring she never misses a thing.  Claire has also developed her own (what we call) opposite army crawl- she walks her legs up until her little bottom is high in the air then pushes forward (while dragging her face along the ground/crib/etc.) with her feet.  She has a favorite end of her crib which she has to turn sideways and travel a couple feet to get to, but makes it every night.  Claire is starting to attempt to sit up, unfortunately only when being strapped in her car seat and eating. Her true preference is standing, which she wants to do alllll the time! While standing she has made it a habit to "walk" backwards.  During playtime, we have most recently had to take away several hard toys and rattles due to repeat self inflicted abuse from over excited flailing arms.  Claire has no teeth yet (or evidence of any soon!), but LOVES to chew on everything from biting at Dad's nose to attempts at devouring an entire hand or foot.  She has been known to attempt fitting her entire hand in her mouth at the cost of choking.

Here is a video of her in action

Here she is playing with her new toy

Other things Claire has come to enjoy are her sippy cup and food samplings .  Jason was never able to have much success with her bottle feeding, so we decided to give a sippy cup a try- thank goodness! She is a pro at (again) chewing on the spout and swallowing what she gets to leak into her mouth.  Unconventional, yes, but it works!  Claire has become quite the mooch and wants everyone else's food and drinks- especially if it is accessorized with a straw! Since she expressed such interest in food, we have gone ahead and let her start sampling one food item per week.  So far she has tried and loved bananas, peas, pears, carrots, and peaches.  I hope this liking for all foods continues :)

Here is a link to our updated summer photo album on Facebook:

We hope you enjoy the videos and pictures! We will surely have more coming soon :) Also, please forgive Claire's lack of clothing in all the videos- she has more clothes than we do, it has just been one hot summer! Make sure to watch for a blog post about our cross country venture to Seattle with Claire in just a few short weeks for her Uncle Owen's wedding.

Jason and Crystal

P.S. I found this on Pinterest and loved it! We can only relate to a few right now, but I am sure the rest is to come :)