Friday, July 31, 2009

There's really a baby in there!

We had an early ultrasound today to determine my due date. I have erratic cycles and was trying to induce lactation so we really had no idea when I got pregnant. The baby looks to be measuring at about 13 weeks which gives us a due date of February 5th. Christiana will be seven months old.

It was really great to see the baby. We couldn't get good pictures and the Dr. didn't have a lot of time. When she sat down to begin the ultrasound and got a call that one of her patients was dilated to 8 cm and expecting to deliver twins. So, she needed to leave.

Incidentally when the nurse warned us the the Dr. was expecting a delivery and she hoped we would get to see her, I was a bit confused. What was she expecting? Medical supplies? New equipment? Why would that affect our visit? Oh, a baby! She's supposed to be doing the delivery! Got it. Pregnancy brain!

Three Weeks and Two Days

Three weeks and two days. That's how old Amanda was on the day we met her. That's how old she was the day we took her home from the agency wearing this cute little outfit. We had to borrow it from Amanda's foster mom. We had checked into our hotel before coming to the agency and I had left everything for the baby there. I even forgot my camera. The foster family had that covered for us, too! She's wearing a different outfit during the placement photos. That outfit was very special to the foster mom, but she was willing to let us use this one.
I have often felt a little guilty that I didn't return the outfit. We only meant to borrow it. But it turns out, I'm a little attached to it and I was just thrilled to wake up and find Christiana wearing it on her three-week birth day. At three weeks and two days, Christiana weighs 7 lbs 13 oz, measures about 19 1/2 inches, drinks 3-4 oz of donated breast milk every three hours, sometime four at night, no longer poops at every feeding, sleeps well in between feedings and absolutely hates her car seat!

Amanda is quite a bit bigger than she was on that day although she would try to squeeze into that outfit if we let her. She always trying to put on Christiana's clothes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Mama and Mandain matching
mothering material!
Update- These are slings I made out of bargain material from Wal-Mart before we adopted Amanda. It is thicker, cotton jersey material. I found a pattern online and experimented with the length and width. I only stitched the one curved french seam and left the edges to just roll. Actually on this one I may have hemmed the edge or just left the selvaged edge. Jersey and fleece don't unravel so you don't need to finish the edges.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Look! She's wearing clothes!

We made it to church this morning so Christiana actually wore something other than a onsie. (Hmmm. Interesting grammar dilema-a onsie.)
Isn't she cute? It was pretty challenging to get photo's of her because I had a little helper who kept wanting to view the screen. She was pretty cooperative in being in a photo, too.

Her reward was getting to play in the carseat after we were done. In Florida, Amanda kept trying to buckle herself into this carseat.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Christiana Update

Christiana is doing great. We've been working hard to get her to take full feeding every three hours so then she'll sleep for two. She has always been good with the bottle but she was a little slow nursing. She's getting more efficient at nursing so that's good. I only nurse her about three times a day depending on how I feel and if I've felt good enough to clean the nursers.

She does have a time between the hours of 7 pm and 11 pm when she is wide awake and very hard to please. Usually Mike is home and takes over so I can go to bed. She eats quite a bit during that time and then sleeps for about four hours after that.

She's been on donated breastmilk since we left the hospital which is so wonderful. It's time for her six o'clock feeding right now. I hear her stirring.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Caring for a newborn while dealing with pregnancy nausea is, I imagine, a little like recovering from a C-section, which I've never had. I keep everything within reach (including a snack), I'm not doing any unnecessary housework (the last suitcase was unpacked today), and I try to rest as often as possible. If I'm lucky, I'll be feeling better in six weeks.
Really caring for a newborn in this condition isn't so difficult. It's the toddler who needs a bit more action in her life.
Today as she was helping me unpack she found these gifts for the baby from Mike's mom. She was sure they were made for her.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We are very happy to be home and all together under one roof. We had a great flight home and I had an empty seat next to me. Amanda fell sleep shortly after take-off and slept through most of the flight. We had a great row-mate, a college soccer player, who entertained Amanda for the remainder of the flight.
Christiana slept for most of the flight in the sling. It was very pleasant. The plane was much cooler and more comfortable than the flight from MSP.After we got off the plane Amanda was running ahead and calling for Dave in the jetway. We told her that he was behind us so once we got inside the terminal we waited for Dave to come, too. Amanda was happy to have a little more time with Dave as we walked to the baggage claim and Dave headed to his next flight.

