Sunday, July 31, 2011

10 Months Old

This goofy girl is ten months old! She is definitely her own person now, with clear opinions, a quirky sense of humor and an overly adventurous spirit.
Here she was attempting to wrangle the camera. Successfully. She's into everything, "Charlie-crawling" any where she wants to be. I just caught her in a cubby of our bookcase, spinning the three globes that rest there. She's just started pulling up on anything (or anyone) she can reach, and loves nothing more than things that aren't toys.
It is now impossible to get her to be still for a picture. The majority of the pictures I've taken lately are of the top of her cute little head. Which is still quite bald. But considering that's where she wipes her food covered hands after a meal, maybe bald isn't so bad.
She's up to three meals a day with plenty of bottles between.
She's way to long for any of her pants...good thing it's finally summer weather.
She's learned to give kisses...very friendly kisses :)
She claps like it's going out of style.
When playing peek a boo, she now hides for up to 30 seconds before pulling away from whatever object she's using with a "Da!"
She still doesn't use any words discriminately, but she does jabber a lot.
She averages 9 hours of sleep a night, three hours of naps a day.
Shoes make her happy. Just like her mama.
She's back in her crib, with no sign of missing her tiny pack'n'play.
She's still rocking two teeth, but actively working on a third.
She is violently opposed to green veggies, meat, and cinnamon.
She is daring, throwing herself to where she wants to be, and has bumps and bruises to prove it.
She is never happier than when you are helping her flip, dangling her upside down, or letting her scale furniture.
She's awesome.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What's Charlie Wearing Wednesday

Last week was unseasonably cool, even for Seattle, so long pants were sported all week. Here, Charlie is wearing a ruffle onesie from Old Navy, found on clearance for somewhere around $2.
The pants are Carter's from a set with a long sleeved onesie - a gift. And the socks were also a gift, I'm not sure of the brand, but they originally had little rosebuds sewn all over them. Those were removed after a couple of wears, leaving us with little mary janes.
This is the second top that I put Charlie in for these pictures - teething = puking around these parts, so wardrobe changes are constant...these are also the first pictures of her holding herself up without someones hands hovering behind to catch her if she falls. Which she did - flat on her back. Oops.
Both the top and pants are Old Navy, both clearance for under $3 a pop. The pants (which have gold polka dots change from Capri's to Bermuda shorts, and were such a good deal I bought them in multiple colors and sizes...Tomorrow Charlie will be 10 months old, so we'll be posting more pictures soon, as well as what she's up to these days. I'm still working out a post with an update on how we're doing post-Isaiah, so that should appear soon too. Have a good day, friends!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Charlie's New Stuff

The girl is growing. Rapidly. So, I've been shopping. Thriftily.
I have been waiting and waiting for these to go on sale. They were $10 at Target, yesterday I found them for $4.

I love Melissa&Doug products. I found they're wooden blocks on sale at the As Seen on TV store at the Supermall of all places. $13.

I've been smushing her feet into size 3's for months, so I caved and got her a bunch of size 4 & 5's.
Koala's - $3 st Old Navy, Pink Mary Janes - free at TJ Maxx with gift card (Thanks Chie!), Pink Patent Leather Mary Janes - $3 at Kid to Kid consignment shop, Blue sandals - $6 at Old Navy, Fuchsia boots - $3 at Kid to Kid.
Melissa&Doug stacking boxes, free at TJ Maxx
Charlie's wardrobe has so far been primarily provided by baby shower gifts. She's now reached the size where people rarely give gifts in, so I'm slowly stocking up on 18 & 24 month items. Here's what I have from Kid to Kid (total spend, probably less than $30)
Lots of fleece Carter's sleepers for the winter
Cherokee sweater dress, Old Navy gingham dress
Cherokee motorcycle jacket, Gymboree rain coatChristmas Carter's sleepers - snowmen and penguins
In my experience with baby shopping, patience and scavenging used clothing saves you a TON. Everything goes on sale, and you can nearly always find the "current styles" used. (Cause baby styles change all the time, right?)
So, there you have it. Grown up stuff for my growing up baby.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What's Charlie Wearing Wednesday

