This Abundant Life

This Abundant Life
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10

Monday, December 29, 2008


Last night my husband put his study materials down and I got off the computer. We sat in our living room, without the T.V. on, and talked about music we listened to in high school. Gwendolyn laid on a pillow on my lap and cooed and smiled and talked and listened to us. Now THAT was FUN!
I pray for more times like this and also that I would be able to recognize them when they come.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Silent Screams of a New Mom

When the lady in the supermarket looks at my little, beautiful baby sitting silent in the sling I wear and says, "This is such a fun age!" I smile and thank her for the comments about how pretty my little girl is.

What I really want to do is throw my bag of potatoes at her.

It's not fun. It's not. And, why isn't it? Why am I not having fun? Is there something wrong with me? Should the fact that my baby is usually upset and seems to be in pain or just plain angry most of the time, be irrelevant to me? Will I look back on this time and think, "Wow, that really was fun"??????? Are these the "good times"? Are these first months the ones that are the best and I, somehow, can't see it?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Looking Back...It's Good to Have Friends!

Last month my dear friend, Kelly, came to visit me and to hold and love my baby so that I could have a bit of a break. It was wonderful to see her and be with her...but I've always felt depressed about the visit because of my state-of-affairs. I was still such a mess (as if I'm not STILL today), I wasn't able to even enjoy her the way I would have liked. Gwendolyn fussed and cried the whole time and I looked like death-warmed-over. I didn't even have food in the house!!

But, I was sitting here today thinking about how wonderful it is to have friends who truly love you and there for you...even when you can't handle what's going on with YOU. She, like so many of my wonderful Friends, was so great. And, it got me to thinking about a little while back...3 years ago, to be exact...when I flew to chilly Minot, North Dakota (where her husband was based) to hold and love her first child. It was a time I will always remember. And, even though I was a much lamer host than she...It's nice to be loved. And, as you look at the pictures of our babies, you may notice some similarities!

Connor 2005
Gwendolyn 2008

To be fair, Connor did NOT cry the whole time I was there. Look how cute!

It's just good to have friends!!! Thanks, Kel!

For All the New York Rehrmanns

Monday, December 22, 2008


So, today was a hard and, basically, terrible day of Christmas shopping. Gwendolyn was exhausted and upset the whole day. She screamed constantly...only intensifying my guilt over schlepping her around all day. By the time we were on our way home she had reached all new levels of delirium. I could see her bright red face from the baby mirror in the back. I had to pull the car over a couple of times to breath on her so that she could catch her breath from the shrieking, life-stealing screams. We were still 15minutes away from home and had not reached the interstate, yet, when I finally pulled into a sparsely attended parking lot. I knew that feeding her would calm her down and hoped that it would calm her for the rest of the ride home.

As predicted, after a few minutes of nursing, she passed out. I transferred her to her seat and managed to get her buckled without waking the little beast. There I sat, in the back seat of the car, looking at my sleeping, exhausted baby realizing my predicament.

I had to pee soooooooo bad. I knew I wasn't going to make it home. I couldn't bear to take her out of the car and risk another screaming episode. There is just so much a woman can know? And, I hear somewhere that it's not a good idea to leave a baby in the car (just kidding!). So, I grabbed my lovely Starbucks to-go coffee mug from the front console, pulled down my pants, and peed in it! It was great. I didn't even get anything on the seat!

I hope this story has brightened your day and I hope that the stress of this beautiful, yet frantic, season is lessened by it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Next Phase, Please.

Okay. That's It. I've been thinking about it, and I've come to the conclusion that I really need a change of attitude.

Things have been hitting me pretty hard, emotionally, since Gwendolyn was born, but I think I'm due for a breaking point. Anyone looking at my life would think I have it made...and they would be right. There is so much to be enjoyed and so many blessings given to me. The things I've been upset about are not even bad things...just normal things.

Of course, I know there are more "bad attitude" blogs in my future, and that I cannot simply "Will" myself to change, but the Holy Spirit lives in me...and that makes all the difference. For now, I am going to focus on thinking about "...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable..," as it says is Philippians 4:8.

I am going to focus on looking at the beautiful face of my daughter; whether it's smiling or screaming. I am going to hold her and try not to be so bothered by the fact that she always wants me to. I know this time is precious and short. And, she's just so darn cute!

Furthermore, I welcome anyone who would like to, from time to time, remind me of this!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Discouraging to Feel Discouraged

I feel discouraged because I'm having a hard time putting away the picture I imagined and embracing the reality of how things actually are. It's true that I have a beautiful, healthy baby. Praise be to God!

