Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rowe 9 Months

Rowe has now been on Earth as long as he was growing in my body. I feel like he has been here forever, but it is just going by way too fast! He is crawling, more like dragging himself everywhere. He can lift his belly on all fours, but he can't carry it, so, he drags it. He can pull up to a standing position on his knees. He can stand while holding on to objects. His favorite snacks are puffs, shoes, and books. Rowe has six teeth and two more on the way. I quit naming them after the third one. He smiles at anyone and anything, until this week. I'll explain in a second. He loves to babble. He talks almost as much as we do, except in a foreign language. He says dadadad, lalalalalla, and ma (more). He sings himself to sleep each night. It is a precious sound. He still sleeps in his pack-n-play in our room. He has done this for the past month. We love having him in our room. He only eats baby food and formula, but will start some table food soon. His new favorites are his outdoor swing and his walker. He walks/runs all over our floors in his walker. Thanks Grandmother for loaning it to us. He is so active and so hard to keep up with!!!

He had his nine month check up today and his stats are as follows:
Weight: 26 pounds 5 ounces (off the charts)
Length: 30 inches long (upper 90th percentile)
Head Circumference: 18 1/4 (70th percentile)

Our doctor assured us not to worry about his size and that he is proportional. She said that his large hands and feet (size 4 shoe) indicate that he is just going to be a BIG boy. We actually met with the nurse practitioner, and she was great. She answered all 27 of my typed questions. I had to write them down, or would forget them all.

We did get some sad news though. Rowe has his first ear infection. I always knew this day would come, and that all babies get them. I know it could be much worse, but it has been difficult watching and hearing him scream in pain. No one likes to watch their baby hurt. He has been pitiful at times. I feel guilty for asking you readers to pray for him because there are so many other children who need healing much more than him, but God has time to hear all of our requests.

I have lots of really good pictures to post, but I am about to fall asleep right now. I'll post them tomorrowe, hopefully. Have a good night and I am still trying to decide on this weeks challenge. Any ideas???

Surprise Party for Lee

Let me just start off by saying thank you to everyone that shared Saturday night with us. Many of you traveled a long distance to be there. Others of you took time out of your busy schedules to join us. Lee was immediately overwhelmed with shock, joy, and gratitude. He is still on cloud 100 today. He hates when people go out of there way for him, but he is still thanking me for the party. The first thing he said when we got into our car to leave the party was, "Let's go home and start on thank you notes." I told him I wanted to write a few, he insisted that he writes them and I can write a not on them too if I want. I think this was Lee's first big birthday party.
I can't believe he did not suspect anything. I just knew he had figured out I would throw him a 30th birthday party. He even told me a couple of weeks ago that he knew I was up to something. He was thinking it must be a special gift or something. He had absolutely NO CLUE!!!! His facial expression was priceless.
Thank you GABE for coming and playing and singing at Lee's party. You were the best entertainment we could have wanted! Everyone loved listening to you! I am still waiting on your C.D. Jenny, we missed you sis. I hope to see you soon!
Now, the story of how I got him to the party: I told Lee that we were meeting my family at Harvey's for dinner since my brother was in town around 6:45. I had my brother call me when we were about to leave to tell me that Harvey's was packed so they were at Cafe on Main waiting on us. Lee was upset that we were running behind, which I did on purpose. He was worried about the waitress only having one table that night because we were so late. He was worried about my family having to wait on us. I was doing my best not to laugh at him.
When we drove up, Lee commented that his aunt and uncle were there. Then he saw his cousin's vehicle, and then his dad's. I just said, "Well, it would have been nice if they had invited us to their little family dinner." As we were walking to the door, he noticed another friend's truck. I just played that one off too. You would have thought he would have caught on by now. The restaurant is underground so we had to go down a flight of stairs. As we reached the bottom of the stairs, sixty to seventy friends and family members were standing up and yelled, "SURPRISE!" Then they began singing Happy Birthday. Lee just had this look of confusion on his face and he looked at me like, "what is going on?" I told him it was his birthday party and he just grinned so big and couldn't believe it. He kissed me on my head and thanked me. He looked at me during dinner and said that he could never top something like this. I am not sure who had more fun, me watching him so happy or him being so happy.
Family he has not seen in so long was there to celebrate with us. Friends that live out of town came just for the party. He was so excited to see everyone!!!
The only bad thing about the night is that we do not have one picture together from that night. If anyone that was there has any pictures from the party, please email them to me. We only have a few. In fact, the video has a glare only on Lee's face when we entered the party. The one thing we wanted recorded was the only thing that didn't show up.
Thank you all for making this birthday so special for Lee and me!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Weekly Challenge #5 - Leave Impressions Not Dents

Prov. 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another."

