Saturday, April 27, 2013

...of a spokesmodel

For awhile now, I've thought that Selah wasn't getting all the liquid that she really needed from me.  She wasn't wetting her diapers as much and was eating a ton of food the last week or so.  I think she just went through a big growth spurt (literally on her 1st birthday).  She's suddenly like a little kid now and not so much like a baby any more!

On her birthday night, we were busy and distracted with small group and she didn't get to eat as much as I think she wanted to, but then it was time for bed.  So I nursed her and put her down and she LOST it.   I mean, screaming, crying, coughing, gagging, yelling for "Mama" and just not calming down. After about 45 minutes of intermittently trying to soothe her with no success, I suggested to Quinn that we get a cup of milk to see if she was hungry. She chugged it.  I think she may have been a little hot from crying as well, and the cold milk probably felt pretty good going down. She'd had milk before, but it was then that I realized she really did like it and probably needed it, because my milk alone didn't seem to be cutting it.
Her nursing schedule has been 8am/12pm/5pm/7:30 (bedtime) for quite awhile.  Since the bedtime one comes so soon after the post nap one, there's not much there and I was doing it more to calm her down before bed.  I never nursed her to sleep, but she nursed in her room right before going to sleep, so I was a little worried that it would be a hard habit to break. Usually when weaning, "they" say that the bedtime feeding is the last to go.  Well, for us, it was the first one.
Yesterday, I gave her a sippy of milk at dinner around 7pm and she finally figured out how to tip it herself!!  Up until this point we would hold her for her and she would drink.  Then she would fling the cup around until we snatched it back and maybe gave her more, maybe put it out of her reach.  I think it's a sign that she really needed/wanted the milk that she figured out how to tip it and drink it herself.  So she drank, maybe, 3-4oz along with her dinner and then I went to put her down for bed.  I was fervently praying that it wouldn't be an epic bedtime without the nursing and praise God she let me sing "Jesus loves me" to her and when I got to "Turn your eyes upon Jesus" (our two short song sleeping set list) she was literally trying to dive into her bed.  So I laid her down, she rolled onto her tummy, stuck that thumb in her mouth, snuggled down, and we didn't her from her again until 7:30 this morning.
So I've kept nursing her right after she wakes up in the morning and after each nap, but I think my supply is going down (for many reasons) and she doesn't take as long.  Then I gave her a cup of milk at breakfast, lunch and dinner and she had a total of, probably, 10 oz today.  She's been eating less food than she was before starting to give her milk, but honestly, she was eating a ton then.  Like, more than Abram.  We went to Baja Fresh last week and got the kids a full size chick quesadilla to share.  Selah ate half and Abram ate a quarter.  But now she's back to her fairly normal one year old amount of food and probably a total of around 24 oz of milk/breastmilk a day.  That's what Abram was doing when he was a year, so it seems on track to me!

Anyway, just thought I'd share for posterity's sake and to post the incredibly adorable pictures of Selah on her first day of tipping her own cup.  Abram didn't figure out how to tip a cup until he was at least 18 months, maybe later.  So this might be the first thing that she has done before he did it.  Not that I'm comparing... right :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

...of a church nap

I am sitting in the parking garage next to the hotel where our church meets with a finally sleeping baby, glad that I brought the wifi with me.

I have been trying to be thankful for the years at the Austin Stone where we had four church service times to choose from. Sometimes, however, I feel upset that we only have one option now. And that one option is exactly during Selah's first and best nap. In those moments of frustration, The Lord reminds me to be grateful that we even have a church body here. We weren't expecting to and it's been a great blessing. We've made some new friends and we love the heart of Redeemer Dubai.

Actually, most of the friends I have made have been other moms walking their babies around trying to get them to go to sleep during the service just like I do with Selah each week. Sometimes we can only give each other empathetic looks and smiles as our strollers pass and the babies exchange cries of frustration. Sometimes, by God's grace, we can stop and have a whispered chat and congratulate each other on the success of our sleeping children. But it's been a blessing, even when I can't be a part of the actual service.

Every once in awhile, Quinn takes Selah duty and I am the one who gets to go into service with Abram (who doesn't go to KIDS because he still sucks his thumb and seems to pick up any possible virus that might be present in a room full of small children). He does such a good job sitting quiet during prayer and the message and praising Jesus during the worship. Quinn has prayed fervently that he would be able to do that, and God has answered those prayers so faithfully.

