Friday, May 25, 2012

9 Weeks!

(one day late)

Sweet baby girl is 9 weeks!  I know I just gave a thorough update for her 2 month mark, so this will be a little shorter than usual.  Grey spent part of yesterday hanging out with my coworkers (who she LOVED!) while I finished up my resignation stuff.  It was a very sad goodbye to a job I have enjoyed for four years, working with the best ladies ever, but I am beyond grateful to have the privilege of staying home with Grey.  I know I will never regret spending a single minute with my daughter, and I can't wait to teach her and learn from her each day.  I love this challenging, exhausting and REWARDING job of Mommyhood more than anything else I could do!! :)

Grey, you continue to amaze me with you daily developments.  I still can't believe I am going to get to stay home and watch you grow each day.  I love every moment spent with you!  You are changing before my eyes, learning about this world around you.  God is SO good!

No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.  Such a person's praise is not from other people, but from God.  Romans 2:29

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Happy 2 Months to our little JOY!

I think it's funny that as soon as I "pose" Grey, she refuses to smile, look at the camera, and usually ends up screaming.  I mean, this kid is a HAM when a camera is not in her face.  I just laughed after today's attempt.  She's probably payback for all the years of hating photos myself.  At any rate...this might be a fun collection of "blooper outtakes" by her first birthday.  =)

And just for some heart stopping comparison, here's the SAME outfit at 1 week old:

Look at those itty bitty legs!  My heart nearly couldn't even post this.  It's really just too much.  Where have the days and TWO MONTHS gone?!?  
What can I say, Grey gains weight in her legs.  She comes by it honestly. ;)

At 2 months old sweet baby, you:
  • Wear 0-3 and 3 month outfits.  In fact, I think Carter's outfits have to run small, because I've put you in some 6 month outfits!  I won't accept the fact that they run normal, or that Carter's possibly determines baby sizing. 
  • Wear size 1 diapers.  This was a big step for us, since you were in newborns for so long.
  • Roll over to get toys.  You have always rolled a lot, but you are doing it more to get to toys too, not just people.
  • Eat about 3 ounces per meal.  You can definitely eat more than that, but with your reflux, we sometimes can only feed you 1-2 ounces at a time.  You are eating quite often day and night now, but we know it is worth it to help you to grow.
  • Laugh!  I love to hear you laugh each morning, and sometimes throughout the day! :)  I doubt there's a sweeter sound on earth than your squeaky laughs.
  • Sleep up to 4 hours at night, although you usually wake up more often than that.  You could probably sleep through the entire night though, if we were able to give you a bottle until you were full.  You wake up hungry a couple times at night since we only give you small amounts at a time.  
  • Notice animals and objects around you.  This was the first week you have really stared and cooed at our pets.  So cute!  You and Henri had a stare down yesterday.  
  • Notice a "cute baby" in the mirror.  You smile at her each day. ;)
  • Weigh 9 pounds!  Sigh.
  • Started sucking your thumb more.  You had only sucked your pacis for the last few weeks, but you found your thumbs again.  
  • Love to bounce!  If we hold you in a standing position, you jump up and down and smile.  Such strong legs!
  • Love to listen to and watch your Praise Baby and Mighty God DVDs.  They are the only thing on tv you focus on.
  • Love outside time!  When reflux makes you feel bad, outside time is often the only thing that can calm you.  You and I try to spend some time outside right at dawn when Daddy goes to work, so we can listen to the birds and sounds of nature in the cool of the morning.  We love this time together!
I will say this every month, but I just cannot get enough of loving on our sweet girl.  She is the most snuggly, cuddly baby who still wants to be held all the time, which is great with me!

This photo is bad "quality", but I can't help but share it.  This is the exact sweetness I stare into each time we snuggle.  That face melts me.  There's a reason she ends up in our try to say no to that!

Big bow time!
Chubby rolls time. :)

I plan on doing a "real" photo shoot (i.e. not my phone) one evening this week with Chet's help, but iPhone photos are so easy and quick for this lazy Momma.

When I look at you, pray over you and spend each day with you, I imagine what you will become.  My prayer is that you will always have the JOY of the Lord in your life, and that it will be your strength.  (Nehemiah 8:10)  With His unending JOY, your life will be full.
I love you to every star and back.

Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.  When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?  Psalm 8:2-4

Friday, May 18, 2012

Go away!

Reflux, please leave our family for good!

