Category Archives: Little Bear

A Misnomer

Little Bear’s nickname was selected for a couple of reasons: 1. It sounds cute and cuddly just like she is now; 2. For her first few weeks, she had a roar that could wake the nations.

Next week Little Bear is four months old. I can’t believe it and have already shed many a tear knowing my baby is growing up so fast and changing even faster. How can it seem like she was just born yet my heart has known her forever?

Over the past couple of weeks, Little Bear has become cuddly. Previously she really didn’t like to be confined—whether by a blanket or by arms. Now, she likes to snuggle, and that does this mommy’s heart good.

Little Bear has also learned that she has feet. Her hands were her primary interest for a while. She would gaze at her hands and move her fingers for what seemed like hours. Now, she is constantly kicking her legs up so she can look at her feet. But that isn’t the best part. She makes this delighted sound nearly every time she sees her toes.

Another new thing she has discovered is her voice. She shrieks and squeals and makes all kinds of noises. Some days I wonder if I should have nicknamed her “Flipper” because she sounds just like a dolphin!

I keep trying to capture all of this fun and excitement on video, but am mostly unsuccessful. This Little Bear will clam up as soon as she sees the camera—just like her smiles fade when she sees Mommy with the DSLR again. And I don’t even use a flash!

So, more and more I find myself succumbing to her little siren songs. She draws me in and I can’t pull myself away. I am inebriated with love and sinking in the ocean of ecstasy when in her presence. And I’m trying to remember every second.

For those who found a way to balance communicating and cuddling with their little one(s) with doing laundry and dishes and vacuuming and meal prep and work and the million other things that must be done, please let me know how you did it.

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Thankful Thursday: La Leche League

Even before Little Bear was a reality, my husband and I were committed to breastfeeding. The benefits to little ones are well documented, and we wanted to give our baby the best start to life that we could. So when developing a birth plan, we included a line indicating that as soon as she was born she would be placed on me—skin to skin. Some of the things I read said that newborns, right after they are born, will root around until they latch because the instinct to nurse is so strong. I couldn’t wait to see and experience that magical moment.

Well, that moment never came.

For some reason, our Little Bear refused to latch. Even after an appointment with the hospital’s lactation consultant and the efforts of several kind nurses, our daughter just wouldn’t cooperate. There were no typical reasons for the problem, they just said “she is stubborn.” All the experts said she would latch; it probably would just take a few days to get the hang of it.

After nearly three weeks of struggling to get her to nurse while she fought my efforts, I was ready to give up. In desperation I contacted a local chapter of the La Leche League. At first I was hesitant because I had the impression that La Leche League was a group of militant moms conducting public breastfeeding sit-ins and nursing until their kids were like 10 years old. My hesitancy and false ideas were quickly quelled.

Patti, one of the group’s leaders, proved to be an invaluable helper. She patiently emailed with me, sent over resources for me to read, and answered all my questions. She was even willing to come over to my house to help! With her assistance and encouragement, my little one and I were able to find a hold that worked for us and the latch finally came. It didn’t happen overnight. It actually took another couple of weeks. But by five weeks, we were exclusively breastfeeding—no more bottles!

I am so grateful for Patti and the La Leche League of Richfield-Bloomington for the guidance and support generously provided. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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For those living in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, mark your calendars for the fourth annual garage sale fundraiser hosted by La Leche League of Richfield-Bloomington. All funds received will support its volunteer efforts to provide free mother-to-mother breastfeeding support. The sale will be held on Friday, May 30, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. And if you have anything to donate to the sale, contact Patti at lll <dot> pattir <at> gmail <dot> com.

Rejoicing in Sorrow

Easter is a time when many Christians celebrate the death, Sabbath rest, and resurrection of Jesus. For me, the joy of the empty tomb has been clouded by the sorrow of an empty womb.

A few years back, I woke up excitedly very early on Easter Sunday morning. During the night I had dreamed that I was pregnant. I was late that month, so I thought my dream may be intuition kicking in.

There were no pregnancy tests in the cabinet, so I went and roused my husband. He sleepily agreed to take me to the corner drugstore. The first place wasn’t open because it was too early. The second place had a sign saying it was closed for Easter. The third place in a neighboring town was open 24 hours, so I was able to get what I needed.

Once back at home, there was no delay on my part. I rushed to the bathroom with the purchase and waited breathlessly for the result. Within a couple minutes, my excitement gave way to deep sorrow. Negative…again.

It is very difficult to rejoice when your heart is broken. Can you imagine Mary’s grief at the death and burial of her son, Jesus? Years later, the world would combine cute bunnies and hunts for colored eggs with sunrise church services and “empty tomb” sweet rolls. I wonder if Mary would feel the same joy on Resurrection Morning if she knew the Sacrifice was nearly forgotten during modern Easter celebrations.

Anyway, this year I have a little blessing for which I am so thankful! She is still too young to appreciate the true meaning or the traditions associated with Easter. However, I took time yesterday morning and explained the story to her as best as I could. It went something like this:

A long time ago, Jesus came to earth as a little baby just like you are a little baby. He grew up just like you will grow up. But then His life was cut short because of our bad choices and actions. That is very sad. But Jesus turned the sadness into something to be glad about.

After Jesus rested in his tomb over Sabbath, God, His Father, sent an angel to wake Him up and call Him back to His home in heaven. And that is where Jesus is today. Jesus loves you so much that He is preparing a very special place just for you. With God and the angels, He is excitedly making homes for everyone choosing to live for Him. One day, He will come back to earth to take His people home. That means us! Oh, what a day of rejoicing that will be!

One day you will come to know what death is and the sadness that is part of it. But it is important to remember that we have promises of new life because of Jesus.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3 NKJV

That is indeed good news worth celebrating whether it is Easter or any other day.