one month behind us

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21 Responses

  1. Chrissie says:

    Three words…gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!!

    And sleeping 5 1/2 hours at one month old is incredible–go Valor!

  2. TravelSize says:

    I LOVE these pictures! The sixth one looks like Valor is standing up like a little man! LOL.

  3. wease1961 says:

    I’m so happy for you three! He’s a beautiful baby and all the schedule difficulties of the first month or two soon fade as you get on a “normal” schedule. Never mind that said schedule never lasts longer than a couple of months, anyway. I love the picture of Valor lying there, almost looking as if he is saying, “here is my heart”–and looking at the world with such hope. What a lucky boy to have such loving parents and the promise of a bright future. God bless all three of you.

  4. Karen says:

    What a sweet boy you have! I enjoy reading your entries during this precious time. Thank you for opening yourself up like you do. As the mother of two boys, I relied heavily upon Babywise myself. It gave me confidance and success. Keep up the good work, it really does pay off. BTW, if there are any Growing Kids God’s Way classes in your area, you would probably get a real kick out of those. They are also authored by the Ezzos. May God continue to guide your every step.

  5. Amy Lee says:

    You guys are a riot..LOL..LOVE the pics and I am glad things are settling down and everyone is adjusting well.

    And again, those pictures are FANTASTIC!

  6. WriteCards says:

    What a gorgeous boy! What a gorgeous family! You look great!

    Also, that 10 – 12 pound point seems to be a prime time for babies to sleep longer. My daughter was 9 lbs 4 oz and my son was 9 lbs 12 oz (wowzer!) and they started sleeping longer stretches when they were between 11 and 12 pounds. For kids who weighed less at birth, I hear the sleeping longer comes closer to ten pounds.

    Enjoy!

  7. Ashley says:

    As far as Valor peeing on you goes, there’s a thing called a “pee pee teepee” that you use to protect yourself from that during diaper changes! I don’t think they are expensive at all from what I remember. Might save you some laundry!

    He is just beautiful, as always. What a blessing. You SHOULD have mommy confidence. You’re doing an amazing job and loving on and caring for your son. That’s the best anyone can ever do!

  8. Joanie says:

    My middle son, Hayden, peed on me at every diaper change until he was about 8 months old. Once he even managed to get the wall above his change table almost all the way to the ceiling! I look at it as being baptized into motherhood. 😉

    Valor is just precious. What a sweet little blessing you have there!

  9. Sachu says:

    Valor is so beautiful! I can’t stop staring at pic #4! What a cutie!!!
    I’m so glad he’s getting into a “normal” schedule and that you are feeling better
    So glad to see this new pics!

    Sabrina from Argentina

    P.D: My nephew peed on me so many times I can’t even recall…I think it’s a “macho” thing 😛

  10. Evie says:

    Getting to the one month mark is a huge milestone in Chinese culture. Big parties are thrown and gifts of gold are given! Valor is one handsome guy. And happy one month birthday to him.

    The newborn period is such a wierd, special time. It’s so much work, but look at your boss, the cutest thing in the world… your miracle child. I never got peed on with Charlotte, but with Abram, almost every time I changed his diaper I got hit. Pee and even poo sometimes. And the one time I changed my newborn nephew’s diaper a month ago, not only did he get me, but he annointed their couch too. So much for being the experienced mom.

  11. diggindc says:

    I found your story through Jen’s Cake Wrecks blog, and haven’t been able to tear myself away! When I first started reading, you were already pregnant with Valor. I poured over James’ blog and have really been touched by his story and your amazing love.
    Even though I don’t “know” you, I want to thank you for sharing your wonderful family with us. I truly look forward to every new post. It’s so fun to see Valor grow! He’s so beautiful, and you guys are such amazing parents.
    Thanks,
    Katie

  12. Ashley M. says:

    The third & last pics are my favorites at the moment 😀 The third one is just darling, and the last one is hilarious! Glad to read that all is well 🙂

  13. Stormy says:

    sooo adorable! And the idea of you weighing him in a broiler pan is totally cracking me up. We did the stand-on-the-scale-and-then-hold-the-baby thing, but it only goes in 1/2 pound increments–your way is so much better 🙂

  14. Kathy H says:

    Thank you for a peek into the special world of newborns . . . sweet memories of oh, so long ago with my own kids and precious times with all of our grandkids as babies. The pics of Valor are simply adorable. He is such a doll baby!! Still praising God for this precious gift to you.

  15. Bluefunk says:

    He is so beautiful! It sounds like you are both brilliant parents. 🙂

  16. chrisandlaura says:

    Man! I was going to say he was gorgeous, but that adjective has been taken. Well, he still is.
    Hang in there, Abbie — those first few weeks are the most unscheduled, hectic, etc of all. I think God links lack of sleep to poor memory retention for more than one purpose.
    Been thinking of giving you a toodle-oo.
    Excited to see Jen and John tomorrow in Chicago!
    Love,
    Laura
    P.S. Great hat. 🙂 But the baby makes the shot.

  17. Heidi says:

    I found your site through Cake Wrecks, and have followed it since, rejoicing with you for your beautiful Valor. Remembering your quest for infant-appropriate knight-themed items, I thought of you right away when I saw this “Brave Baby Knight” collection in the Herrschners (craft) catalogue!

    http://www.herrschners.com/Product/Brave+Knight+CrossStitch+Baby+Ensemble+Set+of+3+Kits.aspx

    Knowing how crafty your mother is, I thought they might appeal to her for Valor.

    Blessings!
    Heidi

  18. headzookeeper says:

    I have been reading your blog(s) for quite a while but I don’t know that I have ever left a comment. But I really wanted to say congratulations on such a handsome newborn son, and happy 1 month birthday, Valor (what a cool name)! I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw a smile this week. I love the picture of the two of you looking at each other while Valor is in the wrap. “Making eyes,” as we called it in our house, was one of my favorite activities with our kids as newborns.

