Monday, February 28, 2011

The Sting

I have been meaning to address the sting for several months now. You know...the sting of infertility.

I still get annoyed when women plan to get pregnant, assume it'll happen right away, and then it actually does. I can be happy for them, but what frustrates me is the assumption that everyone gets pregant so easily.

Oh, and yeah, I still am getting a lot of, "Now that you adopted, you'll get pregnant, too!" comments. Which need to end NOW!!

But for the most part, the pain of infertilty is gone!  All it took was to hold a baby in my hands and call him, "My Son."  Big surprise, no?

Sure, next time around, it's going to be just as difficult to add to our family, but for now what matters is that Levi is here.  The goal has been achieved.  Whether we stay a family of three or become a family of ten, what matters is that we are parents.

What a relief it's been to hear of SO MANY pregnancies, and be truly happy for the new parents-to-be.  The weight is off my shoulders. I didn't realize how much work it was to fake happiness in those situations when I was so incredibly bitter and jealous.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

v i

This past month was the fastest...and funnest...yet.  In fact, things are speeding by so quickly I am a few days late on Mr. Levi's half birthday update!!  Honestly though, each age is becoming more and more exciting.

We had the 6 month check up last week and Levi is 19.5 lbs and 28 in, which puts him in the 84th and 95th percentiles.  The new joke is that we are planning a move to Manheim so that Levi can be a future football player for the Barons.

I'm trying to keep Levi on a fairly strict schedule, but his naptimes are getting shorter.  It's probably time to switch from three to two naps a day, but I'm not sure how to make that transition.  Any advice? He wakes and eats around 7am, takes his first nap from 8:30 am to 11:30 am, and eats again at 12:00pm, 3:30 pm, and 7:00 pm, with a one hour nap before the last two feedings.

He eats rice cereal during his first feeding, with formula, and a jar of baby food at his last feeding. So far he has tried peas, green beans, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, and applesauce. Sweet potatoes seem to be his favorite. He eats 6-8 ounces of formula at each feeding.

And can I just mention that I totally treasure going to a restaurant and asking for "two and a high chair?"  I know I already said that in my last post, but it gets me every time!!  Especially when the little dude looks so cute in said high chair.

As of last Sunday, Levi is sitting up alone and has his first two front teeth cutting through.  He's fussy before bed, but nothing a little Orajel and momma cuddling can't fix. 

Although he’s a great roller, he never does so in his crib; he definitely prefers his back. He is quite ticklish on his thighs. He is making more and more noises, but his sounds are pretty much “maaa,” “baaa,” “ooooh,” and “aaah,” although one time he made an “r” and “wuu” sound. His hand-eye coordination is getting a lot better. He can put things in his mouth, and even grabbed a pen and drew on his face before I could stop him one day last week!

Levi seems to be growing lengthwise right now. His 6-9 clothes are still fitting great, but he’s too long for the changing table on the pack-n-play. His “new” hair is about an inch long on top, and we often spike it using baby lotion.

Our little buddy is very attentive and follows conversation pretty well. He enjoys social situations and public places because of everything he can look at. He is not afraid of strangers, and his happy to be cuddled by mostly everyone, at least for a few minutes, before wanting to go back to someone familiar. He usually smiles when someone acknowledges him and makes eye contact.  And when you hold your hand in front of him, he is kind of able to give a high five.  Thanks, Uncle Josh!
On the more bittersweet side of things, we started attending a new church this month, where Herb is the Minister of Music.  We are LOVING it so far, but were really sad to leave our Small Group, you know the ones that prayed for us to have a baby by the end of the summer?  We're really going to miss them.
And finally, some pictures of Levi with the ladies... Here he is with his cuz Joelle, and Tristyn, the daughter of my friend Ashley from high school.  It is astounding how many of my friends have children who are within just a few months of Levi's age.  Motherhood is definitely something I want to do at the same time as other people!

