Sunday, June 24, 2012

... of no sleep

I just had to document that our very easy going baby girl has been having a very rough 8th week of life. All of a sudden she is having quite the time falling asleep for naps, especially. It's like if I miss her tiny little ready for sleep but not yet overtired window, it's all over for the rest of the day. One short nap because she is overtired and won't fall asleep without some serious effort on our part (or won't stay asleep), means a whole afternoon and evening of short little naps and a very tough bedtime.

We have tried every tactic we know to try. And not just for short period of time. Like we've really given all of these things a fair shot:
-Swaddling with one arm out
-Pacie (sometimes she wants it, sometimes she literally gags on it)
-Sitting still
-On back
-On side
-On tummy (big no like)
-Crying it out for up to 20 minutes
-Bedtime bath
-Lots and lots and lots of prayer

After 10 hours of trying to get her to take a decent nap (no dice) which turned into trying to get her to go to bed (From 1pm to 11pm we were basically taking turns trying to put a baby to sleep), our successful tactic of the night was driving around the neighborhood.  I know that we should have gone to bed when she was finally brought in to sleep in her car seat next to the bed at midnight, but I wanted to make sure we made it past the 45 minute mark before I fell asleep, just in case she woke up.  We made it.  And Quinn took a shower in the bathroom in our room, so I think she's out for real.  Now she is probably going to wake up to eat soon, but hopefully she will go right back to sleep after that.  So I better go to bed now.  

Like I said, just wanted to document.  

And I might as well add this picture, which helps redeem the hard times.

And this picture of the two kiddos hanging out in their respective Pea Pods.  They better get used to these things (Abram already loves his anyway).

Oh, and a little photo documentation of what it's like when Daddy comes home from work.  Now, you must imagine a very, very ecstatic "Daddy!  Daddy!  Daddy!" being yelled in all of these pictures.

At least Abram had a pretty good week :)  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

... of two months!

Unless I change the title of this blog, Selah's "month" pictures will always be taken the day before she is actually that old.  Oh well.  What's one day, right?

So tomorrow is Selah Christine's 2 month birthday!  Parents of newborns can probably attest to the fact that time seems to drag and fly at the same time.  It feels like you've had this child forever when you are vigorously rocking them in a dark bathroom with the fan running at 2 am when their eyes are wide open.  And it seems like you just brought them home from the hospital when they are all of a sudden not fitting in those cute newborn clothes anymore. 

I think I'm going to have a survey format for these birthday posts, complete with lots of pictures.  That way they are easy to compare when I go back through these most and lament how she will never be a baby again...

Date: June 21, 2012

Weight: Well check is tomorrow (I'm guessing a little less than 10lbs)

Clothing size: Right between NB and 3 mo. Mostly 3 mo.

Feedings per day: 7

Night sleeping: Good since day one. I really hesitate to say that, since every time I say that something is going well, it suddenly gets harder. But when she falls asleep for the night, she's out. She gently wakes up for one feeding in the early morning, one in the late morning, and then wakes up for good around 9/10.

Naps: Not so great for the last few days. I'm learning to read her tired signals. I've been thrown off because the ONE yawn that I now think is my clue comes about 30-40 minutes after she wakes up. After that, we enter into over tired territory, she gets the hiccups (ALWAYS) and then won't fall asleep easily and doesn't usually stay asleep that long. So I'm praying for God's wisdom to figure all that out.

New skills: Smiling. She's had the hang of it for more than a week now. There's a lot of nose wrinkling in her smiles. Love it. And cooing. It's adorable as well.

Favorite thing: Her changing table, baths (all of a sudden!), and Mommy's ponytail

Least favorite thing: Whatever I am doing that's making her so gassy recently (yes, I've basically cut out dairy, tomatoes, spicy stuff, green leafy things, citrus, and eggs... I'm finding it hard to eat anything healthy...)

Potential Personality traits: She seems to be a bit stoic. Even when she is really gassy or really tired, she won't outright cry. It's more of a moaning or “oww”ing. She only smiles at certain times and certain places (changing table/bathtub). She also seems to get overstimulated very easily, which I think means that she's trying to take everything in at once. So maybe she will be very observant. We'll see.

