The Irrational Thoughts of a New Mom

Someday I will die.  That is inevitable.  I have never been afraid per say of dying, I just didn’t want it to happen yet.  Now that I have Lincoln, I think I’m going to die all of the time.  Around every corner I see a new danger.  One of my biggest fears right now is that I will leave Lincoln alone in this world.  Of course he would not be alone – he would have a wonderful father and amazing grandparents to care for him.  That doesn’t make it better.  The key thing for me to do now is trust in God.

Trust in God? That has been one of the biggest challenges I have faced throughout my entire life.  People whom I love have died, gotten sick, had horrible things happen to them.  Despite this, I am told to follow Him.  Proverbs says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”  Isaiah says “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid.”  We read in Psalms “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God… I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?”  There are countless more examples of how the Bible tells us to trust in God.

So instead of looking at all of the ways that I feel God has “let me down” I instead will look at the proof God has given to trust in Him.  That proof for me is Lincoln.  I waited (im)patiently for our amazing Lord to gift me with one of His children.  I (im)patiently trusted that someday it would be my turn.  I had a beautiful and successful first pregnancy.  We had a beautiful and scary birth.  I watched my sweet boy taken away from me not breathing, but all along trusted (without any sort of understanding) that God would carry Lincoln through.  I now have a strong, healthy, amazing child that shows the miracles God performs.  He did this for me.  Now it’s time that I trust Him with all that I am.

On the first weekend of Christmas…

Weekends in December have always been crazy, but now with a little one they are even more exciting!  This was our first fun filled weekend to start off the holidays.

Friday was normal. Grandma Pat watched Lincoln during the day while mommy and daddy worked.  Then we had dinner with Pat and Ron and spent some quality family time afterwards (which consisted of me doing laundry!)

Saturday Justin went and got the oil changed for me, which was wonderful so I could spend some time with Lincoln.  Then I went to my last class of the semester.  We then had game night with my parents!

Sunday was the packed day.  We started off the day praising the Lord – which is how we should start every day!  We went from church to downtown Macy’s to sit on Santa’s lap.  Lincoln had just woken up, but we managed to get a wonderful smiling photo:

I was a proud mama!

After Santa, we headed over to the Benson’s home for Game Day.  Justin played games with Richard and friends while Link and I spent time with Elizabeth and Liam.  It was a wonderful time!  My favorite part of this was when Lincoln would do his very high-pitched squeal (he apparently gets that from his Aunty Amy) and Liam would get scared and cry.  It was very cute.

We finished our outings for the day with dinner at Applebee’s with Pat and Ron.

Link, Justin and I then spent some time at home playing.  I figured Lincoln would be a bit cranky since he had such a busy weekend, and he started off that way.  It was time to put his pajamas on, but we had Naked Time first 🙂  This is where Link plays in just a diaper, which he loves.  I put him on his tummy and he was playing with some toys, and then all of a sudden HE ROLLED OVER!!  I stood up and cheered for him while both Justin and I teared up a bit (sorry honey, but you did!) Lincoln was so proud of himself and smiled and giggled!  We had been waiting for him to do this for so long, but since he had tummy problems for awhile, he just wasn’t in the mindset to do that.

This was a wonderful weekend to start off our season.  I am looking forward to many more days of wonderful family, friends, and God’s blessings.

Traveling with an Infant

For Christmas this year, Justin, Lincoln and I will be traveling to Nebraska to visit Justin’s family.  A handful of them have met Link already, but many have not.  I am so very excited to see them all and introduce them to the newest Gehring!

The drive normally takes 8 hours, but with Link I’m assuming 10ish.  We will need to stop and feed him every so often, and as a nursing mom, I prefer to stop somewhere comfortable where I can nurse him either in a restaurant or in the car.  This will take about a half hour each time, hopefully we can make just 2 stops.  I’m assuming sometime during the trip Lincoln will poop 🙂  I will not leave him sitting in that, so we will need to stop and change him.  We do hope he will nap most of the time, as the car usually puts him to sleep.

Along with the driving, traveling also entails sleeping in a hotel.  We will be bringing the pack n play along, which he is used to sleeping in.

I will provide new toys for him that he hasn’t seen before.

