Friday, December 13, 2013

One Year Appointment

I decided to resurrect my blog for this post about Adara's one year appointment with the pediatrician. I went to her appointment, expecting a perfect health report, and I came with three topics to discuss:
1. How to ensure proper nutrition as Adara continues to transition to real food-should she be taking any vitamins/supplements?
2. Our whole family has been breaking out in hives, and we think it's because we're allergic to the trees-could that be what is bothering Adara too?
3. Recent articles about vaccines and outbreaks-like with whooping cough. Is there cause for concern, since we aren't vaccinating Adara?

We arrived at her appointment a half hour before her appointment-the pediatrician is in Cool Springs, so I always leave early in case of traffic. We got into the office half an hour after the scheduled appointment time. Good thing Adara likes toys and other kids.

She DID NOT like the nurse or pediatrician touching her. Normal developmental milestone of stranger anxiety. I don't remember how tall she is, but it's in the seventy-somthing percentile, and her 19 lbs 8 oz is in the forty-something percentile. She's not such a chunky baby anymore, since she's walking all over the place. The nurse had to prick her toe to check her hemoglobin levels, so I ended up nurse Adara to keep her still. The levels came up much lower than they should be, so the nurse checked with the other toe just to be sure. That level came up even lower than the first! Adara loved her pink band-aids on her toes.

I explained to the pediatrician that I'd stopped taking my prenatals, since I eat plenty of meat and a pretty healthy diet. She explained that a pregnant or lactating mom only gets about 1/8 the amount of iron needed through diet alone. Now, she said, my body and the baby's were depleted, and we need to get a supplement for now to get the levels back up. She said they would check her levels at her 15 month appointment. She recommended a supplement that they conveniently sell at their office-for both of us to take. She said I should never stop taking something without checking with a physician first. She also said the Whole Foods brand prenatal as the cheapest one she could recommend.

So we got it, and almost a month later I am happy to report that we are both feeling and acting much better. Honestly, I haven't noticed a huge difference with Adara, but I know that I feel SO much better-I feel like I have my brain and energy back! That stuff is NOT cheap, but we started ordering the larger bottle online, so that saves a little bit, and it definitely seems to be worth it.

The iron issue covered my nutrition question for the most part. The ped. said that I am doing great still nursing 5 or 6 times a day, and to keep focusing on whole foods for Adara to eat. We have some days where she acts like she loves food, and other days where all she wants to do is nurse. Typical.

2) Hives. Probably a virus, since we all also got sick (said the ped.). Alex now suspects it was because we were in ketosis  with our diet. We're now adding in (somewhat healthy) carbs to see if that helps.

3) I asked about the vaccines. Now, I don't remember the stats exacts, but she said something like 80% of those who get whooping cough are those who are already vaccinated. She said that, just like the flu, some vaccines need to be updated because the strain mutates. She said that the pertussis vaccine is simply outdated, and that "herd immunity" is simply a theory, not a proven fact. The pediatrician didn't seem concerned, so neither am I.

I go back in February for her 15 month appointment, and they will check her iron levels again. It has been a challenge to get her to take it, but Alex does it best by playing with her and giving it to her in small amounts.

Here's to keeping a healthy baby girl :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Top 5 strangest places to breastfeed

What an awkward topic....sort of...I suppose it depends on what circle of people you frequent. If you don't want to read about breastfeeding, skip this post.

Breastfeeding is a challenge, no doubt about it. I don't know anyone who said it just came naturally. I'm way better at feeding Adara than when we first started. Now I feed her when she's hungry, tired, bored, or hurt. It's an easy solution to many problems.

I've found myself feeding her in some unusual situations. I found them amusing,so I thought I'd share:

- Breastfeeding in the shower
Before she could crawl, I could sit her next to the shower and talk to her. However, she started crawling into the shower with me and crying for me to pick her up. So I took her clothes off and cleaned her with me. She quickly discovered her food source while I was holding her and decided she wanted a snack.

-Breastfeeding while changing my clothes I used to put Adara in my lap while I changed from pajamas to regular clothes. I don't as often now because as soon as I take my pajamas off she latches and snacks away.

-Breastfeeding while changing Adara's clothes
She is SO wiggly! I tried to get her pajamas on and the only way to keep her still was to feed her. So I did, and finally got her in pajamas.

-Breastfeeding while going to the bathroom
Maybe that's gross, but she'd fallen and was screaming and I wanted her to stop. She did.

