Living Arrangments?

Thank you to everyone who responded to the baby spacing question! Here are the stats:

Ideally, how would you like your *future* children spaced?

Just however they end up being spaced, it doesn't matter to me - 8 (11%)

Between 1 and 2 years apart - 21 (29%)

Between 2 and 3 years apart - 29 (40%)

Between 3 and 4 years apart - 9 (12%)

More than 4 years apart - 3 (4%)

I only want one child - 2 (2%)

Votes: 72


So the majority of you think somewhere between one and three years is ideal, which is kind of what I expected. But once again, we have a vote for every category! I like it when that happens.

Okay, in light of my faux house-hunting post today, I figured I'd ask a question about living arrangements. I tried to include a good variety of answers, but I gave an "other" option, just in case. You can also select more than one answer (but please don't select everything and throw the poll off - choose whatever describes your situation best).

Vote to the right!


Half A Year

My sweet boy is half a year old! How is it possible that it was half a year ago the doctor was placing him on my stomach and I was seeing him for the first time?




Swimming

We took Wyatt swimming for the first time this month (July 23rd)! I can't get enough of his little swimsuit set. And his hat with the shark fin on top? Love! He wasn't too sure about the water at first, but we took him again the next weekend and he did wonderfully! The first day we spent most of the time by the poolside, and Wyatt took a little nap.



Skills

Wyatt just keeps getting stronger and stronger. He tries to crawl all the time, and he'll kick his legs and lift his stomach up off the floor in little push-ups, but he hasn't figured out how to coordinate the movements. It's fun to watch him try. He can sit up a for a few seconds at a time now, but he hasn't quite got the balance thing down yet.


Derek and I think it's so cute, because he'll alternate lifting his stomach off the floor with balancing on his stomach with his arms out to his sides and his legs in the air - it looks like he's trying to fly! It's so funny, because he'll kick his legs when he's balancing on his stomach, but when he lifts his upper body off the floor he doesn't kick his legs. If he can just figure out to lift and kick at the same time, he'll be crawling!


He's great at rotating 360 degrees though - he'll turn himself so he can see whatever is most interesting to him at the moment.

He is really into his toys lately as well. He's been interested in his toys for a few months, but I think he's really learning how to play with them now, instead of just looking at them and chewing on them.

Wyatt also officially discovered his feet this past month (July 22nd)! He grabs them all the time now.


Personality

His little personality is developing so much, and he is such a sweetheart. He laughs so easily now, and we love it! The other day I brought him upstairs and Ralphie was sitting on the back of the couch. All I did was bring Wyatt close enough to touch Ralphie, and he just burst out laughing! It was the cutest thing. He has been fascinated with the dogs, and especially Ralphie, this month. I think they'll be good pals.

Sometimes he and I will have giggling fits - he'll laugh, which will make me laugh, which makes him laugh again.

He smiles at everyone we see, and I always hear people whispering about how cute he is. He is such a cheerful baby, and all you have to do is say hello to him and he'll give you a big grin.


He gets so excited when Derek gets home - Derek doesn't even have to look at him, but Wyatt gets this big grin on his face when he sees Derek. He loves his dad.

On the day he turned six months I came home from work, and when I came over to greet Wyatt he made this little gasping/hiccup sound, like he was excited to see me. It made me laugh, and then he did it again, which made me laugh again. He did it several more times after that. Derek was watching the whole thing, and he said he could tell Wyatt was doing it on purpose to make me laugh! He's going to be a little ham!

Smart Boy

Just had to share this story, because it was cute, and I was impressed. We have this wooden block set, and the blocks come in a little wooden wagon. Derek and I were playing with Wyatt a few nights ago, but after a while we started to clean up and we put the blocks back in the wagon. Wyatt was on his stomach within reach, and he strained and reached to get one of the blocks off the wagon. Once he had one, he pulled it toward him and reached for another block. Soon he had several blocks right next to him, and he just kept reaching to get another one. He was trying to get them all back off the wagon! I guess he wasn't done playing with them. He's so smart.


Food

We started Wyatt on rice cereal (July 23rd) and oatmeal this month. He's never too sure about the first bite - he makes this face like it's the grossest thing in the world, but then he opens his little mouth for more! He figured out how to close his lips around the spoon now, instead of just gnawing the food off the spoon. We're going to try carrots soon, and I'm looking forward to seeing how he reacts to that. I feed him or he gets a bottle about four or five times a day.

