Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Be Strong and Courageous (Subtitle: Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes)

Did I get the right amount of "ch's" in there? I can't seem to remember how many there really are in that song--I LOVE that song! And I don't even know what it means to "turn and face the strain" if that's even what the guy is saying. Anyway............

It's no secret to anyone who knows me or my husband that he is definitely called to church planting. One of the coolest things about our interview process at Westside Community Church was when one of the search committee said, "Now, we're looking for someone who wants to serve here as youth and worship pastor, but also someone who wants to plant." I remember hearing that and smiling SO BIG and looking at my husband like, "That's us! That's us!" I cannot honestly tell you that church planting is MY specific calling, BUT I am DEFINITELY called to follow and support my husband in ministry. Another question during the interview process at Westside, posed by a congregation member during our dessert fellowship question and answer time, was "Do you feel called to be a pastor's wife?" And after telling a story about how a friend of mine definitely felt that call and did not marry a pastor and I had told her "no way I'm ever marrying a pastor" and did, I said, "I don't feel called to be a pastor's wife, but I am called to be Josh's wife." So that means I get to do and be all the things that go along with him and his calling.

However, I'm not as bold as Josh BOLDman. I wasn't born with that name, I married into it. So I married into the bold-ness too. Being married to Josh, the amazing man who is called to church planting, means that unlike other young married women with little babies, I have no idea where we will be in 5 years. I am unable, at this time, to put down "roots." Because of this, I can't have a backyard, I can't put in new cabinets, or plant flowers. Oh, and even though I hate it, I'm going to have to eventually move. There's a part of me that's absolutely terrified of the possibility of leaving my family behind, losing my free babysitting (thanks mom and dad!) and the connection my baby son has with his extended family. Again, I am not as bold as Josh Boldman. But I am starting to find my calling and my own ministry (that's a whole different post), and I'm becoming more courageous. I just started a bible study called "Living Fearlessly: A Study in the Book of Joshua" and it's fabulous so far. God is calling me to be courageous, no matter what, because HE is with me (and Josh) wherever we go. He is calling me to turn to HIM when I am afraid and read HIS word for strength and guidance. In my translation (New Living Translation) God tells Joshua to be courageous 3 times in the first chapter, and the fourth time he is told to be courageous, it is by his own army, as the Lord worked in them to cultivate respect and honor for their leader. I can just imagine the Lord telling Joshua what he needs to do ("Be strong and courageous") and Joshua saying, "But, But God, I just..." and the Lord saying "HAVE I NOT COMMANDED YOU??? BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS, AND THAT'S AN ORDER, YOU WIMP!" I added that last part about Joshua being a wimp. He may or may not have been. You decide.

So I guess I've written all of this to say: I may not be specifically called to church planting MYSELF, but I'm called to follow my husband, who IS called to church planting. And even though I'm afraid of ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes (I think I got all the "ch's" in there), the Lord is with me and is calling me to rise above my fear for Him. I am loving this study in Joshua, and can tell that God led me specifically to it. If you want to pick it up and go through it with me, it's available at Family Christian. I'm going to try to link to it in this post.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh I, Oh, I'm still alive....

Hello!
As you can see, I haven't been posting every day. Nor have I been posting every other day. I am a blog-posting failure! Oh well. As you can see from my subject/title line, I'm still alive! Zeke is now sleeping at least 10 hours at night. This isn't a HUGE change from what he was doing before, but it means that I don't have to feed him at 10:00/10:30 p.m. anymore, so if I want to go to bed early, I can. Has that happened yet? Nope! But still, if I wanted to, I could!

