6 Months – Foundations of Parenting

It’s official Charlie is half a year old!  We have a six month old. Thursday was her half birthday.  I really can’t comprehend how this happened.  These 6 months have been smiley, exhausting, teaching, grace-filled, and an absolute memory making jackpot.

Over these last 6 months we have been learning and growing and coming together as a family.  The fact is WAY too much has happened for me to scratch the surface, so instead I want to focus on the best parenting advice that we have been given.

We have the great examples of our own parents, the support of our peers, and the Bible to guide us as we learn to parent and raise Charlie.  She is not terrible two-year-old, a threenager, or even an actual teenager yet (it will be sooner than we know!); however, now is when we start laying the foundation for the road we are headed down as parents.

As we lay this foundation here are the four key tid bits that float around in my head and guide my daily decisions with Charlie:

“A lot of things can wait while you’re holding your kids.”

“The days are long, but the years are short.”

“Just be kind to one another.” (That one is actually some marriage advice that we were given, but I think that it definitely applies to parenting).

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lam 3:22-23

What this all boils down to is priorities.  These last 6 months Charlie doesn’t know it, but she has been transforming our priorities.  Our aim is to have God first followed by family and then everything else.  That means when Charlie is napping, I do my devotions before I do the laundry.  When she’s awake, I play with her, focus on making her day great before I focus on making mine great.  If she and I get the house all clean and Izzy’s fur tumbleweeds vacuumed up that’s an A++ for us, but if all we do is snuggle because she’s having an off day, well that’s an A++ too.

No matter my mood or her mood God gives me a fresh dose of mercy and grace every day to help me be the best mom I can be that day.  Good day or bad day – I try my best to treasure them because the days can be long but the years are short.  When none of us got much sleep and when we are all well rested, we focus on being kind to each other and to Charlie.  Kindness makes the good days sweeter and redeems the hard days.  Just remember – it’s easier to clean up spilled milk than repair hurt feelings.

I do not follow these pillars perfectly.  Some days I see chores undone and feel I failed.  Other days I sit back and think it doesn’t matter if the dish washer was unloaded, if dinner was only 2 stars, and the laundry wasn’t folded because I focused on my family and on loving them like Jesus would.

I love watching Charlie learn and grow, and I am learning and growing right beside her.

Thankful Thursday 2017 Ed.

Thankfulness is a trait that Will and I have endeavored to set as a pillar of our marriage.  Considering we’ve only been married for about 4 1/2 years, I’d say that we are still early on in our marriage.  That pillar of being thankful is still being formed, and this year I plan to use this blog to help foster that.

One of my goals for 2017 is to blog weekly.  I have already failed the first two weeks… To accomplish this goal I realized that I need to ear mark a day for blogging, and Thursdays seem to jump out.  When Will and I were dating, for a while we gave is day of the week its own trait.  Thursdays were Thankful Thursday.   So, at least for the first part of the year, we are embarking on Thankful Thursday – 2017 Edition.

Thankful Thursday - 2017 Ed.

Here’s why I think Thankfulness is so important. If the love of money, or the love of more if you will, is the root of all kinds of evils (1 Tim. 6:10) – then thankfulness is the opposite.  Thankfulness is the root of all kinds of goodness.  Thankfulness fosters joy, it fosters generosity, it fosters love, patience, and selflessness. 

Short and sweet.  That is my goal for the year and my heart for this space.  I want the Pomeroy Life to keep building and strengthening that pillar of thankfulness.  I want to record our daughters smiles and frowns, firsts and falls. To cherish our friends and family. And ultimately to uplift God who blessed me with the breath in my lungs, His Son Jesus, and all the rest which is just the icing on the cake.

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Here’s to 2017, to goals, to being thankful!  What are some of your goals for 2017?  What are you thankful for?

Lessons from the First 10 Weeks with Charlie

These last ten weeks have been so full of wonderful moments, lessons learned, laughs laughed, frustrating moments, and lots of learning to do things one-handed.

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I don’t know how Charlie was ever inside of me, but she was.  The weirdest part is how not weird it is for her to be here.  It’s just natural, like she was always supposed to be here with us.  Things are different, but the change has been natural.  We are still learning how to go out for dinner, how to help each other with her, and how to get places on time (why is that such a struggle?!).

