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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Buzz About My Worker Bees

And I may as well refer to Elaina and Lincoln as my "worker bees" because they stay so busy at being busy.


Here is a brief rundown of some events that unfolded last week just before I skipped town to soak up the sun and fun of Florida.


About Lincoln and his diaper rash; it has healed up like a dream. I am a true believer that a little sprinkle of powder upon his tiny hiney will keep any further rashes at bay. It's such a relief to see his sweet fleshy colored hiney rather than his bright, red burning hiney. Even better than that, I know that he is over his suffering with his burning butt.


And about that issue with the formula; he had previously been on the standard hospital issued milk-based formula. We hadn't really noticed that he was having a problem with the formula until the past few weeks of watching his behavior, counting his spit-ups and noting his stinky diapers. Given the fact that we're still learning one another, it took me a little while to catch on that his gas seemed to pain him more that it should and more frequently too. He has been arching his back, stiff as a board and would yell with discomfort. Soon, two bottles of gas-relief drops became a staple in our home; one for each floor. On Monday, I talked with the nurse at the pediatrician's office and after consulting with the doctor, she suggested trying lactose-free formula.


Monday night was the big crossover in which we encountered a few bumps in the road of switching. He spit up about three out of five feeds yet didn't seem to mind to much and was still hungry for more. His stools have become slightly firmer and not occurring at every. single. diaper change. Whew! Now that we've gone over the one-week mark, he's doing pretty well and only spitting up (like a geyser) only a few times a week. Although it's still unnerving, feeling so helpless to make my baby feel better, it is still less common than before. I feel comforted knowing that he'll be going for his next well-baby check in only a few short weeks to follow up with the doctor then.


And now for Elaina... oh, where can I begin with Elaina? She has been cracking me up!

Our here-and-there-houseguest which I referenced earlier is an imaginary fly named "Fido." See, I knew she was watching too much TV. Fido is the imaginary fly from this show, which I loath. Their only saving grace is that my child has learned imagination from viewing their program and she is completely entertained by their nonsense. I'm just not in the loop I guess. At this point, we have to be on our toes as Fido will just suddenly pop up from out of nowhere. Elaina always managed to catch Fido and we pass him around between our fingers and he will sometimes sit upon our shoulders. He obviously likes it here since he's managed to stick around as our most-convenient pet for all of about 3 weeks now.


Anther fun thing last week was going puddle jumping in a nearby parking lot following a torrential downpour. This video just reminds me to take time to enjoy the sweet and quiet moments of our normally busy lifestyle. For Elaina, it was sheer enjoyment despite the growing blisters that were welling up around her ankles from her wet, rubber boots.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Aack!

That's what I've been saying to myself for the past couple days while being at home with two kids and no Eric. His paternity leave of 6 weeks was up on Monday and he had to return to the working world. The time we've spent home with the four of us together has been absolutely priceless.
So, the reason I am saying Aack, usually followed by a deep breath and an eye roll is because I have been a little more busy than normal lately. In fact, it's funny that I say "normal" because we haven't really established a norm of any standard routine or schedule for any one of us just yet. All of that aside, I still have much catching up from the beginning of this week and since Elaina and I are headed to Florida in the morning, I'll be even deeper in the hole of blogging. I really hate to be behind since Lincoln and Elaina have had so much going on lately. There is so much to tell about switching Lincoln's formula, our new house guest that has been staying with us on and off and my days of being a single mom between 8 and 4p.m. Lately, I am even more happy to see my husband walk through the door when he comes home from work than usual.

