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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dr. Brown's Nipples?

I was on YouTube watching a video on how to cut a mango and I thought to myself "Am I seriously watching this, and taking notes?"

It was then that I thought to myself that I have gone far beyond the limit of what I ever thought I would do.

For example:
  • I once Googled "Dr. Brown's Nipples". I can tell you, it's safe to do, just make sure you don't click the images.
  • I don't gag that much when I get poop on my hands.
  • I got spit up on the other day, wiped it off, and forgot to change. Then we went to the store. When I realized what had happened, I kind of went, "oh well" and went on. Still without changing.
  • I sing made up songs as loud as I can.
  • Sometimes I cry when my baby cries. Alright, often.
  • I participate in Sesame Street.
  • I stand in front of the pacifiers in the store and actually compare, instead of my typical grabbing the first thing I see.  
  • I talk like a baby. This was something we always said we wouldn't do. I just can't help it.
  • I talk about poop consistency. While eating.
  • I care about poop consistency.
  • I have opinions on formula and baby food.
  • I have motherly instincts, and with Isaiah, I'm usually right.
  • I know what the terms nap training, CIO, and EBF mean.(If you don't, I'll tell you. Equal education for all, yo.)
Please don't get the impression that I used to be an interesting person. We had friends over once and we got out a kitchen timer so that we could all check our pulses. I wish that were a joke. We know how to party.

How has motherhood changed you? OR how do you think you will change when you become a mom? (I still pray for all of my IF friends).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Five Months

I don't have any stats this month because we don't go back to the doctor until next month.

Eating: We're still exclusively formula feeding. His pediatrician gave us the go ahead for cereal and solids when we get close to six months, but I'm a little nervous about messing with a good thing. I'm getting ready for it though in the next few weeks. Spit up has its highs and lows, but generally, I think it's less than it has been. With adding the cereal to his bottle it makes the spit up thicker, and a little bit more disgusting, but we'll do what we have to do.

Sleeping: We have officially kicked the swaddle. I was so relieved to be rid of it. When he was in it he would get his arms out and cry, and as you know, re-swaddling in the dark without glasses or contacts is hard. I went arms out with him the first night I decided we were going to go for it, and he was perfectly fine. Nothing in his sleep pattern changed. Then, I was forced to use a sleep sack instead of the swaddle with arms out because I forgot the laundry was in the washer. The sleep sack night was one of our best nights of sleep yet. I find that everything I think we're going to have issues with he's just like "yeah Mom, it's fine."

Umbilical Hernia: Not completely gone, but it just looks like an outie belly button now instead of an extra piece that doesn't belong there.

New this month: Tons! He is close to sitting by himself. He has pulled his pacifier out and replaced it a few times. His head control is getting better, and we can see his neck now. He jabbers all the time, and suddenly (which broke this mama's heart) he doesn't want to snuggle any more. He wants to be put down to fall asleep on his own. He rolls front to back, and is pretty close to back to front. I didn't think he was ever going to roll, because every time I put him down for tummy time, he would fall asleep. He loves being on his belly, but one day he just did it like he had always been doing it. The very next day he tried back to front because apparently we were accomplishing all of the things at once. He chews all the time now. He melted my heart when he grabbed my hand on the changing table and pulled it to his mouth like he was going to kiss it, only to pull it closer so he could try to teethe on it. It was really sweet. He has just started blowing bubbles.

Likes/Dislikes: He loves taking naps in front of the window. He likes any song I sing to him and to walk around the house and look into mirrors with his dad. He loves his uncles. He gets so excited when they talk to him, and even gets excited when I impersonate them after they leave. The only dislike I can think of is snuggling at any time besides bedtime. I'm holding on to that for dear life.

