Recharged

These are my favorite things from this season of life as a SAHM to a 1 year old. I find it important to write these down so I never forget how fortunate I truly am. Especially on those days that are less than perfect. I believe God finds little ways to encourage me even when those words of affirmation can’t be spoken.

  1. The endless baby chatter. It’s as if she really has a message to spread to the world but the words aren’t forming yet. Whatever it is, it’s very important.
  2. The extreme excitement when she see’s myself or her dad for the first time after a few hours of being separated. The kicks, wiggles, and giggles are what my soul desires.
  3. The random toys I find stashed in different places. The chew toys that were strategically placed in the laundry basket full of clothes. The Chapstick that magically found it’s way from my nightstand into the empty washing machine. The alphabet magnets that were found in the other side of the cat door in the garage. All of it wrapped up in a tiny gift of sticky fingers and poopy diapers makes my heart smile.
  4. Her extreme love for her blankie. She can’t resist laying her head down when blankie is under it. This makes for amazing snuggles when it’s time for sleep. I enjoy nothing more than singing my daughter to sleep while we cuddle.
  5. The discovery of new things. This will never get old. She found her tongue (and mine) the other day. That was truly the best part of that day.
  6. Games! Namely “I’m going to get you” and Peek-a-boo. I love the squeals and laughter that follow the wiggles and giggles.
  7. But I think my favorite is during our daily routine. She’ll be playing and I’ll be trying to get something done or my focus is split between her and a project, when all of the sudden I notice the silence. This means one of two things; she is either doing something she shouldn’t be doing or she has stopped mid play to watch me and smile her biggest smile. It’s amazing to stop the busy of my life, completely expecting the worst and finding my child smiling from ear to ear as if to say “I love you, mommy” or maybe she’s thinking “my mom is really funny looking”? No, it’s definitely the first one. I love my sweet princess.

It’s important for me to remember these moments because there are also those moments when I’m exhausted and in need of a break. Living away from grandparents and family means breaks are harder to come by. I thank God for these precious moments I do get with her. They are gifts from God to recharge my sleepy soul. No, I wouldn’t change my occupation right now for anything. I am right where God needs me to be, I have every confidence in that fact.

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Lesson in First Time Motherhood #3 Daddy’s are Important!

20140729-095015.jpgI am very fortunate. I not only have a husband, I have the best husband on the planet. I know a few single mothers. Some the dad’s are in the picture and some the dad’s are not. I am amazed by these women. I lean on my husband A LOT. There is no way I could do this parenting thing without him. I’m eternally grateful to have such a wonderful supporter and partner. He works tirelessly to make sure that Mo and I have everything we need. For you single mothers out there, I applaud you and I marvel at your abilities. I’m not sure I could do what you are doing for your kids. For those of you ladies that do have Daddy on board, this one’s for you.

You are a team regardless of who has chosen to take care of the kid’s full time or if you are planning to have childcare a part of your day, you are a team. Daddy’s job started right when she came out of the womb. Since I had a C-section Daddy was in charge of all diaper changes, helping me to the bathroom, passing the baby to me when it was time to eat, walking and bouncing baby to sleep, etc. He was very busy as I was not able to move much and I was taking some pretty powerful painkillers. It was also Daddy’s job to watch Mommy closely so if I fell asleep while holding baby he could come in and put her in a safe place. There were many times I fell asleep mid feeding and he was there to make sure that both mommy and baby were safe. His job was never ending.

We had many challenges with breast feeding and continue to have challenges. My husband’s job in the beginning was to put together and then wash my pumping supplies for every feeding until I could muster up enough energy to get out of bed and do it myself. I can honestly say with all of my heart and without a doubt, I would not be breast feeding my child if it wasn’t for the constant support I received from my husband. Now that our daughter is 8 months old his job is still going. She is not the best eater so I pump frequently and regularly which means that a lot of the housework and cooking falls on my husband because I’m busy being hooked up to the “mechanical parasite” (as my husband calls the breast pump). He is not happy about this but he does it because he loves us.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Daddy’s are important!

My First Proud Mama Moment

I went to a garage sale today. At 24 weeks pregnant, this is the first time I went shopping for “baby stuff.”  I will admit it has taken me awhile to allow myself to get excited and actually start shopping. As I searched through the girls clothes, I think it finally hit me: “I’m having a little girl!” I searched through the big girls clothes for fun and found multicolored tights and dresses and my excitement grew. “I’m going to have a baby girl.” I said out loud to myself in my car for the first time as all my sweet little purchases smiled up at me from the passenger seat.