Brother/Sisterness: She stares at Abram sometimes when he comes and stands near her. And he's been more interested in her lately, too. He still gets a little rough with her and doesn't know how to move, walk, sit around her and not on her, but he's 19 months old, I don't expect much different right now.

So those are the major things. I have a friend who has been doing weekly pictures of her daughter and she's in really frilly, cute, tutu outfits with big headbands and it's adorable. But when I think about Selah dressed like that it seems unfitting. She's more this kind of girl:

Plus, tutus seem like they would take up more room in a suitcase, and since we'll be living out of ours very soon (more on that sometime soon), they don't seem like the most practical option. Also, this is what her hair ends up looking like when I put headbands on her:
She also just doesn't seem to like them very much.  So we're not big headband girls at the moment.

Just for fun, I'm going to include her past month pictures at the end of these posts for comparison.
Happy two months, Selie!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

... of a revelation

I've been convicted recently of my need to better understand the Gospel.  Not just to understand it with my head, but more importantly with my heart.  So I returned to the basics.  I went to the verse we memorize in our childhood and don't really think about as adults because we feel that it's almost juvenile.  Oh, how far from the truth.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life."    John 3:16

My grandma bought me a My Little Pony for memorizing that verse when I was five.  So I've "understood" it for 24 years, and yet I can't say that I've ever really felt the weight of what it says about God until now.

I think one of the reasons God created the process of birth and the concept of children and family (whether biological or adopted) is so that we might better understand this verse and what it says about Him.  There are some feelings that only a parent understands.  When you become responsible for this little life that God created and you watch them grow every day and they look at you with such dependence, that's pretty much the closest we ever get to feeling true love.  All of a sudden, you can't imagine your life without this little person.  You don't want to go very long without seeing them and putting them in anyone else's care makes your heart ache a little the whole time you are away.

I now know that you feel that way about each child you are blessed with.  You really don't love one more than the other.  Your love multiplies, it doesn't divide.  However, there is something about the first child - when they are the only child - that is different.  As much as you might know that if you had another child you'd love them just as much and it wouldn't diminish the love for your first child, you still might have those thoughts.  A friend of mine asked me about that the other day when she met Selah for the first time.  She and her husband are thinking about having a second baby, but she said to me, "I just love my first one so much and I don't know how I feel about taking any of my love away from him."

*As a side note, I have to say that I love Abram even more now that we have Selah.  Now I love him not only as my sweet son, but as the brother of my sweet daughter, as well.  It's like how you love your husband even more when he becomes the father of your children.*

But that all consuming love we have for that first, only child is just a cracked, faded, and incomplete reflection of how God, the Father, feels about Jesus.  The oneness that I feel with Abram because he grew in and came from my body, is one one millionth of the oneness of God and His son.  The protective feeling I have for my children doesn't even compare to how much God loves and is able to protect His son.  If I take how I feel about Abram and multiply ts by infinity, I'm just starting to grasp how God, the Father, loves Jesus, His son.

And He gave that son over to murderers to be beaten and tortured and broken and trampled because He so loved the world.  Who is the world?  Me.  I am the world.  You are the world.  The homeless man on the corner is the world.  President Obama is the world.  The Muslim in the mosque in the heart of the Middle East is the world.  God loved us, all of us, so much that He gave Jesus to die so that we might be reconciled to Him who created us out of that love.

So I've been trying to imagine (as heart wrenching as it is) what it would be like to give Abram over to an angry mob, knowing that he would die, in order to save them from death.  The thought of my little man walking bravely toward a throng of violence and bloodshed knowing he was going to get crushed and killed is almost too much to handle.  The difference, though, is that I wouldn't love that mob and so I would never do something like that.  But God loved me and you so much that that's exactly what He did.  How heart wrenching it must have been for Him, I can't imagine.  When I attempt to imagine it, when I really try and understand, it makes the love He has for me so much more tangible.  It also convicts me when I realize that He has that love for everyone - even the hard to love people.  Everyone deserves to hear and know and begin to understand that their God loves them so much that He sent His only son to die that they might get to spend eternity with Him instead of apart from Him. But people die every day without ever knowing about that incredibly awesome love.

