13 (almost 14) Month Update

Where is the time going?  I can’t believe we’re officially in the start of A’s 2nd Holiday Season!

Weight:  18.4lbs
Height:  28.5 inches

Medical Issues:  Nothing….thank goodness.  She’s been the picture of health, knock on wood!

Sleep:  Again, knock on wood…she’s back to sleeping in her crib in her own room and for the past couple of nights, has slept straight through.  Even when she does wake up in the night, she almost always goes right back to sleep after I go in, give her a hug, lay her back down and start her light up/ musical giraffe from her Birth Mom.  Once in awhile we have to let her cry it out.  I knew a couple of weeks ago I had to sleep train her before J left on his hunting trip this past Thursday.  The first night I laid her down after rocking her to sleep and she got about 4 different times.  The first 3, one of us would go in and just stay by her crib til she fell back to sleep.  The last time, after each of us standing next to her for about 45 min all together, we had to let her cry it out.  She cried for 15-20 min and then went to sleep and since then, it’s just gotten better and better.  Pray the next sleep regression is a long way off or never comes, lol.

 Clothing Size:  We’re pretty solidly in 12 months.  She has a couple 9 month jammies that need to get packed away and still fits into some 9 month onesies.

Diaper size:  We are onto 4’s now.

Diet:  A still gets 2-3 bottles a day with the first one always being whole milk and the last before bed always formula.  Honestly, I’m not in a hurry to take the bottle away.  I don’t understand why BF Mom’s are encouraged to keep going yet they want bottle fed babies stopped right at 12 months.  As usual, what they say doesn’t fly with me.  She drinks water or cold whole milk out of a sippy cup the rest of the day but sometimes, my girl just needs a bottle and I’m not ready to give up the nutrients she gets from the formula.  Otherwise she has 3 meals and usually 2 snacks a day.  This girl takes after her Mama and loves sweets.

Baby gear love:  I guess I can probably get rid of this category.  😦  It’s getting a bit too cold for walks now and she doesn’t really use any baby gear anymore.  The front carrier once in awhile if I need my hands and she needs to be held.

Milestones/Firsts:  It’s crazy to read the 12 month update of her not quite walking yet.  If we’re FB friends, you’ll know she’s part toddler/part monkey.  Not only she is walking now but she’s practically running and this girl, she can climb anything.  If you didn’t see the video, she went from the floor, to the top of her toy box, launched herself onto Daddy’s recliner which is next to the half wall that separates our living room and kitchen.  She then stood on the arm of the recliner and I didn’t catch it in the video, but earlier that day she had her knee all the way up on the top of the half wall which is pretty high and was ready to launch herself onto the counter.  And she can do this in like less than a minute.  I’ll turn around to set LO down in the rock and play, turn around and A will be on top of something.  Also, child proof locks got nothing on this girl and she gets into everything.  I’ve had to rearrange some stuff that I don’t want her into, lol.  She will once in awhile wave goodbye or try and blow kisses.   She’s also become a big sister (at least for the time being) since the last update.  She is NOT loving it.    Let’s see, I can tell you what she’s not doing.  Talking.  Like very little so now I’ve gone from the person that tells parents not to worry, they do it in their own time, to the parent that’s doing the worrying.  She says Dada, but not necessarily meaning J, once in a great while she’ll say done, but that’s really it.  She refuses to say Mama although my Mom says she says it at her house sometimes.

Likes:  Mommy and Daddy (she’s totally become a Daddy’s girl…makes me a wee bit sad), Grandma and cousins, Baths…loves, loves, loves bath time.  Her musical/light up giraffe from her birth mom.  Her crib (Yay!), climbing everything, peekaboo.  She’ll be out of sight and I’ll sing “Where oh Where oh Where is Annabelle?  Where oh Where oh Where is Annabelle?  Where oh Where oh Where is Annabelle?  Where could Annabelle be be be?  And sometimes she’ll coming running in and sometimes she’ll try and be sneaky about it but it’s super cute either way.  She likes the toilet way too much.  This child gets into and climbs way more stuff then any daycare kid I’ve ever had.