Today, Selah was just refusing to fall asleep in her stroller and I thought I might die of heatstroke if I put her in the Beco. We were in a different ballroom with less places to take a sleeping baby. So, after getting to visit with a few friends, I got the keys from Quinn and headed out to the car. After driving circles around the parking garage for about 15 minutes, she finally fell asleep and I was able to park. She is hitting her 30 minute mark (her normal transient nap length time) and Quinn and Abram should be coming out of church soon.

Thankfully this is only one day a week. Every other day she willingly goes down for her naps without the use of a motor vehicle and who knows how much petrol.

And I got to listen to "Avalanche" by Hillsong on repeat for an hour. So that was nice.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

... of understanding Abram

Literally and figuratively.

I thought I would share some videos that give a little peek into our pretty awesome little guy's personality and how his mind works.  

However, it's going to require some subtitles.  We understand what he's saying, oh, 90% of the time.  When I don't know what he's saying, I often say, "What are you talking about, Abram?"  He's turned that back on me a few times at perfectly hilarious moments.  "What is Mommy talking about?!"  It's hard to convey what his little voice sounds like now when he asks a question.  He's figured out that we make our voices higher at the end of a question and he's been doing some very exaggerated and adorable question asking the last few days.  

So here's a few Abramoments from the last few days.

You might have read the potty training m&ms post.  He's been better, actually.  I mean, he still uses the potty sporadically.  Maybe for 50% of his #1 trips.  Sometimes we remind him and the thought of m&ms gets that littler bladder going.  And sometimes he really is remembering to tell us when he needs to go with no mention of m&ms (that is until the moment he sees the pee in the potty and then we can't shut him up, except with am m&m).  But up until two days ago, no #2.  Then, during dinner (of all times), he tells me he needs to go potty.  I'm a little annoyed.  "Do you really need to go potty?  Are you sure you didn't just go in your diaper?"  But after a few moments on the potty and a sudden moment of concentration and red face, it became clear that this was it.  The anticipated "5 m&ms" moment.  I wondered it he would actually have the patience to wait it out on the potty and make it happen.  Well he did.  And then came the excitement, not over finally going #2 in the potty, but over the massive amount of chocolately goodness he was about to consume.  This video captured the end of the song and dance that we all got to witness while sitting at the dinner table after said chocolately goodness was in his little belly (and on his face).  
I love Selah's face at the end.  She witnesses craziness like this all the time, so she was unphased.

Then he learned how to navigate on the laptop.  Up until this point, if he wanted to click on something  (usually only the questions in the New City Catechism we do with him every night), we line up the arrow and he clicks.  But now he knows how to do it himself.
I didn't bother with subtitles because whatever said isn't that integral to understanding the video. Anyway, I don't know why I'm so surprised/amazed by this.  I'm sure that other kids his age know how to do it.  But it was an encouragement to know that our kid who still throws balls behind him when he tries to throw might be developing some better hand eye coordination.

And this was some play time we had the other day during Selah's nap.  He really loves to pretend that he's flying on an airplane.  Quinn has been doing it with him recently.  I think they usually fly to Africa to see animals and he has a great time.  There's a specific spot in the living room that's like the "airplane cockpit" area.  So we buckled up and went for a ride from Dubai to Africa the other day.  
We did end up flying to America, but my phone was out of space and so the recording stopped.  I know, it was a little long, so it was probably a good thing.

That's just a little look into Abram's life and mind.  He's a pretty wacky kid sometime.  I love it.  I think he got it from me.  Quinn says he was wacky when he was little too.  Maybe all kids are wacky.  Wacky is a weird word...

Hope you enjoyed the video overload!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

...of one whole year!

It's finally here, people!  This munchy face is officially one year old!  Can't believe it.  What a year it has been, too.  Selah has "lived" (meaning stayed for more than one night) in 7 different houses, been on 8 airplanes, had 3 viruses, and no major injuries, praise God!  Well, enough chatting, let's get down to business.