Happy Half Birthday, Levi Lumberjack!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Love Us

You know you're a mom when...

you send your kid to get shots on their first Valentine's Day...and actually think twice about doing it.
(Yeah, that's right, he's sitting!!)

you serve your husband a drink in a wine glass for your Valentine's Day dinner...but that drink is fruit punch.

you and your husband enjoy a romantic dinner at home, after the kid goes to bed...and the dinner came out of a crock pot.

even though it's Valentine's Day, one spouse falls asleep before 9pm on the couch while the other does work for the extra job he took to make ends meet...but neither feels regret about it!

you get a card from your 6 month old baby with the "e" written backwards...and it makes you cry.

* * * * * * * *

For Herb's Valentine's Day card, I stole the transcript from this year's Hallmark commercial, for the sheer reason of it made me choke up every time I saw it. 

Valentine's Day is not for saying "I love you."
It's for saying, "I love us."
I love who we are together,
how we've grown -- from our nervous conversations
to the one we two have become.
Valentine's Day is for taking the time to say,
"I love us."

If I were really thinking cleverly, I would have added something about becoming two with a high chair.

I love my two Valentine's...I can't wait to spend many more with the Herbs!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Three Men and a Lady

Tonight I had dinner with three men.  At the risk of sounding conceited, I will tell you they are the three men who will love and have loved me unlike anyone else in this world. 

There was the man who brought me into this world and has loved on me since the moment I was created. 
There was the man who committed to love and walk besided me until my last day.
There was the man boy who I've loved for his entire life and have promised to raise up to be awesome, like the first two men I mentioned.
Too much talk of men?  I can't help it.  Love is in the air.

I felt like I had come so full circle.  My dad and Herb talked about music gear like it was going out of style, while my son cuddled in his grandpa's arms wearing a pair of overalls covered in guitars. 
I thought about how lucky I am to have three dudes who care so much about me!  At one point, past or present, I was the center of each of their worlds.  Deep down, the little girl who once longed for approval and acceptance lept with joy, realizing how treasured she has been by someone her entire life.

Of course it got me thinking about how each one of these relationships - father, husband, son - represents some part of my relationship to God.  I am so grateful to have a real life example of God's love.  I know I'm blessed to have a father and a husband who measure their love against that of God's, striving to meet those oh-so-very high standards.  I can only pray that my son will live for that someday, too.
The moral of the story? 

Having a great dad and wonderful husband is more than I ever deserved. 

And Levi?  Well, he's just like finding extra fries at the bottom of the bag when you think you already finished them off. 

My love tank is FULL.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Cheap Diapers

I know I talked about doing cloth diapers, and honestly, never got around to buying them.  And here's why...

In case you are pretty savvy online, but somehow still living under a rock when it comes to diaper purchases, I must inform you of Amazon mom.  I'm so excited about this that I actually tried to talk another shopper out of buying diapers at Walmart yesterday.

Here's the deal.  If you sign up for Amazon Mom, you get 30% off their listed price for diapers when you purchase them through "Subscribe and Save."  Then the diapers come two days later (free Amazon prime, baby), and you cancel your "subscription" to the diapers.  The next time you order diapers, do the same thing. 

Additionally, if you subscribe to Parents or American Baby, you can get coupons good for an additional 20% or $10 off your purchase (the coupons are in the magazine).

What does this mean?  Recently, I purchased a box of 156 size 3 diapers for Levi.  The list price was $40, and I know is at least how much they would have been at Target.  Amazon had a coupon for $1 off said Huggies, I used the Subscribe and Save feature, and matched a 20% coupon, and TADA, I got 156 diapers for $15 with free shipping.

If you are still buying diapers at the store, you are throwing your money away!!!

Not to mention, it is super cool to have Amazon Prime free for 6 months.  Anytime I want to buy something, BAM, it's there in 2 days.  Then, everytime you make a purchase over $25, your Amazon Prime is extended for another month.

Finally, when buying wipes, I've heard you should shoot for paying $0.02 for each wipe, but I shoot for $0.01 or less. My SIL just got wipes using Amazon Mom for $0.003 per wipe.  Incredible!!

Happy shopping!