Dislikes:  Being pulled away from whatever she’s climbing or getting into if it’s something I really would rather she didn’t have.  Her winter hat.  Having a baby in the house 24/7.  Sharing anything with the dc kids.

Things I Don’t Want to Forget:  The where oh where is Annabelle song and how she always comes because of it.  Her belly laugh and her toothy grin.  Her snuggles and open mouth kisses that I get her to do every once in a while.

What’s next?:   Hopefully some more language skills.  Her 2nd Thanksgiving where she can fully enjoy the food this time.  The wonders of the Christmas tree and figuring out how to baby proof it.

How’s Mommy doing?  Not gonna lie…taking care of many different kids from daycare does not prepare you for an almost 14 month old and a newborn 24/7.  LO is not as easy of a baby as A was…but really, I know A spoiled us and most aren’t that easy.  I’m exhausted a lot of the time and trying to balance my attention between the two is quite difficult.  I’m ready for hunting season to be over so Daddy is around more often.

How’s Daddy doing?  Right now he’s away in Wyoming on a hunting trip with his Dad.  They’re having a great time although no deer yet and both really needed and deserved this trip.  It’s been rough being a single parent for the past 4 days though.  They’ll leave to come home at dark tonight so should be home sometime tomorrow morning.

Pictures from the last month and a half:

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Guilt

I, as a woman, wife and mother, seem to fall prey to it far more often than I wish to.  I’m guessing, some (if not all) of you can relate.  Guilt has a way of taking hold of you and just not wanting to let go even when your head has solid reasons for you not to feel guilty.

Here’s just a few of things that have riddled me with guilt these last few months:

  1.  Gaining 40lbs since J and I have been married and not being able to find the willpower and motivation to do something about it.
  2. Not being able to just be a SAHM with Annabelle.  When she needs to be rocked or held, I want to be able to just do that without having to put my focus on other kids.
  3. My hand in our debt.  I’m not thrifty or frugal.  I’m working on this.
  4. Treating my YL business as a hobby instead of a business.  Our debt would’ve gone down by a whole lot more and I would probably be a SAHM by now if I’d just work it the way I need to.
  5. How everything went down with M this summer.  I don’t think I posted it about it because I can’t really give details but let’s just say, the placement ended badly and I have a lot of guilt over it.  My reaction to what happened was probably pretty normal and I shouldn’t have been put in the position I was to begin with, but it doesn’t stop the guilt for what happened.
  6. Last but not least, being asked to take a new foster placement and having to say not right now, which is what I had to do this morning.  There are great reasons why we shouldn’t take it on right now, like our very busy schedules and the age difference…the new placement would be a 9 yr old boy.  Last year, with T and M, A was still a snuggly, sleepy baby.  Now she’s a constantly on the go explorer.  They’re not going to be doing the same types of activities which means J and I would have to split up more and we’re already fighting about lack of time together.  We had to say no for now but if you don’t find another suitable family, we can readdress him coming at Christmas when things slow down a bit.  It sounds like this little man is just starved for attention and love and we want to make sure we’re in the position to give it to him and that’s just not our lives right now.  Guess what though…it doesn’t stop the guilt.

So there you have it…guilt, guilt, guilt.  What have you been feeling guilty about lately?

Share Your World 9/25/17

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Laying on a raft in a pool with a great book.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

Passenger as long as I can be in the front seat.  As a kid, I could sit wherever and read for as long as I wanted in a car, as an adult, I’m nausea more often than not.  😦

 

If you could have three wishes granted for you alone, what would they be?

A completely healthy body on all levels.  To be a SAHM without financial worries.  To be able to eat whatever I want whenever I want and still have a healthy, toned body.

 

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

I completely and totally appreciated the fact that we got to celebrate our Daughter’s 1st Birthday.  I didn’t know if that dream would ever come true!

