Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Our first family outing

To the intramural field, of course.

Life with Lana today (3 years, 2 months)



Sleeping: We wondered how Tucker's arrival would affect Lana's sleep.  All three of our bedrooms are pretty close together, and even though we use white noise machines in their rooms, we knew that she would probably hear him cry when he woke up during the night or at naptime.  So far, we've been really fortunate, and it has not bothered her sleep much.  For the first week or two, she was extra sleepy during the day, so we figured that she was hearing him and waking up at night, but just going back to sleep on her own.  This week, though, she's seemed much more rested, so maybe she's just getting used to it!
Eating: Lana is a great eater.  However, we have a major meal time struggle that's been going on for MONTHS.  She simply cannot sit still in her seat.  She wiggles and moves and falls off and a variety of other things.  She doesn't actually get up, but it's nearly impossible for her to sit still.  We're thinking that putting her back in a booster seat might help!
Talking: Listening to her talk to Tucker is one of the most precious things in the world.  She will tell him about what we're doing, if he's crying, she "sh sh sh's" him, she likes to read books to him.  I wonder if her big vocabulary means that he'll talk early & well, too, or if it means he will talk late b/c he can't get a word in edgewise??
Discipline: Just last night, Dan was reading the Word out loud to me as I fed Tucker, and he read I Corinthians 1:11.  Paul says, "Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ."  This led us immediately into a discussion about how this directly correlates to disciplining our children.  Lana (and soon Tucker) naturally imitate what we do.  When we see a sin in her life, we often find the root of that in something she has seen us do or not do.  This is not always the case, but quite frequently it is, simply because she imitates everything we do - the good and the bad!  We want to be able to encourage our children to imitate us IN EVERY WAY, as we imitate Christ.  This calls us to live life at a higher level....and no, it's not about legalism or do's and don'ts.  We pray regularly for Lana & Tucker to be generous, to work hard as for God and not for men, to have a heart for missions, to use their gifts to joyfully serve others, etc.  And how will they learn to do those things?  We hope & pray by imitating us as we imitate Christ.  And the ONLY WAY we can imitate Christ in any way is to go back to the Cross for grace and more grace.  Our children are sinners, being raised by parents who are sinners.....we are weak, poor in spirit, dependent on our Father for every good thing.  We cannot HOPE to imitate Christ unless He affords us the grace to do so!
Playing: Lana is really into playing "Mommy" or "teacher" right now.  She'll often tell Dan & I that we are her babies, and she'll take care of us...push us in the swing, bring us drinks, cover us up, etc.  It's fun to listen and watch her and see what she's picked up on that we've said.  She has wonderful preschool teachers, and she is soaking up every thing they throw at her.  She comes home and wants to teach us how to pattern, what the calendar says, how to walk in a line, etc.  So fun!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A visit from Nana (AKA Daddy goes back to work)

This weekend was Dan's first weekend back at work since we've had Tucker, and his mom saved my sanity by flying in to help me!!  She arrived Friday afternoon, and stayed until this morning.  I cannot even begin to tell you what a wonderful gift this was to me....and to the kids!  Every night she took one of them middle of the night feedings so Dan & I could sleep...she changed diapers and did laundry and mopped floors...and just spoiled us to death!!

Friday night, Dan called me on the way home from the airport with his mom and said, "Mom wants to keep the kids so we can go out on a date!"  WHAT?!?  She had been flying all day long, so I knew she must have been tired, but she insisted.  We hit the door and had the MOST delicious wings at McGuire's, enjoying over an hour of conversation NOT about children, while she bathed both the babies and put them to bed.  Awesome.

Saturday morning, Nana hit the ground running AGAIN!  She played babies and dress up with Lana, and then helped me change out clothes for the season in ALL the closets!  This was a big project, as I had to move maternity clothes out, too.  She totally reorganized my system, and it's fabulous.  

As she was hanging up my clothes in my closet, she turned out and gave me this look and said, "Do you REALLY only have 2 dresses to your name?"  That afternoon after naptime, with Dan at work, she hauled me and the kiddos to the mall where she took me to New York & Co and bought me the cutest dresses you can ever imagine!!  They are PERFECT for the transition from preggo body to...well...not.  I feel so pretty in them!!  What a wonderful treat!!  Spoiled.

We picked up burgers on the way home for dinner, and Lana has now decided that "Ardee's" in her favorite place to eat.

