Wednesday, June 19, 2013

13 Months

Enjoying the Pool
How is it possible I'm writing a 13 month update?! I guess it's no surprise that it's late. :-) I debated on whether or not to continue these since he's over a year old now, but I decided that the SECOND year of life is also full of lots of changes and milestones so I'll try to keep it up until the turns 2. 

Weight & Length: 
When we took him to our new (yay!) doctor, he weighed 18 pounds, which bumped him up to 5% in the WHO percentiles, but of course, still below the CDC chart. They measures his height and head circumference too, but sadly I don't remember what they are! This was his weight at 12.5 months.
13 Months

Sleeping:

Well, I've already blogged about this, so you know that night sleeping was rough this month due to teething (EIGHT teeth popped in from early May-June 11th).

He still takes two naps on MOST days, but on days he has music or swimming class he only gets one nap. Thankfully that one nap is about 3 hours long, but it's still not usually enough daytime sleep for this guy to not be over-tired by bedtime. So, two naps is preferred. :-) He DID start fighting his afternoon nap for a few days, so we make sure to wake him up after 1.5 hours from his morning nap so he will still sleep well in the afternoon.

His (ideal) schedule at 13 months:

7am- Wake Up & Have Breakfast
8am- Independent Play Time
9:30am- A bit of Milk, then Nap
11am- Wake him up
11:30am- Lunch 

1:45pm- Snack
2pm- Nap
4pm- (About the time he wakes up)
5/5:30pm- Dinner
6:30pm- Bathtime & Bedtime Routine (includes a real toothbrush now!)

7pm Bottle & Bedtime

I like food, just if it's well-seasoned. :)
Eating:
He doesn't seem as much of a finicky eater as before. BUT, he won't eat too much of one thing. Apparently he likes a variety for his meals. What a complex palate this kid has. ;-) 


In the morning we start out with a 6-8 oz bottle. It's definitely the time of day he gets the most milk. We are SO grateful that we still have a big enough supply of donated breastmilk that he gets this in his breakfast bottle. He loves fruit for breakfast and we usually also give him yogurt mixed with whole grain baby cereal or oatmeal.

For lunch he gets a sippy cup of raw goat's milk (I will write more about this later) and then lots of finger foods. I also try to spoon feed him either cottage cheese, applesause, or some baby food, just to get more calories in when he's not eating a ton. I would say his favorite lunch-time food right now is Ezekiel bread (it uses sprouted grains) and almond butter. Which is great news for us because almond butter has lots of good fats and calories. :-) He also loves cheese, chicken, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli (especially with olive oil and pepper), beef, sausage, prunes, bananas and asparagus. I'm not good at adding as good of a variety of vegetables to his meals. Does anyone have good ideas of easy veggies to serve?

Before his afternoon nap he still has milk with cod liver oil and butter. I know it's a strange afternoon snack, but cod liver oil is pretty much the best supplement you can take! And the nutrients are absorbed better when you take it with butter.

Then for dinner he has a lot of the same thing that he had for dinner. Although we try to keep grains to breakfast and lunch if possible. For no particular reason except to try to prevent him from being addicted to carbs.

He still has a bottle before bed, but it's goat's milk now. I think we'll be keeping this bottle for a LONG time. He sleeps especially poorly if he doesn't get at least 4-5oz for this feeding.


Clothing:


He's pretty much in all 12 month clothing, except a few articles of 9 month clothes. He has one pair of shorts that are 9-month and they are ADORABLE! But, they likely won't fit for much longer.


Personality:
See? Sometimes very upset!

Well, he's just as excited about life as he was a month ago. SUPER happy and excited and running around the house in a good mood, and vocal about his distaste if he doesn't get what he wants. We're still working on that, but "please" is unfortunately not a part of his vocabulary yet. 