And now, about our Florida trip! I'm so excited! Recently, my grandpa's doctor's have not been offering him particularly encouraging news about his health and since my grandparents weren't able to come to Ohio this summer, we're making a quick weekend trip down to visit. After exhausting all of my sick and vacation time off from work to be on maternity leave, I'll be going back to work with exactly zero hours to spare until I accumulate more. Basically, this boils down to having no time off until Christmas and no chance of another time to get to the sunshine state. So, all factors considered, I decided to whisk Elaina and myself off to Florida to spend some time with my grandparents and allow Eric and Lincoln some time at home together. The bonus is that Lincoln gets to enjoy his first days at the baby sitter's house on Friday and on Monday. Nancy, the babysitter, is so thrilled to finally get her hands on him and begin to spoil him to pieces just like his big sis. This will be a nice time for the two of them to get acquainted and keep him off an airplane and out of the Florida heat while we're gone. Those are the benefits I keep reminding myself of so that I won't miss him so much. And, in my mind, they are in fact, realistic.

Here is a picture of my sweet boy so that I can see him anytime I want and I can see how much he's grown in the 3 days until I can squeeze my arms around him again.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Babies' Daddy!

Every day I write about what great kids I have that have blessed my life beyond words, but it's high time I recognize what an awesome husband I have that is the father to my lovely darlings.
This is my husband in all of his glory...

How lucky I am to have found everything I had always wanted in a husband in one handsome package!

So, where do I begin to give Eric the recognition he so righteously deserves this Father's Day and every other day of the year?

I don't know. How about a list? Brace yourselves!

Eric/ my husband / my babies' daddy is... Loving, faithful, strong, intelligent, funny, practical, hard working, provider, supportive, genuine, kind and true. He's the kind of dad that will do anything for his kids which includes getting up to feed a crying Lincoln at 4 a.m. and falling asleep with him on his chest until 6 in the morning to ensure a peaceful night for mom and some bonding time with his son. The kind of dad who taught his daughter how to count to ten and reach their arms as far as they can stretch to show how much they love each other. Eric is the kind of guy who fixes and builds things from scratch. He's been known to work 80 hour weeks to provide a comfortable lifestyle for his family without so much as a single complaint. My husband provides the exact amount of love I need everyday to feel important in his life.

Oh seriously, I really could go on and on but, how much more convincing do you really need?

Eric, you are a wonderful husband, a great father and my best friend. Happy Father's Day!

The Predecessors

What would Father's Day without recognizing my own special set of Father's?
To my dad, father-in-law and grandpa... much love to each of you! Happy Father's Day!



Saturday, June 16, 2007

Graduation Party

Congratulations to our beautiful niece, Brogan on her high school graduation!

Since we went to her party to this evening, you would expect that I may have snapped at least one picture of her at her party. Nope. Unfortunately, I never had my camera ready when she was within an arms reach. Maybe it's because she had almost 100 guests to greet over the course of the evening. What a great turnout to help her celebrate!

And here is how Lincoln and Elaina enjoyed their time at the party...



Lincoln being held and adored by everyone! I think he may be getting used to that by now...












What a great party!








Friday, June 15, 2007

Cooling Off!

Whew... today was a hot one!Grandma and Elaina found a nice way to cool down. A couple rounds of ring around the rosey never hurt anyone. Throw a 100 pound lab in the middle and you get to play ring around the roley-poley! (Sorry Mom, I know Tanner is my step-brother after all) I know, I know - he needed to cool off too.

Check out my girl, always accessorizing!



Elaina loved her little pool and loved the company that joined her.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Power of the Powder

In the hustle and bustle of which has been this week, I have failed to mention a few new things going on with Lincoln. Unfortunately for him, they aren't particular pleasant or comfortable new things.

Lincoln has diaper rash. A burning, bright, red diaper rash. Also, he has baby acne which has persisted now for about 2 weeks.

After a long day of 3 adults, (my mom, dad and self) juggling 2 kids and a 9 hour long garage sale marathon (too many hours!) I packed the kids up and headed over to visit my in-laws. Upon learning of Lincoln's diaper rash, my mother-in-law suggested I try a powder on his bottom to keep him dry and his rash at bay. Admittedly, I was a little skeptical since it wasn't specially formulated and advertised to heal diaper rash, but at this point, the alternative I had been using wasn't even beginning to tame his burning hiney. Since Grandma's always know best, I decided against my doubt and used it faithfully from then on. Amazingly, by the end of the evening, Lincoln's rash was already beginning to look less inflamed.