Sunday morning Nana stayed at home with Tucker while the three of us got to join our church family at East Carroll Joyner Park for an outdoor worship service to celebrate our 20th Anniversary as a church family.  It was so good for my soul to worship with our body of believers...and I was so grateful that my sweet boy was at home.  It was beautiful, but the sun was strong, and Lana got sunburned!  His little fair skin would have TOASTED.  

Sunday afternoon after naptime, Nana took Lana on a special date - to the movies!!  It was only her second time in a movie theater, and they saw Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.  They were hilarious telling me about the movie when they got home!

Monday morning, she got up with Lana & Tucker and let me go back to snooze...how nice!  When we all got up and moving, we went to the seminary and had a picnic lunch, and did some tree climbing.  (Tucker & I stayed safely on the ground.)  Back to the house for nap time and for Dan to go to work.  When Lana woke up, Nana gave the two of us a wonderful treat: she stayed home with Tucker so Lana & I could have a date!!  We went to the playground, had dinner together at Moe's, and then visited Palsie's Popcorn for yummy dessert.  

You can only imagine how sad we were to see her go this morning....of course, I was selfishly sad for me because I will desperately miss her help!  But I was so sad for the kids, too....it was so precious watching her love on Lana & Tucker so well.  My heart just overflows with gratitude for ALL the wonderful grandparents our children have.  We are blessed beyond measure.

Here's a picture of Lana & Tucker with Nana - how gorgeous is she???  Nana's aren't supposed to look this good!  Thank you so much, Mrs. Karon, for everything you did this weekend.  We love you so much and miss you every single day.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gripe water


Our sweet Tucker boy is so precious....and it seems like he has cried non-stop since we brought him home from the hospital.  Well, I take that back.  He's perfectly calm as long as we are holding him to sleep.  However, laying him down in his bed was a TERRIBLE ordeal.  Our goal is to be able to lay him down drowsy but awake, teaching him from these very early days how to fall asleep on his own.  However, we were totally willing to rock him to sleep, if that worked.  It just didn't.  He would fall asleep, and then as soon as his little punkin head hit the mattress, he would start screaming.  And if, by some chance, we DID manage to get him in his bed sleeping, he would wake up SCREAMING a few minutes into his nap...totally a cry of pain.  It was heartbreaking to hear.

The ONLY way he would sleep well is if we took him outside and rocked him in our hammock chair.  Now, if this had been Lana, that's probably what I would have done - just sat in that hammock chair all day long.  

But he's my second child, and it's just not fair for Lana for me to do that all day.  She needs my time and attention, too - not to mention the time and attention I need to give to the Word, Dan, my house, our extended family, my friends, etc. With this second child, I've realized that sometimes decisions have to be made with the best interest of the WHOLE FAMILY in mind....not just one member, no matter how small and precious.  This is why it's important to us that he get used to sleeping in his own bed.

He doesn't like a pacifier, so that was no help.  We knew that his fussiness was a combination of reflux (he has ALL the signs/symptoms), and gas, so we have spent the past week just trying to figure out how to help him.  I'm writing it down so I can remember this & share it with other mamas down the road.

9/10 - 9/16 I breastfed exclusively, for hours on end.  You nursing mamas know what I'm talking about.

9/14 Dr. Dirk started him on reflux medicine (Prevacid)

9/17 Due to his weight loss and the beginning stages of postpartum depression in my own heart, Dan & I made the decision to supplement with formula.  As soon as Dan was able to take a nighttime feeding, we saw a dramatic improvement in my emotional state, so we chose to begin formula feeding exclusively.

9/18 We began using formula exclusively - Enfamil with Lipil Premium, and my boy began sucking down bottles and putting on weight like a champ!  Tipping the scales at 9 pounds!

9/21 Dan was out of town, and Tucker was up crying for most of the day....he literally slept 2 hours.  I knew that sometimes the crying seems worse in the moment, so I wrote down the exact times that he cried, ate, slept, etc. so I would have an accurate record to show the doctor.  And it was literally 2 hours all day.  Aren't newborns supposed to sleep 20 hours a day or something?  My kids don't.

9/23 We switched formula to Enfamil GentleEase, which the pedi felt would sit better on his little tummy.

9/24 At this point, nothing was helping, and he was still crying for most of the day.  Nighttime was a little better, but we would still be up with him sometimes for 2 hours at a time trying to get him to go back to sleep.  Several friends suggested that we try gripe water.  *Gripe water is a natural remedy, and has ingredients such as fennel and ginger.  According to people who use it, relief occurs within 5-20 minutes of administration.*  

Around 2:00 p.m., I found myself in tears, outside rocking my sweet boy to sleep, just praying that he would rest a little.  Dan went out and got a little bottle of this gripe water stuff.