Sleep

He still sucks his thumb when he gets tired, and it always makes me melt. It's so funny the way he holds his hand too - he always sucks his left thumb, but instead of curling his fingers in, he stretches them out, like he's grabbing his whole mouth. I wish I could explain it better, but it's sweet.

He usually sleeps somewhere around 14 hours at night (with one morning feeding somewhere between 4:00 and 6:00, but then he goes right back to sleep, so I hardly count that). He also takes an afternoon nap normally, but lately he's been skipping his naps, so by the time bedtime rolls around he can hardly stay awake to eat. I can't complain about him skipping naps though, because we sleep so well at night - I think it's a huge blessing. He usually goes to bed around 7:00 or 7:30, which gives Derek and me plenty of time together in the evenings.

Growing

He's growing so big! I can just tell. Unfortunately I couldn't set up his six month appointment in time for this post (here I thought I'd have a weight to report), but I can tell he's getting heavier, because it's getting harder to carry him around in his car seat. I'll update this post with his weight when I get it. He still fits into his 3-6 month clothes for the most part, but it won't be long until he gets too long for them. His feet are still size 1, and he is in size 2 diapers.

Update: We had Wyatt's appointment today, and he's 15 pounds, 13 1/2 ounces (25th percentile), 26 1/2 inches (50th percentile), and his head circumference is in the 70th percentile! He's a little smarty, and he's long and lean. The nurse measured him twice, because she just couldn't believe he had grown two inches in two months! She said that's quite a lot. But that makes sense, because that means he's grown about an inch a month since he was born. He's getting so big!

Baby Kisses

Wyatt started giving me kisses this month (August 1st). He has kind of been doing this since he was about four and a half months too, but they are more intentional now.


I just thought this picture was cute,
because it looks like he's giving his elephant a kiss!


Most recently, last week I was just sitting on the couch holding him, and he looked at me nose-to-nose, smiled, grabbed my cheeks, and pulled my face toward his open mouth. Then he proceeded to gnaw on my chin or nose, whatever reached his mouth first. I think once my chin was in between his sore gums it felt better to chew, but I just got the feeling that he meant it as a kiss. It was the sweetest thing. My face was covered with baby slobber, and I loved every minute of it!

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My precious boy is growing up so fast - I love to see his personality starting to show! It's just weird to think we're halfway to a year old. Before I know it he'll be walking and talking, and then he'll be starting school, and then he'll be off to college, and then he'll be getting married. . .

I don't like to think about that yet. I'm just soaking up every minute with my precious boy while he's still my baby, while I'm still the most important lady in his life. Someday he'll grow up and get married, and his wife will be the most important woman to him (which is as it should be, and I pray for her too).

But I'll always have the joy of knowing I was the first lady in his life.

That's a special thing.


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My Sweet Baby,

I cannot believe you are a half a year old! You are such a precious boy, and I love seeing how your personality is developing. You are something special, Sweetheart. I just look at you, and I can imagine the kind of man you will be become - a man who will be an encouragement to others, who will stand up for Truth, who will do great things. I know the Lord must have wonderful plans for you. I pray that you decide to serve Him and put Him first in your life always!

I love you, Snuggle Bug. You are my treasure.

Love,

Your Mama



The One Where I Lose Prizes

My blog friend Chloe (you know, that one I met in real life last year, so you know she's legit), is running the New York Marathon this fall.

Me and Chloe.
I've just been dying to use the Cinemascope setting
with the letterbox on Picnik - you like?


Yeah, I don't run at all. I get winded jogging to my car, a mere 20 yards from the back door of my work. I start to hyper-ventilate just thinking about running.

Kuddos to all of you runners out there, because I hate it. I'm told you hate it until you do it, then you love it. I have a hard time believing that.

Anyway, Chloe is running to raise money for the Children's Heart Project, which brings kids from other countries to America to fix congenital heart defects.

I normally don't post about giveaways on here, because I think people tend to skim posts about other people's giveaways. But, I'm making an exception today (1) because I love Chloe, and (2) because this giveaway is actually for a good cause.

She is holding a raffle on her blog to help raise donations. The minimum entry is five dollars.

Okay, I'm losing you. I can tell. Just wait, there's more.

After you donate five dollars on Chloe's fundraising site, you can submit all your entries and possibly win one of eleven (yes, eleven) great prizes! You'll especially want to check out the prizes if you are a mom or want to have a baby at some point. Lots of cute stuff. And since there will be eleven winners, your chances of winning are really good.

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I hope you all appreciate the sacrifice I'm making by posting this, because as of right now, I'm winning all the prizes. But I'm telling you, because I want to help Chloe meet her goal!