-Breastfeeding while riding in the car
She stayed in her car seat the entire time. I sat/leaned beside her. Alex drove. Mileage accomplished, and baby fed. No bottles necessary.

So where's the strangest place you've fed your baby? Am I the only one whose done these?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Our new sleeping schedule

It's taken me a while to write this post. It's taken me a while to get used to this change. I really believe that this is the right decision for our family, but I've had to do a lot of processing.

Switching from Adara sleeping in our bed to her sleeping in her own room has been a huge change. She's across the house, and without our camera monitor, I'm not sure I could do it. In one weekend we stopped night nursing and put her in the crib for all naps and sleeping at night. That was three weeks ago, and I think I'm finally getting used to it.

I try to get her asleep or very sleepy, but we have let her cry herself to sleep. There have been times when we go in, pat her back, and then go out. Once or twice she cried for 45 minutes, but she usually didn't cry more than half an hour.

I still do a night routine: bath, prayer, books, turn off the lights, turn on her fan, nurse and sing, and sometimes bounce if she hasn't fallen asleep yet. We put her down at 7:30 pm, and she's usually asleep within 5 minutes. As long as we don't make too much noise by her room, she doesn't wake up enough to need comforting at night. When we had her in our room she would wake up, see us, and then have a hard time going back to sleep. Now, she may stir, crawl around to get comfortable again, and then fall back to sleep.

She no longer nurses at night. This was actually more difficult for me than it was for her. The first night I woke up at 4 am and pumped 10 ounces of milk! I have pumped other mornings, but each morning I can sleep later, and pump infrequently. Adara does nurse as soon as she wakes up, and is very hungry. These morning feedings are our "reconnect" time. I wake up missing her, and I look forward to getting her up and holding her close.

I also enjoy my Bible time first thing in the morning, without interruption.

She takes two naps: one at 9:30 am for about 45 minutes, and the other at 2 pm for at least an hour. I do a mini-routine to get her ready to sleep: books, nurse and sing, then crib.

Over the past week I've been able to set her in her crib and she hasn't fussed at all. I still try to make sure she's sleepy, and would prefer to put her in mostly asleep. Yesterday she actually leaned toward her crib, so I set her in there and walked out. She yelled out a few times from her crib, but never cried. Within 15 minutes she had settled down and fallen asleep.

I would say this has been a success for us. Adara seems to like her routine, and Alex and I get sleep at night. I am humbled so often, as I realize how judgmental I can be. There are so many different ways to raise a child. Parents have to do what they believe is best, and pray God's grace over these decisions.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Co-sleeping changes

So our alarm went of last night...but that's not the most interesting thing that's happened in the last 24 hours. Let me explain:

Two nights ago I got out of our bed after Adara had fallen asleep nursing  next to me. As I was brushing my teeth, I heard a bump and then loud crying. Yes, she'd fallen off the bed. After all those warnings from loved ones, including my husband, I'd let my precious child fall off the bed. Thankfully she was fine, but I felt horrible! We decided right then that we had to change something.

Alex and I had discussed various ways to transition her to her own space, but hadn't come up with a specific plan. That night we decided to try bringing in the guest mattress and setting it on the floor next to our bed. I ended up sleeping all night next to her. She only nursed twice! Normally, she nurses three, four, five or more times throughout the night, and is pretty wiggly. I woke up feeling rested. Alex woke up feeling rested, because he didn't have to worry about running into Adara (which had been happening often, since she's getting so big!). We decided she's never sleeping in the big bed again.

Last night I again fell asleep next to Adara on the twin bed mattress. The alarm woke us up a little after 1 0pm, we hid in the closet until the police came, realized it was a faulty window, and then went back to sleep. Sort of. Adara went right back to sleep. I got up and back into my own bed and watched TV with Alex while the adrenaline wore off. Around midnight Adara fussed again, so I nursed her back to sleep. I didn't fall asleep next to her, so when I was sure she was asleep, I decided to try sleeping on my bed.

It's just past 7 am, and Adara is still asleep! Around 5:45 am, I heard her fussing, but just watched her to see if she would go back to sleep. She did!

It's only been two nights, but I believe putting Adara on her own bed has been one of the best decisions we've made recently-for ourselves, for our marriage, and for our sanity. I don't regret co-sleeping-it was great when Adara was tiny and needed to hear my heartbeat and eat ever couple of hours. Now, she has room to roll over, but I can still hear her if she needs me in the night. I also don't worry about her rolling off the mattress, since it's on the floor. Win, win, win.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Half-way into 2013: A Review of the Past Six Months

Here's my original post about goals for the upcoming year. Some we are doing great, others not so much. Since it's six months later, it seems appropriate to re-evaluate where we are, and adjust goals.