And I kid you not, he has not cried when going to bed since.  Truly, the past 24 hours have been so peaceful for him...and for us!  Now who knows if it's the reflux medicine finally working, the formula kicking in, or the gripe water?  But, to be honest, I don't care!  We're not going to change a thing.

Right this moment, he is sleeping like a dream in his crib, swaddled up tight and laying on his side.  We woke him up to eat, he ate, stayed awake for just a few minutes (total wake time, including feeding, being about 45 minutes right now), and after a diaper change, swaddle, and a cuddle in the rocking chair, went back to sleep.  Now I'M going to catch some shut eye while I have two babies sleeping peacefully!  

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lana-isms

Two of my favorite things she's saying this week:

"Basagna" instead of "lasagna"

"Tucker's having a leak out!" when he drools.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lana's adjustment


Lana has been adjusting well to Tucker's arrival....she has shown no jealousy at all towards him - just sheer delight.  When she wakes up in the morning, the first thing she wants to do is see him, and the last thing she wants to do at night is kiss him.  She is not as gentle with him as I might like her to be, but I'm thinking he may as well go ahead and toughen up.
She is doing a great job letting us be Mommy & Daddy - she makes sure to ask before she picks him up, gives him a toy, etc.
She has been a little on the sleepy side, whinier than usual, and incredibly emotional - she will burst into tears at the drop of the hat.  Welcome to the club, baby girl!  We've had to extend lots of grace to each other as a family this week.
The only real way that I've seen her have trouble adjusting is her attitude towards me.  She has been a little stand off-ish, but I'm thinking that's probably because I'm usually nursing him.  Today Dan fed Tucker a bottle, and she & I went to Target together, and it made a world of difference in her attitude!  We both came back home giggly and happy.  She's just my sidekick - it was so good to have a few minutes alone with her.
While we were driving, I asked her about having her picture taken at school today.  She said, "We got to ride the elevator upstairs to take pictures.  Then downstairs, then lunch, the Bible time, then Mommy time!  Except not my mommy.  She doesn't come get me anymore."  Break.  My.  Heart.  I'll be going to pick her up tomorrow.
I wrote her preschool teachers to see how she was adjusting at school, and here are there responses:
Mrs. Amy: "Lana is doing well at school.  We have noticed a few changes since baby Tucker has arrived.  She is very tired, and will lay on the floor at times.  She is a little more quiet and subdued.  I will certainly let you know of any other changes in her behavior.  Being a big sister is an adjustment, but she is doing well.  I'm glad she is excited about school.  We love having her!"
Mrs. Kathy: "Lana is enjoying preschool.  She sometimes looks a little tired like you said in your note, sometimes a little quiet.  She perks up at lunch and snack and at music.  She also loves circle time when we read stories.  She has fun when we are on the playground and she loves all art projects that we do.  I think she is just getting adjusted to all that is going on in her little life so we are sure to give her some grace with  that.  But rest assured, we will always insist on her first time obedience and good manners in the classroom.  And our classroom is a wonderful place filled with love and fun!!" 

Life with Tucker today (1 week)

Sleeping: Hah!  This is almost a joke to write about at one week old!  Obviously we have had 7 very sleepless nights....some more so than others.  We've had some trouble working out what sleep should look like for him right because when we had Lana, we were still in the hospital when she was one week old.  We know that we want him on a eat, wake, sleep routine, but we couldn't quite figure out how to do that with a one month old.  We found ourselves rocking him to sleep, and him fighting it like the devil.  The middle of the night would find him screaming bloody murder, Dan taking him outside near the big AC unit, and me crying in the bed.  One of my dear friends from high school has a newborn just a few weeks older than Tucker, and she sent me an e-book about setting up sleep routines for newborns!  We read it today, and we both feel so much better having a plan.  We've implemented a few of the strategies, and today/tonight has been lots better.  Obviously wake time is hard to achieve with a one week old, but we're doing things like making sure he's in his own bed to sleep, putting him down sleepy but awake, and making sure to put him down before he gets overtired.
Eating: We have been breastfeeding exclusively for the past week, and it really has been enjoyable for me.  However, he is the slowest eater in the WORLD, and I have been sitting in a rocker or glider constantly since we've been home.  The hardest part of that has been the lack of time I have with Lana.  It seems that there has not been a moment for me to sit down with her...even if I can, I'm just so tired from being up all night that I don't have anything to give her.  Dan & I decided today to start supplementing with formula.  This will not only let him take one of the nighttime feedings so that I can have some uninterrupted sleep, but it means that he can stay with Tucker while I do some things with Lana.  This afternoon, Dan fed Tucker, and Lana & I took a quick trip to Target.  She & I were both giddy with having a few moments together....we got an Icee, picked up a few things we needed, and just enjoyed some time together.  Praise the Lord for formula!  He's eating 2 ounces at a time.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tucker's birth story



Psalm 40:5
"Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare!"