I have been most concerned about Lincoln's diaper rash and the fact that we have been going through diapers like it's our job, (fresh one every 2 hours) but also, I have been interested in trying to clear up his baby acne as well. My mom and I are on a mission to soak our baby boy's little hiney in the sink every evening while I am visiting. Cleaning his face and taking the burn off his bottom... this is going to be a good week for us all.

Hooray for Grandma's!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lincoln's First Road Trip

So you know that when your baby demands to eat every three hours, and you have a 2 hour and 45 minute trip ahead of you, you have to be somewhat meticulous when it comes to traveling.

I thought I was.

This afternoon, I loaded up the truck, the girl, the dog and Eric loaded in almost 5 ounces of milk into Lincoln's little belly just before we hit the road destined for grandma and grandpa's house. I took the kids and dog by myself as I wanted to allow Eric some time at home to complete more of his garage remodel and finish some painting in what will become Elaina's new room. In addition, we have a busy weekend scheduled which includes a Thursday thru Saturday garage sale at my parents' house. Since I just happened to have two enormous totes filled with my best junk that I intended to sell, I was recruited to help.

Our drive had gone beautifully- just as planned. We got on the road just before Elaina's nap time, just after Lincoln's last feeding and Keegan- well, Keegan lays down in the back of the truck before we even make it out of town. We were well into our second hour of travelling and then came the screaming. The crying. The yelling. Fussing and whining. Lincoln's belly timer was going off 40 minutes early. My time table for travel went out the window. Worse yet, Lincoln's car seat was positioned in the middle of the back seat, Elaina on one side and the 2 ginormous totes-o-crap flanking the other. Nightmare. I was forced to let him cry the kind of hungry cry that makes a mother's heart hurt for all of 20 minutes before we reached my mom and dad's house like a tornado touching down.

Nothing says "Welcome" like a crying, hungry baby and a toddler who begs to play at every child's backyard swing set we see out the car window.

Let our vacation begin!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tea for Everyone

By 1:00 this afternoon, I suspected that I was already in over my head for as many things that I needed to do and the amount of time I had to do them in. In other words; the usual.

At that point, I made a decision to shock the socks off of my Type A self and threw my to-do list aside and enjoy a tea party with Elaina. Obviously, my 2 page list of chores, etc. would still be waiting for me as they always do. What a better way to unwind than an imaginary cup of tea and pretend cookies that bake in 2 minutes flat. If only baking were really that easy! Elaina invited only the most important guests to her party and when Lincoln began to make grunting noises as he woke from his nap, Elaina tugged at my arm saying, "Mommy, get Winkin!" So of course, Lincoln joined our party, still in his groggy, sleepy slumber but accompanied by a baby doll at his side as his date with his cup of tea on his lap.

I already know that we'll be enjoying tea much more often. How lucky I am to be a guest at such an exclusive party with such an exquisite hostess!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Glued

This is what watching too much TV looks like.

It's after 5:00 in this picture. With Lincoln not feeling well and wanting to be held, Eric working on projects outside, and me trying to balance it all... let's just say that Elaina was allowed to enjoy a jammie day in front of the TV most of today. Eric finally took her to the park (dressed) and burned off some energy. She was unbelievably content the whole day long.

What a trooper!

Friday, June 08, 2007

1 Month Old!

I took my big, little guy to the pediatrician today for his one month well-child visit. Here is what we learned.


* Lincoln is 10.2 pounds (Seriously, can you believe that!)

* He is 21 1/2" long

*** He was prescribed infant antibiotics due to some congestion he has been experiencing for a few days now. He has not presented with a fever or drainage, but audible congestion as he sounds snorty from time to time. He has a cold. Also, he has thrush. Apparently, his congestion has been causing him to spit up more frequently and the formula deposited in his mouth has begun to create a baby yeast infection in his mouth.

It really isn't as bad as it sounds. Neither are very severe and both are easily treated with meds. I'm anxious to get our little guy feeling better and love all of his 10.2 pounds to squeeze in the meantime! 10 pounds!! Look at that belly rounding out!!