The gym where I am a faithful member, Lifestyle Family Fitness, has their own little music video channel that plays out on the gym floor, so if you don't have your own source of music or you're not watching TV on the elliptical machines (I'm convinced that the only reason we re-joined the gym is so we can watch cable), you can listen to/watch music. One morning last week, one of the videos caught my eye. It was the video for one of my favorite songs, "Like a Stone," by one of my favorite bands, Audioslave (That's right people, I don't ONLY listen to Christian music--let's take a second to get over that, shall we? Okay, are we good? Good.). Audioslave is made up of some members of other, older bands. The lead singer is Chris Cornell, formerly of Soundgarden, and the other guys are from Rage Against the Machine. The video was pretty straightforward, just the band playing in a really cool location. What caught my eye was the fact that one of the band members was holding his baby (probably about 6 months old) in the scenes in-between the band playing. And I got to thinking, wow. We're all growing up, aren't we? The guys in this band are at LEAST 10 years older than me, so they got a later start than I did, but look at them--they're starting families too. I thought it was so awesome to see these tough rocker guys playing with an adorable little baby, and clearly loving her. I guess when you grow up and have kids, you become a little softer and gentler. Besides being totally pumped because "Like a Stone" is one of my favorite songs, I was really touched by the sight.

Well I guess this is growing up!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pictures of Zeke

Well everyone, here are some new pictures of Zeke. They are actually from earlier tonight during his play time. I am a super-excited mommy right now because he grabbed his lion all by himself for the very first time! My son is a genius! He also, uh, made out with the lion for a good 15 minutes. Don't ask, don't tell, people! The rest of the pictures are available here!


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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"Live and Learn and Then Get LUVS..."

....and then probably go back to using Huggies.

I'm turning into a bit of a diaper snob. Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

I have about a million $1.00-$1.50 off coupons for Huggies diapers. Some of them expire later this month, while others expire in 2009. I typically buy diapers every week, except for the past few weeks, as my son has just grown into the size 2 JUMBO-GINORMOUS pack I was given at my baby shower. So last week the time came to buy diapers, and I had my Huggies coupon in hand, and I marched my happy little butt up to the diaper aisle at Wal-Mart. There they were, Huggies size 2, with Winnie the Pooh characters and all sorts of fluffy cuddle-weave-y stuff all over them. $9.99, as expected. And then, of course, I had my coupon. Suddenly, my eyes were drawn to the left, where I saw LUVS brand diapers, for $7.50. And there's 50 of them in a pack! Suddenly, I was torn between two diaper brands. I stood there for, no lie, about five whole minutes, deciding whether or not I should take a chance and get the LUVS diapers this week. I had this horrible anxious feeling in my chest, like I was about to be a bad mother for switching diapers on my son. I was reassured by that voice inside my head--no, not THAT one--the one that said "You live and learn, and then get LUVS." That's right, I was ultimately swayed by their advertising--good job, LUVS PR reps! Your college degrees earned you a new customer! So now I've lived and learned, I got LUVS, and I'm not all that thrilled with them. Here's why:

1. LUVS have a scent. It's not an unpleasant scent, but it is a scent, nonetheless. It's kind of a baby powder-y sort of smell.

2. They are extremely thin. Yes, they have the "leak lock core" or something like that, but they feel like tissue paper.

3. When my son pees the gallons that he does every day, the diapers end up feeling like a water balloon. They're all sloshy. Huggies just feel heavier. You can't actually feel the liquid in them.

4. Let's talk poop. If you've ever nursed a child or changed a nursed child's diaper, you know that their poop is the consistency of mustard when it's at its most solid. Other times, it's extremely liquid, and sometimes it's even gel-like. Sorry, I know that's gross. Being so thin, and only really absorbing ACTUAL liquid, LUVS doesn't handle the poop very well. Huggies at least absorbs it. I wonder if LUVS work better for formula fed babies, who have a more solid, sticky poop. Okay, no more poop.

