Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Weekend

This weekend was such a perfect fall weekend.  The leaves are changing and are absolutely gorgeous.  I love this time when some trees are starting to turn and are gorgeous shades of reds and yellows and oranges, and some trees are still in their full green splendor.  Saturday was close to 80 degrees and today was close to 70 degrees.  Just perfect!

Yesterday, Drew and I took Annelise over to a nearby park to shoot her 6 month pictures.  She did very well and I got so many cute images.  Here's a little sneak peak.
I literally squealed when I saw this one.  How cute is my baby?!?!

After pictures, we took my mom out to dinner for her birthday.  We went to Old Chicago.  Annelise tried some lemon (loved), avocado (not a fan), and cucumber (loved).

Today, Drew and I did a few things around the house this morning.  The guy who has been doing some work on our house, Jim, has a horse, so we met him and his daughter at the stables where he boards the horse, and took turns riding him.
Annelise wasn't quite sure what to think about it.  I do love exposing her to all these new things though.

After horseback riding, we took a quick trip to a friend's house, then home.  We grilled out for dinner and Annelise got her first taste of zucchini.
She seemed to really like it.  It was so cute to watch her suck the fleshy part from the rind part of it.  I am starting to really like feeding her solids, and she seems to really be enjoying it.  She loves to explore the new foods that I'm giving her and she does really well with moving them in her hands and to her mouth.

I'm sad that the weekend is already over.  Can you believe that it's October already?  There will be so many fun things happening this month!

Thursday, September 27, 2012


You may remember the Proverbs 31 Bible study that I did back in the beginning of summer.  When that one finished, I began looking for another one to do.  Around that time, there was a lot of buzz around blogs and twitter about Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst.  After reading the summary of the book, I knew that I had found my next Bible study, this time with Melissa Taylor.

Unglued talks about "making wise choices in the midst of raw emotions".  I think that Lysa wrote this book exactly for me!  I'm a redhead, in every sense of the word.  I have a quick, fiery temper and it does not take much to set me off.  And you know what?  I hate being that way!  I want to be in control of my emotions.  I don't want to become unglued at the smallest little thing.  I am not a freak-out woman!  Or at least, I certainly don't want to be and I am going to focus on not being one.

So far, I've read the first two chapters.  Chapter 1 - An Invitation to Imperfect Progress talks about just that, imperfect progress.  Lysa says, "Imperfect changes are slow steps of progress wrapped in grace . . . imperfect progress."  It's important to focus on making progress and understanding that a change may not come overnight.  I will have days where I succeed and days where I fall flat on my face.  The importance is to get back up and begin again, more forward.

Lysa also discusses how it's important to not focus on the past, but to "bow to the One who holds out hope for a better future".  If I have a bad moment, or a bad day, I need to learn to leave that in the past and ask God for guidance for tomorrow.

Chapter 2 - I Am Not a Freak-Out Woman is all about perspective.  One of the biggest messages is that I can face things that are out of my control and not act out of control.  It's also about learning to trust Him and that he might be giving us one challenge to prepare us for another.

During my infertility struggles, I had an epiphany one day.  I had spent so many days crying and asking God why I couldn't be blessed with a child.  Why did I have to struggle so much when I knew that I would be a good mom and knew that we deserved a child?  I begged and pleaded, screamed and cried. Then, it hit me.  If infertility was the cross that I was meant to carry, then that's really not the worst thing to happen to me.  There are people who are fighting to live every single day; people who wake up and don't know if they will have see another day.  I was alive.  I have endometriosis, but it's not killing me.  As bad as things could be for me, infertility wasn't the worst.

I have met so many fantastic women during my infertility struggle.  I think that God gave me the infertility struggle so that I could meet these women and share the journey.  I just couldn't see it in the beginning.

I am really excited to read more of Unglued.  I really think that this book and study is going to be good for me and is going to help me learn how to not be a freak-out woman.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wonder Weeks

Sleep around here has been few and far between lately.  We have been working on transitioning Annelise to her crib.  And y'all, I think that it's going to be the death of me!

Ever since we brought her home, she has slept at night in the Rock N Play in our bedroom.  Naps were taken in her swing in the living room, with the occasional nap in the RNP.  We started off the transition by first moving her RNP to her bedroom.  That went pretty well, with no major problems.

Then, I decided that I would work on getting her to nap well in her crib.  That had its rough spots, but for the most part, went decently well.  We have developed a routine of swaddling her, turning ocean on her sound machine, and nursing and rocking her to sleep.  Once she is asleep, I lay her in her crib, and she'll nap anywhere from an hour to three.  Not too shabby!

Last week, I decided that it was time to take the leap to putting her in her crib overnight.  Oh. Em. Gee!  Frustration does not even begin to describe what goes on in this house every night.  I managed to get one good night of a six and a half hour stretch.  Usually, we follow the same routine as nap time and I can get her down ok.  However, Annelise will wake up shortly after and start screaming.  I refuse to Cry It Out (CIO), so I usually go in to get her and try to do the routine all over again.  Everything goes fine and dandy until I try to lay her in her crib.  That's when all hell breaks loose.  As soon as I begin the descent into her crib, her little eyes fly open and she starts fussing and trying to sit up.  The other night, I tried putting her into her crib six times before I gave up and made Drew take over.  SIX TIMES!!!  Each time she is sound asleep in my arms.  Naps over the weekend were just as rough.  We eventually gave up with the crib and put her back in her RNP.

