Monday, September 28, 2009

Just Hanging Around

This is what Christiana was doing while Amanda was playing fetch with Luke. She ususally doesn't sleep much between her 3 and 6 pm feedings. So we often go outside for a walk or to play after her 3 pm feeding. She may doze for a while, but generally stays pretty content.
I've started tying the wrap a new way because tying it across my stomach made me too nauseous. I get her on my back the normal way, but then I cross the ends on my chest and tuck the ends through the shoulder straps.
Then I tie the ends in front for more security. If the ends were a little longer I could probably tie them behind my back and not have them flopping around in front. I could also tuck them under Christiana after they are tied.
Christiana is also rolling over from her belly to her back. I have a feeling she's going to be an early mover like Amanda. That will either make life easier because she'll be able to walk sooner so I'll have one less baby to carry. Or really challenging because she will running off when I'm trying to care for the other baby. Only time will tell!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

This could go on for hours!

We're pet sitting a new dog this weekend. His name is Luke and he's a great dog. The kids love having a dog that can run free in the yard. He stays very close by with the hopes that somebody will play fetch with him. Amanda doesn't provide him with the long throws he loves, but he'll take whatever he can get.

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's Obvious

About 5 pm, it becomes very obvious whether or not Amanda actually slept during naptime. She begins running around, being silly and climbing the walls.
Or, quite literally, the fridge.

Perhaps, it's time for a backyard jungle gym.
In other news, I am now officially the only person in the house who has not be prescribed antibiotics in the last thirty days. Mike and the boys were diagnosed with strep throat, Amanda with impetigo cause by the strep bacteria, and Christiana has been diagnosed with a unrinary tract infection. We're going to need more probiotics and will somebody please call HAZMAT to come decontaminate my house?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our Future

Amanda found these little dollies in a drawer the other day and they have been inseparable ever since. She used to only play with one or the other but this week they doing everything together. She carries them both, puts them in the swing and puts them in the car seat. Little does she know what our future holds! For some reason she calls the doll in purple her "Boo baby." I'm not sure what that means. Perhaps she considers purple to be blue.

Amanda had her first dental visit last week. She did really well. She even let the hygienist polish some of her teeth with the noisy tool. I laid on the table with her and she was so good. We've done some practicing at home where I have her lay on my bed and I brush her teeth and floss them. She was thrilled to get a new tooth brush as a prize, too. I'm glad she had a good experience and hope that continues.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Magic of The Miracle Blanket

We're finally figuring out our newest baby girl. She seems to fit into the colicky-fussy-easily-overstimulated baby category. With that in mind we realize that it may be a few more months before she learns to soothe herself to sleep. Unlike Amanda, who learned to sleep on her own very quickly after six weeks of age, Christiana has been unable to put herself to sleep. Crying, moving around, even being able to turn her head is just too stimulating for her and she can't doze off.

Once we figured this out, we began wrapping her tightly in a Miracle Blanket, holding her firmly so she can't even turn her head and patting her vigorously on the butt. We try do this very soon after she finishes eating so she says calm and doesn't get overtired. If she wakes up part way through her nap, we check her diaper and then soothe her back to sleep in the same manner. We used to feed her if it have been two hours since her last feeding, but we realized what she needed was more sleep and not more food.

So the magic of the Miracle Blanket is in the two flaps that go over the babies arms and tuck behind their back. It makes it almost impossible for them to break their hands free. Christiana is very strong and determined and she has usually busted out of one side of the swaddle before you can get the other side wrapped. If she can get her hands to her mouth, she gets overstimulated and frantic even if she has had plenty to eat. We have two Miracle Blankets. One was loaned to us by my cousin and the other is home-made out of flannel from a friend.

However, this week when both blankets were in the wash, I came up with a way to use the magic of the Miracle Blanket with a regular receiving blanket.
Lay a light flannel blanket diagonally over a rectangular blanket. Fold the top down so there is a flat edge at the baby's head and lay the baby on top.
Tuck one side over the baby's arm and under her back.
Repeat with the other side and flip up the bottom to keep her toes warm. Update : Now that she's bigger, I pull the triangle up between he legs and it makes it more difficult for her to break out of the swaddle.
Then wrap the rectangular blanket around the baby. Viola! You have a calm happy baby that can't move a muscle! If that's what makes your baby calm and happy, of course. Swaddled like this, Christiana falls asleep very quickly. Better sleep during the day has allowed her better sleep at night. For the last week, she's been going to sleep between 7 and 8 pm, wakes for a bottle once during the night and wakes up between 6 or 7 am. That's a great sleep pattern. We'll take it!

This also solves our car seat problem. Christiana would cry constantly in the car because her arms were unsecured but it wasn't safe to swaddle her arms over the car seat straps. However, using the receiving blanket to swaddle her arms at her sides keeps her arms secure and out of the way of the straps. She's been much better in the car since this discovery. Thank goodness!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Amanda's ACB's

So, she's a little behind Fireese but she's learning! All ridiculous mother's comparisions aside, we really like the video's posted by SmartHandsCA on You Tube. We like the one where they teach us the alphabet and we like the alphabet song. Tony was reading by the time he turned four. Do you think I can get Amanda reading by age three?

Christiana cooing...

and Amanda singing in the bath tub.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Amanda at Play

I just love these little animals. Some of them were given to Tyler when he was two. We've added to the collection over the years. They are some of my favorite toys that I will always keep in the house for whatever little kids happen to be around.

Amanda set all these animals up facing out the window. She is learning that they all have different names and signs. The horses, giraffes and zebras are her favorites.

The cows are pretty high on the list, too.
Here she is giving them a ride on her frog pull-toy that she got last year for her birthday. She pulls them around until they fall off and then she reloads them and pulls them some more.

Two Months

Just pictures and a weight update for now. Christiana weighed in at 10 lbs. 6 oz.! That's great weight gain! She's 21 inches long and crying for her mommy right now! Later!

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's a...

Update: We are still deciding about getting another ultrasound. We have insurance but it will still cost us a couple hundred dollars and it's really not necessary. In other news, I was shocked to see I had gained 9 lbs since my last appointment on August 27th. Granted, I had lost 6 pounds prior to that appointment, but still... I hope I don't continue at that rate. My cousin said that was pretty impressive considering my diet of fruit and salads.

...shy little baby who didn't want anybody looking at his or her private parts!!!

Can you believe it? Some how I knew that would be our luck.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Make Your Guesses Now!

Update: Our doctor appointment is later in the afternoon, so I'll post after dinner. Scroll down to see the pictures I captured today when Tyler got home.

Here's a survey I found on another blog. I've highlighted the ones that apply to me. We haven't heard the babies heartbeat yet so we don't know about that one and I haven't done the wedding ring thing. Make your guesses! Tomorrow's the ultrasound!

It's a boy if:

You didn't experience morning sickness in early pregnancy
Your baby's heart rate is less than 140 beats per minute
You are carrying the extra weight out front
Your belly looks like a basketball
Your areolas have darkened considerably
You are carrying low
You are craving salty or sour foods
You are craving protein -- meats and cheese
Your feet are colder than they were before pregnancy
The hair on your legs has grown faster during pregnancy
Your hands are very dry
Your pillow faces north when you sleep
Dad-to-be is gaining weight, right along with you
Pregnancy has you looking better than ever
Your urine is bright yellow in color
Your nose is spreading
You hang your wedding ring over your belly and it moves in circles
You are having headaches
You add your age at the time of conception and the number for the month you conceived and the sum is an even number

It's a girl if:
You had morning sickness early in pregnancy
Your baby's heart rate is at least 140 beats per minute
You are carrying the weight in your hips and rear
Your left breast is larger than your right breast
Your hair develops red highlights
You are carrying high
Your belly looks like a watermelon
You are craving sweets
You are craving fruit
You crave orange juice
You don't look quite as good as normal during pregnancy

You are moodier than usual during pregnancy
Your face breaks out more than usual
You refuse to eat the heel of a loaf of bread
Your breasts have really blossomed!
Your pillow faces south when you sleep
Your urine is a dull yellow color
You hang your wedding ring over your belly and it moves from side to side
You add your age at the time of conception and the number for the month you conceived and the sum is an odd number

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

19 Weeks

I still find it very strange to see this in the bathroom mirror. Mike also commented that it was very "alien." I'm assuming he meant "foreign, strange, unusually condition for his wife."

It's only maternity clothes for me now. My wonderful neighbor loaned me a bunch of her maternity hand-me downs. My maternity wardrobe is now bigger and nicer than my regular wardrobe. I'm not much of a clothes person. I hate to shop and spend money. I would have been quite content to wear the same stretchy skirt to church for the next five months, but now I have quite a cute variety.

School Buses

School buses are so cool looking! Look how she stopped to be perfectly framed by that already-turning maple tree.
Apparently, I wouldn't cut it as paparazzi because this was the best photo I caught of Tyler getting off the bus. The rest were blurry. Maybe I should hide behind those trees across the road. Or not!

Minnesota Nice

Our garbage man just honked and waited for me to haul out our garbage can, with Christiana in my arms, because we had forgotten to get it out again! How awesome it that? I guess maybe he decided it easier than having to deal with two cans next week. Perhaps he's giving people extra grace because of the short week. Either way, we really need to remember to get it out there in the mornings.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school at our house. Last night we were still making curriculum plans. People have said to me when they learn that I home school, "I could never do that, I'm not that organized." Well, neither are we, but we do it anyway!

It went really well. Everyone was very cooperative including the baby and the toddler. This year, Tyler is taking three classes at the local high school. He's taking art, music theory and biology. There's no significant reason why he's taking biology at school. The electives he wanted were fourth and fifth hours so he needed a filler class at the end of the day. He really enjoyed the day. He knows quite a few people from sports and drivers training, so he's quite comfortable.

Tomorrow maybe I'll get stalker photos as he gets off the bus. We weren't sure if he's ride the bus or just walk over to Mike's work after school.

We also had our second visit with our social worker. We have one more next month before we can finalize.

Christiana went eight hours between feedings last night. She fell asleep at eight and when she woke at ten instead of feeding her again, I tried patting her back to sleep. Sure enough, she went back to sleep and sleep until four! I got up twice to check on her. She is very unpredictable in her sleep patterns so there's a good chance she'll be up every three hours tonight.

I have felt pretty good today with the help of medication. I even ventured out to the health food store and Target with the girls this afternoon. At the health food store, the ladies watched Christiana while Amanda and I shopped. You have to love small stores. At Target, we landed the perfect parking spot. It was right next to the building with a cart nearby. It was pretty tricky though. I don't think I'll do that very often.

Friday is my first OB visit and Christiana's two month visit. We had that quick visit to find out the due date, but other than that I haven't had or taken the time to have the full visit. I haven't even heard the baby's heart beat yet. I feel it moving now though so that's pretty fun. I'll be 19 weeks so we're hoping she'll squeeze the ultrasound in, too. We hope to at least get a peek at the gender! We're dying to find out!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

That would be me...

About six weeks ago I read a little paragraph on those pregnancy calendar web sites that said something like this:

"Congratulations you've made it to 12 weeks! If you have been experiencing morning sickness, that should begin to subside.

"Unless you are one of the unfortunate few who continue to experience nausea throughout the remaining months of pregnancy."

Yep, that would be me. Eight months of nausea with both boys. Lord, bless birthmothers!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Supporting Missionaries

There are missionaries who go out into a foreign land to care for orphans in the need. And then there are people like Ben and Kim who go into foreign lands and desperate and desolate locations and bring these orphans home with them!
I found Ben and Kim's blog after we adopted Amanda and they have helped change and shape my views of adoption and financing adoption. The amazing stories, as they have felt the call to adopt and stepped out in faith even when they did not have the funds, have challenged my own faith. We serve a mighty big God and he is working miracles in their family.
Not every family is called to adopt, but James 1:27 says that true religion is to care for the widows and the orphans in their need. Every Christian has the opportunity to care for orphans by supporting missionaries or adoptive families who are being Christ's hands and feet.
If you'd like to read more about how you can help support Ben and Kim and be apart of the miracles, check out the link below.