Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Aaron's First Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Come on, baby, drive South...

We're making the trip to Cincinnati this weekend to visit Grandma Lynn. We're a little nervous about traveling with a small baby, but very excited to be showing off our Aaron to Sarah's family (not to mention our ECC Family Camp buddies, who we'll see at church on Sunday morning).

Aaron is 12 weeks old already, so it's time again for a new portrait. Here's just one of what we took during yesterday's shoot:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Three little Christmas elves...

Okay, we couldn't resist such good fun. More than one of our friends has done this to themselves, and we just had to get in on the act. Click here for our silly Christmas greeting.

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Friend Jake...

Aaron has been enjoying play dates with his new friend Jacob Scacco. We met Jacob's mom and dad this summer during our Bradley childbirth classes, then discovered we also went to the same church and had tons of friends in common. Friendship seemed meant to be.

While out shopping last week, I saw some funny baby Christmas T-shirts. When we ran into the Scaccos at church over the weekend, we laughed together about what the shirts had said. Jacob has a very creative mommy, so when they came over yesterday, they brought a little present for St. Nicolas Day...

Yes, indeed, look what happens when Mommy kisses Santa Clause. :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two month stats...

Aaron weighed in at a whopping 11 lbs, 8 oz (50th percentile), measured 23.5 inches in length (75th percentile), and has a head circumference of 15 inches (25th percentile, but a perfect hat size, I think :-)

It was an emotional visit with Dr. Rupal this afternoon. We were scheduled to get the first of Aaron's immunizations (seven doses in total), but I just couldn't do it. I've been reading too much material that correlates increasing autism, auto-immune disorders, and developmental delays with the current immunization schedule. Dr. Rupal was so gracious to answer my questions, and she's willing to look over the materials I printed out for her and talk more about it at next month's checkup. But I'm still not sure that someone who's part of the medical establishment will be able to sift all of the rhetoric and get to the truth. The thing I'm learning about parenting is that I am the only one who can really get to the truth of it all, whether it's about vaccines or breastfeeding or sleep issues or... or... or... So Mike and I are going to do some more reading, seek more counsel from those we trust and respect, and pray like crazy. I feel the heavy weight of responsibility for this tiny and perfect baby, but I do know that Aaron belongs first to God, who loves him even more than I do. Whatever decision we make, we know that we are in His care, and my heart finds peace in that.

Monday, November 26, 2007

2nd and 10...

Aaron is two months old already. He's changed so much this past month - from a little blob of baby to a smiley, giggling, very aware little boy. It's amazing to watch bits of his personality peek out. We fall in love a little more every day. This week will bring his two month checkup, so we'll post his new stats later in the week. But pray for us - his first series of shots will come with this appointment.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

We know what we're thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend... a growing and healthy baby boy!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Aaron's been busy visiting with lots of his new friends. Here's the who's who...

Friends Lou and Ann came for a visit, and Uncle Louie introduced Aaron to the great Chicago tradition of Bears football. Aaron can't quite say Urlacher yet, but he seems to be a good luck charm for the Bears - they won!

Grandpa Lloyd came for a visit, too...

Rebo came from California, so we headed downtown for some shopping on the Magnificent Mile - our favorite stop was the Hershey store (even though Aaron slept through the whole thing). And Aaron loves pizza! We had dinner at the famous Gino's East. Yum!!!

Finally, we met up with two of the couples who had taken the Bradley childbirth class with us. Three crying babies in the same room was quite an adventure, but we were so happy to meet these new little blessings.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A visit to the office...

Aaron and I stopped in this afternoon to visit my coworkers at the photography studio. Everyone was so excited to meet our cutie-pie... and of course take a few snaps of him.

We continue to settle into this new lifestyle parenting has brought. Our big weekend excitement? Walkin' to the mailbox on Friday night (and, no, that's not the name of some cool new band that played downtown). But while we aren't catching any exciting rock shows or dining out at any fancy restaurants, the smiles and coos we get from Aaron are all the entertainment we need for now. He's definitely becoming more interactive - a great reward for all the hard work we've been putting in at diaper changes and midnight feedings.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween from our little pumpkin!

It's Aaron's first Halloween, and while we'll skip trick-or-treating tonight, we couldn't resist dressing him up a bit for the occasion.

We visited the pediatrician last Friday for his one month checkup, and this big boy now weighs 9 lbs, 10 oz -- a full three pounds over his birth weight. He's also grown another 2 inches in length, putting him in the 95th percentile for height.

Monday, October 22, 2007

One down, eleven more to go...

Can you believe it's been a month since Aaron was born? We sure can't. Time has passed amazingly quickly, but it also been the kind of month that I thought would never end. Funny how time works like that. In the moment (especially when the moment is in the middle of the night and your baby wants to eat again for the third time in an hour), it's hard to have any perspective. Now I look back over the past four weeks and realize that this is all going to happen way too fast. Before we know it, he'll be grown. We're already 1/12 of the way to his first birthday. It's so bittersweet - we can't wait for him to outgrow the annoyances of the newborn period, but I already feel a little sad that my tiny boy is getting bigger.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Dad has fun with the 3 week old...

