Ginny’s First Birthday

Story and Photos will come soon.  But for now I wanted to let you know that there are two videos up of Ginny demolishing her cake.

Here’s the short one

and the longer one is at

enjoy.

oh, and my apologies to Missy.  I didn’t put a bow in Ginny’s hair for the cake scene.  She has a bow on later, after the cake has been washed off and she is opening presents.

three steps forward

I don’t have photos of it, cause I was too busy watching it happen, but

Ginny took three unsupported steps on Saturday.

She stood up in the middle of her nursery, balanced, then took three slow, controlled, steps toward her toy cabinet. Then she stopped,  stood still for a moment, and sat down.  I was very surprised at how controlled her movements were.  Never having been through this before,  I had kind of expected a tottering lunge, or an out of control stagger, but she was very controlled and in charge of her body.   She thinks things through and works to physically get at what she wants.  This little girl is just impressing my socks off.

She may be walking on her own in time for her first birthday party this coming Saturday!  And I promise I’ll get photos and video up soon.

Now that I’ve related that momentous news, here’s the rest of the Ginny update:

Ginny has proven to us that she knows what the remote control is for.  She has been reaching for it for a couple of weeks now, so we took one of our old remotes, removed the batteries and let her have it to play with.  She pressed the buttons, and then turned to see if she had had any effect on the TV !!!!  I about fell over with shock. (yes Missy, I am bragging on my child)

She is eating almost all solid pieces of food now.  Some self fed (fingers to mouth.  Her pincer grasp is quite good), some spoon fed by us.  She loves cheerios,  and green peas, and she will just about murder anyone who tries to eat any of her serving of bing cherries.  She loves mushrooms (cooked of course).  She also seems to have a budding passion for watermellon.

The food item we are still behind on is milk products.  She hasn’t really been introduced to cheeses yet.  We’ve done yogurt and cottage cheese, but she wasn’t thrilled and it seemed to have a negative effect on her..um…system.  So we stopped all milk products other than her formula and we will try it again next month.

After much repetition Ginny finally seems to be understanding that Mama and Dada/Papa (she says both) are two different people and that we each have a name.  At first it seemed to be that Mama meant “the person or comfort object that I WANT”  and Dada meant “random object or person” but we think she is finally getting that Dada/Papa is the fun guy with the long hair and beard, while Mama is the cuddly one who doesn’t have a scratcy face.

I never thought I would enjoy a child this young.  I always thought that I wouldn’t be able to relate to a child under the age of about 4.  Thank you LORD above that YOU knew better.  I would not have missed this first year with Ginny for all the money in the world.  She is such a cheerful, sweet, intelligent child.  Total sunshine.

thank you Lord (and Mel) for Ginny.

what to say

Missy has asked for people to help her know what to say to an infertile couple.

This is hard.  I was one.  I was once one of those walking bundles of pain and anguish who wants to hold a child so badly that it colors everything.

I have friends who say that “the infertile woman inside your head never goes away, even once you have children” … I disagree.  I am deliriously happy with my one little girl.  She came to us through the difficult process of  adoption and I simply don’t know if I could love any child more than I love her.  We have a wonderful relationship with her birth parents and our whole extended family embraced adoption as a perfectly understandable way of having a child join our home. (And yes, I’m simplifying.  I can’t tell the whole adoption story here.  If you want to know more, read the archives. Jan 2008 through now)

We are lucky.  Very lucky.  God Healed a lot of things before the adoption.  Not the least of which was my heart.

But back when I was going through the whole IVF process, after the second try failed, a dear friend pointed me to a post by this woman named Missy.  It was a Christmas post about how Mary hadn’t expected to give birth in a stable.  It was powerful.

I liked her writing style.  So I read more.  Then I took a deep breath and contacted her.  Even though you would think that someone with four kids under four wouldn’t really appeal to a woman who was aching to have a child.  But we connected.  What did she say that made me feel better? that made her my friend and not the enemy?

  • She didn’t act like there was anything wrong with me as a person.
  • She reminded me CONSTANTLY that God loved me and He had a plan and that it was Good.
  • She listened EVERY time I needed to whine or cry.
  • She CRIED WITH ME
  • she didn’t claim to have answers to the physical struggles, but she applied the balm of scripture to my heart.  Reminding me that God ALONE was my rock.
  • And if we had lived in the same state she would have let me hold her kids.  This one is big.  Women who are infertile sometimes have a HUGE sense of restraint when it comes to holding children.  I can’t speak for everyone, but for me I was terrified of holding my arms out to a child.  What if they laughed and ran away?  I KNOW that toddlers do this all the time.  But for a woman who already is feeling like maybe God is saying “you are unfit to be a mother” having a child run away from you can very nearly feel like a physical blow.  So mostly I didn’t have the courage to hold my arms out. I would wait for someone to place their child in my arms.  It was much safer.  Much less chance of rejection.

