Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One Year Later: Adam's Perspective

One thing I will always give Adam credit for is how well he handled everything surrounding my surgery a year ago. From the minute he found out about it, he was supportive. He said it was even a little bit of a relief to know it's all over with. No more worries about abnormal cell growth, bleeding, and hormones. He was completely fine with the surgery closing any chance he ever had at having a biological child. He was already excited to be a father through adoption.

I had no idea until months later how scared he was during that time.

I started getting clues from a few things he said in the summer. He would say things like just thinking of  Christmas time made him feel sick. That he pictured me in the hospital everytime he thought about Christmas.

Then at Halloween, I took something out of our Halloween box and it had a post-it note on it. You may remember that before my surgery last year I wrote post-it notes on things in case I died (I know, morbid.) or I was too sick to tell people about their presents. I often get Adam Halloween things for Christmas because he loves Halloween so much. It went right into our Halloween box and it still had the post-it note. Finding it was hilarious to me. When I showed it to Adam, I was laughing, but he looked so serious. He said it wasn't funny.

Even getting Christmas decorations out a few weeks ago reminded him of everything we went through last year.

I will admit last Christmas is a complete haze to me. I found presents months later that I had no memory of opening. When I saw the ornament box this year I was confused about where some things were and why I would have put it away like that. Then I realized that for the first time ever I wasn't the one who put everything away.

Now that we have all the decoration up and have started to make new Christmas memories, I think it has helped Adam take his mind off of last year. Now it seems to be all about Jayden's first Christmas.

Sometimes I forget Adam is more sensitive than he seems. From the outside he is a 6'6" football player. On the inside he is someone who went through a lot last year and had to remain strong for me.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What a Difference a Year Makes

Exactly a year ago at this time I was in the hospital after my hysterectomy.

I had planned on writing a whole post about how much can change in one year. I have been thinking about it all day. It's overwhelming to think about. I wish I could go back to exactly a year ago and tell myself it will all be okay.

But, between having a sick baby and getting ready for Christmas, I am exhausted and have no time to write the post I had planned. I hope to come back to this at some point.


(Jayden is okay. He has bronchiolitis, which is basically just a cold for most people. But with babies under 6 months it can be more serious. He went to the doctor Friday night and then they had us come back to be checked on Saturday. In that time his lungs sounded worse so they did a breathing treatment and it helped. They sent us home with the machine to do it here every 4 hours. He is getting better a little at a time.)

I do want to say that blogging has been an essential tool in my recovery. It really helped me explore my feelings and come to terms with my surgery. Thank you all so much for being a part of that. I can honestly say your support made a difference.

Friday, December 17, 2010

3 months

Birth:


One Month:



Two Months:





Three Months:









On December 11, Jayden turned 3 months old.

We weighed him at my Aunt's house that day and he was somewhere between 11 1/2-12 lbs with clothes and a cloth diaper on.

It's safe to say we have colic behind us and he is a very happy baby. Lots of smiles and baby babble.

For the most part, he is sleeping through the night from around 10 or 11 PM  to 5 or 6 AM.

He notices the things around him more than he used to. He loves the Christmas tree. If he notices something is different, he thinks it is funny. Like if I have a towel on my head after a shower, that is very funny to him. I have bright colored pajamas that make him laugh too.




He loves to put his hands in his mouth!


He loves his playmat!


He rolled over on 11/28! We thought it was just a fluke, but then he did it 3 more times the same night. My Mom came over a week later and said she wanted to see him do it. I said he hadn't done it since the first day so he probably would not do it. But, she put him down, and he rolled over right away!


He loves his Bumbo seat.

We are really looking forward to Christmas. Adam and I both took some time off, which we have never done before. Adam took the whole week after Christmas off and I am only working Wednesday and Thursday. The best thing of all is that my sister, brother in law, brother, and sister in law are all coming home from Christmas Eve until New Years. We are going to have the best time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Our First Couple Weeks of Cloth Diapering


Thank you for all the advice on my last cloth diaper post! You were all a huge help!!

The rest of our supplies arrived and we began cloth diapering about two and a half weeks ago.

It's going very well. Suprisingly well.

Last night Adam and I were talking about how it's really not as bad as we thought it would be. He was making me laugh as he was doing impressions of different people's reactions to us saying we were planning on doing cloth diapering. It was like we had told them we planned on swimming with sharks.

