16 Months!

Sweet Pea is 16 months old!!

18C

At 16 months, Sweet Pea affectionately has a new nickname given to her by her uncle. He told me she reminds him of the Ewoks on Star Wars. I had to agree with him. She toddles around all day, easily entertaining herself and with her signature smile.

Sweet Pea points at everything. I love when babies start doing that. It means they are soaking in the world around them.

Sweet Pea still doesn’t say many words at all, but she sure can communicate. And boy does she understand everything. Today after I took her Tigger picture, I told her it was naptime. She walked straight to the gate that leads down to her bedroom. I opened the gate and she walked straight to her changing table in her bedroom! She knows her diaper is usually changed right before a nap.

Sweet Pea loves her “bankies” (blankets). Since she started sucking her thumb around 8 months old, she likes to sleep with two receiving blankets. She holds the blanket while she sucks her thumb. I don’t let her carry the bankie around so when I get her up from a nap, I say, “Put your bankie in the bed.” and she throws her bankie back in the crib.

Sweet Pea still takes two naps per day. An hour nap in the morning and then a 2.5-3 hour nap in the afternoon. She wraps herself all up in her “bankies” and still sucks her thumb. The only time she sucks her thumb is if she has a “bankie”. If she finds a “bankie” in the laundry while I am folding, she will grab it and immediately start sucking her thumb. It’s adorable.

DSCN7960

Sweet Pea truly is one of the happiest babies I’ve ever seen. She is just joyful – all the time. And her smile is just the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. For the longest time Sweet Pea had four teeth. Two on the top and two on the bottom. Then one day I noticed she had cut three of her four 12 month molars and I had no idea she was even teething. I do remember after I discovered those teeth giving her some doses of Motrin for naptime because she wasn’t sleeping well and I figured it was her teeth. But overall, this baby cut her molars and didn’t even flinch!

She is certainly a “go with the flow baby” and easy as pie…until it comes to eating.

Feeding her has become a nightmare over the past month or so! There are multiple issues going on and honestly I feel like I’ve done something wrong with her to make her a “picky eater”. I think there might be a texture issue going on. I’ve just been dealing with it the best I know how until she goes in for her 15 month check-up which is in January!! There is a story behind that, for sure. It was originally scheduled for November 15th – when she was 15 months old. But that day was Little Bug’s Thanksgiving Program at pre-k and I didn’t want to miss that. So I re-scheduled the appointment for December 13th. And, that is of course the date of Little Bug’s Christmas party at pre-k. So we are now on the books for the beginning of January. I am very anxious to talk to the doctor about Sweet Pea’s eating issues. It has never been “easy” to feed this baby and I am hoping we can get to the bottom of this and help her learn to try new foods.

In a nutshell, Sweet Pea has a list of foods she likes and she will not try anything that is not on that list. I took her off pureed baby food but she WILL NOT TOUCH table food veggies, so I put her back on purees because I want her to get veggies in her diet.

The reason I think it is a texture issue is she will ask for something she wants to try and then the moment she puts it to her mouth she makes a funny face and then won’t eat it.

Anyway, I made sure to teach Little Bug healthy eating habits from birth and I am bound and determined to have another toddler that will eat basically anything put before her. We will work through these issues, for sure. I know my pedi will give me sound advice and help us get through this.

36C

Could she be any cuter? I don’t think so!

It is funny to me when I think of “my plans” for a baby #2. First of all, I sorta wanted our second to be a boy! Have I ever said that before? Well, I did. The perfect family. A girl and a boy. But, as always, God’s perfect truly was perfection. I absolutely love having two daughters two years apart! This baby adores her big sister. I think of them even just two years from now and what a blessing they will be to each other’s lives! I can’t imagine Little Bug without a baby sister this past almost 1.5 years. I can only pray they will always be there for each other as only sisters can.

62C

Sweet Pea has just gotten to the stage where she loves for Gramps to show her things. He did this with Little Bug and now he is doing it with Sweet Pea. It is so precious. Gramps picks Sweet Pea up and they head to the back yard and he just teaches her about everything they see. Sweet Pea points to where she wants to go next! One of her favorite things to go see is the wind chime.

