It's been great! This is a year we will never forget. The year we finally became parents to our precious son Malachi. The year that we also discovered we would be parents again. We have so much to be thankful and grateful for. 2010 was truly the best of times so here is our ode to 2010!
Well we have reached the final stretch of the pregnancy. In 10ish short weeks little baby Keyser will be in our arms!
So here is what 30 weeks looks like: Baby is about the size of a squash and about to go through a massive growth spurt in the coming weeks!
How far along: 30 weeks Total weight gain/loss: 15 lbs Stretch marks: no Maternity clothes: Fully in Maternity Clothes and outgrowing some! Sleep: Getting more and more difficult. I toss and turn a lot at night and have added several more pillows to the bed. I wake up with really bad heartburn in the middle of the night and the past few weeks I had to purchase a neck pillow because I get a horrible stiff neck while I sleep. Food cravings/aversions: I still crave coke and lemonaide, also have wanted frosted sugar cookies lately but with my recent diagnoses of Gestational Diabetes I have to fight the cravings! Gender: After the recent ultrasound I am thinking boy since it looked so much like Peter and I am carrying low (which is supposed to be boy) but I really have no idea. Movement: Lots of strong kicks and rolls. Baby has moved head down (for the time being) so I am getting lots of hard kicks in the ribs which HURT! I am really able to make out little body parts when I touch my tummy which is so cool! Best moment: Our 3D ultrasound we had done this past week! It was so amazing to get a really good glimpse of our little baby in there! What I miss: Being comfortable. The back pain is getting bad and the neck pain at night. Also sitting up puts a lot of pressure on my back and ribs. I also really miss being able to eat what I want, when I want it. I am looking forward to: Getting ready for this baby! 30 weeks really makes it feel like the baby is coming soon. In January we plan on getting the house all ready for the new baby! Weekly Wisdom: Even if you think you are doing everything right, some things are out of your control. I seriously never really considered that I could have Gestational Diabetes, but here I am with it. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches! Thank God I will be back to normal soon :)
Milestones: Being in the final stretch. Baby is 75% baked!!!
Today Malachi is 8 months old. Time sure does fly! It was exciting this month as now Malachi has been with us longer than he was waiting for us! That is such a huge milestone for us to reach in the adoption world!
It has been yet another huge month of learning and developing with Malachi. First he started pulling himself up to his knees. He has been army crawling for a couple months now, but he really started to crawl up on his knees. Before long he was pulling himself up on his legs and he has mastered the art of cruising along the furniture. Along with the cruising has come a lot of falls and boo-boo's as he will let go of one piece of furniture and try to reach for the other pieces. He sure is brave, but just hasn't quite figured out that he needs to take steps. All in do time!
He also added Mama and Hi to his vocabulary. His most recent trick is waving and that is usually accompanied with his "hi" sound. He sure has reached some milestones this month!
He is also constantly trying new foods. He is losing more and more interest in bottles and even pureed baby food. He prefers to eat whatever is on mommy's plate. He has tried hard boiled egg on toast, macaroni and cheese, potatoes, green beans, cooked carrots, muffins, scrambled eggs, grilled cheese sandwich, waffles, just to name a few! He has also mastered the art of the sippy cup!
Our little guy just continues to grow and it is so exciting to watch him explore the world around him, even if it does give mommy an almost heart attack at least a few times a day. There is no doubt this little man is all boy. I am reminded of that as he pushes the ottoman into the Christmas tree, as he takes his car and bangs it on the hardwood floor, and as he lets go of his toy and tries to grab hold of my Christmas Tree (that was a near-miss disaster right there!)
I am reminded of just how much character God put in this little boy as he dances to music, as he giggles when I tickle his thunder thighs and chest, as he constantly tries to get us to laugh at him by making his "cheesy grin", as he flaps his arm and makes the cheesy grin every time he see's a camera. The boy wants to entertain everyone he comes in contact with!
He is nothing but pure joy in our lives and we are so thankful for him! Every day with him just gets better and better!
Yesterday I went in to meet with the Diabetes Specialist at the hospital. I learned all about the risks to me and the risks to the baby. It is definitely something to be concerned about and eat right to prevent problems. From all the information, it really just seems like this eating is just a sensible way to live in general. They really did not understand how I even have GD as I really have none of the risk factors, but the test results were pretty high so clearly my body is struggling with the sugars. In her opinion, she believes I am just not taking the time to eat enough during the day (hello, chasing a baby around!) which is causing my liver to freak out and make a lot of sugar (since it assumes I am going to DIE if I don't eat now!) so when I do eat I have just too much sugar in my system between my liver and the carbs and fruit that I love :)
So I pretty much just have to balance out the carbs throughout the day. I have done pretty well so far and am actually eating way more food than I typically eat. My biggest concern was figuring out the testing, which really isn't too bad at all. Just a little poke 4 times a day. So far I am doing great with all the test results which means that hopefully this will be easy to resolve with proper eating. Actually last night I had a problem that my blood sugar was too low which I know I needed to eat more carbs with dinner last night, but didn't hence the low reading. I go back next week to meet with the nutritionist but I really don't think this is going to be too bad.
In somewhat related news. I think the biggest challenge is going to be our weekly date nights. After doing research I cannot believe how carb heavy restaurant food is. Even one of our favorites Baja Fresh doesn't have much of anything that is UNDER 100 carbs, which is crazy to me. I am allowed 45 carbs for dinner which really isn't going to work in most restaurants. To see that eating my regular at Baja Fresh a burrito and chips and salsa is almost a 200 carb meal - holy cow! And don't even get me started on OTHER restaurants :) I am definitely getting a good lesson in healthy eating!
So after my meeting, it was time to introduce Malachi to Santa! Malachi did better than I expected, but he only lasted probably 30 seconds before deciding Santa freaked him out.
At first he was his typical happy, silly self:
Then he decided to check out the guy in the silly red suit:
Well I had yet another failure with the 3 hour glucose tolerance test. My results were:
Fasting: 91 (must be under 95)
1 hour: 203 (must be under 180)
2 hours: 184 (must be under 155)
3 hours: 156 (must be under 140)
My fasting level was in the passing range but I did really bad in that first hour which set the remaining hours up for failure as I just couldn't catch back up. Regardless, the test shows that my body is struggling to produce insulin right now. Tomorrow I have my first meeting with the diabetic nurse at the hospital who will help me learn what I need to be eating and help me figure out the testing I need to do at home. Hopefully a diet change will be sufficient and we can avoid insulin injections.