I really don't want to be blogging about something so sad, but this is also my little girl's journal, and reflux is such a big part of her sweet life.

We made a trip to Covenant Women's & Children's for Grey's Upper GI test today.  (Sooner than originally planned, just to be safe.)  She (and I) did NOT like the fasting part.  Definitely one of the worst parenting moments to date, watching my daughter beg me for food.  Whew...I'm still recovering, and seeing this picture makes me upset all over again.  :'(

look how red that precious little face can get! :(

I wanted to photograph the experience for her journal (and Daddy to see), but I was too busy trying to not cry as hysterically as my daughter was while feeding her the barium bottle.  I am very thankful Upper GIs are painless procedures; my heart absolutely goes out to and aches for all of the parents of sick kids/kids with cancer who have to endure painful procedures.  The entire process was actually very interesting and would have been "cool" to me if my daughter was replaced with a dummy doll on that X-ray table.  Once again, I was impressed with Covenant's amazing staff.  They were wonderful with Grey, and put me at as much ease as they possibly could have.

only photo I snapped before I was holding her hand for the procedure.  I just love seeing my babies' names! :)

Praise God her results were "normal", meaning she does not have pyloric stenosis.  I know I will be sleeping better this weekend knowing she doesn't have a life-threatening condition causing the vomiting and screaming.  For now we are just back to hoping her prescription and normal reflux solutions (sitting up, small meals, sleeping elevated, watching my diet, etc.) start to make some big changes for her.

From now on I am going to do my best to enjoy each moment to the fullest.  Reflux is difficult to put on a 'back burner', but I will make a conscious effort to focus on the good!

I am ridiculously grateful for the friends of mine who have walked the "reflux road", and have let me whine, moan and gripe to them.  Their patience and "been there" suggestions and stories have been tremendously helpful to me.

I believe Grey is our little gift in every way possible, and that reflux is going to be part of what strengthens her.  She has a strong will, and I pray it will be used for Christ's sake...

The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.  Psalm 41:3

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore will I boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Thursday, May 17, 2012

8 Weeks

Tonight's photos cracked me up. :)  This face gets her way with anything.  She has us trained!
Oh that "after-bath" hair.  I laugh every time she gets out of the bath. :)  Sweet girl!  Everyone said your hair would fall out, but I think it's here to stay.  And growing.

Today our beautiful daughter turned 8 weeks old.  Yeah, it hasn't seemed that long to me either.  In fact, I am pretty sure our first glimpses of her were just yesterday.  Okay, so our calendars are lying, right?

I love Grey to pieces, and wish this blog would be a little longer, but she is having a rough evening with this I think it's more important that we cuddle and soothe.  :)

These are just a couple collages from the week.  Obviously I have reached our usual 200 weekly photos, but we need some quiet snuggles as a family this evening...
[Can I just say reflux SUCKS?!?!?!?]

This morning's smiles (we always have the BEST hour of happy time in the morning!)

Tuesday (turquoise shows off your baby blues so well)

Monday (First pair of shoes - pink jellies - to fit into is a momentous occasion!) ;)

Saturday before our friend's baby shower

At 8 weeks, you:
  • Laugh a lot.  If you feel good, you are very alert, smiling and laughing!  You seem to be taking in the world with your expressions and demeanor.  You are so smart!  :)  Included in every one of my prayers for you is a request for you to be wise.  Wisdom is so rare and precious honey.
  • You love little kids!  One of my favorite moments all week was seeing you interact with your cousins.  You are mesmerized by them, and it makes me want a "big sibling" for you.  I told Daddy that we needed to adopt a big sister or loving your cousins made my heart miss your brother that much more though.  
  • Are still fighting reflux, and it seems to be getting worse, no matter what we try (and we have tried a TON of things).  We went to the doctor yesterday, and started on a prescription to help you out. I am hoping it works with all my heart!  We were told it will take a couple of days to "kick in", but I am getting impatient with my sweet baby hurting.  I pray over you and ask God to take your pain away more times a day than I can count.  Reflux is one of those things that tests the physical and emotional endurance in a family, but I know you will be feeling better soon, honey.  
  • Because we took you to the doctor again, we were able to weigh you!  You are our adorable chubby wubby and weighed 8 lbs. 6 oz.!  Look at you!  I loved to see those numbers on that scale!  Those 8 lbs. are split between your cheeks and thigh rolls.  ;)  Presh!  This places you in the 10th percentile for weight. 
  • Experienced your first "alarm".  Our carbon monoxide detector went off last night because our water heater broke, and you slept peacefully through it for the first couple of hours of airing our house out.  (You and I chilled out on the window sill and then outside for a few hours.)  Maybe an alarm was all we needed to get you to sleep through the night. ;)
  • Continue to be our cuddle bug.  No complaints here.  In fact, if you are continuing this trend into your 30's, Momma won't be upset. :) :)  I can't get enough squeezes of your sweet, sweet self.  Ever.  Each hug and sugary open-mouthed kiss seems like the first.  So let's never grow out of this one, okay?