I came home and after defrosting the fridge and starting another load of laundry, I sat down to finish the lesson I had planned for the following day’s leadership meeting.  The lesson was all about a small group curriculum I use in my own small group called “bible storying.” It might sound cheesy or even childish but we do this every Monday night in our 20-30 something small group and I have yet to grow bored with the concept. The leadership training manual I was teaching from began to give examples of “bible storying” success. One story was about a little girl who overheard her parents talking about someone’s daughter who was “lost.” She proceeded to ask her dad, “Who lost their daughter, daddy?” And her dad explained that their daughter was choosing not to follow Jesus. The young girl proceeded to tell her Dad that the daughter of his friend was like Peter from a story she had overheard a few weeks earlier in her parent’s small group: the young girl was looking at the waves instead of Jesus so she began to sink.

A smile crossed my face, I think back to earlier in the day when I dug through piles of little tights and dresses. I can almost see my daughter at 7 years old “schooling” her own father or myself on bible application through her innocent eyes. I look forward to how she can teach us new insights that our adulthood and life experience may have kept us from seeing. She is half my husband’s daughter so I would be shocked if she doesn’t tell all her friends about how amazing this man called Jesus is and how she loves Him, or at least I hope and pray that she communicates like her dad. That is our favorite topic in my marriage already. As I allowed myself to dream about her, I realized I’m so proud of her already and she’s still just squirming in my belly.Image

God’s Gift to the World!!! – just kidding :)

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I’m very fortunate to have received the gift of creativity from my parents.  So when I started asking questions about my birth story so that I could write my own version filled with drama and twists and turns, my mom offered to write it for me! So, today I give you all a special treat, a guest post today from my lovely mother Sheryl… Enjoy!

It was a cold dark December night and the weather was turning nasty.   As the family settled in to watch their favorite Monday night comedy shows, the father noticed that the freezing rain had begun.  Although the Mother was feeling uncomfortable she did not feel like she was in recognizable labor.   The family was watching the Bob Newhart show and the weather wasn’t getting any better so the father announced that as soon as the show was over the family would load up in the car and head to town just in case the baby decided to arrive on this blustery night.   Not long after the car was loaded and the boys in their places, the mother- to-be started to feel labor pains that she had been waiting for two weeks and she knew it “was time.”

The next plan was to drop the mother off at the hospital and take the boys to grandmas.  Is this where the song “over the river and though the woods “came from??

Or is this the song being sung on those icy roads 10 miles from the hospital?

The special child was born after several hours of walking up and down the hallways of the hospital which was and still continues to be the smallest one in the state of Minnesota.

Ok, ok back to the special baby…….yes, the baby was born and she was a GIRL!   Yes! A girl!!! Pink, bows, lace and dresses now could enter into the happy mother’s life.   You see the family before this special night consisted of a father, a mother and two little boys.   Now they were joined by a Girl!  A red headed girl!   This mother was so excited that she called her mother to tell her that she had been blessed with a daughter, a redheaded daughter!   The grandmother proceeded to tell her daughter that the little girl probably just had remains of her birth on her head and not red hair!  The grandmother was very surprised in the morning when 4 hours after the birth and her first bath the little girl still had beautiful red hair.  Red hair and an amazing interest in the new world around her.  The nurses were surprised at her alertness and interest in her new world! But where did this red hair gene come from???   As the child grew she used to tell people it came from the milkman!  Her mother said it came from the milk.  Well, it was true that the milkman did have red hair……..But with all kidding aside the red hair came from several generations back on both parents side.   The great grandmother sister on the maternal side had reddish hair and the great grandfather on the paternal side had a red beard.  God took out his red brush that night and created a beautiful little baby girl to bless this family and the world.  This beautiful baby girl, Joanna Kay Kopperud was born on December14, 1982 to two very proud parents and two very excited big brothers.   The mother felt like she had just received a special new dolly for Christmas that year.

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Can we all just take a moment to admire how incredibly adorable my brothers were???? So cute!!!! Joanna’s Homecoming and Christmas Card 1982.

Happy 30th birthday baby girl!