Saturday, June 17, 2017

Becca - Ten Months

On June 8, Becca turned 10 months old. Once again I find it hard to believe how fast time is flying, and how fast Becca is growing. She is turning into her own person more and more each day, and her little personality is really blossoming.

Becca went swimming for the first time last week, and she LOVED it! I held her in the water, and she kept trying to get out of my arms! She would bend down and stick her tongue out to try and lick the water! She loves the bath, so I figured she would love the pond, too. The water was nice, not too cold.

Becca loves to swing, enjoying that as we've been to a couple of parks recently. She has no fear! She doesn't get scared when one of her uncles pushed her a little too high.
Becca is always curious and ready for any new experience or obstacle in her way.
Just yesterday, Becca said her first words. In the morning, as she was in the bath, she said "water" several times. At dinner, Mitchell would ask her questions and she would answer, "yes!"
We had taken a walk out to the garden after dinner, and I was pointing out the seedlings to Mitchell. I said, "...and there are my radishes," and Becca immediately said "radishes!" as if she was trying to copy me! She then repeated it several more times! It was the cutest thing!
Becca is right on the verge of walking. It'll be any day now! She walks along the couch and coffee table, but just hasn't quite taken that "step of faith," yet. She's very set in her ways of dropping back into a crawl if there's nothing to hold onto. She'll get it, though!

Becca is into everything! The cabinets are her favorite. Just this morning she unloaded ALL the bowls from one cabinet before she moved on to something else. At least they were bowls and not the cabinet full of cleaning supplies.

I've started going to the gym 3 times a week, and so during that time on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, Becca gets watched by Mitchell's mom. Becca loves spending time with Nana. It's been a huge blessing on many levels!

We took Becca to the races at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway for the first time last week. We weren't sure how she would like the loud cars. Well....she LOVED it! We tried putting hearing protection on her...she wanted nothing to do with that. She would fuss until she ripped them off her head. She smiled and hollered, trying to match the sound of the cars. Those of you who know anything about Mitchell's family know that love of cars, motors and anything fast runs through that family just like blood runs through their veins. We found out that night that that passion truly does come with the last name Collomy. 

Becca is such a joy in our lives. When she was born, we entered a whole new life. It's been full of intense challenges and deep blessing. New stresses that we had no idea about before, but also brand new joy that we had never experienced. It's been a wonderful 10 months. Mitchell and I have grown closer as a couple, and have learned (and continue to learn) new things about eachother. We have learned and are learning how to balance parenting with marriage, and how the two blend together beautifully, all part of God's plan for the family. It's a journey that has only just begun, but we are already seeing how rewarding it truly is. It's not an easy road. No, it takes effort. It's not a one-size-fits-all, either. Everyone's story is different. Everyone's love, life and family is different. But I'll be confident to guarantee that when you commit your story to God, the best love story writer, the best family planner, the best life giver in the business, your story, no, His Story will be BREATHTAKING.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Garden Journal - Planting

I'm so excited....the time has finally come for me to plant a vegetable garden!
I wanted to plant a small garden last year, but I was in the last months of my pregnancy and feeling very uncomfortable. I never got everything together, so it just didn't work out.
So... Finally this year I am doing it...and I am so very excited! I get spring fever every year. Growing up we always had a big garden. I love watching things grow, caring for it, and reaping the harvest...this is something both my parents enjoyed doing every year. 
It's been a team effort...my mom blessed me by sharing her seeds, and when she came to drop off the mantis tiller for me to borrow, she also came bearing gifts! All kinds of veggie plants and flowers! Mitchell's brother William brought a load of manure, and I had some help from some of Mitchell's sisters, planting/watching Becca. We also were able to borrow a bigger tiller from our friends at church. 

My biggest helper, though, was and is Mitchell. Gardening isn't really his thing, but he has made time to help me and be interested in what I'm interested in. It's been such a wonderful blessing. Even if he's been watching Becca and keeping her entertained, its a huge help for me to be able to get work done! 

Over Memorial Day Weekend, we got the garden tilled and planted. It's been wonderful to have a project to work on together, and spend time outside. Lots of opportunities for great, deep conversation. I love it when we are able to chat, share what has been on our minds and hearts, and just to connect on a deep heart level. 

As of Monday, everything is all planted. I am so excited to care for the garden and watch it grow. Some of what I have planted are kale, spinach, lettuce and swiss chard, carrots and radishes, tomatoes, peppers, green and yellow beans, corn, cauliflower and broccoli, cucumbers, melons, zucchini, yellow and acorn squash, and sunflowers. 

