Friday, August 26, 2011

Bouncing back on the activity mat

Ah, thank goodness it's Friday :) Though I have to admit that this week got a whole lot better after Monday's madness. There's been a heightening of spit up (yuck! I hate smelling like baby spit up, come on now!), but also an increase of activity and fun!

This week it has been incredible watching Levi grow, develop and thrive on his play mat - I know he's my son, but I think it's the cutest thing ever! I found a Baby Einstein ocean themed activity center on Craigslist, and just this week Levi has taken to the under the sea adventure. He lays on this back, wriggling away, producing a good half hour of entertainment for me as his movements and chattering sounds change depending on the cheesy melody plunking out of the play mat. It's incredible to see him grow like this, I love being a mom. Ah, now this is love for the one who spits up on you continually :)

I'm so thankful that every day is new, and bad days come and go, but play mat times, smiles, wriggles and coos always win me over again, soften my heart and make me appreciate my life and little one. So thank you Levi for being so cute and developing all your senses in such an entertaining way - it sure helps your mom bounce back!

Pure joy :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Soul Searching through Cat Naps

Went to bed swaddled, but found like this :)
At seven weeks old my son is a pro at "the cat nap." It doesn't matter what time of day it is when he goes down to sleep....BAM, exactly 45 mins later, Mr. Bright-Eyes is awake and ready to play once again! Not exactly conducive to being fully rested, me getting much done (or my own nap for that matter) or fitting into any sort of daily schedule.

Now I know the science of it all - babies sleep cycles last exactly that 45 min mark where they move quickly between deep and active sleep - so I know that part of the problem is Levi not moving back into sleep again, but what I'm journeying through here is a battle between schedules, research, books, other's ideas, my own promptings and what I know to be the nudges of the Holy Spirit. See, while it might be a problem that my son is sleeping only in 45 min chunks, the issues that I've had to work out in my heart are presently more at the forefront of my mind. I've been frustrated that my newborn will not fit into my schedule, or one that I would deem appropriate! "Why won't he do what I want him to do, when I want him to do it?!"....I hear myself say throughout the day. Is that foolish to expect already? Granted, a lot of this is learning how to parent and train him I understand, but even that is a decision of how to parent. Do I let him cry it out? Do I cater to every cry so he's secure? Every book, friend, and unsolicited passer-byer has their own idea to contribute or what worked for them.
Why do I have to sleep again?

And see, that's the thing - everyone shares on their own experience of what worked for them. So I am on a journey of learning confidence in what works for me and for our family! And truthfully, I'm still not sure what that is. But I am so thankful for the following as I learn and try new things.....that I currently have the privilege of being a full time mom, that I have a husband who cares about how we raise our children and that we can move forward in parenting together in agreement (that's key!), that I'm efficient and can get a lot done in just 45 mins :) and that I have the best teacher in the Holy Spirit who can speak and guide me as to not only what's right for my family, but for Levi specifically! How incredible is that! What a gift :)

(Two hours later: In the spirit of keeping this blog real, I have to share the last few hours....I'm literally finishing this blog, feeling upbeat, really good that I'm moving in confidence and being a good mom and Levi wakes up (from yes, a 45min nap). I go and get him to feed him since I can tell from his cry that he's already waking up which he refuses to eat and then screams for the next 30min! Wow. Finally he gives in and does eat but at this point then I start crying feeling totally defeated about what I had just written, with all my confidence and joy feeling sucked out the window. Errrr. He get's a diaper change, little mat play time, starts fussing and goes back to bed....I call Graham to complain about how frustrated I am and how I clearly don't know what's best. "Why can't I hear from the Holy Spirit? What am I doing wrong??" I'm pleading. I guess I have to still remember that this is my first baby and I am only still weeks in. Oh well, I can alway pound some Dove dark chocolate to ease the edge of the past few hours. When I open that sweet nugget of goodness I read the little message inside: Take a deep breath & exhale. Ha :) Maybe that's all I needed to hear from the Lord anyway! So we keep on truckin' and keep on learning...)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Beach Day

This past weekend we celebrated that Levi was 6 weeks old my taking him for his first beach day! We loaded him up and took him out to our favorite weekend hangout spot up the Kohala Coast to the Four Seasons Resort at Hualalai (Check it out! Graham and I spent many, many hours out at this beach, sun tanning, swimming and relaxing and enjoying warm breeze on this gorgeous and incredibly peaceful piece of property. Levi loved laying on the lawn chair stretched out in the shade, listening to the waves crash along the shore as his little body wriggled, giving us big grins to communicate his complete pleasure. We even took him for a quick toe dip in the Pacific for him make his first beach day truly complete!

It's amazing the new found joy you can have in the simplest of things when you get to do them with your child for the first time - even though we only made it about 45min along the shore, it could have been my most special beach time yet! Levi, I'm so glad you love the water, outside and now the beach because you do live in Hawaii and there will be many more of these days to come :)
Dad & Levi at Four Seasons

Smiling cause I love the beach :)

Toes in the was too cold for Levi!

Me and my boy

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Blessing of Family

We have just successfully completed the first two weeks of being our own family of three since Levi was born! For the first month of his life, we were so blessed by having my family here with us as we transitioned into our new life. In fact, my Mom was here in Kona for almost the entire month of July, serving us with anything (and really I mean anything!) that we could possibly need, from cleaning our condo, doing my laundry, cooking meals, holding Levi and just listening and talking to the wonderings of a new mom. MOM - truly, this post is to honor YOU! Just entering into mommy-hood, my eyes have been open to the wonderful sacrifice that moms (and parents) really make for their children, and that my own mom continues to make for me and did while she was here serving us. Thank you Mom so much for being here!!

It was so special to see my entire family fall in love with this new member of our clan - from Mom having "play time" with him while he was awake, to my Dad rocking him to sleep as he was engulfed, safely in his arm, to my brother and sister holding and "ooooing" and "awweing" over him. Not to mention the wonderful help (and relief) both of my parents provided in both a physical sense but also with words of life and encouragement that we were going to make it and were doing incredible. I have been so blessed by my family!

But now, here we are, on this island learning what it looks like to be our own family. I am so thankful for the example that I have to draw on from my own though! From my parents who just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary last weekend, to my friendship I have with both my siblings, to many memories of times together often traveling and laughing I am so thankful!! I am working to trust the Lord as both sides of our family are so far from us. I'm not going to lie to's reached a new level of difficulty, having a baby, to be apart from family members and those that care for us to such a deep level and have such a large investment in our life. I am daily learning to trust the Lord to a new degree that every moment Levi gets to spend with his grandparents and relatives will connect him in his heart to them, regardless of distance! I love what the Lord has called us to in ministry, and am so blessed to be in an amazing community here with Ywam Kona; however, now we're seeing with fresh eyes the degree to which our families and relationships mean to us. It sure does make our times with them that much sweeter!!

The Lord is so good as he can often give us something else to look forward to, proving that we really can trust him with our whole hearts to work things together! Right now we're extremely looking forward to Graham's parents coming out to Kona (for the first time!) at the end of the month - we cannot wait for them to meet Levi as well as see what our life is like here with Ywam and ministry!

Petersen Side of the Family :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Smiles! :)

Smiling on Day 37
Levi has been flashing us his little grin for about two days right around 5 weeks old. This morning he was on his changing table - which we call his "happy place" because no matter his temperament is of the moment, if he's on his table all crying and fussing stop - and he gave me the some of the sweetest smiles...which I even managed to catch! We might not be sleeping at night, but a smile like this one melts your heart and you don't even care! So smile away Levi, you've won your mom over :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy 'One Month' Birthday Levi!

Today Levi is one month old! Yay! 
Little man, you have brought so much joy to our lives and our family! 

Hi! It's my one month birthday :)
Tomorrow he has his one month check up and I cannot wait to find out how much he's grown in the past month both in weight and height (he's gotten so long!) By the way, if you want to see more pictures of little Levi? Check out our mobile me site as we update it:

One month and napping peacefully