Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

The apple pie I made this year!  Oh, and please disregard the toothbrush in the background...its what I use to clean my rings! :)
Hooray! The day has finally arrived! It's Thanksgiving - the day all diets are cancelled and eating seconds is generally encouraged!  I love Thanksgiving.  However, recently it seems as if Thanksgiving has been boiled down to simply being the gateway for all of the Christmas madness to begin!  So before things really get out of hand with the holidays, I wanted to take a moment to tell you that I am truly thankful for you.  Even if I may not know you if I passed you on the street, I am thankful for you being willing to join me on this journey called life.  Thank you for stopping by to visit here on the blog.  I'm always beyond thankful for all of the comments and emails you all have offered over the past year as well as all of the kindnesses and encouragements along the way too.  It has been a big year full of changes in my life and I appreciate your grace and patience with me as I have adjusted to being a new mama who stays at home.  Finding balance for myself, time for my writing as well as prioritizing my time and energy remain some of my biggest challenges, but ones I aim to improve upon in the coming year.  (I'm also super excited for some big changes here at Lassoing as well, so stay tuned!)  There is so much swirling in my head this evening, and this post is kind of all over the place, so I will sign off for now.  Just know that I am so deeply thankful for you and am honored that you continue to take the time to stop by and visit.  Feel free to say hi anytime and let me know you were here....but even if you don't, I'm still glad you came by!

Happy Thanksgiving!

  "What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets.  I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?"
                                                                                       - Erma Bombeck, Forever Erma

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week in the Life- Sunday when Lily is 6 Months old

Sunday, November 20, 2011

5am-ish- Lily wakes up and cries for a few minutes before falling back to sleep.

6:45am- Lily wakes up happily chatting in her crib.

7a- "Officially" wake up Lily which means her morning routine begins.  Gave her a bottle and she drank 4oz. We got Lily ready for church and headed out the door around 8:45am.

9:05am- Our church is celebrating its 25th Anniversary.... part of the celebration, people wrote notes of gratitude and thanks for all God has done in their lives through the church....

10:20am- We picked up Lily from Sunday School.  It makes our hearts feel so comfortable knowing she is in such good hands.  Our pal Tami is one of her "teachers"...

10:40am: Arrive home from church.  With no morning nap on Sundays, Lily always crashes out literally minutes after leaving the parking lot of church.  She seems to be dreaming about something serious here....

10:55am- My aunt Boo and my cousin Leah (forgot to document them!) arrive to help take care of Lily while we go to a surprise birthday lunch for a good friend.  These are the instructions for them in regards to taking care of our little gal while we are gone...

noon- Surprise birthday lunch for our friend, Michelle.  A bunch of us were waiting for her at a local eatery and she was very surprised! It was a great time and a complete success! (Not to mention delicious!)

2:05pm- After lunch, we went to the Gap to find Lily a new winter coat.  It was supposed to get rather chilly soon and Lily still did not have a winter coat, so we headed off to find her one and afterwards we stopped and got ourselves a delicious warm beverage...

2:30p- back home...

2:45pm- Lily woke up from her nap and tried on her new puffy pink coat and new bunny hat.  She really liked them and looked soooo cute in them we could hardly bring ourselves to take them off her even though we were planning on being indoors for the remainder of the day!

3:30p- Lily did a lot of playing while I did some mommy research about why she doesn't seem to be drinking all of her bottles all of the sudden...

3:50pm- Joe went to grocery store

glimpses of playtime with our sweet bunny...

4:45p- dinner time for Lily- pears and peas tonight...she is a great eater!

5:15p- after finishing dinner, Lily plays with Dad some more...

...while I work on making her some more food.  Above is a photo of me grinding up some grains to make her porridge and below is a photo of some squash cooking before being pureed...

5:35- bath time!  Lily loves her baths now.  She enjoys splashing and playing with her buddies...

....these guys are her pals and always keep her company while she bathes...

...our self portrait for the day...

5:50pm- her final bottle for the day..she drank 5oz...

5:56pm- Ready to go to bed...she is a great sleeper and goes to bed listening to her "rain" (on the ipod) and is usually sound asleep without a peep long before the song is over. 

6:05pm- I begin making dinner for us...

7:45- Dinner is finally all ready to be eaten! Yummy Chicken Tetrazini!