5. LUVS have sticky tabs rather than Velcro. I like the Huggies Velcro tabs.

6. Because they are so thin, LUVS are loud. When Zeke moves, it sounds like he is rolling around in tissue paper.

So there you have it--I'm not sure if I'll stick with LUVS or if I'll go back to Huggies. The fact that LUVS are at least $1.00 less than Huggies, even when I have a coupon, is a major selling point. For now, they're all I've got. So I have to avert my eyes when I'm changing Zeke and he looks up at me with those puppy dog eyes as if to say, "Why did you switch my diaper brand, mom?! I thought we had a good thing going with Winnie the Pooh!" Oh, the guilt.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

UPDATE

Obviously, my efforts to once again participate in NaBloPoMo have failed on an epic scale! So here is the update from the Boldman household!

Zeke is fabulous. I mean really, REALLY fabulous. He is an incredibly sweet, content little (and by little, I mean absolutely enormous) baby. He smiles and laughs regularly and thinks we are just the funniest people he's ever seen in his life. He also loves his extended family: grandma, grandpa, and all the rest. You can see some semi-recent pictures of him at my picasa site. He has been sleeping through the night since he was 9 weeks old--so that's three solid weeks that he has slept at least 9 hours at night. People say that we're "so lucky" to have such a good baby and that his behavior is "not typical," but we know the truth. We started from day one with clear heads and hearts and a desire to parent in a certain way. Our main ideas came from the book, "On Becoming Babywise" by Ezzo and Bucknam. Don't plug the name of the book into Google or else you will come across some VERY negative criticism of the book. All I'm going to say about that is this: if you follow ANY parenting philosophy/method to the letter, you WILL receive negative results. Going to the extreme is never a good thing, in my opinion. So with that said, I can tell you that Zeke has been following the "flexible routine" outlined in the book since birth. He has steadily gained weight (LOTS of weight!) and grown above and beyond the 95th percentile for his age. He is a sweet baby and is an absolute joy for me and others to be around. Once I got past the stress of hearing the negative criticism of the book, I was able to relax and follow Zeke's lead on how his routine would work for us. With a little bit of parental guidance, it has come along quite nicely! And how did I get over the negative criticism? I took the advice of a dear friend when she said, "Don't read it!"

We are doing very well here in good ole' Apopka/Altamonte. Staying at home with Zeke is DEFINITELY the right path for me, as I've told you all before.

I swear, I'm trying to do better with the posting every day thing. Be patient with me! I have lots of laundry to do!!

More to come....
Rachel

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Today....

Today, my thoughts about food are the following:

I can't seem to get enough of it, and this "I'm nursing, so I've got to eat ALL THE TIME" is only going to last me so long!

As you can see, my posts are very short and not very thought-provoking. I'm trying to post every day, but is it worth it to post meaningless junk? I swear I'll post something good soon.

love
Rachel

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Today's food

Today I went back to Winnie Palmer Hospital to visit my friends in the Social Work department...and of course, there had to be food involved! We ordered from all of our favorite place, Incredibly Edible on Sligh Blvd. Today I had the "Gobble Me Up" sandwich (yes, all of their items have funny names!) and it was EXCELLENT. There were also yummy chips involved. Best of all, my friends got to meet Zeke! I've never seen a group of master's level clinicians talk so much baby talk! Before our excursion to the hospital, Zeke and I went to story time at the library, and before THAT, I went to cycling at 5:30 a.m. That's right, 5:30 a.m. I now get up earlier than my son on some days. I feel great but I am exhausted. So again, this post is short. But at least it's a post!

More fun details about my life tomorrow.

Rach

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

FOOD

Well I don't really have time for a full update...but...NaBloPoMo's theme for this month is food, and once again I'm going to try to post every day.

Today is Josh and I's second anniversary, which reminds me of our wedding cake...which was the BEST wedding cake I've ever had both on our wedding day and last year, when we ate the top layer. I love cake! So I'm really excited for my sister's wedding next weekend, where we will again eat awesome wedding cake. I went with her to taste cakes a few weeks ago, and she picked an awesome one! I'll post pictures after the wedding next week. But of course, I'll be posting every day in between! :) Here's to hoping!

Rachel