Charlie is becoming a ham as she gets older. She knows what to do when the camera comes out (most of the time), though she's having more trouble sitting still than she used to.
This outfit was a gift from our friend Zib. It's a little Carter's ditty, complete with ruffle butt, and a bee embroidered on the front. Cute, easy on, easy off, what more could you want?
See what I mean about the ham? That third picture cracks me up. It barely even looks like her. This outfit is from our friend Laura, and she brought it back from a shop in Australia, called Charlie Belle, believe it or not. It's so cute with the patchwork elephant and super ruffle butt.
As for the rest of us, we're doing pretty well. Tim is back to more than full time work (but he has this weekend off to celebrate our 7th anniversary), I'm coming out of my funk a bit, even going so far as to clean two different rooms today. I'm blessed to have many friends willing to distract me or listen to me, depending on my mood. Charlie is ever moving, keeping me on my toes. She's still resistant to crawling, but the allure of things out of reach is getting to her, so I don't think her resistance will hold much longer.
Physically, I'm still dealing with contractions as my body returns to normal, which is emotionally challenging, because a lot of the movements I feel are so similar to baby movements. It doesn't help the yearning to hold my baby when I feel like he's still in there squirming around, and have to remind myself that he's gone.
Blessedly, Charlie has been a joy. The past two days she's woken too early, so I've given her a bottle and then laid her on my chest until she falls back asleep. Then, two hours or so later, I wake to a tiny finger tracing down my nose, and open my eyes to huge blue ones staring back and giddy laughter. It's been the highlight of my day. Tonight she woke up 45 minutes after I put her to bed, and as I held her and coaxed her back to sleep she gazed at me with heavy eyes and just grinned and giggled herself to sleep. She's also been extra cuddly, holding me together when I feel like I might fall apart. She's such a blessing. I love her.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In a parallel universe...

...I would be getting ready to go find out I was having a boy, instead of getting ready to pick our car up from the shop.
...I would be meeting my friend Meghan there, and she would play with and distract Charlie.
...I would be heading to the store to buy this, and putting it in a box with a blue balloon that would float out when opened.
...I would be driving to Tim's office to surprise him with said box.
It was going to be a great day.
Truthfully, I don't always have the holiest outlook on this situation.
Yesterday I sat down with my coffee, looked at Tim and burst into tears, complaining that my "human" summer clothes (read, not maternity) were out of style. He offered to take me shopping for new clothes, and I got even weepier, saying, "But I don't want to wear regular clothes! I want to be pregnant!" Poor guy. He couldn't win.
I wish, much to frequently, for a mulligan. Just a little trek back to a few weeks ago, and everything could go differently.
I continually scold myself for having complained about anything pregnancy related, and for worrying about logistics instead of enjoying the life within me.
Grieving is an unpredictable process, one I sometimes handle with grace, and other times with petty selfishness and whining.
If I'm being honest.
There's no real point to this post, just thoughts running through my head, needing an outlet.

