This Abundant Life

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our Beautiful Fatty

Truly, when my baby smiles, I get the same kind of feelings I had, eight years ago, when I met Jesus and I would wake up in the middle of the night and remember that I had nothing to fear and that He would be with me until the ends of the earth, never leaving me nor forsaking me.

- Pure Ecstasy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Few Things I'm Thankful For...

  1. my bed. it's soft and warm and cozy...especially if my husband is in it! ;)

  2. my daughter's laugh. most wonderful sound I've ever heard!

  3. Jon (Bic) Bickerton. his personality, character, work ethic and relationship with the Lord (just to name a few).

  4. my new job. it's a blessing (and a curse!) to be with my Gwendolyn and watch each moment of her growing.

  5. my car. '99 Ford car ever!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Here's Gwendolyn with her friends: little Ramey, Anna and Daph. Oh, and Mandy, of course, who is basically a kid, herself! We had a little "play date" last week and it was great for Gwendolyn and me. It was nice to be with other moms and learn from them. Gwendolyn LOVED staring at the big girls as they danced around in front of her!

Things Are GOOD!

Big Girl Gwendolyn!

My little Gwendolyn has been doing SO good, lately! She was hungry. I've started giving her a bottle of formula right after she finishes nursing, at many of her feedings. She nurses until she doesn't like the amount of milk she is getting and then I feed her the bottle and she drinks a few more ounces. She was definitely hungry.

- I don't think that hunger was the problem the whole time, and my big change in diet could really be helping as well, but for the last few weeks...she had not been getting enough to eat.

- Now she is sleeping for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs at a time (during the day) and has begun to sleep through the night again.
- I know that giving her formula will, ultimately, not help the state of my milk supply. But, I am sick of my baby being hungry and I feel so happy seeing her fat belly and listening to her laugh so much more!

- I've even found myself feeling joyful and down-right giddy! She's been so cute! Sometimes she laughs for no reason. Also, on numerous occasions, she has fallen asleep in the car when she is tired. Yeah!!!
-My Mother-in-law, Carol, was such a blessing to me when she saw my last blog. She said, "Jonathan (my husband) was such a fussy and difficult baby. He wouldn't go to anyone but her, even as an infant." Also, she told me that she had to stop nursing him at 3 1/2 months because there wasn't enough milk for him. That just made me feel so much better! I mean, my husband is brilliant and very fun to be around. Gwendolyn will turn out just fine!
- I feel myself being able to breath better, again. And, the times when she flips out or screams, I can handle it better and not feel like it's the end of the world. I think that's because there are so many nice times in between!
- My Gwendolyn even got to play with her daddy all weekend and it was just so nice having him home and not studying.
- So, Praise the Lord, with me, for his Grace! I also praise Him for formula and bottles...and the money to buy both!!!
Gwendolyn and Grandma

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Teething Help for a Friend

No, Gwen is not teething just yet...although she is drooling a lot and seems to always be trying to swallow both her fists. So, I think it's coming soon. I wanted to pass on something a friend of mine wrote in her blog, in case anyone has some advice to give. You can visit her blog and post a response at or just post it right here on my blog, if you prefer. Below are her comments. Thanks!

Calling all experienced poor little 5 month old already got 2 teeth back when he was 3 1/2 months old- now he is getting 6 more at once. Seriously. I am not making this up!! He has 3 actually poking through the gums and 3 will be here any day. I have tried EVERYTHING. Teethers, freezing burp cloths, teething tablets, gum massagers and of course, Tylenol. I do not want to constantly drug him but 6 teeth at once is a nightmare. Poor little baby is not old enough to deal with this pain. Tonight was so sad- the tears were streaming down his cute little face and he was so desperate. Please...any suggestions leave them here. I would rather not use drugs but anything you’ve got will help!

Monday, January 12, 2009

To: Sarah Richardson

Hello!!! Thank you so much for your comment! I don't know how to get a hold of you but I would LOVE to "chat"! My email is Thanks!

The Winding Road to PEACE...Continued...

- Continuing from my last post...we went to the Doctor this morning to address this whole nursing situation. I asked a bunch of questions and my mom asked Gwendolyn's Doctor why I always wanted to be held so much as a baby. It was all very interesting. :)

- Let me just say that it's good the Lord is preparing me to not need security in things, because we basically came to the conclusion that it could be my diet and it could be my milk supply or it could be both. Also, it could be part of Gwendolyn's impatient personality. OR it could be my diet, my supply, Gwendolyn's personality AND my anxiety.