So moms of many kids – show confidence in your infertile friends as people.  Love them for who they are apart from the issue of childbearing.

Directors of worship – find ways to celebrate mothers day without making it about biological motherhood.  Try celebrating the act of mothering, rather than the miracle of conception.

oh, and whatever you do, don’t earnestly assure them that if they just relax it will happen.  Look.  That has nothing to do with it.  Conception and birth is a miracle that ONLY God controls.

And do yourself a huge favor.  Read this blog post from a friend of mine.  It address some theological and cultural hurdles that infertile women face in the church.  It may help you see some of the hurt in a different light.

Thanks Missy for doing this post.

oh and there is nothing wrong with encouraging folks to consider adoption.  We did.  And I would not have missed out on my Ginny for all the “biologically mine” children in the universe.

happy baby

happy baby

11 months

Time for the monthly update.

Ginny is 11 months old (actually she will be one on Aug 29th, but whose counting?) and so far I have managed to do a photo post for each month.

Ginny is walking by holding on to objects and using one hand to hold on to an adult.  She is starting to self feed, but not enthusiastic about it.  Ginny kind of knows who mommy is.  Meaning that she has stopped using the word “mommy” to mean any comfort object and is starting to use it to refer to mostly me and sometimes Martin. And she actually responds to instructions.  “put that here” and “no” or “be gentle”

We have taken photos of her with her teddy bear MAK every month since birth.  This month was a bit more challenging.  We wanted to get her standing up next to the bear so the contrast was really clear.  But neither Ginny nor MAK really wanted to cooperate.  Here is the result:

trying to get the bear to stand up, and keep Ginny balanced was a challenge

trying to get the bear to stand up, and keep Ginny balanced was a challenge

mostly she wanted to cuddle

mostly she wanted to cuddle

or wander around...

or wander around...

more cuddling

more cuddling

the closest we got to having Ginny and MAK standing in the same photo

the closest we got to having Ginny and MAK standing in the same photo

We will try again some other time.  Of course the whole project will be easier when Ginny can stand on her own.

But you can clearly see the height difference now.  Ginny is 29 inches tall and weighs 20 pounds.  She started out at birth weighing 5 pounds 1 ounce and measuring 17 inches.

way to grow baby girl! we love you.

and p.s. See Mel? I do sometimes get caught on camera!

jesus saves, over and over again

I can’t really tell you the scripture this comes from, but I am convinced that Jesus doesn’t just save sinners.

He saves me, every day, every moment.  Each time I turn to Him when I feel small, or petty, or discouraged, or angry.  He saves me from that and sends me in another direction.

Right now I’m in one of those places in my life where I can fall into sin a lot.

the sin of pride – stiff necked and too prideful to accept help.  I keep telling everyone we are fine.

the sin of greed – I know we can’t afford things right now.  but I still want stuff.  mostly plane tickets.  And the occasional meal out.  But there is plenty in the pantry.  I just have to learn to be more creative.

The sin of unbelief – as I try to take over planning how to get Martin a new job and how to make our finances stretch and how to cope….There is nothing wrong with putting in effort, but the fact is that I’m not doing anything to help the situation…I’m just worrying at it inside my brain all day.  and worry is a sin.  It indicates that I think I can somehow fix something better than God can.  Hello? God or Deirdre, who do you think is the better, more experienced problem solver?  Which one of us has the greater set of resources to draw from? Which one of us knows the whole plan and what will be for the greater good?

um…that would be NOT me, but God.

There’s a great little mini sermon found on Travis Cottrell’s most recent CD.  The Live album that was recorded in Woodstock, GA back in January.  Beth Moore talks about Praising God in difficult times.

I listen to that piece every time I get in the car nowdays.  Just to jerk my brain back into the proper track.

God. Is. In. Charge.

God. Is. Good.

and I WILL praise His name.  Whether I feel it right this instant or not.

Oh, incidentally, I’m not being morbid here, but when I die, please make note, I want everything from tracks 10 through 14 of that CD played at my funeral.  The sermon by Beth, and then the songs that follow it.  Go ahead and have the eulogies first and let Phillip Shoultz sing my favorite hymn “And Can it Be” but then, after that, just put in the CD and let it run.  My funeral may start off as being about me, but it will end being all about GOD.  There will (hopefully) be people at my service who may never have darkend a church door before, and I want them to walk away knowing beyond any doubt that my hope is in Christ Alone.