I was thinking about how much time I actually spend living outside of my little world. I tend to get self-centered about what all I have to do, what I want to do, or about my own family, that I forget about all the many needs around me. I believe the question of God's will is not "What is God's Will for ME?", but is "How does God want to use me in accomplishing His will?" We get so focused on our right here and right now that we forget about the bigger picture.
I was thinking about the beautiful mold that Lee gave me for Mothers' Day. It had a sweet impression of Rowe's hand prints and Missy's paw-prints. Those precious little impressions meant the world to me. I was also thinking about my bad habit of not paying attention to what I am doing, and somehow my car has a new, tiny, little dent pretty regularly. Both the mold impression and dents left their marks. Whenever we come into contact with others we leave a mark. With words of encouragement, a positive attitude, and a listening ear we can leave lasting impressions. On the other hand, when we brush people off because we are too busy or too proud to talk to them we leave dents. My challenge is to make an effort everyday to leave a positive impression in those around me. I will take time to listen, send notes of encouragement, and look for opportunities to meet the needs of others. I want to challenge you to do the same, and I also want us to let those that have left positive impressions in our lives know what they mean to us.
I had a fifth grade teacher that left a deeper impression on me than any other person in my life outside of my family. She was an example of living and speaking God's wisdom and kindness. She encouraged me to pursue writing and creativity. She made many of my insecurities as an extremely hyper child melt away. So, Mrs. Dunaway, if you are reading this, Thank you.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weekly Challenge #4 - Stop Complaining and Shine like the Stars.

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life." Philippians 2:14-16a
This is a topic that I would love to share with specific people in my life that seem to find a reason to complain about everything. BUT, this is not about correcting others, it is about setting some goals in my life so that I am not spinning my wheels and will be what God has intended me to be in order to reach others for him and share a little love and wisdom along the way. Wow, that was a long sentence. Anyway, Paul tells us here to stop complaining and SHINE like stars. Stars a beautiful and blemish free. We too are to be blameless and pure, even in our speech. God doesn't request us to quit complaining, it is a command. Complaining is sin. OUCH!!!
When I complain, I am basically telling God, "I could have done it better." I am trying to come to a place where I no longer complain about my circumstances, but to bring my requests to God prayerfully and joyfully. If it is in my power to change something, then I'll I change it. If it is not in my power to change, how is complaining really going to help??? Complaining is a lot like worry: We tend to waste a lot of time doing it, but it makes absolutely no difference in the outcomes of our circumstances. Basically, both are pointless.
So my challenge this week is to hold my tongue when I am tempted to complain, and to pray immediately about those circumstances. I am also challenging myself to continue to find something positive in every circumstance and person each day. If God says that all things will work together for good (Romans 8:28), why can't I just take him at His word? Besides, who wouldn't want to shine like a star?!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's Not Always Sunny in the Gillis Household!

Most all pictures I have of Rowe are of him smiling because he loves the camera. The quickest way to make him happy when he is not so happy is to pull out the camera. I don't know where he gets it from.
Well, he had four new friends join Whitey and Whitey Jr. this week. Four teeth decided to pop through at the same time. I was glad to get some pics of him not smiling in order to show you that he is not always as cheesey as he looks. He really is a happy baby now, but not when his teefs are comin' through.
The top one is my favorite. Enjoy!

However, we did catch a few smiles this week. Some are teary eyed, but smiles nonetheless.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Weekly Challenge #3: To Procrastinate or Not to Procrastinate??? I'll decide tomorrow.

Well, this week has presented many "weekly challenge" opportunities, but I am only going to add one this week. This week's challenge is to stop procrastinating. Sometimes, I think I just procrastinate on making a decision to procrastinate. Don't get me wrong, I plan ahead better than anyone else I know, but not in the little things. Honestly, I already have what costume Rowe and Missy will wear for Halloween picked out, and as creepy as it may be, I have my funeral planned too. However, the little things add up on my "blessed to do" list, and there is no better feeling than throwing a list away once it is completed. (Erika, you know exactly what I mean!) So, I am going to compile my list at school, the one in my purse, and the one at home together and start getting things marked off. God tells us to make the most of everyday, and that is what I plan to do. I challenge myself and you loyal readers (who rarely leave comments) to add some fun to your "to do lists." Schedule alone time with your spouse. Schedule a silly game or cook together night with your child. We should write these planned moments on our calendars where our family can see them. This holds us accountable, and it is a way to start teaching our children early to always make time for the people in their lives. I want Rowe to see silly and important scheduled events and fun on our refrigerator calendar as he grows up, in order for him to see our time with each other and with him is a priority.
Also before I even begin to complete a to do list, I will pray that God helps me to prioritize, not sweat the small stuff, and to glorify Him throughout this day He has given to me. I will also ask myself the following questions at the end of each day, "Was I a more productive person today than the day before?" and "Was my "blessed to do list" all about me or about furthering the Lord's kingdom?"
So to give you a glimpse of today's "blessed to do list," I'll list a few things:

