Friday, June 25, 2010

What a Mess!


Learning to be independent (or in this case teaching Coralyn) is a messy business, and sticky too! I love that she can feed herself things like bananas, avocado bites, scrambled egg, and of course cheerios! She is pretty good at picking up the food and getting it to her mouth. She just makes a huge mess in the process. How I wish that you could capture every moment on film or at least with pictures! Like this morning when she had managed to get blueberries and yogurt all over her hands, face, the highchair tray, and anywhere else near her. Her smile was priceless!

When Coralyn's done eating, I'm not sure where more food landed: in her tummy or somewhere in the highchair or the floor? Her hands, arms, face, and hair are one big sticky, icky, gooey mess. At least she doesn't mind me washing her off when meal time is over. At times I wonder why I bother letting her feed herself when it makes such a mess and I have to clean it up each time, but then I remember that I was able to finish making supper or eat supper myself while she had her snack or the first part of her meal. I think ahead to the future and how she will be able to do so much more because I have let her do some things on her own. I just pray she's not too independent :)

As I was watching Coralyn eat her supper last night, and make a mess of things like usual, I had a thought. I wonder if God ever gets frustrated watching us making messes as we try to do things on our own. I greatly appreciate that He doesn't hold our hand all the time or spoon feed us; He lets us try to figure things out and "grow up." I am sure it would be a lot easier for Him to just do things for us, and faster too. But He lets us use the personalities He gave us; He makes us think a bit; He allows us the freedom to choose. And thankfully, He is good at cleaning up our sticky messes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gifted Hands

Last night after Coralyn was in bed, Lawrence and I decided to watch a movie. He had gotten some DVDs on sale at Blockbuster awhile back, and we had one left that we hadn't seen yet. When you buy a movie you know nothing about, it can end up being a total flop. This, however, was not the case. Hands down, this is one of the best, most thought provoking and challenging movies I have seen in a long time.

Gifted Hands (based on a true story) stars Cuba Gooding Junior as a talented neurosurgeon at John Hopkins. At the very beginning Gooding is asked to meet and assess Siamese twins who are connected at the head, and thus share part of a brain. He agrees to perform surgery, but doesn't set a date because he has to figure out how to separate the boys without them bleeding to death. In the mean time, the movie flashes back to Gooding's childhood and shows him in about the 4th grade. The teacher is having all the students tell her their scores on a math test and Gooding has to announce he didn't get any right. Of course his classmates make fun of him and tease him about being so dumb. Gooding responds by punching one of the boys bullying him. The boy has a lot against him: he's a black student in a primarily white school in the 1960's, his father isn't part of his life, and he struggles with school. All of these don't compare to the one very good thing Gooding has going for him though -- his mother. Gooding's mother is simply amazing (the kind of mama I hope to be). Despite struggling with depression herself, she always encourages her boys, "You can do anything anybody else can do, only you can do it better." She tells them to use their imagination, that they have the whole world inside of them, that they are smart, talented, gifted. Not only does she encourage her sons, she challenges them and sets high standards for them. After coming home from her cleaning job one afternoon, she shuts off the television and informs the boys that they will only be allowed to watch 2 shows each week. Since the boys will have so much spare time, she explains they will be reading 2 books every week and writing a report about them. Thus begins Gooding's love for learning. One of the shows the boys chose to watch was a trivia game show, which only inspired them to expand their interests to include music and art. As Gooding grows up, he excels in school. That transformation in and of itself was enough inspiration, but the movie had even more to offer!

Not only did Gooding's character overcome academic challenges, he also learned how to handle his fiery temperament that had gotten him into trouble. And while his mother also played a huge role in this change, God is the one who gets the credit for helping Gooding transform into a mature man who responds to even the most difficult of situations with profound patience and grace. Gooding's faith plays an integral role in the film, as he prays before every operation and surrenders not only his patients but his family to the Lord.

I don't want to give away the entire movie...but I do have to share one other thing that really hit me as I watched the film. In addition to the Siamese twins that Gooding eventually operates on, he performs surgery on a 4 year old little girl who has over 100 seizures a day due to a complication in her brain. Seeing this little girl and the twin boys made me so very thankful for Coralyn's health. Yeah, I might have been sick to my stomach for my entire pregnancy, but I didn't have any complications in the delivery. Coralyn was born whole and complete, all her organs functioning correctly, all her limbs fully formed, everything "just right." She can see, hear, smell; she can communicate; she can grab things; she can walk; she can feed herself; she can show emotion. I could go on and on. I just take her health for granted, but I shouldn't. God has blessed us. I know that every single child who is born is created in His image and is perfect in His eyes, carefully crafted and designed in the womb just the way He wants. Even if a child has a physical or mental handicap in the eyes of man, God sees the child as perfect. I know that, but I am still thankful that Coralyn doesn't have any "problems." I think about our future children and all the "what ifs" and get scared that something could be "wrong." I let fear and worry control my thoughts. I try to imagine what being a mama would be like then, but I just can't even begin to fathom all the emotions that would be surging inside me.

I think my heart was already tender after a movie we watched on Father's Day with my parents. Extraordinary Measures. It was about a family with 3 children, 2 of whom have a life-threatening disease called Pompe. The disease affects their muscles and organs, making moving and even breathing more and more difficult as the child grows. In fact, life expectancy for someone with Pompe is only 9 years. So, I think the idea of having a child with some kind of "complications" was already fresh in my mind. Watching Gifted Hands only made me think about all the "what ifs" even more. But both movies also made me all the more thankful for my baby girl and her excellent health. It's as if God keeps reminding me to take nothing for granted, to make the most of the "little things" that seem so "normal." Like Coralyn's smile and giggle, her reaching for my hand so she can walk where she wants to go, and yes, even her cries in the middle of the night.

I pray that I never have to face the challenges any of the parents did in either of these movies, but I know that if I do, God will give me the strength and courage I will so desperately need.

But for now, I don't have to think about any of that. All I need to do is focus on today, thanking God for Coralyn's health and enjoying the precious little girl that He has given me.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday

It's Tuesday. Monday is famous for being the start of the work week. Wednesday is the half way point. Friday kicks off the weekend. So what is so special about Tuesday? Several things, actually. At the Young house, we like to call it Trash Tuesdays (that's what you get when you have two teachers in the same house -- alliteration). But putting out the garbage and recycling isn't what makes Tuesday special for us. Every Tuesday marks one more week that we have had with our precious baby girl. Today Coralyn is 37 weeks old. So for the past 37 Tuesdays, I have gotten to wish my daughter a "good morning," and then tuck her in at night with a hug and kiss. 37 Tuesdays have come and gone, faster than I ever imagined possible. She has grown so much in the past 37 weeks and is learning to do new things every day. And somehow my heart seems to be expanding because I'm pretty sure I fall more in love with my little girl every day (funny how that works in my marriage too). I am so thankful for every day God gives me with my family and feel extremely blessed to have them in my life. I can't wait to see what the next 37 Tuesdays have in store for us here in the Young household!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dada

Our goal was to have Coralyn saying "Dada" by today in lieu of Father's Day, especially since she started saying "Mama" on Mother's Day. We tried to practice, and by that I mean we said "Dada" to her over and over again, hoping that if she heard the word enough, she would start using it herself. All our efforts were to no avail. We still had a great Father's Day though. And even if Coralyn can't say "Dada" she makes it quite obvious that she loves her Daddy. Any time he walks in the room, her face lights up and she has a huge smile. He makes her laugh more than any other person she knows. How I love to hear that cute giggle! Here's to the best Daddy in the world: I love you, Lawrence, and am so glad that we get to be partners in this whole parenting thing! Happy Father's Day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

All By Herself, Kind Of...

Usually Coralyn crawls over to me and uses me to pull herself up, and then proceeds to start heading in the direction she wants to go. Sometimes she will stop and look back to make sure I am still there behind her. If I let go of one of her hands, she will reach back and grab my finger before moving on to wherever it is that we were going. I love that she wants to hold my hand, but it was really neat today to stand in front of her and have her come to me, smiling all the way. video

Tears and Smiles

Why must growing up involve so many tears? Tears from not being quite able to do what you want, tears from bumping your head when you fall, or tears from hitting your head on the coffee table when all you were trying to do was accomplish a new feat and take a step? As a mamma these tears nearly break my heart as I know my little girl is in pain. But I know they are necessary as Coralyn tries to figure things out and grows up and learns new things. I also know that they will soon be followed by huge smiles and cute giggles as she is able to get the toy that used to be out of reach, go from standing to sitting without falling down, and taking that step from one place to another. I just don't like the tears. I much prefer the smiles. Yet I am learning that the tears usually have to come first.