12 Month Update

It’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since our Sweet Girl came into our lives. 1 year ago, yesterday, around 10am, we were meeting our baby for the very first time.  We were immediately overwhelmed with love both for A and for her Birth Mom.  The next 9 days were filled with snuggles and worry, both about getting her to eat enough and also N changing her mind as she came every day to visit her.  Now of course, I can look back and be so glad that she did so that we can tell A that.  Also, J was able to get to know her on a better level each day as he was the one there while I worked.  A year has passed and she has gotten so big and learned so much.  She is a sweet, smart, funny little girl that makes us laugh and smile on a daily basis.

Weight:  17.4 lbs.
Height:  Not sure…we need to get her first mark on her height chart that finally got hung up in her room.

Medical Issues:  We had a nerve-wracking week leading up to her Birthday.  Last Sunday evening, she came down with a fever and it lasted through Wednesday.  Even when her cheeks were cool, the rest of her felt like a furnace so Mama spent the week feeling overheated as A didn’t want to be put down much at all.  Wednesday evening she had 3 blow outs in a row which is very unusual and made me start freaking out about E. Coli.  There’s a bit of an outbreak going on in our county with no clue as to where these kids are getting it from.  As you know, one of my daycare babies was extremely ill with it and praise God, came home this past Thursday when a few weeks ago, we didn’t know if she was going to make it.  There’s still health concerns and she won’t be coming back to daycare anytime soon due to the blood clot in her brain, but she’s home with her family.  Anyways, the blowouts started having me concerned so I made a Dr. appt for the next day (her birthday).  Thursday morning, she woke up cool as a cucumber for the first time since Sunday so I called and left a message to cancel the appt.  In the time I left that message and they called back, she projectile spit up twice so they patched me through to Dr. G’s nurse and she said to come in just to be on the safe side.  We went in and Dr. G was fairly sure it was an upper viral infection because her throat was red and she could see post nasal drip but we did a stool culture to rule out E. Coli.  We’re still waiting on those results.  A had a couple more blowouts on Friday with a very raw butt, but was fine yesterday and so far so good today.  We made it exactly a year before we had to go to the Dr. for an unwell visit.  I know some you poo poo my talk of Young Living, but I completely attribute how healthy she is to the support she receives from essential oils and the fact that none of our cleaning products or personal care products have toxins in them.  Thieves cleaner cleans just as well as (better in my opinion) chemical toxic cleaners and I’m not poisoning my child, pets or J and I.  Do you realize what those ingredients do to our bodies and that most countries have outlawed them but of course the US grandfathered them in because hey it means more money for the Big Pharm companies?  This kiddo was 4-6 weeks early, spent 9 days in NICU and went straight into daycare upon arriving home and up until this past week she’s had 3 colds and only one of them bad.  Thank you D. Gary Young!!!

Sleep:  She did sleep through the night Friday night and I think she would’ve last night too if she hadn’t fallen asleep at 6pm.  It was exhausting being adored by everyone at her birthday party, lol.  She is back in our room now in the pack and play because she was guaranteed to wake up every night while she was sick and it was easier to just pull her into our bed from there than have to go into her room.  She’s been spending the 2nd half of the night in our bed.  Sometimes it’s fine and sometimes she’s restless and kicks or bangs her head into Mommy’s head multiple times like last night.

 Clothing Size:  Her 6 month clothes are finally getting too small and we’ve packed most up unless it says 6-12 months on it.  Pants are 9-12 months and PJ’s are mostly 12 months with a few 9 months still in the mix.

Diaper size:  Finishing up the last box of size 3’s and then I think we’ll move on up to 4’s.

Diet:  Still on Up and Up brand formula and usually sticks with 4 oz. at a time still.  She is not a fan of milk.  We’ve tried whole and skim and she makes horrible faces at both.  She does better on coconut milk but still prefers water or formula.  I have not tried the coconut milk in a bottle yet though, just a sippy, so I might try that next.

Baby gear love:  Same as last month…She likes to go for walks in the stroller and is loving her toy that she can walk behind.  She also still likes her activity table.  Having her on the front of me in the carrier can be hard on my back for long periods ( she was in it a lot this week though so I could hold her and do daycare)  and I haven’t figured out how to put her on my back by myself.  She only goes in her jumparoo if I desperately need a shower and J’s not here to watch her.