DSCN7996

Sweet Pea is pretty good about not getting into everything like someone else we know. Smile She LOVES to go and turn the TV on and off. The TV is a no-no. Dave was watching football one afternoon and she walked up and turned the TV off. Stinker knew exactly what she was doing and laughed. It is crazy how FAST babies learn from 12-24 months. They seriously are little sponges just waiting to learn!

19C

As Sweet Pea’s personality blossoms, it is apparent that she is a quiet soul but…if you make her mad, WATCH OUT. She is that type. And she is so funny and she knows it. One day we were eating dinner around the table at Dave’s parents’ house and Sweet Pea was eating a banana which is one of her favorite foods. Her Aunt Amanda was watching her eat and Sweet Pea gave her a stink eye as if to say, “Let me eat my banana in peace!”.

63C

Sweet Pea still doesn’t say too many words. She will say: Mama, Dada, Amen, crack (for cracker), mer (more) and that is about it. But she certainly does not lack in the communication department. She has her ways of communicating and makes it very clear what she wants!

This baby girl brings joy to our days! It is crazy to think that my baby is marching right towards age two and will be there before I know it!

Sweet Pea’s schedule (15 months old):

8am wake

9:45-10:45am nap

11:15-12:00 Independent Playtime

12:00pm lunch

1:45-4:30pm – Sometimes, I will lay her down at 1:30 if she didn’t sleep for long or at all during her morning nap.

6pm dinner

7pm bath

7:30/7:45pm bedtime

DSCN7923

Happy 16 Months, Sweet Pea!!

15 Months

Sweet Pea is 15 months old!!

DSCN6402

This baby cracks us up. She is all smiles being her sweet self and then the next moment she is crying her dramatic tears only to be smiling again moments later.

I wrote the following a few days before Sweet Pea began walking:

And, yes, she may be 15 months old and technically not a “baby” anymore but she still seems very baby-ish to me probably because she is not walking and still prefers to crawl! Little Bug lost her baby look the day she started walking and I know Sweet Pea will too. She can often be found crawling around the house with this hat on!

DSCN6922

Sweet Pea just isn’t eager to walk. She stands up and takes a few steps before resorting to crawling many times throughout the day, but crawling is just way faster for her right now. I predict she will become a walker by 16 months. 

(Ha! Mama was wrong on that one!!)

For about a week, Sweet Pea’s naps had been a little wonky. She just wasn’t sleeping much for her morning nap and then, one day, she took over an hour to fall asleep for her afternoon nap! Well, on October 30th, Sweet Pea laid down for her morning nap a crawler and, an hour later when I got her up after sleeping about 15 minutes, I put her on the living room floor and she started walking all over the place!

And just like that…she became a walker!!

Look at those tiny feet.

DSCN7025

Sweet Pea is still eating pureed veggies! She won’t eat table food veggies and she will still eat the purees so for now I am going with it. She is doing good with other table foods and eats table foods minus her one jar of veggie at lunch and dinner.

 DSCN6687

She drinks about 12-18 ounces of whole milk each day. She makes up for the rest in yogurt. This baby loves her some yogurt. When you bring it out and ask if she wants some, boy does she get excited. When we first started giving her yogurt she would literally cry when the container was empty. It was the most pathetically, cute thing I’ve ever seen her do. Now she knows that the container will go empty and she has accepted that fact and moves on with life after eating all her yogurt.

Sweet Pea takes a morning and afternoon nap. The morning nap keeps getting shorter. She either shortens it or I shorten it every so often to preserve her long afternoon nap. Right now it’s about 1 hour long and her afternoon nap is 2.5-3 hours. She’s been at this schedule for a while now and I know she is going to need some tweaking to her schedule done, soon. I’m starting to see the signs now. First thing I will do is shorten morning nap to 45 minutes.

DSCN7063

Sweet Pea does not get into things like her big sister once did. We will see if this continues now that she is a walker! She will find something that interests her and sit and play with it for the longest time before moving to something else. She does love to play in the Tupperware cabinet. Before Sweet Pea discovered it, it was all organized but now it is a complete mess since she plays in there so much. I love when my babies discover the Tupperware cabinet – easy and cheap entertainment!