I have been wracking my brain to figure out what the heck the problem could be.  Then, all of a sudden, I had an epiphany.  She is going through a Wonder Week.  A wonder week is a leap in mental development.  This, of course, is affecting her mood and sleeping.  Annelise must be in Wonder Week 26, which begins around 23 weeks, peaks at 26 weeks, and lasts for one to five weeks.  Usually new skills can also appear.  In her case, she has been working on mastering sitting.  Annelise just so happened to hit 25 weeks today.

Let's just all pray that this passes quickly.  Mama needs her sleep, and honestly, so does baby!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


It's been awhile since I last posted and we have had a lot going on.  More home improvement projects are well under way.
The top picture is the microlam being put into our attic area.  Basically, the roof over our garage was being supported by 3 2x4s.  Major bad news.  It was only a matter of time, or a snowfall, before roof crashed in and created a decent sized disaster.  So, microlams were bought, along with some other lumber, and lots of additional support has been added to our roof.  The guy who inspected our house when we bought it?  Yeah, he needs to find a new job.  He overlooked something major, and had we known about it, we probably would not have bought the house.

The bottom picture is a shipment of goodies for the exterior.  Our front porch has been jacked up to where it should be, and new posts have been installed.  Drew has also removed all the awesome green turf that was on the porch and has stripped the glue off of the concrete.  I'll have to post a picture of the progress soon.

For now, here's a before shot of the front of the house.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Five Months

Dear Annelise,

This is the first month that I feel hasn't flown by in the blink of an eye.  I don't remember it any better than the rest, but it's nice that I feel like I could treasure this time with you a little more.  I really enjoy being able to stay home with you.  I love that I am able to watch you grow and learn and catch all of your new little moments.

You most definitely have said your first word - MOM!  I'm not the only one who has heard it either -   Dad, Grandpa, Aunt Rachel, Grandma - they've all heard it too.  So, I'm not crazy!  Sometimes it comes out like "mom" and sometimes it's just "ma".  You really only say it when you're fussing and you want me.  I don't know if you really understand the connection between the word and me, but I like to think that you do.  You say the word if you want me, like if you're fussing in  your swing, or if someone else is holding you.  You never say it when I am actually holding you or engaging with you.
Earlier this month, you had your first trip to a fair.  I carried you in the Moby wrap and you really seemed to like it.  You loved to be held, and I liked being able to hold you close to me with all of those people around.  Once you started to get tired, I bounced you a little bit and you fell right to sleep.

You really are not a fan of just laying on the ground and playing.  You would much rather be sitting up, able to see things, and play that way.  If I sit you on the floor, I'll place your Boppy behind you and you are able to sit up well that way.  You still need to work on your balance some.  If I sit you on a soft surface, such as the couch or the bed, you can sit for a short length of time without any assistance.  Again, it's really just the balance that you need to work on.  It won't be long before you are a full time sitter.

You upped the shriek volume this month!  You had a period of a week or two where you were quite vocal.  You've backed off some in the past week or so, but you still do get loud at times.  I love to hear you shriek with joy while you're playing.
Lately, your favorite activity when I put you on the changing table and change you, is to grab your feet and suck on your toes.  Seriously, it is so adorable to me!  I have quite a few pictures of you doing it, and I'm sure that there will be many more.

You have gotten so good at grabbing things with your hands.  Everything still goes in your mouth.  New things get inspected for a little bit longer than the things that you already know.  You have gotten very interested in the remote control and my phone.  The other day, we were over at some friend's house playing poker, and I handed you a poker chip to play with.  You did very well with grabbing it!

Maya is so exciting to you.  You just love her to pieces.  I watch your face light up when you notice her around you.  If she comes over, you turn your face towards her and open your mouth for a kiss.  That kind of grosses me out, but you really seem to love it!  We definitely need to work on petting her gently.  So far, you've just grabbed her fur.  Maya is NOT a fan of that!

You are always moving, and I know that this is just the beginning.  You are such a little wiggle worm.  I love when I hold you on my hip and you get excited and start kicking your legs.  You are always craning your neck around to see things.  You are such an observant little thing!
I want to start transitioning you to sleeping in your crib.  Right now, you sleep at night in the Rock N Play in Mom and Dad's room, and you nap in your swing.  I thought that the problem was you sleeping flat on your back instead of cocooned by those different things.  However, that doesn't appear to be the problem because I've nursed you to sleep in the mornings and you've slept for a couple of hours in the big bed.  You have even woken up and fallen back to sleep.  So, now I realize that the problem is the "drop" into the open space of your crib.  I'm still trying to work out a solution to that.

You weigh about 15 pounds, wear 3-6 month clothes, and you are still wearing a size 2 diaper.  We'll probably start transitioning you to 6-9 month clothes and size 3 diapers soon.

I love you more than words can say.  Annelise, I love watching all of the new things that you are learning and seeing the beautiful girl that you are growing into.  I thank God so much for you.  You are truly an answer to so many prayers!

Love you forever,