Plus, it's just not as fun if you know you're going to win, so you need to give me some competition.

Click here to check out Chloe's raffle. All you need to do is give up a that grande decaf white chocolate mocha and pumpkin bread for a day (of course, I haven't ordered any of those recently), and you're pretty likely to win something.

But just so you know, I have dibs on the owl baby hat.

That's all.



The Forbidden Word

The air is just a smidge crisper. Kids are back in school, stores have their fall apparel out. I might have seen some yellow leaves on one of the trees during my drive home the other day. The hay is being cut and baled. All the early warning signs of fall are present.

And I haven't gone on my summer vacation yet.

Has the world gone mad?

Aside from this post, you will not see fall mentioned here until after my beach vacation. I want to feel summery for our trip, by George, and I can't let anything mess it up!

The word (*ahem* - fall) has been popping up around the blogosphere lately too. This is insane, I tell you - insane! It's only August, people!

*Cue mad-woman scream.*

I would ban the word from my reader if it was possible, but I don't think it is. Maybe you could all just make a note on your post titles? Say something like "Miscellaney Monday (Fall Mentioned)". Then I'll know to mark the post and come back to it after vacation.

I totally don't expect you to actually do that (though if any of you do, I will totally laugh out loud and probably read it anyway).

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know this post is completely out of character for me. I love Autumn - it's my favorite season, and I'm usually in a hurry for it to get here. Last year I even wished away the last month of summer, I was so anxious for Autumn to start (though that also had something to do with the fact that I was pregnant and wanted to get out of the first trimester).

But not this year. This year fall has to wait to start until after I get back from vacation, in the middle of September. And if leaves were not inanimate objects, I'd tell them that if they change and/or fall off the trees while I"m gone, I'll never forgive them.

Still, old habits die hard. I found myself eyeing the sweaters at the mall the other day, and I may or may not have bought some pumpkin bread at Starbucks yesterday.

It's madness, sheer madness.

Until after vacation, this will be a sanctuary for all things summer. I will be resisting the temptation to do or say any fall-ish things. I'm just letting you know now, lest you think I'm an Autumn Scrooge. Trust me, after the vacation recaps are written, it will be all fall, all the time around here.

But until then I have a Summer vacation to plan!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Moms And Babies - Kristy







This week I'm featuring Kristy from Our Little Hawk's Nest! I found Kristy's blog a few months ago, and I love reading her perspective on things since our babies are so close in age. You can learn more about her in her interview below!


Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi All! I'm Kristy. I am a Christian stay at home wife to a wonderful man and momma to our little girl Amaia. That pretty much sums it up but I also enjoy making usually healthy food for my family, reading, organizing, going on walks, getting a tan, drinking coffee and some light crafting on the side :)



What's your baby's name and how old is she?

Amaia Ruth will be 6 months towards the end of August.


Give us an idea of what a typical day looks like for you.

I try to make our days somewhat "typical", but of course it doesn't always work out like that. Most days look something like this:

600AM // I get up with my hubby and make coffee, make his lunch, eat breakfast, read my Bible and pray until Amaia wakes up.
700AM-ish // Amaia wakes up anytime between 6:30 and 8:00. I feed her when she wakes up and put her right back to bed. She loves to sleep in and and some Saturdays and Sundays I sleep in too :)
9:30AM // Wake up Amaia to start our day together. Nurse her and play, go on a walk with friends or run errands
11:00AM // Nap for Amaia while I clean house, prep for dinner or do anything else that needs to be done.
1230PM // Nurse Amaia and try some rice cereal. We have been trying rice cereal on and off for about a month though and she is slowly but surely learning what do with a spoon and making a big mess while she learns :). After this we play or take a bath if necessary.
200PM // Amaia takes a nap while I work from home for a couple of hours
400PM// Amaia wakes up and I nurse her. Then she plays while I prepare dinner
500PM // Amaia goes down for a nap again while Adam and I have dinner together (if it is night that he home) or if Adam isn't home I just might take a nap too :)
630PM // Amaia wakes and nurses again. Afterwards we head out to bible study, church, hanging out with family or friends or other activities. The evening hours are not typically Amaia's best time of the day, so we try to keep moving to keep the lil' miss happy.
900PM // Amaia nurses and it is bedtime! She is champ at bedtime. We sing her "Goodnight, Sweetheart" as her bedtime song while she smiles up at us to sweetly and she (almost always) drifts off to sleep without a peep.

If you had to choose three words to describe your baby's personality, what would they be?