DSCN6322

Sweet Pea still does Independent Playtime in the pack n play. We are in the process of working up to 45 minutes. She will sometimes clean up her toys when she knows the timer is about to go off! She cleans up by throwing all the toys out as she did in this picture:

DSCN6350

Sweet Pea is still my quiet, reserved, laid back little baby. She still clings to me when anyone except my mom or Dave tries to take her from me. I was so proud of her tonight though. We were at Dave’s parents’ house and Little Bug, Aunt Amanda and Grandpa were ridding in the back yard on the golf cart around the pond. Sweet Pea saw them and started pointing so I asked her, “Do you want to ride or do you want to stay with Mama?”. She indicated that she wanted to ride! So I handed her off to Aunt Amanda and off they went. I fully expected her to look back and realize she wasn’t with me and start crying, but big girl rode all the way around the pond and enjoyed herself! I was so proud of her. It is fine for her to be quiet and shy (she is like her Mama in this area) but I want to work at developing some independent and confidence in her apart from being with Mama!

Sweet Pea says three words: Mama, Dada and Amen! When we pray at meals, many times Sweet Pea will say “Amen” along with us. It’s not a clear “Amen” but you can hear an “A” and “M” sound and she only does that after we pray so I know that is her version of “Amen”! For only having three words, she communicates really well. It is mostly by pointing which is something she just started this month. She also communicates well by making sounds that aren’t words, but when she does it it is obvious (to me and those who know her well) what she wants.

DSCN6415

She has developed a love for books this month. I read to her before her naps. I had to figure out the best way to do this because Little Bug was distracting her from reading. So now, Little Bug goes into her bedroom while I read to Sweet Pea so that Sweet Pea will pay attention to the books instead of her sister! Sweet Pea has a few favorite books. She is into any book that you can feel, open and lift flaps and any book that has pictures of babies. She will lean down to give the babies a kiss!

DSCN7104

The sister relationship continues to grow and develop. It is so fun to watch. I LOVE hearing my girls playing together. I LOVE hearing Sweet Pea laughing at or with her sister. It is the best sound ever. For the most part, they play pretty well together. Every so often Little Bug gets too rough with Sweet Pea and she has had enough and lets Little Bug know with a dramatic cry. I remind Little Bug to show love to her sister and that usually helps them go back to playing happily together.

DSCN6422

I know this is a broken record when I say this, but time is going by so fast with these two girls. I look at Sweet Pea toddling around the house and it literally seems like yesterday that we were watching Little Bug take her first steps across the living room floor.

Sweet Pea was the perfect addition to our family and I love watching her grow and develop at her own little pace.

She is the sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen.

DSCN7060

Sweet Pea’s schedule (14 months old):

8am wake

9:45-10:45am nap

11:15-12:00 Independent Playtime

12pm Lunch

1:45-4:00/4:30pm

6pm Dinner

7pm bath

7:30/7:45pm bedtime

download

Happy 15 Months, Sweet Pea!!

14 Months!

Sweet Pea is 14 months old!!

DSCN6014

I’d say, since we went through all her stomach issues, this month has been the most difficult!!

And it is mainly because she is developing a little will, she is very mobile and meal time is just not fun.

Her little will…The baby that has been so laid-back since birth is now starting to voice her dislikes. And there are LOTS of them. She does not like for her morning milk to run out in her cup. She does not like diaper changes. She doesn’t like her cream to be put on her cheeks. She doesn’t like certain things sister does to her. She doesn’t like most foods. (More on that later.) She doesn’t like water to be poured on her head during bathtime. She does not like her face to be cleaned. I am sure there are more.

Sweet Pea is either extremely quiet or VERY loud! There is no medium volume. Her cry is just…funny. I know that sounds mean but she is SO dramatic when she cries. Her cry is always intense, even if she just fell and barely tapped her toe. Dramatic has become her middle name! There is no half-cry. She is an all or nothing baby when it comes to crying! Which is pretty funny considering this baby used to rarely cry at all. Now, she cries at the drop of a hat because her middle name is Drama.

Her mobility took off this month! She zips around the house at turbo speed. At 13 months we finally had to start closing the hallway gate and closing our bedroom door again. These were things we had already done months before with Little Bug!

DSCN6270

The week Sweet Pea started “getting into everything” she: splashed with the water in the toilet bowl, found the toilet brush and was playing with it and climbed half way up the stairs at my parents’ house.

DSCN5815

The week before turning 14 months old, she started standing up on her own. She won’t walk without support though, but it won’t be long now before she is walking! She started cruising the furniture as well around this same time. And she has mastered walking with the push toy! This picture is blurry but I love her face because she was so proud of herself!

