Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Congrats you are pregnant!

Congrats on your upcoming new addition!!!!! This is such an exciting time, but pregnancy is one of the strangest things you will ever experience. Your hormones are all over the place you might be nauseous, you're probably tired and irritable and your body is changing. You can grow new hair (everywhere), your skin could be glowing or completely breaking out like you are 15 all over again. If you haven't started gaining weight yet, you will and for most women it's depressing even though they know it's ok. These things are all normal, but they don't feel so normal and as excited as you are about the new addition in you life, it's kind of scary too. Here are some things that helped me get through my first pregnancy. Feeling good about yourself, feeling good physically and feeling prepared are 3 of the best things you can do to enjoy your pregnancy. Below is a list of a few things to help you achieve those things. Please feel free to comment and add or disagree, this is just my opinion. (I live outside Omaha, NE so any of the specific destinations are for those of you in or around Omaha)
Maternity Stuff

Pea in the Pod (online and or One pacific Place) Great cute clothes, good jeans and dress clothes, a little pricey, but all of their clothes really help you to feel good about the way you look

Target (sometimes they have good stuff, other times, nada)

Victoria’s Secret boyfriend sweats, they are loose, low and sooo comfy

A good zip up hoodie, I have a black Juicy Maternity Hoodie (Nordstrom.com) and I wore it all of the time


Fitted work out tops- I hated wearing my husbands T-Shirts to work out they just made me feel Huge. fitmaternity.com does a great job providing fitted work out attire, without bein tight.

A good pair of maternity jeans, I have Sevens with the low band, they are great until you start getting really big and then you need the full belly coverage, so they don't dig in. Nordstrom and Pea in the Pod have several great options

What to expect when You’re Expecting - This is a great staple to answer your basic questions throughout your pregnancy.


Skinny Bitch Bun in the Oven (great book about different foods and how they could affect the baby and you, ASPERTAME is really bad, give up diet stuff)


Prenatal Yoga – I love the Shiva Rae DVD or Sundays at 6:00 JB fitness; Glenwood, IA : Yoga is great both physically and mentally, especially suring pregnancy!!!


Baby Center. Com (join your birth month group)


Bella Band in black and white – get the Brand name bella band, the Target one’s stretch out


Chamomile Tea – Helps me sleep


Bradley Birthing Classes – they really helped both Mike and I feel prepared for anything that would happen in the delivery, 2 hours once a week for 12 weeks( Barb Hake in Omaha), it is a class that focuses on natural child birth, but even if you are planning on an epidural I would still take these classes, becasue they help prepare you for anything that could happen (ie, epideral doesn't take, labor comes too fast, you have to have a C Section...)


The Business of Being Born, this is just a very informative movie about the birth process in America


Prenatal massage- ONLY go places with a maternity table, the side massages just aren't worth it, but defiantely get regular massages especially in the the 3rd trimester


Chiropractic Care- It will help the headaches, back aches, neck pains, even abdominal and rib pains. Many Dr.'s even recomend it to help turn a breech baby.

Baby Registry

Now it's time to register, this is so much fun, but so overwhelming, standing in Target in front of dozens of different bottle and how are you supposed to know one from the other. What do you need now and what do you need 2 years from now? Here are some products I loved and a few I hated!!
Favorite Baby Products

Fisher Price Papasan Swing – Josie slept in this for a couple of months, it is AWESOME.  Their are several styles out their apparently some come with plug ins while others are batteries only.  Who cares what it looks like get the one with the plug in.  We have batteries only and I would wake Mike up in the middle of the night to go get more batteries while I fed Josie.  

Fisher Price Bouncy seat – get one with lots of bells and whistles so it amuses them(rainforest or precious planet) They will have the swing for resting, we used the bouncy more for amusement.  I recommend toy they can play with, noise and vibration.

Baby Einstein Play Time Mat -  This was the first thing Josie truly seemed to enjoy.  It has a little "baby TV" ( lights and colors with music) that she loved and had lots of stimulation whether she was on her back or stomach. 