Really getting that and meditating on that this past week or so has been huge for me.  And I hope it is huge for you, too.  And then, I realize that Jesus - God - defeated, conquered, beat up, pulverized sin and death by coming back to life three days later, and my heart and mind feel like they could explode.

But that reflection is for another day...

Monday, June 18, 2012

... of dress up

Abram has been an unknowing little dress up doll for me these last few days.

Yesterday, I dressed him in a pair of Guatemalan overalls that I bought for him when we visited for a friend's wedding a year ago.  At the time, they were too big for him.

So I put them at the back of the closet, thinking that it would be a long time before he could wear them.  Yesterday, I realized that I year was a pretty long time and I pulled them out, only to discover that a year had been a little too long.

They look like lederhosen.  I think this will be the last time he wears them.  Unless I somehow find the time to make them into a pair of shorts or something.  But that probably won't happen.  They also turned the onesie pink, so they have to be specially washed.  Definitely not ever day wear.

Then, tonight, I was finishing going through his closet and I found this outfit that Quinn's mom sent us from when Quinn was a kid.  
Pretty adorable, right?  

He's never shy for the camera.  Weird. 

It's funny to me that this was dress up for us, but it was normal clothes for a little Quinn.  Well, maybe it was a special outfit, but probably not a costume, like it is for Abram. He seemed to like it, though.  He kept looking down and holding out his arms and admiring it.  

So there's that.  Now I have to try and get my other child back on her normal day/night schedule.  We had one bad/late/over tired night and everything has shifted back a few hours. Not fun at almost midnight when she had gotten us used to 8 or 9.  Hoping to be heading to bed to join a sleeping Quinn very shortly.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

...of squeaky clean

It was "bath day" yesterday - which seems to happen only about once a week around here.  That sounds really bad.  Abram does get baths more often than that, usually a quick one at night right before bed.  But if he's going to have a longer, more fun bath, that has to happen during the day.  I've discovered that it is actually better to do their baths consecutively.  Hers usually kinda knocks her out and then she is sleeping while Abram gets his.  So I'll show you my tactics for getting this precarious scenario to work for us:
1. Trap toddler in his room using baby's pack n play.  
This enables us to see each other (read: me see him, as he is the one that can't be trusted behind closed doors).

2. Move baby's changing table pad to bathroom and run bath.
This was only one small moment of unhappiness.  Her changing table pad (which is a wipable one from Ikea with a cover) is one of the only places that she is happy almost all of the time.

3. Use folded and rolled up towels to create a baby palette in the shallow tub water.
This is, by far, the best way that I've found to bathe a newborn.  She is able to lay in a decent amount of water (I usually fill it up a bit more than this, actually) and I don't have to support her with one hand the whole time.

4. Put the baby in the bath, cover her with a warm washcloth (for comfort and modesty in pictures), wash away.
She is much more calm and comfortable this way than she was when we would do the whale baby tub we have. I think that it's because she is laying on a nice, warm, kooshy towel instead of hard plastic.  That's my theory.  I know I'd like baths more if the tub was towel lined.  Maybe that's just me... and Selah.

5.  Take baby out of bath. Snuggle.
My favorite part.

6. While dressing baby, assure toddler that it is almost his turn and affirm him for being so patient (even though he has whined and yelled "bath!" over and over the whole time).
There are toys in his room to distract him, but he has mostly been watching the bath process with envy.

7. Admire clean, fluffy baby hair.
Most of the time she's pretty tired after this and I am able to swaddle her, drag her pack n play back into our room, and have her to sleep within minutes.  That was not the case during this particular photo shoot and I ended up needing to nurse her on the floor of the bathroom while trying to manage the toddler bath at the same time.

8. Fill tub up more and insert very excited toddler.
I bought him bath markers, but he really just likes to hold them in his hand and drop them into the tub.  But it's helping him learn his colors, so that's good.