At 41 weeks pregnant, we set an induction date for our sweet Tucker boy.  The doctors had been very cooperative, letting us go as long as they felt comfortable with.  We tried everything (besides castor oil!) including letting the doctor strip my membranes to get him moving.  No luck.  Dan felt strongly that we should not approach 42 weeks, and I trust his judgment completely, so we set an induction date for September 10, 2009. 

Both sets of our parents had arrived by September 9 – we were so glad to have them in town for such a special day!  I could barely sleep that night….it felt like Christmas morning!  It was such a blessing from the Lord that there was no nervousness or anxiety – just sheer excitement, as we had been with Lana.  Children are truly a gift from the Lord.

Rex Hospital called us at 6:22 a.m. on Thursday morning and asked us to be there by 7:30 a.m. to begin the induction process.  We both took quick showers, threw a few last-minute things in a bag, and got stuck in traffic, arriving at the birthing center at 8:00 a.m.  Fortunately the beds weren’t full yet, and they got us checked in quickly.  We met my labor & delivery nurse Amy – can I just tell you what a treasure she was??  She was an amazing answer to prayer.  Her bedside manner was amazing, she made us feel so comfortable, and worked really hard to help us manage our labor well by advocating for us….including taking a “less aggressive” approach to the pitocin, which was important to us.  She refused to just crank it up to hurry things along, but instead advocated with the doctor to give my body time to respond.

By 9:45 a.m., she had started the pit, and gradually increased it throughout the day.  My body responded very slowly, not dilating or effacing much. 

Around 2:30 p.m., I started to actually feel the contractions, but had still only progressed to 3 centimeters.

Around 3:30 p.m., my contractions got pretty painful, and I got an epidural….a miracle of modern medicine.  Shortly after I got the epidural, my water broke on its own.  At that point, the contractions really picked up in frequency and intensity.

At 4:00 p.m., they checked me and I was dismayed to learn I was still only 4 centimeters dilated or so.

At 4:30 p.m., my contractions seemed to slack off some, indicating that my uterus was either weakening (a HUGE concern considering my history) or that my body was going into transition, preparing to progress into active labor.  At this point, the Nurse Amy made a phone call recommending to my OB that we put in an internal monitor to see what my contractions were actually doing.

At 6:30 p.m., I was fully effaced and 5 ½ centimeters, and Tucker was dropping into a good station.

At 7:00 p.m., my wonderful nurse Amy went off shift, but she switched schedules around to make sure I had someone "good."  Her last words were before she hugged us and left were, "I bet you have this baby before I go to bed at 9:00!"  Nurse Cindy came on, and she was TRULY ordained to be there with me as I delivered...very grandmotherly, encouraging, confident.

At 7:30 p.m., our parents went to get some dinner, and Dan & I turned on 24.  We turned the lights out and tried to relax.  (My favorite facebook comment of ALL: “If anyone can get Tucker out, Jack Bauer can!”)
A few minutes before 8:00, I started feeling a great deal of pressure with each contraction.  I casually mentioned it to Dan, and told him that we’d get the nurse in to check me when that episode of 24 was over.  The third time I mentioned it to him, he got up and left the room, returning with the nurse. 
She very casually turned on the light to check me, and said, “Okay.  Fully dilated, and there’s the baby!  Let me go call the doctor.”  I almost FELL OUT OF THE BED.  I had no idea.

**I have to interrupt this regularly schedule programming to give props to my man.  He is an ALL-STAR in the delivery room.  Says exactly the right things, does exactly the right things, knows the perfect balance between being as "present" as I need him to be without hovering, charms the socks off the nurses, cheers me on authentically, covers me with prayer.....he should give lessons, seriously.  Twice we've done this, and had totally different experiences, and he has rocked it out both times.  I could NOT deliver babies without him.**

I started pushing at 8:18, and Tucker was born at 8:49 p.m. – I only pushed for 31 minutes!!  I didn’t need a stitch at all – such a testament to my doctor and the controlled pushing that the epidural allowed me to do!!  I did, however, throw my GUTS up for most of that 31 minutes.  I didn't do this with Lana, so it caught me off guard.