Who says you can't have fun with a 3 week old baby? Cribs.Pack n' plays. All over-rated, as I discovered that Aaron was quite content in the shipping box on a bed of pink packing peanuts (say that real fast). He was not there very long and it made Sarah laugh. After a few weeks of highly interrupted sleep, I really enjoy adding levity to the household.

We had a great weekend as a family. I spent as much time as I could holding and staring at our wonderful creation.

Many people have asked me...What is it like being a Dad?
I try to come up with some deep and profound statement, generally I 'm too tired to really think straight. However, put simply; I quote Scripture "Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3 NLT) and I also add that I have been waiting and preparing for Aaron for my entire life."

I love God, I love my wife and I love my son!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Aaron's a little wheezy...

Our little pookie has a plugged up nose. Could be just normal newborn congestion, but it's more likely his first cold. Yuck! So we're spending nights trying to keep him propped up and calm (easier said than done), and today's adventure will be a trip to Target to find a cool mist vaporizer. It's hilarious to hear this little tiny baby snore just like his Daddy!

Here's Aaron's current favorite sleeping position. Hard to be efficient like this, but we're lovin' the sweet cuddles.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My first photo shoot

Had to post a few pics from our first photo shoot. Couldn't resist.

Aaron went for a weight check yesterday, and he's already gained a full pound over his birth weight. Way to go, boy! That goes a long way in making us feel better about his difficult feeding habits. He's obviously getting enough.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

One day at a time

We're taking things one day at a time here at the Sharp house, and I'm pleased to report that each day has been better than the last. We've had some helpful friends come in to bring meals and help with household duties, and how refreshed we feel! THANK YOU to those who have provided us with tangible reminders of God's grace.

Some new pictures for those who just can't get enough...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Our first week...

What a week it's been. So many different emotions - he's perfect! so beautiful! such a lot of work! It's been overwhelming at times, but God is giving us the strength and wisdom to get through one day at a time.

Feeding has been our biggest challenge. When ready to leave the hospital last Tuesday afternoon, Aaron still hadn't nursed well. Nurses told us it was because he was still recovering from his circumcision. But finally an astute lactation nurse noticed that he had a tongue tie that was preventing him from latching on (the tiny flap of skin under his tongue was too tight). The nurse taught us how to feed him via syringe, and I began pumping to get my milk in. After visits to our pediatrician, a pediatric ear/nose/throat specialist to have the tie clipped, and a lactation consultant, Aaron is finally eating well. Now I can't get him to stop. He wants to eat CONSTANTLY. Our midwife thinks we just might have a really fussy baby. She says as long as we know his needs are met, it's okay to just let him cry for a bit. I'm just glad to be done with formula and syringes.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Home sweet home...

So much to share... and so little time to get it all down. Thanks for waiting patiently for a new post as we settle in to a routine (is there any such thing with a new baby?).

Our labor and delivery was an amazing process. My contractions started at about 10:30 on Saturday night, just as we had settled into bed for the night. Mike was sleeping soundly, and I saw no reason to wake him, so I headed for the downstairs couch to work through early labor. Contractions were regular, but about 15 minutes apart. Daylight came, and contractions were still spaced too far to head to the hospital, so we did what we could to stay comfortable and keep things going - a few walks around the block, using the birthing ball, a long hot shower... Mike called the midwife as things got more intense, but she encouraged us to stay home until contractions were consistently 4 minutes apart. We finally hit the 4 minute mark at about 5pm, so we headed to the hospital. I fully expected to hear that I had a lot more dilating to do, but to everyone's amazement, I was at 10cm and ready to push! Pushing began in earnest, but contractions all but disappeared, as Aaron's head presented sideways instead of crown first. So the first 2 hours of pushing were just me giving it all I had without help from my uterus. We finally decided that a little pitocin would help, and it did! Aaron arrived at 10:21 pm, and Daddy helped catch him and put him up on my chest.

Looking back, it was such a wonderful gift to do all of my laboring at home. Being in my own bed meant I could stay as relaxed as possible, and the work was efficient. Had it been available, there were moments I would have been tempted to ask for an epidural, but I feel certain that doing so would have meant a cesarean, as I wouldn't have had the control or power to push as well. So our natural birth didn't look exactly the way I thought it would, but I feel really proud to have accomplished such a task, knowing I brought my son into the world in the healthiest way possible.

We're having some real trouble with feeding, but we've got good support and we're working an action plan to get things resolved. I'll tell more of that story soon... Please pray for us!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Finally a word from Dad....