But if I had to say how we are doing overall, I would say that as a family we are doing great!  As a married couple, Will and I are finding an even deeper love and appreciation for each other. It’s  heart melting to watch each other parent and nurture our daughter.  As far as babies go, Charlie is pretty awesome!  She sleeps through the night most nights and makes hilarious faces.  She rocked the baby acne for a while and now has outgrown that and moved onto cradle cap.  Charlie plays in the bath tub now, has a favorite spot on the couch, has a favorite toy (Mr. Monkey), likes to suck on frozen pacifiers, and she enjoys running with me!

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When I look at Charlie, play with her, put her down for the night – I see all of the ways she’s growing and changing. Then I wash her laundry and think to myself  “surely she can’t fit these tiny clothes anymore.”  But you know what; she does!  Somehow she still does.

The Lesson

Above all the ways to sooth her, all the things I can now do one handed, the best thing I have learned is being in the moment.  When Charlie is awake the rest of my to do list becomes shockingly insignificant.  When Charlie is crying, figuring out how to make everything better is top priority.  When Charlie is smiling and playing everything else just fades away, and a perfect hour passes in the blink of an eye.

So in the end, I guess all of the lessons learned from the first 10 weeks with Charlie boil down to one thing. It’s like my mom always says – So many things can wait while you hold your children.

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Bump Date – The 2nd 20 Weeks of our Pregnancy

Before I can share with you about our daughter’s birth and life so far, I feel the need to finish the story of our pregnancy.  The last update I gave was at 20 weeks – half way through the pregnancy.  At that point we were just about to find out the gender of the Little Pom Pom.  So much happened in that second half of the pregnancy!  It was a roller coaster of trips, parties/showers, doctor’s appointments, blood tests, emotions, and prayers.

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Charlie’s grandmas, aunts, and “aunts” all contributed verses and prayers that we covered the wall behind the crib with before painting. These are prayers for her as she grows, for the person she will become and the life she will lead. Prayers to help her through whatever this world throws her way.

20 Weeks

The emotional roller coaster began with surrendering our anxieties about the health of our baby leading up to the 20 week anatomy scan.  We surrendered that anxiety and trusted in God’s plan for the pregnancy and the baby.

At 20 weeks we were told that Charlie was a perfect baby, but that we would need to have another ultrasound at 24 weeks because her head was measuring a little small.  They figured that was just an inaccurate measurement because of how active she was.

At the very end of week 20 we had our gender reveal!

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In between weeks 20 and 24 I was referred to see a hematologist (blood doctor) for issues with my platelets (the cells in your blood that causes your blood to clot).  I have a platelet count below the normal range.  Come to find out, I have an antibody that destroys some of my body’s platelets, causing the lower count.  Thanks to all of the blood work I had to have done throughout the pregnancy I am now not nearly so bad about needles, but Will’s still not ok with them… I had to have my blood drawn weekly for almost the entire second half of the pregnancy.  More on that to come.

24-25 Weeks

This is when I transitioned into maternity pants.  I finally had an actual bump!  I didn’t just look like I had one too many pieces of pie after Thanksgiving dinner anymore!

24 Weeks!
24 Weeks!

The emotional roller coaster continued in week 24.  When we went in for Charlie’s growth check we found out that at 20 weeks she was measuring quite small, but her head was measuring very small.  She had grown since 20 weeks, even gained some ground, but her head was still small compared to the rest of her small self.  Because of this we were referred to the high risk doctor for a special ultrasound to find out if there was any cause for concern.

Week 25 – We went to the high risk doctor and had a super fancy ultrasound done – you could see the blood pumping through her heart!  The doctor told us “heads come in all shapes and sizes.  It’s what’s inside that matters, and what I see looks perfect.”  We were elated!  It was the first doctor’s appointment we had gone to in a couple of months and left without some possible bad news or some other test that needed run.  Nothing but good news!

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At this point we started registering and planning decorations for her room.  By the end of May we had purchased a jogging stroller (our first purchase lol), the crib was up, we got a steal on a glider off of Craigslist, and we had painted. Will’s mom and my mom had also pitched in their sewing skills to help make the curtains and the crib skirt.

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28-32 Weeks

In June I had the opportunity to go back to Kansas for a week!  While I was there my sister through me the most amazing travel themed baby shower!  At the end of June we went to Texas for the wedding of one of my college roommates.

There are 4 generations of women in this picture =)
There are 4 generations of women in this picture =) My outfit actually was one of my grandmother’s maternity outfits!

In between the two trips was the dread gestational diabetes test… I failed the one hour test.  That meant I had to take the 3 hour test, which I barely passed.  Between those two tests and my weekly platelet count check I had my blood drawn six times that week… there were bruises. Barely passing the glucose test was a shock and meant I had to limit sweets and carbs some.