I feel silly for saying it, but I want more. I want to sit in the evenings with my family (my husband and my non-screaming baby) and I want to enjoy them. I want to take walks on the weekend and hang out on our new patio. I want the romance.

My actual life looks a lot different. I spend each day with little bi-polar baby who screams loud, intense screams when she's tired...which is all the time, since she hates to sleep. Her beautiful smile makes me melt, then she follows it with a cry that makes me sure that all of the following are true: my milk supply is insufficient, her medicine is not helping her heartburn, I'm eating something bad for her, she's exhausted, she's not being played with enough, etc., etc.

My husband comes home from work, eats, and then studies all night and all weekend (for the CPA exams). When he does try and hang out with the baby, she cries and wines and we embark on an evening of trying to calm and care for her (second-guessing ourselves the entire time).

I miss him and I miss knowing what's going to happen next. I feel really bad for my husband b/c he has no free time and a demanding series of tests. And, I feel really bad for me because I don't get all his attention. I very much want to cling to this moment in time and relish the good and learn from the bad. It's just harder than I wish it was. My mind knows that that even these days are purposefully and carefully carved out for me by my Lord. But, my heart keeps crying, "I don't want it to be like this anymore!"

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Very Useful Baby Gear (According to Me!)

I love it when I get the scoop on products that people have found really useful. So, I wanted to pass this info on to any new moms and shoppers for new moms...

There are lots of baby slings out there and It's good to try them out and see which works for you. I love the NEW NATIVE baby sling. I use it a lot more often than I thought I would. Then again, I also thought I would have a baby who was a little more predictable (silly me!).

I've ordered many things from the MOM 4 LIFE website. Free shipping! I've also returned and exchanged things. They have awesome customer service too! Check out all the options for baby wearing.

Also, these nursing covers are a must...It's made nursing in public, or at family gatherings, so much less awkward! The one I got is a Hooter Hider / Bebe Au Lait Nursing Cover. With this one, you can see the baby and the baby can see mommy!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A Much Needed Breakthrough

This weekend, my little Gwendolyn is 10 weeks old. But, instead of celebrating, I thought it would be more fun if I spent some time feeling poorly about myself. I mean, there is so much material to work with...I can't fit into my clothes, I'm not eating the things that make me feel energized and encouraged and, every time I think about going out for a walk, I sit down on the couch and watch HGTV instead.

But, even in my misery and self pity, the Lord chooses to love me. We actually got the opportunity to get last-minute tickets to the Big UofA/ASU game. I was so excited! If there was ever a time that I needed to feel the breeze of a sweet Tucson evening; it was now.

I packed everything I could think of for any possible baby catastrophe. I was prepared for everything: diaper blow-out, cold air, sleepy baby, hungry baby, etc. But, I didn't care. I just wanted to feel a sense of normalcy. I wanted to GO TO A FOOTBALL GAME!!!

And we did just that...we walked around, we ate free BBQ, and I got to enjoy watching my husband cart around his daughter and introduce her to people he knew. It was the kind of stuff I imagined when I wondered what it would be like to have a baby. It was so much fun for me!

Once we got into the stadium, I wound up nursing Gwen in the girl's bathroom for a half hour (standing up). By the time we had gotten to our seats, I had realized that the one contingency that never crossed my mind was the volume of the crowd. My little baby was very scared and I was certain we were damaging her little ear drums. I spent about 10 minutes in the bleachers and then Gwendolyn and I walked back to our $10 parking spot, and went home. But, I had a smile on my face the whole way there.

It wasn't the smoothest evening, and things definitely didn't end up as I expected...but it may have been the first day that I realized I felt honored to be caring for my baby. I felt it was my privilege to be the one nursing her in the bathroom and taking her home because the environment was too cruel for her. I was so thankful for the experience and I look forward to many more like it.

Friday, December 05, 2008

That's Right...I'm a "Blogger"

Well, as it turns out, I AM the "blogging" type! I never liked journaling...I found that my thoughts were too fast for my pen to keep up and I got the feeling that I kept having to repeat myself to my journal, which I found annoying.

However, as of late, I've felt myself changing so much and so quickly that my mind (and my sanity) can't seem to keep up. My life, right now, seems so significant (to me) and I want it documented. Perhaps I just want to look back on these written thoughts and get a clearer picture of how God has worked in me. I never really thought of it like this before, but then again, I've never found myself so desperate to see truth and real meaning before.

Or...have I? It seems I must have. Perhaps time has separated me from my remembrance of it.

Anyway, I hope any and all readers will be, if nothing else, amused! I know I've enjoyed browsing the blogs of my friends and smiling at the pictures of those they love...even if I don't always have the time to read the happenings of their lives.