Monday, July 11, 2011

For my birthday, I had a son

(This will be long, and hard...feel free to skip it. I just want to log it while it's fresh in my memory, and this is pretty much the only place I write...)
Wednesday July 6th, I went in for my 19 week OB exam. I was vaguely worried, because I'd been feeling the baby move for a few weeks, and the last 4 days or so I hadn't. I'd also noticed that suddenly things were too spicy...and impossibility the week before. I pushed these things out of my head and walked through the office doors. A half hour later, the fear I'd refused to acknowledge was confirmed as my doctor fruitlessly searched for the baby's heartbeat. She wheeled in an ultrasound machine, keeping it turned away from me, then took me to a bigger ultrasound machine and showed me my little baby, and its missing heartbeat.
I was given a few minutes to collect myself and call Tim, then was given an insane amount of information about how to proceed, most of which bounced right off of my ringing ears. I came away with the understanding that one way or another, I was delivering our tiny beloved baby on Friday.
Thursday afternoon I was given laminaria, a seaweed based induction agent. I went home to let the process start overnight. Friday morning, Tim and I checked into the birth center, were put in a secluded room (they were sensitive to keep us apart from evidence of live births) and introduced us to our nurse, Evie. I began sobbing as soon as the nurse entered the room, so she gave us some time to come to terms with the reason we were there. Soon after that, my OB came in and removed the laminaria and started me on cytotec, which would continue my dilation and kick start labor. For the next several hours I experienced increasingly stronger contractions while Tim and I researched names with beautiful and hopeful meanings. We tucked prospective names in the back of our minds, and read Psalm 139 for comfort. We discussed God's grace upon unborn babies, and our faith that He was already holding this little one I was cherishing in my womb.
Tim's parents brought Charlie in to see us, since it had become clear that this wouldn't be a quick process, and we would be spending our first night away from her. Unfortunately, this time was when my contractions started getting more painful, and I had to stop everything when I had one - about every 4-5 minutes. I hung in for awhile, but could tell I was grouchy and impatient, so we called for an epidural and said goodbye to Charlie and Tim's parents. It was about 4:00. The epidural was given around 4:45, and it hurt. A lot. I said "Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow," which surprised Tim, because I tend to be silent in my pain, but as soon as the medicine started I completely forgot that there was ever pain. Pretty soon I felt no pain, just a lot of heaviness in my legs. I was completely paralyzed, and my feet were hanging heavily off the bed (this is one time that long legs was not a blessing). I continually made Tim shift my leg to a more comfortable position, and was amazed that he could lift those 1000 ton things.
At this point I was given another dose of cytotec, and told how I was progressing. My dad came to visit after this exam, and just sat with us for a few hours. We talked a little, watched some How I Met Your Mother, and just whiled away the time. He left around 7, and Tim and looked at names a little more. Our nurses switched. Maria tended to my every need, almost seemed to know them before I told her. My blood pressure had been low and inconsistent ever since the epidural, so she called the anaesthesiologist in the adjust my dosage, and she checked on me constantly. I was given meds to bring my blood pressure back up, and then I tried to sleep, and Tim fell asleep immediately. A few hours later I felt the pressure shift, and I new I was about to deliver. It was about 11:00, and I started saying, "Tim." Nothing. "Tim. Tim. TIM. TIM!" Finally, he woke, and called the nurse, trying to explain what I had told him, ending with "but you should probably come talk to her, cause I'm half asleep." Maria came in, and saw that the water bag was coming, called the doctor and told me just to breathe.
My doctor came in, explained what she was seeing, and then told me she had an emergency c-section to do, and asked me to fight against the urge to push, she'd be back in a half hour. Another doctor was made aware, and a few minutes later I woke Tim again (he was tired) and told him it was time, and get the nurse now.
Maria, a doctor and another nurse came in. Despite my not pushing, the intact water bag holding the baby had slipped out with the help of contractions. I pushed to get the placenta out, though I couldn't feel if I was pushing, so I was constantly apologizing and asking if I was doing it. Eventually the doctor opened the bag, and the baby was cleaned.
The nurse told us "It's a little boy," and Tim began sobbing. They brought him to us, and Tim held him first. He was the size of my hand, not fully formed, but his tiny face already had similarities to Charlie's face, his hands, smaller than dimes had all their fingers, and the smallest fingernails you can imagine. His feet were the same way, tiny and beautiful.
I held my son in my arms just after midnight, as the day became my 30th birthday. He looked so peaceful, like he was sleeping, cradled in my hands. I looked at Tim, and, in my post delivery haze, I said, "I know we haven't talked about this name, but what about Isaiah, since we've found such comfort in the Isaiah 139 passage?" Tim immediately agreed that it was perfect, and seconds later we realized that the passage was Psalm 139, but we didn't care. His name was Isaiah. It came out of nowhere, but fit better than any of the other names we'd discussed.
We passed him back and forth between us, took pictures, touched his tiny hands, and talked with him. I told him I loved him, that I was so sorry he couldn't stay with us, and that we would always miss him.
Eventually we gave him to the nurse, sobbing. She carefully took hand and footprints, made a mold of his footprints, and called the photography company to schedule an early morning session. They told her that they only do pictures for babies 20 weeks or older, so this amazing woman bought a disposable camera, dressed our baby and took pictures in the studio for us. She was amazing, going above and beyond in every way.
It was about 2 am, and Tim and I went to sleep. I woke a few hours later, and Maria changed my bedding and whispered, "Next time, He will have a happier ending for you." She then told me Isaiah's measurements, 9 ounces, 7.9 inches. She told me she'd taken the pictures, and we could get them developed when we were ready, and put a fabric keepsake box on my bedside table, telling me to open it later.
In the morning I opened the box and found cards from the whole nursing staff, the mold of his footprints, cards with his hand and footprints, a tiny blue teddy bear, a journal, a sachet and a few other trinkets.
A few hours later we were discharged.
I was dreading sharing my birthday with this event. But, as it unfolded, I found it to be so much more peaceful and healing than I expected. If you can only hold your baby one time, it should be on a momentous and memorable day...I love that I share my birthday with him. It can't be overlooked or forgotten, it's a part of my life.
He will be missed and longed for every day, but we know that the Lord is holding him close. Isaiah's name means "Yahweh is my salvation," and that is where our comfort lies. His accidental name is perfect.
Psalm 139:13-16
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Made By Me Monday/4th of July