33-37 Weeks

July came before we knew it.  A good portion of this month was spent working on a special quilt for Charlie.  Both Will’s mom and my mom were a part of that process as well. We learned how to have a baby and started working with an amazing doula! Our friends and family blessed us with so many wonderful gifts, a beautiful shower, and the most precious prayer time. We also had our maternity pictures taken and celebrated our 4 year anniversary!  July was moving a long nicely.  Charlie was doing great, my belly just kept growing and growing, and I was still feeling pretty great considering I was 33-37 weeks pregnant.

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But then it happened… my platelet count started dropping again.  There’s a threshold that you are supposed to be above in case you have to be administered any sort of anesthetic for an emergency c-section. I was rapidly approaching that threshold, and then I crossed it.  At 36 weeks they started me on steroids.  Steroids can mess with your blood sugar, so in addition to the medicine I had to start pricking my finger multiple times per day.

The bright side in all of this is that we had another ultrasound, and much to our surprise, our daughter was all caught up!  They told us that you would have never known we had been due to a small head size because her head (and everything other than her femur) was normal!   In fact, home girl had some seriously chubby cheeks!

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At 37 weeks we found out that we would most likely be induced at 39 weeks if my platelet count was up and I had started dilating.  Strike while the iron is hot and not risk anything.

38-39 Weeks

At our 38 week appointment I had lost weight, and my belly wasn’t measuring right.  For those reasons we had another ultrasound that day to make sure that the steroids weren’t causing problems with my amniotic fluid levels.  Our doctor told us as we were going back to the ultrasound room “If this doesn’t come back normal you’ll be having your baby today instead of next week.”  Everything checked out though! So our induction was scheduled for the following week.

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39 Weeks

Now the story of her birth is something I will leave for another time, but I want to close by saying that it was definitely God’s timing.  The night we went in for the induction my platelet count had dropped, and the next morning it had dropped below the acceptable threshold again – good thing I wasn’t planning on an epidural because I couldn’t have had one if I wanted it.  Labor and delivery went well.  Charlie was born.  She was healthy.  I was healthy.  And at 39 weeks and 1 day our pregnancy was over.  Now for the roller coaster of parenting.

20 Weeks – the Verse for our Child

Do you have verses that you pray over your life, your friends, or your family?  Are their certain verses that really remind you of a certain person or vice versa do certain people bring certain verses to mind?

Here’s a funny story –

Will and I are reading through the Bible this year.  We typically listen to the chapters for the day from our Bible app in the evenings.  One night as we were listening, I heard this verse that just hit me.  I knew that was the verse for the Little Pom Pom.  I knew it was supposed to be my prayer for this child. The next morning, I looked the verse up in my Bible so that I could underline it and write a note next to it.  Wouldn’t you know, there was already a note there from sometime in the past about how I wanted this verse to by my prayer and people’s reaction to Will and I’s future child.  Isn’t God funny like that!

Luke 1:66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.

This verse sort of concludes the story of the birth of John the Baptist.  It is talking about how the events leading up to John’s birth and his birth impacted people, causing them to give glory God, and recognize that God was clearly at work and with this new baby.

some pictures of the Little Pom Pom at 16 weeks. The elephant plays a recording of the Little Pom Pom's heartbeat and the book is our awesome pregnancy journal from our brother and sister-in-law.
some pictures of the Little Pom Pom at 16 weeks. The elephant plays a recording of the Little Pom Pom’s heartbeat and the book is our awesome pregnancy journal from our brother and sister-in-law.

I want nothing more and nothing less than that for the Little Pom Pom.  I want our friends, family, anyone else who hears about our child, and I especially want the Little Pom Pom to go through life with the confidence of this verse propelling and comforting him/her.

This verse (along with the prayers, words of encouragement, and verses spoken over us) was a source of peace and reassurance as we awaited our 20 ultrasound today.  There are so many ways that Satan can trip you up and lead you into a place of worry and anxiety during pregnancy.  Over the last month of this pregnancy Will and I found ourselves wandering down the path to anxiety and fear.  But you know what – God was so faithful to gently lead us out of that place and back to security and trust in His character and the knowledge that this child is HIS plan.

Little Pom Pom's precious hand that it likes to scratch its head with and punch me with!
Little Pom Pom’s precious hand that it likes to scratch its head with and punch me with!