In better and exciting news: I scheduled our 3D/4D ultrasound. We get another glimpse of our little baby on Friday and I am so excited! We are in what they consider the perfect timing to have one of these ultrasounds done! I just can't wait to get a really up close look at our baby!
In Malachi news: He is just a couple days shy of his 8 month birthday. He is all over the place now. He is crawling fast and pulling himself up on everything and cruising across all the furniture. He sure is outgrowing the baby phase quickly and I am reminded of this everyday I go into his room and see him standing in his crib waiting for me. Tonight we have our second post adoption visit with our social worker. Even though Malachi has only been home 4 months, the report has to be on its way to Ethiopia by the 5 month anniversary so that it will arrive in its destination by his 6 month anniversary. It is all a little confusing. We will have one final social worker visit in about 6 months and then from there we will be writing our own reports once a year until Malachi turns 18!
I got up bright and early this morning to conquer the 3 hour glucose tolerance test. I wanted to get it over with early as I knew I still had 3 hours of not eating in front of me. I got there so early that the hospital was pretty much a ghost town. I had to check in at the Emergency Room and call the lab and let them know I was waiting. I was quickly taken back to give my first blood sample from fasting. Then I got the lovely double dose of glucose drink. Last time I got the lemon-lime and this time they gave me orange. The orange was NASTY. I am not sure if it was because of the double dose or if it was just gross but if (big if) I ever get pregnant again, I will request the lemon-lime cocktail.
So I was off for my first hour of waiting. Pretty soon my friend Megan showed up and we visited through the entire three hours and they went pretty quick! It was really nice of her to be willing to come spend her day out at the hospital with me! After 3 hours of sitting and 3 blood draws on the hour, I was sent on my way. I asked the lab technician if the doctor would have the results by Monday and she said "Oh yeah, they have all already been processed." I asked her if she could tell me, which of course she said no to. Bummer. So we will have the verdict on Monday. With the one hour I felt really good throughout the hour, no nausea or anything so I was kind of surprised to learn I failed so badly. This time I felt really sick for the first 2 hours, so we will see if that has any bearing on the results.
Other random musings. Peter and I have decided that we are going to get a 3D/4D ultrasound. This is something I have really wanted to do and I know we are running out of time. I just really felt like I would regret it if I didn't do it since this may be our only chance. I wasn't allowed to watch our 20 week ultrasound as the technician said it would be "too difficult" for him to turn the monitor so I could see. LAME. I felt so robbed of the experience. Here I am, with all the nausea, the full bladder, and all those other not so fun symptoms but I don't get to see my own child who is growing in MY tummy! So I am really excited for this experience and I know it will be awesome to get another glimpse of our ever growing baby! The best time for this ultrasound is 28ish weeks but they said they turn out well up to 32 weeks. I am 28 weeks right now so we are hoping to get this thing scheduled in the next week or two! I can't wait to share the pictures of our little one :)
Had my first Third Trimester doctor's appointment today and it was kind of a bummer. I had all the basic stuff done, the baby sounds good, my weight gain is good, the baby is measuring good BUT I failed my 1 hour glucose test. The test was so much fun the first time that I can't wait to do the 3 hour test this weekend.
I went in on Saturday to do my test. I read some tips online to help you pass the test. I tried to avoid sugary foods the day before the test to avoid having any extra sugar in my system. I considered eating a high protein breakfast the morning of the test, but the doctor recommended fasting so I just got up and went to the hospital on an empty stomach to take the test. Having an empty stomach is supposed to help your body metabolize the sugar faster. I drank the sugary drink, no big deal. I sat and waited the looong hour and read a book on my Kindle. I did the blood draw and away I went.
The doctor's office told me to expect a call from them right away if the results weren't good. I didn't hear anything yesterday so I assumed I must have passed. Today when I went in, they reminded me that I needed to take my glucose test, which I told them I did on Saturday. They said sometimes the lab doesn't send them the results but instead just puts them in the computer so she checked the computer. The results were apparently "very bad". My sugar levels were way above the level to pass.
So now I get to spend my coming Saturday at the hospital where I will have fasted for 12 hours, drink twice as much of the sugary drink, sit for 3 looong hours, and get poked 4 more times! Fun times. I just hope that I can somehow pass this next one!
Malachi is growing and changing so much and almost on a daily basis! He is slimming down as he crawls and explores throughout the day. He doesn't sit still for any amount of time unless he hears a song he likes.
His newest skill is that he pulls himself up on EVERYTHING! The cutest thing is that he pulls himself up on his new toy and then dances to the music, it definitely cracks mommy and daddy up! Along with this new skill comes a lot of tumbling and head hitting. Mommy is trying to toughen up, but I swear my heart skips a beat every time I see him fall. This new skill has also opened up a whole new realm of possibility for Mr. Malachi and a whole new level of baby proofing for mom and dad. No more setting things on the couch as the couch level is now within Malachi's reach! He is also really close to cruising using the couches, and I am sure before we know it he will be taking those first big steps. Our baby is growing up so fast!
Another big milestone we are passing is that Malachi has now been with us just as long as he was waiting for us! It makes my heart so happy to pass this milestone! We picked him up right before he turned 4 months old and he has already been home for almost 4 months. Time sure is flying and we are so thrilled and so thankful to have him in our lives!!!
What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time of year we had just been put on the wait list and were eagerly anticipating the child who would enter our family. This year is already so full of joyfulness with Malachi in our family! We feel blessed on a daily basis to get to be dad and mom to this precious kiddo!
After we got our tree set up we couldn't wait to do a little photo shoot with Malachi. Malachi is hilarious though, as he LOVES the camera! We got over 100 shots of him and all of them look good in their own way, but we had to dwindle them down as no one (besides us) wants to scroll through over a hundred pictures. So here are a few of our favorites! It is truly going to be a wonderful Christmas time with him!!!
To explain the next one: I would guess about half of the pictures we have are of him hamming up the camera as shown by this picture below. He truly goes into character/silly mode as soon as the camera comes out!