- Hey, I guarantee that if you take an already high strung woman and put her together in a house with a psycho baby, a needy, hairless dog AND a husband glued to an accounting book for every hour of every bet your bottom that ANXIETY is going to play a part!!!
- Anyway, I am going to cut out all dairy, nuts, seafood and eggs for two weeks and, in the mean time, supplement with formula in the afternoon and evenings or other times that she refuses to nurse.
- I don't know what is going to happen. It makes me very sad that there is a great possibility that I won't be able to nurse her anymore. But, again, I can't place my hope in this. I must focus on the more important things so that I can enjoy my baby and she can enjoy me.
- My mom was such a help to me. She said, "You may not even find out exactly WHY it's not working or WHAT exactly is wrong. Even if she refuses to ever nurse again and you no longer give her breast milk...It's okay." And, this is coming from a woman who exclusively nursed SEVEN children. It would have been so much harder to hear that a few months ago...but now I know I am more strengthened by the Lord. I'm happy that my baby girl is eating and I want to see more smiles...because they are just so wonderful!
---Oh, FYI...the Dr. is quite certain that Gwendolyn is JUST FINE and that there is nothing seriously wrong with her. He is very encouraging and the perfect Dr. for us. He is very pleased with how she is growing and how she looks. Sure, I might be dealing with this for the first year of her life...but this WILL pass and she is going to be fine. To tell you the truth, I am excited about her sitting in her very cool Boon high chair, throwing her food at me.

The Winding Road to PEACE

- There has been much going on around here. My fussy Gwendolyn has always been a great nurser. That was on my list of Things to be Thankful For...even though she screams a lot. And, after 2 months of severe nipple pain, I started to feel like we really had this thing figured out. I even found myself, at times, not worrying about my milk.

- I though, "Oh good. At least there is ONE constant. I know that every time she wakes up, she will nurse...more often in the evening and also if we are out and she is very upset...but we've got a good thing going, at least with this." It was giving me a little security.

- Well, during this last week, she has become very upset and angry when she nurses. She is fine at the beginning when the milk is coming quickly, but after a couple of minutes she keeps pulling off and moving all around. This weekend she added crying and whaling to the occasion. I was sure that I had been eating something terrible for her and that her little body was in agony. I decided to give her formula for a day and it was such a great day. We've had days (or, half days) like this before and it's such a breath of fresh air. But, as soon as I went back to nursing the same thing would happen all over again. Then, I began to think that she was actually hungry and there could be a supply problem.

- By the end of Sunday night I was faced with the possibility that something could be terribly wrong with her or that she may not want to nurse anymore and the one thing I felt we had going for us would be taken away.
- Again, I felt so alone and so afraid. It's been a theme since she has been born. I felt devastated about the nursing and freaked out about some even worse fate. My fear led me to either lose what is left of my weary mind or LET GO. For a few hours I was pretty sure I was just gonna go for the first one, but I realized that I am pretty much cashed out and I wasn't sure I would make it through another break-down. So, I did the unthinkable...I got my bible out and I read, in Romans, about how there is "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" and how "those who live according to the Spirit, set their minds on things of the Spirit" and "to set the mind on things of the Spirit is life and peace." Well, I want life and peace.

- I've been realizing a lot, lately, that I keep searching for something, anything, that I can count on to be a certain way. I just want some consistency and I want to have something figured out. But, I DO have that. THE LORD never changes, He is the same...yesterday, today and forever. It is in HIM that my hope does truly lie.

- I don't think that I will stop longing for consistency in my life. But, I have faith that the Lord will show me where to look for it a little better. I can see myself at the beginning of this process. It's hard and it makes me want to cry, sometimes without any notice. But, that's okay.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Gift of Sleep

This morning, I put Gwendolyn down in her crib b/c all the signs pointed to her being tired. Now, if you haven't picked this up from my blogs, as of yet...let me spell it out for you: She Hates to Sleep!

However, this morning, she cried for about one minute and then proceeded to coo and softly lament to herself for the remaining 29 minutes. Then, she fell asleep. Just like that...there was no more noise. Sure, there could be something wrong. But, I don't care. It's been an hour and three minutes since she fell asleep and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

There is just something so hard about her screaming herself to sleep that winds up ruining my alone time, while she sleeps. So, this has been great.

Now, I know better than to think she has turned a new leaf...but I'll take it when I can get it!

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Beginnings

There are a lot of beginnings of things that I don't like. For instance, the beginning of a new job, when you don't know what you are doing and usually have to follow someone around who does. Or, what about the beginning of an overwhelming project that you know will not see progress on for some time?

But, then there are those beautiful beginnings. Like, the beginning of being in love. Now, that's a good one! Everything is perfect and exciting and you can't eat or sleep (but in a good way)! Or, the beginning of a new school semester, with fresh notebooks and new pens...when your grades start over.

But, then again, even with the good beginnings it's so easy for my anxiety, worry or fear to turn them bad. Being In Love turns to I wish I knew where this was going. A fresh Semester becomes a time to start stressing about the syllabus.

And then, there is this baby thing...I thought this would be the best new beginning of all time. But, for me, it wasn't. I was an emotional train wreck. Just ask my husband, my mother, any girl who is related to me, and poor Lara Schubert! And, I'm not even sure if I'll ever get put together.

I was hanging out with my Gwendolyn in her room, yesterday, and I was feeling bad about not having been strong and confident; for her. But, almost as soon as those feelings of guilt were was another one; a much stronger feeling. I remembered that The Lord's "Power is made perfect in my weakness" and, all of the sudden, I didn't feel so bad. I'm sure that my Gwendolyn will have many, MANY opportunities to witness my weakness...and that's okay. I pray that when she does, she will see where my only strength comes from and she will know that it's okay when you are weak and don't know what to do. I pray that the good friends in my life will remind ME of this, as I continue to "grow up" myself, inside the precious strength of my Lord.