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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Dinner

We decided to start a new tradition this year of staying home on Christmas Day. Previously, we always did the rounds on Christmas and by the end of the 25th, we were so exhausted and missed our couch.

This year we wanted to stay home and relax. Isaiah helped with that because it was easier to stay home for his nap times.

Josh's employer gives employees a turkey every Thanksgiving. We hadn't used it, so we decided to have it for Christmas dinner.

I always help my grandma make Thanksgiving dinner, so I've been around a raw turkey before, but she's an old pro and usually takes the lead on that. This was my first time making it on my own, and I quickly realized that I had no idea what to do.

I'm always a sucker for a recipe that says "easy" or "three ingredients" so I was immediately drawn to this recipe for a brown bag turkey.

Brown Bag Turkey
1 (12 -16 lb) whole turkey
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 paper bag (like a paper grocery bag)
I added celery, carrot, onion, and parsley in the cavity. I didn't feel right leaving it empty.
  1. If you purchase a frozen turkey, follow the directions on the label regarding defrosting time.
  2. Take your paper bag and cut it so that you can open it to tent over the turkey.
  3. Generously butter complete surface of one side of the paper bag. Coat every inch of the side that will be closest to the turkey.
  4. Place turkey in roasting/baking pan and tent the paper bag over the turkey, butter-side down.
  5. Place turkey in cold oven (Do Not Preheat)
  6. Turn heat to 500 and roast for 1 hr.
  7. Turn down to 400 degrees and roast for 1 hr.
  8. Turn down to 300 degrees and roast for another 1 hr.
  9. Total cooking time: 3 hrs. Remove turkey from oven.
  10. Remove paper bag and let turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.

I kid you not, this was the best turkey I've ever had. Ever. I don't even like turkey, but this was delicious. My husband even agreed and he likes turkey less than I do (don't ask why we wanted to have it in the first place).

I highly, highly recommend this method. Just make sure you have tons of butter on the bag so it doesn't catch fire. And it never hurts to have an extinguisher on hand just in case. I was feeling pretty thankful that we had to get one for Isaiah's adoption home study. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ten Month Update

My baby is becoming a big boy. He's ten months old already.

I don't have any stats for him because we don't go to the doctor until his one year appointment. I'm still in disbelief that one year is a thing we're actually talking about.

This guy had a rough month eating. His teeth made things rough because he was hungry, but didn't want to finish any of his bottles. He just didn't know what he wanted. He is still on the non-soy formula and doing well with it. I made Christmas dinner and he ate with us, until he had a tired meltdown and went to bed. Any food I give him goes down. I was giving him big pieces until he started shoving it all in at the same time. There have been a few choking incidents, so I've taken him back down to eating small pieces and only giving him one at a time. One of these days he'll get the hang of it, right?

Nothing new to report about night sleep. He's very dependable in that. Naps got rough as some days he only needs one and most other days he needs two, but since he can stand he just cannot lay down to take one. He's a busy guys with lots to do.

New this month:
So much. He started pulling himself up to sit this month. As soon as he started sitting up on his own, he started crawling, pushing up to his hands and feet, and standing in bed. I simply couldn't keep up with him this month. He does it all now. Also, all of his teeth are through now. We get a break for a little bit, I hope.

He likes everything. He was indifferent to the Christmas tree and never acted interested in ours or my mother in law's. He loves the heat vents on the floor. He likes going on trips with his dad. They run errands every once in a while. I sent them out for pizza and wine and found out they went to McDonald's and shared fries. He still loves the dog so much.

As parents:
I talked last month about my blogger burnout, and decided to take a week off of social media completely to relax. I hate how I go to bed at 9 and then realize I've been on my phone for two hours and get to sleep just as late as usual. It was harder than I thought it would be. Way harder.

All of the new milestones Zay is hitting is making us really stop and recognize how much he's changed. I saw pictures our cousin took when we were in the hospital with him for the first time the other day and was just in awe at how much different we are in such a relatively short period of time.

He is really just amazing and makes parenting something we love like we never thought we could.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mama's First Christmas

Christmas has been hard for me since we first started trying for a baby. I always wanted to be one of those couples who could announce to our families at Christmas that we were having a baby. It was hard to go through each holiday season and not have a child to buy for, or to wake up Christmas morning with.

Now that we're wrapping up our fifth year of marriage, we're getting ready to have our first Christmas as parents.

Now that we're parents, the things we ask for for Christmas have changed. Our moms have been hounding me for ideas, and this is what I want.

  • Size 4 Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Large Sleep Sacks
  • A Back-Friendly Mattress 
  • New Yoga Pants
  • Leggings
  • Toothpaste
  • A Second Bathroom
  • B. Zany Zoo Activity Cube
Exciting, right?