I hope everyone had a happy 4th! I had a lot of fun dressing Charlie up in red white and blue, playing Monopoly with Tim and eating a giant meal of ribs, corn on the cob, salad, watermelon and bread, followed by strawberry shortcake at my dad's.
Charlie wasn't so excited about posing for a picture initially, but Tim and I stuck with it, and got some cute shots of the Squirt. Notice the red shoes...I have some very similar:
For the Made By Me Monday portion, I attempted to make
white chocolate strawberries with blue sugar sprinkles. But, I couldn't find the sprinkles. So, I went with red white and blue candy sprinkles. The didn't turn out as pretty as I'd hoped, and before I was half way done the chocolate clumped up and we got a few festive strawberries out of the deal. But they tasted good!
We didn't blow up, or even watch any fireworks (we saw one by accident while we were loading the car.) We were more concerned with getting Charlie to sleep despite the noise and keeping her cool on such a toasty evening. But we're fine with that. Explosives aren't really our thing.
Did you do anything fun and delightful?

What's Charlie Wearing Wednesday (Belated)/39 Weeks/9 Months

It's unbelievable to me that my baby has been here for 9 full months. It just so happened that her 39 week mark and her 9 month mark both landed last Wednesday.
Charlie was born at 39 weeks exactly, so she's been in this world as long as she resided in my belly. I loved feeling her roll around in there, but I definitely prefer to snuggle her in my arms.
Okay, down to business. Charlie is wearing:
A romper by Carters, bought at Costco, for something like $5.
Done with business.
9 month Charlie:
Has little enough hair that I have to sunscreen the top of her head, but enough hair that sunscreen makes it do this:
Has finally found an appreciation for the sun, so walks and parking lots have become more enjoyable.
She sleeps through the night most of the time, sleeping anywhere from 7:30-8:30 pm until 7:30 to 8:30 am. And the people rejoiced. She sleeps in such strange positions, however, that after Tim checks on her before bed I've been know to ask him, "Does she look happy, sleepy and awkward?" If the answer is yes to these questions, we're probably in for a good nights sleep.
She is completely weaned, though she will still attempt to climb down my shirt on occasion. She drinks her weight in formula (you think I'm kidding...) so we're grateful that she's a fan of the Kirkland Signature stuff ($16! Bargain).
She's finally fitting into size three diapers, after an awkward phase where size 2 was too small and size 3 were giant.
She won't crawl. She will flip the top half of her body sideways and push herself along by her feet in a pinch, dragging her head along the ground.
She's rather be standing (with help) or walking (with help) than doing almost anything.
She LOVES any crunchy baby snacks, but it takes an army to get her to eat jar food.
She's napping consistently for an hour plus! And the people rejoice again.
She's saying everything you'd expect a 9 month old to say, but so far hasn't seemed to connect words with objects or people.
She loves giving zerbits and eating peoples faces. I'm not kidding, she literally chews on any girls face that will come near enough. No boys though.
She claps constantly, climbs over people, and loves to show off her two shiny teeth.
That's probably as much and more than any of you wanted to know, but gushing is in a mom's job description.
Momentarily you will see 4th of July fun. Stay tuned.