Anyway.

um….back to my regluarly scheduled blog….

actually, you know what?  I think that was a good place to stop.

In Christ Alone, my hope is found.

’nuff said.

let’s table that one

once upon a time Missy had a give-a-way.

I entered, and then forgot about it.

I had a really bad weekend and came back from it, to find a post in my in box telling me I had won!

yipeeee!

The item arrived and I have been promising Missy forever that I would get some really cute photos of Ginny outside with the item (a little tykes table set).  I even had plans to use it as part of a photo shoot we have set up with a professional photographer.  But the session keeps getting put off, and it is so hot out that Ginny rarely goes outside for long. In short I kept putting off the taking of casual photos of Ginny with the prize table.

but you can only put off friends for so long.  So last night the stars all lined up.

We arrived home during the golden hour of twilight where almost all photographs come out perfectly.  The lighting is just soft and wonderful

Ginny was in a reasonable mood.

Ginny was wearing shoes.

Ginny was not covered in her dinner.

The camera was in the car.

Everything was perfect….well alright, Ginny didn’t have a bow in her hair, and there was one little spot of bird droppings on the table, but not everything in life is just going to spontaneously line up every time.

So anyway, we deemed the time right to snap a few photos and here they are.

approaching the table

approaching the table

for me?

for me?

mine. all mine.

mine. all mine.

such a big girl now!

such a big girl now!

by the way, she is going to turn ONE on August 29th and she is already 29 inches tall.  Never having had a baby in my life before, I have no idea….is this tall for an 11 month old?

Anyway, thank you Missy and your random number generator, for winning us this table.  Ginny and our neighbor kids love it already.  I can’t wait to have alfresco meals out there when it gets a little cooler.

renewing the gratitude list

months ago I was posting a list of ten things to be grateful for every week.

Sometimes it was simple stuff, like oatmeal cookies.

Sometimes I tried to be profound.

I got lazy after a while and stopped posting those lists.

Well today, in the face of my husband losing his job to the concept of  “reductions in force”  I thought it might be a good time to dust that gratitude list idea off, and bring it back to my blog.

1. Money not spent – Saturday we looked at a phone upgrade, but decided to hold off because a better one for our “needs” was coming out in a few weeks.  Now we are very glad that we didn’t spend the money.

2. Money not spent (part 2) –  I have been bugging my husband to buy our plane tickets for an upcoming wedding in October and a Christian Women’s event I want to go to in January.  He had put it off one more week…and here again, we are very glad because that money will be needed to pull us through.  I still desperately want to go, but I’m gonna have to trust God that if HE wants us to go, He will make it happen.

3. Scripture – Monday morning, before we knew anything was going to happen, I choose (or the Holy Spirit chose for me?) a memory verse for the next two weeks: Exodus 33:18 “Lord I pray thee, show me your glory”

4. Health –  We are all healthy.  When I think of all the things that could have gone wrong in our lives, when I think of families out there who only have one income…..I am so grateful that nothing worse happened to us.

5.  Friends – people have been very supportive.  Some folks I was expecting, and others that I wasn’t.  It’s a nice surprise when people tell you they care.

6.  Sense of humor – Martin has an amazing sense of humor.  He has been constantly engaged in cheering me up.  He even invented a game while we were snuggled down, each reading a separate book, that you have to kiss your partner in order to start a new chapter.  My husband is so silly, and sweet.

7.  Songs from the past – Monday morning I put in a CD that I haven’t heard in years.  Twila Paris’s  “The Warrior is a Child”  It blessed me Monday.  But it blessed me even more today when I had to drive to work on my own, without my best friend, my Martin, in the car.

the drive this morning was hard.  Martin has been there with me (since we worked at the same campus) for the commute for over five years.  That’s almost 4000 hours of relating, talking, singing, devotions, and just plain old enjoying each other’s company.

This is where depression kicks in for me.  I’m a people person.  and Martin is one of my favorite peoples.

Still……I’m saying all the right things.

“yes, we are gonna be fine”

“God will provide”

“God is good, even in this.”

and I do mean them.

but I occasionally feel sorry for myself.  Which is wrong.  And it is why I’m writing this list of things to be grateful for.  To try to re-adjust my brain.

Please be in prayer for a teenaged friend of ours.  She was tree climbing and fell from about three stories up.   She has had one surgery already and many more are in future.  Pray for her family.  Her name is Caitlin.  She is in highschool.

which goes a long way to putting my “situation” in perspective.  So many worse things could be happening in my life than to have a husband who has to stay home for a week or two and find a different job.

So Thank you Lord.  And please lay your healing hands on Cait and wrap your comforting arms around her family.

amen.