Baby Einstein Lullaby soother - We used this in place of a mobile in Josie's crib.  The music is very soothing and she loved watching the fish go by, not essential, but nice to have.

Nature’s Baby organic products -shampoo, lotion…  So many organic products have no smell or a not so great smell.  These smell great ( I like the tangerine vanilla) but are still so gentle on babies skin. ( I did not love their diaper rash cream)

Arbonne Diaper Rash Cream-  It stays on and protects that little bum instead of just absorbing into the skin.

California baby products are good too. I love there calendula cream for really dry skin and their sunscreen is one of the top rated baby screens out there.

Huggies snugglers NEWBORN diapers- ( I would recommend getting small pkgs of huggies and pampers so you can try out both) they have a blow out guard on the back and an umbilical cord cut out.  After the newborn phase I was not a Huggies fan. 

Pampers Baby Dry stage 1 (and up)- softer than Huggies and just seemed to be more absorbent.

Pampers Sensitive thick wipes- (buy a pack with the hard plastic tub and then you can buy big refill packs to go in the tub)

Receiving blankets- the actually square, thin receiving blankets, they swaddle great to keep the legs tucked up in a swaddleme, buy cheap ones so they can double as a burp cloth or Aden and Anais makes a great thin one that stretches to make the perfect swaddle.

Kiddapotomus Swaddle me’s ( Kiddapotomus was just bought out by summer evening so I think both brands are the same thing) Josie wore this over her onsie for the first 2 weeks probably 20 hours a day and slept in it until about 6 months. They are AWESOME (they have them on diapers.com search swaddleme) the other brands just don't cut it.

Chicco Baby Carrier or Travel System- decide before hand if you are going to buy a jogging stroller or not, most jogging strollers will accommodate baby carriers, so you do not need to get the travel system and a jogging stroller.  I liked my chicco stroller, it was easier to fold up than the Bob, and pretty easy to maneuver, but not as easy as the Bob.  I just sold my chicco stroller and will just be using the Bob for the new LO.
Bob Revolution Jogging Stroller- pricey, but great, especially if you are actually going to jog, it is absolutely worth the money, it goes over cracks and curbs so easily and can be guided with just one hand. The chicco baby carrier does fit on the Bob.

Avent Bottles(with newborn nipple) – If you are breast feeding this is one of the top 3 nipples recommended the others are Evenflo ultra and Playtex natural latch (again with newborn nipple) . (Nuk are considered the worst according to the Kellymom breastfeeding website) http://www.bfar.org/nipples-print.html here is the article about best bottles for the breastfeeding mom. 

Avent Pacifier – Just FYI latex pacifiers (the yellow gummier ones) hold more bacteria than silicone, we used Avent, because that was what kind of bottle nipples we used and it worked fine for us, the brand SOOTHIE is the most highly recommended by hospitals and is the best choice for breast fed babies, I didn’t know about them until Josie was a couple of months old, but they might be a good choice too, especially if you are breastfeeding.

Avent Nighttime Paci- These glow in the dark and are awesome because they are so easy to find in the middle of the night.  A friend of mine gives it to her son when the power goes out so she can find him. :)

Avent Formula Dispencer and Snack Cup

Avent Bottle Brush

Madela Steam Sanitizer Bags

Wannanub-  A soothie pacifier with a stuffed animal attached to it.  The child can hold the stuffed animal and it can be cut off and kept as a security animal after the paci is taken away.  I haven't tried them, but friends rave about them.

DaVinici Crib- I don't personally have one of these, but know a few people who do and they are happy with them and the reviews are fabulous.  Across the board rated one of the safest and most affordable cribs out there.  Think long and hard about buying an expensive crib, we did and I still like it, and it turns into a full bed, but why do my kids need a super expensive bedroom set?

Moby - This wrap is great you can hold the baby in a bunch of different positions and it is very comfortable to wear.