Milestones & Firsts:

-He says "momma" again and uses it to refer to me! He also uses it when he's whiny and wants something. ha!
-He tried (and loved) both bread, asparagus and almond butter for the first time.
-He started making a "sh" sound to mean shoes. He LOVES his shoes and when he ask him to go get them he goes right for them to get them out. I think it's partially because he loves going outside. :)
-He scraped his knee for the first (and second, and third...) time. This happens a lot since he's obsessed with playing with the watering can on the patio.
-He says "doggie" and "woof, woof!" He definitely says it with dogs, but when we went to the zoo he also used it for ALL the animals he got excited about, including the flamingos. :-)
-He likes to "help" by putting clothes from his dresser into his laundry hamper and by pushing the swiffer sweeper around the house on the wood floors.
-He started kicking his balls, and even using his baby golf club to hit the smaller balls around (now that I think about it, most of these little balls are missing!)
-His first swimming lesson and first music class- He LOVES the pool!
-I know I already said this a million times on here, but he got his first four molars, for a total of 12 teeth!

The buddy's new buddy.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blog for Lifesong: Adoption Mission Moment!

13-6 MM Email

"God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." Ephesians 1:5 (NLT)


Adoption. One of the most beautiful pieces of the Gospel. An all-powerful and loving Father God chose us, in our sinfulness, to be His sons and daughters. Does it get any better than that? The fact that we, as Christians, can replicate this relationship in our own families to tell the Gospel through our lives is an complete honor and joy.


"WE SAID YES TO ADOPTION" // Andy & Laura's Story

Andy and Laura, adoptive parents of Eli from Ethiopia shared how God provided every step of the way, crushing fears and showing that HE is faithful to finish what He starts.

Part of God's provision came from Lifesong and its partner, Legacy 685 Adoption Fund, helping this family financially with a matching grant and funding support.


INDIGENOUS ADOPTION // Ukraine

Meet Volodya and Lyliya, one of the many Ukrainian families blessed by Adoption without Borders, an initiative that intentionally links like-minded families and churches in the USA with Christian families in Ukraine who are seeking to adopt.  

awob pictures MM

"(Adoption is) the deepest evangelism we can provide, to dedicate our lives to bringing children to the Lord. Our biggest dream is that all of our children would commit their lives to God." --Volodya & Lyliya, adoptive parents of five Ukrainian children 


HOW CAN I HELP? 

Because of your support, the families above have been able to give a forever family to a child in need. Are you looking for ways to join the cause? What you could do:


READ MORE ABOUT ADOPTION...

How Could We Not? -  Erik & Erin's adoption story is unique, but beautiful as they stepped in to help a family member in need by providing Austin with a stable and secure family. Read Full Story

Worth the Wait - Guest blog post from Jeff & Rachel,  adoptive parents of Kate from Ethiopia. Read Full Story

God Creates Family from Strangers - Sharon, adoptive mom, shares her heart of on an ordinary day four months after bringing Asrate into their forever family.  Read Full Story

US Churches impacting Ukrainian families! - Three US churches wrap around a Ukrainian family to ensure home repairs where finished soadoption could be complete. Read Full Story

"I know you guys!" - Read as Robert & Alexis share about meeting their son Jacob for the very first time. Read Full Story

Monday, June 17, 2013

So, about those teeth....

I failed to remember that when the buddy's first four teeth came in, that just because they poked through  did NOT mean that he was done "teething!" They are still working their way ALL the way through, so we've still got some pain on our hands.

Poor little guy... four molars at the same time! He is still waking up in the night, so I'm pretty tired. But, I know it's just a phase and I hope it passes soon. I'm so torn between picking him up and feeding him right away when he cries at night and letting him cry a bit to see if he falls back asleep on his own. It's especially hard at bedtime because as soon as I go to put him down he GRABS onto me and cries. It's the saddest thing! But, in the past week I've realized that if I hold him and rock him to sleep he actually sleeps WORSE than if I put him in his bed awake, he cries for 5 minutes then passes out. It's an interesting phenomenon.

A teacher friend of mine actually confirmed it for me. She said that babies (and really all of us) sleep better when they fall asleep in the same environment they stay in for the night. When babies are rocked to sleep and THEN are put in their cribs their little bodies are confused upon waking in the night and they cry until they are back in their original state (obviously not a strict rule). This is the same reason why it's hard to fall asleep on the couch then get into bed and fall back asleep. Your body wants to stay in the same environment it fell asleep in, including lights, sounds etc. So, as hard as it is for me to walk out of his room when he's crying, knowing that he will actually sleep better and stay asleep longer makes it worth it.