For example, I think Coralyn might end up getting her first black eye today. She was standing up and playing with her activity table, which happened to be next to the coffee table. I was changing Jayden's diaper when something caught Coralyn's eye on the coffee table. She decided she wanted to try and get to the coffee table, so she reached out and had her hand in place. She took the step, but wasn't quite able to get her other hand on the table to support her weight. Down she went, hitting her head (right on the corner of her eye) on the way. Of course tears followed. I picked Coralyn up, hugged her, and assured her everything was going to be okay. Inside my heart is breaking and I feel terrible for letting her get hurt. But a few minutes (and a pacifier in the mouth) later, she was fine. The smiles returned and life was good again. Like I said, I much prefer the smiles.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tight Fisted

Having a child is an amazing thing; even more amazing is how much such a small child can teach you, the adult! Ever since Coralyn was born (well, even during my pregnancy actually) God has been using my baby girl to teach me quite a few things about my relationship with Him.

Coralyn has been eating solids for about 2 months, but now she can feed herself things like bananas and cheerios, which we just added to her menu this past weekend. It's quite fun to watch her eat. I set her in the highchair and put the tray on to "lock" her in. I usually don't do this fast enough apparently since Coralyn whines, wanting her demand for a snack to be met immediately. As soon as I put the cheerios on the tray, she grabs for them and gets as many as she can. She forms little fists around her treasures and then proceeds to try to fit her entire fist in her mouth and retrieve her snack from inside her closed hand. Thus, quite a few cheerios end up back on the tray, in her lap, or somewhere on her face...basically everywhere but inside her mouth. She eventually gets all the cheerios to her tummy, with a little help from me as I put the fallen cheerios back on the tray and she goes for round 2 (then 3, 4, and sometimes even 5).

As I watched Coralyn and helped her through this process, I was reminded that I often try to grab as much as I can too. Only I'm not filling my hands with cheerios. Instead, I reach for money, clothes, stuff for the house, friends, and other such things. These are not bad things. In fact, they are gifts from God that He wants me to enjoy. The problem comes when I get my hands full and then make fists around all that I have managed to squeeze into my fingers. Then these good gifts that God has given me can't serve their purpose, and I can't enjoy them. Oh that I would remember not to be so tight fisted, that I would give God "all my hands can hold" (as the song goes) and find that in so doing I end up with more than I can ever hold in the first place.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Wealthy Woman

This morning I remembered how "rich" I am. No, I don't have a lot of money, a huge house, designer clothes, or a fancy car. None of that stuff really matters to me anyway. I am a wealthy woman in that I have a wonderful family. This morning (which started way too early for a Saturday) I was blessed to watch Lawrence play with Coralyn. He sat down on the floor with her, put a little jester puppet on his hand, and proceeded to make her laugh. Since Daddy had everything under control I went ahead and started to get ready for the day. As I got out of the shower, I find Coralyn lounging in her baby bath tub (it was empty) and just chillin' as she waited for me. While I did my hair and make-up (so for the next 2 minutes), Lawrence "raced" up and down the hallway with Coralyn on his shoulders. As they came up to me, Coralyn smiled a huge toothy grin and giggled. So, while I may not be rich in the eyes of the world, I am most certainly a blessed woman. My heart is definitely full today as I thank God for the abundant riches He has bestowed on me! If I am counting my blessings, I will name them one by one, starting with Lawrence and Coralyn.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Why not?

My life isn't all that exciting or interesting, so why would other people want to read about what is going on in the Young household? I don't know, but I figure a lot of people blog and it's a good way to figure out all the thoughts running through my head. So, here I am trying to set up a blog site. That in and of itself has been a challenge since I am not all that computer savy. I guess I will learn as I go. For now, the babies are napping, so I have all the time in the world. Well, maybe 20 minutes...