Monday, September 26, 2011

Our first days with Maggie

I would like to announce that little Magdalena (Maggie) Jo was born on September 16th!  Kristin and I (Matt) are so excited to have her with us.  Now that Maggie has been with us for a full 10 days I decided I would like to share 10 things that I think that I know about parenthood and about our baby girl.

Things I think I know...

1) Things just got much more complex.  Before Maggie entered our world we had the freedom of spontaneity.  Kristin and I could get up and go at the drop of a hat.  Friday date nights could include driving out to a park, going for bike rides, seeing a movie, or planning a nice dinner to make together.  The cities and our hometowns didn't seem so far away.  Now I am learning the value of preparation as it comes to enjoying time with Kristin. 

I am surprised by just how much we need to plan ahead to make a simple trip in to town.  Watching a TV show also isn't always so simple.  We try to work watching one of our favorite TV shows around her feeding schedule.  Thank goodness for Netflix!  Basically things are a little crazier now.   It is easy to get caught up in caring for and loving Maggie.  She is such a blessing.  While loving our little one, I am also rediscovering the value of intentionally trying to connect and have quality times with Kristin.

2)  We still have a life.  I believe that deep down inside of me, there was some part that felt life would somehow stop with our newborn.  This is not the case.  Sure life will not be the same, but I wouldn't want it to be anyways.  As far as continuing to do "normal" things goes, we recently took Maggie on her first outing to Target.  We also walked around the mall and took a stroll in the park.  She did a great job with all of these trips.  There are still fears about how to handle her first tantrum in public and I am not sure how ready we are to have a dinner outing.  Right now we are taking baby steps and enjoying all the achievements.

3)  Maggie has the cutest expressions!  Isn't it amazing how every little thing a baby does can draw oohs and ahhs from everyone.  So you can only imagine how many smiles OUR baby girl brings to faces.  Okay, I admit I may be a little biased, but I just find most everything she does to be so adorable.  I love looking at her eyes when she has them wide open and is curiously looking about.  She loves to have her hands up near her face and often looks like she is doing the wave.  She has one face she gives when she is dissatisfied, that we have endearingly named "scrunchy face".  When she gets really worked up and starts crying she tends to snort a lot.  I feel so bad for her, but it is also so cute.  There are so many other cute things, it would nearly be impossible to get it all in words.

4)  Forget about Twitter, Facebook, and Woof... Maggie is the greatest social connecting tool.  People are drawn to babies and we become the beneficiaries.  We have had the opportunities to meet some new people at church and in the community because of our little one.  We recently got to know one of our not too distant neighbors as she noticed us taking a walk.  We chatted some about being parents and learned that she and her husband have lived on this street for over 40 years.  They have seen many of their good friends move over the years as many of the houses now have become rentals.  She told us how much she missed seeing families with children around here.  Would we have had this conversation with her if not for Maggie?    I am not sure, but I am sure looking forward to the new connections we will get to have in the months to come.

5)  Maggie turns every moment into a photo shoot.  Have I mentioned how adorable I think she is!  It is just so amazing to look at her and to realize that she is our baby girl.  One thing is for sure, we have been taking many photos to capture the moment.  I have picked up the camera more often this week than almost all this past year combined.  I actually just learned how to take pictures with my phone.

This Saturday we went to the park to try and do a little photo shoot.  Lets take an intermission to see the pics.

(If only I could edit out that tag behind her)

6)  A little girl can sure dirty a lot of clothes.  I have been doing laundry almost every night for the past week.  She has an uncanny ability to dirty newly changed clothes.  She is very talented.

7)  I am growing a better understanding of Christ's love for me.  I look down at this precious little girl in my arms and I can't believe just how much she already means to me.  We have been anticipating her arrival for about 9 or so months.  I have been able to hold and care for her for 10 days now.  I feel like I would do about anything to care for and protect her.  I just want to meet her needs and help her to know she is safe and loved.

We are referred to as sons and daughters of Christ.  This picture takes on a whole new meaning to me now.  To think that He loves me not because of anything I can do, but simply because I am His son.  He had anticipated my arrival since the dawn of time and made me perfect in his sight.  It is profound to think about these things and I feel that Maggie will challenge me to see Christ's love in an even deeper way.

8)  I think that I can live off this amount of sleep. 

9)  Kristin is a wonderful mother.  I see the way that she cares for Maggie and loves her with such patience.  Even in the wee hours of the morning when sleep deprived, she tenderly talks to and cares for our little one.  Maggie is one lucky girl.

10)  I don't really want her to grow up.  I mean, I know it is a great deal of work to take care of her (refer to #8).  I just hear everyone telling me how fast the time goes by and I want to capture every moment.  These past 10 days have felt long, tiring, and great.  I know days seem long now but I also know the time will come when I will look back and miss being able to hold her in my arms.

Well these are some things that I think I know.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1 week!

I (Kristin) can't believe our due date is a week from today!  In some ways it feels like the past 39 weeks have flown other ways it feels like we've been expecting for a long time.  Its been neat to see the ways the Lord has used these 10 months to prepare us (as much as we can really be prepared!) to welcome our daughter into the world. We've learned more about prayer as we've lifted her, her health, her future, and her growth up to Him daily. We've learned more about working together and setting aside some of our own needs for hers. Our office became a nursery. Some of our stuff was boxed up and moved downstairs so there'd be room for baby clothes in the closet. We went to classes and lots of doctor appointments.  Yet its all been a joy.  I know there are more changes to come, more ways that we'll have to learn to be selfless and how to communicate well with each other, but I'm grateful for this process.  We've gotten a taste of God's love for us as our Father in a new way...a new understanding of a parent's willingness to do anything for their child...and of the depth of love a parent feels....and we haven't even seen our baby yet!  We're excited for what lies ahead of us in the next week or two as we welcome our daughter into our lives and for the continued insights the Lord will give us as we care for her.

Please pray with us for a safe labor and delivery process.  We'll be sure to post pictures as soon as we can!  And if you have any newborn parenting tips...or thoughts on labor & delivery to pass along, we'd love to learn from those who've gone before!

Oh, and here are a few pictures of the baby room....we're kind of excited for her to be in it!