Today, April 5, 2016, we had our 20 week anatomy scan ultrasound.  Everything checked out! The Little Pom Pom is an A++ baby.  An active, ornery, stubborn A++ baby.   He/she was squirming so much the ultrasound tech could hardly get the need measurements.  It took 10 minutes to get him/her to reveal the gender, and the whole time he/she kept sticking its tongue out!

Our precious, ornery little miracle =) This is the Little Pom Pom earlier today at 20 weeks.
Our precious, ornery little miracle =)
This is the Little Pom Pom earlier today at 20 weeks.

We feel so blessed and relieved to know that our child is developing correctly according to the medical world’s standards, but no matter what happens, we can rest assured that this baby is developing according to God’s plan.  And we, along with everyone else, can watch and say “What then shall this child be?” because the hand of the Lord is with him/her.

Terminator
One last picture for kicks and giggles – this is what the ultrasound tech likes to refer to as “Terminator Baby” lol.

Bumpdate: First Trimester

first trimester

We are now officially out of the first trimester – 15 weeks along!  Although it definitely wasn’t the most fun, I still count myself pretty blessed!  Thankfully, it flew by!  It was a season of joy, celebration, adjusting, and new adventures!

first trimester
From left to right you are seeing weeks 4-7.

 

Symptoms:

In the very beginning, I was tired, would get light-headed when I tried to run, Izzy wouldn’t leave me alone, and I did not have much appetite.  Thankfully, my energy level was pretty good over Christmas, and the nausea was only starting.  After we got back from Kansas the nausea really kicked in.  I had to eat AS SOON AS I woke up.  Some days I only wrestled the nauseous feeling till 10 or 11, other days it didn’t hit till the afternoon, and some days I wanted to lay on the couch in a ball all day long.  I had a headache about once a week.  I would rather feel nauseous than have a headache…. Tylenol doesn’t even put a dent in headaches for me, and headaches only make me feel more nauseous.

There was one weekend that was absolutely miserable, but we made it through!  We made it through

all of it thanks to the stocked cooler I kept in my car with me as I went from Trainer Joe’s group to Trainer Joe’s group.  Also thanks to my gracious husband who took care of me, did extra dishes, didn’t complain that we ate terribly for a time because I didn’t feel like cooking and only wanted to eat carbs, and didn’t question or get on me for spending way more time laying on the couch than ever before in our marriage.

Thankfully, my symptoms started subsiding about week 10 and are gone now!

first trimester
From left to right you are looking at 8, 12, 13, and 14. I think 9, 10, and 11 are on Will’s phone.

Milestones:

Well, there was finding out that we are pregnant for one, lol.  One of the best parts was the first appointment when we got to see the Little Pom Pom and hear its heartbeat for the first time! It was so reassuring and mind boggling!  The Little Pom Pom was only the size of a raspberry, but CLEARLY looked like a human…. but it also kinda looked like a gummy bear.

The excitement, joy, and God’s love that overflowed when we announced to our families and again when we told all of our friends.

Little Pom Pom at 8 weeks! He/She looked like a little gummy bear. =) So precious! From right to left you are looking at the head, arms, and legs.
Little Pom Pom at 8 weeks!
He/She looked like a little gummy bear. =) So precious!
From right to left you are looking at the head, arms, and legs.

Highlights:

One of the highlights of my life as a whole is the memory of telling Will that he’s going to be a dad.  There were also the highlights of sharing the joy with my family on Christmas Eve, telling Will’s family about a week later, and our friends.   Oh, and there were the people who didn’t know what we meant when we said that we were expecting lol!

Seeing the Little Pom Pom for the first time was surreal; I love having the ultrasound pictures to look at! Getting to record the heartbeat at our 12 week appointment!  Finally getting past the size of prune (we thought we were farther along than we were at the first appointment)!

Finally, a new tradition that Will and I started to help savor this season – Dinners at Cheesecake Factory after our doctor appointments.  We made this our little tradition because that is where Will happened to be taking me on a date the night that I told him.

We have a doctor’s appointment next week!  We’re nearly 4 months along!  So crazy to think that we’re only 5 weeks away from finding out the gender of the Little Pom Pom!

first trimester
Here we are at week 15!

How I told Will He’s going to be a Dad

Today I want to tell you the story of how I found out about the Little Pom Pom and how I told Will.  December 15th, 2015 was the day that our reality changed. We were not trying, we were trying to be the last hold outs in our friend group to join the parent club.

On December 11th our PRECIOUS niece Annabelle was born.  Holding her that evening was one of the happiest faces I have seen on Will in our 5 years together. In the car on the way home that evening Will started asking all kinds questions and worrying that we weren’t prepared for having a kid.  My response was “Its ok.  We don’t need to stress about it right now.  We have no reason to.  We don’t have a kid and we aren’t pregnant.”  Oh hindsight…

Will ecstatic to see his newborn niece!
Will ecstatic to see his newborn niece!

On December 14th, my good friend Joelle and I hosted a Christmas Cookie Swap for all of our girlfriends.  Afterwards she and I were talking and catching up, and she asked me about kids.  I told her we weren’t trying to jump on that train yet, but it would happen when God wanted it to.  I shared with her that I felt as if God had been softening my stubborn heart in that department.   She confirmed that by saying she had been watching the change happen in my heart as it was evidenced by the difference in my willingness to be affectionate toward her own children.

The next morning (December 15th) I took a pregnancy test, not because I was late (not abnormal), but because I have always wanted to be able to tell my family in person whenever that time comes. We were leaving for Kansas on the 18th, and on the off chance that we were pregnant I wanted to be able to tell them.

Much to my surprise, the test was positive! And for the first time in my life, my brain was TOTALLY BLANK.

To be sure that this was not a fluke, I took a second test at work later that morning, and it was only faintly positive.  Now I am really not sure what’s going on! I made a doctor’s appointment that afternoon.  When the doctor walked in the room she said “Well, you are definitely pregnant!”

So now to tell Will.

After the doctor’s office, I went to round up what I needed for telling Will.  I was late getting home, so before coming inside I changed into my gym clothes so Will wouldn’t ask me where I had been! Lol!

Will had a really nice Christmas date planned for us that evening (perfect timing!).  We were getting dressed up, going to the Cheesecake Factory, driving around to look at Christmas lights and deliver Christmas cards, and coming home to wrap presents and watch Star Wars IV.  So I decided to tell him with a gift at the end of the night.

When we got home from our date Will went to get some boxes for wrapping the presents in.  In the meantime, I took the clean Home Depot apron his store manager gave me that afternoon, wrote “DAD August 2016” on the apron, filled the box with pom poms and the positive pregnancy test, and wrapped it.

how I told Will

how I told Will
What was inside the box

Later in the evening when I finally convinced him to open the present his face was the happiest I have ever seen!  He pulled me into his lap and could say nothing but “SERIOUSLY?!” for the next few minutes.  To this day I think he glows more than I do.

how I told Will
This is the happiest that I have ever seen Will! Probably my favorite picture of him ever!

Sorry for the length of this post, but I never want to forget a moment of this adventure! Especially the joy and love of finding out and how I told Will.

Soon I will post about telling our family and friends too. Thank you for treasuring and celebrating this child with us!

Feb. 7th – My Favorite Day – Announcing the Little Pom Pom!

February 7th is one of our favorite days of the year.  It’s our “Valentine’s Day.”  Five years ago it was Super Bowl weekend and a farm boy from Kentucky (Will) had come all the way to Kansas to take a jock he met in China out on our first date.  February 7th is the day that Will and I officially started down this road of life together.

Last year on February 7th we purchased our first home!   This year on February 7th we filled our home with some of our favorite people and announced the coming our first child!  Little Pom Pom coming Aug 22nd (ish), 2016!!!!

I could tell you story after story of our shock in finding out we are pregnant, our conversations, my irrational fear that we weren’t actually pregnant, when we heard the heart beat and saw the little gummy-bear-looking baby growing inside of me, family and friends’ reactions, and ways that God has already blessed and reassured us that this is HIS timing and HIS story. I am not going to tell you those stories right now.  For now pictures are worth a thousand words.

Will and I took engangement pictures at this street sign almost 4 years ago. It seemed like the perfect prop for announcing the next addition to the Pomeroy Family!
Will and I took engagement pictures at this street sign almost 4 years ago. It seemed like the perfect prop for announcing the next addition to the Pomeroy Family!
We found out just before Christmas, so we used this picture to tell our families about the awesome Christmas present we had for them!
We found out just before Christmas, so we used this picture to tell our families about the awesome Christmas present we had for them!

Little Pom Pom - Coming Aug 2016

At our first doctor's appointment! It's really real!
At our first doctor’s appointment! It’s really real!
Little Pom Pom at 8 weeks! He/She looked like a little gummy bear. =) So precious! From right to left you are looking at the head, arms, and legs.
Little Pom Pom at 8 weeks!
He/She looked like a little gummy bear. =) So precious!
From right to left you are looking at the head, arms, and legs.

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