Thursday, February 4, 2016

Letters to Valor: 9 months

valor zeal at 9 months
My dear Valor Zeal,

You are on the move! You were on a mission to master crawling during the fourth week of January. Up until then, you inched two to three steps forward at a time. By January 24th, you were a full-fledged crawler, motivated by the imminent possession of the toy tambourine, window curtain, wooden car, or water bottle. You pivot from crawling to sitting position and back with ease. You play, observe, and reach your destinations with gratifying mobility. You are such fun to observe. You crawl languidly, increasing in speed from point A to when your daddy or I are point B.

Perhaps because you have become decidedly attached this month. You whine to be held more often than not. You are happiest attached to my hip and commence wailing if I put you down. You crawl towards me, whimpering "mama" until you reach me and reach up for a hug. It melts my heart every time. You are so content to just hang out in the wrap or sling again, which is a flashback to your newborn days. You snuggle into me when you are carried, leaning your face into my neck and wrapping your entire body around my torso. I cuddle you close as much as possible. You hold onto my thumb when I carry you on my hips. You are the sweetest baby, even when you are sick. You got your first cold, roseola, and fever this month. You have been sick on and off this month, partially because you grew your first teeth!

You flash two bottom front teeth now whenever you break out into a smile. Which makes table food your new love. You grab food with lightning fast reflexes, fisting the tasty morsels into your mouth. New foods you tried this month include cauliflower, broccoli, chicken, Os oat cereal, eggs, spinach, mozzarella, blueberries, raspberries, turkey meatball, sweet potato, tomato, pita bread, hummus, tabouli, and strawberries. You love them all.

You still nurse often, preferring it above all. In terms of sleep, your schedule has gotten more consistent, except for when you were teething. If you're put down between 7:30-8pm, you'll sleep 8-10 hours before waking up to nurse and going back to sleep for another couple of hours. If you're put down after 8pm, you wake up around 3am and then at least two more times until the morning, which makes for an overtired household. therefore, we try our hardest to get you in bed before 8pm. Regardless, you are learning to be flexible. We are not as rigid with your sleep schedule as we were with your big sister's since our daily rhythms don't always allow such consistency. Consequently, you're learning to adapt. We are so thankful you're an easygoing, sweet baby. You bring us so much joy. We are so in love with you!

Love you so,

P.S. Valor Zeal at 01234567, and 8 months. Plus, his birth story.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Serene's January favorites

serene's january favorites
serene's january favorites
serene's january favorites
serene's january favorites
In an effort to remember Serene at age two, I am capturing her favorites each month. In January 2016, Serene has been:

LOVING: the color orange
EATING: Os oat cereal
WEARING: a half ponytail
READING: Madeline's Tea Party
PLAYING: with pretend cookies and cupcakes
WORKING ON: taking off her cocoon (sleep sack) and pajamas by herself
SAYING: "You okay? Don't be scared."

Her favorites from earlier months: DecemberNovemberOctober.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


valor at 38 weeks
valor at 38 weeks
valor at 38 weeks
valor at 38 weeks
valor at 38 weeks
serene at 2 years 3 months
valor at 38 weeks
valor at 38 weeks
My mama's heart has been so heavy lately. There's so much I cannot control, though I want to. I cannot control the kids' sickness that persisted all month. I could not stop Valor from repeatedly throwing up yesterday. I could not prevent Serene from getting knocked over onto her face last night, thus resulting in scratches and bruises on her face, a split upper lip, and a chipped tooth. I could not stop an acquaintance from feeding Valor chocolate cake though I told her not to because he is only eight months old and cake is reserved for his first birthday. I cannot help when others sneak Serene sweets without asking, not because I am trying to rain on their parade in those particular instances, but because I see the whole picture that ever since Serene started eating sugary treats from the many hands that often offer them, she refuses to eat everything else that is nutritious except for plain rice or pasta, which makes mealtime and bedtime exhausting battles.

Because I am with the kids all the time, I see and feel it all. I desire their best, sometimes too staunchly. My idolatry for control manifests itself repeatedly as circumstances don't fare my way. I feel exhausted, angry, and disrespected. I am thankful God does not leave me in my sin. Rather, in His infinite kindness, He convicts me of my hard heart and reminds me how I need the gospel. How I need to remember that Christ died for my sin so that I could be free of my idolatry. How I need grace to trust in His sovereignty, goodness, and faithfulness even when situations don't pan out the way I'd prefer. How He cares for His children far more deeply than I can ever love the little loves with whom we've been entrusted. How He is the better parent and desires our ultimate good in Christ. These truths comfort my heavy mama's heart. Praise God.