Thursday, July 28, 2011


micah drinking water

aquabib: a water drinker

in these dog days of summer my sister and I decided to offer Micah a cool cup of water after a scorching walk to and from the west side market on Wednesday.

Not only was it an adorable sight (see 18 second video below) but he just couldn't get the hang of the cup...and we couldn't get the hang of focusing the camera on his while simultaneously helping him sit up and not crack his face on the glass cup.

how many people does it take to feed a baby a sip of ice water?

answer: apparently more than two!

on napping, again. and why I am a fan.

I think I write a lot about nap time because it's the one time of day where my mind has a moment to focus.
The lens of my eye has a chance to adjust to the light-
Or the dark and in that quiet moment I can think
And often, he's the one I think about
when he's asleep I slip awestruck thoughts about him, about me, about the God who created us both into
My pocket
Reach my hand in
And rattle them around in my palm
Little gold coins of wonder

His head smells of sweat and cotton and salty sweet sleep

His little pudgy hand grips his diaper where it meets his thigh in his sleep

His eyelashes, like fingernail clippings, set side by side in a half-moon arc

His bottom lip pulled in, like he's trying not to laugh during the serious business of sleep

And today, he sleeps on my bed, going on an hour and I first did dishes, sorted the mail, changed the laundry.

Then I crept back up, my hand full J.Crew's latest eye candy catalogue and I flipped through, silently, next to him by the light of the window above my bed.

It's cool and quiet and I'm tempted to fall asleep too, but he's pushing an hour, which never happens, so I don't want to press my luck.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

another monday bites the dust

Yesterday, this was our day:

4am: Micah wakes up sobbing. (this kid never wakes up in the middle of
the night-except for during the crazy thunder storms last week)
I try to let him cry it out, but eventually go in there, because he
keeps getting louder and louder and I don't want Curtis to wake up -
too late.

5am: he finally falls back to sleep just in time for Curtis to get up for work.

6:30am: I get up, make bed (i'm ocd about a made bed) brush teeth,
drink coffee, eat a bowl of special k, take vitamins

7am: sign on work laptop.prepare for 7:30am phone meeting

7:30am: have call

8am: call ends, Micah wakes up. Go into his room singing our morning
wake-up song:

"rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!"

Change him, bring him into my bed (and air-conditioned room) to nurse.

Then I pump (my once-a-day pump) as Micah happily lays next to me on
the bed, and sometimes I get to watch about 10 minutes of the today
show as I pump.

8:30am: go downstairs with my boy, clean pump stuff, freeze milk and
lay Micah on the cute little bear blanket (which I happened to make in
high school home ec class) to play while I work at my dining room desk

9:30am: Micah falls asleep while playing, I don't dare move him into
his crib, so he sleeps amidst his toys for half an hour.

10am: the boy wakes up and we play, and I work and we play some more

11am: we nurse

11:30: I start dinner (broccoli and chicken pasta in a pesto cream
sauce with fresh basil)

While I'm at it I make quinoa two ways (Mexican with lime and cilantro
and curried with chick peas) to eat later this week

12:30pm: back to work and play, simultaneously. He takes another half
hour nap around 1.

2pm: we nurse

3pm: my mom stops over for a visit, entertains Micah baby while I work

4pm: mom leaves and Micah naps again while i finish dinner.

5pm: nurse, again.

5:30: Curtis gets home. He changes, we eat, clean up

6:30pm: we play with Micah

7:15pm: rice cereal time. The little man likes his food.

7:30pm: I take Micah upstairs to nurse. Curtis has a few guys coming
over for a bible study.

8pm: put Micah to bed. (tonight only a few minutes of crying)

8pm: I sit in bed and work (and let Facebook distract me every so often)

9:45pm: I close my laptop. Brush my teeth, wash my face and put some
hair removal cream on my 'mustache' (Curtis just told me I had to add
that in there!)

10pm: Boys leave and Curtis comes upstairs. Gets ready for bed as I
blog on my phone.

10:15pm: lights are out and it's bedtime. Bedtime prayer is that Micah
does NOT wake up at 4am again tonight!*

*note on Tuesday morning: Micah DID wake up again - at 2 am, crying
hysterically (for an HOUR!)
what do we do? we're a split household. I say let him cry it out after
making sure he's okay (which he was) Curtis wants to sleep
(understandable) and offered him a pacifier and a tummy rub until he
drifted back off to la-la land. After months of Micah sleeping so
well, even just being up an hour in the middle of the night is
exhausting. any advice?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a view from our morning

morning nap

today is another scorcher
so far I can't even gather the motivation to think about going somewhere-
somewhere with central air

so instead of putting him down for his morning nap in one room with air and me in another room with another window unit on
we holed up in my bedroom
ceiling fan on, air on high, lights off
and I let him sleep on me
cuddled up in the cold, dark

I sit, legs outstretched
Lips to his nearly bald head
Listening to him breathe
Smelling the minty scent of the Dr. Bronners soap I bathed him with last night
In my mom's bathroom sink
Feeling the weight of this little human,
more than twice as heavy on me as he was inside

Most days I prefer to lay him in his crib awake. Let him fuss and sometimes cry himself to sleep
Self soothe.
But today I'd much rather feel his sleepy head in the crease of my armpit
His hand, curled into a fist on my collarbone

The window's light catching his toes at my thigh

And maybe when he wakes up we'll figure out the rest of our day
Do something, go somewhere

But maybe, just maybe we'll spend the day curled up in my bedroom, air on high, reading books, telling stories and

taking more naps.