Ergo- the moby is my favorite for the first few months, but I like the Ergo better than the baby bjorn, because it’s better on your spine and the babies.  Their is an infant insert for this that I plan to purchase before the next baby and it has great reviews.  I also recommend the teething pads.  Since your child's head is always facing one of the straps they are constantly showing on them and it is uch more convenient to throw the pads in the washer than the whole ergo.

Happiest Baby on the Block (this book is a God send read it before you have the baby and your husband too, it's all soothing techniques and the reasons why they work)

What to Expect the First Year

0-3 month onsies (10) Carters brand (Gerber fit weird and Chico are ok, but wear out fast)

Newborn snap across t-shirts- for the first week or so, so you don’t have to rub on their cord (carters)

0-3 month footie PJ’s - this is all I put Josie in for the first few months- if you can find the ones with zippers they are the best target has them in packs, not the cutest, but soo convenient. Carters has really cute ones and they don’t look as warn with washing as some others.

Hoodie towels

Diaper Dekor Plus – it’s great, no smell at all, and you just step on it, it opens and you throw the diaper in, the diaper Genie always confused me, this is EASY to use.

Diapers.com – this is the greatest website ever, great prices and FREE next day shipping on orders over $50 they have everything from diapers to to formula to breastfeeding tanks to tampons to bouncy chairs

Boppy Brand Changing Pad Covers - (they come with an extra plastic pad that lays on top and is easier to change)

Bassinet – I would get one that either rocks or vibrates or something it’s great for the middle of the night if they wake up and you can just turn it on. I loved having Josie in my room, I slept better and so did she. Our’s had a canopy and it got really annoying. Also if you get the pack and play with the bassinet top, just use that, don't buy both. We have the Fisher Price Zen collection and it was great, because it rocked and had soothing noises, but if I did it again we'd probably just used the Pack and Play bassinet topper.

White Noise machine – reminds them of the noise in the womb and blocks out other noises.

Baby Mozart DVD – starting at about 2 months Josie would zone out to it for a few min. get used ones on Amazon or there is a 15 min video on youtube

Cute diaper bag – It’s what you carry half the time instead of a purse. I love having one that looks more like a large purse than a diaper bag. Mine is storksak and I love it. It has the thermal side pockets to keep bottles warm/cold, lots of pockets and the fold out changing pad.

Munchkin multi use pad- Great disposable pads that can be used as burp cloth/ changing pad…. I love using them on public changing tables and then I can just throw them away.

Sassy disposable diaper sacks – Great scented baggies to keep in the diaper bag and wrap stinky diapers in when you are at someone elses house.

Velour or flannel crib sheets- They don’t get cold like cotton so it doesn’t wake the baby up when you lay them down.

Bundle me – any kind of zip up blanket for the infant carrier. I have the JJ Cole Bundle me and love it. Doesn’t blow off like a blanket in cold weather.

Bundleme light- for the warmer months and rain, or if your baby get hot easily

Enfamil D Vi Sol- at a couple of months the Dr. recommends you put the baby on Vitamin D this is the only supplement I could find that only had Vitamin D the others were a mix, (diapers.com)

Clean well natural hand sanitizer – all natural and alcohol free, so it keeps your hands from getting dried out ( diapers.com, Whole Foods)

Baby Sponge for the first month of so of baths, you can set it on a counter or in the tub (Target)

Fisher price bouncaroo ( rainforest or precious planet) Get one with lots of noises/visuals

Baby Einstein excosaucer -  It's really personal preference on getting a bounceroo or and exersaucer, we have both and loved them, but if I had to pick one I would definitely do the bounceroo.

Chicco or Graco Pack n play - Graco are easier to assemble and disassemble, but chicco are a little more user friendly when assembled ( about a 5 min difference in assembly) on the chicco the changing table flips down where as on the graco it has to be removed.

BritaxCar Seat- it has side impact protection, for when they are out of their infant seat.  WE have the Boulevard and love it, but any Britax is great.

