Thursday, December 24, 2009

Quick Takes for Christmas

I'm short on time (always), but I wanted to update on little Nolan and also put a few other thoughts in my head in written form. Today, we get 7 quick takes.

1. Nolan went back to the doctor on Monday for a weight check. They were hoping he would have gained 2 ounces (1/2 ounce a day for 4 days), and he gained 9. So, that's thrilling. Of course, that was with breastfeeding, formula, pumping, and almost no sleep for Mama. So, we've backed off just a little hoping to find that perfect balance of weight gain and sanity in our household. Right now I'm breastfeeding about every hour and a half then offering a bottle. I've been pumping enough (SO MUCH PUMPING) that I'm able to offer breastmilk as a supplement most times, so he's only had formula twice in the last 3 days (both times he spat most of it back out, so I don't know if he was full or just thought it was yucky--because it IS yucky). He is taking less and less from the bottle and seeming satisfied after breastfeedings, so I think that my milk supply is increasing and he's getting stronger. THANK YOU for your prayers, kind words, and even meals. I'm serious that I couldn't have gotten through this last week without all your support.

2. I talked to a lactation consultant this week. She told me that a big part of breastfeeding is mental--if you think you can do it, you can do it. If you decide you can't, you can't. Now, I don't know what the ratio is of mind power:science when it comes to the actual mechanics of breastfeeding, but I definitely see where she's going with this. She said that there's no science to prove that mother's milk tea actually improves milk production, BUT if a mother is willing to give Daddy the crying baby and make herself a cup of tea and take the time to drink it before breastfeeding, she's already in a better state of mind and will produce more milk as a result. I think this can apply to most areas of parenting. If you walk away for a few minutes (take a walk, call a friend, go to your room and listen to Sarah McLachlan's Christmas album--which is fabulous, by the way) you come back in a better state to do whatever task is on your plate. So, it's not always easy to put into action (it almost never is, in fact), but it's really remarkable how much difference a shower in a locked bathroom can make in a tired mom's life.

3. This week a very dear old lady in my church passed away. She was the oldest church member, so this was hardly a surprise, but it still stings when someone you love passes. I only had one grandparent in my life, and she lived far away. Not that I didn't love her, of course, but she wasn't an active part of my daily life. So, when I came to my church, part of what I was looking for was that extended family that I didn't have. Boy, did I find it. There were plenty of grandmas and grandpas who surrounded me and cheered me through graduations, weddings, babies, and life's everyday ups and downs. I clung to 4 of them most dearly. She was the last of the 4 to pass. When I got the news I felt very personally sad. My boys will never again sit in her bony lap. She will never again hold my hand in her very frail one and whisper in her old lady whisper (which was really quite loud), "I sure do love you." But the news also made me extremely happy. She's finally Home for the holidays. I know that she's glowing as she greets her lost loved ones and celebrates her first Christmas Home.

4. Christmas is tomorrow. Once again it snuck up on me. I was going to be ready this year. And then I had a baby. And then the baby needed me more than I anticipated. And then it was Christmas. And the gingerbread house sits on my kitchen counter unassembled. And the presents sit in my garage unwrapped. And my Christmas lights sit in a bin unhung. And Christmas still came. And somehow all that stuff seems totally unimportant in the grand scheme of things. And I'm not even sorry that I didn't get around to all that stuff.

5. I'm struggling with Santa. The Jolly Old Elf has my gut in knots. I grew up with Santa visiting my house every year, and it just seemed natural that the same would be true for my kids. But the boys have been asking questions--too many questions--and I don't know how to lie to them. And I once heard a lady in my church talk about when her son started asking questions. She told him the truth. So, he asked next about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. She, again, told him the truth. Then he asked about Jesus. You know, it makes perfect sense that those things would get all tangled up in a child's mind. They can't be seen, and yet grown ups insist that they're out there somewhere. Believe in the unseen. That's faith, right? So, how do we nurture their faith in Christ when they take a blow to their faith in all the imaginary childhood icons? How credible will I be when I tell them that those guys weren't real, but BELIEVE ME THIS TIME Jesus is? So, I think Santa is coming this year just because I don't have time to really sort it all out in my head before the boys go to bed tonight, but I need to do some serious thinking on this before next year. If you have advice or thoughts on the topic, I'm all ears.

6. I really didn't have 7 things to write about today.

7. Have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2010.


dianneavery said...

I love your family photo, nicely done.

I hope you have a Happy New Year!!

R and K Marsh said...

I'm so glad to hear that little Nolan is doing better, and I hope you managed a wonderful Christmas in the end. What a great picture of your gorgeous family! xx

grace4cyn said...

I'm SO happy and BLESSED to hear about Nolan, the best news this week! I love your family photo, and when did you have time to take it? ;-) You're amazing!

We don't do "Santa" at our house. The kids can care less... They still get SO excited about Christmas morning, we still make a huge deal about it and WHY we receive gifts. Kevin and I didn't want to lie to them, Believe me, it's still VERY exciting to my children! We do watch Santa, movies and such, but we tell them he's like Mickey Mouse. They do understand. This year Veggie Tales made a wonderful movie on St. Nick, it's very good. The hardest thing is when sweet people ask H or E "what did Santa bring you this year?" Last year H would answer "Daddy gave me..." This year, she didn't know how to answer. I just told her to smile and play along. It's to hard and long to explain to everyone.... ;-) We can talk more about it, if you want....

You're still in my prayers! If you need anything PLEASE let me know, I'm here to help you....

Ree said...

So glad Nolan is doing better. You could never be a failure as a parent for what you don't know.

Your boys are so smart to be asking questions about Santa so young. I can't lie to my children either. I have a great book called "I believe in Santa Claus" which highlights the similarities between Jesus and Santa and identifies him as a symbol of Christmas.

Kerry said...

I love your posts!!!
We celebrate St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th)in honor of the real Nicholas who was a giving man. Since my children had to deal with SO much at such an early age, I told them the truth about Santa... telling them I was Santa. It backfired. The night of Christmas, Sydney came up to me and asked me how I delivered ALL the presents to ALL the kids and I never left the house. She was a very disappointed little girl that night when she realized I wasn't THE Santa. Years later, my kids still love the pretend part of these "characters" but are solid in what is pretend and what is real. I'm not sure what I would have done if they didn't come from such a chaotic past or were mine from birth. But it all worked out as it will with your children. "Santa, Are You Real" is a FANTASTIC book about the subject.

When did I become my Mom said...

SOOO glad the baby's doing better. I was so sad for you when you wrote that last post. I could feel your heartache. I totally agree with #2 - I found that when I am relaxed I can express milk so easily, and it must be the same when I'm nursing too right? You're right, it does apply in general, when we're calm and relaxed we can be more attentive and be better wiser parents.

And I love the family photo. May God richly bless you and your beautiful family. :-)

As for Santa, my 8yr old had some beginning doubts this year and I wrote about how I handled it here.