It's going to be wonderful to have our own produce this year. There's something really satisfying about eating the fruit of your hard work and care. Here's to hoping everything grows well! Our next project is going to be building a fence to keep the critters out! 




Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Becca - Nine Months

Little miss Becca turned nine months on May 8th. She is growing and changing so much!
She now has four teeth, and she loves to bite! About two weeks ago, she really was on a roll of biting anyone and everything in sight. Arms, shoulders, feet, you name it! We've been trying our best to break her of that habit. She is doing better, but we still have to keep on top of it. She is starting to recognize when we say "no" in a firm voice.
She listens so well for her age. She pays attention to everything around her. Walking through the grocery store is so entertaining for her as she watches each person go by.

Sleeping has been going much better than last month. She goes to bed at 8 most nights, and wakes up most mornings between 6 and 7. She'll have the occasional middle of the night wake up and feeding, but those are slowly lessening, and now she goes a week or more sleeping through the night every night.
Most days she goes down for her nap around 1 and wakes up around 3 or 4.
Becca now eats mostly everything! Scrambled eggs, strawberries, noodles and cheese are some of her favorite foods. She has tried so many things, and there isn't much she hasn't liked. She eats 3 meals a day, and still nurses a few times throughout the day, at bedtime and when she wakes up. She loves sitting up at the table with us at dinnertime abd eating what we eat.
Becca is a little adventurer. She pulls herself up on the couch, chairs, etc. I don't think walking is too far down the road for her!
She gets into the cabinets whenever she gets a chance, and pulls books off bookshelves. She loves to make a mess!!
Whenever she hears music, even when I hum or sing, she bops up and down to the music...its the cutest thing!
I'm excited for these warm months ahead...taking her to the pond to swim for the first time, and I'm sure we'll have some swimming days in my parent's pool!
Fun times ahead! Here are some pictures from the last month.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Contentment and Effort

While I was pregnant, I had this idea that losing weight after pregnancy would be relatively easy. I didn't really give a timeframe for myself, I just thought, it'll come off quickly. I had heard that when you breastfeed, it helps burn calories. For some people, they don't even have to add in any exercise. The weight just comes off. Since I planned to exclusively breastfeed, I assumed this is how it would be for me, too.
It's been a struggle for me to accept my post pregnancy body. I've never been super thin, but I find myself wishing for the body I had before. After I had Becca, I was kindof shocked. After the first few weeks, I still looked....pregnant. Obviously I know how it all works. The uterus slowly shrinks back to its original size. And there was a LOT of stretching that went on to accomidate my big baby. So I should have expected this. However, I have always been by own worst enemy when it comes to criticism. I guess I never fully prepared myself for the change, and it was quite the adjustment. 
I gained a total of about 60 pounds while pregnant. This is above the normal, or what doctors recommend, but every body is different. I didn't exactly eat healthy while I was pregnant. I was turned off by a lot of foods, so I ate what I liked. Like ice cream. And ravioli. And Chinese food. Not exactly health foods. 
The doctors weren't concerned with my weight gain. I do look back and wish I had eaten healthier, and stuck to a more consistent exercise routine. I did exercise off and on, mostly when I felt like it. I feel like if I had at least taken a walk every day, it would have helped...all my aches and pains, and probably the high blood pressure I dealt with at the end.
Now, almost 8 months out from Becca's birth, I've dropped about 35 pounds, but still 25 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.
I should be saying, I'm doing good. Over half way there. But on many days I beat myself up. I look in the mirror and don't like what I see. The sagging skin. The extra weight in certain places. And...worst of all... I compare myself to others who seem to have it all together. Who've dropped their pregnancy weight in a flash. Doesn't someone else's grass always seem greener?
This has been a growing and changing experience for me. What does God see me as? He doesn't see my earthly body. He sees me as His child, whom He loves. Because I am His, I can have peace with who and what and how I am, here and now. Yes, I need to take care of my body. I can't just neglect it and make bad choices. My body has been given to me for this life, and I need to use it to honor the Lord.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
I had a baby. Changes are inevitable. My body took 9 months to make this precious little girl, so it should take at least that long to get back to normal. And even then, for most women, its a new normal. It's a lesson in unselfishness. A lesson in realizing what's more important: having the body I want, or bringing the most precious little girl into this world? I think it's clear. But it's still hard to accept. Why does that woman bounce right back and look amazing? Why can't I be like that? It's not right to compare. It doesn't glorify God. It's not right to wish I had someone else's body. What example is that setting for my little girl? What do I want her thinking about what brings happiness? What do I want her thinking about her body?