SWEET (seriously I'm not just being a proud mama, this is the word everyone uses to describe her), sensitive, and observant.



What's your favorite part about being a mom?

I love watching her grow and learn and discover the world around her. I guess that is the typical response to this question, but it's true. I also love that I get to be her teacher. I love the look on her face when she discovers that she can roll over or sit up by herself. She is so proud of herself.

Do you have any tips on losing the baby weight?

Nothing that you have not already heard many times before :) Breastfeeding, eating healthy, staying active, etc, etc. I will say that I put really high expectations on myself in this area. I gained a lot more weight during my pregnancy than I thought was normal (45 pounds to be exact) and I was very eager (too eager) to lose it once I had my baby girl. I had always heard that breastfeeding makes you lose the weight and so I thought my body would be back to normal a couple months after giving birth. Ha! I think almost anyone that has had a baby knows that is just silly :) I think it was about the time that I stopped worrying about it that the weight started coming off more quickly. I am not completely back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but close now. I try to eat healthy for the most part, and I go on walks but I don't think it is a good idea to diet or workout a ton while still breastfeeding. I do think it helped that I worked out until the last week of my pregnancy. The only real piece of advice I have in this area is to remember raising a child in a practice in self-sacrifice that is totally worth it! Our culture acts like it is more important to take care of yourself and get yourself to the gym and wear cute clothes. Obviously it is good to take care of yourself, but children are wildly undervalued and such a wonderful blessing.

What have you and your husband done since your baby's arrival to keep your relationship strong?

Well, we are extremely blessed to have both of our parents really close by and really willing to babysit! It's an incredible blessing to have babysitters that I know love Amaia just as much as we do. So we are able to get out a have dates sans Amaia a few times a month. We love to go out for breakfast or dinner or coffee and just talk. We also have two times a week (Thursday nights and Sundays) that are our family time. For the most part, we don't schedule anything else during these times. In short, we make time with each other a priority.

Also, in some ways having Amaia has made it easier to keep our relationship strong. We are both working harder than ever before. My husband has taken on a part-time job to support us and still comes home and helps around the house so much! I have so much respect and appreciation for how much he does for us and I think that goes both ways. Plus, it is just plain hard to be down about anything when Amaia is grinning at me.



Are there any must-have products that you would recommend to other moms?

Swaddle blankets with velcro! Those were a life saver for me. Personally, I was horrible at swaddling, my husband was way, way better at it than me. These blankets made it so easy. And in the first few weeks anything that makes getting your baby back to sleep in the middle of the night is amazing.


If you are breastfeeding a good pump. I was skeptical about this before I gave birth, because they are not cheap, but I would highly recommend it. I have a Medela and it has been wonderful. It helped us so much at the beginning because Amaia did not catch on easily to breastfeeding and now it allows me to have a bit of freedom and let her other family members bond with her during feeding times too.


What has been your favorite moment or outing as a family so far?

This was a hard question for me. Any of the moments between my husband and daughter just make me melt. The other night Amaia thought that it was hilarious to touch my hubby's scruffy face. He kept putting her hand on his chin and she had us both cracking up with her. Those are the kinds of moments I just love.

Any advice for first-time mothers?

Be thankful, learn to go with the flow, and have a plan :)

First of all I think that is important to remember how much of an absolute blessing children are. Everyone tells you that parenthood is hard work and they aren't joking! This is the hardest job I have had in my entire life. The majority of the time I am so completely in love with my little girl that a doesn't bother me at all, but there are times when I get down or frustrated and that is when I have to remind myself what am amazing miracle it is that God is allowing me to raise and take of his little girl, that I have longed to be a mother for years and there are many, many other women that would love to be in my place right now. After that, I think it's good to have a plan before you actually have your baby. I read the book "Babywise" before having Amaia and that gave me a good idea of how to get her on a good, healthy schedule and how to know what she needed when. I think without it I would have been clueless. Lastly, you also have to go with the flow. I am a believer in schedules and routines. I think it is good and healthy for babies, BUT I am constantly trying to remind myself that babies are not robots (aka. you can't program them) and life is not always predictable.



Thanks Kristy! Check out Kristy's blog to read more!



About My Health "Issues"

So I realized a couple weeks ago that I never gave you all an update on my health. I think the last one was probably almost three months ago.

Can I just say that it's so weird to have health problems? I've been healthy my entire life, and then within three months I end up having pre-eclampsia, a torn meniscus, and a blood clot. It's bizarre to me. We're blessed to have pretty decent insurance, and to live in a country with good access to care.

Anyway . . .