1. Bible time first thing. For this most part, this is still consistent. Sometimes I do clean up the kitchen or get Alex's lunch ready first, but I do try to get it done early in the morning. It helps that we try to get the house pretty clean the night before, and the rest can wait until I've read my devotional. I subscribe to Tabletalk Devotions with R.C. Sproul, from, so I read that every morning.

2. Get reading! I haven't proactive to reach the goal of twelve books by the end of the year, and I have no good excuse. I have a Kindle, and now I have the Reader on my iPhone. I did read more consistently in February and March, and then I kind of forgot about it. I have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and some other games on my phone, which started to monopolize my "nap with Adara" time. I've recently come back to books, and I feel like I'm actually doing something productive.

3. Food and Physical Activity-we are actually doing the best we've ever done in this part of our life! We are eating a mostly Paleo diet, and loving it! Mostly meaning: we don't eat grains, legumes, sugar, etc, and eat a lot of meat, veggies, and some fruits and nuts. I get as much as I can at the farmer's market, but we don't eat organic meat. We've recently cut waaayyyy back on fruit, so that we can optimize nutrition and physique before we go to the beach in a couple of weeks ;) We do the Ab Ripper X part of P90X ever other day, and I've started going on walks with Adara in our neighborhood.

The results so far: Alex has lost 40 lbs and went from a size 38/40 to a size 32 or 34 (depending on the brand). I am the smallest I've been since probably my sophomore year of high school. I actually thought it wasn't possible for me to be this small-and I eat a lot of food! I easily eat the same as Alex, and sometimes more! Paleo+breastfeeding for the win!

We're also nicer people when we aren't having sugar highs and crashes.

4. Hospitality: I've not done so great one this one. I definitely plan enough for us, and sometimes a little extra, but we've had to run to the store for extra food if we have people over. I'm getting better at it! I am learning what kinds of paleo type foods are cheap and easy to make in larger quantities. Alex says I'm doing great :)

5. Budget. We've not been great at this one, but I'm not worried about it. At the beginning of the year, we weren't planning to buy a house. So we are not on track by any means. We're also going on vacation, but we're staying with family and not doing much that costs extra.

Losing weight and inches also hasn't helped our budget, because we're needing new clothes. *Sigh* guess we'll just HAVE to go shopping.....

Thursday, May 30, 2013

First: Road trip (Kentucky)

Today is the first time Adara has been out of Tennessee! Here's how the day progressed:

I met my mom at Whole Foods fairly early in the morning. She rode in the back next to Adara. She fed Adara some food I'd brought: a mixture of bananas, strawberries, and coconut milk. Adara loved it, and we avoided fussing.

We stopped by my Aunt Lori's to drop something off, and then went to my grandparents house about 45 minutes north of Nashville.My grandpa got to see a happy baby before leaving the house, and I nursed Adara before got on the road again.

We met my Aunt Lori at Belk close by, and then headed north. Adara was happy to see people around her, and of course they were happy to see her too. My mom read Adara some books, and sang to her.

We drove just over the Kentucky boarder to a small Amish store. They had a lot for such a small store! I bought aluminum free baking powder, sea salt, cocoa, banana chips, and a small amount of sorghum.  My family checked out my stuff for me while I again fed Adara in the car.

We all got back in my Escape and drove down to a restaurant in a school basement/cafeteria. The school also had a beauty salon, and a small museum, among other things. Adara started to get fussy. I changed Adara's diaper in an obscure corner, and she was a little happier. We tried a high chair while waiting for our food, and that was not happening. I finally figured out she was hungry again, and she fell asleep nursing in my lap. Thankfully my aunt cut up my chicken for me so that I could eat it. Adara woke up shortly before we left. We did remember to get pictures outside after lunch:

We headed south again, and Adara was pretty content! We dropped my aunt of and then my grandma. We drove over to see my Aunt Lana and her new house-she has the best view! Adara enjoyed getting out of the car again. She was less excited about getting back in.

We headed south again, and my mom shared some chocolate covered espresso beans with me to help keep me alert and awake. Yum. We made it back to Whole Foods, where we bought a small amount of food and then parted ways. Adara and I were home by 4:25pm, and it wasn't until 4:20pm that Adara started fussing! I was concerned about driving so far today, but she was fantastic! I'm so excited that she did this well! 

