December

My family came to visit, and then my mom stayed longer to help with S, and my Grandma came for a few days also.

Wonderful bath herbs from Cait that I used almost every time I took a bath with epsom salts after S was born. Eventually I started using some essential oils, too, and while I can’t say if it really sped up healing, it certainly always felt good.
In general, the postpartum period of the first six weeks was easier than I expected but was less hard for longer which made it hard in the end (especially when week 7 when it’s “supposed to get easier” was one of the most difficult days). The reading I’d done had helped prepare me, although from that I expected to be miserable for at least the first week, and I wasn’t. But I don’t think anything can really prepare you for life after a baby.
That said, the best advice I received was to remember that it’s all new, foreign, and uncomfortable for the baby, too, which really helped me be a lot more patient, especially when we had a lot of trouble eating at first.
That said, I wish I’d known that babies don’t really wake up until about a month (so you’ll feel like you’ve done something wrong because she was such a perfect baby before), and that things are always changing, which for the most part is happy – you figure out not to use swaddle blankets to keep baby warm when changing her diaper because then you’re doing laundry every day, or her fussiness during eating passes, as does her need to be held during naps for a few days.
We are SO SO SO thankful for all the help from family and support from family, friends, and the birth center (seriously. I thought the birth center and our church were amazing before S was born, but I’m even more convinced now).

Mom and I did some Christmas baking while she was here. Clockwise from midnight: candied walnuts, gingerbread treats (that tasted like lebkuchen), fail paleo gingerbread snaps, and center, pfefferneuse.

Midway through the month there was a memorial service was for a man at church who died at the same time in the morning as S was born, and the service was on her “one month birthday.” That caused me to think a lot about how fleeting life is, as well as remembering that without Christ, it’s meaningless and vanity.

S’s hair after a bath. It gets slightly curly which makes me hope that it’ll be curly when she gets older.
We also started cloth diapering, which has been easy and fun, though I’m still figuring out the timing of when to wash.

We went to the mall after my postpartum visit (which was wonderful. I was dreading it for a number of reasons and we ended up having one of my favorite appointments, talking about God’s design in birth, among other things), planning on just doing some quick errands, but the weather was really nice and we were enjoying the stroller we’d just bought off of Craigslist… and then when we walked past the movie theater Ezra decided to ask what their policy on babies was, and they were fine with it, so we took Soraya to see the Hobbit (well… we saw it and she slept). I took her out during the loud parts and even during quieter parts we had a blanket wrapped around her ears. We enjoyed it, though more as a movie than as the Hobbit.

On Christmas Eve we went downtown with friends from church to see lights, enjoy the wonderful weather, and eat this 28″ pizza.


we had a lovely little Christmas just us with lots of yummy food and a movie to finish off the night.

 

New Years’ Eve we had some of Ezra’s coworkers over for brunch

favorite recipes// maple candied walnuts // breakfast enchiladas // broccoli soup // mint chocolate fudge // maple glazed gingerbread – grain free // cranberry juice {we used this in wassail and also made cranberry water kefir as sparkling juice}

best of online// On Being Extra Scroogey This Year {how to celebrate in midst of all the pain in the world}  // I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day {Ezra taught me this, and it’s a new favorite, especially in light of current events}

“O, don’t let all the sweet things of this season become substitutes of the final great, all-satisfying Sweetness. Let every loss and every delight send your hearts a-homing after heaven.” – John Piper, Solid Joys {fantastic devotional}
“Conquer here and nothing can harm you for a million ages.” {also from Solid Joys}

thinking about // love as a choice not to think certain things or be impatient // “We are more sinful and flawed than we ever dared believe but more loved and welcomed than we ever dared hope.” & “A day will come when He is so near to us, all our doubt, unbelief, and sin will be burned away by the light of His presence.”  – excerpts from “Because He Loves Me” //

what brings joy// gingerbread // baby smiles, cuddles, and sneezes// Nimrod – Enigma – Elgar – Bernstein // Baby sleep sighs // singing carols on the street on Christmas eve //
And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

 

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