As parents: I have noticed a vast improvement in myself over the past month. I feel more like myself than I have since before we started the adoption process. I'm happy again. I was always happy with Isaiah, but held some personal self dissatisfaction. I've started a few new projects and feel better about myself. I didn't realize how sad I really was. Our final hearing is in a few weeks, and I'm so excited about it. I cannot wait. I feel like life is good again. And the humidity is down, so that helps everything.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Back to the New Normal

I wrote before about how I was struggling to find myself after leaving my job. I realized last night that I hadn't responded to blog comments in months. More specifically, since Isaiah was born.

I felt terrible about it, and spent an hour of my precious sleep time responding. I'm sure it's been so long that the original commenters won't even remember, and will most likely never see the responses, but I just wanted to let you know, I'm back.

Finally, after almost five months, I feel like myself again. I don't think I was depressed, but I wasn't me. I guess I should say I'm not myself again, I'm the new me. I lost a lot of myself through infertility, and I don't think the old versions of me will ever be the same after what we experienced. Even though I didn't give birth, child birth changed me. I'm a mom now, and I can never be the non-mom me.

I've started working at home, and I'm in the routine of not doing house things from 9-5 anymore, which helps because I can shut off the guilt that tells me I need to be up doing these things. It isn't easy. I will be the first to tell you that. I work harder now for less money than I ever have in my life. I've told Josh more than once that I'm going back to work. Sitting in an office all day is a thousand times easier for me, even now.

I know a lot of people knock the stay at home mom life, and when I talk about how hard it is, I mean emotionally. I'm sure you're reading this and saying to yourself "she needs to man up". But I'm back to being comfortable with how I feel. You can feel however you want about it.

I lost a lot of my own self confidence when I left my job. I was constantly faced with new baby situations that I didn't know how to deal with. I questioned myself and took advice that I didn't really want to take, but others with experience were willing to offer it.

I went from a person who always fiercely stood up for myself, to someone who always questioned if I was doing the right thing. I took every opinion to heart, and started to believe that others knew my baby better than I did.

That is over now. I know my baby, and he knows me. Feel free to give advice, but I'm no longer taking every piece that comes my way. I'm no longer feeling bad about myself. I hate that feeling. I know what's best for him.

I'm his mom.

Hear me roar.

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's A Very Crafty Summer

I was under the impression that crafts were a girly thing.

I was wrong.

My brothers are the most bored 8 & 9 year old kids in the world. I'm constantly taking their video games away when they're at my house because they would play it every minute they were here if I let them.

I have a "kids" board on Pinterest because I love the ideas I see on there, but unfortunately Isaiah won't be old enough to play these things with me for a while yet. I decided to try them out on my brothers this summer to see how they went, and if I wanted to keep the ideas around for when Isaiah is ready.

I've noticed that if I have a craft planned, their moods drastically improve. As does mine.

We made these shirts for the 4th of July. I bought a three pack of puffy paint, the two shirts, and we made both of them for less than $10 total. I helped them do their hand print, but they did the lines on their own...after a short lesson on the American flag. Who says summer can't be fun?

After I noticed that they were interested in drawing and coloring, I bought dry erase markers that they would be able to draw on this plastic table with, and on our large front window.

We made sun catchers by melting pony beads. I read that you can drill holes in these to make a place to thread the string to hang them by. I didn't feel like I had time for that, and if I used cookie cutters (that I bought at IKEA a few years ago and never made cookies with) that took some space away from the overall project, they wouldn't feel like they were placing beads forever. They did however, feel like I was really making them work, but made it through.

You need:
Pony Beads Multi Color 9mm 1000 Pcs in Bag
Non-stick Cake pans
Cookie cutters (optional)

Arrange in the pans, bake at 400° for 20-30 min. Once cool they will come right out of the pans. I was nervous, but it works.

And these are our finished sun catchers. All we have to do now is hang them.

I saw this idea and thought it would be great for the boys. They like to draw creatively, but Dillian really gets into it.

I cut small pictures out of magazines and glued them to paper and told them to finish the picture. I was so excited when I was explaining it to them, and Dillian asked if I had any blank paper. Fail.