We're planning to drive down to the beach later this summer to visit Alex's grandma, and this was my test run to see how well she would do for a long car ride. I feel encouraged after today!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Six Months

Adara is six months old! Her appointment was in the middle of the month, but I thought I'd share on here how it went.

Her head is 18", which is off the charts, haha. she's got lots of smarts :)
She is 25.5 inches long, which is about average, and weighs 16 lbs 9 oz. She's perfect.
I reported that I feed her about 6 times during the day, and then another 3-4 times throughout the night.
We talked about solids, and how babies don't need anything but breast milk until they are 1 year old. I mentioned how I had read something saying that breast milk isn't adequate after 6 months, and she said that isn't true, especially with how often I'm feeding her. It's also fine to just let her try stuff I'm eating, and start with mushy foods like sweet potatoes, avocado, and bananas. She's growing at the perfect rate, and I'm to keep doing what I'm doing. Adara was so sweet and smiling the whole time we were there.

Things I should expect:

  • more teeth
  • mobility-so I should make sure I have a space safe for her to play.

Since she's turned six months, it's been amazing to see how much she is learning! She's learning to sit up, and loves to wiggle and bounce! She also loves to talk, and has been stringing together "baba", "mamama" and "dadada".

Here she is at six months old!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day (plus pick out the best photo)

What a wonderful day! We celebrated Mother's Day at home with some family. My parents and brother Donny came down for church at home and brunch. We made a frittata with shredded sweet potato, onions, mushrooms, and chorizo (and eggs, of course):

I also made some chocolate, chocolate chip muffins with coconut flour. We ate all of the first batch before I had a chance to take a picture. We enjoyed them so much, that I made another batch to eat with out breakfasts throughout the week. Here's a picture of those:

They were so yummy! Click here for the recipe. Their photo is also much better than mine. The recipe originally calls for honey, but left it out, and it isn't needed at all! I also put in more chocolate chips than what the recipe calls for.

We also fried up some plantanes and ate them with guacamole, but those were definitely eaten before I took a picture. 

Here are my favorite photos from today! My mom and my daughter! It truly is a blessing to be able to celebrate motherhood with my mom. I cherish our time together, and am looking forward to many more times as summer break is almost here!

I couldn't decide which one was my favorite, so y'all get to see all our attempts. Which one is the best one? I'll put numbers under them, and I'll put the best one up on facebook. Thanks :)
Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Number 4

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


I first wanted to share this video. It's beautiful, and incredibly encouraging. Sometimes I wonder the significance of what I'm doing. I wonder if I'm doing enough, or doing something wrong. I've been thinking a lot about what has worked well so far raising Adara. I'm realizing that reading books, articles, and talking to others only helps so much, and we ultimately need to do what works best for our family. For instance:

I'm not good at letting my baby cry. If she's fussy, I try to figure out why and how to fix it. I wear her in my sling a lot, and she's almost always happy when she's right next to me. Unless she hungry....

Most of the time, I love feeding my baby. She loves to eat, and loves to cuddle. We had a couple of days after she got her tooth where I had to teach her not to bite. Biting is terrible, and when she bit me I thought about quitting right then. She's a lot better now, and loves to nurse for nourishment and comfort...

Adara nurses even as she's asleep. She sleeps next to me so that we can both get sleep throughout the night. She falls asleep by 8 pm, and "sleep eats" throughout the night until sometime around 6 am (except today it is after 8am, and all is quiet). We both wake up feeling rested. It's so nice not having to get up in the middle of the night. She'll eventually sleep in her own bed, but I'm in no hurry.

We've established a "sort of" schedule. She usually takes at least two naps: one in the morning, and one in the middle of the day. If her middle of the day nap is short, then she needs another later in the afternoon. If she takes a long afternoon nap, she can usually be fine until we start her bedtime routine around 7 pm...

Her bedtime routine is almost always the same. I give her a bath, then pajamas, read a book, Alex and I pray with her, then I sing while walking/bouncing around until she is mostly asleep. I then lay down with her and she nurses the rest of the way to sleep. Sometimes I fall asleep with her, and sometimes I get up again and go to bed a little later in the evening. I still feed her whenever I think she's hungry...

I'm pretty sure she's going through her 6 month growth spurt right now. She's often kind of fussy, and seems to want to eat/sleep even more than usual. It's kind of neat to think about her hitting another milestone...

In two weeks, she'll be half a year old! Motherhood has definitely been a crazy learning experience. I didn't realize how much I didn't know until I had a child of my own. I didn't realize how selfish I was with my time and body until I had to share with my daughter. As she continues to grow, I ask God daily for His grace to be the kind of mother He's created me to be, with each challenge and exciting milestone.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Free Friday

Today Adara and I got out of the house for a while, and everything we did was free!
This is us excited to go to Spring Hill (well I'm excited):

First, we went to Kohl's. They sent us a $10 card towards anything. I bought a pair of pants and a shirt on clearance. Total was less than $10, so I got them for free!

Adara checking out my stylish pants, haha
(don't worry, I put the pants away after taking the picture)
Then we went to Sweet Cece's. I have their rewards card, and had a free one! Now, don't yell at me because of the Paleo diet. I got the sorbet, which is basically fruit and water (and some sugar) and I only got a tiny bit in the bottom of my cup. The rest is fruit and nuts and a small amount of chocolate chips. Yum. And free.

Adara checking out the food. She tried a little and liked it!

Next we went to the Starbucks inside Target. We walked from the Sweet Cece's to Target, since they basically share a parking lot. Adara enjoyed the walk. Alex gave me his Starbucks gift card; he wasn't using it. I got iced green tea with no sweetener. Refreshing, and I (personally) paid $0 for it.

Adara tried to bite the straw, but couldn't get any.
We had a lovely morning out and about. It was fun getting some treats, but not having to spend any money.

If anyone has any more ideas for free/cheap outings, keep me posted! We would love to get out of the house, and would blog about our adventure ;)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Burgers and Chocolate Ice Cream.....what???

Tonight my family-in-law graciously agreed to watch Adara while Alex and I had a date. We decided to have our date at home. We rented a movie, and made our own dinner. Since we're eating Paleo-ish, it's easier for me to make food at home. We don't eat grains, legumes, dairy, or sugar, but we eat conventionally grown veggies and meats. It's what we can afford right now, and it works.

Here's what we had for dinner:

 Alex had pickles with his dinner. I got the flax seed flat bread recipe here, and it works really well for holding the burger. It stuck to the pan a little, so next time I'll make sure to coat the bottom even better with butter. We also had tomatoes, avocado, and bacon on the burger. Alex ate his with salsa. The broccoli, of course, was covered in butter and garlic salt.

For dessert I made chocolate ice cream. Unfortunately we gobbled it up before I thought to take a picture. The ice cream was made up of frozen bananas, coconut milk, cocoa, and some coarsely ground almonds. Someone gave us an ice cream maker as a wedding present, and I just used it for the first time last week! It tasted incredible, and it looked just like ice cream! Maybe next time I'll remember to take a picture....maybe. I get really excited about eating it. We also enjoyed some coffee with dessert. Wonderful, relaxing evening.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

First 30 days of P90X

We finished the first 30 days! Well, technically tomorrow is our rest/stretch day. Also, we stopped short with yoga, because I was so ridiculously hungry I did not want to continue. I think Adara is hitting a growth spurt again, because she nursed almost all night long, and her naps are predictable again.

So what is my evaluation so far? Well, it definitely works.We took photos of ourselves 30 days ago, and then took ones today, and the difference is remarkable! Granted, we are also doing a Paleo diet of sorts, so that makes a difference too. However, the workouts take forever! They range from an hour to an hour and a half, and that it a lot to do at one time. It is really early to get up before Adara wakes up, and sometimes she wakes up anyways. It also made us super hungry every day (even as we got used to the diet, I was still ravenous), and I was already hungry all the time from breastfeeding!

Conclusion: We are going to keep using the program, but we are going to slow down intensity. We are going to aim for 15 to 20 minutes of exercise daily, instead of the hour. Because we are eating a low-carb diet, we will just eat when we are hungry, but not need to eat as much. Since we paid for the DVD's, we're going to use them as a guide, but we won't follow this program exactly.

So who is this crazy workout for? A single person, married/dating couple, or group who have a couple of hours to devote solely to working out and nothing else.

I would not recommend this program for parents of small children who do not like to be left alone for long periods of time, and people who generally have a busy schedule. There are plenty of shorter workouts available that will also yield results.

Next post will probably be about diet.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Getting into the "sling" of things

I've tried the sling before, and Adara just fussed while in it. Yesterday I really wanted to finish some laundry, and Adara wanted attention. Since she wasn't fussy when I held her, so I decided to give the sling another shot. It worked out great! I got some laundry folded and put away, and put some dishes in the dishwasher. Some things were not folded as well as if I was not holding a baby, but it is put away.

I used it again today for a little while. Adara's been kinda fussy all day, and no matter what I did she was only fussy-free for a few minutes. After laying down with her for the umpteenth time to try to get her to sleep, I finally just left her and went to work in the kitchen. I heard a tiny bit of fussing, but kept working on my paleo waffles that I was dying to try. After a few minutes, all I heard was silence. I checked in on her, and she'd fallen asleep! She hardly ever falls asleep unless I'm right next to her! Guess this time she wanted her space. I learn something new about this child every day.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Finding time in the day

It's been a while since I've blogged. Being a mom takes up a lot of time! Especially when my precious bundle loves to be cuddled and doesn't like being left alone. So I'm taking the few minutes that she's happy playing with her toys to write out some thoughts.

We've started eating Paleo/Primal again. Grains seemed to be upsetting me and Adara, so I was already headed that direction. Then Alex decided he wanted to do it too, and get back in shape. We've gone a full two weeks now, and I'm just starting to feel better. Doing a low-carb diet is no fun right away, but is worth it in the long run. Adara spits up even less now, hardly every has a blowout, and has very few bumps on her skin.

Gotta go pick up my crying baby.....

We've also started an exercise program-P90X. It is intense, and good for us, but every workout is very time-consuming. I've started getting up extra-early so that I can get it done while Adara sleeps. Today I decided to sleep in and try to fit my hour and a half yoga workout sometime today. I'm already regretting this decision.

Today I figured out that I can vacuum with one hand, and hold Adara with my other arm. She really likes the vacuum cleaner, so this works out pretty well. I can also load the dishwasher with one hand, but sometimes the dishes don't get rinsed off as well. I've thought about putting her in her carrier while I do housework, but I bend over a lot, and so I still need one hand to support her. Carrier works great for when I'm out though.

And now it's time for her to eat again. Definitely treasuring these moments, because I know that soon enough she will be older and able to run around the house.

So what do you all do when you try to get stuff done? Have you noticed how you eat affecting your child?

Friday, February 15, 2013

On Becoming a Home Owner

Whew. This past month has been crazy. I felt like we've been in limbo, just waiting to move out of our apartment.

Alex and I had talked about moving, but had planned to find a bigger place to rent. With our new precious baby, we had a lot of baby stuff, and were starting to feel cramped.

I had looked at houses a long time ago on, and received email updates with new houses in my search requirements. I saved the ones I liked, and even sent some on to Alex to show him the kinds of houses I would like to look at one day. He would sometimes reply what he also liked and didn't like.

Well, he saw one, and called me saying that we should consider buying it. We decided we were ready to commit to buying a house. Alex called about the one he liked, and I continued sifting through the options online. Here were my basic requirements: minimum three bedrooms, two bathrooms, preferable open floor plan, less than $100,000, and in a good neighborhood. A front porch and garage would be nice, but not necessary.

The real estate agent Alex contacted for one house ended up being our real estate agent for the rest of the search. He was very helpful, and had contacts for a house inspector, a termite inspector, and a lender. We used all of his resources, and weren't disappointed. The agent's name is David W. Graffius, and his number is (615) 300-1557, if you're in the middle Tennessee area and are looking for a house.

The first house we saw was right on a highway. It was an older brick house that was completely remodeled inside. It was beautiful. If it was down the side street, we would have put an offer on it. However, I really didn't like that it was on a major highway, and the backyard was minimal. We didn't write it off, but did continue looking in earnest.

The next house was the one which we fell in love. It is in a subdivision, has an open floor plan, a fenced in back yard, and a giant walk-in closet No front porch or garage, but it has a nice paved driveway and gorgeous windows. We wanted to stop looking and buy it right then. However, we planned to see a couple other houses, and asked Alex's dad to come look at this one.

We started packing that evening and the next.

A couple of days later the house passed the "dad inspection" and we were not impressed with the other house we saw. We told our agent we wanted to put on offer on the house we loved, and he came the next day with the paperwork. We signed a TON of paperwork, and Alex started talking to the lender and did some more paperwork.

Buying a house involves a lot of paperwork.

We had a number of offers and counter offers before coming to an agreement. We needed the seller to pay closing costs and we wanted a home warranty.  We ultimately agreed to pay a little more for the house so that they would pay more of the up-front costs. We filled out more paperwork for the loan, and waited for an official closing day.

