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!

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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.

 

Calling all Prayer Warriors!!!!

Ladies…a fellow IF Sister needs our prayers for their 18 mo old girl.  She is one of daycare kiddos.  They were supposed to start back at daycare yesterday and I got a message Monday night that she’d been really sick and they were keeping her home the next day to go back to the dr to run blood tests.  It turns out that she has E. coli and it was causing her kidney function to decline.  Today, matters for much, much worse.  I am going to include the update so you can pray specifically over her and her family.  Thank you!!!

So as bad as the past week has been for I, today has been the worst. She awoke today without much change. We met with pediatric kidney specialist this morning to discuss her condition and its probable course. At that time he said that the average patient with Hemolytic Uremia Syndrome, a complication her E. Coli infection, has a 1 month stay in the hospital. While not easy, we where able to wrap our minds around this. Plus, there was some hope that she could yet be on the shorter end of this.
Then at noon, while walking (Ivy was in a little push car) through the halls of Mayo, I began having a seizure. We rushed her back to her room as quick as we could. It took about 35 horrible minutes to get the seizure to stop where we really didn’t know if our little girl was going to make it through.  

Eventually, they where able to get her stabilized. They Sedated her and intubated her, as she was unable to breathe on her own. From there they transferred her to the ICU. They poked her and prodded her trying to reestablish and IV.  

As awful as all of this was, it was still not unusual for this condition. Due to the seizure, however, they wanted to do a CT scan to rule out a stroke. We thought this would for sure come back negative, but as it turns out she actually has a clot in one of the major veins in her brain. They believe this may have led to or at least contributed to the seizure. Either way, a clot is not typically of side effect of HUS. So now, due to the CT findings, they will be taking her in for an MRI shortly. We will await the results of this tonight, but they will likely need to start her on a blood thinner for the clot. Furthermore, she’ll need to undergo a surgical procedure tomorrow to install a port in her neck that allows them to do dialysis. Dialysis will help do the job of her kidneys, which are not functioning right now.  

So that’s been the day. There’s a lot I left out too, like the inability to get IV in, my conversations over the medical costs, etc…

Please pray for little I. At this point there is no reason to believe she can’t recover fully, but it will be a very long road. Please pray also for our kids at home whom we miss. Their lives too will be flipped upside down from this for a long time. And, while we want all of your prayers, texts and emails can be overwhelming. We know you love us (most of us anyway), but please let us reach out to you for your help if we need it, and we probably will.  
To God be the glory!

11 month update

Spoiler alert…my child no longer sleeps!  More about that later though.  I cannot believe that in 21 days, we’ll be celebrating Annabelle’s 1st Birthday.  Where did the time go?  More about this on her birthday update later this month.  Sept. 1st today.  J and I are back to work full time in a few days and I have to say, I’m not ready for it.  I think A will be super happy to have friends here every day, but she’s on her own little schedule which looks nothing like the daycare schedule and I have a feeling that nap time break I used to get, is going to be non existent for awhile which is probably going to make for a crabby Mommy.  Now for the update!
Weight:  I have no idea.  I’d say probably in the 18lb range.
Height:  Again, she hasn’t been measured since her appt in July but let me tell you, for as tiny as she is, I think she’s going to be tall.  I feel like there’s not a ton of leg room in even her 12 month sleepers.  They are Carter’s though so maybe they run small because they fit about the same as her 9 mo sleepers from Toys R Us.

Medical Issues:  None

Sleep:  OMG…where did my good sleeper go….guys…this sucks!  She apparently hasn’t gotten the memo that if you’re going to be a good sleeper for the first 11 months, you don’t get to go back on that!  Naps…no schedule whatsoever.  Sometimes it’s a 2 hour nap, yesterday it was maybe 20 minutes.  And if she’s ready to go down at 10am then she doesn’t want to sleep again until like 4pm which totally sucks, but yet she’s not to the point where I can keep her up til that 12:30/1pm nap time.  She also wakes up every single night now.  Usually between 1:30 and 3am.  Sometimes, she just needs a cuddle and a some swaying while being held and she’ll go right back down; other times, like last night, she just screamed and screamed and screamed until J just brought her to bed with us (I was trying to do CIO because I really don’t want her to get into the habit of sleeping in our bed).  CIO in the middle of the night does not seem to work though..she just gets more and more worked up and it’s totally heartbreaking.  So yeah, this Mama is more tired than usual and J never hears her unless I’m trying to get her to sooth herself back to sleep so it’s me doing all the work.  Fine for summer because he’s out mowing lawns and earning money while I’m home with her, but not great for school year when I’m going to have quite a few new munchkins to get used to.