9. Take unwilling toddler out of drained tub by scaring him with faucet turned on full force. 

10.  Dry and dress.

So that's how I've been able to do it a few times.  We will see if it continues to work.  It would be great if I could get a bath in there somewhere.  I'd like bubbles in mine, too.  And a towel lined tub.  I could do without the bath markers.  Despite the fact that they don't stay on the tub or walls, they do stain the washcloth used to clean said areas.  But seeing as I can barely get a shower every other day, I'm not sure any kind of bath is in my near future.

We also cleaned the front room of our house yesterday.  We are slowly going through all of the rooms of our house and organizing, getting rid of things, and packing stuff up.  We are starting early because it's a pretty slow process.  The other day we successfully cleared out the front room/dining room.  If you ever think that your kids need more toys to entertain them, consider getting rid of everything instead and letting them run laps in the completely empty room.  My child was entertained with this empty room and our baskets of shoes longer than he's been entertained by any single toy ever.  

I was vacuuming that room with Selah in the wrap, trying to put her to sleep.  It worked really well.  I guess my womb must sound like a vacuum, which is funny because I may not have vacuumed once while she was in there.  Abram loves vacuums too (more proof of a vacuum sounding womb) and so he was a very happy camper for that hour or so. 

I also got some good exercise by hauling the vacuum around the room and squatting down to do the baseboards in such a way that Selah stayed pretty much upright.  It was my buns work out for the day.

On a final note, we caught some first smiles this morning!  I've gotten a few this past week, but she was giving me quite a few this morning, so I yelled for Quinn to bring the camera and he got there just in time.  

  ... Before she turned back into her stoic little Selah self...

But hopefully there are many more to come!

Monday, June 11, 2012

... of miscellaneousness

It's been awhile, I know.  I can honestly say that I have been using every spare second that I have during the day to get something done: dishes, laundry, cooking, organizing, cleaning, sorting, paperwork, rocking children, feeding children (this takes up, by far, the most amount of my time between the two of them).  So, no real time to blog.  I was actually headed to bed awhile ago, got to our room and our previously fast asleep little darling was wide awake.  So I started to feed her, made it a little while, and then she started to freak out.  She did that last night, too.  But last night was a lot worse.  We both had a bit of a melt down.  Pretty much the only place that she wasn't crying was in her diaper on her changing table.  Weird.  Even us holding her made her upset.  This lasted about an hour.  It was strange and out of character for her, so I was really trying to figure out what was wrong.  Ultimately, I think she was tired and mild gas was feeling much worse in an over tired state.  Anyway, we tried switching to a bottle tonight, but that was a no go as well.  Then Quinn put her up to burp her and she started fading.  I thought she would be back to sleep in no time, so I came out to the living room to pump. Quinn just came out a few minutes ago and said she was still awake.  So I'm taking this opportunity to share a few photos and videos from the last week.  I am really hoping that they are both asleep in there and that Quinn isn't going to come in here frustrated and uber-tired from rocking a frustrated and uber tired Selah in the next few minutes.  So here I go:

Quinn finally tried the Moby wrap:
I believe his words were something to the effect of  "this is awesome!"  After so long of refusing to try it because he thought it was somehow too girly for him...

I have a picture of Abram and Quinn kind of like this in this post.  Too cute.

 Quinn reading Selah's verse with her - Psalm 32:7

My ladybug.  I made Abram a bug shirt from a drawing Quinn did, too.  I will get a picture of them together, I promise.

We have to apply for Selah's passport sometime this week so we can get it in the works, so we did a passport photo shoot on the kitchen table.  She was much more stoic than Abram was for his (that is a general truth about her at all times).  This is the one we went with:

... and her best outtake:
(Yes, I dressed her in that awesome outfit, not Quinn)

As opposed to Abram's usable photo:

... and his best outtake: 
This is still one of my favorite pictures of any baby, ever.

Speaking of Abram... I have two videos to share... 

In this one, I am looking like amazing morning self.  So beware...

Pretty wonderful for this mother of two children to have one that really is on the verge of totally being able to feed himself.  

And this one is an update on his alphabet knowledge:

He also knows L, U, and W which weren't pictured.  
... and note how excited he STILL gets about his B!

Silly munchie.  

Ok.  I'm going to check on the daddy and the baby and hopefully head to bed myself.  Good night.  Or good morning.  Or good afternoon.  Or good "whenever you happen to read this."