You are truly our sunshine.  
I love you.  

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;  Psalm 91:11

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

My two beautiful children. 

Yesterday was such a special one for our family.  After losing Holden, I wondered if I would ever have a baby to hold on Mother's Day.  I woke up and kissed my precious sweetie, and thanked God for her life.  I know she is a gift that can never be taken for granted.  

We were able to publicly dedicate our sweet baby girl to the Lord at church yesterday.  I had looked forward to this day since March 22, when she entered the world screaming.  I knew Holden was already with Jesus, and that his whole life was already dedicated to worshipping his Savior, but it was still very difficult last Mother's Day when I missed this special moment with him.  

I want to do everything I can to bring Grey up to love the Lord and live for Him.  I want her to make a difference for the Kingdom of God.  It is daunting to know I am modeling the person I want Grey to be.  Every day my flaws, attitude, unkind words and ugly character seem ten times 'louder' than they ever have been.  Knowing Grey is a blank slate I am imparting character on is really humbling.

The public dedication of Grey means that we are going to do everything possible to bring her up in a home that she can come to have a personal relationship with the Lord, and that we have made ourselves accountable to others in this task.  It will be the best day of motherhood when Grey makes the personal decision to accept Christ's free gift of salvation.  Chet and I realize how raising Grey according to the Word is the most important job we have right now.  Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

We charged our camera and had it READY to go at the front door for her dedication.  It was still sitting by the front door while we were sitting in the pews. ;)  Thank you Charys and Scott for getting some iPhone photos of the day for us!

Our little family before being dedicated:

Grey was the only baby out of the 10 who were dedicated yesterday who cried during the whole process.  Oh well! :)  We are laughing in these photos because nothing worked to stop her from fussing...poor girl.  Brother Tommy wrote her a letter and gave her a little Bible with her name on it.  

Brother Tommy preached an amazing sermon about Jezebel yesterday.  It spoke to me more than almost any other sermon I have heard in my life.  God has given women powerful gifts that we can use to destroy our families or lift them up to serve God.  In closing, he shared, "If Jezebel by her own power had the capacity to turn an entire nation against God, then every woman has the capability to turn her home toward God." (The photo is a little blurry to read)

Chet's parents and my sister's family shared in the day with us.

Leigh Ann and Randy after church.
Meeting Uncle Scott for the first time.
Beautiful Auntie Charys and cousins Kayson and Cohen came over and had a fun time with us!
 First time meeting the 'boy cousins'!  

We missed Uncle Joel, Aunt Charity and cousin Hannah in CA, so we had a little Facetime with them in the afternoon. 

"Meeting" cousin Hannah for the first time...even if we were napping. ;)  Hannah's face is priceless to me!

Celebrating the day with "full arms" reminded me of my firstborn baby boy, and even more of the many Mommies who ache to hold their children who have gone to heaven.  They spent the day with empty arms, and I am so mindful of these precious women in my prayers...  

Thank you Lord for the most beautiful job of being a Mommy.  

I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the LORD.  For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.  1 Samuel 1:27-28a

Thursday, May 10, 2012

7 Weeks in Collages

I bought my first app today, "Diptik", and I have gone a little crazy learning how to use it. :) 

These are some photos from Grey's 7 week birthday with us!

 Rainy morning with Momma
Now that we have a lot of her tummy issues fixed, she is simply the happiest baby ever!  She wasn't so sure about "sitting" though.  :)
We are happy most of the time.  After a long day we all get a little cranky!  Our smiles usually return after a late afternoon nap and Daddy coming home!