The Knee

If you'll remember, in April I had to go through surgery to fix my torn meniscus in my knee. It was a huge pain, because I had to be on crutches for six weeks, and that isn't easy with a new baby to take care of.

Well, at the end of May I got the okay to walk without crutches again. I was so excited to walk and to be able to carry my baby! But I was bitterly disappointed to find out that I still couldn't walk without one crutch - I may have shed a few tears. I was just so looking forward to walking without assistance.

My doctor said it may be July before I could walk without any help, but it wasn't long before I was hobbling around without my crutch. I had an awful limp though, and my doctor wanted me to see a physical therapist.

I went to one appointment, but honestly my co-pays were pretty steep, and I couldn't afford to go again. But she stretched out the joint a bit and gave me some exercises, and within a week I was walking really well! There really is no accounting for how quickly I was able to walk without crutches and without a limp, except that the Lord healed my knee! I'm so thankful that He allowed my knee to heal so quickly!

The Clot

The second part of this whole thing was that after my knee surgery I got a blood clot in my leg. I was on aspirin for a couple weeks before they decided I needed to be on higher-power blood thinners (around the middle of May).

I was really worried about being able to feed Wyatt while on blood thinners, but they put me on Lovenox, which is safe to use while nursing. Unfortunately, it happens to be an injectable medication, so I have to give myself two shots a day. My stomach is all bruised and sore, and the injection makes my skin puffy, so it makes me feel flabby. I hate it.

They checked my blood clot twice since then, and each time it got a little smaller. But after this last visit my doctor decided I should go see a hematologist to make sure that I don't have a blood clotting disorder. I got the blood clot while on blood thinners, so they just want to make sure.

So I went to the hematologist and she did some blood work (which we're still waiting on), and said that since the blood clot isn't gone, I have to be on blood thinners for six months.

I was not happy about this. I am so over giving myself injections.

You have to understand that someone I know has had a blood clot in the past, and she hasn't had to go through anything I've had to do. Her doctor said it's pretty pointless to keep checking the blood clot, because alot of times they leave scar tissue that makes it look like it's still there even when it's not. Her hematologist also said that when the clot is below the knee (which mine is), you only have to be on blood thinners for three months.

Now, I know my primary care doctor hasn't dealt with a blood clot before, so it's been a learning experience for her too. I have to give her a little grace.

However, it makes me kind of upset that our doctors keep saying different things, because if I don't have to go through all this extra stuff, I'd rather not. And everyone keeps saying my blood clot is "so small".

The Plan Now

I'm getting a second opinion. Six months of shots in my stomach is alot different than three months, and I am so ready to be done! I'm hoping to be able to talk to this other doctor soon, and maybe he'll say I don't have to do these injections any more.

Anyway, you all could pray that (1) this new doctor will give me some good information, and (2) that maybe I can be done with the shots now. Also, even though I think it's unlikely, please pray that I don't have a clotting disorder, because if I do, it would mean my next pregnancy would be considered high-risk. Women with blood clotting disorders are more likely to have miscarriages, because a clot could form in the placenta and cut off nutrients to the baby.

Thank you in advance for your prayers! I'll do another update when I know something.



Last Week, This Week

Last week I read this book:



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In three days. It was excellent - I really couldn't put it down. I never really thought about how abortion-clinic workers think, and after reading this book I'm not only still completely fired up about fighting for the lives of unborn babies, but I have much more compassion for those on the other side of the issue. So many of them are so deceived and lost.




Yesterday, I found this picture on Pinterest:



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I was informed that it's fake, but I love it anyway. Wyatt used to stick his foot straight out of my belly like that, and even though we couldn't see an imprint of his foot through my belly, Derek and I could feel every little detail of that tiny foot - I could almost even distinguish his toes. We could tell his foot was just about an inch and a half long at that point. It was a beautiful moment, and I'll always remember touching that tiny little foot through my belly and marveling at how small it was.




Today I'm making these cupcakes:



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I've decided I need to test out some recipes for Wyatt's first birthday party, and when one of you (I tried to go back and figure out who it was, but I can't find it now - speak up!) pinned these cupcakes on Pinterest I had to give them a try! Still deciding on a theme for his birthday party. I have a few ideas.




This week I have no plans except to watch the first season of The Mole which I got from Netflix!



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I used to love this show. It's a reality show where the contestants do different stunts and such to win money, but one of them is secretly sabotaging their efforts, and the ultimate goal is to figure out who the "mole" is. Unfortunately they only have one season available; so I guess that just means I'll have to make sure I enjoy it while it lasts.



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