Monday, July 18, 2011

how 5 months has flown

IMG_8381, originally uploaded by jpenick999.

razzing: blowing bubbles in a funny, motorboat-motorboat sort of way.

today my boy is 5 months old.
a month away from his first half birthday
brings a tiny tear to my eye.

and this is the face you will see him doing most of the time. he thinks it's funny, as do we, so he continues.

i didn't know razzing was a word until i read it in What to Expect the First Year.

it's kind of like spitting, blowing bubbles simultaneously. it's adorable. and so is he.

what's Micah up to now that he's 5 months old you ask?

well, he's officially a swaddle-free sleeper.

after him waking up every morning for the last month or so, practically swaddle-free anyways, we decided to pack the swaddle away and see hoe he'd do.

the first night he woke up a few times, but quickly settled himself back to sleep. the second night he slept straight through the night - arms free, stretched over his head the way he naps. now it's been a week and he's fully swaddle-weaned :)

this past month we also started him on rice cereal. to say he loves it would be an understatement. sometimes he even cries between bites if we're not feeding him quick enough. it's hilarious - i have it on video if i can find it, i'll post it. little fatty!

i'm still nursing and he's still growing. right now he weighs about 17 1/2 lbs i think.

what else? he loves eating his hands, is drooling like crazy, but no teeth in sight, still sleeps 12-13 hours straight a night and nap time is becoming a bit better. what was once a struggle for 1-2 20 min naps a day has turned into 3-4 20-40 min naps. unfortunately the last one occurs a bit before bedtime - so we're thinking we might move up his bedtime an hour or so - the downside to that is we have to have him fed and in bed earlier, which always isn't much fun during the summer hours when we want to run around and go for after dinner walks and such.

but such is life and we are enjoying every minute of it.

ok, i'm done. not sure if anyone cares about this stuff, but it's a good way for me to remember it myself!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Sometimes I read blogs on my phone while I nurse

Sometimes I scroll through Facebook

Sometimes I text my sister, take a picture or send an email

but Sometimes he grabs my finger before i can pick up my phone and holds on tight while he eats

It's like he's saying,

"get off your phone mom and pay attention to me, or else I'll grab your phone scrolling finger and not let go!"

*and sometimes I even blog while I'm nursing, like right now, once I jimmied my finger free from the grip of all baby grips

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, July 11, 2011



About a month ago I was asked to share my testimony at church of how i got came to know Jesus.
All summer long they're having one person every sunday morning give their testimony of how they got saved.
And although i am not a public speaker, when they called to ask me to do it, what could i say but okay?
So because i am not comfortable in front of crowds, i typed it out and read it instead.
i thought i would share this with all my blog friends too
i hope it leaves you encouraged and thinking about your own story as well :)
Anyways, this is what i said/read:


My mom would tell you I got saved when I was 4

She said we were listening to a kids Christian radio station and I told her to hold on a second. I ran into my room and shut the door, then came out and told her I just prayed and asked Jesus to forgive my sins and come into my heart.

Whether that was the moment of salvation for me or not only God knows, but the evidences of salvation, if any, definitely weren’t personal from then until the summer between jr high and high school.

It was that summer that I went to a Christian summer camp and really felt the Holy Spirit’s presence for the first time. It was during that week of crazy games and nightly evangelical services that I "chose" (or better yet, it was God who was doing the drawing) to get serious about my relationship with God.

I remember starting youth group with a whole new seriousness. And I was grateful for my parent’s testimonies and spiritual leadership.

You see, I was raised in a messianic Jewish household. My dad was Jewish and got saved at age 18 out of a life of drugs. He then met my mom who was also radically saved in her early twenties.

So really, I think my testimony began with the testimonies of my parents. They were first people in either of their families to come to know Jesus (and in my dad’s case the only person). My salvation story began with theirs.

After being saved, my dad became a devout student of the bible and as he came to understand the scriptures, it spilled into the lives of everyone he knew. Once they had my siblings, and me, they began to raise us to submit ourselves to the authority of scripture, with the understanding of God’s sovereignty and the role that God’s election played into each of our salvation stories.

Despite this emphasis, we attended a church that didn’t share this commitment. 

As I started to read and study the bible seriously I knew what I was reading wasn't jiving with what I heard on Sunday mornings.