High Chair – just get one that reclines, raises and lowers and has a removable top tray, we have the Fisher Price Zen and it’s great

Chicco traveling seat- traveling high chair that breaks down into a bag the size of a purse and then attaches to a table AWESOME for travel and restaurants!!!!

Summer Infant mothers touch deluxe baby bather – LOVE this way more comfortable than the hard bath tubs and folds up.

Summer infant Best view monitor- spend the extra money totally worth it to be able to remotely view your child and not risk waking them up every time you check on them.

Earth’s Best food and formula –Organic - love it!!!

Bumpkins super bibs – when they start on solids they clean up so easily!!!

Bumbo chair- AWESOME, they can only be in them for a couple of months, so see if you can find one used, but totally worth it!!!

Plum Baby mish mashes and pouches- When your baby starts eating solids these are GREAT. They are organic fruits or fruit/veggies in pouches with a straw in the top so babies can just suck them out of the top and you don’t have to use a spoon. Great for when you are on the go!

Bad Buys

Graco Imonitor – it sucks! it lights up and vibrates for no reason, has tons of static. I would not recommend it!!

Do not buy any baby blankets, infant bibs, stuffed animals, or 3-6 month clothes, you will get plenty as gifts

Bottle sterilizer – everything that can be sterilized can go in the dish washer and it only needs to be sterilized every few uses, so I just throw them all in whenever I run the dishwasher

Hard baby bath tubs, even with the sling on they are a pain to fill and empty and really hard.

Walkers- apparently for every 24 hours your child uses a push behind walker it takes them 3.3 extra days to walk

Crib Bedding- this one is up to you, it's so cute and makes the nursery look adorable, but it is a total waist of money. You cannot use the bumper until the child is over 1 (they can suffocate on it), they will not ever use the blanket, again until they are over 1 and you will have way softer/washable one's you'd rather use. The crib sheet is fine, but ours isn't very soft so we never use it. So that leaves you with just the skirt and half the time you can barely see it depending on your crib. Like I said up to you. I bought one and WISH I hadn't $300 down the tubes. We got a window valance too, of course it didn't fit and we do use the diaper caddy, but I could have bought any diaper caddy for $20.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the greatest gift you can give yourself and your child!!! You will treasure the time that you two have to bond and the health benefits to BOTH of you are MANY. FOREWARNING- It is not always easy, especially in the beginning, prepare yourself. For many people your boobs will hurt not only because they are huge and full of milk, but your nipples can get so cracked and sore and when baby latches on it can feel like someone is ripping your nipple off. Also it can be exhausting, you alone are responsible for feeding your child so every 2 hours they need you, your mom can't do it or your husband or the babysitter (obviously until you start pumping and they can give a bottle, but you usually still have to pump at the same time, so your boobs don't explode). Another thing no one told me before hand is the first few days( or possible even weeks) when your baby breastfeeds it will cause your uterus to contract,  this is good for your uterus and the size/shape of your stomach, but it can feel like you are having contractions again and can be painful. 

I am not saying this to scare you away from breastfeeding. I just don't want you to get started and think there's something wrong with you or your baby or not be prepared for the struggle. After a few weeks it will be sooooo much better!!!!! And again the health reasons alone are worth it!!!

Here are a few things to help. Nothing can prepare you for motherhood, but having the proper equipment / support and having some understanding of what will happen, helps immeasurably.


Breastfeeding

Medela Pump – I have the swing and it’s great for me, it fits in my purse and runs on a couple AA batteries, but pumps one side at a time.  For working moms the Pump n Style is recommended, it's in a bag like a back pack or shoulder bag and pumps both boobs at the same time, can be battery operated.  The ladies at the breastfeeding boutique say the Free Style is a waist of money, but apparently there is a bra like apparatus that works great, I will look into it and get back to you. I have rented the Symphony , which is the hospital grade pump and it’s GREAT, if you start having any supply problems or are trying to store a bunch I would recommend renting this for a couple of months. 

