Monday, April 28, 2008

Mike and Mandie

These are some older photos to keep you busy until I get some new ones.
I'm a little fatigued taking indoor photos all the time. I anxious to get outside for some pictures with flowers and greenery. It's been a very long winter. Since I see Amanda two inches from my face for much of the day, I forget how small she is. She is just a little peanut compared to her big strong Daddy.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Snowmobile?

It's three o-clock in the morning and I just heard a snowmobile go by. I'm glad somebody's enjoying these April snow storms. I had to cover my precious tulips that are just pushing their new leaves.

Amanda had her first "professional" photo shoot yesterday. Mike thought it would be a waste of time because he loves the all photos I've taken here at home. However, it was a fund raiser for the local MOPS group and I thought she should have at least one "professional" sitting before her first year. We were rushed, it was cold, Amanda was not napped or fed and she was scared of the big strange man. The little girl who came after us was terrified, too.

We get one free 10x13 that will be chosen from the first three shots. Unfortunately, those shots included an ugly little teddy bear that distracted from Amanda's adorable little dress.

Oh, well. When it warms up I will take my own shots in some pretty flower garden somewhere.

All of the other photos you see here on Amanda's blog, I have taken. I set up a spot in front of a sunny window while Amanda's sleeping. For backgrounds, I've used Christmas fabric, an angel costume, wrapping paper, play silks, my tie-dye wrap and my pink wrap. I put chairs on the table and drape or clip the fabric to the chair. Then when Amanda wakes up, I feed her, dress or undress her and snap a few photos before she gets tired and crabby. After she goes to bed, I check to see how the photos turned out. If they're good, I put away the set. If not, I try again the next feeding cycle.

Have I mentioned how much I love my digital camera? The only problem is that I have so many great photos. How can I ever pick which ones to keep and put in the album?

Friday, April 25, 2008

I'm thankful...

I'm thankful that my baby begs me not to put her to bed by wrapping her arms tightly around my neck.

I'm thankful that she loves her family so much that she doesn't want to be away from us.

I'm thankful that she has good hearing and knows when her Daddy is home for lunch.

I'm thankful that she is active and strong and can pull herself to stand in her crib.
I'm thankful that she is smart and has learned that knocking on the wall will bring attention.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to teach her that naps are not optional.

I'm very thankful that she tries all these tricks during the day and still sleeps all night.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Amanda's First Tooth

Amanda's first tooth came in last night. This picture was from yesterday when we could see that it was very close to the surface. This morning it was definately poking through the gums. She was too wiggly for a picture today. Click on the picture to see a bigger image. It's her top right front tooth. It looks like the on next to it will be coming in shortly, too.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Hair Cut

"I'm sorry, baby, but it was time for a hair cut!"

Amanda had worn away much of her hair in the back, so I had to trim the little stragglers that kept getting tangled. Then the hair on top was growing longer and standing up straight all of the time. It was also getting thinner as she lost her baby hair, so it was more difficult the keep it tucked neatly into the clip. I thought Mike had said he didn't want it cut. When he admitted on Wednesday that it might be a good thing to give her a trim, I was happy to oblige.
The area that I had trimmed in back was coming in nicely, so I was a little shocked by how thin it was on top. I probably should have left it a bit longer on top, but I was trying keep it the same length as the stuff in back. It's taken me two days to get over the shock and guilt of cutting off her sweet little hair, but this morning after a good shampooing and some lotion for smoothing, things are looking a bit better.

Only five people have seen her hair cut until now. The first comment I received, "It looks terrible, Dad's going to be mad." Daddy wasn't mad. He said that is was fine and it would grow back. He said he was going to miss the cute little pig tail on top, though. My neighbor's comment was a great comfort. She was glad I had cut it because now you could see Amanda's cute face. Apparently, the wild hair was a bit distracting.
Good-bye everyday crazy hair! We'll miss you!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Eight Months

At eight months, Amanda is 17 lbs. and 26 in. She is very lively and busy. She crawls all over the house chasing people and the cat. She likes to walk when you hold her hands but she's still very wobbly. The boys think she's very funny. She recently learned to cluck her tongue. She makes a variety of sounds and when she's complaining she uses "eeee".
She has really fallen in love with her daddy and she gets very excited when he gets home. She will crawl to the gate at the top of the stairs and wait for him. Amanda can pull herself to stand on the gate, her crib rails and some chairs. Sometimes, instead of taking a nap she will pull herself to stand and bang on the wall.
She has taken an interest in eating and has tried bananas, avocados, pears, potatoes, squash and yogurt. She likes to drink from a cup, but not a sippy cup. She still takes 6 oz. of formula or breastmilk 5 times a day in the nurser. I'm able to pump about 6 oz. a day.
She goes to bed around 7 at night and sleeps until about 6:30 in the morning. Mike prefers to wake her up before he goes to work. He likes to get in his morning snuggle. Amanda is always delighted to see him. She still takes three naps during the day.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's Official

We are Amanda's family forever. We had our court appearance yesterday to finalize Amanda's adoption. We waited a long time for this day. Another family from our adoption group also finalized their adoption yesterday, too. It's been such an amazing, unique and challenging journey and it's only the beginning of the adventure.