  1. go to the bank
  2. clean floors
  3. clean bedroom
  4. register for online Blackboard training at school
  5. email Becca
  6. order Halloween costumes for Rowe and Missy (I said I knew what they would be, I didn't say I had ordered them yet.)
  7. give Missy her flea medicine
  8. leave Lee a sweet note on his bathroom mirror
  9. read Rowe his Bible story and work on teaching him his animals (never too early to start!)
  10. Send Justin Caldwell a birthday email from Lee, Rowe, and I

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Weekly Challenge

I believe if we have no goals in life than we are just spinning our wheels. There has to be something to work towards. Sometimes, just identifying our life goals is an accomplishment. There are small steps I know that I can take to attain these goals. One of my goals is to be a better person than I was the day before. I want to become a better Christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher and financial planner.
I have decided to set weekly challenges for my life to become this better person I want to be, and I'll take you along with me via our blog. Last week my challenge was to claim the freedoms only God can give of peace of mind and freedom from worry. This morning I was reflecting on this past week and if I truly did unload all my worries onto God. Well, I know I did in one specific area of my life. I am a bit, and more so these days, OCD when it comes to my house being clean and organized. In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I left school on my planning period just to clean my kitchen because I couldn't focus on anything else. Well, not so this week. I cleaned when I had time, and didn't focus on it the rest of the day. Instead, I focused on the blessing of even owning a house and the fun I had when I wasn't cleaning and was playing in the floor with Rowe and Lee. There are other areas of my life that I am still having to remind myself to stop obsessing and worrying, and I will continue to give these to God.
This week I will work on what I say. I have never been a gossiper or cared to hear it, nor do I use dirty language, but I am snappy and rude at times with those who love me most. I know that if my friends could follow me around all day, they would not want to be my friend anymore. Not that I ever talk about them, but I don't always use the nicest tone of voice. So I am working to choose all my words for a purpose, not just to fill silence.

Not So Casual Words

Many times, we open our mouths and speak, with little to no thought to what we are about to say. We let words fly, good and bad, with no caution. I call these words, casual words, but as a teacher, no words are casual. We think our students are not listening, but they are. Throughout the confusion of the day, we forget that although we have hundreds of students, they only have a handful of teachers. They remember what we say much better than we remember what they say.
We think our friends don't really care how we sound or our tone of voice, but they do. I consider myself a good listener. I rarely forget anything that anyone tells me, although I do forget to do things without my "Blessed To Do" list. I call it a "Blessed To Do" List, because even when I don't always feel like completing it, I am blessed to have the health and ability to complete those tasks.
As I continue daily to claim all the freedoms God has given me, I think I need to carefully scrutinize the words I am about to use on a daily basis. I want to make sure I choose the best ones for my family, friends, and students. I have talked so much since school has started that I have been hoarse for the past month.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Ephesians 4:29. It says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." My challenge this week is to no longer use casual words, but chosen ones that will lift you up and benefit those who listen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On a Roll

I just had to post a few pics of Rowe showing off his rolls. Wouldn't it be great if rolls were always cute!

Happy Eight Months Little Dude!

Rowe turned eight months old a week ago, and this has been the best month yet. Each month keeps getting better and better. I am in no hurry for him to grow up any faster though. He is speaking a new language now. He is using syllables such as dadada and bababa, and even mamama. Mamama means "more" not mama, we are pretty sure. He "sings" when music is own and loves the sound of his own voice. He screeches when we whistle and loves to growl like his lion. The growling just started this week. Today a new bottom tooth is peeking through and the point of a top tooth has broken the gums. He has been a little ill this past week with the teething.

I weighed him last night and he was a whopping 25 pounds, but he is really long too, not just fat. I love all that surface area to kiss. He eats four five ounce bottles a day and sometimes only three plus a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a #2 veggie and a #2 fruit for lunch, and a #2 dinner and a #2 veggie for supper. His favorite is eating his puffs while I am getting his meal ready.

He loves staying at Nana's and Pop's, but cried for the first time when I dropped him off one day last week because he was not feeling well. He reached his little arms for me and looked at me with huge crocodile tears streaming down his round cheeks. Mine started flowing once I got out the door.

He was sleeping in his crib every night, but our air conditioner leaked into his closet and room, so he has been sleeping in his pack n play in our room the last couple of weeks. We could have put him back into his room a week ago, but we love having him in our room with us. He sleeps all night and hates to be woken up in the mornings. He thinks just about everything is funny, and smiles with his mouth wide open. His favorite toy now is his Tigger. Thanks Nana. Thanks Brayden for introducing Tigger and Rowe.