 Clothing Size:  anywhere between 6-12 months.  Onesies are still anywhere in between 6-12 mo.  Pants are usually 9 mo.  Shorts…she crawled right out of 12 mo. the other day so 6-9 work best there.  Pj’s 9-12 mo and it looks like I may have to bring out the 18 mo. soon.

Diaper size:  still size 3’s

Diet:  Still on Up and Up brand formula and usually sticks with 4 oz. at a time still.  Sometimes she wants more and we make another one.  Food, she’s totally done with me trying to feed her.  She eats pretty much anything we do although not a lover of green beans.  She does love canned carrots though (yuck) and avocados.  She likes spice, sour and sweet and I think is going to have quite the diverse pallet.  No allergies so far which is great!

Baby gear love:  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 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:  Goodness, for a couple weeks there, it felt like she was learning something new every day.  She went from only rolling to army crawling to crawling in a matter of days.  Once she had crawling down, she was pulling herself up to her knees and then boom, onto her feet she went.  Now she’s walking along furniture and behind her walker toy.  She stands by herself forever and we’re just waiting for those first steps to come.  I think it could be before her 1st birthday, but we’ll see.  She’s a master at the sippy cup now too.

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.

Dislikes:  Still hates getting changed and getting her dressed is even worse.  Not looking forward to having to more clothes on her with fall and winter ahead.  Sleeping!!!  Other than that, I can’t think of much that she doesn’t like.

Things I Don’t Want to Forget:  Her stubbornness!  This girl can throw a fit these days!  How happy she is most of the time.  How she laughs with us when she’s doing something that cracks us up which is daily.   How she’ll still snuggle in and lay her head on my shoulder when she’s tired but not overtired.  How much she loves her Daddy and puppies.  How her nose crinkles up when she’s really happy.  How she smiles with her whole face.  Her giggles, especially when she’s playing tug of war with Bandit using one of her toys or when he pulls on her pajama foot.  Her first time in the sandbox and tasting the sand (she didn’t like that, lol).

What’s next?:  Walking and her first birthday.  Transitioning off of formula…won’t miss that expense.

How’s Mommy doing?  This could be a whole post on it’s own.  I’ve had some really rough moments since the last time I updated.  I think for the 1st time ever, I was actually feeling depression.  I’ll write another post on all of this later.  Summers are apparently the time for a lot of things to happen in this family and it often leaves me reeling.

How’s Daddy doing?  Better than at the 8 month update.  Not perfect, but way better and picks himself back up and starts over when he has a slip.  Super busy with lawn mowing, flipping lawn mowers and the numerous projects we have to do around here.  He’s getting ready to start the school year and coaching again.  There’s a huge construction project happening at his Middle school this year so he doesn’t even have a classroom to teach health this year.  He’ll just have everything on a cart and go to whatever room they make available for him.  It’ll be a beautiful almost new school though when it’s all done.  Whether we’ll still be here though, I don’t know.  Our district is one of the lowest paying around which is crazy because it’s a pretty rich little town.

Pictures from the last month:

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Look Ma, no hands!

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with her Papa John on the anniversary of his passing

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First Packer game of the year!

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This is the night I stopped trying to feed her cereal, lol.

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All about eating the sticker this month.

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Grandma came and built me a sandbox!

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Watching Daddy mow!

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Our flexible baby!

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First time climbing onto the dishwasher.

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Her bandit pup!

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I can’t believe I missed her 9 month update!

Ladies…this summer has been jam packed!!!  I thought I’d have more time since I’m not working but we’ve done a lot of traveling and had a lot of chaos with fostering (that will be my next post).  So, what has Miss A been up to for the past 2 months…so much!  She turned 10 months on the 21st!  I sadly forgot to take her 9 month sticker pics.  😦
Weight: 16.2lbs at her 9 month appt on July 21st which was 13%.  At her NICU follow up on June 20th, she was 15.12 which put her in 12% for chronological age and 29% for adjusted age.  
Height:  At 9 month appt she was 26.75 I believe.  At NICU, she was 26.38 which put her in the 10th and 36th percentile respectively.