DSCN6254

She is learning what “no” means. Her no-no’s are: the candles on the coffee table, pictures on the end tables, the blinds, the TV and Daddy’s computer – all of which are in the living room. She actually found the “on” button for the TV and that is her favorite thing to do now.

Eating. I am not sure exactly what is going on. Picky eater? Maybe. I don’t know. But she refuses to eat some things that she devoured no problem even just a day ago! It’s quite frustrating since Little Bug has been a pig since birth when it comes to food.

I almost feel like Sweet Pea is this way because I introduced table foods to her “wrong” or something. Like I said, I don’t know what is going on…

She eats NO table food veggies so I still give her purees so that she gets her veggies. To encourage her to eat more table foods, I’ve tried to give her those first before her purees, but she has flat out refused to eat!!

I thought it could be teething but I see no pattern to indicate it is.

So, meal time, right now, is just not fun!

I have gotten Sweet Pea to give any unwanted food to Mama instead of throwing it on the floor. She remembers to do this about half the time!

DSCN6010

Just this past week, as she was about to turn 14 months, there were two days that she just did not sleep for her morning nap at all! Since this just started, I haven’t really figured out yet what she needs to do with her naps. Most likely, she just needs to shorten the morning nap again and then possibly start that nap at 10am instead of 9:30am. Then, based on that nap, her afternoon naptime might need to shift 15 minutes or so. In the next couple of days I will work on tweaking things until I find what meets her needs.

There was also one night where she took 45 minutes to fall asleep at night, which she has never done before. That is just another sign to me that she is starting the morning nap wean and I need to make some adjustments to her sleep schedule.

Because her morning nap has shortened over time, she is now awake for about half of our Learning Time! This can be interesting because it is a little more challenging to work with Little Bug while her toddler sister is around instead of sleeping! For now, I am just going to try and incorporate Sweet Pea into our learning times as much as possible. I will try to do the activities that Sweet Pea really can’t be a part of while she is sleeping, and then when she is awake she will join us. At this age, I am thinking she will just have a ball playing with materials that we are using that are safe and fun for her to play with!

One day Little Bug and I were painting Fall Trees, so I let Sweet Pea play with all the paint bottles on the kitchen floor. That worked perfect. It kept her entertained and then when we were done we all sat on the floor and we talked about the colors together!

DSCN6013

Sweet Pea is still uneasy around crowds. She wants her Mama when she is uneasy, which I love! She cries every Sunday morning when I drop her off in her class (which is the only time of week that she is away from me) but I pick her up and she is all smiles and I know she has a good time there and loves her teachers. Again, she just has to be dramatic!

Big Sister still hung the moon. I absolutely LOVE to hear this baby giggle at her big sister. It is such a precious sound and one I hear daily. I have no idea most of the time what they are giggling about, but Little Bug is the funniest thing ever to Sweet Pea. They have so much fun playing together.

DSCN6060

If Sweet Pea is crying for whatever reason Little Bug will start singing, “Jesus Loves Me” to her!

Sweet Pea doesn’t really have any new words since last month but she is an excellent communicator even still. It is so funny to me to see her actually express her opinion about something because for a year I have basically done whatever with this baby and she has just gone with it, but now, she has opinions about things and knows what she wants to do!

DSCN5854

We were at a pool birthday party and Dave and Little Bug left Sweet Pea and me sitting at the table and headed to the pool. Sweet Pea was sitting in her stroller and started reaching for the pool and her Daddy. She wanted to go swimming too! So I put her in her swimsuit and gave her to her Daddy where she spent the next half-hour swimming. One of my parents neighbors had offered to let us use their pool while they were on vacation and Sweet Pea did NOT want to swim then. (The water was too cold.) So it was fun to watch her basically ask to go swimming and then have a ball in the pool with her daddy and sister!

Sweet Pea also loves going to the park and swinging. She let me know she didn’t want to get out by crying!

DSCN6119

She enjoys playing with this toy.

DSCN5899

Even though Sweet Pea has become quite opinionated this past month, she is still her sweet little self. She is such a tender-hearted little girl!

Schedule (13 months old):

8am wake up

9:30-10:45am nap

11:30-12:00pm Independent Play

12:00pm Lunch

1:30-4/4:30pm Nap

6pm Dinner

7pm Bath

7:30/7:45pm bedtime

DSCN6261

Happy 14 Months, Sweet Pea!!