Incidentally, I was friends with the pastor's son. I remember having debates with him over theology to the point of being called into the pastor’s office, which happened to be his father.

I remember them "encouraging" me to simmer down, trying to get me to understand that the things we were debating, namely the sovereignty of God and the doctrine of election, weren’t THAT important.

I remember sitting in the chair in his office and turning beet red and feeling so upset because in scripture it seemed to be THAT important. To not believe that God was not only in control of everything, but orchestrating everything, was a big deal.

  • How we viewed the migraines my mom and I chronically suffered with was a big deal.
  • How we viewed cancer and the death of believers was a big deal.
  • How we viewed every seemingly “bad” thing that happened, or good thing for that matter, was a big deal.

These were formative years for me as I grew in my relationship with Christ and learned to wrestle with the texts of scripture. I learned that doctrine matters and I wanted to understand all that God had revealed in his word.

After high school, I headed to England to go to YWAM (also known as Youth With A Mission). While there, I remember calling my parents on numerous occasions as I struggled through the nitty-gritty of my faith and the teaching I was hearing.

My dad would email me bible verses to solidify the truths he wanted me to remember and think about while I worked in out in my own relationship with Christ.

When I came home, if I didn’t already know why the Lord led our family to my home church, it was becoming clear.

It was then, on the front steps of the church, I met Curtis.

Now, it wasn’t love at first sight, but what started that day was a deep friendship. He slowly became a good friend to me, but not just to me but to my sister and my parents too.

So, when I chose to head to Africa to become a nanny to a missionary family for a year, he still found his way to my parent’s dinner table.

It was during that time that the theology that I was raised with, slowly became something he adopted as his own.

While away, my parents continued to have my friends over for weekly dinners. They would talk about God and point them back to the texts of scripture.

It was at those dinners that Curtis’ view of God was shaped. And I was thousands of miles away.

Long story short, during that time Curtis and my dad came with a team to serve the missionaries I lived with. And shortly after I came home, we started dating.

I saw in him so much about what I loved in my parents. He was serious about his faith. He would fight for truth at any cost. And he held the knowledge of God’s sovereign will as a truth to celebrate and not fear or shrink from.

That truth, discovered in God’s word, has been my anchor. That God’s sovereign will, over not only my moment of salvation but also over my entire life is a reality to cherish and not dismiss.

  • I can either view chronic migraines as Satan’s work or a chance to trust that Christ can use pain for his glory.
  • I can view family members struggling in their faith as the place where God lost control, or the place where He alone can redeem once again.
  • And I can view our struggles with fertility as a chance to doubt God loves me or to believe that He shows his love for me by forgiving my sins and not only by the gifts he gives me.

But good gifts he has given me. Not only for the chance to be raised in a Christian home, but a home with parents who cherished the truths of the Scriptures that to some may seem hard to swallow. 
He had me meet my husband in the most unlikely of churches, and just when we had surrendered our “right” to get pregnant and began to pursue adoption instead, he surprised us by answering our original prayer with the gift of getting pregnant with Micah. 

He is teaching me to hold my plans in the palm of my hand loosely and trust His promises fully. Because ultimately, we make our plans, but His are the ones that come to pass, and in that truth from His Word I can rest secure.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

happy together

My creation

*photos taken by Curtis' parents while visiting them in Chicago - don't mind my wet hair and lack of makeup.

On the way home from Chicago we made three stops.
At stop numer three, i was nursing and complaining to Curtis simultaneously about the obscene hour we were going to get home at - when he gently reminded me that we were together, all three of us and then he said something i love to hear.
"- home is wherever we're together - who cares what time we get home."

If you can't tell, we have fun together.
we are not good at serious posing or photoshoots that don't involve tongues, piggyback rides and giggles.
i'm also not good at actually looking decent when a camera is being pointed in my direction
but what can'ya do? but at least it was fun - or funny i guess is more like it.

micah is now 4 1/2 months old and is a traveling champ.
during the 6 hour drive to chicago we only made one 1/2 hr stop the entire way to nurse him.
he slept probably 5 out of the 6 1/2 hour trip - it was incredible. he is incredible.

we had the chance to talk and listen to part of a marriage conference and just had a wonderful drive, just the two of us 
(or it felt that way at least, due to the sleeping angel-boy)

and it was a great trip.
they treat us like royalty when we visit.

despite the heat we fit a lot into a the short trip.

an evening walk to town for fro-yo
lincoln park zoo
the beach
fish tacos

and just when we thought our weekend was over and we were (finally) driving into downtown Cleveland late on the 4th of July, to our amazement, we could see every city's fireworks peppering the horizon as we made our way into town.
it was incredible and a great way to end a beautiful summer weekend.

it's true - home is wherever we're together, and who cares that we got home at 11 and had to make three stops which extended our trip by a couple hours. 

who cares when we were together.

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