The Party That Wasn't

Just picture this:


Friday. Gorgeous sunshine. Warm 80 degree temps with a gentle breeze. Pontoon boat rides on the lake. Potluck dinner. Friends from work. Picnic hosted by your boss. Bring the family.

Seeing it? Nice, right?

Now, try this one:
Friday. Dark grey skies at 4 pm looking more like 9 pm. Roaring thunder. Pounding rain sideways. Tornado warning in neighboring county. 2 kids & mom stuck inside car in torrential down pour while dad is getting prescription filled. Boat trip cancelled. Chasing toddler around your boss's house-void-of-toys before she breaks something. Must restrict toddler activities to front porch filled with only adults or garage filled with nothing but trouble. Toddler dumps full bottle of bubbles onto self. Must bathe and change said toddler at boss's house. Feed picky toddler ice cream cake and cupcake to keep happy and occupied.

Now guess which one was our reality for the bulk of the day. Um, yeah, that's the one.

Ugh.

We all managed to enjoy ourselves despite the nasty weather conditions and the bubble soaked Elaina. The storm finally came to an end and Elaina had her first attempt at playing hopscotch!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Courtship










One month already? Can anyone really believe that our baby boy is one month old?










To me, Lincoln still continues to be a fresh new miracle and I can hardly contain my joy in having him in our family.
For some time now, I've been meaning to write about my thoughts on adoption, becoming a mother to a second child and the feelings that come with both of them. As of right now, Eric has taken Lincoln out for some guy-time watching the Cavs game at our neighbor's house. You guessed it, that leaves a quiet house for my sleeping daughter upstairs and some quality time with my neglected keyboard and myself. (and my bowl of ice cream, it helps me blog; try it sometime)


So, let me just jump right in. I've been thinking of the best way to explain my feelings on adoption and the only comparison I can offer is likening it to getting a new hairstyle. If you've never adopted, this comparison is only meant figuratively, hardly literally. I do recognize how superficial this may sound, but try to follow. It's not my heart and soul here people, just a fun comparison.


"I want a new hairstyle!"

How many of us have ever uttered a similar phrase?





"I want another child."

That's my line.



While saying that adoption is like a new hairdo seems pretty off the wall, let me explain:


Most women, (me, always) look in the mirror everyday and think, "I wish I had a new hairstyle. Something that I can do more/ less with. I wish it were longer/ shorter. I wish that it could get me out of the house faster in the morning." And so, said individual debates the advantages of a major change in her appearance, knowing how it will affect her lifestyle and decides to take the plunge and get it cut off, colored and styled. Here is where we have the parallel to adoption. After all of the time thinking and wondering how this new decision will work into her life, once it's done, there's no turning back. After the initial trip to the salon, you''ll find that your first morning left to do your hair on your own doesn't go just as smoothly as you would have liked. Not hard, but not the same routine pattern that you've grown accustom to and established over let's say, 2 years time. Throughout your day, you catch a glimpse of your new image in the mirror and have to do a double take to believe that this new-you has really reached fruition and is now a part of your life. Understandably so, a new hairstyle says a lot about you and you never know what you are about to end up with until you walk out the door. There's the possibility that you may not feel like you have the face for short hair after all. Maybe you'll love it and can't imagine how you ever dealt with such long hair for so many years. And the color? Who would have known that buttercream blond with red highlights would be just what you needed to give your self esteem a boost? See? Regardless, you rolled the dice, you took the gamble and it's all yours. Someone else's work, all for you.


Then, of course, there is the reaction of people you encounter. What would a new hairstyle (adoption) be without compliments? And who doesn't love them? And sometimes, the compliments need some further explanation. Like, "Yeah, my hair was passed my waist with 17 layers of natural curl and highlights before I got it cut, colored and straightened." While an adoptive parent may have to field generous compliments from strangers who dote over the lovely child and say, "Wow, he's only 2 weeks old? You look great!" or "Ooh, I didn't know you were even pregnant." There's the lateral explanations as you can see.


