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Archive for May, 2013

This has been a very busy month.  I’m back in the swing of things at work, and so life is always hectic on the evenings and week-ends.  As expected with joining daycare, Elena has also picked up an upper respiratory infection, so we’ve been working around the clock to keep her breathing clearly.  Finally, Liam has been getting his 2 year molars.  He let me get a good look into his mouth the other day, and I saw one is all the way in, and 2 more are very close.  That could explain why he has been a bit on the irritable side this past month, too.

Here are some updates on each child.

Elena:

DSC_0113-2 DSC_0122

  • Elena is still working on rolling, and is getting closer all the time.  She decided to make it more challenging by working on rolling from back to tummy first, and she gets stuck on her arm.  She’s gotten all the way over once or twice, but she still didn’t manage to get her arm out from beneath her.
  • She sits assisted very well.  I hear that she sits better than plenty of babies several months older!  Her back is very straight and not wobbly at all.  She does fall to the side though, so she isn’t quite ready for UNassisted sitting.
  • She has become very vocal and loves to talk to people who talk to her.  She carries on a regular conversation, but in baby-ese of course.  I think we may have a talker on our hands!
  • She currently weighs about 12 lbs 4 oz and can still wear some 0-3 months and some 3-6 months clothes.  If it’s a dress, 3-6 months works better and if it’s pants, 0-3 months works better, but they fit her like capris instead of pants.  In sleepers, she’s amazingly too long for a lot of her 3-6 month sizes if they are footed!  But there is no possible way she can fit into 6-9 months because they would swallow her whole.
  • She got to paint at daycare this week, and they say she absolutely loved it.  She was squishing her fingers all in it!
  • Her baby dedication was the day she turned 4 months – May 25.  I’ll do a separate post about that, including a slide show photo montage I made.
  • Her 4 month checkup is June 6.

Liam

Liam (1 of 1) Liam (1 of 11)  Liam.Bath.Smile (1 of 1)

  • Liam is seeming more like a kid and less like a baby all the time, both in how he looks and the things he says.  His new favorite question is “why?”.  He questions everything .  Why is the baby going in the car seat?  Why are we using *that* blanket?  If we are doing it, he wants to know why.
  • He let me take a good look inside his mouth this week-end, and I saw that 1 of his 2-year molars is completely in, but he has 2 on the verge, so he’s been a little grumpy.  He didn’t let me look long enough to tell if the 4th one is also coming in, already through, or if it’s still below the surface.  I hope these pop in fast, and then I feel like celebrating the end of teething for him!
  • We usually have to beg and plead with him to get him to eat anything at all, and even then he might eat 1-2 bites of something before he’s done.  However, the past couple weeks he has been eating like crazy!  For example, he ate 2 packs of oatmeal for breakfast yesterday, and he was still hungry and wanted his leftover pizza from the day before!  He must be going through a growth spurt.

I’m never sure how to end these bullet-point updates!  As mentioned, I’ll do another post soon featuring Elena’s dedication, and I hope to get them outside with my camera again soon, too.  The weather has been really bad for taking pictures lately!

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This past Sunday was Mother’s Day.  I feel incredibly blessed to have two little people who are alive, in my life everyday, and who get to call me Mom.

But…

Mother’s Day still has its difficult moments for me.  Yes, I’m grateful for the pregnancies I have had and for the children I have.  I feel so fortunate to get to raise two of them.  I’m thankful things like embryo donation exist, allowing Liam, frozen as an embryo for 6 years, to be born into our lives.  I’m thankful that Elena was born free of SLOS and that we caught her heart condition in time.  Both of my children are miracles, even beyond the very miracle of life.  I love them with all of my being and they have given my life more meaning than I ever imagined possible.  I am thankful, and I am grateful.

I predicted Mother’s Days would be difficult in my first Mother’s Day after losing Madelyn (in this post).  I was wrong about one thing – I wouldn’t say that the day is overshadowed by her absence.  At the time, I simply could not fathom how much healing the baby I was carrying would bring me.   I truly am happy, which is something I never could have imagined in my darkest days of grief.

However, Mother’s Day cannot exist for me without a little bit of sadness.  I hate knowing most people see us as a family of four.  They compliment our beautiful children and tell us how perfect it is that we have a boy and a girl. I wish somehow people could determine by looking at us there was another, and that she too was beautiful and perfect. 

I can’t expect people to magically know our family’s whole story.  But I wish that were possible.  I suppose that is my way of mothering her – by carrying on her memory and wanting her story to be known.  Her life was brief, but it mattered.  Her memory is deserving of more than being awkwardly glossed over in conversation. 

I know loss is a concept that makes many uncomfortable.  But loss is part of my reality, and I can’t change that.  The birth of my two living children did not act as whiteout over Madelyn’s life or death.  Madelyn’s presence may no longer be tangible, but she was very real.  And the love we felt for her from the first moment we learned of her existence – the love that grew stronger each day, through every ultrasound, through every moment spent listening to her heartbeat, through the moment she entered this world, through the too brief time we held her in our arms- that love was not buried with her.  It is still very much alive.

So while Mother’s Day is certainly a reason to celebrate and to appreciate how much I have been given, it is also a day that inevitably causes me to reflect on what was taken. 

I’m happy.  Truly happy. 

But I still miss her. 

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I just completed my 2nd week back at work.  It’s been hard to leave Elena, but she is adjusting so well to daycare, and that makes it a lot easier.   She sleeps well while there (something Liam never did as a baby) and seems content with her new surroundings.  I wish she would eat more than 3 oz at a time, but that is still way better than Liam ever did away from me.  It was a fight to get him to drink 1-2 ounces in a single day while at daycare!  So while I’d prefer to be home with my little ones every day, I’m pleased with how things are going.

Elena:

11 weeks smile 11 weeks tutu overexposed example 11 weeks tutuElena 13 weeks12 weeks

  • Elena still has not mastered rolling, but she is getting so close!  Her daycare teachers even commented on how close she gets to doing it.  It’s a 4 month milestone, so we still have time, and I’m in no rush!
  • She is still such a happy girl, full of great big smiles for anyone who talks to her.  I’m pretty sure I heard a laugh last week-end, too!  I only heard it once, so I can’t be sure.
  • She has been smiling a lot at Liam lately.  It usually makes him giggle.
  • She had a pediatric cardiologist appointment this week, and it went well!  Her EKG was fine, and she weighed 11 lbs 10 oz and was 25.5″.  They do think she still has SVT, but there is still time for her to outgrow it.  If she hasn’t outgrown it by 18 months, then she will most likely have it the rest of her life.  However, even if we think she has outgrown it by 18 months, we won’t know for sure whether she has until she is fully grown, as a lot of kids will go years without an episode and then have one.

Liam

 Unfortunately, I have no pictures of Liam to add this time.  He is not always very cooperative when the camera is out! 

  • Liam has made life very interesting these past couple of weeks!  The other morning I thought he was playing in the living room while I got ready for work.  When Nathan went in there to get him dressed, he couldn’t find him.  We looked all over for him, both inside and outside the house, and still couldn’t find him.  Finally, I heard a giggle coming from the laundry room (which we had already searched), and so I went in there, and the dryer door popped open!  He had crawled inside and shut the door!
  • He always wants to go outside.  He gets quite angry when we can’t go out there with him.
  • If Elena is crying, he will point to her and say “uh oh baby!”  And then he’ll usually grab her pacifier.  He also likes to get in her face and say “Hi baby!” 
  • He has started saying “oh” when we explain something to him (such as why he can’t do something), and he uses it in the right context.  It’s so funny!

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