Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sunday's Child


So tomorrow our little boy will be six weeks old. It's hard to believe he's the same kid we brought home from the hospital. It's been a wonderful six weeks, with some ups and downs naturally, but we're slowly figuring out how to be parents and JT is figuring out how to be a person. He's got quite the little personality which is why most of my pictures of him are when he's sleeping--when he's awake, his expression is constantly changing and it's hard to get a good picture of him. (Plus I like to look at the sleeping pictures and think about the quiet times!)

We've been asked what it is that we call him. Sometimes we call him Jackson, sometimes JT. We called him JT throughout the pregnancy and I kind of like it. It doesn't work in Portuguese, though, so at church and pretty much everywhere but home he's Jackson. A couple of our members have started calling him JT in Portuguese. That doesn't sound like it makes much sense but with the Portuguese alphabet his name becomes Jota Té (tay). So pretty much you can call him what you prefer except for Jackie. We're not really into that one.

In non-baby related news, our church's two year anniversary service is next Sunday. Please be praying for all the people who we've invited. Also, we're deep in the search for a new building to rent. Staying in our current building is a financial impossiblity. Please keep our search in your prayers. We're trying to find somewhere that will give us room to grow and places like that are pretty hard to come by (at least for the price we want!). So remember our search and negotiations with owners and all that stuff in your prayers!
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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Hard Work

Thanks to you all for being patient with me while my focus is on Jackson and not, oh say, blogging. I promise I'll be back at some point. He'll be five weeks old tomorrow so every day we get a little closer to the time that parenthood is a little less intense. (No, I'm not naive enough to think that parenthood will ever be simple or easy but, from what I hear, this period is definitely the toughest. Until the teens, of course.)

That said, tonight I am absolutely amazed at how humbling parenting is. In the long run, it's not necessarily a bad thing but it's hard in the meantime. It seems to be chipping away at so many of the ugly parts of me. I can't be a control freak and be a mommy of a newborn. I can't be a perfectionist. I can't rely on my own abilities.

The biggest hit seems to be that old pride problem. I want so desperately to have a perfect child, a child that other people will look at and say, "Wow, they're doing a great job!" I want everything I attempt to be successful--after all, generally in life I succeed at most everything I try. I want (and I wince as I type this but I'm just going to be honest here) to be able to look down my nose at people with screaming babies, with misbehaving babies, with anything but perfect babies.

And that's just not going to happen.

Instead, I fret and cry and pull my hair out and make mistakes and obsessively Google solutions and some days just feel like quitting.

But I hear that's all quite normal. So in the in between times, I'm trying to remind myself that like so many other unpleasant things I have endured for Jackson's sake, this is good for him. It's making me into a better mommy and a better person.

Now I just have to remind myself to read this post in the tough times.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Couple of Stolen Moments!

I feel like I've accomplished very little in the past month. Then again, I feel like I've been working constantly. Jackson will be one month old on Monday. I can't believe we've already been parents for a whole month!

The past month was full of the normal new baby stuff--dirty diapers, late night feedings and a sweet snuggly boy--and a few other things. My mom and dad came and spent a couple of weeks with us. They were a huge help as we got the hang of our new jobs. They'd only been here for a couple of days when Russ got rear-ended while taking Dad to the mall. Our car is still in the shop (two weeks later!). Our insurance company provided a (very small) rental car for us for the first week and we've rented another car to get us through until Monday, when hopefully our car will be done. Russ and my dad weren't seriously hurt--it was nothing that a couple of massages at the beach couldn't fix!

This week has been full of adventure. Mom and Dad left on Tuesday. Wednesday morning I woke up to the news that Jennifer was in labor and shortly after heard that our newest teammate, Samuel Josiah Porter, had been born. Then Wednesday afternoon, a new mission team that is in training with Continent of Great Cities arrived. They're on their survey trip and are here to check out our work and pick our brains. I hope we've been able to share a little wisdom with then. At the very least, they're getting to spend some time at the beach, so their stop in Salvador won't have been a total waste!

Lately, for obvious reasons, it's been hard for me to get online and reply to emails and blog. But I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who has emailed or sent stuff or shown their love in any of a million different ways. Every day I tell Jackson how much he is loved by so many people that have never met him. I can't wait to bring him on furlough this fall and introduce him to his giant extended family!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

We've All Been Napping!

Sleeping in the Sun, originally uploaded by russandval.

We're still stuck in the crazy cycle that is life with a newborn. JT is a wonderful baby and sleeps like a champ. That's not to say that we're not exhausted, even with the super help of Grandma and Grandpa Turner. But life is good and we absolutely love our sweet little boy. I thank God for him daily.

I'm SLOWLY trying to catch up with online life. I've put some pictures on Flickr if you want to see more (just click on the above picture to get there).