And lastly, the other way that adoption is like a new hairstyle is that you get so used to having it and you love the way it makes you feel and feels on you and you can't imagine ever going back and rethinking your decision. You feel like you've won the lottery with a single ticket and you get to cash in a million bucks everyday.


That's adoption!

Want more? (need more ice cream!)



Getting down my true feelings on adoption is more like a courtship. Remember dating? Yeah, dating. Going on your first date; a little nervous, excited, wondering if he really could be "the one?" Now that's a little bit like adoption too.



When you become pregnant with your natural child, you have 40 weeks to plan. Down to every last detail, you begin to tell your family and friends, decorate the room, buy new clothes and prepare your household for your new arrival. More than that though, you begin to fall in love. You bond with your unborn child. You dream about him at night, when he's not making his presence known by recurring kicks. Your motherly hormones flood in waves over your emotions, thoughts and your heart. For 40 weeks.



With an adoption, you know you want a baby and you'll take it if it's offered in two years or offered in two days. This is the heart of an adoptive mother with lack of alternatives. I'd have to say that the time line of our adoption was perfect timing for us. We had almost 2 months from learning of a potential child for us and seeing it all happen at lightning speed to holding our son in our arms for the first time. If it had been a longer period of time, that only allows for your mind to raise questions of doubt, fear and unnecessary anxiety. We had sufficient time to prepare our home, our jobs and our minds. We were having a son!



When we adopted Elaina, Eric and I realized how fortunate we were that her birth mom was simply incredible. We highly doubted that we would ever get that lucky again with our next adoption. Again, another gamble. Upon my first conversation with Lincoln's birth mom (Elle), I remember thinking, "She seems almost too good to be true." While everything thing is said and done, I have incredible stories to tell to each of our children about their birth mom's. That's a whole other blog though...



Back to our courtship with Lincoln... so now we have this little stranger in our arms. We look into his eyes with tenderness and wonder. We wonder what he'll look like. We wonder about his health. We wonder if he'll love us half as much as we plan to love him. And we wonder if he'll always be as gassy as he is.


I realize that all mother's share similar thoughts to an extent, but wrapping your arms around a sweet, little 6 pound stranger, knowing how much he is about to change your life is still a little bit different. And the courtship begins.



We are still learning about each other. Eric and I know that Lincoln likes to be fed approximately every three hours, not a minute past. We know that he struggles with gas, random bouts of constipation and the sneaky kind of spit-up when you least expect it. I'm feeling more confidant about changing his boy-diaper and he's been respectful of his gun-shy mother.



With this said, we still have the aspect that Lincoln is our second child. Being a second child myself, I know he's going to turn out just fine. At this point, as he is a wee one-month old, we're all at a disadvantage in comparison to our relationship with Elaina. Elaina is nearly two years old. We've had almost 2 years to learn her, to shape her, to learn her language and likes and dislikes. There's nothing like a new baby to make you feel totally inadequate as a person and a mother. It becomes a juggling act. The new-mom part of me wants nothing more than to hold Lincoln in my arms all day long and cuddle and coo with him as I look into his eyes. The part of me that is exclusively Elaina's-mom, wants to dive down on the living room floor and tickle and play and help her jump in the air and play ring around the rosey for the 789th time. Alas, I can't do both at the same time. Nobody can. So then, if learning about your new baby weren't enough, you have to learn balance. Balancing sleeping, eating, playing, laying and time to be yourself. Could someone remind me why I thought only 8 weeks maternity leave would be sufficient? I'm not balanced yet!



This is adoption. This is our life. Thanks for being a part of it as we're loving every minute of it!
*** Final Note: Not so sure why you can enlarge some pics with a double click and some not. Just wanted to point out that his onesie reads, "Hello, I am IRRESISTIBLE!"

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Blog Time!

Eat Time!

Bath Time!

Change Diaper Time!

Potty Time!

Elephant Time!

Ca'yin Time! (every Mommy is in front of the computer it's to watch Cousin Colin, of course)

Binky Time!