My mom always supported us in it and kept reassuring me it was not a big deal and she did it for me and my sister and brother when we were babies. And back then they didn't have all the cool stuff we have now like diaper sprayers and all in one diapers. I am so glad we listened to her and did it. 

I have a low tolerance for gross stuff. I am the kind of person who gags when cleaning up cat throw up. I really worried that I didn't have the stomach for this, but it's really not bothering me at all.

The diaper sprayer is a must have. I read a few reviews that made me nervous, but it was very easy to install and we have had no problems with it. And it makes the poopy diapers so easy to clean. We love it.

We're using mostly BumGenius diapers. We also have a few FuzziBunz. I highly recommend both of them. They're great. So easy to use and no problems with leaking.

We're using Rocking Green detergent and it seems to be working well. We also bought thirsties pre-wash. We haven't used it yet, but I figured we would use it on really dirty loads.

I stuff the inserts in the diapers all at once after bringing them up from the wash. That way they are ready to go when I need them. I put all the stuffed diapers in a diaper stacker next to the changing table. We use a diaper pail and liner from Cotton Babies and that is next to the changing table too.

We decided to use a wipe warmer for the cloth wipes. It takes a long time for water coming from our faucet to warm up, especially in the winter, so we thought it would be too much of a hassle to do it that way. It's much easier to have the wipes ready to go. I make a batch of the wipes solution, dunk the wipes in it, then roll each wipe and stack them in the wipe warmer. It's lasts a few days. I wash the wipes right with his diapers. He has had no issues with diaper rash since we stopped using disposable wipes. He used to scream when he got his diaper change, now he smiles when we use the warm wipes on him. He loves it.

If anyone out there has been considering switching to cloth, I encourage you to try it. I am so happy we did.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful...

The snow adds more work to the morning routine around here. It's no easy task to get a group of kids ready for school in the morning. But, we've been doing it a couple years and we have a good routine.

All hats, gloves, scarves, etc go into the sleeves of their coats so they don't get lost or mixed up. When it's time to get ready for buses, everyone puts on their coats, hats, scarves, and book bags in the living room. I go around and tie scarves for kids who need it. Or I match them up with scarf buddies. Next they get their boots from the shoe mat and put them on by the side door. Gloves go on last. When they are done with everything, they head out to the driveway and get in line. I'm always the last one out the door and then we head to the bus stop. (Which is also no easy thing since sidewalks are almost never plowed.)

You have to leave extra time in the morning on snowy days, but our system works. Routines and structure are the only way to have smooth mornings. (Our breakfast routine is a thing of beauty.)

This year everything changed. A baby was added into the mix. Now not only do I need to get all the kids ready, and myself, I also have to bundle Jayden up. I put him in a couple layers of clothes, then add a jacket. He wears socks plus warm booties. Then gloves and a hat. Then a snowsuit over all of that. All that work for about ten minutes total of being outside.


As you can see from the picture, he is not bothered by it all. He slept through the entire trip to the bus stop this morning.

Now the only thing I need to figure out is how to keep up with shoveling the driveway. I used to always shovel it before the kids came back in the afternoon but now I obviously can't do that since I have to be in the house with Jayden. At night Adam shovels it by himself, which I feel bad about. We used to go out together and it would be so much faster. The two things we can't seem to keep up with around here are laundry and snow.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Giant Leap into 2010

Up until about a week ago, this was our television. Seriously.



It was a hand me down that we got when we lived in our apartment 9 years ago. (The TV itself is obviously from the 80's.) We told ourselves it was free so we would just use it a couple years and then get a new one. Well, as time went by we kept saying that we could not justify spending the money when we had a working television. We decided to just use it until it died. It survived three moves and many years. It kept going strong. One time a cable guy came and laughed out loud when he saw it.

As Black Friday approached this year it was all over the news that some of the biggest sales would be on televisions. We knew it's only a matter of time until our TV would just finally give up so we thought this might be a good time to make the switch.

In the left of the picture, in front of the fireplace, you can see the new TV stand we bought and put together last weekend. I don't have a final picture because today we are in the process of moving everything around to make room for the Christmas tree.

But, we have officially made a giant leap into 2010 and have a new TV.

Who knew it would be so complicated? Apparently our old TiVo didn't work with it because our TV was HD and our TiVo was not. Then a cable guy had to come put a cable card in. Then they mailed us a tuner we had to hook up. We also needed a TV stand because we obviously never had one before. It ended up being a way bigger deal than I thought. But, wow. It looks amazing.