No fever.  No infection.  I was on a pure high as I gave birth to my perfectly healthy, 8 pound, 12 ounce, nearly 22” long baby boy.  I cried tears of joy as the grandparents came in to hold him, just marveling at how amazing it felt to be HEALTHY postpartum. 

The doctor and nurse immediately gave me cytotech, a crazy drug with very few side effects that made my uterus immediately harden like a rock, preventing any risk of hemorrhage.  They worked really hard to make sure my uterus was doing exactly was it was supposed to do.

The nurse made sure I had time to feed him within 15 minutes of his birth – so grateful for that!

We were in a recovery room an hour and a half later, and Tucker stayed with us all night.  We caught sleep in hour increments, and he fed well through the night.  He’s fully a month older than Lana was when she was born, and I can tell the difference in him cooking a little longer!! 

He’s a content little boy, only cries when he needs to burp or has gas – he doesn’t like that feeling. 

No one can decide truly who he looks like – some swear he looks just like Dan or Lana….I think he just looks like Tucker.  He has a little bit of blonde hair, dark blue eyes, huge hands and feet, and the most kissable little mouth you’ve ever seen.

Lana came to see him the very next morning before she went to preschool.  I had gotten some good advice and had this big plan of how I was going to let her come cuddle with me before showing her Tucker, who was in his crib in the corner of the room.  Yeah, right!  She bee-lined past me, went straight to the sink to wash her hands, and said, "Where's my Tucker?!"  She was so delighted to hold him - her only major disappointment was that she couldn't give him a bottle.

However, I explained to her very matter-of-factly that Tucker was still a little too young for a bottle, and he was just going to drink Mommy's milk for a while.  She protested a little, but we sent everyone else out, she piled in the bed with me, and I nursed with her there.  She said, "He gets milk from your NIBBLES?" and that was that.

The next time he cried, she said, "Oh!  He's crying because he doesn't have words and he's hungry.  He needs Mommy's milk.  Here's your pillow, Mommy - let's feed him together!" and piled up in the bed with me to nurse.  Precious girl.

She loves his hands and feet, is appalled at his belly button cord, and wants to change his diaper every other minute.  She's quite good at it, by the way.

Her grandparents have been AMAZING - making a huge deal over her, spending lots of time just playing with and enjoying her....she could not be happier, and has no idea that they are here for any other reason than to see her.  

Her preschool teachers have loved her so well...we thought she might not want to go, and we had decided that we wouldn't make her, not wanting her to feel "sent away."  Please!!  She has barely been able to wait to get out the door to go to preschool each morning.

Facebook, e-mails, and phone calls have poured out more love on us than we could possibly deserve or imagine - we feel constantly surrounded with friends and family cheering us on, lifting us up, celebrating this with us.

We are simply overwhelmed by the wonders that the Lord planned for us through Tucker's delivery.  Oh, may this son of ours continue to be a vessel of His light.  May he always bring this same joy to those who walk alongside him, in the name of the Father.  May he serve his father's God all the days of his life.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Observations from preschool day #2

It is such a bizarre feeling to drop Lana off at preschool in the mornings and pick her up in the afternoons.  This has never, ever happened before in her little life.  If she's at preschool, I'm there with her and peek in on her multiple times throughout the day.  So by 1:30, I am STARVING for her....just literally cannot wait to pick her up and get her in the car so I can pick her brain about her day.  She is NOT the kind of child who tells me every detail of her day...I have to work for it.  

To lay the groundwork for you - I am having a BALL being "just" a mommy right now.  I have baked cookies for her teachers, put notes in her lunchbox every day, today her sandwich was in the shape of a little girl with buttons and a bow, and I make sure to have a special snack and drink in the car when I pick her up.  It's too much fun finding ways to love on my baby girl right now while I have a little extra "free time"!  Although we're so ready to meet Tucker, I'm grateful for this special time with me and my "first baby."