8:15pm- We cleaned up the dinner dishes together  and I worked on making my 'to-do' list for the week.  I always like to have that done before Monday starts so I feel like I am ready to tackle the week ahead and this week is going to be a busy one with Thanksgiving on Thursday!  Can't wait!

9:05- I did some light reading...  :)

9:30- We got into bed and continued watching this zany comedy on Netflix.  We are both huge Will Arnett fans.  We were both exhausted!

Thoughts for the Day:
Feel fortunate to have good friends and family to help watch Lily
Love having a cozy warm house on a cold wintery day
Feel like I have a lot to do this week to get ready for Thanksgiving
Worried about Lily not eating very well- is something wrong? 
Love, Love, Love the little coat and hat we found for her- feel confident she will be warm this winter
Surprise parties are so much fun

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Celebration Dance!

Boy, it has been a rough couple of weeks around here.  I have known since before Lily was born, that I wanted to nurse her for six months (or at least try to) and then begin to wean her to bottles and solids.  As a planner-type person, that sounded great in theory- until it came time to actually accomplish it!

There are many lessons I learned the hard way through this process, but that is another post for another day.  When Lily was first born, six months sounded like forever away.  As her six month birthday rapidly approached,  I was completely caught off guard by the roller coaster of emotions that took over my heart.  I literally had what I call "Father of the Bride moments" where I could see Lily's life flashing before my eyes...junior high, high school, college, many good byes before me and suddenly our time together felt so short and so precious! I am serious when I say I was an emotional wreck and have been a literal puddle of tears for nearly two weeks as I began preparing myself for saying goodbye to those sweet snuggles and quiet moments spent with my Lilygirl.  I'm not sure why the huge surge of emotions as I prepared to begin weaning, but it just hit me that all of the sudden that Lily was growing so big and time was passing so quickly...just as everyone said it would.

Nursing Lily has been one of my all time favorite experiences- ever.  I love those sweet, quiet moments together and have treasured all of them- even the ones in the middle of the night!  So when it actually came time to saying goodbye to that season in our lives, I suddenly didn't know if I could do it.

You may not know this, but Miss Lily has a stubborn streak.  She is the sweetest little gal, but when you try to feed her a bottle, she will LET. YOU. KNOW. that that is simply unacceptable.  She has never been a bottle gal, or even a binky gal...and the reality of this was driven home to me as we tried to introduce bottles over the past week and a half.  There were many, MANY tears (by both her and myself), many phone calls to the doctor's office, many hours of feeling hopeless, many emails sent to friends and many prayers whispered.  I was so worried she was going to starve or lose weight and not grow and stop developing.  I'm serious.  I was losing sleep.  So I read everything I could find on the topic, and I tried everything! I tried several different products, techniques, locations and for a few days it seemed like we were even going backwards!  But then, little by little she started to eat a tiny bit more, and struggle a little bit less.  And then then a little bit by day and finally....just today...we went all day without any tears and with many ounces of formula consumed!

Needless to say, it was a HUGE victory and Lily and I were so excited that we busted out the tutu for the big celebration dance party that we held in the living room!  (And as you can see, all celebratory dances are better in tutus!)

In my hours and days of worry, anxiety and more worry, I spoke with many other mothers and friends and received a lot of great advice, wisdom, support and encouragement. I was reminded again that I have AWESOME friends in my life and am so blessed to be surrounded by so many incredible women.  My friend, April told me that although I was ending one chapter with Lily, by doing so, I was also allowing so many other new and amazing ones to open and begin.  I loved those words and it was exactly what I needed to hear.  It made my heart excited for all that is ahead instead of already missing what is behind.

I know there will be so many more challenges ahead in this journey of motherhood and what I have learned through this one is that I'm not alone, there is so much more good stuff ahead and that with God, all things are possible!

Lily now drinks from a bottle with enthusiasm and I couldn't help but wipe a couple of tears and celebrate that HUGE accomplishment with her today.  To God be the glory!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Fun Give Away...

I'm learning that one of the greatest 'mom' aspects of being a mom (aside from the obvious) is that you get to meet and know other moms and their kiddos.  I am not sure what it is, but there is just something so fun about the meeting of a new mom-friend and that recognition of knowing that "yep, we will be friends" that takes place within the heart.  It has been a lot of fun for me these past several months...especially now that Lily is here!

I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to one of the wonderful mom-friends I've gotten to know.  Her name is Kelsey.  She is a blogger, a busy mom to a little gal who is just about Luke's age, who you can read all about here, and a happily married wife.  We met through a mutual friend and Kelsey's amazing generosity and encouragement has been such a tremendous blessing in my life and Lily's as well. 