Is anyone beginning to see a pattern unfolding here?

I swear sometimes that if I could open Elaina up and check out her DNA, ours would completely match. She likes routine and she likes to know what's in store for her next. She shouts out "Eat time!" as soon as she wakes up, knowing that is when we go downstairs for breakfast. Everything has it's own time and she's sure to let you know. Even when it's "Elephant time" and she needs some help lifting those darned elephants into the potty. We're still scratching our heads on that one. I can assure you, that didn't come from me!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Entertainment!



Hey, finally a new video post!

Staying at home with two kids, this now qualifies for sheer entertainment in the eyes of their parents. Elaina is taking on her big sister role quite nicely and even kept Lincoln occupied while Eric and I got dinner prepared. Although I don't believe that Lincoln was quite enthralled with his sister's act, he couldn't take his eyes off of her!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Dependant

And yet another wonderful weekend has come and gone. Just for the record, this is the very first weekend since Lincoln was born that we haven't had company staying for the weekend. As you may recall, my parents came first when Lincoln was born, then the in-laws, then my parents again and then our friends from out of town. Don't get me wrong, I love company and entertaining- but that's just a lot of keeping the house cleaned up and fresh sheets on the spare bed. After all, that's why we have a big house and welcome company anytime. Ready for a weekend getaway, give me a call, I'll make the beds!


Along about Thursday, Eric and realized that we didn't have a single thing going on for this weekend. Remember that we're home everyday together (maternity leave) and decided it would be nice to invite some friends over for a bonfire on Saturday night. See "dependant." We ended up calling some friends and had about 8 couples of our closest friends from the neighborhood join us Saturday evening. The best part about our group of friends is that there are 4 other kids that are Elaina's age and another little boy who will be in the same grade as Lincoln. I love already being able to establish playgroups with the kids and know the parents and kids that our children will be going to school with. How's that for forward thinking?




Sweet girls with their cupcakes!








The artists latest masterpiece!













In other news...

Regarding the house- Eric is making progress on his garage renovation/ addition. He finished insulating last week and the drywallers finished the walls today. As soon as the finisher comes to mud the walls, he'll be about 85% done with the garage. Forever and ever. Amen!

Regarding Lincoln- You'll never believe which little boy gulped down 6 ounces of formula tonight? Unbelievable! Lincoln is doing his best at growing so big, so fast! I wouldn't imagine that he is quite ready to take 6 ounces at every feeding, but just knowing that his little belly is growing so quick to accommodate 6 ounces already is impressive. Speaking of impressive, he is also doing his best to begin lifting his head up. He's not quite there yet, but I love to see his drive to want to do something new. He's still amazing, incredible and got his share of hugs and holds from about 6 other women last night! He did so well!

Regarding Elaina- Still no progress on the potty training front. I bought her a book about using the potty only to discover that I hate that book more than I ever thought possible. And guess what? Elaina loves it! That would be the only reason it's still exists in our house. It's true that the message is informative and on her level, but seriously, after the 97th reading of this book, hand me the matches! That's why I hate it so much. You may ask, "What does she do in the bathroom if she's not going potty?" Well, after Elaina sits for the duration of two readings of the aforementioned book I despise, she hops down and kneels to the ground and shouts, "Elephant time!" (?????) My beloved little weirdo begins making grunting noises as she laces her fingers together in attempt to pick up the imaginary elephant that awaits at the base of the toilet. Without fail, after about her third grunt and sighing "Ugh, hea-by" (heavy) Elaina says, "Mommy, hep me." (more straining grunting- this is a seriously big elephant we are dealing with here folks!) My job is to help her lift all of the elephants into the potty. Notice I said "all of them?" Oh yeah, my daughter couldn't just be happy with plopping 1 or 2 elephants in the potty. Nope. I usually help her lift about 7 or 8. Elephants. In the potty. I would only love to know how in the world she came up with this idea of putting elephants in the potty. And who knew we had so many imaginary elephants in our house in the first place?



And now... a lovely picture of my tired twosome!