Saturday, October 15, 2011

the good, the bad, and the ugly

The Good

Groupon came through again for family fun. We got half price admission to Dewberry Farm. I love watching the kids run around and play in barns.

Let's be real here. We all know that everything else in this category is going to be about the baby.

Eli is a really good eater and hasn't had any reactions! He's had bananas (currently his favorite), sweet potatoes, green beans, sweet peas, and apples. He didn't care for green beans until I mixed some of his bananas in, then he was all about it. When he eats them, he ends up looking like a big grass stain, which cracks me up. He LOVES the peas, and was kind of "meh" about apples. I know, what a weirdo! Who loves peas and is "meh" about apples? Oh, right. His mommy. Overcoming the tongue thrust has been amazing. I love when he makes this adorable serious face while swallowing then immediately opens his mouth for more. We'll be trying carrots and squash soon. I'm learning a lot about making baby food. Some people thing that if you just puree anything its instant baby food. Not so much. When I make his bananas, its a blend of fresh banana, formula, and rice cereal. Same for his sweet potatoes. I cheated and bought the peas and green beans (although I have fresh green beans and will be making them into baby food tonight!) and the apples I just baked an apple and ran the meat through the food processor until it was nice and smooth. My amazing friend Christina is sending me a cook book of baby food recipes because her baby has moved on to finger foods, and I'm a lot more excited about it than I probably should be. Its a lot easier to buy baby food, obviously, but I love the idea of making it myself. Maybe part of that is me trying to reconcile some of the lingering guilt of him not being exclusively breast fed, or really breast fed at all. I don't know. But even if it has nothing to do with the breast milk issue, its cheaper and since my job is to take care of him, it makes sense. If I worked outside the home, I seriously doubt I'd be making his food.

Last weekend, we had him dedicated at church. Dedication is a form of Christening, basically. Sheldon and I don't believe in infant baptism, although it is offered at our church, because Jesus was baptized as an adult in the Bible. Instead, we chose the dedication route. This means that we stand at the front of the church, before our family, friends, and other members of our church, and commit to raising him to follow Jesus. Our pastor leads us in prayers of thanksgiving for being blessed with our child, prayers for Him to equip us as parents, and prayers for God's blessings on his life, all with the hope that he will make the decision to accept Jesus as his savior and be baptized. Its a really special experience, and we're extra glad the big kids could participate with us. Oh, and apparently Eli now has the distinction of being the 1st baby our pastor has dedicated while taking a bottle. The kid loves to eat.

I can't believe he's almost 6 months old! He's so big and busy and changing every day! And seriously, people, stop encouraging him to crawl and telling me how much he wants to walk. My Christmas tree says he doesn't want to walk until 2012, thankyouverymuch.

The Bad

My dad's health has had us pretty worried for a few weeks. He started seeing a nephrologist because his rhematologist ran some blood work and noticed his kidney numbers were bad. Several more tests later, they found that his kidney function was at around 35% and they didn't know why. Thankfully, they ruled out cancer, but its still terrifying! A week or so after that bomb was dropped, my dad went to the ER. He was in horrible pain and had started to vomit. They found 7 (yes, SEVEN) kidney stones, the largest of which was 7mm large. He stayed in the hospital for a few days and left with a stent. He had it in for a week, and the day they removed it, they also pulverized the stones. Our prayer is that all the stones were impairing his kidney function and that he should be recovering nicely.
My dad's health scare was not the worst, unfortunately. The worst is that Sheldon lost his job last week. I don't work. Do the math. It's a very scary thing, but we're choosing to do everything we can to stay positive. The obvious immediate perk is that Eli and I have been enjoying having him home with us the past few days. There was a decided lack of integrity at the company he was working for, and the constant lies, shortcuts, and general crap he had been enduring for several months now was really wearing on him. Eliminating that is amazing. Our obvious hope is for him to find a new job (quickly) that pays as well if not better and has a more consistent schedule. It'll make things easier with visitation with the big kids, plus it'll help Eli and I with our routine. So yes, we're obviously worried about making ends meet until he gets a new job (and health insurance... insulin is expensive!), but God has never let us down, He has always provided for us, and we have to believe that this is going to be an opportunity for us to move forward and for God to put better things in our lives. We've canceled our big birthday trip to Missouri next month, and Christmas is going to be very tight, but we'll get by and someday, it'll just be another memory of something we made it through.

The Ugly

The same day Sheldon lost his job, we discovered a leak in our apartment. On Monday, I noticed the carpet where the foyer and living room meet was wet. I figured someone had just spilled something and let it go. I didn't really pay much attention to it again until Wednesday, when I saw that the carpet was SOAKED. Then I looked over and saw that the wall was wet. The maintenance staff arrived and the ugly began. They started cutting out drywall (there was mold in the coat closet) and pulling up carpet. So we have holes in the walls, missing carpet, and generally a huge mess. Its YUCKY and I will be very happy next week when everything is put back together (and all the mold is gone.).

All in all, I'd say we're blessed. And I love so much that when adversity comes our way, it honestly makes our marriage stronger. We've been through stuff that would cripple relationships much older and more established than ours. But they always make us stronger, and we truly feel that it's a testament to the fact that we were made for each other.