Kelsey's family announced some exciting news earlier this fall that after much prayer and consideration, they have decided that they are going to pursue adopting a child from Ethiopia! The exciting, hilarious and godly home they will provide for that little guy or gal will be amazing and it will be a joy to get to know and watch little him or her grow up through the years.  I am so excited for them!

So why am I telling you all about this amazing family you may ask?  One, they are awesome.  And two, they recently announced a fun give away they are doing to help raise some money to go toward their adoption.  Here are the details from Kelsey...

Here's how it works:
- Participants may purchase a virtual raffle ticket through a secure PayPal link on our blog. 
- The winner receives an American Girl Doll of their choice shipped directly to them from the American Girl online store
- For $10 you get one entry, for $25 you get three entries. 
- If we sell more than 150 virtual tickets, we'll add a second doll so there will be two lucky winners.  
- The giveaway is open for the month of November.  The winner will be chosen on December 1st so it's perfect timing for a special Christmas present. :)

For more details and to enter the giveaway, please click here to visit the Kautzi's blog. 

Thank you!

If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to ask!  And if you would like to read more about our adoption journey (as well as stories about Lila, of course!), check out our family blog  

I hope you will consider purchasing a raffle ticket! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Goldilocks & Her Super Porridge

It was an exciting beginning for our little gal this weekend.... and she did AWESOME! 

Here's a little behind the scenes glimpse....

Just Keeping it Real....

a glimpse of our kitchen counter this weekend....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Important Message from Lily....

Hello Everyone!

  I'm six months old today!

I'm doing all kinds of new things these days.... I am working on my sitting.  I can do the tripod sit pretty well but am not quite sitting all by myself yet.  I still love my bumbo seat and love to sit with someone helping me so I can use my hands to play.

I'm really good at grabbing things and can set my sights on something across the way and either roll or scooch myself over there until it is within reach.  I'm moving all over the place these days!  One of my favorite games is to see how far I can roll myself while mom is looking the other way.  She does not like that game very much, but I do!

My favorite way to play though, is on my tummy.  If you put me onto my back, I roll over really quickly so I can start playing. 

I'm getting really strong...

and just last week I pushed up onto all fours and have started rocking back and forth like I'm getting ready to crawl! I love to do this all the time and I can't wait until I can move all around the house! Mom is so excited to see me doing my new tricks, but she also told me that she is getting a little worried about how much I will soon be moving all around the house!

I'm getting ready to start eating some solid food here in the next couple of days or so.  I have no idea what to expect, but mom and dad got me a new high chair and I have been practicing sitting in it for a little bit at a time.  I don't like it very much right now so I only stay in there for a minute or two at a time.  Maybe when there is food involved I will like it more.

I like to talk a lot, giggle and laugh more and more.  I've enjoyed going for lots of walks with mom these past few weeks and I even took my first trip to the mountains and did great! I adjusted to the time zone change and altitude like a pro!  

Mom and Nana said I even did great on the long drive out to Colorado!  It got a little old being strapped into my car seat the whole time, but mom kept the toys rotating through to keep me entertained between naps. 

While I was in Colorado, I even got to see my first snowfall! I didn't really know what to think about it all and was really quiet while I just took it all in.  Mom and dad were really excited about it and kept me very bundled up so I would not catch a chill.

I'm sleeping really well these days.  I love to take a morning and afternoon nap that are usually anywhere between an hour and a half to two and a half hours long each.  I go to bed around 6pm every night and wake up once for a little bite to eat and then go back to sleep until the morning.  I know how to put myself to sleep, but occasionally if I wake up too early, I cry a little bit until I fall back to sleep.

I am enjoying my bathtime more and more these days too.  I love my rubber duckie and my rubber froggie that are in the water with me.  I love to kick my legs and make lots of splashes.  I do not like binkies, but I love sucking on my fingers to soothe myself.  

I went to the doctor today and got a great report.  I weigh almost 15 pounds and am 25+ inches tall now!  I love other kids and especially babies.  Pretty much everything I play with I like to put into my mouth, so I'm keeping mom really busy with keeping everything washed, scrubbed and clean!  I love the weekends when our whole family is together and always feel a little blue when my dad has to go back to work on Monday mornings.  

Mom and I have lots of fun and she's right, our days are just flying by!  I can't believe I'm already six months old!