But what I really want is for everyone to take a second to think about the future mama you know who doesn’t have a baby yet. The holidays might be difficult for her, and she might need a little hug. Reminders of infertility, at least for me, rears its ugly head in times of togetherness and celebration. It’s hard when Great Aunt Lucy wants to know when you’ll be having little ones of your own, or why you haven’t started yet.

Even though this is my first Christmas as a mom, I’m thinking of you. I’ll never forget what those years were like for me, and I wish I could say something to comfort you, but I can’t. All I can say is that infertility sucks, and also that someday you’ll be just fine.

Also, I would like world peace.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Missed Match

Any adoptive family can tell you, a cancelled match or changed mind is part of the game.
If you think about it, it is extremely heartbreaking, but understandable.

Can you imagine finding out that you're pregnant and making the decision that you cannot care for your unborn, then set out to find someone else to love your child in the way you approve of? Can you imagine spending nine months of your life with someone, and then one day, that person is gone?

I can't either.

We are no strangers to a cancelled match. Before we met Isaiah's birth mom, there was a different birth mom who decided against placing her child with us, and there have been two more cancelled matches since Isaiah was born.

When he was two months old, we heard of a birth mom who knew of us through Isaiah's birth mom. She decided she couldn't handle another child, but eventually changed her mind and kept the baby.

We found out in early November that there was another birth mom in our area who was pregnant with a little girl that she wanted to find a family for. She had already contacted a local agency, but then heard about us and felt more comfortable placing her child with someone a friend could personally vouch for. I understand that private adoptions outside of an agency are odd, but these birth moms know about our family by word of mouth. All of these birth moms are distantly connected somehow to us in a way that they've heard about Isaiah's adoption.  We aren't actively pursuing another adoption, but we agreed long before we knew about Isaiah that we would never turn a child away. Even if we aren't ready or prepared, if there is a child who needs us, the answer is always going to be yes.

We mentally prepared to become parents again. We considered the logistics of what it would mean for us.

And we loved her.

We started clearing out our last spare room to make a little girl nursery. I started a hidden "little girl" board on Pinterest. I started to get sentimental that this would be Isaiah's first and only Christmas as an only child. I got scared of taking care of girl hair. We figured out how we would cover the fees. I even told my brothers about her.

And then her birth mom decided she couldn't let her go.

I admire her for loving her child so much that she couldn't let go. At the same time, I let go of a little piece of my heart every time. As soon as I hear of a child who may be meant for us, I give my heart away. I never knew how immediately I could love a child until we started pursuing adoption.
Adoption isn't easy. You don't have any control. But in our experience, everything works out exactly how it's supposed to, no matter how many times your heart breaks in the process.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nine Month Update

Nine months old. I can't even describe how fast time is going. It's unbelievable. 

Weight: 21lb 14oz
Length: 29"

This month I got lots and lots of pictures.

I'm tired of making purees. It wasn't the making it that bothered me, because I love doing stuff in the kitchen, it was making something separate at meal time for him than we were eating. We rarely go out to eat, but I hated taking separate food for him. I started letting him eat off my plate when he started chewing food better. He loves to eat and perfected his pincer grab which makes it easier. I switched him to a non-soy formula that he is tolerating just fine.

He's doing well with sleep. Teething has caused him to wake up between 4-5am a few times, but I've always been consistent with calming him without picking him up. There was one night where he was so upset that I did pick him up, but it's easier for me to calm him with him still in bed because I can't stand the crying that starts as soon as I would lay him back down. He likes to cuddle with a burp rag, but the mornings he wakes up too early I let him have the blanket he uses at naptimes. At first it made me sick to give him a blanket, but the one we use is a thin muslin blanket and I was able to breathe when I put it over my own face.

New this month:
Teeth. This month he had five teeth. They weren't all through the gums, but they were causing him pain. By the time he turned nine months he had four teeth through on the bottom, and I could see four working their way through on the top. We don't handle teeth well. He was able to pull up to stand while he was sitting on my lap, and he started to crawl backwards. He has started giving kisses without being prompted. He gave me a kiss goodnight and I almost cried. It was the sweetest thing.

He likes playing on the floor with his toys. He isn't always interested in being in the exersaucer or jumper. He loves our dog. He doesn't care for green beans or peas. My brothers are still his favorites. He is still crying when I leave the room. I'm attributing it to teething, but we'll see. He has to stop at some point.
As parents:
I think I relaxed a little when he finally stopped throwing up all the time. I'm not saying he stopped spitting up, but he is now spitting up the most infrequently he has his entire life. It is really just about the greatest thing ever.

My blogging burnout from last month has dragged on to this month. I'm kind of "whats the point?" about things lately. I want to keep up with these monthly posts though so I can fill in his baby book whenever I get around to it. I'm so lazy. I'm not quitting blogging, I've gone through this before, usually this time of year. I'll be back in full force soon, I'm sure.

Josh's work schedule changed, so now we're getting more family time on the weekends. It has been great. We love getting to see Josh more often.

And one more for good measure.


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