You really won't believe this cute little mouth of teeth all coming in. I promise to post a picture when he finally sits still and gives me a toothy grin. :-) Although when he comes in for a big "kiss" these days we're having to teach him that it doesn't involve biting! ha! :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The In-Between

This post is actually NOT about anything related to fertility or adoption. And I can't really share what it's about, but they have been my thoughts recently, so I wanted to share them. Maybe someone out there will be able to relate!

"You know that "in-between" things feeling? Like when you know it's time to move forward, but you also know you have to stay where you are? I'm there. We're there. And it's uncomfortable. How can both these realities be true simultaneously?

We are in a place of uncertainty. The place that makes you want to talk about it, yet be silent. The place where you want to move, but your feet are firmly planted where you stand. Where you can see your heart moving to the next place, but something is holding you back.

We end up in the "in-betweens" of life for so many different reasons. One of our pastors calls it the place of "already, but not yet." Oh, how our hearts yearn to go forward; they are READY to go forward, but something holds us back. Sometimes it's fear. Is there the fear of the unknown? Fear of change? Fear of loss, or even the fear to gain?




Or is it circumstances out of your control that hold you back? Logistics? A job? Family? Responsibilities?  The comfort of knowing you CAN handle where you are, so why more forward?

Or is God calling you to stay where you are despite your heart's desire to move forward? Oh how this is a painful place to be! Why can't God call me to where I WANT to be right now? Why must I wait? Why must I be in-between?

So, I must allow the silence in. Must allow my thoughts to calm. My feet to stand still. To rest. To rest where I am right now. Before moving ahead, or even worse, moving backward. To look at what is right here and to appreciate it. To notice beauty in the small things. To acknowledge my discomfort in the in-between and try to embrace it. To feel ok with the discomfort, the unknown, the stillness, the chaos. All while I am waiting.

For, when I am truly ready, I will step forward. I won't be in-between anymore. I will be progressing. Moving ahead. Reaching new dreams and climbing to the next step. It will also be uncomfortable at times, but I imagine it will be so very rewarding.

But oh, my heart. How my heart will not appreciate the climb, the next step, the adventure, if I'm not content in the "in-between." The "already, but not yet." The place I live in now. The place where the future is so unknown, and I'm unsure how or when to take the next step. The in-between."

 "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."
-2 Corinthians 4:8-12

Thursday, June 13, 2013

LIVE from New York!!

Ok... so not live at all. Since these photos are several days old, but here are the highlights of my trip to New York City!

My sister is doing an internship this summer in THE city, so this obviously meant a weekend trip was in order! I hadn't been in almost 6 years (and that was my first time) and so I wanted to go back, PLUS see "The Newsies" on Broadway. And of course, my sister. :-)

It's interesting that after exploring all her roommate options, she is sharing an apartment with one of MY college roommates! So, it was fun to see them both, plus a few other friends from college that are living there. I think I wore my poor sister out, trying to see as much as I could in less than 72 hours! On the last day I actually strained the arch in my right foot from all the walking. Thankfully, ice, BioFreeze and my return to a pretty sedentary lifestyle upon my return ensured a speedy recovery. :-)

The buddy was with Dave the whole weekend, and although I missed them both, we were so busy I didn't get a chance to worry about either of them. Plus, I got cute pictures and a video to keep me in the loop. My parents also watched N a couple of times so Dave could get some work done, and even brought over a meal or two. So, my boys were in good hands!

We visited the MOMA and were excited to see "Starry Night"

Although I was annoyed and saddenned that no one actually looked at it and instead just took photos of it. :/

Hannah with Van Gogh

Out for dinner and drinks on THE town! :)

With some sweet college friends :-)

Times Square in the rain

I was SOOO excited to see this musical on Broadway! Literally one of my most favorite movies ever!

The cast was fantastic!! Although I was kind of disappointed in a lot of the re-writing for the stage

Grand Central Station - Beautiful!

Beautiful chandeliers at the Metropolitan Opera House where we saw the American Ballet Theatre

Rockefellar Center

Hanging out with Woody the Cowboy

Statue of Liberty

Freedom Tower

Trinity Episcopal Church in the Financial District

Love these old tombstones!

They remind me of Boston.

Oh, the Fed

Where President Washington was inaugurated! 

9/11 Memorial- Really neat giant pools with names of all the victims around the edge


View from Highline Park

Another view from Highline Park in Chelsea

The sweet face I came home to

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Give1Save1

I've never done this before (that I can remember), but would you considering donating to help this sweet couple bring home their 6 year old daughter from South Africa?

They have an AMAZING story of being called to adopt from Ethiopia. And in the meantime, God laid on their hearts to adopt a waiting 6 year old girl with HIV from South Africa. I work with Jessa's sister and based on knowing HER and watching Jessa and Erik's video and following their blog, I am so inspired by this couple and the reckless abandonment with which they follow God's lead!!

If you head over to the Give1Save1 site, they are the featured family for the week. The goal of this blog/website is for people to give $1 to help save one orphan. Will you consider giving $1? Or even more?! Let's help them cover the cost to bring their daughter home!

Monday, June 10, 2013

LOTS of teeth!!

In the buddy's 12-month update I posted about his poor night sleep and some new teeth coming in. You will not BELIEVE how many teeth this kid has gotten!! RIGHT after his first birthday we noticed that he was not only getting new teeth in the front, but also he got his 2 bottom molars! It was a pretty big relief because he had been sleeping pretty horribly at night, so we were glad to have a reason.

We had a bit of a reprieve, but the past 6 weeks or so have been rough in relation to nighttime sleep. Thankfully he has still been happy during the day and has been napping well. BUT, he's been up in the middle of the night at least 2-3 nights a week, and sometimes almost every night! We also discovered his TOP gums were swollen a few weeks ago, indication his top molars were on their way. SOOO... as of today, this kid has gotten EIGHT teeth in less than a month! This means he has twelve total! TWELVE teeth!! That's crazy for an "almost-thirteen-month-old," right?

I'm hoping we get a bit of a break now and some good night sleeping. He only has 8 teeth left to get: his 4 canines and his last set of 4 molars. They "say" they don't start coming in until 16-23 months, so hopefully we get a break for a little while.

I need to get a good picture of his toothy smile! :-) And also, I'll upload photos of my weekend trip to NYC! I missed my boys, but it was SOO fun... sometimes I wish we would move there. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Stop Rehearsing Your Problems

This post. Bingo. I wish I had written this. This is SO TRUE.

Rehearsing our problems in our mind just keeps us imprisoned to our negative thoughts. Yuck. I just love what he had to say in this post. He's also a pretty fantastic blogger. I bet you'd enjoy reading others of his posts! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

And now we have peace of mind...

So.. we finally made it to our new pediatrician today! The family clinic we've been wanting to get into for MONTHS got a new doctor in their practice as of Monday, and so today, we were in there! :-)

Two weeks ago we left the Dr's office feeling concerned again. That Dr. made us nervous about his weight (again), recommended we see a dietician to help us count calories, and THEN told us since THEY didn't understand all of his blood work (and because he's adopted and we don't have ALL the family medical history), they recommended that we go to a GI Specialist for fear of Celiacs. We.had.had.enough. I mean, I shouldn't have to go to a specialist because YOU don't understand the lab results you ordered. YOU do the research please! I don't care to spend HUNDREDS of dollars just to have lab work explained to me! (Am I crazy to think that's how it should work?)

Instead of following up there, we cancelled our apt there and didn't follow the recommendations to see any of the specialists. We were so grateful to get in so soon to the new clinic we've been DYING to get into! OH.MY.GOODNESS!! What a difference! This pediatrician is totally in line with what we're doing, thinks the buddy is totally healthy, UNDERSTOOD the blood work results and explained them to us, and told us to keep doing what we're doing in terms of food and health, etc. She was confident, calm and very kind. I wish she could be MY doctor too! But, sadly they are only taking new children patients. But, we'll take it! It's AMAZING to go to a Dr. you trust! His iron is a smidge on the low side. Instead of a prescription, do you want to know her recommendation? Cook his food on a cast-iron skillet and give him some blackstrap molasses. It wasn't low enough for us to put him on the plant-based supplement they have in their office. Hearing ALL of this TOTALLY put my mind at ease! She thinks the way we do! Yay! :-) When I mentioned that we try to stick to Westin A Price models as closely as possible, not only did she know what it was, but she agreed! Wahoo! :-)

Anyway, we are thrilled with where we ended up. She didn't even see the need to test him immediately for the egg allergy, reassured us that he would likely grow out of it in the future and recommended we just continue to avoid it and get him tested for that at his 15-month apt. She did NOT think we needed to see any kind of specialist, but assured us that if she did, she has good connections. She's a winner! Yay! My mommy heart is at peace today.