So That’s What They’re For( LOVE this and read it before you have the baby and take it to the hospital with you, this was my breastfeeding bible)
Bravado Nursing Tank – love this tank perfect fit and easy snap/unsnap

Bravado Nursing Bra- Super comfy kinda like wearing a sports bra, a little lining so you don’t nip out or see the breast pad lines and easiest snap, fits like a sports bra
Bravado Bliss- same comfort but gives you a little more lift and contour (As my friend Madeline said "holds the girls nicely and adds some va va voom")

V Neck shirts or zip up/button up tops – I wear a tank every day now, so that if I do have to lift my shirt you can’t catch a glimpse of my stomach , but my favorite thing to wear is a button down or zip up shirt over a tank so I just have to unzip it a little

Mamajama PJ’s (1 nice set of nursing pj’s for the hospital and when you come home, you will want to be comfy and it will take a little while to get the hang of nursing and it’s easier in actual nursing apparel, but it does feel nice to kind of match and be a little cute, especially with all the people visiting you.)

Le Leche League- join a Le Leche League near you, it's a great way to talk to people going through the same things you are with breastfeeding.

Le Leche reusable breast pads - these are the best reusable pads they are big so they absorb a lot and they don't give you weird lines in your bra.  They also wash great in the washing machine and dry quickly sitting out.

Lasinoh, lanolin-  this stuff is AMAZING.  Start using after the very first feeding to help prevent/sooth sore/cracked nipples. ( also makes great diaper rash cream) 

Lasinoh disposable breast pads - these are great for when you are on the go.  Lots of times it's easier to just throw out a wet breast pad then put them in your diaper bag until you get home.

Hooter Hider – I like the fact that it can’t fall off, like a blanket does, and it gives you complete coverage, but you can still see the baby. Make sure to get the kind with the wire in it. Diapers.com and many baby boutiques have these or look on etsy.com, for a custom made option.

Nuk warm/cool relief packs- these are awesome use them in the freezer for relief of engorged breast and heat them in the microwave for relief of blocked ducts, mastitis or to help let down.

Kellymom.com - a great website all about breast feeding great articles and great forums, they can answer tons of questions.
Lactation Consultant- Find/use a lactation consultant, my hospital had 2 on staff and they were so helpful, not only in the hospital, but the did follow up calls and I could call them/go see them any time I had questions.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mommy make it better!

Their are so many things people tell you to do and don't do when you have a new baby, but then that baby comes and you forget them all and usually you have questions at about 2am when the baby is bawling and you know something is wrong, but have no idea what it is or how to fix it.  Here are a few things that worked for us.

Colic-  I have no idea experts have studied this for years and no one can agree, but one thing everyone agrees helps is reading the book Happiest Baby on the Block it is all about preventing colic and then dealing with those tough times.  Try to read it before the 2am sob fest ( you and the baby), but I do have a friend that the husband read the entire book aloud while the wife spent several hours trying to sooth the baby. Also many people say a warm bath or just being in a steamy bathroom.  It also seems that it is frequently related to digestive problems so try soy vs. dairy formula and letting them sleep propped up ( like in a swing, bouncy or car seat) I know these are not "approved" baby sleepers, but.....

Diaper Rash-  NO FUN.  depending on how bad it is frequent changing and application of cream ( I like Arbonne's diaper rash cream) can prevent it from getting BAD.  If you have already reached BAD my best rec is a warm bath with baking soda in it and then apply Maalox ( the antacid blocks the acid from the poo) and then Lanolin ( yes the nipple ointment)  our pediatrician recommended Maalox with A&D ointment and we tried it, but found that the Lanolin worked better.  Tylenol can also help lessen the immediate pain.

Teething-  Obviously Tylenol and Ibuprofen are the 2 main helps, but sometimes teething lasts a long time and/or you are not sure if it is teething and if you don't want to have your kid drugged for days their are a few other options. Gentle Natural Teething Drops  these are an all natural remedy for teething whose main ingredient is chamomile, so it really does help calm the child.  Sassy Teething Feeder mesh bags that you can put frozen fruit in that the child can chew on to numb the area as well as work the tooth through.  Nuby Bug a Loop Teether  no idea why but this is the best teething ring ever!!!