Medical Issues:  she’s getting her top 2 teeth to n so she’s been having blow outs since Sunday (so much fun) and a runny nose started yesterday.  Other than that, she doesn’t seem to be in pain.  Otherwise, Dr. G was super happy with how she’s growing and how healthy she’s been.

Sleep:  She has been in her crib in her own room since school got out.  Our schedule is all over the place this summer but she still typically takes 2 naps a day ranging from 1-2 hrs and 10-11 hours at night.

 Clothing Size:  anywhere between 6-12 months.  She needs bigger Jammie’s because of long legs but everything else is is in the 6-9mo range.

Diaper size:  still size 3’s

Diet:  She’s up to 5 oz for the first bottle of the day and 4 oz for the rest of them.  She will eat pretty much anything including shrimp and salmon.  She really got a chance to try new things when we were out in CT over 4th of July.  She’s not crazy about a lot of baby food anymore and trying to feed it to her if she’s not in the mood for it equals a big mess, lol.  She still is a huge fan of pickle spears!

Baby gear love:  A is loving her activity table.  She stands up next to and will even let go for a second or two once in awhile.  She seems to like stroller rides and still does her jumparoo a couple times a day.  Being in the lillebaby depends on her mood.

Milestones/Firsts:  SO many these last couple of months!  Her first week away from both of us!  She had so many cousins and Grandma to love on her though so I don’t think she missed usas much as we missed her.  She got her first tooth, bottom left the last week of June and the bottom right quickly followed the next week while in CT.  She took her first long road trip with us to CT and aced it!!!  We started in the evening and drove through the night and there and back she slept almost the whole time and when she was awake, she was happy.  She met all of my CT friends and family and got majorly loved on!   She had her first sailboat ride, colony pizza and Sakura.   She went on her first camping trip last weekend and all of us went to our first lumberjack competition in Hayward, WI.  So fun!  She has started pulling herself up to her knees, okay, she did it once but she is on the move these days.  I think she’s going to skip crawling and go straight for walking.  We also had to finally lower her crib after she woke up one night at 2:30am and spent 30 min getting up on her hands and knees.  She practices drinking from a soppy cup and holds her own bottle now.  We have glass bottles so that took a little longer for her to do.  Moving up to her big car seat in one of our cars.  There is probably more that I’ll think of when this is published!

Likes:  Mommy and Daddy, Grandma and cousins, Baths, being told she’s beautiful,  sitting up, standing up, her paci, roocking and singing, the letter of the day song from Sesame Street and Micky Mouse Club…especially Toodles!  

Dislikes:  She is generally over the separation anxiety, especially when I take her to my Mom’s.  She’ll still act shy and take a little warning up to go to others but doesn’t generally cry unless she’s tired.  Getting changed and dresses.  It now feels like an Olympic support that leaves me sweaty and exhausted.  Super fun when she’s having multiple blow outs!!!  Her car seat sometimes.

Things I Don’t Want to Forget:  Her stubbornness!  This girl can throw a fit these days!  How happy she is most of the time.  How she laughs with us when she’s doing something that cracks us up which is daily.   How she’ll still snuggle in and lay her head on my shoulder when she’s tired but not overtired.  How much she lives her Dadfy and puppies.

What’s next?:  I’m thinking more pulling herself up and starting to walk Ali g furniture and stand without holding onto anything.  One more month before work starts again and we’re back into more of a routine. 

How’s Mommy doing?  Ummm, better than at her 8 month update but because of stuff that’s gone on with fostering, still a lot of emotional upheaval happening.  I still love almost every moment of being A’s Mommy. We’ve made our plan for the future which I’ll tell you about on my next post.  I wish I didn’t have the financial pressures of trying to get more kids in here for the fall but unfortunately, I do.

How’s Daddy doing?  Better than at the 8 month update.  Not perfect, but way better and picks himself back up and starts over when he has a slip.  Super busy with lawn mowing, flipping lawn mowers and the numerous projects we have to do around here. 

Pics from the last 2 months: