Selah (and Mom!) at Sweet 6 Weeks!

Well, my baby girl is 6 weeks old as of last Thursday!!  Wow...what a journey so far!  I've written a million posts in my head, and am thankful to finally be getting back to actually writing them down.  Honestly, any free time last week was spent working hard on her nursery...and I'm excited to say that I'm actually close to being finished!! Crazy.  Once I cut into that fabric I just couldn't stop sewing until it was complete.  The changing table cover, the curtains, and the crib skirt are all finished.  My last major sewing project is the crib sheet, (and a pillow if I get really ambitious), I have the mobile and one more piece of art to complete, then it's just minor details.  So exciting.  I rarely decorate to completion like I have with her room, so it will be a big accomplishment for me. :)

So that was last week, and the week before that I was especially tired.  I feel like she really "woke up" between weeks 3 and 4, which means lots more fun awake time, but what feels like even less sleep for me.  When we hit the 1 month mark Kevin and I both felt the repercussions of that first month of adrenaline.  While I had adrenaline to burn those first few weeks, I reached a point where motivation was hard to come by.  :)  As far as alertness and discovering the world around her, that really picked up between weeks 4 and 5 as well.  She hit 8lb almost right at 4 weeks, and I really learned how different an 8lb baby seems than a 6lb 12 oz baby, which is what she came home as.  She's really started enjoying her swing, which I think was just a bit too overstimulating at first.  But now it's funny how she'll just sit there as peaceful as can be.  She also got extra smiley between weeks 4 and 5 too!  She loves, loves her play mat and kicking the side to make it light up and make music.  Hitting the 6 week mark has felt like a major milestone.  All was well at my doctor's appt., and by the generous grace of God, feeding my baby has become so much easier.  Starting on Friday we have no longer had to supplement...I am so thankful!  What a joy that has been for me as I have worked ridiculously hard to get here.  Totally worth it in so many ways.  She is now eating about every 2 hours from the beginning of one feeding to another during the day, which I'm actually thankful for because it seems to be helping.  She'll go about 3 at night.  Which means I'm still only getting about 2 to sometimes 3 hrs. of sleep at a time.  So the circles under my eyes remain. :) I'm adjusting to a new kind of beauty this season of my life.  Including an unfortunate inability to fit into my clothes.  Zumba is calling my name!  Kevin and I also feel like we are entering into somewhat of a parenting rhythm with our little one which is awesome.  The last two Saturdays have been beautiful, and we have been quite successful at some project completion, and feeling very domestic.:)  I am preparing myself to totally soak up the next two weeks, as I can just imagine Selah will seem even so much more different as a two month old...who will probably be over 10 lbs!!  Oh my.

It's been absolutely amazing to see all Selah's little changes each week.  Of course my instinct is always to be sad she's changing so quickly...but I soon realize the joy in each new day and stage she's experiencing. God's creativity displayed in His creation is fascinating and more than we deserve.  Right now she's sweetly asleep in my lap and I am savoring it.  Because with our more efficient feeding and her waking up to the world, falling asleep in mommy's lap has become less frequent than those first sleepy days.  The trade off is her ability to just "hang out" with us when she's awake.  This morning she was stirring and before Kevin went to work we layed her between us and she was so sweet and fun, curiously observing and cooing at her crazy parents (and the ceiling fan of course!).  We just marvel at who God has created this precious little girl to be.  I just can't get enough for sure.  What a blessing and a gift.  She can also still squeeze into newborn size cloths, though she's especially long, so that probably won't last too much longer. 

I have to say I've reflected often on my journey of not becoming a mom until being a 30 yr old, and how that was never in my original "plans."  Now knowing mommyhood is amazing as I've always dreamed, I often wonder if I should be sad I didn't get to experience this much much sooner.  But of course I would have it no other way.  Had my story not been one of waiting I wouldn't have my incredible husband or this amazing daughter.  Rather than being sad I have actually been quite thankful that God allowed my story to go as it has.  He is the author of what is best for us, and I'm amazed at the thought of what a different parent I would have been even a moment sooner.  I actually enjoy being a 30 yr. old first time mom, and honestly think in many ways Selah will be much better for it in my case.  And I would have waited a million years just to get to be the mom of this particular little girl.  Just more evidence that there's real beauty in how different each of our stories play out, no matter how that is.

So that's our 6 week update for now.  Still loving every minute and hope to continue!  We have a sweet little girl on our hands and she is simply a joy.  She still makes the sweetest faces, her little cheeks are filling out, and her cries are much more discernible.  She still grunts when she is waking up to eat, and loves movement and having her bottom patted when she's fussy.  And she's always loved the swaddle, the singing and the swaying.  She is an alert and curious little one for sure.  Baby Love is turning out to be quite my little joy!!


The Story of Selah's Name

"pause and reflect" 
     Okay, so finally - the background to how we named our sweet girl!  If you know me at all, you know I do not make decisions quickly or easily.  I actually put a crazy amount of thought, discussion, analysis, (often too much!?), and prayer into making choices...almost all choices.  So particularly weighty decisions are quite an emotional experience for me.  You can be sure that whenever I do choose something, I will have an explanation to go with it.  (Hence the long and wordy blog post about it!)  While not quite to the same extent, Kevin shares this trait with me when it comes to major decisions.  So when we became pregnant in December, choosing a name for our child shot straight to the top of the prayer list.  What a privilege and honor to give a name to a life God has intentionally and beautifully created!  Wow - very intense for both of us.  And now that all our past discussions about names applied to an actual child, it was amazing how many no longer carried enough significance to give this sweet baby.  We both shared the desire for the names to be God inspired, confirmed by him, and to have depth and meaning to us.  No pressure.  Ha.  Kevin prayed fervently and often that God would give us the name of this child He already knew.  We wanted the boy's name to be biblical and strong, and it was important to me to choose something somewhat unique for the girl's name, because when I was young my name was unique and I loved it.  (Page is my mom's maiden name and what she was often called in high school and college.)  I have always been sure that I wouldn't be able to name a child until the last second because of my decision making struggles. :)  That's why it was amazing when God led us to our names quickly and early in February - and we both were excited and had peace about them.

 As I mentioned Sunday, for several years I had been familiar with "Selah" used as the name for the popular Christian music group.  Love their music, but it wasn't a contributing factor when we were choosing.  I also had seen it was in the Psalms but had never really studied it.  Last summer we took the most amazing, life changing trip ever to Israel...it was incredible.  I'm still just in awe of everything we were able to experience there, and all God taught us.  Such a blessing to get to walk where Jesus walked, in the Holy Land.  The bible truly came to life for us in an entirely different way after that trip, and we made some powerful relationships with a few people there.  While we were there Kevin and I joked about if we happened to become pregnant while there...which led to all kinds of different Hebrew and biblical choices, (some quite interesting ;), that we could use to name our first child.  It was all just in theory, keep in mind.

While there we were also able to visit the Dead Sea, (which was awesome!),  and at some point we bought this bottle of lotion with Dead Sea minerals in it...and it was given the name 'Selah.' 

 We found out we were pregnant right before Christmas, and in the midst of going through boxes looking for Christmas decorations and our nativity we bought from Israel, I came across the 'Selah' lotion and set it out by the kitchen sink.  I non-chalantly said, "Hey, if it's a girl we could name her Selah."  I'm not sure what Kevin said at that point, but that was pretty much the end of it for a couple weeks besides adding it to the list and prating about it. 

From the very beginning of our pregnancy we would spend time praying scripture over our sweet baby...often the Psalms. Many of the scriptures in this book have been pretty powerful in Kevin's studies and significant in our family this past year.  One Sunday at the end of January we were sitting in church and a reference to a scripture in Psalms was made.  As I was reading it I came across 'selah' again, and decided to look through and find all of them that I could, and do some research on it later.  In the NIV version of the bible the notes simply say, "unknown meaning."  Not exactly what we were looking for in a name. ;)  When I researched it at home, I discovered that it's a Hebrew word meaning 'to pause and reflect,' and is essentially a musical term, used in the midst of the songs in the Psalms.  It is asking the reader to stop and think about what was just said, (or sung), considering the weight and depth of the meaning.  Love, love, love that.  Kevin loved it too.

Selah (Hebrew: סֶלָה‎, also transliterated as selāh) is a word used frequently in the Hebrew Bible, often in the Psalms, and is a difficult concept to translate. (It should not be confused with the Hebrew word sela‘ (Hebrew: סֶלַע‎) which means "rock.") It is probably either a liturgico-musical mark or an instruction on the reading of the text, something like "stop and listen". "Selah" can also be used to indicate that there is to be a musical interlude at that point in the Psalm.[1] The Amplified Bible states Selah as "pause, and think of that". (from Wikipedia)

I also love this additional and 'modern' interpretation:

BDB shows that the main derivation of the Hebrew word "selah" is found through the fientive verb root סֶ֜לָה which means "to lift up (voices)" or "to exalt", and also carries a close connotational relationship to the verb סָלַל, which is similar in meaning - "to lift up" or "to cast up". The word סֶלָה, which shifts the accent back to the last syllable of the verb form, indicates that in this context, the verb is being used in the imperative mood as somewhat of a directive to the reader. As such, perhaps the most instructive way to view the use of this word, particularly in the context of the Psalms, would be as the writer's instruction to the reader to pause and exalt the Lord.[4]

One of my favorite verses, and one that has been most significant in my life is Psalms 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God."  I have referenced it on my blog several times, as well as my favorite song, "Be Still and Know," by Steven Curtis Chapman.  God has taught me no greater lesson in the 30 years of my life so far than to trust Him.  (The "adrenaline rush of trust" as I call it. :)  It has been an amazing journey, difficult at times, and I haven't always handled the lessons beautifully.  I also know that while I may not like it, the journey to trust is a lifelong one.  But God of course remains faithful, and learning to trust him has been a powerful experience over and over in my life.  I love the line in that song that says, "Bow before the Prince of Peace, let the noise and clamor cease."  That is exactly what I wanted to do right after I had a baby.  It has always been one of the greatest desires of my heart to have a gentle and quiet spirit...to fully trust God with a heart and mind at peace.  Having desired a child for as long as I can remember, I knew that every time I would look at this sweet baby I would be in awe of what God has done...and with the name Selah, we would be reminded to "pause and reflect," to be still, be amazed, and acknowledge that he is God.  And with the crazy journey we experienced with our home situation and other life circumstances during our pregnancy, it was obvious how deeply God was calling us to trust him with our whole hearts over and over.  Pregancy alone calls you to that on a moment by moment basis, entrusting him with this precious life he's knitting together.

And that is what our sweet baby Selah is.  A precious life we have been entrusted with that we are asked to trust God with.  She is his beautiful creation, and we pray we can enjoy her for a long, long time here on earth.  All summer long, at the end of my pregnancy, I started each quiet time (by the pool!) reading the Psalms, especially because of the girl name we had chosen.  It definitely did great things for my bible study. :)  There were a few verses I used as comfort measures during labor, (the story I'll share next!), and especially at the end, right before Selah was born, Kevin and I were literally both crying and calling on God in prayer.  I remember being convicted about how once again God was asking us to surrender and trust Him.  To be still and know that he is God.  (That should have been my first clue she was a girl!!;)  Then sweet Selah was born.

I remember when she was laid on my chest and I found out she was a girl, I instantly wanted to say her name...but had held it in for so long that I hesitated.  (And we wanted to tell our family).  It was sweet and funny at the same time...but instantly confirmed.  It is certainly and wonderfully true that I cannot look at this sweet amazing little blessing without taking a pause and reflecting on the depth of all God has done.  He is amazing...and she is a gift.  What a sweet bonus blessing that she's a girl...because I get to share this story. 

And that, my friends, is how our sweet Selah girl got her name.

Thank you Lord for this beautiful girl, and her very special name.

My favorite lines: 

"Consider all that he has done, stand in awe and be amazed, know that he will never change."

"Come rest your head upon his breast; listen to the rhythm of his unfailing heart of love...beating for his little ones, calling each of us to come...be still."


Miscellany Monday

Good morning...or afternoon - the time of day often alludes me anymore. :)  Except when I'm feeding a certain little miss - then every second counts.  I'm happy to be linking up with Carissa and back to sharing some miscellany on a Monday! 

1.  Wonderfully weary. I.am.TIRED.  You know, in a good, crazy in love with my little one kind of way.  But wow - her little 4 week old self is very interested in the world around her, very hungry, and not nearly as interested in sleeping.  30 yr. old mommy, however, still loves a little shut eye. (30 something daddy wouldn't argue this either!) :) The adrenaline of that first month definitely catches up to you.  Still definitely not wishing this sweet time away.  I do love these quiet weekdays we have together...starting with our sweet morning reading time.  I love babies in the morning!  So wonderful to hear all her new little sounds and watch her discover the world.  Fascinating and amazing.  Today I'm obsessed with her precious feet and her squishy cheeks.  (I was testing to see how asleep she was...so I kissed her cheek...everytime I did it she would just give me a big sleepy smile.  Love that. :)

2.  Fabulous photo shoot.  On Saturday Selah had some photos taken by a sweet friend of ours who also took our maternity photos and photographed the birth.  I can't wait to take the time to look at the journey of Selah's life so far and enjoy the amazing pictures that have been taken to capture it all.  Our little girl did awesome for her photo shoot - it was in the morning so she was wide-eyed...but content, so they are going to be so precious.  Can't wait.  It's amazing how awesome it is to no longer care as much about how I look in photos because my little super star is the main attraction.  Love that.  Well, maybe I shouldn't have cared in the first place...life long journey to put to death that vanity. ;)  By the way, this little accessory was used for the photos...SO CUTE!!  Thank you Etsy.

3.  Marriage recharge.  After our photo shoot Selah then blessed her parents by sleeping soundly...so we could enjoy a "surviving the first month of parenthood" celebration breakfast at Wild Eggs - one of our favorite places.  Yum.  I had the BEST meal - the Farmer's Market skillet with basted eggs.  Seriously, perfect in every way.  All kinds of cooked veggies on the bottom along with skillet potatoes, then covered in cheese and finally topped with two perfectly cooked eggs.  Loved every bite.  It's also amazing how a conversation with your husband can be really good for your marriage.  It was like a marital regrouping session.  Much needed.  Thank you Lord for a sleepy baby.

4.  Pretty projects. I am working hard on all my little projects for the nursery.  Truly might be the end of this month or sometime in November before I'm fully finished, but before she's 3 months old is a good goal I think.  It's crazy how sometimes I think about what I might have done differently if I had known she was a girl.  But I'm excited about following through with my bright, whimsical, and happy nursery.  So thankful to be able to add those pops of raspberry pink to an aqua, yellow, and gray pallette.  Ooooh, can't wait to see how it turns out!  I have materials for the bunting prepared to sew, Kevin just cleaned up and painted a changing table we thrifted, we have the dresser that we are going to redo and paint a yummy shade of pink - (thank you Pinterest!), and I have big plans to sew the curtains this week and maybe make the diy canvas bins for the changing table.  Whew.  That would be a wonderful accomplishment.  I've got to be honest though...I'm so nervous to cut all my fabric!  Still planning to sew the changing table cover, the crib skirt, and eventually a crib sheet.  Um, did I mention I have a newborn baby!  Ha.

5.  In the cloth club.  Love the cloth diapering...seriously.  Friday I used them for an entire day to figure out my system, and it was great!  I took all my pictures for that post...so it's coming.  Here's my preview:  Bummis Easy Fits are my favorites!  I will say it's not for everyone. Besides the oodles of money we will save, I like putting those healthy fabrics on her tush, and I prefer it to the diaper trash.  Though we are in the heavy season for that.  At least 12-15 diapers a day is admittedly a lot.  I'm learning newbie parents often change their baby...right before the big poo comes.  So back-to-back changes add to the trash load.  :)  I will say disposables are convenient and also a perfectly wonderful choice for those that prefer them for diapering a little bum.  We actually have used them two days in a row because we needed to use aquaphor to clear up some irritable bum, as I like to call it.  I know it will ruin my cloth diapers if I use those ointments with them, so I had to put that on pause.  Flexibility is key with all these new mommy choices.  I do have some Grandma El's diaper rash cream coming, which is supposed to be awesome and safe for cloth.  By the way, it just so happens that the only chore I don't have an aversion to is laundry...which is a must for cloth diapering, and probably a big part of my being a big fan.  With what I have now, I have to do a load a day in order to use cloth all day long.  I'm definitely learning in every bit of parenting to respect each and every person's personal preference...because we all like doing it differently and that's all perfectly wonderful!

Don't judge her acceptance of these by her face.  Ha.

6.  Lights, Camera, action.  Kevin and I were graciously blessed with some Target gift cards at our baby showers, and I just returned a bag or so of stuff...so we are thinking it might be time to invest in our first DSLR camera!  Needless to say, I am EXCITED.  (A little nervous too maybe??) I love taking photos and I've always wanted to learn how to do it right.  This is a big decision though, I have to say.  We've never had a camera like that.  Due to a sale, our gift cards, and reviews, we are leaning toward the Nikon D3100.  Thoughts??  I know their can be quite a debate between Canon or Nikon.  I'd love to hear any opinions out there if there are some.  I'm a little intimidated and overwhelmed by the decision...because this camera will need to be enjoyed for a looong time.  Advice welcomed. :) (Also, what's your favorite online site for housing your photos?  (Flicker, Google Picasa, etc.)  Also on our list of things to set up.)

7.  Dark chocolate deliciousness. Have you ever had these??  I could eat them for a meal.  (But I promise, I haven't.  I don't
think:).  We got them at Costco.  YUM.
 Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Pomegranates - 2 Pounds       Brookside Dark Chocolate Covered Acai with Blueberry - 2 Pounds

8.  Love her.  Baby girl is grunting and waking...time to wrap it up.  I'm learning the fabulous art of super fast blogging.  Might leave out a few details and not quite have time for checking for grammatical errors anymore, so please forgive me. Going to work on writing about her name and the birth during some spare moments today too.  Will pair nicely with some journal writing...gotta get these memories and prayers on paper! :)

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118:24

Happy Monday!


Song for the Sabbath - "Selah" Style

My sweet girl and I had a little worship session to some "Selah" music this morning.  I've always loved their music, and I'm thinking they were probably my first experience with seeing Selah used as a name several years ago, though the inspiration for using it for our daughter came much later.  (And I will be sharing the rest of those details this week!)  I almost used their version of a song that I posted early in our pregnancy and right after we'd decided on names, but Kevin said it might be too much of a hint. :)  I listened to their hymn cd a lot throughout my pregnancy, especially that incredible version of "I Need Thee Every Hour."  Wow.  Having a great love of music, I love that our little one shares her name with a group that sings such powerful, beautiful songs of worship.  Hopefully she will love it some day as well.  This song was an especially powerful one during my labor and after delivering my own special Selah.  Have a beautiful, restful Sabbath!


My 1 Month Old and a Pinterest Project!!

Well hello - can you believe I have a one month old little girl?!  I have honestly tried to squeeze every moment out of every day, so it doesn't quite feel like it's gone in a blink...but it definitely has gone by fast!  Little miss sweet Selah is just pure delight!  And how much fun that she found her voice and started noticing the world around her between 2 and 3 weeks!  So cute to see her start noticing everything, and finding joy in her discoveries.  I know that's why every age and stage will be special in its own way.  Because while I loved the super sleepy, squishy, and quiet first days, I'm also loving the ones that are more lively and filled with personality.  The sleep is less, (for both of us I think!), but the smiles and coos are more.  So sweet.  Selah is a happy little baby, seemingly filled with sunshine.  Don't get me wrong...underfeed the poor girl and she'll let you know how she feels with a wide mouth and a red face!  I prayed so often during pregnancy for my sweet one to be filled with the spirit and to be filled with the fruit of the spirit.  So when she's joyful I often reflect on those prayers and praise the Lord.

The further I get from them, the more I appreciate those first couple weeks...when recovery demands rest and there is zero pressure (for me at least!)  to address anything else that might need to be done.  I don't know how often I put her down, but it sure wasn't much.  So worth waiting for and I just can't ever get enough.  This past week those mothering/domesticated instincts kick in...for me.  And during those precious, priceless naptime hours I have to become a master prioritizer.  Do I do the things I need or want to do...sleep, exercise, eat, craft, journal...or do I address what needs to be done...dishes, laundry, the nursery, cleaning.  A choice always has to be made.  (Looks like blogging won a few minutes of this one!) And sometimes the best choice is to watch my baby sleep or hold her during the nap!  I love those times...and know I will miss them more than anything else I could be doing!!

Bath #2 was much happier than the first!

We are figuring it out little by little, and dare I say we at times have a bit of a routine.  A couple days she has taken a morning and afternoon nap and we've had some fun during "play time."  The last two nights she has slept in shorter spurts but has been able to go back to sleep with just me feeding her (without having to supplement)...which is awesome!  It makes the feedings seem much more peaceful and go more smoothly, so I am thankful for that.  I'm staring at her sleeping now and she's just so wonderful.  What a joy.  She doesn't even cry when she needs to get up at night.  She grunts.  No kidding.  It's the cutest thing ever.  Now, she does cry when we change her diaper and start to take to long! :)  Soon I'm going to post about some of my favorites that have worked great for her, AND my thoughts on cloth diapering!!  I have partially done some form of cloth diapering since the beginning...and I love it.  But of course I have my ever forming opinions!!

OH, and we took our first venture out the other day - it was hilarious.  I was such a typical first time mom, sweating at the thought of her waking up and screaming in Target or Michael's.  I even did RETURNS at Target no less.  Yikes.  And did you know the carts in Michael's are miniature??  No baby carrier is fitting in that thing!  That was definitely a workout. She was a champ though.  And I also managed without a major meltdown, so yay me too. Ha.  I should also clarify after my last post that I have managed to take a shower at some point every day and I wash my hair every other.  Please always keep in mind that I tend toward the dramatic.  (Like I need to tell you this!)  So while the hygiene is hard to come by, I do make it happen!! ;)

Okay, now for the fun...my first Pinterest project!!  I love that the gals over at Lemon Tree Creations are hosting a Pinterest Project linky party and I've been excited all week to post mine.  I love Pinterest so much because I'm so visual...so now I complete projects because I have them organized in one place and I don't forget about them.  I know everyone has seen and delighted in that awesome melted crayon art...so I made my own!  And I am loving it...can't wait to put it up in the nursery of my sweet girl.  I added some lyrics from John Mayer's song about fathers and daughers.  This was so much fun to make - seriously try it!  Just know that the closer you hold the dryer to the crayons, the further down it drips...or so I found.  Here's the link to the crayon project I pinned.  And here's the link to my boards.  Happy pinning!