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.

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!