Well, at least for right now. Let's try not to find anything else to worry about. :-)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The First Week

So, that list? Whew! Well, it's actually going pretty well, but I'm exhausted. :-)  Here's my progress.

1. I may not be running 5-6 miles yet, but I've gotten to 2! Yay! :-)
2. No homemade tortillas yet.
3. ONE coupon shop down! Yay! However, it didn't involve any coupons, just the deal part. But, that's part of the way there!
4. Nope- nothing in the way of Azure Standard.
5. Not the tiniest bit of progress on the 2012 album. The family album is the most overwhelming to me of everything on my list.
6. I've read almost HALF a book... that's a start, right!?
7. I wouldn't say I have a tan, but I have the beginnings of one. :-)
8. I have made dinner a few times! Yay!
9. No hair-cut yet. Not even one on the schedule. Oops!
10. YES! And YES!! I've taken 2 ballet classes and 4 classes at the BarreAmped studio. Yay! I haven't been this sore in my recent memory and I LOVE it! :-)
11. I have applied to two places to get my writing published online. I won't hear anything for awhile yet. I think this also means I need to start writing something other than summer "to-do" lists. :/
12. The beans have been bought, but no soaking or freezing yet.

I'm pretty sure I also need to add "clean the house" to the list. Maybe THEN it would get done. ha!

BUT, I will say that the first week and a half off of school have been pretty fun! Here are all the places I went with the buddy!

1. The Zoo
2. The Nature Center
3. Trader Joe's & Publix (ha! a bit less exciting)
4. The Botanical Gardens
5. The Rec Center swimming pool and playground
6. A new park!
7. Swimming Lessons!

He's also gotten some good walks and jogs in, as well as some fun playing in his pool in the backyard. I will say I'm pooped, but SO VERY blessed to have the summer off. :-)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

On that Elusive Child #2

I've been noticing that a lot more women at church that are pregnant with child #2 or #3. And these would be families who have kids right around the buddy's age. Nothing like FINALLY having your sweet child and then feeling "behind" again. :/

Honestly, we returned to the doctor in the spring. We didn't want to wait too long to see if we would be able to pursue treatment that could result in a pregnancy. We hoped to pursue treatment this summer (IUIs to be specific). However, that just didn't work out for various reasons and now is not the time. I would LOVE to feel like I have some kind of say over when Nathaniel has a sibling and when we bring another baby home. But, when dealing with infertility, oftentimes it's out of your control in just about every sense of the word. It's discouraging and frustrating. It's hard to feel like you don't have any control in how you build your family. I mean of course we get A SAY, as in we can decide to pursue treatment or adoption. But, when or whether or not any of these routes work is entirely out of our hands.

One one hand, it's discouraging. We really would have loved to have had our first 2 kids within 2 years of each other (give or take a few months). We naively thought since no one has told us we CAN'T have kids, just that we have such a small chance of it happening that we might have gotten "lucky" when we weren't trying and it would just happen. So, here's some proof for you that "not trying" and "not thinking about it" don't lead to conception. I guarantee you that when we brought the buddy home, another baby was the furthest thing from our minds for quite some time. So, "giving up" didn't work for us despite so many people telling us that's "the key" to getting pregnant. (Sorry for all the quotes here, but they seemed appropriate.)



Nope. Still nothing.
BUT, on the other hand, it's kind of freeing to not be pursuing treatment. There's none of the intense emotions of "will it work?" that treatment brings. So, this summer we can focus on playing with the buddy and just enjoying him. Come fall will we pursue treatment? Who knows? We actually don't talk about it much because there's kind of no point. We could talk until we're blue in the face and we would still have NO idea if/when treatment would ever work. So, I think that's part of the reason that we may be leaning toward adoption again. And we definitely want to adopt at some point, so why not sooner rather than later?

We'll see what happens. I try not to write too much here about infertility, because it's a depressing topic and I like to pretend sometimes that we're not infertile. But, we are. Which makes every child we have (we'd like at least 3-4) such a process. Sigh. So, this summer we are going the avoidance and denial route! Yay! And just enjoying our sweet boy. And trying not to get TOO jealous of all those perfectly spaced families at church. ;-)