Grey's blessed us for 7 weeks, and this week I think her biggest development has been in size!  I had Chet buy a scale (one that wasn't ghetto and 10 years old, and that calculated ounces too) yesterday.  We weighed Grey on it last night and she weighed exactly 8 pounds!  (With diaper and clothes on, so she probably weighs 7 pounds 14 ounces or so...)  I probably made a mistake by convincing Daddy to buy the scale, because I had a hard time accepting the fact that my little baby really was growing that fast.  ;) 

Sweet love, at 7 weeks you:
  • Are almost out of newborn diapers!  We have been in them so long it's going to be strange to make the switch soon!
  • Are still wearing a lot of newborn clothes, but fit great into most 0-3 month outfits too.  I think onesie creators must make them small, since you fit perfectly in 3 month 8 lbs.
  • Have the bluest eyes!  I am beginning to doubt my original thoughts that they would change color.  They seem to be getting bluer daily.  Beautiful baby blues!
  • Laugh intentionally every day.  You are extremely happy in the and Momma's favorite time of the day.  We laugh and talk for hours in the morning!  You laugh when you see "grey bunny" and when I sing or look at you sideways. 
  • Feel a lot better than you have in weeks.  We have finally discovered some things that work for your colic and reflux.  It's the biggest relief in motherhood to see you feeling good most of the time!!  Praise God!
  • Are very attached to Mommy and Daddy.  You will throw a fit if Momma has to put you down. (You're a very cute fit thrower by the way!) ;)   Doctors say we can't spoil you enough right now, so I am going to stick to that theory and love on you as much as possible.  ;) 
  • Sleeping for up to four hours at a time during the night.  Such a big girl!
  • Reaching and "tasting" anything in your reach.  I was certain babies didn't taste things this early on, but much to your Momma's germaphobic dismay, you sure do.  I have washed your toys, especially grey bunny a LOT more than they should probably be washed.
Now that Grey's colic and reflux are a lot more controlled, I am going to start working on a schedule again.  I decided to skip Babywise when she didn't feel good, since it was useless to push a schedule on a baby who wasn't sleeping or eating well, and crying out in pain.

I can't believe any day could be more fun than the last, but every day seems to be the MOST FUN that could be had with our sweet Grey!  She is developing such a smart and interactive personality.  I think she is going to keep us on our toes! ;)

We love you to the moon and back an infinite number of times, sweet daughter.  God is so great and loving to us, allowing us to be your parents!  Happy 7 Weeks of filling our arms.

...let us rejoice today and be glad.  Psalm 118:24b

Thursday, May 3, 2012

6 weeks!

6 weeks!  
Such a short time ago it seemed like a distant, faraway dream that I would be 6 weeks out from holding our living, beautiful daughter, yet here we are!  I can't imagine having to go back to work at 6 weeks, and am extremely grateful that I have a job that I do not have to be back at right now.  6 weeks is certainly not long enough to soak up all the baby sweetness.

We were told several times by doctors was that Grey might be 4 weeks "behind" on development since she was premature, and that we should not compare her to other babies her age.  So far we believe she is developing beautifully on time though, thank the Lord!