Colds- Just like our own these are miserable and their is not a ton you can do about them.  Increase their liquids if you can.  Warm steamy baths seem to help. I usually ran HOT water with the door closed for a while and then plugged the tub and filled with warm water, so the bathroom was very steamy.  A humidifier in the baby's room seems to help.  Elevate the crib mattress, I finally found a use for our bumper and put it under the mattress. Vicks baby Rub seems to help. Saline Solution and really squeeze it in like a nasal rinse it helps to clear everything out.  But like everything sleep and time are the best 2 helpers.  Most pediatricians will not even see a child with a cold for 2 weeks unless they have a fever about 104 or are having trouble breathing.

Cuts -  I just learned from a friend of mine, who's a pharmacist, that Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment can be irritating to babies, so they make a double antibiotic cream that you should use.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Toddler Favs

Once you reach your little one's first birthday it gets a lot easier to know what they want and like, but their are still so many decisions to make and choices out there.

Snacks- Some of our favorites are Gogo Squeeze Apple Sauces, Earth's Best String Cheese, Plum Organics Pouches ( we transitioned them from baby food into a toddler snack, they are so healthy, for those days we are on the go or especially at the lake and may not be getting tons of veggies)  Earth's Best cereal bars are good, but messy I tend to just by regular cereal bars, they are cheaper, bigger and less crumbly, Mini raisin boxes.

Fast Meals- Earth's Best makes all natural frozen dinners that are great for a sitter to heat up and feed your LO, Annie's Mac and Cheese is another great choice, I usually have a sitter serve a Plum Pouch with this.

Toys: Their are so many great choices.
 Fisher Price Laugh and Learn toys, their songs aren't overly loud or annoying and they have different learning settings on them, they have everything from a mini kitchen to a little basketball hoop. 
V Tech toys- Kids love them, but as an adult they might drive you nuts they are very loud and the songs get a bit annoying.
P'Kolino Little Reader Chair is a HUGE hit with the 1+ age group.  All kids tend to migrate toward this chair, not as big or cute as the Pottery Barn Chair, but kids love it because they can move it around.  It is also less expensive. It can be found at Amazon. 
Little Tykes Cozy Coup- is a classic toddler fav.
Step 2 Naturally playful sand and water center- After reading tons of reviews this is the table we decided to go with and couldn't be happier.  It has a nice umbrella to block out those harmful rays and It is so nice to be able to put a lid on it at the end of play time!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Grandparents

Dear Grandparents, thank you for everything you do.  You are the best babysitters, advisers and keepers of the sanity.  Here are a few things, that are just extra perks, for you to have at your house.  EVERYTHING, just kidding, sort of.  The more you have at your house the less your daughter or son (ie daughter-in-law) has to haul.  Whether its across town or across the country it is like heaven to be able to go somewhere with your little one and not worrying about packing your babies life up and taking it with you.  I will try and go in order from most helpful on down.  (as always this is my opinion ask your kids what is helpful and what isn't)  Also advice is great, but we have to try and fail on our own just as you did. :)

3 biggest essentials
Pack-n-play or Crib
Bouncy Chair
High Chair
Toys
Books

Major Pluses (look at garage sales, Goodwill....)
Exersaucer or bounceroo (only way to coral those little crawlers and give adults a few minutes to chat)
Diapers (I kept a few diapers from each size we ordered and took them to my dad's so now he has every size for the next one)
Wipes
Snacks
Onsies or outfits in multiple sizes would be great for accidents.
Formula
Potty Chair
Zero entry, pool would always be great too. :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Invisible Mother

The Invisible Mother



I absolutely LOVE this:

Invisible Mothers
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store.
Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?'
Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.
I'm invisible - The invisible Mom.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more.
"Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?"
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?'
I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?'
I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner,celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.
It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:
'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.'
And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'
- source unknown
Excuse me while I get the tissues.