Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Visiting with Family

Jake's mom and grandma were able to come for a visit last weekend. It was their first time meeting Ryan! They came over to our place for dinner, along with Zac [Jake's brother] and Katie [Zac's fiancĂ©e]. We had hamburgers on the grill, jo-jo potatoes, spinach salad and for dessert, peach and strawberry cobbler with ice cream. 

After dinner, we went to the hotel where they were staying for a swim. Grandma, Ryan and I sat at a table near the pool and the others enjoyed the hot tub. We met grandma and karla at a restaurant for breakfast the next morning, and then they left. It was a short visit, but it was good to see them!!

 [grandma, karla, zac and katie]

[four generations: great grandma joan, jake, ryan and grandma karla]

[grandma karla and ryan]

[so content]

[happy baby!]

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sewing Project: Baby Sleeper

As one of my "I'm bored, pregnant and without a car" projects a few months ago, I found an idea from the blog, "This Mama Makes Stuff" to make a baby sleeper out of an old long sleeved t-shirt. You can follow her instructions there, but here are the pictures of my favorite one that I made! 

[my modification: gathering the sleeves so they lay neater]

[my modification: making fold over sleeves]

Unfortunately... the combination of making the sleeper not long enough, and having a super long baby has equaled out to Ryan not wearing this, even once. But it's cute, right?! :]

Doctors have their place...

...but sometimes you just gotta take all their "advice" and what they want you to do, and chuck it out the window. I had a hard time following my gut, my "mama instinct," even though I felt that all the 'interventions' were unnecessary... but finally, I kindly but firmly put my foot down, said "enough is enough," and decided to stop pumping, using a bottle, using formula, etc. I started to do what I had wanted to do all along: exclusively breastfeed Ryan. And guess what? He's gaining weight. He is 9lbs on the nose at 6 weeks old. I need to learn to trust my instinct as a mother more.

Other than for obvious reasons [benefits, health, etc], I really like that Ryan is breastfed... that means I get a lot of extra cuddle time that no one else can get with him. It's hard enough for me to 'share' him with other people sometimes... but at least I know that I'll get him back every two to three hours ;]

[photos courtesy of my sister Erin]

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's amazing... from something so cute, cuddly and little... 

...can something so gross come from...

...mustard, anyone? :]

I know a "just you wait 'till he starts eating solid foods" comment will be coming... haha!

Sewing Project: Baby Blanket

This is a baby blanket I made before Ryan was born, but was unable to show you because... well... it is quite gender specific. :] I had some leftover fabric, so I made a few burp rags... good thing, too, as they are the only ones we have!!

Materials used:

*3 flannel receiving blankets [from the thrift store]
*one of Jake's old sweaters [one of my favorites that he used to wear, but didn't fit him anymore]
*1 pillow case [from the thrift store]

 [folded in half]

 [see how I included the little eagle emblem from Jake's sweater? *grin*]

[burp cloths]

Monday, March 7, 2011

[one month]

Ryan was one month old on Thursday! It's kind of hard to believe... it really doesn't feel like he has been around that long. Time flies when you are having fun! He is still such a peanut... well, a long peanut. He only weighs 4oz more than when he was born [so he weighs 8lbs, 6oz now]. We will DEFINITELY be retiring the newborn clothes soon for length reasons as opposed to weight reasons! He looks scrawny in his legs and arms because he is growing longer but not really much 'bigger' yet. His belly is cute and round, though. 

A home health nurse has come twice in the last two weeks to check his weight and comes once more this week. He had an appointment with the pediatrician on Monday and she was very happy with how he looked... very little yellow color, more alert, etc. We don't have to go back until his 2 month appointment unless we are concerned about the jaundice. His face does seem yellow still, but that's the last place for it to leave... it starts in the head, works its way down the body and then back up. So it would be more concerning if his torso and legs were yellow, which they aren't.

I stopped giving him formula on Thursday. I just didn't want to do it anymore. I understood the reason for it in the hospital; so he would have extra fluids to prevent dehydration and so he could flush out the jaundice. But supplementing with it just so he gains weight [what the pediatrician wanted me to do] did not make sense to me. Don't babies gain weight at different rates than each other [rhetorical question]? I did a lot of reading, on and other places and it just re-affirmed in my heart, in my gut, about what I was thinking and feeling about formula. Formula definitely has its place and is sometimes necessary; it's not "evil," by any means. But in my heart of hearts, I just felt like it wasn't necessary now, unlike it had been before. I'm home with him all the time, and am able to feed on demand. So I stopped. 

I met with a lactation consultant on Saturday. She doesn't think the problem with BFing at all is my supply, but rather that he isn't a good sucker. He does so much pacify sucking and not the "suck, suck, swallow" that he should be. He has a strong suck but isn't very efficient. She was fine with me not supplementing with formula, but still wanted me to pump after every feeding [minus the night time ones, unless I wanted to] and bottle feed him that ounce or so or whatever I get. So that's what we do now. I was willing to do just about anything to keep breastfeeding, so I'm pretty happy with where we are at right now.

Other than all that stuff, it's going really well. He is such a good baby. Obviously, he is a baby... which as we all knows = pooping, crying, etc. But his personality is so mild and he is really calm and content most of the time. I'm not trying to put him on a routine by any means [my frustration with people putting babies on routines so young is another post for another day], but I can already tell that he has kind of a pattern with his day, and it's nice. For the most part, he just isn't a fussy baby... and boy, does he like his sleep at night. He usually wakes on his own at night time, but I sometimes get him up. I don't go longer than four hours, even though I probably 'could...' just to get those extra calories in him. After he nurses, he gets his diaper changed, is swaddled, rocked for about ten minutes and then he stays asleep  inthe pack n play until the next feeding.

I'm not going to lie: after all I've been through this last year, with Africa and the hard pregnancy... then the rough times in the hospitals and with breastfeeding problems... it's kind of nice to have things calm down significantly. Jake has been an absolute blessing... he is such a servant and is taking such good care of us. And he loves his little boy so much... I love to see him talk to Ryan, give him kisses... it's so sweet.

We have another home health visit on Thursday; I'll be able to update more about him then [weight, length, etc]. But for now, here are a few pictures of my sweet little boy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

In Celebration of the Last Three Years...

Today is our 3rd anniversary. I can't believe we have been married for three years! We have gone through in our marriage... so many good things, some hard things... challenging, growing experiences. It's so fun to look back and see where we've come from; what we've gone through, and how we have changed. I'm so thankful for Jake; he is such an awesome husband. And now, such an awesome father! I am so, so, so blessed. 

Three years ago, almost to the hour, we said "I do" and shared these vows with each other: 

"i promise... hold you accountable in your walk with Christ. seek the truth when tempted by lies. stay present when I want to turn away. choose compassion when anger feels easier. embrace your needs and care about them like my own. turn to you for comfort in all times. love your family like my own. nurture you with love, joy and passion. be a partner in your life, and invite you to be a partner in mine,

until we lay in the arms of Christ."

And just for fun, here's some wedding pictures from the wonderful day!