We had a nice visit with our friends who served as our airport taxi and parking service. They had a little baby at home last Sunday so we got to see him and Amanda played with their two-year-old daughter. They are so wonderful and it's been fun to have them be part of both of our adoptions. They have been the first people in MN to see our newest baby.

We survived the ride home and just need to unpack and get organized, but resting has been the priority.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Belly Button

Yeah! Christiana lost her belly button last night. I'm very happy because my boys held onto theirs for a really long time. The only problem is that it's missing. Hopefully we find it before Dave does!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I realized that I forgot to let you all weigh on the nickname issue that I posted about on Facebook. I am paranoid about mis-typing Christiana's name so I've been trying to decide on a nickname. Here are the choices so far:

Christi (My sister)



Tina (My neighbor and aunt)

Iana (ee AH nah)

Ana (AH na)

My favorite is Iana but it looks like Lana in some fonts. Mike's favorite is Ana. What's yours?

ICPC Approved!!!!

We just got the word that we have been cleared to travel home!!! We are so thrilled. We'll be flying out Friday around 1 pm on the same flight as our friend Dave who we have been staying with. That means we can send Amanda to go sit with Dave when she gets a little squirrelly! Ha, ha!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good Food + Nice Bed = Healthy weight gain!

This Christiana's milk mama from north of Tampa. We drove up to meet her while we were waiting for Iana to be released from the hospital. Her little girl is 14 lbs. at 10 weeks. It's good milk! We found her through Milk Share.
Sometimes Iana sleeps in her car seat and sometimes she sleeps in our suitcase. I lined it with a couple of towels and her blanket. Thanks for the idea, MckMama!
At her doctor's appointment, Iana weighed in at 6 lbs. 12 oz! They also measured her at 21 inches long. She was 6 lbs. 7 oz and 18 inches long. Either the measurements are a bit off or she's doing really well. The good news is that she's very healthy and cleared for travel.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thumbsucking already?

We went out for a walk and found a neighbor weeding his yard in his barefeet. Amanda thought she should be barefoot, too. When in Florida...

Here's Iana wearing the premie clothes Auntie Tara had bought for Reilly. At almost 10 lbs, Reilly never fit into them.


Yes, Amanda's middle name is also Marie. It is also my middle name. It was a tradition started by Mike's stepdad when Mike's brothers were born. Both boys were given their dad's middle name. Mike liked the tradition but he was thankful he missed out on being given his dad's middle name. Other wise our sons' middle names would be "Eugene" instead of "John."

We are not sure if we will continue the tradition beyond the first two boys and girls. Our next boy's name is a combination our our grandpas and neither one of them was a John.

We will find out the gender of the baby we are expecting in March. Mike prefered to let it be a suprise, but he said we blew right past novelty and just for practical reasons, we need to find out what this baby will be.

Now, whether or not we share this secret with all of you? Well, that's undecided!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Capturing Amanda loving on her sister is tricky because everytime she sees that camera she wants review the pictures.

Mike had been talking to Christiana and Amanda came over to visit with her, too.
This picture is sideways but she was so cute and wide awake.

Enjoying Florida

Catching some rays...

Catching some Zs...
Catching some smiles...

And catching a lizard...
...only in photos, mind you.
Things are going great. Christiana is eating and nursing well. I nurse her during the day and give her a bottle at night. Amanda is busy and happy and sleeping well for the most part. We can tell she's a little tired but she's enjoying lots of time and attention.
Life is good and God is great!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Wow! What a day! We are happily exhausted. By the time we arrived at the hospital, the birth mom had signed the papers and this wonderful little girl was free for adoption. She is officially under the guardianship of our adoption agency and needs to stay in hospital until tomorrow afternoon. When she is discharged, she will be placed in our care. We spent some time with her at the hospital this afternoon, but they don't have a room for us to stay and so the baby needs to stay in the nursery. We retreated to our hotel to refuel and recover from our day of travel that started at 3 am. Who are we kidding? How much do you think Mike and I slept last night? Ahem. Not much.
Thanks for all you well-wishes and prayers. Everything is going very well! It will be even better tomorrow when our whole family can be together.
*BUFA stands for Baby Up For Adoption. It is what they will call her in the nursery until tomorrow. That's the protocol for closed adoptions. The birth mom would like to remain unknown and we respect that.
We plan to call her Christiana Marie!