Can't. Stop. Coughing.

Since I'm sick (see previous post) and can't stop coughing (and therefore can't sleep), I thought I'd post a fun little survey.

In 2008....

1. Did you kiss anyon​e?​
Of course.

2. Did you date anyon​e?​
Had some fun dates with my hubby...mostly in our pre-Declan days.

3. Are you going​ to kiss someo​ne when the ball drops​?​
Well, I'm on antibiotics and Mark just got a flu or something so I'm sure we'll skip the kiss this year.

4. Did you lose any frien​ds?​
I didn't really lose any friends, just lost touch with some.

5. Did you gain any frien​ds?​

6. Did you do somet​hing new?
Motherhood is definitely new to me but there were a lot of new things that came along with our adoption that were so new too.

7. Did anyon​e impor​tant to you die?
Yes, my grandpa-in-law. *edited later to add...I'm an idiot...grandpa died in 2006*

8. Did you chang​e?​
For sure!! We started the year out starting back at fertility treatments after a break from it all. We've gone through tons of ups and downs with that and have come out of it all with a beautiful adopted son. I've changed in many ways- I learned how selfless motherhood is and that's changed me a ton. I've also learned that my our family can be built without our DNA and be just as fabulous. (I'm working on a post about that later...)

9. Are you happy​ with the year over all?
Again, there were ups and downs but I'm definitely happy about '08.

10. Whats​ the best thing​ that happe​ned to you?
Declan Isaac.

11. Did you fall in or out of love?​
In love for sure. Never knew I could feel this way about someone. I've also fallen more in love with Mark...he's an amazing daddy.

12. Are you happy​ the year'​s almos​t over?​
I guess. I feel old now. Graduated high school in 2000 and now it's almost '09. Yikes!​

13. Are you going​ to chang​e somet​hing about​ yours​elf next year?​
YES! I need to start working out again. I feel like a ball of flabby fatness.

14. Do you think​ 2009 will be a bette​r year than 2008?​

15. Did you go on a vacat​ion?​
Not really. Even though I consider our yearly family trip to a nearby state park a vacation, it really isn't. We also went 4 hours West of here for adoption classes. Again- not a vacation. :) I'd love to take one in '09.

16. Did you lie to your paren​ts?​

17. Did you get into a fight​?​
Unfortunately some verbal fights.

18. Did you leave​ the count​ry?​

19. Did you have a good birth​day?​
Yes! I was a new mom (of 2 days) walking on the clouds (joy + no sleep).

20. Did anyon​e in your famil​y get marri​ed?​
Yes! My bro-in-law got married to an incredible woman and my sis-in-law married a great guy as well. *edited later to add that I have 4 brain cells left b/c both of these weddings were in '07*

21. Do you think​ you grew?​
My waistline did.

22. Did you dye your hair?​
Once or twice.

23. Who do you think​ you were on the phone​ with the most?​
My mom and dad.

24. Did anyon​e sing to you?
Hmmm...not that I can think of. My hubby has a great voice and plays the guitar so I need to work on getting him to sing to me in '09!

25. Did you sing to anyon​e?​
Lots of singing to Deckers.

26.Did anyon​e tell you they loved​ you?
Yes...I'm blessed by my family and friends.

27. Did you ever go to the hospi​tal?​
Yes...my dad had a (not so) little pancreas incident and we were at the hospital for the birth of my son.

28. What did you drink​ and eat the most?​
I definitely abuse a little drink called Diet Mountain Dew. Yikes...it's a true addiction. Since we've had a baby that drinks over $70 of formula a week we eat a lot of cheap/easy foods: toast, PBJs, noodles and baked potatoes. (please refer to the expanding waistline answer above)

28. Did you vote?​
Absolutely!! I was definitely tied up in this election more than any others.

29. Are you going​ to make a new years​ resol​ution​?​
Yes. I'd like to work on the fatness, organize my house better. cook more at home, balance working part time and trying to earn a good income (I'm full commission sales), etc...

30. How do you feel,​ anoth​er year has passe​d you by?
Extremely blessed.

Here are some pics of my sick son I took tonight. He just can't stop being constantly cute...even with a runny nose and cough.

Asking for some prayers, please!

I've been struggling with a cold turned some sort of infection turned strep throat for 7 days now. I'm on antibiotics and feeling a bit better but still down and out with a bunch of annoying symptoms. Little Decs has had a cold since Sunday and is only sleeping in 2 to 3 hour increments at night before he needs his nose sucked out. :( NOW, my wonderful caretaker hubby is lying in bed with a fever, chills and body aches. The big kicker is that we have family flying in this week for our Christmas. I'm nervous that we'll miss out on lots of good family lovin'. Honestly, with this whole house of sickness (I had stomach flu 2 weeks ago)) I just feel we'll NEVER we well again. Please pray for us. Thanks.


...an "A" for effort...

I can't say Declan really swallowed any of the sweet potatoes I made for him today, but he sure did make some funny faces. Yes, we're officially in the world of FOOD. Hopefully he learns to like it. :)


4 months old :)

Where has the time gone??
Today: December 25th...Declan is 4 months old!
Weight: 13 lbs, 3 oz+ (weight a week ago)
Height: 25.5 inches (yes, almost 5 inches longer than at birth!)
New nicknames: Declan-do...he giggles when we add "do" to then end of his name. He still goes by a plethora of other nicknames.
This past month...
-Declan has slept through the night ONE time. Yes, a backslide from last month, but whataya do?
-We've dropped his evening nap this month so he now gets to hang out with us all night. Usually he gets a bit crabby and nods off for a bit before his 10pm feeding. He still gets up around 3:00am and then is up for the day at 7am. I'm hoping to blog at his 5 month birthday that he's dropped his 3am feeding. Please please please! ;)
-Declan loves his exersaucer!! Mr. Strongpants loves to play in it and it's so cute to catch him "reading" the book that's one of the attached toys.
-All his newborn and 0-3 month clothes got put in storage this week. Some 3-6 month pants also made the storage bin as well as some of his 6-9 month jammies. It's shocking how quickly kiddos outgrow their clothes.
-Declan is much more interactive now. He loves to sit on our laps while we hold his hands and be bounced around. His little laugh is a heart melter.
-Declan now sleeps in his crib. Woot woot!
-We had a little Christmas party with his birthparents this month. It had been awhile since we had seen them so it was touching to see them experience all his new faces and sounds. We had a great time with them!
-The doctor gave us a green light last Friday to start yellow vegetables! He's going to skip rice cereal since he has a suspected milk intolerance. I've been researching how to make my own baby food and have plans to get him started here soon. *Wish me luck.* ;)

We had a great time this Christmas hanging out with our families. I have a horrible head cold so I've been a little cloudy in the brain but still have good memories. Here are some pics of our little family (minus the dog children):

Daddy & Decs:

Mommy & the little man:


Wishing you a Fabulous Christmas!!!

Mark, Ashley, Declan 
and the dog children- Jack & Sophie


Yes ma'am...

...we've got a roller...

I know this isn't an action shot, but I'll try to catch one sometime...I'm still celebrating his first roll. What a ROCK STAR. ;)


I know you're out there!!!

I got an idea off a great blog I read called Baby Mac...where are you?? It's called "sound off".  I know I have readers out there so leave a comment and say your first name and what state you're from!! Thanks!

Don't be shy...


No, it's not a wig...

...It's Declan's "comfort blanket".  We have one in brown and one in white (so we can do the wash swap if needed down the road). He LOVES it! It touches his face and his little lids grow heavy. 

This is a repeat pic, but you can see him with his arm wrapped around the white version of the same blanket...(so cute)....


Some photo fun...

I've seen this on other's blogs. It's a fun little game. Here are the directions:

1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer

2) Select the 4th picture in the folder

3) Explain the picture

4) Tag 4 people to do the same

NO CHEATING! (cropping, editing, etc!)

This was taken in December 2007. My sister-in-law and I were donating our hair to Pantene Beautiful Lenths. It's a lot like Locks.of.Love. This is a picture of her "pre chop".

I hate tagging people, so if you think this is fun, then do it! (That's what I did off of another blog)



Dear Stomach Flu,

I hate you. I feel like I'm dying. Thanks for ruining my good nights sleep and waking me at 4am with a vengeance. Thank you for making the nausea so strong that I can't even rest today. Thanks for laughing at all my extra hand washing and sanitizing by finding and killing my weekend anyways. Oh, and leave my son and husband alone.

Your not-biggest fan,


Yes, I'm one of THOSE mamas...

I woke up at 5:30 this morning and my husband was moving around in bed so I asked him what time Declan ate (he is always up 3-3:30am). He said he hadn't got up!! Could it be? Could he seriously be sleeping more than 5 hours?? PTL! Instead of rolling over in my warm bed, I got up and walked through my old creaky 1920s house to go make sure Declan was breathing. What other explanation is there for him to sleep that long except for him not breathing??! Completely irrational, I know. He was peacefully sleeping. Duh. I'm a dork.

This is Declan's "get a life and simmer down, mom" look:


Exersaucer love...

Declan LOVES his exersaucer. It's like a wide-eyed adventure every time he's in it. I really like the freedom watching him play in it too!


It only took 3 1/2 months, but...

Declan slept in his crib last night for the first time. No more car seat sleepin' for our little guy.

Before snug as a bug in his car seat:

First time crib sleeping (woot):

It's been a process to get him comfortable with the crib. He's napped about a week in the crib (but wouldn't sleep in it at night). We tried different things...the wedge (he hated that)...no swaddle, swaddle, blanket, no blanket, etc, etc. You'll notice in both pics, Declan is a 1 arm swaddling type of guy. He is also attached to a comfort blanket a friend sewed for him. We caught it completely covering his face twice so it now has 3 hair ties so it's like a tube blanket. Sort of weird looking, but he loves it.