13 Months!

Sweet Pea is 13 months old!

DSCN0087

Here we go, already a month into her second year…before we know it she will be 1.5 years and then two!

Sweet Pea has done A LOT of growing up this month.

She was weaned from bottles on August 6th and that was a complete breeze. My pedi recommends doing this as close to the 1st birthday as possible. She was weaned from bottles before her 12 month check up!

At 12 months old Sweet Pea weighed 19 pounds 9 ounces!

Next up was to wean her from formula to organic whole milk. That also proved to be a breeze and she had no tummy troubles at all with the milk. YAY! (I was a tad concerned about that.) She does like her milk to be warm and won’t drink it straight from the fridge. She drinks from a Born Free Sippy.

DSCN0099

Sweet Pea has perfected her crawl and is quite fast now. It is so interesting because even though Sweet Pea is very mobile now, she just doesn’t “get into everything” like her sister did! She explores her world for sure, but I don’t feel like I have to constantly be two steps ahead of her like I had to be with big sis.

Sweet Pea started pulling up on everything soon after her first birthday.

DSCN9832

Sweet Pea finds holes and puts her finger in it as you can see in the picture above.

She discovered the steps at my parents’ house on August 22nd! She climbed the whole way up.

DSC01078

This baby has been so funny with her pureed food vs. table food. There was a time I thought we were almost done with pureed foods, but she is 13 months, and she just doesn’t eat enough table food to sustain her! So we are still relying heavily on the purees. I still offer her table foods with almost every meal.

DSCN0044

Maybe this is because at 13 months she only has three teeth and every bite she eats takes forever for her to gum and then swallow!

She cut her 3rd tooth at about 12.5 months old. She started teething right around her birthday and had some rough days until her top right tooth finally poked through a couple weeks later.

DSC01057

She has traded in her jumperoo for this music table! This baby loves music. She will dance anytime she hears music.

DSCN9852

Sweet Pea takes two naps every day and sleeps 12 hours at night. I did shorten her morning nap again by 15 minutes, so now it is just 1.5 hours long. She sleeps in the afternoon for 3 hours most days.

As soon as you lay Sweet Pea down in her crib, she puts her thumb in her mouth. She does not suck her thumb at any other time of the day, which I find very interesting.

DSC01038

She is doing 20 minutes of Independent Playtime in the pack n play. Sometimes she does this in the morning after breakfast and some days it is after her morning nap. I will soon increase the time to 30 minutes.

DSCN9913

Sweet Pea continues to have such a sweet personality, but she has formed an opinion on things which is quite funny at times. It is fun to watch her become her own little person. At dinner one night I was offering her cantaloupe but she clearly wanted watermelon. When I figured out what she was wanting she was so happy when I started putting the watermelon on her tray.

She is a little drama queen when she gets hurt. She wants EVERYONE around to know she got hurt and wants everyone to give her sympathy. It is the cutest thing. Her “I’m hurt” cry is so adorable. She is so dramatic. When she started getting around more she would fall and with every bump, no matter how small, she would let the world know she had gotten hurt by crying her very dramatic cry.

DSCN0056

Sweet Pea is such a precious child and is such a tenderhearted soul! I love that about her! If she in an unfamiliar place, she doesn’t like it and wants me. She moved up to the crawler room at church a couple weeks ago and the change has been hard on her, but she is learning to like her new room and new teachers. Her sweet teachers in the baby room still come over to check on her and love on her if she is having a hard time, which I appreciate so much!

Her schedule this month was:

8am wake up, milk, breakfast

8:40-9am Independent Playtime (or 11:40-12pm)

9:30-11am nap

12pm lunch, milk

1:30-4/4:30pm nap

4:30pm milk

5:30/6pm dinner

7pm bath time, milk

7:30/7:45pm bedtime

DSCN0065

Happy 13 Months, Sweet Pea!!

Sweet Pea growing {0-12 months}

10 days old – August 12th, 2011

DSCN0911

1 month – September 2, 2011

DSCN1434

2 months – October 2, 2011

DSCN1898

3 months – November 2, 2011

DSCN2628

4 months – December 2, 2011

DSCN3252

5 months – January 2, 2012

DSCN3857

6 months – February 2, 2012

DSCN4259

7 months – March 2, 2012

DSCN4761

8 months – April 2, 2012

DSCN5343

9 months – May 2, 2012

DSCN8486

10 months – June 2, 2012

DSCN9141

11 months – July 2, 2012

DSCN9976

12 months – August 2, 2012

DSCN9221

Twelve more photos…coming right up!!

{over the next year}

12 Months!

Sweet Pea is ONE YEAR OLD!!!

DSCN9187

What a blessing this past year has been. God knew the perfect little person to add to our family – and that little person is Sweet Pea.

She has the sweetest personality of any baby I’ve ever met!

Eating: She is drinking 10-16 ounces of formula per day now. Sometimes she does not want her 12pm & 4pm bottles, but most of the time she at least will drink 2 of the 3 ounces in those bottles. I guess she is naturally weaning herself, which is very nice.

Last month I thought our baby food days were numbered but then, she suddenly eagerly started eating her baby food. I’ve still introduced her to many table foods and she eats them with no problem. She still does not bring food to her own mouth! If she would just learn to do this, I think I could transition her to table foods even more. I know it will all happen in time.

This month, she ate 2 jars of baby food per meal (4 oz). She went through a growth spurt for a couple days and was eating 3 jars per meal.

The bottle and formula wean will start soon!

Sleeping: Sweet Pea started waking early from her afternoon nap over the past couple of weeks. I shortened her morning nap by 15 minutes and she started sleeping well for the afternoon nap again.

DSCN0352

Milestones: Sweet Pea is officially very mobile!! Early this month she started what we called “The Frog Crawl”. She would push with her little toes and feet and propel herself forward. She looked like a little frog! It wasn’t long after she started this that she learned to get into a sitting position from her “crawling” position. Then, while Dave was in Haiti she started crawling on her hands and knees! And now, she is perfecting her speed. She can crawl anywhere she wants to now, much to the delight of her big sister!

Sweet Pea crawling

I’ve been giving Sweet Pea a sippy cup and she has learned how to get water from it.

On July 20th I went to get Sweet Pea up from her afternoon nap and found her standing holding on to the rails of her crib!

DSCN0286

Words: Sweet Pea will randomly say “Mama” but I am not sure she knows that is my name yet. She now consistently signs “all done” and “more” while eating and she knows exactly what those mean!

Teeth: At one year old, Sweet Pea has two teeth.

Sisters: Our new morning routine includes the girls getting down from the breakfast table and playing together before Sweet Pea goes down for her nap and before Little Bug goes to her room time. They like to get our Little People play sets (we have the farm and playground) and play with those together.

Little Bug tends to be a little more “rough” with Sweet Pea than I would like (laying on her and, honestly, doing what I would picture brothers doing with “wrestling” type moves!) but Sweet Pea loves it to a certain degree. I love it when Little Bug makes Sweet Pea laugh as she was doing in this picture below!

DSCN9167

Favorite toys/activities: Sweet Pea is enjoying her newfound mobility! She crawls all over the living room and kitchen. She enjoys playing with anything that her sister pulls out for them to play with. She still enjoys her jumperoo. I mainly put her in it when Little Bug is watching her show while I prepare our lunch because I don’t want Sweet Pea watching TV until she is two.

DSCN9142

Personality: Sweet Pea is just…sweet. She saw a computer mouse over by her Daddy’s desk in the living room. We are teaching her that playing at the desk and with the cords is a no-no. (Clue #1 is that she already pretty much leaves the desk alone – after only a few times of being told no!) So, one day she sees this mouse laying on the floor. I was in the kitchen cleaning up dishes. I saw her see the mouse. I could tell she wanted to go after it. Instead of impulsively going for it, she turned to find me and I could just tell she was asking me, “Mama, is it okay?”. I told her she could play with it and then she went for it!!

DSCN9191

Diapers/Clothes: Nothing has changed here. Still size 4 diapers and 9 month or 12 month clothing.

Things I want to Remember:

  • At bathtime she kicks her legs furiously in the water to make big splashes.
  • When she is on the changing table she uses her feet to pick up stuff that is on the other end of the table! She’s picked up her wipes, lotion and desitin this way.
  • When I go to get her up from a nap or in the morning she is so.happy. She kicks her legs, waves her arms and has the HUGEST grin on her face.
  • When I lay her down for naps and at night, I stand at her bed to hug and kiss her and tell her goodnight, but she is usually pushing me away because she just wants to get in her bed and go to sleep!
  • Yes, she is the easiest, sweetest baby alive – I am convinced.
  • At meals, she wants her next bite now! We are working on learning to say “please”.
  • After her bath she will play peek-a-boo with me using her towel.
  • She loves her family. I love this about both of my girls. They both just simply adore all their family members and get so excited when they see them.
  • Sweet Pea somehow knows when we are about to leave or if someone else is about to leave because, without prompting, she starts waving goodbye.
  • Like her sister, Sweet Pea is a huge Mama’s girl, but they both adore their daddy and crave his attention.
  • Sweet Pea loves music. When it comes on Sweet Pea starts dancing.

DSCN9337

Schedule (11 months old):

8am wake up, bottle, breakfast

9:30-11:15am nap

11:30-12pm Independent Playtime

12:00pm bottle, lunch

1:30-4:00/4:30pm nap

4:30pm bottle

5:30pm dinner

7:00pm bath, bottle

7:30/7:45pm bedtime

DSCN9221

HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, SWEET PEA!!!

I don’t know Melody…and I wish I did.

The drive home from the Crisis Pregnancy Center is almost a half-hour. So it gives me lots of time to think.

This past week, I was thinking a lot about Melody, Sweet Pea’s birth mother.

Probably because Sweet Pea’s birthday is just around the corner and I have never met Melody.

I have never even talked to her on the phone.

I’m actually not sure what you would call Sweet Pea’s adoption. I definitely know it is not an “open adoption”, but is it “closed”?

I would be more than willing to meet Melody one day and we send updates to Melody via the agency every three months.

In fact, I hope and pray to meet Melody one day.

Sweet Pea’s adoption was so different than her sisters and yet, there are so many ways their adoptions were similar.

But, I never met Melody and I spent nearly seven weeks with Little Bug’s birth mother prior to her birth.

While those weeks with Tracy were some of the most stressful seven weeks of my life, I would not trade them for the world.

I learned a lot about Tracy’s personality in those weeks.

I learned she has a beautiful smile, a wonderful sense of humor and…a spit-fire personality – just like her birth daughter. Smile

I know virtually nothing about Melody’s personality.

What I am going to say next might stir some judgments against me in the adoption community, but what I have decided to share here is simply my experiences and the effects it has had on me. Be nice if you choose to comment, please.

My bond with Little Bug was not instant. Don’t get me wrong. I loved that baby the instant I laid eyes on her. But…she wasn’t mine. I couldn’t fully be her mother the first time I saw her. Her mother was Tracy. I just hoped to be given the privilege and honor to become her mother through the self-less, sacrificial act of Tracy who would relinquish her rights as Little Bug’s mother and place them on me.

Eighty-one hours after her birth, I officially became Little Bug’s mother when Tracy signed her TPR.

And then, I was a mother.

And as much as I had longed and waited and desired to play that role, after the initial honeymoon of it all, I felt so discombobulated with my life!

I went from infertility treatments to motherhood in a matter of two months!!

I was trying to figure this baby out (Thank you Babywise, who came and saved the day when Little Bug was around 3 months old.) and transition my mind from infertility treatments to parenthood and it just took me some time to really feel like I was Little Bug’s mother and she wasn’t going anywhere.

I think I was somewhat in shock over the miracle that had brought me this precious baby and my mind needed some time to catch up with my heart.

My bond to Sweet Pea was literally instant.

One look was all it took and she had my complete heart.

The difference??

For one, I was already a mother. I knew how to be a mother and it was easy to open my heart to another daughter to love. And I knew I wouldn’t feel lost because I planned to do Babywise with Sweet Pea from the first day I brought her home. There was a plan in place and that gave me confidence in parenting that I didn’t have with Little Bug.

But what made the most difference was this: The first time I laid eyes on Sweet Pea, she was totally and completely mine.

TPR was not looming in the background haunting me saying, Is this your baby, or not?

TPR had already been signed; hours before I met Sweet Pea Melody had officially signed the TPR and placed the responsibility of parenting Sweet Pea on me.

The fact that I could love my baby wholly and completely from the first moment I laid eyes on her is one of the most precious gifts God has granted me on my adoption journey.