William, however, drew me a Spanish speaking dog, wearing a sombrero, who is a mother of six puppies. It was also storming that day, so I got some rain clouds with lightening.

What are you up to this summer?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Four Months

We have a growing baby!

Weight: 15lb 10oz
Height: 24.5"
Head: 17"

Isaiah was stretching himself so long between bottles that I ended up lowering the ounces and feeding him more frequently, mostly in part to try to help with the spit up issues we have. It didn't help, but we're still trying. Isaiah was cleared by his doctor to start rice cereal before he hits 6 months. I haven't decided if we're going to do cereal or skip right to purees, so I'll get back to you on that.

Isaiah sleeps in his own room now. He's still in the RNP though so he can be inclined. It was rough the first few nights because I felt so lonely without him, and because I would have to get out of bed to get his pacifier to him so he would go back to sleep. He's still swaddled, so he isn't self soothing yet. I tried swaddling with arms out for about an hour. It isn't time yet. I keep hearing that I'll know when it's time. He went through a 3.5 month sleep regression. We're getting good long stretches of sleep again, and I cannot complain.

Umbilical hernia:
This is getting better! I notice it's bigger right after he eats and smaller right before he eats. His doctor and I agree that it is looking better.

New this month:
Isaiah squeals with delight... all the time. I could barely hear the doctor at his appointment because he was making so much noise. He acts like he wants to roll front to back, but just hasn't made it happen yet.

Isaiah loves the outdoors. If we can't get him to stop crying, we stand in front of the window and he stops immediately. If I take him outside to walk in the yard he's in heaven. This is fantastic since I'm watching my brothers this summer and a great deal of our time is spent outside. Isaiah went swimming for the first time a few weeks ago and seemed to like it. He is also enjoying bath time now. I can't think of a single thing he dislikes, besides burping. He hates taking breaks in his eating.

As parents:
I feel like things are a little better this month than they were last month. I've been dealing with serious anxiety over Isaiah's 4 month vaccinations, but now that they're over I feel like we're going to do better. It's getting easier to deal with not going to my job anymore. I told our social worker that it is hard to be home all the time, but on the other hand we get to go places and do things that we wouldn't be able to do if I were working outside the home. We got to spend some much needed family time on our little trip south, and it was perfect.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Staying Positive

One of the hardest things ever for a woman with infertility? Staying positive.

I experienced my infertility in various stages of grief. The beginning was wrought with denial, which turned to anger, then a strange peace in which I got back in touch with my beliefs, a sadness -- perhaps depression -- that made me isolate myself from all things baby or pregnancy, and finally acceptance. To say that I've accepted infertility may be a bit misleading as my level of acceptance may change from day to day.

Here is a short list of ways to help stay positive.
  • Find a friend(s) to talk to. It doesn't have to be someone with infertility experience, even though that helps, you just need someone you can trust and who will listen. Talking to someone in real life or on the internet really, really helps. Trust us.
  • Circle + Bloom Meditations. I personally don't have any experience with this, but I've heard positive things about it.
  • Travel. Near or far, get out of the house and enjoy life with your SO. One of these days after your baby comes it will be a lot more complicated to just get up and go.
  • Get a mani/pedi. Or if you're a Parks & Rec fan...Treat yo' self!
  • Take breaks from all things infertility. Easier said than done. We know.
  • Faith. I found peace by getting back in touch with my faith.
  • Keep yourself busy with projects. There are always weeds to pull, and an endless amount of inspiration on Pinterest.
  • Remind yourself that others' TTC success doesn't make you a failure.  Along the same lines, don't compare yourself to others.
  • Decide to be positive. Ever heard of "fake it 'til you make it"? Decide to look at things from a different perspective. Be thankful for the things you do have instead of dwelling on the things you don't.
  • Drink wine. Hey, there has to be at least one perk of not being pregnant.
Whether you're TTC or not, what tips do you have to stay positive?


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