Date: April 21st, 2013
Weight: No idea.  But she feels heavier and bigger!  My growing girl.
Clothing size: 9-12 months.
Feedings per day: 4 nursing, 3 meals, 1 snack.  We aren't doing baby food any more, which means a lot more mess.
We are working on sippy cups with water, juice/water, and milk.  She seems to like the milk the best, actually, but doesn't do too well with it if she's recently nursed.  She's just getting the hang of the tipping and sometimes will accidentally suck from a straw, but really just wants to chew on it.
Naps: By the grace of God, her naps have really taken a turn for the better recently.  She sleeps around 12 hours at night, waking up around 7:30 or 8.  Then she goes back down around 9:30ish and sleeps until around 11:30.  Then back down around 2:15 and wakes up around 4:30 and to bed by 7:30 or so.  It's pretty crazy to think that she's still sleeping about 16 hours a day.  We may be in the midst of or finishing a growth spurt (she's eating a ton), so she may start sleeping less soon... ?
New skills: Pulling up against walls (like not having to grip onto anything).  For real crawling all of the time.  Saying some new sounds/words: today she said "Wowow!" after I said wow to her :) 

Teeth: 8
Favorite things: Being tickled right below her belly button. Her thumb. 
Putting Abram down for a nap: she hangs on the outside of his crib, laughing and dancing while I sing him his sleeping songs.  She loves chicken. Chicken. Chicken. And yogurt. And Mommy: We are working on it, but that girl has been incredibly clingy recently.  

Least favorite thing: Still being laid on her back. Grass:

Brother/Sisterness: They are really so sweet to each other and I thank God every day for that. Abram would never hit her or hurt her purposefully ever (knock on wood), although he has been known to take toys from her, or hide ones he doesn't want her to play with.  But whenever she's upset in her high chair in the other room or her car seat where we can't get to her, he always says "It's ok, Selah Bella" over and over to her.  So sweet.  He also often wants her to be put in her crib to play with him.
She loves to follow him around when he's being all crazy and running around and she's started patting his head or whatever she can reach when he's standing near her (sometimes a little too hard, actually). But overall, I feel so blessed by how well they get along right now and am praying that it will continue as they start interacting even more.

A mini birthday celebration
She really liked that cupcake.  We only let her have about a quarter of it.
 I don't know if it was that or the fact that she literally did some major changing over night (she does just seem a lot older today!) but bedtime last night was incredibly epic.  Over 1.5 hours of intense crying and yelling for "Mamama".  We will see if things are different tonight and probably won't have any sweets again for awhile.

She's really kind of an enigma to us at times.  For most of her life, she was so calm and non-reactive, hardly ever crying and sleeping so well (and a lot!)  But recently she's gotten more emotional and more vocal.  There are times when she's pretty happy and excited and times when she gets upset (when she doesn't see me or when she's tired in the evening) but she's still not overly anything - happy or sad.  Her personality is really starting to take shape now and I feel like we are just kind of waiting to see how God has made her.  We really love her so much and it's hard to remember life before she was a part of it.  God has given us two very different kids who are both so amazing in so many ways.  

Daddy and I love you, Sel.  We can't wait to see what plans God has for your life!  Happy birthday, my Sweetness!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

... of a facebook status

Instead of posting an incredibly long Facebook status filled with various quotes, pictures, and links or posting so many that I take over my friends' timelines and they just tune me out, I decided to write a blog.  This post is like a big, fat stew: a bunch of random stuff all thrown into one pot that will hopefully end up being tasty :)

-Funny kid quote
-A few less than lovely iphone photos
-One or two unfortunate injury stories
-An easy craft idea
-A small soap box rant (with optional link)
-One promise for more posts

1. While walking along the Ajman beach today waiting for our take out, Quinn took Abram up to this camel.
 His goal is to ride one with him one day (soon).  Abram began to almost literally shake as he begged for Quinn to take him away from the camel.  When they reached Selah and I back on the sidewalk, Abram told me "The camel is very afraid to Abey" in the most pitifully scared voice I've ever heard come from my child. Looks like the camel ride might be a little farther off than Quinn was hoping.

2. A few days ago, my friend's son was bent down in front of Selah in her walker trying to get her to smile.  I bent over him so she could see me, too, because I thought she was getting a little freaked out.  His head came up suddenly directly into my cheekbone.  I collapsed on the front steps (we were outside) and cried a little (it HURT, man!) I looked up to find that all the kids, including the one whose head had just smashed into my face, were happily playing and didn't even notice me crumpled up with my head in my hands for a few good minutes.  Lets hope nothing serious ever happens where I need them to go get help, because I think I would be on my own... :)  And I have a little swelling and my dark circle is a little worse than usual, which proves that my tears were at least mildly justified.
   Then, yesterday, our house got a little chaotic while I was trying to use my wok for the first time to make chicken fried quinoa. It was momentarily forgotten about while the hot oil began to burn on the bottom.  In a panic and distracted by other stuff, I ended up with my hand basically in the pan and a pretty awesome hot oil burn on my palm.  Everyone heard a not so great word come out of my mouth (which, praise God, doesn't happen really ever) and were rushed outside while my wound was tended to and dinner was completed.  It ended up being very tasty and everyone liked it, but not sure it was good enough to redeem the injury.
Day two.