Adam refuses to get a cell phone and still uses pay phones if he's out and needs to use a phone, but one step at a time.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful

Yesterday somebody commented on my blog post from a year ago and it made me go back and read it. I really liked it, so I am going to post it again. I remember how truly thankful I felt as I wrote this list. What a difference a year can make.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am Thankful

I am thankful for Adam. We have been through a lot in the past nine years and he has been amazing through it all. He deserves his own post.

I am thankful for my cats. I love my babies so much.

I am thankful that my family can get together and have a really good time together. Interesting conversations, lots of laughter, and so much fun. I am really looking forward to all of us being together at Christmas.

I am thankful that my parents live only 20 minutes away and we see them on a regular basis. I am also thankful that Adam enjoys spending time with my parents.

I am thankful for my doctor. She was stuck giving me my biopsy results over the phone, but she did a good job. She gave me her personal cell phone number to call her if I needed to talk about it more. How many doctors are willing to do that? Then she sat down and talked to me right before my D&C surgery and made sure I was okay. I had tears streaming down my face during the entire conversation, but she made me feel like I would be okay no matter what happened next. She is really supportive and I feel like she is doing everything she can for me.

I am thankful that we have medical insurance. We are very lucky.

I am thankful that I was able to start a business from home so when our baby comes, I will be home with him/her.

I am thankful for all the parents and children I work with. They are really good people. I am lucky.

I am thankful that I have a mom that I can tell anything to and who is always there for me. She is my best friend.

I am thankful for my adoption friends. It is so nice to have people who really understand. They are so supportive and even though they have already adopted, they are still there for me. They are still giving me pep talks and reminding me that my time will come.

I am thankful for our house. It took us a long time to save up and buy a house. It's not big or fancy, but I would not trade it for any other house in the world. I love it.

I am thankful for all my twitter friends. So much love and support. So many laughs. I love you all.

I am thankful for Facebook for helping me keep in touch with old friends. Even if it is sometimes hard to look at baby bumps, sonograms, and birth announcements everyday.

I am thankful for my TiVo. I love it. I am sorry if that is too materialistic, but I do. Also, my lap top.

I am thankful that my sister and brother married awesome people. And that all 6 of us can get together and have the BEST time together. I just wish it could happen more often!!

I am thankful that Adam and I chose adoption. That we are homestudy approved and it's only a matter of time before our baby finds us.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Never Underestimate the Power of Jayden Pictures

Years ago my sister and brother in law announced they will never come home for Thanksgiving again because the traffic is too much to deal with. The holiday makes the 7 hour drive a lot longer.

Logically, I understand.

But, my heart has been hurting because I so badly want my sister home for Thanksgiving this year.

So, I have been sending her text messages with pictures of Jayden asking for Aunt Katie to come home. (I know, it's not playing fair, haha.)

Guess what....my sister called Friday night and THEY ARE COMING HOME FOR THANKSGIVING!!!

YAAAAAY!

They are going to wait to leave Thursday morning instead of Wednesday evening, which should eliminate some of the traffic. I'm so excited. Jayden has changed so much since the last time she was home in the beginning of October. I can't wait.

SO HAPPY!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Please Tell Me Everything You Know About Cloth Diapers

I am about to start cloth diapering (finally!) and I need all the help I can get!

We will be using BumGenius One Size 4.0, plus a couple Fuzzibunz. We have a mix of velcro and snaps.

We have ordered this diaper pail and pail liner. We also ordered the diaper sprayer that hooks up to the back of the toilet.

I think we are going to use Allen's Naturally detergent, although we have not bought any yet. I might order some Rockin Green too.

The thing I have no clue about is washing. Help! Any and all information/advice you can give is welcome!

You have to wash them before you start using them, right? More than one time?

Then once they are dirty, what is a typical wash cycle like? I have a top loading washer that is about 8 years old.

Do you hang the diapers to dry or put them in the dryer?

Oh, and one last thing-- What about wipes? What kind do you use? Do you just run them under water before using? Do you use a wipe solution? Make your own? Put them in a wipe container and keep them moist all day? Or do you use a wipe warmer?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two Months

Birth:



One Month:



Two Months:









On November 11, Jayden turned 2 months old.

At his doctor appointment, he was exactly 10 lbs and 22 3/4 inches long. The doctor said he is doing well and he is very strong. Strong arms, grip, and neck muscles.

He is smiling a lot and making all sorts of noises.

The other night I stuck my tongue out at him and he thought it was funny. I did it a few more times and then he did it back to me. It was so cool to see him copy my action.