Milestones/Firsts:  I wouldn’t say we have a walker yet, but she is toddling a few steps at a time.  I think she would have been doing more by her birthday if she hadn’t gotten sick.  Today was the most she took at 5 steps.  She also tries to climb everything now.  She bear crawls everywhere vs. normal crawling.  She started gymnastics and was supposed to start swimming but was sick for the first class so we start that tomorrow.  She has super strong legs and can stand up anywhere, no need to hold onto anything.  Her favorite place to do this is the middle of the bath tub.  She officially has blankets in her crib and sleeps much better, especially at nap time being covered up.  I’ve mostly stopped panicking about this.  Also, more teeth.  Her lateral incisors are popping through on top.  Her first birthday party!

Likes:  Mommy and Daddy, Grandma and cousins, Baths…loves, loves, loves bath time, being told she’s beautiful,  sitting up, standing up, her paci, rocking and singing (I made up a special lullaby for her that I sing every time she goes to sleep), the letter of the day song from Sesame Street and Micky Mouse Club…especially Toodles!  Getting into everything, putting everything in her mouth, making messes, eating, the puppies, crawling into the kitchen cupboards.  Our lazy susan cupboard broke a long time ago so we pulled it all out and put tins in there that she can go it and play with.  Cupcakes and frosting…enough said, lol.  Being outside and especially leaves.

Dislikes:  Still hates getting changed and getting her dressed is even worse (although got a little better while she was sick so hopefully that sticks).  Not looking forward to having to more clothes on her with fall and winter ahead.  Sleeping!!!  Being held when she wants to move and being put down when she wants to snuggle.

Things I Don’t Want to Forget:  Our first family pictures.  When she realized she could eat the frosting from the smash cake and how she really dug into it once she realized how yummy it was.  Her first steps.  Her 1st birthday party and how loved she and we are by our tribe.  We rented a park shelter and we were worried about it being cold and rainy…instead it was almost 100 and so humid!  We left the cakes at home until it was time so they didn’t melt, lol.  We did a taco bar and bbq.

What’s next?:   Fully walking and still need to transition away from formula.  She has her 1 yr well visit on Oct. 2nd.  Her visit to the orchard/pumpkin patch.

How’s Mommy doing?  I’m doing better.  Still eating like crap and not exercising, but put a plan into place for Young Living and teaching classes so I’m happy about that.  Daycare is a little rougher this year.  I have one crier (although it’s slowly getting better), 1 non eater, and 1 special needs that is luckily just before and after school because I don’t think I’d be able to do it otherwise.

How’s Daddy doing?  Back to school and coaching while also still mowing lawns and bow hunting has started.  The saving grace is that it’s too freaking hot to hunt right now.    After a long week of sickness and getting ready for and holding her bday party, he let me sleep til I woke up this morning at 9:40am so I’m thoroughly appreciative of him today!

Pictures from the last month:

A few pics from our family photos we had done.

And more from the month and her party!

We’re Closing in on 1 year

Dear Annabelle,

Tomorrow, at 1:07pm specifically, you turn a year old.  It is hard to fathom that at this time last year, we had no clue that we were about to become parents or how much our life was about to change.

Tomorrow and on Saturday (a year from the day that we finally got to meet you) we,  along with the people that adore you, get to celebrate the amazing, sweet, smart, beautiful little girl that you are.  You have come so far since we met you in the NICU with an IV in your head and a feeding tube put in the next morning when we originally thought we’d be bringing you home.  You were born at 5lbs 5 oz, but just didn’t have the stamina to stay awake to eat enough and your weight dropped.  We spent 9 days in the NICU with you as you gained stamina, strength, and weight.  Your Birth Mama, Nicole came to visit you almost every day and Daddy stayed with you every night because Mama still had to do daycare each day.  I came every evening as soon as I got off work though and breathed you in as you got your first taste of the Packers and HGTV.  🙂  On September 30th, we finally got to bring you home to meet your puppies and all the people that had been waiting and praying for you for so long.