3. I've been thinking about making bunting for Selah's little room for forever.  I sit in there quietly nursing her for about an hour total everyday and I've had a lot of time to think, but little to no time to actually do anything. I decided to make it happen yesterday and finished it today.
I also made one for Abram.  I told him I was making decoration for Selah's room and he told me he wanted decoration, also (I think "also" is Abram's most used word).
This was taken in the dark. It also needs the bows added to the end and to be hung more loosely.  But you get the idea, right?

It was really easy, especially since I justified not finishing any of the edges and actually just ripping strips of fabric for the line by saying it's "shabby chic" (although Rachel Ashwell might not concur).  
I found amazingly soft felt and lots of other unexpected craft items in the cheap Japanese import store the other day.  So I used it for Selah's name and had some blue felt already for Abram's.

They aren't in the same room right now (well, I guess technically, we are all in the same room), but probably when we move, they will be.  So I wanted to do something that could go over each of their beds and match, but be a little different.  I will be working on a quilt for Selah soon that will compliment the one I made for Abram when I was pregnant with him and that will be their bedding.  I'm excited that I finally completed a craft project.  I have so many in my brain, but never get the time to do them.  So this was a feat!

4. You may have heard we got a convertible car seat for Selah.  We found the same kind that Abram has and I was so happy.  We put it in the car, rear facing, not even thinking about any other options (we kept Abram rear facing until about 16 months).  But then I saw some friends with a just recetly one year old who said they excitedly put her in her new forward facing car seat and she loved it.  It made me think about how much better it would be if Selah were forward facing, since we could see her and talk to her and give her things, etc.  So I did a little research about rear facing vs. forward facing to see if it was really safe to turn her around already.  The stuff I found was incredible!  Without getting into it too much, it is basically exponentially safer to keep a child rear facing for as long as possible.  Some countries even do it up to 4 years (that's too crazy for me).  But, studies have shown that children are 75% more likely to get seriously injured in a frontal collision (which are statistically the most serious accidents) when forward facing.  That's a huge, huge difference!  Anyway, if you have a child under one and you are starting to look at car seats and which way to position them in the car, check out this link and just google it.  There are lots of comparisons and videos that are really eye opening.  Texas law says rear facing until one, at least, and the American Academy of Pediatrics says two, or until the child reaches the rear facing weight limit for the car seat.  I know we will be keeping Selah rear facing for at least a little longer than we kept Abram, especially since we live in a country where the speeds are higher and drivers are crazier.  Ok.  Soap box decent...

And that's that.  I haven't posted in a little while, I know.  So sorry (moms and dads who we rarely get to skype with any more because of dumb daylight savings!)  I'll try to be better.  Selah's first birthday is on Monday!!! So I will definitely be back in the next few days with a big 'ol post about my big 'ol little girl.

Now aren't you glad that wasn't my facebook status??

Sunday, April 7, 2013

...of a football star

In an effort to assimilate more fully in our new non-American home, Quinn purchased a football.  Not an American football.  But a football.  The vocabulary is very important, as well.  It is not a soccer ball.  It is a football.  And Abram has taken a great interest in this new addition to his toy arsenal.  It is the only ball we own, so that's probably the one of the reasons for his admiration.

He had a great time playing with the new football on the beach with Daddy on Easter Sunday.We made him sit and eat for a few minutes before he was allowed to get up and start kicking it and throwing it around.

And Selah proved she is ready to start holding her own at the table, as she is regularly eating whatever we eat and just taking bites instead of having to have everything cut up or torn up for her.  

My little girl is growing up so fast!

Then she and I cheered for the boys from the table and finished our food.

And Abram went at it.  He had such a great time.  Makes me wonder if he's going to follow in his Uncle Pete and Aunt Liesl's footsteps...

And then we headed down to the water to check out the waves.  We left the football a little ways from the water and Abram kept checking to make sure it was still there.  He loved watching the water, but didn't really want to touch it or get wet (which was ok by me).

Quite a nice family outing, if I do say so myself.