He likes watching the older kids play. When he is in the swing and the kids are playing with toys on the floor around him, he watches everything.

He is sleeping longer stretches at night now.

We are really looking forward to Thanksgiving because it means four full days that we get to spend together with neither of us working.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Release Photography Photo Shoot

Remember this picture?


Well, here are some more of them!!

My friend from college took these pictures. She does a beautiful job and really has a way with babies. She is a baby whisperer. Check out more of her work on Release Photography.










Taking a break to have a bottle.


Sleepy after his bottle.

Telling stories.




My Mom got Jayden this monkey while we were waiting. (Before we even knew about Jayden.) Jayden loves his monkey.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Forever Infertile

Colic sucks.

Not in a "Gee, I miss sleeping all night" kind of way. In a "I don't know what the hell is wrong with my baby and I am scared to death" kind of way.

Yes, the sleep deprivation is hard. I know right now some of you are rolling your eyes and saying you would give anything to be able to lose sleep because you are taking care of a baby. I get it. I really do. But, serious sleep deprivation over days and weeks gets really bad. You start to realize your brain isn't working the way it should. I had moments where I realized I did something but had no memory of doing it.

But, it's not really the sleep deprivation that is the worst part. It's being scared because you don't know what's wrong. You have gone down the list of possible things and your baby is still crying. And it goes on for hours. For weeks he would cry from about 9PM to 6AM and anytime we figured out something that would stop the crying, it would only be temporary. It makes you feel awful. You know he's in pain but there is nothing you can do.

But, anytime I sent out a tweet saying anything about it or mentioned it on my blog, I could feel the infertile community hating me. (Everyone was nothing but supportive, it was all in my head.)

I waited so long that it was my job to just shut up and be grateful. I shouldn't complain. Everything should be perfect all the time. (For the record, I would not trade a single sleep deprived second with Jayden for anything else in the world.)

I swore I would never write a post apologizing to everyone still waiting to start their family. I know a lot of people do, but I felt like I paid my dues and if I still didn't have a baby after everything I have been through, then that would be more depressing than anything. If I was just starting out in the IF world and saw someone like me waiting and waiting for over 7 years, it would depress me. On the other hand, it would give me hope to see someone finally start their family after all this time. After all, if a girl with no uterus can start her family, anyone can, right?

But, alas, I do feel guilty. I love all of you so much that it breaks my heart that so many of you are struggling.

I am a forever infertile.

So, I am sorry if my new baby posts upset any of you. I really am. And I am sorry if me talking about colic makes you want to hit me.

In case you were wondering though, he is doing so much better. We switched his formula AGAIN and it seems to be working. It's such a huge relief. Not because I am finally getting some sleep, but because he is happier and healthier. Just look at that video in my previous post. His smiles say it all.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Who Needs Toys When You Can Look at Pictures of Yourself?

I have a basket full of toys for Jayden. I can show him each toy one by one with no reaction. You know what he loves? Pictures of himself!

I told my mom about his excitement over pictures of himself, but she didn't believe me so when we went to her house, I tried it again.

She took video:


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Does Anyone Else Do This?

Adam during one of our trips to the Toronto Zoo

In many ways my husband is a 5 year old. I'll always remember the time (about 9 years ago now) he had two pieces of candy and he ate one and I suggested he save the other one for later and he very quickly unwrapped it and put the whole thing in his mouth with a big smile on his face. I still laugh when I think about it.

It was very cold and raining (and hailing) on Halloween this year so we got less trick-or-treaters than usual. After we turned off the lights and locked the doors, I hid the bowl of candy, and went to bed. Adam stayed up with Jayden.


The next morning, he gave me a dirty look when he woke up and said he can't believe I hid the candy.

I reminded him of Halloween the year before. I woke up to candy wrappers all over the coffee table. I'm telling you, he is 5. If you leave him a bowl of candy, he will eat a bowl of candy.

I put three pieces of candy in his lunch bag.

When he got to work he told everyone about how I hid the candy. Then he told everyone I gave him three pieces for the day and they were all laughing and saying that I was rationing his candy intake.

So am I the worst wife ever or does anyone else do this?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jayden's First Halloween



Adam's pumpkin is the one with the scary face, Jayden's pumpkin has a 1 on it since it's his first Halloween, and my pumpkin is the cat one. I wasn't going to carve a pumpkin this year because it takes me so long to do, but Adam gave me the "Jayden's first Halloween" guilt trip.



Being a lion is exhausting!