Your accomplishments this 6th week of your life, sweet girl:
  • My very favorite - you are returning kisses!  You open your mouth wide and give the sweetest kisses that ever existed!!  They aren't slobbery yet, but I'm sure they will be soon!  You started doing this yesterday, and most times I reach in to kiss you, you will return it.  Even when you are upset or crying, you will stop crying for a second to give me a kiss.  It's incredibly special to me, even more so when I know you are in pain from tummy issues.  Oh sweet girl, I love you so much!
  • You are making your needs more clear to us, or at least we are understanding them better.  I feel like I can distinguish your cries, faces and body language better than ever before.
  • Daddy's favorite - you have been sleeping and/or not crying for 4 hours at a time during the night!  This is huge, and today I feel more like a human than a zombie mom. ;)  Two nights ago we all slept a good 5 or 6 hours, which is what we have been averaging in about 3 nights together.  YAY Grey!  Last night you were only up a couple of times.  I think we will be sleeping through the night very soon! 
  • You follow things with your entire head and eyes.  You love watching our cell phones, and will follow them all around the room.  
  • You are reaching for everything that interests you.  These include: "Grey bunny" (your favorite toy), some books (your taste in books is picky so far), Momma's hair and face (especially when she lays you down and you don't want to be away form her) ... and most recently, you are reaching for the toys hanging from your activity mat.
  • You are still wearing newborn diapers and clothes, although Momma is dressing you in some 0-3 month outfits, just because she can - and you are awfully adorable in them.  You fit best in newborns still, so Momma refuses to say you "fit" into 0-3 month stuff yet.  You only wear them because they're cute and you're cute in them.  That's all. ;) ;)
  • We are still working on figuring out what is best for your colicky tummy.  Momma has tried every suggestion possible, including several different kinds of formulas mixed in with your breastmilk.  It hurts us more than anything to see you in pain, so I pray with all my heart that we find the solution to your tummy problems.  We have had a good day today, so I am VERY happy you can "celebrate" your 6th week of life by feeling great!
  • Because of the colic, you have slept in our bed several times.  (Yeah, so much for all those "NEVER EVERS" I had before I had a baby...)  The second I put you down, you roll to Daddy.  It's almost a game to you, because Momma has to constantly pull you away from his side of the bed, since he sleeps too hard to have a baby next to his side!  You have loved rolling since the day we brought you home from the hospital, but now you are rolling during the day too.  You are such a little rolly more ways than one! ;)
  • I estimate your weight to be around 7 pounds now!  Our Molly Bears "Holden Bear" is 7lbs. 5oz., and you still don't weigh that much, but I think you are probably right at 7.  I can't believe the weight difference between you and your brother, still!  You are growing a few extra "beauty rolls" all over...absolutely presh!
  • You enjoy bathtime!  I can finally say "enjoy" now.  You smile and coo instead of fuss and cry!  Yay!  Before we would bathe you in the morning or day, since you got too worked up afterwards to go to sleep.  Now we can bathe you in the evening since you are peaceful and happy after a bath.
  • You have pretty much established your own "wake up time" - 6:30am.  It doesn't matter when your last feeding was, or how much you have been up at night, you are always wide awake at 6:30.  This works wonderfully for Daddy and Momma, and we usually can say bye to Daddy before he leaves for work at this time.  I was trying to plan a "wake time" according to Baby Wise, but I am glad you came up with one on your own.  As for feedings and the rest of the day's schedule, we still don't have a great one yet; it is something we will be patient on, as you still have a very upset tummy a lot.  I think that needs to be taken care of before we stress over a rigorous schedule.
I believe this week has been the biggest in development and changes in Grey!  She learns and does new things several times a day.  When she is feeling good, she is super smiley and 'talkative'.  Her blue eyes seem to be "learning" as she soaks in the world around her.  How I ever got lucky and blessed enough to spend each day with her is beyond me!  It still doesn't feel "normal" or "right" to be this happy.

I took a bunch of photos of a few of her many expressions this afternoon.  They crack me up and she makes my heart laugh.

I sound a little bit like a baby pterodactyl when I try to laugh 

Momma, just face it, these bows don't fit yet

Sad face

Focus face

Cross-eyed focus :)

My Daddy's grin

Squealing smile

Momma, didn't you say it wasn't kind to stare?  Why you staring at me all day then?

Happy sleeper

A "few" photos from this week (yes I have upped the storage limit on iCloud because of how addicting her cute self is to photograph):
Our first Bumbo chair experience wasn't so great.  We need to wait until we are bigger!

She can finally be swaddled in Aden & Anais blankets!  She is getting SO big!

She kicks her legs like crazy on her activity mat.  She can even move the cat toy by herself.  

She loves "baby massage"!  It puts her to sleep almost always.

Cuddles on Holden's 20th month birthday.  Such a sweet moment.

Daddy's hands are always full of love.

Baths can be fun!

My doctor appointment last week was what we considered my "6 week check up".  My doctor told me at 6 weeks I could start exercising again, although she advised that I wait until I am sleeping more.  With Grey doing better at night, I think I am ready.  Whew...this will be 'fun' since I have been a sedentary bump on a log for 9 months!  My closet has "shrunk"...ha! ;)  I plan on starting out slow and then easing myself into running again.  I just need to figure out a time to get moving each day!  Babies have a way of taking over your clock!

Grey, there are not enough seconds in all of time to love you enough.  xo

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him.  1 John 5:14-15
This Scripture was difficult for me to accept for a good year or so after Holden passed.  I felt as though He ignored my desires to be a mom to a baby here on earth.  My desires were heard though, and I also know His will for Holden's life was never to breath on earth.  Thank you Lord for giving me a baby to hold each day.  She's a blessing I praise You for!