Mom was never happy because she wasn't skinny.

I will only be truly happy when I look like "_________"

These are sad thoughts, but if I don't set the right example, these will likely be the thoughts that my daughter entertains.
I want to be a mother who has true joy. Not because I'm happy or not with my body, not because I have my dream home, not because of anything of this world. But because Jesus has saved me. I am His. I have the promise of eternal life, and while I am on this earth, He has blessed me abundantly, with my amazing husband, my precious daughter, and countless other blessings, too innumerable to record. And even in the hard times, when life is rough, I have His grace, and sweet fellowship with Him.
So instead of those destructive thoughts that I don't want my little girl to have, may she have godly thoughts.

Mom is happy because she is content. She has Jesus and she knows He loves her.

I can be truly happy because God has made me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.

I am learning that it is a balance of contenment and realizing it also takes effort on my part.
On the contentment end of things, I need to be okay with where I am. I have to live with it every day, so I might as well accept it! I need not stay in the pit of self pity and feeling sorry for myself. And then there's the effort. I have to be the one to make the right choices that move toward the change that I want. I have to exercise regularly and make good choices in what I eat, and trust that all my effort will pay off eventually. It may be slow!
I started light exercise when Becca was about 8 to 10 weeks old -- I would go out for a walk a few days a week or do some moderate exercises inside. I was still sore from my c-section. After awhile, I started doing exercise videos, which were quite intense. I stuck with those basically every day for many weeks. Then I got really, REALLY bored with them. Workout videos can be great, but there's nothing like being outside in the fresh air. Its hard when you have a baby to bundle up. But if you have a stroller and can try to do it at least three days a week, you won't regret it! I started training for a 5k run about a month ago. I've only gotten up to 2 miles, and I can't run all of it yet. I feel so unmotivated sometimes and wish there was an easier way. But I know that I need to do this. I need to stick with something if I want to see results. I've been trying to eat healthy. It gets a little tricky on the weekends, but mostly through the week I stick to fruit and yogurt smoothies for breakfast, salads with chicken for lunch, and a healthy dinner. For snacks I do apples with all natural peanut butter, or maybe a few slices of cheese. Its hard for me to remember to drink enough water, especially with breastfeeding, I should be drinking a lot of it!

It's hard for me to be open and share about my struggles like this. But I firmly believe that it is important to be transparent and honest with eachother, and maybe I can encourage someone who is in a similar situation.

So here are some pictures of my journey so far.

Picture #1 This was taken three days before I had Becca. Boy was I huge!
Picture #2 This was taken three days after I had given birth. I wasn't really giving too much thought to what I looked like because I was soaking in my new baby and also was in so much pain.
Picture #3 This was about two weeks postpartum. Our first Sunday back at Church!
Picture #4 This was taken about a month and a half postpartum.
Picture #5 This was taken just this week.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Becca - Eight Months

Becca boo turned eight months on April 8th! I can't believe in just four more months she'll be one year old. How is this all going by so fast?!
She is continuing to make leaps and bounds in her development. She continues to babble on, adding different sounds to her vocabulary. She's started saying "mama," which makes me so happy! Yay! She still says "hi dadda," all the time. Sometimes she still uses "dadda," to refer to both of us.
She continues to use anything and everything to stand herself up. If she's down on the floor, she wants to be up on the couch, or the bed. But then once she's up, she wants to ve down on the floor! She'll crawl to the end of the bed, and we have to be careful because she'll just keep going and do a face plant on the floor. She's had a few of those, but still has no fear. She's so busy!
I really don't think it'll be much longer before she's walking. My guess is 10 months. What do you all think?
Everything goes in the mouth....which motivates me to keep the floor clean. 😊 We always have to watch her...she's a wanderer and an adventurer!
She's been doing good at night. She mostly is up at least once in the night, sometimes twice or three times. But every few nights we do get a treat of a full night's sleep!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Becca - Seven Months