But at the same time, I wanted to meet this woman! And given the choice of meeting and knowing Sweet Pea’s birth mother before her birth or seeing Sweet Pea for the first time knowing she was already mine, I would choose to know Melody.

I love the gift God gave me, but “forgetting” the fact she did not come from my womb and “forgetting” Melody is not healthy for anyone – and yet, it is easy to do because I wouldn’t even recognize Melody on the street if I saw her!

So while I thank God for both of my adoption journeys and the lessons I learned and the lives that were forever molded together in very unique ways, I do pray for the opportunity to meet Melody one day.

I want to speak with her and tell her the story of how God lead us together through not one but two lawyers. I want her to see the miracle in her placement of Sweet Pea.

If she wishes, I want her to be able to see the baby she carried in her womb for 9 months.

I want her to see how happy she is and how she is the smiliest baby on the planet.

God brought Tracy back into our lives for six weeks at the beginning of 2011 and I was able to take some pictures of Little Bug with her birth mother. I want that for Sweet Pea, too.

I just have to trust that if God knows Sweet Pea will need to one day see pictures of her with her birth mother, God will make it happen.

one year later

Our first glimpse of our second daughter. There was obviously no laying of the baby on mother’s chest right after birth (seeing as how I didn’t give birth to her!), but I can’t imagine these moments being any more special than they were that day.

DSCN0269

Wires and lights were everywhere. I couldn’t even see her eyes, at first!

DSCN0002

The moment I knew love multiplies.

DSCN0381

Our first family of four photo while standing by Sweet Pea’s NICU bedside.

DSCN0430

Finally she is off the lights and can be held for feedings!

DSCN0491

In her Daddy’s arms. Notice the furrowed brow, her paci, the swaddle and her little hand coming out – she needed her Miracle Blanket!! That was her “look” for many weeks.

DSCN0606

First time holding my two girls. God has been so faithful to me this year as I mothered these two precious girls. I questioned God’s timing in bringing us another baby, but now, I know His plan was – and is – perfection.

DSCN0612

The special doctor God gave Sweet Pea in my absence. I worried about her being all alone in the hospital before I could get there, but she was well taken care of by Dr. R – one of the best doctors I have ever met.

DSCN0632

I don’t miss a thing when I take pictures, so it doesn’t surprise me that I took a picture of the NICU sign right outside the door. This picture reminds me that I’ve never experienced a “normal” birth with a healthy drug-free baby. But you know what? I haven’t missed a thing in this life because this is the path God has placed me on and these are the babies God gave me – and I don’t want my life to be “normal”.

DSCN0716

What a tiny little peanut! After just nine days in the NICU, Sweet Pea was well enough to come home! That, in and of itself, was a miracle as we were fully prepared for a lengthy stay with her.

DSCN0782

God is faithful. All the time, He is faithful.

DSCN0792

This past year is just another chapter of my life where the faithfulness of God is visible on every page.

DSCN0227

I thank the Lord for the healing He has brought upon this sweet baby.

Sweet Pea’s Party Theme!

Fitting, don’t you think?!

DSCN0357

God gave Sweet Pea the ability to genuinely smile from a very early age.

I think she was about 3 weeks old when we started seeing her smiles. And as she has gotten older, her smiles have just gotten bigger and sweeter.

God knew this Mama needed to see those smiles so early on.

Her first two months were rather difficult as we tried to figure out what would best help her comfort level with all her stomach troubles.

I can remember her writing in pain while having a “spell” and then moments after, she would give me the sweetest smiles I had ever seen.

Those smiles brought hope.

In those early days, it was hard to picture Sweet Pea as being anything other than a poor little baby suffering and in pain multiple times throughout the day as her body processed the drugs that had been in her system.

But her smiles reminded me there was a precious little baby behind all those tummy troubles and, one day, her troubles would pass and be no more.

As I thought of a theme for Sweet Pea’s first birthday party, I sort of jokingly said, How about smiley faces?! and I soon realized that while it’s certainly not a typical first birthday party theme, it fits Sweet Pea perfectly.

And so Smiley Faces it is!

I am loving this theme! It is so simple (and cheap) to pull off, yet so cute.

And, best yet, I am recycling some of Little Bug’s Minnie Mouse décor – which cuts my costs even further!

You’ll have to wait to see the rest of the décor until after the party on August 11th!