The days seemed to drag by. We had half of our stuff packed, and were trying to pack the rest while still living in the apartment.

We finally heard last week that if our lender got the paperwork in by Friday, we would be closing on Tuesday! We tried to finish packing up as much as we could. With Adara, I am very thankful for the family who watched her while I worked on cleaning, organizing, and packing.

We signed the paperwork Tuesday at noon and started moving that afternoon. Alex's family pitched in to help us-Lacey watched Adara for us, Alex's dad and brothers made numerous trips back and forth to help us move all our boxes. We hired movers to come Wednesday morning to move our big stuff. Definitely worth it to us since we were moving from a third story apartment. We used "All My Sons" movers, and they were excellent. One guy picked up my wooden cabinet full of cans and flours and other heavy things like it was nothing. Alex said they just picked up the washer and dryer and carried them down the stairs. I was very impressed. We heard about them from our local Christian radio station, WayFM.

Alex turned in our apartment keys Wendesday afternoon, and we were officially out of the apartment.

The last few days we've been shopping for the essentials. The house had no appliances, and the closets were missing most of the shelves. An investment company bought the house when it was a foreclosure, and then resold it to us. We had a lot of fun picking stuff out, but it was kind of stressful, especially for Adara. We took her with us, but all this change has been overstimulating for her. We usually left the store with a crying baby.

This house feels more like home than our apartment every did. Being in the apartment reminded me of staying in a hotel, only bigger. This feels like a place we'll stay for a while-which is good, since we have a large note on the house now! This was definitely worth all the trouble, but I hope we don't move again for a long time! It's expensive to move, and it is a lot of work! We still have quite a bit of unpacking to do, but I'm enjoying the process.

Welcome home:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Two Month Appointment

Despite the crazy weather, we made it to Adara's appointment on time. She weighs just over 11 pounds, and is 22.5 inches long. She's growing right on track :)

I fed Adara while we waited in the room. Adara was happy, awake, and alert.

I asked Samantha Mulder, a.k.a. "Sam", a couple questions. I asker her about the whole co-sleeping thing. She said that she looks at world-wide studies. She said that co-sleeping is fine as long as it is a non-smoking, healthy weight parent of the baby. She said that it can be beneficial, and even encourages breastfeeding. I also asked her about her personal opinion on birth control. She asked when I would want to be fertile again, and I said maybe in about a year. She suggested an IUD, as it would be an easy, no stress year. So we'll see what we end up doing in the long run.

She check Adara from head to toe, showed me growth charts, and said she's perfect. She told me I was free to finish feeding Adara in the room, so I did.

Afterwards I met up with my friend Freya at Whole Foods for lunch. She had a baby boy a month and a half before Adara, and we hadn't seen each other since we had our babies! We had a fun time catching up and sharing experiences.

Up until a couple of nights ago, Adara had been sleeping from 11pm ish to around 5am ish. The past few nights, though, she's started going to sleep around 10:15pm, then waking up around midnight to eat, and then again around 5am to eat, and then around 7:30 am. Adara and I have recently figured out how to breastfeed while laying down, so feeding more frequently at night actually hasn't been that bad! Yay for co-sleeping!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sleeping arrangements

"Is she a good sleeper?" Well, that depends....

I admit it: We let Adara sleep in our bed. She sleeps cuddled up right next to me. Last night, she slept over 6 consecutive hours! She stirred some around 3am, but then fell back asleep. That's the beauty of having her right next to me: She just falls asleep again if she wakes up a little, because I'm her automatic comfort.

A few times we tried putting her in her bed beside us and just comforting her with rocking or my hand touching her. So far, we've slept much better with her right beside me. We decided that  at this time, we  value getting sleep more than trying to get her to sleep in her own bed.

After reading so much before having Adara about SIDS and not having the baby in bed with you, I was surprised to find that  "sleep-sharing" is more common that I'd thought. We have friends who also have a little girl who will only sleep next to Mom, and even Dr. Sears has an article addressing the issue. Dr. Sears was recommended to me by a friend, and I only wish I'd read more before giving birth. It is reassuring to read that it is actually okay (and in some cases, beneficial) to have my baby sleep right next to me.

Someday we do want to have her sleep in her own bed and be on some kind of consistent schedule, but for now, I'm not going to worry about it too much. (Of course, right now she's sleeping beautifully in her bed right next to the closet where she can hear the heater humming away.)