I thought I'd be sharing my birthday with my son, but no! He gets his very own special day to celebrate. Which day will it be?
I'm currently looking at a Certificate of Birth that is incomplete:
This______day of______, 2007
Time: _____________

I really hope the Lord enjoys watching the anticipation Mom and Dad feel as we try to figure the exact day of birth. The labor scenario has been running in my head. Everytime I would talk to Sarah this past week from work, I was sort of expecting something like this:
Mike: Hi Honey! How is your day going?
Sarah: Fine. Just wanted to let you know that my water broke, the midwife, an ambulance, two firetrucks and the neighbors are here. I'm about to deliver! GET HOME NOW!!!

But, No. That did not happen and I must be "paysniff" (patient) and wait with eager anticipation.

As I told a co-worker this week, I'm excited to know what the story will be...

(as the Lord smiles on me and says I already know - ha ha ;-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

From the midwife...

Dialation: 0

Effacement: 50%

What this means: Baby's not ready to come yet. Though I'm having contractions, he'll probably be a late comer. :-(

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This week's good word

Mike and I were blessed with a simple but profound piece of advice at church this week. One of the worship leaders, Andi, himself a young parent, came over to congratulate us on our impending birth. When Mike asked for Andi's best advice, his reply was something like this:

You're not just having a baby, your having your baby. He'll come with his own preferences and personality. God will equip you with exactly what you need in the exact moment you need it. So don't worry if you don't feel ready now. You don't need God's parenting power now. But you'll get it.

Duh! Why didn't I remember this earlier? As the music began and the worship got underway, I felt God' perfect peace melt over me. A lot of the secret fears that had been hidden away in my heart took flight, and are now replaced with a quiet contentment and growing excitement at meeting my son face to face very soon.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sweet Dreams

I dreamt last night that I was holding a tiny newborn in my arms. He had olive skin and lots of curly dark hair. A predictor of what's to come???

Monday, September 3, 2007

Speeding towards delivery day...

September. Yikes. Mike and I agreed we'd better "be ready" for baby to come, just in case, by the start of September. Everyone's telling me stories about how their babies came 3 weeks early. Better get going on packing that hospital bag . And finishing the nursery. And interviewing pediatricians. And washing tiny baby clothes. And, and, and...

September is freaking me out a little. Our friends are threw us a baby shower over the weekend - another reminder that someone's arrival is imminent. I think the real source of my freaking out is all the tiny voices in my head that try to convince me that I can't do this. What if I'm not a good mother? What if I totally screw this kid up? Or let him get really sick? Or don't feed him all the right foods? Or, or, or...

So I'm just trying to remember that God knows what He's doing. He chose Mike and me to be this boy's parents. He must think we have some kind of clue. I'll just have to trust Him on that one. Psalm 23 has been good for me recently - just a reminder that God walks with us through all things.

Friday, August 24, 2007

One month to go....

Hard to believe that August is coming to a close. It seems like only a few weeks have passed since that blood test told us a new person was on the way. The reality of it all is sinking in - my body is beginning to remind me of how far along I am, and my big belly is evidence that someone is on his way (soon!). But I'm not complaining. What a joy to join with God in this creative work. There are so many others who would like to be in my shoes, and I'm not going to sour the experience by focusing on all the negatives.
So the countdown begins. I've finished working full time, Mike's keeping the cell phone close just in case, and we're getting a suitcase packed. We've located a foot and a butt on this wiggly boy, and it makes it all the more real that he's a unique person. His tiny hiccups this morning made us laugh. We're anxious to hold him in our arms and introduce him to the world.

Friday, June 22, 2007

He has a name...but we're not telling

We really struggled to come up with a name for this boy. Nothing seemed quite right. We couldn't agree. We read through entire baby name books without inspiration. But we asked God to give us his name, and now we know. Mike was at work one afternoon, mullling over our current list, talking it over with a co-worker, when a new name popped into his head. When he came home from work and shared it with me, I knew instantly that it was right. It fit. But we're not telling. You'll have to wait and see.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy (expectant) Mother's Day! We had a great day celebrating family... first a surprise mother's day gift from Mike and "Guido" (our nickname for the little one, in case you didn't know). Mike said Guido told him what to buy, and Dad was just doing the leg work. So now I have the new Fernando Ortega CD - quiet music to play during the birth - and two books on parenting. It was a wonderful family moment, and I was overwhelmed at the gifts God has poured into my life.

We spent the afternoon celebrating birthdays and moms. A cookout in Palatine; a drive to Mike's grandma in Bridgeview; and some time to visit with his mom. A marathon day for sure, but one in which we saw God at work in us and through us. Can't ask for more.

Friday, May 11, 2007

At the halfway point...

Have you heard.... we're having a baby!!!

Yesterday was our 20 week ultrasound. What a special gift to have a glimpse inside my body and see what this little one is up to. I drank a Pepsi about 30 minutes before my appointment, and this baby was wiggly! :-) But we did have a clear view of the anatomy... it's a BOY! I'm so excited to give Mike a son, give my dad a grandson, and produce the first boy cousin on my side of the family. Psalm 139 keeps coming to mind as I look at this beautiful boy's first photos.