Thursday, April 16, 2015

Strength and Motherhood.

We were warned about the lack of sleep. We knew it was real but there is nothing like experiencing it for yourself. For me, its not so much the lack of sleep as it is the lack of strength. Despite being able to hold a baby in my arms for an hour, I still lack physical strength. Is that called energy? Maybe. Often times I can't muster the strength to fold laundry or go for a run or cook a good meal.

Perhaps the scariest part of this is the lack of mental strength. I am a confident person but all of a sudden I am unsure of EVERY decision. Self doubt and worry creep in to my everyday life. I doubt my ability daily.  I don't think these feelings are unique to me. I think all new parents feel this way.

So, all this to say, my first year of mothering has been a lesson in trust.

I have asked my self this question many times: "Can I do this?"
And the answer is NO.
I cannot do this.
Not on my own, anyways.
But I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
THROUGH Christ....
Not in addition to.
Not next to.
Not with.
In one side and out the opposite side of. Among or between; in the midst of. By way of. From beginning to end; completely. 

We were not meant to do this alone. So if I am expecting to find the strength within myself or from my husband, I'm gonna be searching for a long time!

When I pray the prayer "Lord, give me the strength" he answers.
Do I have an abundance of strength?
Do I have extra strength at the end of the day?

Everyday I have to trust that He will give me ENOUGH strength to get through today.
Enough to parent and work and wife (as a verb).
Enough physical strength to rock and nurse and play.
Enough mental strength to be joyful and intentional and make decisions.

Just enough today. Just enough tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Birthday Celebrations.

We now have 3 Shanks birthdays to celebrate in April. 
Dad, Neil, and Reyna. 
Grandma and Grandpa came down for the weekend to celebrate and boy did we!

 We had some great dinners, lots of desserts, and so much love!

She got the hang of opening presents very quickly!
And reading her card....
 How she adores Papa!
 She loves her new car!

 "I'm ONE"

Happy Birthday to these three who make my world a better place!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

11 months.

11 months!
Wow! I can hardly believe it. 
She spent too many days in month 10 sick. We dealt with pink eye, cough, colds,  and teething. 
I hope this months is much healthier!

I think this is a "real" picture. This is how we see her most days :)
We had some questions about thumbsucking vs. pacifier and chose to use a pacifier. She took it for awhile until she found her thumb then refused the paci. We truly think this is why she started sleeping through the night so early (around 4 months)
So far, she only does it when she is sleepy and it always comes with a tugging of the ear. 
Its cute and endearing to us now.
(we'll deal with breaking the habit later :))

I forgot to add: I can blow kisses (known as besos)

Next month is a big ONE!
I'm holding her a little tighter and a little longer these days.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring Break 2015. Baby edition.

This year for Spring Break we had lofty goals. We wanted to camp and go to the lake and the park. But, the weather did not cooperate. We still headed to San Antonio for a few days and even got outside for a little bit.

We made it to the Children's Museum too. 

We met Tia Mae for lunch.

We headed back to Waco to Meet Aunt J at the airport. 
We had a good time on the trails, shopping, at the museum.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Garage Sale-ing

A few weekends ago, a friend of mine posted a comment on someone else' s page.
They were advertising for a garage sale. This happens often but this one was different.
For one, they posted pictures of items that were for sale.
And, it was a fundraiser for a missions trip so they were also seeking donations.

Reyna and I headed out there first thing in the morning. If there is one thing I remember from my garage sale days (I used to go almost every weekend), its that the good stuff goes fast.

We pulled up only 10 minutes after it started and there were tons of cars!
I knew what I was going for so i headed straight to the toys table. I had seen a picture of a cute play kitchen. It was nowhere to be seen. BUT....I did manage to pick up a few, quality toys.