For me personally, I’m planning to bring foods I can eat.  I love Nebraska cooking, but I will likely not be able to eat any of it this year.

Any advice for traveling with Lincoln this year?

Living a Free Life

And what do I mean by free?  I mean dairy and soy free!  Through a course of many doctor appointments with our pediatrician, trying dairy free, an incredible amount of vaseline and desitin, and a trip to the GI specialist, we found out that Link has a transitional allergy to soy and dairy.  This means that this breastfeeding mama cannot eat anything with soy or dairy in it.  I’ve been on this track now for about a month, and so far so okay.

I love cheese. And I like ice cream.  And all other food that I might possibly enjoy in my life, most likely has soy and dairy in it.  There are 2 great things about this new “diet” though: 1) I am shedding the pounds, and am wearing clothes that I haven’t been able to in years.  2) It’s for Lincoln, who I love more than anything else, so how could I not do it?

Watching Lincoln suffer through about 2 months of bleeding and discomfort was horrible.  We had a tough enough time beginning our breastfeeding journey together, and this was just another hurdle for us to jump.  I could have chosen to switch to a special formula, but I really felt like breastfeeding was the best choice for our family.  And after reading a book called Spilled Milk, I felt even stronger about continuing.  And what’s a little loss of foods I like?  At the most, I want to do this for a year, which means 7.5 more months of non dairy/soy.  This would be doable for anyone.  This is easy as Lincoln’s mom.

A Happy Holiday Season

I have been a bit of a Scrooge this year as the holidays are approaching.  I refuse (and I say that lightly) to listen to Christmas music.  I don’t like or want the snow – not that I ever do.  Plus I have no interest in shopping for people’s gifts.  I think part of the problem may be that I am very focused on Lincoln, and all I want to do is things for him.  This isn’t a bad thing.  It’s just usually at this time of year I am doing things for me…

A typical Amber Christmastime:  The season for me normally kicks off with the Cities Sampler release day.  I immerse myself in the beautiful music while planning to start the Santa season.  For the past seven years, I have spent ~5 weeks leading up to Christmas working with Santa.  I have loved that job since day 1.  Thanksgiving occurs, which stops the Sampler listening and begins the Christmas music.  Then I spend many glorious days preparing my shopping lists, purchasing more gifts than necessary at higher amounts than needed, and I finish off wrapping these gifts. At work for the past 2 years I have helped plan the Christmas Party!  I thoroughly enjoy heading to Grandma’s/Aunt’s/Nebraksa/Parents’ to open gift and spend family time.  One thing you should also know about me, which shows why I love Christmas so much, is that my love language is Gifts.

This year is a bit different.  I didn’t go to the release day because my wonderful bestest Nikki won tickets to the Sampler Listening Party where I was able to reserve my copies of the CD.  Therefore on Nov. 17th I did not start listening to the Sampler.  (I didn’t actually start listening until this week!)  As Santa geared up, I did not.  This year I am just doing the scheduling.  While I have loved working with the people at Santa and have truly enjoyed holding this position for 8 years, I do not miss one bit of it.  I am not on the Christmas Party committee this year.  Thanksgiving came and went, along with a bit of snow.  I enjoyed the family time, but did not enjoy the snow.  I am fearful of driving with Lincoln in it.  I am a very good driver, but other people are not.  Christmas music has still not started.  I haven’t purchased a gift – nor do I really want to.  I love to give people gifts, but this year money is tighter, since having a baby is expensive, and I just worry.

Ultimately, the Christmas season will bring me great joy and cheer.  I will buy the gifts that I need and want to buy.  We are not strapped for money, we just need to watch more closely how we choose to spend.  Alabaster will probably not be buying all of his kitty/dog/bird cousins a gift this year.  And unlike most years, I could care less what I get for Christmas!  All I want is for Lincoln to be happy and healthy, and to get the things that he needs.

So instead of being excited this year about my gift giving and receiving, or Christmas music, I am simply joyful towards life.  I have an amazing family, an uber supportive work environment, and the husband and child that I have wanted for so long.

Christmas for me this year is a time to truly understand the gift that Jesus was and is.  I have been blessed incredibly these last few months and I am happier than I ever have been.  The holidays will be a time for me to share that joy and happiness with others as best I can, to do it for Lincoln and for God.