He is such a handsome boy! As we enter this time of Christmas, I remember how empty I felt a year ago wondering about my little one. My heart is full this year, but at the same time it aches for his birth family. Adoption makes good out of something bad, but it will always be a burden for everyone involved. My heart hurts so badly for the mother who will always wonder where her little boy is and what he is doing. I pray constantly that God would give her peace that he is okay and very much loved. I just wish somehow she could get a glimpse of what he looks like today. I just wish that somehow we could make contact with her, but there is no trail whatsoever so I will always be wondering about her as I am sure she wonders about her son. This world is so full of joy and sorrow all intertwined together.
I am so happy as we enter this month of fun and celebration!
Now that I have entered "The home-stretch" of pregnancy, my body is really starting to feel it! I am starting to have lots of soreness and I find it really difficult to get comfortable at night. I am also starting to experience rib pain as things continue to get pushed up into my ribcage.
The baby has become very active in the past week. I think it is a sign that s/he is starting to notice that space is getting tighter. I do my very best to sleep on my side like a good pregnant woman should, but I don't think the baby likes that very much because s/he starts kicking me in the side that is resting on the bed whenever I lay on my side.
I still feel like I am really early on in the pregnancy. Maybe because this is all happening so much faster than the adoption did. Maybe it is because I am taking care of Mal. Or maybe because I feel like I just started showing in the past couple weeks. I always figured I needed to be really big in order for the aches and pains to be bad, but now I am learning that actually the less you grow out, the more pain your body undergoes as the baby puts more pressure on organs and the spine.
Ugh, the spine. The back pain has become very hard for me to deal with. It can become downright excruciating at times. Unfortunately there is not much that can be done for it and I knew to expect this at some point in the pregnancy. I know hefting my huge 7 month old around does not help with the pain, but I have to carry him around during the day and I hate having to let Peter help on the weekends. I am a baby hog. I want to hold and care for Mal and I can't always do that. It is difficult to have to choose between holding him or dealing with horrible back pain. Unfortunately my doctor has just told me that it will get much worse before it gets better.
The final thing I am adjusting to is contractions. I started having contractions around 20 weeks, while we were in Disneyland but that was to be expected with all the walking we were doing there. I really had to cut back on the activity level while in Disneyland because the pains were happening close together and were a little painful. It was just not worth the potential risks to push my luck. After our trip, I had no further issues with contractions until recently. If I overdo around the house or walk around too much I start having contractions. They can be painful, but more so it is just concerning to me. I fully believe that they are just Braxton-Hicks (practice) contractions. I have been told by my doctor that there is no reason for concern unless I have more than 5 in an hour. There have been just a few times that I have probably had more than 5, but after sitting down and resting they go away. More so, I do believe these are my fault. Dehydration can bring on contractions and I have been horrible about drinking enough water so I am trying harder to stay hydrated and I do think that is helping (unfortunately that is rapidly increasing trips to the bathroom).
I don't post all this to complain, just to document a few of my hardships of pregnancy. The aches and pains are just part of pregnancy and for the most part I am still enjoying this time in my life! I still know this baby is a wonderful blessing in my life and I LOVE how active this baby is! I love feeling almost constant kicks throughout the day! The other morning I was woken up by baby hiccups and while I do not typically enjoy getting woken up, I really thought it was cool! I am not taking this baby for granted and I am still fully confident that every ache and pain will be well worth it and I would do it all over again if I had to! I feel fortunate that I am able to experience the incredible thing that is pregnancy! I have never felt a need to have a biological child, but pregnancy has always fascinated me and it is a true joy in my life to get to experience a baby growing inside my tummy!
Yep, it is time for the third and final trimester. Here is my recap of the second trimester!
15 weeks: Still not feeling too well. I haven't really started to notice a change in my size except that I am having to wear bigger tops. So far I have really wanted frozen peaches and lemonade!
16 weeks: After my appointment had to be rescheduled three different times, I was finally able to get in for my appointment. As soon as I got there the doctor had to run out to deliver a baby. I decided to wait it out and 2 hours later I got in for my appointment. Baby scared me really bad. The doctor could not find a heartbeat no matter how hard she looked. She had me move around and cough a few times and then tried again, but still no luck, just heard total quiet. She finally went out to get the ultrasound machine. I was really worried that I wasn't going to get good news and I know the doctor was worried too. Finally she did the ultrasound and there baby was, all tucked into a tight little ball. The baby finally unfolded and then put his/her arms above their head and rested their foot on their opposite leg in total relaxation. Yup, looks like we have a little pill on our hands! I was also able to schedule my anatomy scan for October 11th, just 3 weeks away!
17 Weeks: I am definitely starting to feel little wiggles and goldfish like movements in my tummy. It is very cool to start noticing the first signs of movement in there!
18 weeks: Felt my first real kick from the outside! I was resting my hand on my tummy as I was falling asleep and there was a kick as clear as day. At first I second guessed it but then it happened a few more times. It is so incredible knowing that there is a living tiny little baby growing inside me!
19 weeks: Since we are going to Disneyland during the 20th week I was fortunate in that I got to get my anatomy scan a week early! I was a little bummed in that the ultrasound technician would not allow me to watch the ultrasound. It was actually quite painful as baby was hiding as low as possible in my pelvis and the technician had to push really hard to get pictures of the baby's brain and heart. Peter got to watch the whole thing and marvel over how incredibly formed the baby already is! He also made me laugh at one point as he got a clear shot of the face and what appeared to be his nose on the baby. I finally got a a few glimpses of the baby at the end just as the baby started sucking on his/her thumb - it was so cute! The baby was weighing in at 11 ounces and was also measuring exactly to my due date - impressive! The best news of all was finding out the baby appears to be very healthy!!!
20 weeks: The big halfway point! I am finally starting to feel like I am kicking the morning sickness. I was beginning to think that it was never going to end, but I am so happy that it is starting to let up and I can eat again! I have been eating pineapple's and strawberries almost nightly! In addition I have picked up quite the coke craving! I have also started to wear exclusively maternity clothes even though I am hardly showing.
22 Weeks: Peter was finally able to feel the baby move! I am not sure that I had him totally convinced that I really could feel the baby move as whenever he tried to feel it, the baby would stop moving. Finally as we were laying in bed relaxing he was able to feel a hard kick! He was impressed with how hard the kick really was!
23 weeks: My most recent craving is Lucky Charms. I am finally starting to feel a lot of movement all the time which I love, except for the occasional bladder kick I get. I am finally starting to put a little bit of weight on which will make my doctor happy at my appointment next week :) The trip to Disneyland and consuming lots of yummy food must be helping me in that endeavor!
24 weeks: I had another doctor's appointment this week. I got the paperwork for my gestational diabetes test which I will take in 3 weeks. I was up about 7 lbs from my starting weight which is still a little ways away from where I should be, but I still think there is plenty of time for me to catch up! The appointment was pretty boring which is a good thing. The baby sounded great with a heartbeat in the 150-160 range. The doctor asked me several questions that have to do with actually birthing this baby which is kind of exciting that we are starting to discuss beyond just pregnancy :)
25 weeks: I am starting to get uncomfortable. When I stand and walk around I feel a lot of pressure in my bladder which also means that the bathroom trips are becoming more frequent - so stereotypical! I am also starting to feel pressure up into my rib cage as organs get shoved farther up near my lungs which means that breathing is becoming more work. I get out of breathe quickly if I carry Malachi around too much or if I haul a load of laundry downstairs, over the gate, and into the washer. I am finally feeling like I am starting to show! The back aches are becoming more frequent - definitely feeling that third trimester approaching. I have been craving green beans a lot. The baby's kicks are coming up higher into my tummy which means my baby who likes to try and hide as low as possible is running out of room and is now up closer to my belly button. By the end of this week the baby will weigh in at almost 2 lbs!
So 26 weeks starts the Third Trimester in my book! 13 weeks was the start of the second so this would be the start of the third! The 3rd trimester gets an extra week unless I go early :)
Things have changed so much in the last 13 weeks. The first trimester was full of anxiety and feeling really sick and tired all the time, but the second was very enjoyable as the sickness faded away and I was able to see my little one all developed on the ultrasound! The very coolest part has been feeling all the movement and kicks, it is so incredible! My body has also made quiet the change in this trimester as you can see below at 15, 20, and 25 weeks:
This weekend Peter and I were able to get away for a little mini-vacation courtesy of the CPA exam. Peter needed to take another exam before the window closes at the end of November and all of the time slots were taken for the local testing center so off to Bend we went! We stayed at Eagle Crest resort, which we have gotten away to about once a year to, but always in the summer. This trip was a fun little winter get-away that really put me in the mood for Christmastime! Waking up to snow both mornings was a welcome little treat!
We decided to take full advantage of this opportunity at a weekend getaway! It was a little hard to leave Malachi behind, but it was also a wonderful time of catching up and relaxing as a couple! We always want to continue to make our marriage a priority and while sometimes it can be difficult as we now have a little one that requires a lot of our attention - it was so nice to just get some us time!
We kind of considered this our last little babymoon before Baby #2 arrives into the family in about 3 more months. It is kind of interesting that Peter and I took off for Eagle Crest a few weeks before Malachi arrived into the family. This was a totally different trip as I was still feeling quite ill, being only about 8 weeks pregnant the last time we went. This trip was much more enjoyable in that regard.
Any opportunity I get while on vacation - I want a jacuzzi tub to relax in! Sometimes we go out of our way or pay a bit more for me to get my tub. This trip, only having a few days notice we didn't have our hopes up that it would be possible. At first we were booked into the hotel, but a few days before we left a 2 bedroom jacuzzi tub unit opened up for just a couple more dollars a night - SCORE!
So while the trip was 1/2 fun 1/2 business for Peter, it was very relaxing for me! I was able to spend plenty of time in the jacuzzi tub catching up on my pregnancy reading!
It is also really nice because we have a full kitchen and don't have to go out for all of our meals. While Peter was away at his test Saturday morning, I was able to make a really simple, but very yummy treat for us when he returned.
Freezer Rolls Sticky Buns:
The night before take the freezer rolls and place in a greased pan. Top them with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and sugar. Cover with plastic wrap for the night and let the rise.
In the morning pour a little melted butter over top.
Put in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes and enjoy! They are so yummy and so simple. We made ourselves sick on them!!!
While we had a wonderful time just the two of us, little man was never far from our thoughts. We were looking forward to getting back home to this crazy little face:
It was a great time away, and even though we didn't realize we needed a weekend away, it was a very nice relaxing time. After the fun little taste of snow we got, I am so ready for some snow, some Christmas music, and my Christmas tree :)
As a new mother, I am realizing that it is a much harder job than I originally anticipated. Maybe it is because I am feeling overwhelmed knowing that in 3 months there will be another little one joining our family and I already fail on almost a daily basis with just one kid. Or maybe I am realizing just how big a job being a mom really is.
Kids are a clean slate. When baby #2 is born, s/he is pure. Sure the child will have his or her own unique personality, but for the most part we, as their parents shape who they become. Even more so, since I am mom and will spend the majority of my time with this little one - I have a huge role in the person they will become. There will be circumstances that I can't control and there will be plenty of life experiences that will shape who they are that don't involve me, but in those early years I play the primary role in their life.
Malachi did not enter my arms a clean slate. At just 3 months old he had a heartbreaking past, that in some respect will shape who he is. There are still little glimpses of the insecurity he carries around with him because of his past. For the most part, he behaves like a normal 7 month old, but there is still something there at times that remind me that he still needs reassurance from us that we are not leaving and we will meet all of his needs.
So as a mother, to reassure Malachi that he is mine and I will not leave him, and to start with a clean slate with our newborn baby on the way, it sometimes feels like an overwhelming responsibility. I will never be carefree again. I am sure I will worry about my babies until the day I die. I will always second guess and wonder if I could have done better. But I will also try my hardest.
There are also so many places that still need my attention outside my home. I have friendships to maintain. I have always served in some way at church, and now just making it to church on Sunday morning is a hassle. The burden's of this world are still heavy on my heart. I want to find ways to serve the orphans in this world. I want to adopt again. There is just so much that I can't do right now and day to day taking care of my son sure doesn't feel like much of a contribution. I read a great blog article a couple days ago that reminded me that at this point in time, my mission field is to the little one's (and the husband) in my home.
It was a great reminder of just how critical the role I am playing is right now. I am Malachi's world! We have a video monitor and when I see Malachi wake up in the morning, he lays there talking to himself and he is constantly peeking over his bumper to see the door and see if I am coming yet. He relies and knows that eventually I (or daddy on the weekends) will be there for him. Instilling that into him is so important right now and we are re-shaping his mind and letting him know that throughout his life he can count on people. These simple little things I am doing with him on a daily basis (feeding him, changing his diaper, comforting him when he hurts himself) will alter the life of a little boy who lost all trust in the world at just 4 days old.
So while I may not be saving the world on a daily basis. I am making a difference. Even though someday's my highest accomplishment is getting a shower, and I am pretty sure a daily shower may become non-existent in 3 months - it is okay because I am serving two little kiddo's who need me to play such a critical role in their lives in those first few years!
Today is Precious Malachi's 7 Month Birthday and I am so thankful he is here with us!!!
This boy is such a joy to everyone he meets! He is a total character and so full of personality - he LOVES to entertain everyone! We had no idea at just how amazing the blessing we had waiting for us when we signed up to adopt!
I am so incredibly thankful to everyone who helped us get him home. To those who offered prayers on our behalf. To those who gave money or garage sale donations or their time in helping us fundraise. To those who offered encouragement to us as we endured the most difficult days of waiting. To all of the amazing people in the adoption community I met all across the country! And the blessings still continue. I still get so much advice about hair and skin care and re-adoption stuff. There is still a huge sense of community and I have a number of people I could call upon to talk to at a moments notice that know and understand and I am so thankful for that!
We have so many reasons to be thankful:
We have a beautiful baby boy who is healthy and growing right on track. To see how far he has come in the 3 months since being home. He was a little behind the curve when first coming home. He had no muscle support whatsoever and yet today he is a very normal, strong 7 month old!
Just this month alone it has been amazing to see him develop and change. He started crawling this month, and has become quite the vocal little boy! He is eating all sorts of things now - every type of baby food known to man plus he loves table food now. He loves potatoes and last night he ate Macaroni and Cheese just like a big boy! He is growing so fast. He also got two teeth in the last month! It is just incredible to watch him explore and discover the world around him as he crawls around! Do I sound like a first time parent or what?!? But I think it is amazing to watch the development of a baby.
He is a true blessing that we are so thankful for! He brings us so much joy on a daily basis. Even when the days are difficult we couldn't imagine our life without him, but we are very fortunate in the fact that most days are very full of joy and fun! He is truly a very happy, content, laid back little guy!
Happy 7 Month Birthday Malachi - we love you so much!
Okay, so where is the time going? I can't believe in just 12 weeks I will be considered "full term". Things just seem to be moving so fast and I can't wait for what the future holds but am also terrified to have 2 kiddo's 10 months apart :) I can't believe in just a few months we will have a tiny newborn little baby in our house! Crazy I tell ya :)
How far along: 25 weeks Total weight gain/loss: Up 7 lbs Stretch marks: no Maternity clothes: yes, even outgrowing some of the smaller maternity, but still not quite in the bigger maternity. Sleep: Still very tired. Getting comfortable is harder. I have a bed full of pillows and poor Peter has to sleep on the edge of the bed. Food cravings/aversions: Coca-Cola, Lucky Charms, Green Beans. The fruit cravings have died down some and I am getting my sweet tooth back. Gender: Didn't find out, but now I am all confused and have no guess either way. Movement: Definitely feeling a lot of movement. The baby kicks my hand or any other object I try to put on my tummy. I drank a big glass of cranberry juice awhile ago and that made the baby go nuts! We definitely have a very active baby. Best moment: Peter getting to feel the baby move for the first time a couple weeks ago. Also getting to see the baby on the ultrasound. All the movement has been a lot of fun too! What I miss: Feeling "normal". The belly is starting to get in the way during normal household tasks. I have a lot more back pain. I have to cushion the belly to sleep comfortably at night. Doing normal things around the house and losing my breath and I just want to feel "normal" again! I am looking forward to: The Third Trimester! I just have to keep plugging forward no matter how hard it might get - so lets get it over with :) Weekly Wisdom: From my doctor when I mentioned my back pain "It's going to get a lot worse" Fun times :) Milestones: Reaching viability at 24 weeks! At this point the baby has a decent chance of survival if I delivered today. (Although we want baby to stay nice and cozy in there for at least 12 more weeks!)
Peter and I have been having a few of those serious, and not so fun conversations about money lately. After making the switch to a one income family, we are doing okay, but we could be doing better. We have plans and goals and over the past few months we have lost track of those things. So it is time to get back on track!
A few years ago we were introduced to Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. We wanted the freedom that his book said was possible. So in January of 2009 we started Our Total Money Makeover. We sacrificed a lot in those first 6 months of 2009. We ate beans and rice for 6 months and paid off a HUGE amount of debt in this time! It was really incredible to see what we could do when we put our mind to it! Dave Ramsey's plan really did work!
In July of 2009 we felt God calling us to adopt. Little did we know that there is no way we would have qualified had we not worked our behinds off paying down our debts. It was at this point in time that we stopped pouring all of our spare money into paying down debts, but instead focused all of our spare money to the $33,000 we would need to complete our adoption. Fortunately, we had so many people come forward during the adoption process and help us get Malachi home!
After Malachi came home in August of this year, we had a lot of new changes. Our savings was greatly depleted, we had to start budgeting for diapers and formula, and we became a one income family. Plus we were expecting another little bundle who would also impact our budget. A lot of big financial changes, but everything was so worth it to bring Malachi into our family!!!
We have been undergoing so many new changes in the past few months that our focus has not been as closely on our budget as it should be and we are getting careless. I wish we could live with our head in the clouds forever, but we can't and we probably don't want to. We have goals and we want to get back on track to reaching those!
So with that being said, we are refocusing as we go into 2011. We want to proceed with the intensity we had when we started our Total Money Makeover 2 years ago. So we are pressing on with a very tight budget for the first 6 months of 2011! We don't have nearly as much money to throw at our debt as before, but we CAN sacrifice more.
So as a refresher for those of you who don't know what a Total Money Makeover looks like, it consists of 7 baby steps to financial freedom!
Baby Step #1: Get $1000 in savings as quickly as possible.
Baby Step #2: Pay off all debts besides mortgage. Starting with the debts with the lowest balances.
Baby Step #3: Get 3-6 months of income in savings.
Baby Step #4: Start putting 15% of household income into retirement accounts monthly.
Baby Step #5: Start college savings accounts for children
Baby Step #6: Pay off home early
Baby Step #7: Build your wealth and give more to others!
So where are we?!? Currently we are working on Baby Step #2. We have 2 debts left - a car loan and a student loan. We are very hopeful that within the next month we will have paid off our Jeep and we are very excited about that! Then we are going to take a slight detour. With our current family situation, we feel we need to move on to Baby Step #3 at this point and get 6 months worth of expenses into savings before proceeding with paying off the student loan. If Peter were to get laid off, we would have nothing to fall back on right now and with our desire to stay a one-income family we really need that 6 month cushion in savings. The great news is with the help of the adoption tax credit we will be able to put a huge chunk of the 6 month expenses into our savings account! I really think we will be back to paying off that last student loan sooner than we think :)
So back on track we go! We really want to do this and when we get focused on something, we do an awesome job! It was actually quite fun to watch the debts dwindle down every month and to see that eating beans and rice everyday really was worth it :)
Today I am so thankful for my husband. He always goes above and beyond my expectations. I honestly had no idea how he would really take to parenthood and he has turned in to the best dad! He works hard for us everyday, and yet still does his best to help out around here and take care of all of us.
Some of the things just in the last week that he has done that go above and beyond:
Last Thursday I had a bug scare. I hate spiders and I killed several of the same type of spider in our living room but the last straw was when I found the same type of spider on my arm when I was sitting on the couch. So I was freaking out a little and through his laughter he told me to just leave. So I got Malachi dressed and the diaper bag packed and we were out of there and off to my parents house for the day. He came home after work, bought a spider bomb, picked up all the baby toys to keep them from being contaminated, put up sheets to protect the rest of the house, made sure our chinchilla's were safe, got the dogs out of the house and bombed the living room. We had to stay out for 4 hours after which made for a very late night when he still had to go to work the next day, but he did it for my peace of mind!
He helps with Malachi's bathtime. He knows that leaning over the tub and lifting Mal in and out puts a strain on my back so he has completely taken over bathtime with Mal. It is great Father/Son bonding time. He also has taken over the bedtime routine and gets Malachi to sleep for the night.
He puts the icky neck medicine on Malachi (which Malachi HATES and screams about)
He comes in the door from work and is always willing to help out where needed. He has no problem taking over for me wherever I need the help, whether that is with Malachi or loading the dishwasher or helping finish dinner.
Last weekend I had a craving for some cookies. I was going to go make them, but no sooner did I mention it and Peter was in there making them for me. Then after they were done, they just didn't quite hit the spot and I only ate 1. Poor guy :(
Sunday he offered to go get me a breakfast burrito up town. The place wasn't open so instead he went to the store and bought some bacon so he could make me a breakfast feast. I told him it wasn't necessary but he insisted that he promised me breakfast so away to the kitchen the sweet guy went!
Monday I felt really sick all day. I didn't get much of anything done. On his way home he told me to go ahead and take one of my nausea pills (which knocks me out) and he came home and cooked dinner, took total care of Mal for the entire night while I laid on the couch and slept and he even picked up around the place!
I know I have it very very good and this is just a small portion of how great he really is! He is truly taking on way more than his fair share of work around here but he doesn't complain about it. I am so thankful and so lucky to have been chosen by such an amazing guy :)
Today I had my last 2nd trimester doctor appointment. I can't believe how fast this whole thing is going :)
As the time gets closer it is more and more exciting to wonder if this little baby is going to be a boy or a girl. I have enjoyed reading all of the pregnancy old wives tales and based on those, here is where we are at:
Location of baby in placenta at 8 week ultrasound
Baby is carrying very low
Craving of Lemonaide and extreme sours
Exhaustion that lasts throughout the pregnancy
Clearer Skin than I had before pregnancy
Chinese Gender Chart
Heart rate in 150-160's
Long lasting morning sickness
So that is 5 for a boy and 5 for a girl so we are pretty much confused. All my dreams have been boy dreams so I don't know if that makes a difference one way or another but we will find out in a couple months!
Here is Malachi's picture of his first Halloween. As you can see he was VERY unimpressed with his costume.
Malachi is really at a fun age right now. He is learning and discovering new things every single day. He is incredible and has so much personality. From his cheesy grin to his fake laugh that daddy taught him he is constant fun and joy!
He is also Mr. Busy. He has been scooting forward for quite awhile now but just yesterday he started to really get the hang of moving forward so we have a full on crawler in our house! Fortunately, with how active he has been lately all the babyproofing is done and hopefully we are ready for these milestones. The boy is growing so fast!!!
In the not so fun for Mal news, he has been a little more cranky and whiny than what is the normal Malachi and a few days ago his gums started getting really swollen. The crazy thing is we just went to the doctor a week ago and the doctor felt his gums and thought we would still be a month or more off from a tooth (although she did say she has been proven wrong before) but there were just no signs of a tooth anywhere. All of a sudden out of nowhere there are teeth! Last night was really rough as our normal 12-13 hour night sleeper was up in the middle of the night and was up really early this morning. This morning we found the culprit - the poor little guy's first tooth had popped through. The second one is very close behind and I wouldn't be surprised if it is through the gums by tomorrow morning.
So Malachi is keeping us very busy! He is Mr. Busy and Mr. Personality and we realize just how boring life really was before he was here!!!
The little baby who is currently kicking and rolling all over the place in the jungle gym that is my tummy!
Today marks 4 months until my due date. 4 months....... 4 MONTHS!!! That just seems all together like it is approaching way to quickly, but I am eager to meet this new little one even though I know it will be another time of adjusting and exhaustion.
Peter and I are planners. Every single thing with our life together has been planned to the very detail. There are only two instances in our life together where things were not planned - Peter's layoff which was a very bad surprise and this little busy baby which is a very very good surprise!
We didn't know that we wanted or needed another little one so soon and while it took some adjusting (since Malachi was just 2 months old at the time) we are so thankful for the miracle that is this little one. We are both excited and eager for this baby's arrival!
I have never taken for granted this little life. I know miscarriages and even stillbirths happen everyday. I know babies are born unhealthy everyday and I am so thankful that to the best of our knowledge we are having what is considered a very "normal" pregnancy!
Every little (or big) kick or movement I feel is a true blessing to me! At 16 weeks in those brief moments where I laid in the room waiting for the doctor to bring in the ultrasound machine when she had no luck finding a heartbeat, I really thought we had lost this little one. So to be here, at 23 weeks and feeling the baby move more and more to where it is almost a constant throughout the day is such a blessing!
I am so thankful that at the 20 week ultrasound everything looked to be developing just as it should and there were no concerns they came across. I know there are still unknowns and something could still show up, but for now I am thankful for a healthy baby and a healthy pregnancy!
Some of my favorite moments during the day are when we first get in to bed at night. For whatever reason, my laying down makes the baby think it is playtime and Peter and I can relax and talk and enjoy feeling the baby move all over the place in our last few moments before falling asleep. I also wake up every morning to baby kicking up a storm. This morning when Peter got up to go to work the baby was squirming all over the place. I think s/he is starting to run out of room. I could feel something much bigger than a hand or foot and it was kind of bumping me a bunch, maybe trying to get more comfortable. It is a pretty cool experience that I am not taking for granted. If it has been several hours without feeling any movement I start to worry a little bit but eventually the baby starts to kick like crazy and I can relax and be thankful again :)
So if everything goes according to plan, I have 4 more months to enjoy the kicks and in just 4 short months little one will be here with us and we will be enjoying and adjusting to life with 2 kiddo's under 1 :)
This month is the month of Thanksgiving and counting blessings. Over this past year I have become even more thankful for all the amazing things that have happened in my life! I have also gone to a place where I was able to see what true thankfulness was. I have so much compared to what other's have and yet I often forget to sit back and be thankful for the abundance of blessings in my life.
Today, as I looked out the window at the wind and the rain, I am so thankful for a husband who works hard for our family and provides enough of a living that I can stay at home with my kids. It was just months ago that I was having to get up out of bed and out the door to work at 5 in the morning. I endured many ice cold early mornings over the past 5 years and I am grateful that those days are behind me.
I am thankful that I do not have to take Malachi out in the cold air to take him to a babysitter. I am thankful that on these cold days he can stay in his jammies all day, all snug and warm where the risk is lessened that he will get a cold or flu bug.
I am thankful that I do not have to work through this pregnancy. With the difficulty of the work I did, combined with the arthritis in my back - my OB predicted that I would have to go on bed rest early in my 2nd trimester. I am thankful that since being able to stay at home, even being pregnant that the back pain is minor compared to what it was when I was working. Now here I am approaching the end of the second trimester and still going strong!!!
I am thankful for my kind and considerate husband who was willing to make the sacrifices necessary so that I could stay at home. It isn't easy in a two income society to only have one income, but I am so glad that we are on the same page with this. He doesn't resent that he doesn't have the free funds to buy things he wants and do things that I know he would like to do. He has sacrificed for the good of his family and I am so thankful for his hard work for us!
Today is Malachi's very first Halloween and our very first holiday that he has been with us to celebrate!!!
Daddy worked hard to carve Malachi the pumpkin that mommy wanted Malachi to have :) It turned out great!!!
As you can see Malachi is growing quickly. We took him in for his 6 month check up this week and he weighs 21 lbs 3 ounces (95th percentile) and is 29" long (97th percentile) so he is still growing, growing, growing! We have had to pack up even more clothes and are now on to 12-18 month size which some of those are even a little snug. He is also really getting the hang of scooting and I bet we are just a week or so away from him full on crawling everywhere! We are in trouble :)
So stay tuned for some pictures of Malachi's first Halloween costume and of course I still need to post some Disneyland trip pictures :)
It has been a month of huge changes for Malachi. He has grown and changed so much! He has really gotten active and has learned how to roll in all different directions to get where he wants to go. The day after he turned 6 months old, he also was able to get up on his knees and start pushing forward. He does a face plant, but he is definitely figuring out this crawling business.
He has also started saying "dada" and he hoots like an owl quite a bit. We have started baby sign language with him and while he can't sign "milk" yet, when we do that sign to him he definitely knows the bottle is coming!
Another thing about Malachi is: He loves to eat!!!
In the past month Malachi has finished up trying all the baby food first foods and has moved on to second foods. His definite favorites are still pears and sweet potatoes. He has started showing a huge interest in what is on our plates so more and more we are letting him taste what we eat. He loved my cheddar mashed potatoes in Disneyland. He also loves Strawberry/Apple puffs, goldfish crackers, and sucking the juices out of pineapple!!! A few foods that he wasn't sure about the texture were jello, cheese, and watermelon. He is our champion eater though :)
It has been incredible watching him this past month as he has become more interactive, has started observing more of the world around him, and has started to become more coordinated. He is SO precious and we couldn't love him anymore!!!
Today was our much anticipated 20 week anatomy scan. We did it bright and early since Peter had to go to work after the appointment. The appointment went well and I was totally jealous as Peter got to watch the whole thing, while I just had to lay there not seeing what was happening on the screen while someone pressed really hard on my bladder.
The baby was not very cooperative. Peter kept laughing because s/he was moving around a lot. The baby was also facing my spine and hiding as low as possible in my pelvis which made it very difficult for the technician to get a good view of the heart and brain (hence all the hard pushing on my bladder). I am telling you, we have a stubborn ornery kid coming :)
Finally at the end, I was able to get a good (but quick) glimpse of the baby. It was fun to get to see just how complexly put together the baby already is. The baby is measuring exactly to my due date and is weighing in at a whopping 11 ounces :)
Tomorrow we go back and meet with my doctor to get the results of the ultrasound, although the technician said that he thought everything looked good!
Already at 20 weeks and just starting to look pregnant. Over the last couple nights sleeping on my tummy has become uncomfortable so I am struggling to adjust to new sleeping positions.
How far along: 20 weeks Total weight gain/loss: Down 1 lb from starting weight. Doctor is not happy with my lack of weight gain but I am eating so hopefully baby is growing! Stretch marks: no Maternity clothes: yes, everything but my at home loungewear is now maternity Sleep: I still want a lot of sleep and am tired a lot. I toss and turn a lot at night now that I can't sleep comfortably on my tummy. I have started sleeping with a big pillow between my legs and that seems to help. Food cravings/aversions: Pineapple and Strawberries, and Coca-Cola Gender: We can find out gender tomorrow at our ultrasound, but not going to, but my guess is still a girl. Movement: Started feeling movement like a goldfish in the tummy around 17 weeks, by 18 weeks I was able to feel kicks from the outside. Mostly the movement is when I am sitting still or laying down, but I am definitely feeling more and more kicks throughout the day! Best moment this week: Feeling the baby move around a lot - it is pretty cool! What I miss: I don't have a lot of clothes to choose from right now and I am tired of having a lot of nausea. I am looking forward to: TOMORROW! I can't wait for the big ultrasound!!! Weekly Wisdom: Try and enjoy everything because the pregnancy is going so fast! Milestones: Halfway Point!!!
2 months ago today we got to hold our son for the first time! These monthly milestones seem huge for us. I can't wait until we pass that 4 month milestone and he has been with us longer then he was waiting for us.
2 months in to this thing called parenting, we are doing pretty good. We are still learning everyday. The past few weeks we have been much more intentional about sticking with the cocooning. It was very hard at first because so many people wanted to meet him and then hold him and we wanted out of the house! He was holding up pretty well, but lately we had noticed he had started struggling through these interactions.
He has always had a hard time with big crowds. We took him to church one week because everyone wanted to meet him, but he had a really hard time that afternoon settling down. Usually he goes to sleep easily, but if he is out in a big crowd (like at my cousin's bridal shower) he will cry for a long time before settling down. We even started noticing this behavior in smaller groups of 5 to 6 people. I hate that I went against my first instincts in the beginning and allowed other people and their eagerness to meet him to push me into going out. It especially bothers me that I have allowed other's to hold him. This is something that always bothers me, even if people only hold him briefly, it just hasn't felt right. I don't want to be overly protective of him, but all of these things can be very hard on the child when you are trying to form an initial bond with your adopted child.
A little over two weeks ago we noticed that he was starting to become very fearful and startled when out with others. He would cry easily at noises and while he has done that sometimes, this was starting to happen all the time. We also noticed that the days we spent at home, this wasn't happening at all. We made the decision then to stick closer to home and do what we felt was best for him. While sitting at home most of the time can get hard, Malachi's behavior is showing that this time is paying off.
I am a little concerned about next week. At the beginning of the year we booked a vacation because our referral was supposed to be coming and we figured we would have been home for several months by the time this vacation arrived. Well, the referral took longer than we were told to expect and then court took 5 attempts and everything got pushed back. Fortunately we have been home for 2 months, but I still worry about how he will do. I will just keep a close eye on his behavior and I can't do everything I would like to do on this trip anwyway, so Mal and I will take things slow.
So life inside the cocoon is going well. I do admit, in my selfishness I am looking forward to getting out of the cocoon for vacation, but sitting at home is worth it for our little guy. My day consists of nap schedule's, feedings, baths, playtime, diaper changes, all that baby stuff :)
And here's some pictures of our normal day to day happenings:
Experiencing a pregnancy right after completing an adoption leads me to comparing the two experiences. It is really cool to get to experience both "methods" of becoming parents. One of the biggest comparison's is definitely the timeline. Pregnancy is flying by and knowing that this baby will be born around early March is so much easier than having no clue of when your little one would be arriving home.
My love for both of my little one's was similar. From the moment we made the decision to adopt, I loved our little one. I carried them around in my heart everywhere. Same thing with this pregnancy. As unexpected and terrifying it was to see that positive line on the pregnancy test, I was happy and in love. Adoption was such an emotional journey. It was so difficult on a deep emotional level and just drained me. Pregnancy has been a very physical journey. I have not felt well in months, I am still constantly exhausted and waiting for that second trimester energy burst to arrive. I am so tired of just not feeling well, much like how I felt emotionally with the adoption.
The two journey's were so completely different, and yet similar and now, with both journey's I have experienced the moment that just stops you in your tracks.
With our adoption, I had lots of amazing moments (getting accepted, getting on the wait list, passing court and knowing he was legally ours) but the stop me in my tracks moment occurred when the call came. I was so depressed and so sooo tired of waiting. The day, May 4th that the call came I had spent my entire morning at work praying for that call to come. Specifically I prayed that it would happen between 11:00 and 11:15, while I was on lunch and Peter thought that would be the ideal time for him too. As I was on lunch, I was just praying, with my phone in my hand that the call would come. Miraculously at 11:10 my phone rang and it was our agency. I finally heard those amazing words "I have a little boy I would like to talk to you about!" and I was stopped in my tracks. It was a perfect moment in my life!
Yesterday I had that moment with this pregnancy. I was kind of in a panicked state of worry. I was worried about how I was going to handle this second part of pregnancy physically. I worry about how my back problems are going to handle this second part. I was worried about how we would parent two little one's under a year old. I was worried about our finances. I finally gave it all up and as I laid in bed I prayed for peace and calmness. I don't even notice it, but I often rest my hands on my tummy. As I laid there, I felt a very strong kick! I almost didn't believe it. For the past couple weeks I have been feeling movement, like a goldfish in my tummy but nothing I could feel from outside. I almost didn't believe it, but then it happened again! It seriously stopped me in my tracks!
All day I have been trying to see if it would happen again. I was beginning to think it was a fluke but just a little bit ago, I felt another strong kick with my hand. It is pretty cool and exciting!!!
So pregnancy and adoption - very different, but the same. They both contain difficult moments. They both can be frustrating. They both have moments that will stop you dead in your tracks and in the end, they both produce the most amazing gift!!!
We have a yearly tradition every fall of heading to Hood River and enjoying the Fruit Loop. The fruit loop is a series of about 30 farms to walk through and buy fresh fruit and enjoy their fall festivities! This year was extra special as it was the first time we got to enjoy this tradition with a little one.
We brought home 27 lbs of my very favorite apple in the world - HoneyCrisp to make some applesauce! We love those fresh farm prices!!!
Overall, I think Malachi had a great day, although he was sick of the carseat by the time we got home and he was exhausted (as was I!) He went down around 6:00 at night and we tried to wake him up around 7:15 but he was very upset at us for doing that, so into his jammies he went and back to sleep-sleep land. He was out for 13 hours or so - a very tuckered out little boy for sure!!!