I got this Thomas the Train set. Complete with multiple bridges, boulders, trains, etc.
I had recently looked up the cost of something like this as a consideration for her birthday gift. They easily ran about $50. I just assumed it would be cheaper than that so I took the whole box.
I also knew Neil would love this. He did. How do you think this got set up so quickly ;)
She likes it more than we thought. She likes when the train goes by.
This ramp set is a high quality brand and I thought the cause and effect relationship would be a good learning tool. A new one is priced around $24.
She mostly likes to chew on the wood cars but has also put them on the ramp a few times!
We were walking through Target the other day "testing" toys and Reyna loved this one.
I put it in her lap and she played for 30 minutes which allowed me to browse a little while longer ;)
This got us through the drive to San Antonio. I set it in her lap in the car seat and it was a hit.
This was another great find. I remember playing with these in my elementary school.
Wood shaped blocks. Maybe it was a nostalgic buy but I also know these types of toys help foster creativity and problem solving.
This interaction mostly involves chewing and breaking down what we build.

I had also picked up a few others but after thinking about their use, I put them back. Some were too big. Some too loud. Some repetitive of what we already have. I went to check out without knowing the cost. They rang me up for EIGHT DOLLARS!!! For everything! It was a good reminder of why I love garage sale-ing so much!
(know that I wiped and cleaned and sanitized them very well ;))

I also donated a box of stuff so I guess it was a good day all around.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

10 months.

Double digits!!!
Reyna is 10 months already! 

She is so happy and so curious. She has started "walking" while we hold her hands. And she thinks its the greatest thing ever! 

I added some out takes from our little photo shoot...such a personality!
She has been going to Basketball games, trying new foods, and sleeping well!
This next month will include RV-ing, hanging out with Aunt J, and lots of walking!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Measuring Up.

I have been seeing these growth charts floating around Pintrest for awhile and knew I was going to tackle this project. First I fell in love with these wooden ones.

Then I realized I would have to put more holes in the wall AND it would hurt if it fell on Baby! 

Then I saw these vinyl ones but realized it would not travel with us if we move. 

Then I came across this fabric from Spoonflower. I got the wrong version but made it work anyways. 
(The correct version is here.)

The version I bought is missing the section from 3-3.5. Luckily, the yard came with enough that I could borrow from another tape. I just sewed the pieces together and then a 1/4 inch hem all the way around. I added the black patches to make it look like a measuring tape. The patches are used for patching up holes on slacks. They are iron on and came in a pack of two for $1.50 from Wal-Mart.

These are the two sections I had to sew together. The other version would only require one cut not two :(

With a 1st birthday quickly approaching, we start our annual measurements :(  :) I don't know how to feel about that...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

9 (& 1/2) months.

This post is about half a month late but better late than never, right?

Look at that full head of hair! 
She is on the move and full of energy!
Her delightful personality is so fun and refreshing. 

Happy Valentine's Day.

Happy Valentine's Day!

This photo booth was set up in a local store. 
The owner calls it BYOC (bring your own camera).
What a great idea, huh?

 I call this one: "Don't go breakin' my heart"

 Her little day care had a Valentine's Day party and she dressed the part!


Hope your day is filled with reminders of our love. 
And know that we love because He first loved us!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pinafore Top.

More sewing happening in our house :)
After bedtime, when Neil works late, I settle down at the kitchen table surrounded by pretty fabrics and think about all the lovely things I can make. 
Then, I get overwhelmed.
Or hit "writers" block.
And I head to Pinterest. 

That is were I found THIS free pattern for a cute criss cross top. 
Apparently is called a Pinafore. Who knew? Not I.

I printed the pattern and found the cutest fabric, from Hobby Lobby.
 This one has books so I knew I wanted to use if for something that lay flat (not ruffled or pleated) so that you could see the fabric. It took half a yard of each fabric.

 Here is how it looks on my little model.
It looks great with her little leggins but how cute would it be with ruffled bloomers in the summer!
There is also lots of room to grow and can even be worn with a long sleeve under.
 This is my attempt to get a picture of the front on a little girl that cannot yet stand by herself. 
You get the idea.