Our Biggest Fans

This is my cousin Elisa and her family. They are our biggest fans and check our blog regularily.Her family needs prayer as they face new health challenges and diet restrictions.

He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Monday, April 7, 2008

Snow Day

If we thought last Wednesday snow was something, this snow storm was just ridiculous. About twelve inches fell here, but it was two feet at my mom's farther north.
The snow on the deck would have been over Amanda's head.Our boys know what to do when you get snow in April. You roll a monster snowball.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Is your baby potty trained?

Yes, Amanda is potty trained. If I take her to the toilet, when she needs to go, she will go in the toilet. Some days I'm better at getting her there in time than others. She is also beginning to show that she has some bladder control, because sometimes when I take her, she gives a little shudder of relief. Yesterday, we went for a walk and ended up visiting at the neighbors. On the way back home, I remembered that she was undiapered. She was front facing in the wrap, so I spread the wrap out of the way and squatted by the side of the road. She didn't go, but stayed dry until we got home. It had been over 1/2 hour.

Dressing for EC'ing-

Before Amanda was crawling, she wore infant gowns at home. When she was awake I'd pull the elastic bottom up around her waist and tuck a cloth diaper into the elastic. At naps, I put her in a cloth diaper and waterproof cover. Once she started crawling, I began putting her in little cotton pants that were easy to pull down when I took her to the potty. I have three white cotton, long sleeve body suits that snap at the crotch that she wore under long sleeve shirts. (Onsies have too long of a tail) I left them unsnapped when she was diaper-free, but I snapped them at naps to keep her warm.

I have began taking her to the potty when we go out, too. I have experimented with cloth and a pull on cover, cloth and Velcro cover and disposables. I finally figured out a convenient system. I put her in a disposable diaper backwards! That way I can pull her pants down to her knees, unfasten the diaper, flip is towards her feet and let her go. Then I lay her over my knee and refasten the diaper and pull up her pants. Today was the first day we tried the new system because she was at a sitter's house. It worked well. It was also the first time that she went potty for somebody else. She went potty twice for the sitter in the 3 1/2 hours she was there.

By the way, I had a great time out by myself. I had gift cards to use and bought some pretty new things for me and the baby. Usually when I go out by myself, it's just for groceries.

Milk Update

I finally talked to a new doctor about trying [Reglan] to help increase my milk supply. [Reglan] is used to stimulate peristalsis in diabetic patients. One of the side effects is fluid retention and milk production.

I was on 30-40 mg of [Reglan] for one week. I saw an increase in milk supply after the first day, but but only small gains as the week progressed. I have been able to pump twice as much as I had been pumping after each feeding. I was only getting 1/2 oz, but now I get a full ounce, sometimes 1 1/2 oz.

I have been setting my alarm to pump at night for two weeks. After starting the [Reglan], I didn't need the alarm any more, because I was waking up with a churning stomach. I also started taking a good multi-vitamin and fish oil again. When I quit taking the [Reglan], I began taking fenugreek and blessed thistle again. I had run out of the supplements and hadn't bought more because they are expensive. However, I feel so much better taking them than the medicine.

I may decided to try the medicine again, but our court date in on Wednesday and I'd like to be well rested and digesting normally. It's going to be exciting and nerve racking enough. Everything is fine, we have no concerns it's just a big deal and very formal.

Amanda still takes most of her feedings with the nurser. She had graduated to the 7 oz size. She takes 5 1/2-6 oz. or formula and pumped milk per feeding plus whatever she is getting from me when she nurses.

The Amanda Show-For Joshy and Mariella

video"I bet you boys just love your little sister." This is a comment we hear all the time. Yes, they think she is a wonderfully funny little pet who does lots of silly things and has funny reactions and think they are the coolest people on the planet. What more can you expect? videoTyler loves this little outfit. Probably because it is, in no way, girly. By the way, I solved the scratchy fabric near her face, but she still didn't want to sleep in it. I guess I just won't worry about her crawling out of her covers. It doesn't seem to bother her. She still sleeps really well. Yesterday, she slept from 7 pm to 7 am, plus three naps during the day. I will still find use for this wonderful warm little poncho. I'm going to look around this summer at garage sales to find some prettier sweaters. I can sew the arms into little pants or leg warms. Recycle, reduce and reuse! (I'm not trying to save the planet, Jesus already did that, I'm just treasuring the gifts we have been given.)

videoLook what Amanda is doing now. We had friends visiting and playing board games. The game was called Sequence.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pictures to Cheer up Elisa-(her family needs prayer)

Snow on Wednesday and sun on Thursday. You've got to love Minnesota!
The boys think Amanda looks like cousin Joshua in this Hobbit/Dwarf/Robin Hood costume.
"What's the story with the costume?" This was cousin Elisa's wool sweater. Wool is a precious material so I'm recycling it. I have taken the sleeves off. That's what's on Amanda's head. I was trying to contrive a warm bedtime blanket that Amanda wouldn't be able to crawl out of. I have several polyester fleece sleep sacks, but I'm not a fan of polyester. I pride myself on being resourceful and only buying what I need, which I why I haven't bought any cotton sleep sacks. This would work, but I didn't like the scratchy fabric near her face. Oh, well. We all got a good laugh out of the costume.