Anyone have similar experiences? What worked/didn't work for you?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Decision changed

I took one of my progestin-only pills before reading the fine print with the medication. After reading the insert, we realized that if I did happen to get pregnant while taking this pill, the risk is slightly higher that it could be an ectopic pregnancy (when the baby is implanted outside the uterus and can't survive). If that were to happen while I was taking the pill, I would be absolutely crushed. I can't imagine knowing that I had a tiny baby inside of me, and he or she couldn't continue living because of the kind of birth control I was taking. It isn't worth the risk. So in case any of y'all wanted to know about our birth control decisions, here's the update.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Recovery Story

First, I want to say that I would not have made it through the birthing process naturally without my support team. Thanks again to Alex, my mom, and Alex's mom who were with me every step of the way. Second, Alex and I would have had a rough time without the support of our family and friends who came the first couple weeks after Adara was born.

The first couple of weeks I couldn't hardly walk. When we first came home from the hospital, Alex carried Adara in her carrier to our apartment, and then helped me up the stairs to our third story apartment. He basically carried me up the steps. I had some pain from my episiotomy, but I'd been given plenty of numbing medication. My abdominal muscles were incredibly sore from pushing. I've never been so sore in my life. I've run a half-marathon, and that was nothing compared to this. Showering was refreshing, but I could barely get in and out of the shower by myself. I walked when I needed to, but it was a struggle. Alex helped me get in and out of our bed to sleep. When I sat down, I stayed there until I needed to get up again. I took acetaminophen or ibuprofen once a day for the first few days when I absolutely needed it.

The first couple of nights were also rough because Adara would cry and cry and we couldn't figure out why. During the second night we realized that she was becoming dehydrated and remedied the problem. I'm saving my thoughts on breastfeeding for a whole different post.

We received a lot of much needed support in the first few weeks. My mom stayed the first few nights with us, and I'm forever grateful for her help. Because of my limited ability to move, someone needed to take care of Adara and also take care of me. She cooked food for us, washed our dishes, did our laundry, and helped out however we needed. She held Adara for a couple of hours so that Alex and I could both get sleep. 

More than once Allison brought us home made food, and also brought us some fast food when we realized last minute that we had no food for dinner. She also brought Alex's work clothes with her to be ironed and then returned. She's also watched Adara a number of times so that Alex and I can both get out of the house. We received many other visitors with meals and words of encouragement. 

During this whole time, I still felt like a mess. By the third or fourth day, I started crying. Alex was wonderful and made me some signs saying things like, "Calista is the best mommy ever! Alex and Adara love her so much!" and put them up around our apartment. They are still up, and I smile every time I see them.

By Thanksgiving, almost a week after having Adara, I was back to my weight when I first found out I was pregnant. I was excited, but also exhausted. I enjoyed being with my in-laws for Thanksgiving lunch. My sis-in-laws looked at me worriedly because I was walking funny and super slow, and I assured them that not everyone's recovery is as rough as mine. I started crying in the early afternoon because I was so tired. I took a nap in my sis-in-law's room, and then Alex took us home for the rest of the day.

By the third week I was still feeling sore, but did see some progress every single day. When Alex and I walked around Walmart to get Christmas decorations, I was the slowest walker in the whole store. I called the doctor's office to see if me being so sore was a problem. The nurse that I talked to said it was pretty normal, and also said that being dehydrated can make me feel worse. After that I drank more water and noticed a significant improvement. I even stopped bleeding by the fourth week.Unfortunately, by Christmas "Aunt Flo" had decided to come visit. I was hoping that breastfeeding would have keep this delayed a bit longer, but it was not to be. Bummer.

My six week appointment was today.  I brought our Christmas card and my doctor put it up on the board with all the other baby pictures. I weighed in at 124 pounds (about ten pounds less than when I first found out I was pregnant), which is how much I usually weigh when I eat healthy and exercise. My temperature and blood pressure are great. Doctor says I'm completely healed! I had a PAP smear and shouldn't need to come back for another year. Because I did start back on my cycle, I am starting the progestin-only pill. Doctor said this is a safe option while breastfeeding. I love having Adara, but I'd like to be able to wait a little while before having another tiny baby.

Tomorrow I'm going to go grocery shopping, and plan to carry up all the jugs of water by myself. I don't have much strength or endurance yet, and want to be able to run around with my child when she gets to that point. I'm so incredibly excited about everything we're experiencing, and what God has for our future!