Since then, the year has flown by.  I have no idea where the time went, but just like that, we celebrated your first Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter and more.  You had your first big road trip in July to meet your CT family who immediately fell in love with you.  Even being a premie…you are meeting your milestones one right after another and I think if you hadn’t gotten this darn fever this last week, you would’ve been walking by your birthday, as it is, you’ll take a couple steps on your own every so often.

I have loved pretty much every moment of being your Mama.  This last month has been rough with the not sleeping well thing and this darn fever, but prior to that, you were an amazing sleeper and even when we had to wake you every couple hours to feed you in the beginning, I reveled in it.  I loved the middle of the night snuggles.  I love watching you grow and change although I wish you would slow it down a bit.  If  I could have this first year all over again, I would take it in a heart beat.  You bring joy to Daddy and I’s hearts and smiles to our faces every single day.  We are so blessed that God chose us to be your parents and we are so very thankful to your Birth Mama for entrusting us to raise and love you well.

My prayer for you is to have safety, health and protection.  That you’ll continue to grow and learn and that you grow to have a beautiful, intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father.  That you’ll use your feistiness and tenacity and persistence for good.  Most of all, I pray for a happy, content life for you full of love.

I love you so much, Darling Girl.  Our little Annie and our Bellaboo.

Love and xoxo,

Mommy

What’s Next?

But first an update on Baby I!  Thank you so much for all the prayers, good thoughts, and positive vibes sent out.  She is doing a little better each day and even walked out of her room holding Mama’s hand to go in her stroller for a walk around the peds unit.  Specific prayer requests from her parents:

Yesterday’s Prayer requests include I’s kidneys starting to function and she would pee, continued normal neurological exam, and an increase in her platelets and hemoglobin levels.

Also, please pray for L who, in spite of normal behavior, we are learning still has some diarrhea. It’s been over a week now for him. With his behavior being normal and me being gone I just hadn’t paid close enough attention. Pray for his protection that he too would not need medical attention, but that his body beats this on his own once and for all.

Today’s prayer request:  Please continue to pray. While she looks so good, we haven’t turned the corner yet. Her kidneys aren’t functioning as they should and we still have an ominous blood clot in her brain lurking in the shadows. Please continue to pray for her kidneys to heal and for the doctors to have wisdom in how to treat her blood clot.

 

Now back to what this post is actually about.  A is going to be 1 yr old in 10 short days.  I’m not even sure how that happened but we have discussed and made a decision about what is going to come next.

We talked a lot on our road trip out to Utah in June and decided that we were going to go back to the clinic and try 2 more IUI’s over the summer and if they didn’t work, we would then put our names in at our agency to see if we get picked to start the process again when they do the drawing in December/January.

Well, it ended up that we hadn’t been to the clinic in over a year so we had to redo the paperwork.  I got mine all done, but kept forgetting to sit down with J and get all his family history all over again and before we knew it, the summer was over and we never finished the paperwork much less got the IUI’s done.  In all honestly, I would have been super surprised if they’d worked.  I’m 40 years old and in pretty severe pain the 2nd half of my cycle each month from the endo.  I just figured we’d feel better if we gave it one more last try before completely giving up on science to help us get pregnant.

So, with the school year here and our schedules officially nuts.  J with teaching, coaching, mowing lawns still and hunting season upon us.  Me with A, daycare, Young Living, and Family Promise; we decided to skip the clinic and go straight to sending our application in for the lottery coming up at the end of this year or beginning of next.  Although our favorite worker is no longer at our agency, we did have a great experience with them and it’s $18,000 – $20,000 for an adoption through them vs. 35,000-40,000 without travel through a national agency.  If God wants us to grow our family, it’ll either be through LSS or a miracle natural pregnancy.  If he doesn’t, we’re perfectly satisfied with A; any other children are a bonus.

While I am not at all looking forward to all that damn paperwork again, I really hope we get chosen to start this January because I’d really like a sibling for her sooner rather than later.