I feel like this stretch of time between six and seven months has had the most new experiences and developments for Becca. But it's hard to say for sure. The amount that a baby grows and develops in the first year is absolutely amazing! They go from being a totally dependant infant to a crawling, even walking, very independent little person!
Becca turned seven months on March 8th. Over the course of this month, she has mastered sitting up on her own, crawling, and has begun to try to stand up. She'll grab onto the nearest chair, stool or whatever she can find (basket of socks, rocking chair, dresser, car seat, etc.) and proceed to stand up! This has resulted in many bumps on the head. For example, the other day I had put Becca in her crib to play while I took a shower. As I was getting ready, I could hear her grunting and making noises like she was hard at work doing something. So I decided to check on her. To my surprise, she was standing up in her bed, and had used the side rails to get herself up! This was the first time I had seen her stand up, so I was very surprised! I decided to capture the moment, so I took pictures and videos. I looked away for one second, and when I looked up again, she was falling out! The crib matress was set at the highest infant setting, so it's easier to reach down and grab the baby. Time to change that! I reacted just in time to break her fall, but she still got quite the bump on her head. 
For about a month, Becca had gotten into some bad nighttime habits. She was waking up and wanting to eat 3-4 times a night! This was taking its toll on Mitchell and I -- especially Mitch who has to get up and get ready for work at 4:30! We thought it might be because of her teething, so we'd give her baby tylenol before bed and have baby orajel at the ready for when she woke up. This didn't really help. We thought she may be too cold, so we'd put layers on her and keep our space heater on low in our room. She still got up. Finally, Mitchell had the idea of moving her into her own room at night. We prayed with her, sang a song together and kissed her goodnight. She fussed for a little while, but fell asleep and slept through the night, and has done that every night since, for about a week now! It's so refreshing to be able to get a solid night's sleep after not having that for so long. We have heard her wake up and cry a little bit, but she always goes back to sleep after a few minutes.
She has become very, very verbal over the last few weeks! She says "dadda" all the time, and even says, "hi dadda!" to Mitchell! She loves to ramble random sounds and it seems like she's trying to tell us a story!
Becca crawls all over the place now! If she's on the floor in the livingroom, it doesn't take long at all for her to make it down the hall and into the bedrooms or bathroom. We try to remember to shut all the doors in the hall so she doesn't get into something she shouldn't!
She eats lots of different foods now, usually taking part in something we are eating for dinner, or if there isn't anything she can have, then eating baby food. She loves to pick up pieces of food from her tray. I'm still nursing, and hope to continue that at least till her first birthday.
Becca officially has two teeth! I think her top two aren't too far behind.
There's been a lot to update on this month! I hope I'm not forgetting anything! Becca is still just the happiest, most good natured baby I've ever met (and I'm not just saying that because she's mine!). She brings so much joy and so many smiles into our lives every day.
I'll let the pictures tell the rest. 😊


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Becca - Six Months

Half way to one!! Becca "celebrated" her half birthday on February 8, but to her it was just another day, full of smiles and giggles, play, laughs and wiggles.
She is growing up WAY too fast, and I can't believe that in another six months we'll be celebrating her first birthday!
As of this past weekend, she is "officially" crawling! I say officially loosly, because up until this point she had been scooting, pulling with her arms and getting around quite efficiently. Now, her crawl is an army crawl, where her belly is still on the floor, but its a crawl nonetheless! Needless to say, its getting harder to keep track of her as she becomes more and more proficient in her mobility! The other day, I was in the kitchen for two minutes, and she had crawled from the middle of the livingroom and was underneath the coffee table across the room!
She's been loving her bouncy seat, and gets herself going pretty fast in it! She loves all the toys attached to it, and its a good way to keep her active and occupied (and contained!) while I'm working on dinner or doing dishes, etc. She loves to be able to see and interact with me, and make sure I'm still there. The bouncy seat is great, because I can just pull it into whatever room I'm in.
A huge milestone that Becca has had lately is that she has cut her first tooth! It was right around Valentine's Day that I started to notice a tiny white speck. It was hard to check, though, as she would always be squirming and trying to bite my fingers! But now I can definitely feel a pokey pearly white! It'll probably be awhile before I can get a picture that shows it.
She's still loving food, but peas are still her favorite. She also LOVES her dissolving rice crackers. They probably feel good on those aching gums!
She's becoming increasingly verbal, experimenting with different sounds. Her most used "word" in baby talk is "ba-ba" or "buh-buh."

"This job [of motherhood] has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God's way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness."
-Elisabeth Elliot

Monday, January 16, 2017

Becca - Five Months

Little miss Becca is already 5 months old! I know I say this every time, but I can't even believe it! Time flies!

Becca has had a lot of new and exciting experiences lately, including trying her first foods! So far she has tried sweet and regular potato, squash, and peas! She has really liked them all, but her favorites that she's really gobbled up have been the sweet potatoes and peas.

She's been doing a lot of "singing" lately, where she'll make her voice really high and sing out! It's so cute, and she has such a sweet voice!

She is really, really trying to crawl, but hasn't quite gotten the hang of it yet. It won't be long, though! She already gets around by rolling all over! She rolls over from her back to her front and front to back! Before I know it she'll be across the room!