Here are some of the things that Lana told me on the way home about her day at preschool:
  • She got 3 sparkle sticks today, which means she got to choose a prize.  She chose a doctor kit.  When I asked her how she got her sparkle sticks, she said, "I just sat on my place on the carpet, and then I sat patiently in my seat.  You just gotta be patient in a 3 year old class, you know!"  
  • I asked her if she liked her little girl sandwich and she said, "It made everybody laugh!"  Of course I felt terrible...I asked her if she was embarrassed when her friends laughed, and she said, "No, Mommy, I liked it!  But lots of people thought it was funny."  "Well, Lana, do you want Mommy to make shape sandwiches or just regular ones from now on?"  "Oh, do the shapes, Mommy!"
  • I asked her if she had a job today at school, and she said, "My job was to put away all the books when everyone put them in a pile.  I like when Mrs. Amy reads us books - she read us the silliest book today!  It was about dogs and cats going to school!  And then she read a book about Froggy going to school and acting silly....she read lots and lots of books to us."  
  • She told me that she got to go to the big girl and big boy playground and "today I was brave and sat on the tire swing!  Lots of different teachers pushed us."
  • I asked her what Mrs. Kathy's job was at school and she said, "Her job is to help her friends....she helps us do all kind of stuff.  Mommy, she just loves her neighbor as herself!  And that's Mrs. Amy's job, too."
  • "Mommy, for snack we had goldfish and cereal bars....yummy!!!  Some people don't like goldfish - I just don't know why not!  I sat by Isaac at snack.  And I ate almost all of my lunch, Mommy....but there's some left.  Just carrots and peas.  But I did eat that cookie....is that okay?"
Edited to add: I sent a link to this journal entry to Lana's preschool teachers.  I want to post their responses here so I remember them:
From Amy: Thanks for sharing!  She is too cute and quite smart!  I forgot to tell you that her job yesterday was prayer warrior and she prayed for all her new friends to have fun at their first day of preschool.  So sweet!
From Kathy: How sweet!!!!  She is right about most all the things that she did today!!!! Except I do not know who Isaac is :-) .They are all just learning each others names. What a great day she had today.  She really is such a sweet girl and she is the one in the class that knows the memory verse by heart already....guess she gets that from that great Mommy that she has!!!! :-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lana's first day of 3 year old preschool

Today was a big day for my girl!  She went to her first day of preschool at Little Lambs in a 3 year old classroom.  She was so excited to not be in a "baby class."  

She & I went to the grocery store together yesterday afternoon and I let her pick out some goodies for her lunch box - she chose gummies (a special preschool treat!), plums, strawberries, pretzels, pepperoni, and string cheese. 

We also got cookies to make for her teachers, so we spent the evening baking and wrapping them up.  That was SUCh a good idea for her....she sometimes has a little trouble leaving Mommy in the mornings, but there was no hesitation this morning because she couldn't wait to take her teachers their cookies!  We'll make sure we do this every first day of school from now on, and anytime that she begins struggling with separation anxiety, we'll make some sort of treat for her teachers or friends.

She bounced out of bed this morning, and immediately asked if she could go to preschool!  

We ate a yummy breakfast, packed her bookbag together, and headed out the door.  On the way to school, we talked about how she could honor her teachers and love her friends well.  We have been working on memorizing Matthew 5:16 together: "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."  I got to talk with her a little while about letting her light shine, and the purpose of that is bringing God glory...the whole purpose of our lives is tied up in that.  I spent a little while praying out loud over her as we drove down the road, and then she wanted to pray.  Her prayer was "God, I want to obey my teachers.  I want my light to shine.  Amen."  AMEN!

Her teachers are Mrs. Amy and Mrs. Kathy.  They are both very sweet and loving....just what my girl needs.  Amy has a background in education (taught 1st grade, 5th grade, and preschool), and Kathy's son was in my class a couple of years ago.  Lana really has taken to them already, and had no hesitation going in this morning.  I stood at the door, a little lost, and said, "Can you come back and give me a kiss?"  "Mommy, I am too busy playing!!" she responded.  *sniff*

It was SO HARD for me to leave and not go to my own classroom to teach - just felt really strange!!  I never expected this...I thought for sure Tucker would be here already.  So I eventually drug myself out of the hall and back home.  Dan was in a meeting, and then class.  And although I missed being so very close to my girl, and I missed being with my class on the first day, I was grateful for the extra bit of time.  I fixed myself a cup of Red Raspberry Leaf tea (known to help labor along!), and got to sit down with my Bible for an extended time with the Lord.  Sooo kind of God to give me some extra time to prepare myself spiritually.  

And before I knew it, it was time to pick my baby girl up!  I stopped by Sonic to get her an apple juice slushie, and went to Little Lambs.  The very best part of my day was when she came out of that classroom and wrapped her little arms around my neck....she would NOT let go.  She is normally very independent and not so very affectionate, so this was a rare treat.  I just relished it.  

Her teachers said she had a good day - she said she did, too! Here's the precious picture she drew on her first day: