Thursday, March 31, 2011


Things have been a little rougher around here the past week. The lack of sleep is catching up with us and so patience is running a little bit thinner.

We have a little baby who really likes to be cuddled and wants to be close to me all day long. If I try to put him down anywhere (and I have tried it all!) he cries and cries until he gets picked up again.

We have a another little boy who is discovering his independence and his inner attitude. He wants it his way and he wants it that way right now!

We have a husband and wife who haven't been communicating the best. By the time the little ones are tucked in and asleep there is just no energy left for conversation or quality time.

But we are learning and we are figuring out our dynamic as a family of 4. We went through a similar transition after Malachi came home. It just comes with the territory of any big life change. I know this phase of life will pass all too quickly.

As I look across the room and hear my almost 1 year old son babbling away with himself and his toys I wonder where has this last year gone? A year ago, he was just a dream and now here he is just weeks away from his first birthday. The next year and the year after that will continue to pass way too quickly!

So I can handle the temper tantrums a little longer!

I can hear little Eli waking up and starting to cry from the swing in the other room. He has only been in it 10 minutes top, but that is the way he rolls. These first 2 months of his life have passed so quickly and in the blink of an eye he will be sleeping through the night and crawling and walking and following big brother as life goes on.

So I can handle his constant need to cuddle a little longer!

I am thankful that the biggest struggle of our marriage is lack of communication completely induced by lack of sleep! Someday soon, our rest will be restored! While marriage has always come naturally and been quite easy for us, right now it just requires a little more work and a little more patience. As part of our trying a little harder, tomorrow night we will be going out alone, without the kids for some good quality time!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Expanding Vocabulary

Malachi is really starting to pick up words and can even use them in the correct context. He also uses signs correctly and I need to work with him more on this as he can pick them up pretty quick. Yet another reminder that the baby days are behind us and he is growing and becoming a toddler boy.

So far these are the words he uses:

Dada/Daddy - His favorite and he knows who daddy is
Mama - only uses occasionally
Hi - says this while waving
uh oh - His other favorite to use. He says this randomly but also as he drops food from his high chair onto the floor.
yay - says this as he claps

And his new words that he has picked up just in the last 24 hours

Tries to say "hotdog". He loves the HotDog song from the Mickey show on TV and he has been trying to sing "hotdog"
"night night" as I take him up the stairs to go to his bed for naptime
"no" - he said this as I told him no. Now I'm in trouble.

Signs "Milk" - He does this when he wants a drink in general these days
Signs "All Done" - When he has had enough to eat or wants a bite of something different

So fun to watch him learn new words!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

If I Would Have Had Things My Way

If things had gone the way I wanted them to:

Peter would not have been laid off from the dream job in the skyscraper.
I would not have worked my "Get Peter through school" job for 5 1/2 years.
One of the other homes we put an offer on would have been accepted.
We would have nicer cars, bigger tv's, more lavish vacations, and fancier date nights.

But if things would have gone my way:

We would have been sucked into "The American Dream". Peter wouldn't be home with his family at 5:30 every night! He would work as a number instead of being treated as a person. I wouldn't have learned that I could persevere and maybe even succeed. We would be in over our heads with a larger mortgage. I would have been forced to continue to work outside the home. I wouldn't have learned that true joy is not in who has the most toys at the end of the day.

If things had gone the way I wanted them to:

I would have had a baby a long time ago.
The FBI would NOT have rejected my fingerprints and we would NOT have had to wait 4 more weeks for the new ones to be processed.
We would have gotten on the waitlist long before we did.
We would have gotten our referral in the 1-4 month time frame given to us by our agency instead of having to wait 2 whole months longer.
We would NOT have had 4 court dates.

But if things had gone my way:

We would not have our Malachi. We would have missed out on being on the wait list on his April 16th Birthday. We would not have gotten the call for a precious 2 week old baby boy allowing us to bring home such a young infant! I would not have learned God's faithfulness the hard way. We would have missed out on the biggest blessing of our lives!

If things would have gone my way:

I would NOT have gotten pregnant while finishing up the adoption process.
I would NOT have had to endure nausea and utter exhaustion while caring for my infant son.
I would have had a girl.
I would NOT have had a preemie.
I would NOT have had my newborn son born sick.

But, if things had gone my way:

We would not have our little Elias. I would have missed out on giving my boys brotherhood. I would have missed out on knowing my inner strength. I never would have had to reach a whole new level of intimacy with God. I never would have known the pleading of a mother's heart. I would have missed out on God's blessings POURED out on us through giving us our second child!

God's plans are always greater and better than my own! So thankful that he didn't let me have it my way!!!

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, March 24, 2011

These Days

Life these days is still pretty amazing! In the midst of all the poopy diapers and sleep deprivation I am starting to figure out a routine and how to get things done while caring for my two babies! We almost have the spare bedroom all cleared out (what a job!) so we can start painting Malachi's big boy room. I am starting to get the house back clean and in order. I am getting back in the swing of getting meals cooked at night again. I am starting to work out again in hopes of shedding more than just the couple pounds of pregnancy weight left to lose! Things finally are starting to feel back on track and I am loving this new normal!

Elias continues to thrive and do amazing! He is just about out of newborn clothes, but those 0-3 month stuff seem huge on him still. Here are some pictures of him on his 6 week birthday:

Starting to get some chub :)
Malachi continues to entertain and keep everyone smiling! He LOVES his blankets and drags them all over the place. When he is tired he can fall asleep in minutes as long as he has one of his blankets!
It is so hard to believe that Malachi is almost 1 year old! Yesterday I went out and bought some stuff for his First Birthday. He may be oblivious, but I can't wait!!!
Let's see, what else? Here's a cute picture of Eli fresh out of the bath and all clean! I LOVE the smell of clean babies :)

After a rough patch of night sleeping, we have hit our groove again! The last two nights we have gotten 5 and 6 hour stretches of sleep out of Elias! I am just not sure there is anything more precious than pictures of a sleeping baby, especially a sleeping baby at 2 in the morning :)

We did hit a rough patch of daytime sleep recently. Eli really does not like to be put down, and as much as I would love to hold and rock him all day, that is just not an option when I have another baby boy who needs mommy time too! We did have a rough go-around where he demanded to be cuddled all day, so he spent a lot of time awake and crying instead of sleeping. I think he was pretty much awake from 5:30 AM until 3 PM when he finally crashed hard.

This is him getting ready for his evening bath, with no energy whatsoever left to fight :) After a nice warm bath, he was content to go back to sleep!

So with a demanding boy, I have had to try lots of different things to try and get him to sleep. One of his favorites is snuggled up in the boppy (a few pictures back), another is in his moby as pictured below. This frees me up to get some work done around the house and allows me to be able to care for Malachi at the same time!

(Sorry for the lame picture)
Another favorite is the Bouncy seat! He finally fits in it! Before, he was just too small and it bent him in a weird way, but now he will at least stay put in it long enough for me to feed Malachi lunch or get Malachi down for a nap!

Speaking of Malachi, here is my silly little boy! Ah, I just love him so much :)

I admit I have done a horrible job of taking care of his hair. I know that is parenting 101 for an AA child. The plan all along has been to buzz it around his first birthday, so we have made due with cheap hair products up to now. Well, as his first birthday is approaching, I love his curls and I can't imagine buzzing his precious hair - so it stays! That means we needed to splurge and buy the boy some real hair products. After hours of researching and trying to find the best routine and the best products, I felt more overwhelmed than ever! I figured we just needed to buy one and try it out!

What do you think? It is a huge improvement over what his hair looked like before, but I am not sure how we will know when we find "the right one for his hair"!

So what are we using?
So far we are using the Kinky Curly line that we purchased at Whole Foods. I love the smell of the Curling Custard. But the biggest hair improvement piece came in the mail yesterday! We have been using the Kinky Curly for a few days, but yesterday the Tangle Teezer came in the mail and it is AWESOME! Seriously, amazing difference and no tears when we use it on his hair! So much better than a pick!!!

So that is the basics of what we are up to these days. Staying busy, but just with normal old family life and I am loving it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My 24th Year

Today I am 25. As I look ahead, I also look behind, at what an incredible year I just had! I am just not sure if any other year of my life can compete with the experiences I had in my 24th year! I felt completely and entirely blessed and fulfilled!

On April 16th I became a mother for the first time to my beautiful Malachi! Of course, I had no idea that I was a mother until 2 1/2 weeks later when I got the most wonderful and anticipated call!!! I didn't think life could get any better.

Then towards the end of June we were shocked to discover that my total lack of energy meant that we were going to be blessed again with another baby!!!

I have experienced so much this year! I conquered my fear of flying around the world (while being completely nauseated I might add at 10 weeks pregnant!) I visited my son's birth country. I had my dreams fulfilled as I walked into the orphanage and held my son in my arms for the very first time!

I had another dream fulfilled as I got to experienced my other little miracle kick and squirm from within my tummy. Yet another dream fulfilled as we welcomed him into this world and I became a mother for the second time on February 4th!

Yesterday as I went to see my doctor, she asked me "so how hard is it?" I told her it really hasn't been bad at all having two so close together. At first she thought I was lying, but soon was impressed with how relaxed and happy I seemed. I truly am happy. I have seen my dreams come true! My family is everything I ever wanted and more! We waited a long time for these boys so how could I not feel anything but very blessed today!

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
Psalms 127:3-4

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What is Wrong with my Husband?

Usually Peter is a pretty well put together guy. He keeps me on track. Well, not this week.

Let's go back to Friday. We decide to go to the beach where my parents and Malachi are for the weekend. I have tried my best to get things all packed up. When Peter gets home we load up the car and get ready to go. I remind him to grab my pump and just mention "Beside's Eli, that is the one thing we can't forget." Off to the beach we go! We get to the beach (a couple hours away) and what do I notice is not there? We both totally left it sitting at home. I can't go the weekend without its so back home we drive and then all the way back to the beach.

On Monday I woke up around 7 to feed the baby and noticed that I had missed like 5 calls from Peter. That was really strange and I became really worried. My phone was right by the bed so I have no idea how I didn't hear it vibrating. I call him back. He says he grabbed his coat when he left and it felt heavy enough so he thought his keys were in it. He got to his car and discovered they were not in his pocket. He banged on the door for awhile (apparently the dogs were to sleepy to bark and wake me up) and he tried calling me. After 20 minutes he gave up, but realized that when I went into labor he left a key outside just in case anyone needed in the house.

On Tuesday, he came home and showed me how he had to wear his dress shirt all day (tucked low) because he forgot to put a belt on.

Wednesday he was spared.

Today Peter's alarm went off at 5 and for whatever reason he turned it off and went back to sleep. At 5:45 he woke up and off he ran to get ready for work.

Tonight we were off on our weekly date night (now it is family date night). We were going to use my free rib certificate for my birthday at Famous Dave's. We were also going to stop by Whole Foods and get some hair products for Malachi. We get in the car and I ask Peter if he has his debit card (I rarely grab my purse before leaving anymore) and he said "Yes". I respond jokingly saying "well, with your state of mind recently, you never know."

Now you see where this is going.........

We get up to Whole Foods, grab the hair products and fortunately Peter reached in his pocket and discovered that he did not in fact have his debit card before we were at the register. Soooo, no hair products for Mal and no Famous Dave's for us. Back the 30 minutes home we go, but we still didn't let it ruin our evening. By this time Mal was very hungry so we settled on dinner in town and still had a good time. I will get my free ribs some other time.

The morale of the story is that NO ONE, not even the most put together person can escape the effects of sleep deprivation!

Lucky Me!

Boy am I a lucky Mom!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

11 Months

Wow, does time fly. I know I sound like every other parent in the world, but it is so hard to believe that the little boy we picked up just a few months ago is already 11 months old! It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since I was dying for my phone to ring and here we are so close to celebrating a first birthday party!

Malachi continues to be a delight and lights up the world for everyone he comes in contact with! He loves to be the center of attention and thrills everyone with all of his little tricks!

Some of the new tricks he has learned this month include:

Saying "Yay" and clapping at the same time.
Getting his arms involved with his constant dancing
Making Kissy Lips
High Fiving

He also continues with the teething and had his 5th tooth pop through!

I have seen my baby dwindle away in the past month as he becomes more and more independent and has taken off into toddlerhood. It is bittersweet but fun to think of what our coming months will hold!

For now, we continue to enjoy everyday with him and look very forward to preparing for the big first birthday celebration!

Favorite Things

It isn't as thrilling as Oprah's favorite things and I'm not giving away any free stuff (boo) but these are some things that I am loving right now and thought someone else might like to check them out!

This software is $30 on amazon and I LOVE it! It has made scrapbooking so easy and the program is so simple and easy to use. I love that it automatically detects the pictures on my computer so I don't have to upload the photos I want to use to the program. I can just browse through my computer files and find the pictures I want.

Another thing that was most important to me when I was researching programs was finding one that I could upload the pictures to their website and they would print them in an album for me. This one does that very easily plus I have the option to convert the pages to jpeg format and print them anywhere I would like if I so choose!

It has been so simple and so fun. I was able to pop out 67 pages in a matter of 2 days (while caring for two little boys) and get myself completely caught up. Now to start to work on Eli's album!

Here are a few of my favorite pages from the last couple days:

#2) For years I have been following a website called "The Generous Wife". This website sends daily emails on a way that as a wife you can be generous to your husband. I have followed it for years but I admit that a lot of times I just deleted the emails without even opening them. Well, in the season of marriage we are in right now, it is so easy to be completely wrapped up with my two busy little one's and it is easy to forget the person who started this whole family! Well, I have been trying to be more intentional about reading these emails and applying some of the ideas.

Here is the blog address where you can sign up for the daily emails (or just read the blog)
And there is a husband counterpart located here:

#3) I am not watching as much TV these days as there are always chores to be done in my free time (or scrapbooking) and I would much prefer to get some zzzz's in the evening hours than watch a tv show. But there is one show that I am loving and stay up late to get to watch. I have always loved labor and delivery shows and this one is great and entertaining even for the guys (Peter enjoys it too!) It is even more entertaining to us now that we know what these people are going through!

Here are some previews and clips for your enjoyement of One Born Every Minute:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How Goes It?

So how is it going with Peter back at work?

Well for the most part I would say if an outsider were looking in, it would be comedic. The boys already know how to gang up on me it appears. I am completely frustrated at different points in the day and swear that I could never have another child and then at other times I am so in love with my boys that I want another one right now (hormones anyone?!?) It is a constant juggling act to meet everyone's needs and I consider the day a complete success if I am able to get a shower and get something to eat! Once this week I was even able to lay down for an hour while the boys napped - score! On top of caring for the boys I also try to fit in time to take care of the other household duties. Earlier this week everything was caught up, but today there are dishes in the sink and the laundry is piling up, bathrooms need cleaned - the list goes on but I know that there really is no possible way for me to have it all together right now so I just do the best I can.

Here is a small snapshot of how my day goes:

7:00 - Eli is awake and ready to eat NOW!!!
7:30 - Fed and changed and back to sleep we go
9:00 - Malachi is up, change him and play with him for awhile.

He seems ready to eat and I figure I better get it done before the baby wakes up. I put Mal in his highchair and make him some cream of wheat and get him a yogurt. Sit down and start feeding him. I hear the baby wailing from upstairs. Go upstairs and get Eli. I put him in his swing and go back to feeding Malachi. Eli doesn't like this idea and starts screaming again which makes Malachi freak out (he has a huge fear of the baby right now). Malachi starts reaching for me, so I guess mealtime is over.

I put Malachi in the living room to play and pick Eli up. He is still upset and wants to eat. So I start working on heating him up a bottle. From the living room I hear a boom and Malachi starts crying. So I set Eli down in the playpen (he is not happy about this) and go pick up Malachi and comfort him. After a few minutes he is better and off playing again.

I start to feed Eli his bottle. Malachi starts choking on something so I retrieve the item from his mouth - a piece of plastic. I have no idea where he found that. Back to feeding the very upset baby who keeps getting his mealtime interrupted. Eli gets done eating and I smell something nasty. I change Malachi and then change Eli. Eli pees on his clothes and I had to use the new diaper as a shield. I start to unfold a new diaper and Eli pees again but this time all over my clothes. I can't help but laugh.

I change Eli and we go upstairs and I get him dressed in clean clothes and then change my clothes. I go back downstairs where yet another piece of plastic is hanging out of Malachi's mouth. I swear our house is safer than it appears on this morning. Fortunately that was the end of plastic finds.

How do you mother's of big families (4 or more) do it?!?

This is just a small snip-it of the comedy of my day. There are diaper blow-outs, spit-up in my face, both babies crying at the same time, and lots of other fun things that happen. While I do get frustrated and feel overwhelmed at times, I really do truly love life these days! I mean what is not to love about this?

Eli Must be going through a growth spurt right now because he wants to eat all the time and is eating 5-6 ounces every feeding. His cheeks sure are filling out :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Parenthood at its Very Best! (This is Gross)

It's 5AM. Baby is fed and just needs a quick diaper change and it is back to bed for a few more blissful hours of sleep.

Open the diaper and survey the damage. I have 2 wipes left in the box. Our new boxes of wipes are downstairs and it doesn't seem worth it to go get them. I am super-mom! I can clean this mess up with just two wipes!

Lift up baby's legs, clean the mess up with two wipes - no problem. Reach for clean diaper............ and then it happens............. On the receiving blanket. On the crib sheet. On my sweats. On my feet and ankles. On our king size bed sheet. I tell my husband that I need more wipes RIGHT NOW. He runs downstairs to get more as I sit there in shock at what just happened.

After what feels like an eternity, the wipes arrive. Just in time for mess take 2 to explode all over the place. My lovely husband stands there and laughs as I am in awe. I had no idea that my little angel had this much in him. I also had no idea that it could shoot out like this!

Clean up adorable baby. Clean up moms legs. Put on new pair of sweatpants. Strip down crib. All the crib sheets are in Malachi's room and we are NOT going in there and risk waking him. Layer crib with receiving blankets for remainder of night. Change bedding on king size bed.

5:30 AM - finally back to bed!

I have 2 babies but am still such an amateur.............

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Baby Step #3!

Well, we did it! As of yesterday we are driving a paid for Jeep! It really feels good to pay off another debt and now we can press on with Baby Step #3 - 6 months expenses in savings! We still haven't filed our taxes but my accountant (Peter) blames that on the IRS for not releasing the adoption tax credit form until after we had a baby, but hopefully we will get those sent off this week.

Originally our tax return was going to put a huge dent in the 6 month of expenses in savings, but things change and life happens. Now, a good part of our tax return will be going to the medical bills that just keep coming (Mr. Eli is worth every one of them!) And that is the exact reason that Dave Ramsey says to get that much money in savings, so when the unexpected happens, you don't have to go in to debt to work your way out of it. I am just thankful that we are going to have the money to pay these bills when they come in! On a related note: I have never been more thankful to have health insurance!!!

So we are doing well and staying focused even through the craziness of our life right now and I am thrilled to be driving a paid for car!

Friday, March 4, 2011

1 Month Old

Eli's first month of life was not without hardships. It is hard to imagine that today, March 4th is the day that we were originally counting down to, but our little guy decided he wanted to make an early appearance. So today is his 1 month birthday! You would never realize the rough start that Eli had looking at him today. He is very strong and beautiful and perfect!

We are starting to get into a routine around here. Peter goes back to work on Monday and then I have to figure out how to juggle both boys. It has been a fabulous month with Peter home to help out with Malachi so that I could focus on getting to know Eli and his cues. Now, I feel ready to face the double team during the day and figure out a different routine to life with two little boys!

Eli is pretty consistent with a 4 hour sleep schedule at night. We have had a few lucky nights where he went 5 or 6 hours but that is definitely not the norm (yet). During the day he is pretty consistent with wanting to eat about every 3 hours. He is a champion in the weight gaining department and on Tuesday was up to 7lbs 5 ounces (up 2 lbs from his birth weight!) but that still puts him below the 5% for his age but that is to be expected for awhile. It is pretty funny to have one child riding the very top of the growth chart and one sitting at the very bottom.

Eli is definitely starting to be alert and awake more. Throughout the day he stays awake for an hour or more after he eats. At night, he does better (thankfully) at falling asleep sooner. He is definitely engaged in conversation now. When I talk to him his eyes study my face. We are just now going to start tummy time with him. The pediatrician told us to wait until he was at his due date and here we are, finally at term!!!

Elias is a true blessing in our life! I couldn't be happier to have 2 little boys to love and enjoy!!! I feel like the luckiest mother in the world!!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Name Game

How do you pick the name that someone is going to have to use for years and years and years? I have always felt a lot of pressure when it comes to picking a name. I have shared before how we came up with the name Malachi and its significance. After the challenge of agreeing on one boy name I NEVER thought we would need to pick another boy name so soon :)

So where did Elias come from?

When it comes to naming our children, we have 3 basic rules:
#1) We both had to love the name
#2) The name had to have meaning
#3) We did not want it to be so mainstream that you hear it everyday (so no names in the top 100 baby names)

So when it came to picking out a boy name (since we still have the girls name in reserve) we searched the baby name book again, went back through the Bible, read movie credits to try to find names....... and were not coming up with anything that we both liked. With Malachi, it was just so apparent. As soon as we came across the name, we both just knew it was "the name" and we were not getting that feeling with any one name this time.

But finally we found it!

So what does this man have to do with the name we picked?

As everyone knows, we are huge Disney fans in this house. So in passing one day, Peter throws out the name Walt (I thought he was joking). There was no way in the world that I was going to name my child Walter. But then we saw it - Walter Elias Disney.

Elias - My God is the Lord! It followed all 3 of our rules and we both loved it!

As I was sitting in my hospital room all alone after Peter and Eli were transported, I was reminded of the meaning of his name. This little boy was God's. Instantly at birth, I had to release him into God's hands and that was not an easy thing for my longing arms to do. He was not mine to protect or save as much as I wished I could. That was something that only God could do and we are so thankful He did and that Elias is here with us today. God has already reigned the Lord over Eli's life!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Video Overload

We just cleaned off the video camera and I found some video's that I thought would be fun to share.

The first video of sweet little Eli. He was enjoying his bili-light up in the NICU. So tiny, so fragile.

This is how we entertain ourselves after the kids go to sleep at night:

Malachi LOVES to dance and he has some moves :) He loves to dance to the different commercials on TV - crazy boy!

And his first encounter with the snow. He wasn't sure what to think of it but eventually decided it was no fun and started to cry (see pictures in previous post). I had no idea that my husband was throwing snow balls at the poor boy and got him in the head right off the bat - poor kid. At least we are confident that someday this guy will be bigger than daddy and can get his revenge! Daddy needs to remember that Malachi gets to decide what nursing home he goes to someday.

On an unrelated note, I had one of those very sweet moments with Mr Malachi tonight. I was rocking him and giving him his nightly bottle. He has to be covered with a blanket when you try to put him to sleep (this is what they did at Hannah's Hope). Anyway, he fell asleep and reached his hand out from under the blanket and grabbed my hand. Moments like that are so sweet and melt my mommy heart!