    PS If you like Babywise, you may also be interested in Secrets of a Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. I only read some of Ezzo and that was nearly 8 years ago so I don’t remember all the specifics. But I have heard they are similar in a lot of regards and I know it gave me a lot of insight into understanding who my babies were and why they behaved the way they did. Keep up the good work.

  19. trot says:

    I’m excited to see the broiler pan pix. 😉

  20. Sam says:

    You make me sad 🙁

    After all you have been through with James, I thought, expected, hoped, you would be good parents, in every way. Instead you mutilate your newborn by circumsizing, causing him great pain.
    You jeapordise nursing by giving him pacis and bottles so soon. Then you use cruel and sadistic means of getting him to sleep alone, by using Ezzo 🙁

    I debated writing this, because your heartbreak, what you went through with James and Dora, is so awful. But my heart breaks for Valor. My brain cannot comprehend how you could think that Circ’ing and putting a newborn in a seperate room at night, and using Babywise to ‘train’ him to resign himself to no, or minimal, parental contact during the night, could be right or good.

    I’m reading this blog late, and tbh I have decided not to continue, I cannot carry on reading now. My comments come too late to help Valor. But perhaps if you have another child you may choose to do things differently.

    Babies need love, comfort, food, and contact, around the clock, not just between the hours of 7am and 7pm. If a baby cries, it is due to deep upset and need, for contact, for food, for a sense of security.
    You use Facebook, have a look on the ‘I hate Babywise’ page for more information.

    Maybe you won’t, maybe nothing will change; it is nothing to do with me.

    All the best.

    • john says:

      Dear Sam,

      There’s no need to sugarcoat an otherwise contemptuous comment with “all the best.”

      Though I in particular have written on some controversial subjects before, I admit I’m a little surprised that you’ve decided three parenting decisions that we’ve made are so harmful. I respond because it’s been weighing on me for a few weeks, but please understand it’s neither my intention or my expectation to change your convictions in these areas. I simply wish to provide another perspective with regard to Babywise as well as the other things you mentioned.

      First, I am aware that Babywise is a controversial book among some people. The Wikipedia entry for “Babywise” is regularly maligned by someone who evidently has an axe to grind, to the point that Wikipedia disputes the neutrality of the entry. I looked up the facebook page you mentioned, which opens with the zinger: “The book called ‘Babywise’ by Gary Ezzo is the secular version of a cult-like church-based parenting course that teaches parents to ignore our newborn babies when they cry because God ignored Jesus when he cried out on the cross.” That sounds pretty bizarre, actually, and nothing like the Babywise I am familiar with. Babywise, in its essence, starts with the idea that parents have a responsibility to train their children. It assumes that adults, with access to information from pediatricians, etc. know better than infants do about what’s good for them. If, when Valor was a newborn, Abby fed him every time he cried, he would never have had a full feed with the most nutritious milk, but would have merely snacked almost continuously and been fussy very frequently. Babywise is about establishing a cycle of eating, sleeping, and playing, that is healthiest for the child, as well as most compatible with the rest of the family. I don’t know that everyone who uses the Babywise method has found as much success with it as we have, and there very well may be folks who think they’re using Babywise but instead are starving their kids. But those would not be following the regimen correctly. At its core, Babywise makes the assumption that we as parents understand more about our babies’ welfare than they do. That single assertion may rub the “Attachment Parenting” crowd the wrong way. Abby and I feel it’s our responsibility to train Valor what to eat and when to eat it the same way we feel it’s our responsibility to train him not to walk headlong down a flight of stairs. His nature is simply not equipped to make 100% healthy decisions for himself immediately out of the womb.

      Secondly, you made the comment that pacifiers jeopardize nursing. I’ll give you some credit here; that’s a valid risk. You’ll be happy to know that for that reason the hospital did not furnish us with a supply of them, and we tried to use them only as a last resort for soothing our son. You’ll also be happy to know that Valor never preferred a pacifier, nor were we ever successful at even getting him to drink breastmilk from a bottle.

      Finally, you equated our decision to circumcise with “mutilation.” Although the word comes across as incendiary, I observe that the Apostle Paul used such language to characterize a group of people called “Judiazers”, who put works (including circumcision) in the place of grace (Philippians 3:2). In spite of this, Paul had Timothy circumcised (Acts 16:3). Back to the present day, I can assure you that our decision to circumcise Valor was not bound up in Jewish legalism, nor (as it was for Paul) an attempt to gain credibility in ministry to people of Jewish ethnicity. I am myself circumcised, so the idea of “sameness” probably had a lot to do with our decision. In truth, it was not a heavily contemplated decision, nor did I look into it much detail before reading your comment. Based on all the latest scientific thought, it would appear that the benefits of circumcision are insignificant, and the risks/downsides of circumcision are also insignificant. It does appear that it’s just a choice—laden with more cultural import than physiological consequence.

      Valor is almost a year old as I write this. I believe he may have slipped from the 95th percentile in height and weight to something down in the 70s or 80s. He sleeps in later than we do, and is voraciously eating and enjoying all kinds of solid foods. It is hard for me to imagine a more healthy child. No doubt we’re not perfect parents, and have made mistakes in our care and will continue to. In hindsight, we look at none of the indictments you mentioned as mistakes. He is one healthy kid, and we marvel at God’s grace to us in the present, even as we marvel at God’s grace to us through James’s infirmity.

      In closing, I would encourage you—and anyone who may read this—to adopt some sensitivity when dealing with parents who make different choices than you do. Certainly choices have consequences, but these things are each parent’s right and responsibility to figure out.

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