So, now that he's sleeping in the crib, our next mission is to sleep all night!! For my memory sake, he is now going down around 9:30pm or 10-ish and sleeps until 3am-ish and then is back up 6-7am. I keep hearing about those babies that go down at 9pm and get up at 9am. I can dream, right?? ;)


The (not forgotten) dog children

I received a huge compliment recently when a friend said that Mark and I are the only ones she knows that have a new baby and still adore our little furry kids. It made my heart smile because we do still totally consider Jack & Sophie our other kids. I know, I know. If you're not an animal lover this post will make you gag so you can exit now if needed. ;) 

It's been a bummer to see friend after friend "re-homing" their pet when a little one joins their family. I don't judge them because everyone has their reasonings so if you're one of my buds that has done that- no worries. I just feel bad because it's got to be a tough decision to make.

It wouldn't be a strange site for you to walk in my living room while I feed Declan and see a 60 pound boxer curled up on each side of me. They're still our cuddlers and we wouldn't have it any other way. 

I've also seen glimmers of the future relationship of Declan and the dogs recently.  I'll catch him giggling or smiling at them these days. I look forward to when they all play. Good stuff. 

Yay for dog children. :)

Peas in a pod:

Jack & Sophs bombarding Declan (don't worry they only got a couple licks/kisses in before being called away:



I laughed out loud when I found this clock on a gift recommendation list on the 'Nest'. Here is what the website said about it:

"Introducing the alarm clock that runs away and hides when you don't wake up! Clocky gives you one chance to get up like a normal person. But if you cheat and stay in bed (you know who you are!!), Clocky will jump off of your night stand, alarm sounding, and wheel around your room looking for a place to hide. Fully adjustable: set it to snooze once before running away, or even not to run away at all."

Oh, brother...what's next? ;)


Good times...

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving this year...three of them to be exact. Our first was at my parent's house, then on to my in-laws house and one more bigger get-together with my husband's fam today. We had two fun football games (plus eating leftovers and drinking colorado bulldogs) at my parents to boot. Last night we even snuck in a party with some good friends that were home visiting from Nashville. Fun, fun, fun stuff.

Little man was extraordinarily amazing these last 3 busy days. I was prepared by other mommies that there would be some sleepy meltdowns due to the running around, but he did great. He even took long naps in the ever changing places we'd find as semi-quiet. I'm so proud of him and even more so as he is so engaging and pleasant to be around. The 6 weeks of colic is starting to be a faint memory. ;) What a stud.

Here are some fun pics from the last few days:

Some cuddlin' time with cousin Ella.

Declan was all propped up in Ella's old walker. He really liked it (especially when he was a perfect view of the TV...his favorite obsession). 

Cute little man!

Lovin' me some Declan....


Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I'm thankful for...
Declan Isaac. My hubby. Family. Friends. God's provision. (and much more)

Have a fabulous Thanksgiving!!


3 months old and my 100th post!!

Declan was totally chillin' in his Bob Marley t-shirt that Aunt Kellie got him in St. John. I'm pretty sure he might be the cutest kid I know.

So...my little man is 3 months old today!!! Some things to remember (I'm already having to look back at months 1 & 2 to remember weights and stuff):
Today: November 25th, Declan is 3 months old!
Weight: 12 lb, 2 oz + (he was weighed a week ago)
Nicknames: still going by Decs, Decker, Buddy but has picked up Monkey. His arms are always flailing and he looks like a little monkey.
This past month...
-He found he hands. He likes to shove them in his mouth as much as possible.
-He also found his cute little voice and we wish we could understand all the little yelps and coos he says. Some day he'll have words but for now the noises melt my heart.
-The formula war marches on. The Ali.mentum powder formula is on the shelf and we now are stocked with Ali.mentum liquid ready-to-feed ($9/day...woot woot). His tummy is handling it really well so that's what we'll be on for awhile.
-Unfortunately the baby Eins.tein mat isn't his favorite anymore and he gets fed up with it after about 5 minutes. What is his new favorite?? The TV. Yes the stupid TV...he cranks his neck to see it. We're hoping he doesn't really like TV but that he likes the colors and movements and light. We do not want him hooked.
-As seen in a previous post, my cute tiny little boy has some serious neck strength and he likes his Bum.bo already. Woo hoo!
-In total, this last month, Declan slept through the night 4 times. Not too shabby. We'd like more, but we're happy he's pretty great overnight so one feeding isn't the end of the world.

This next month brings our first holidays with our new family. I absolutely can not wait!!

Hey you!!

I'm excited I can keep track of my readers! So, please click on my "followers" link to the right hand side and join the list of those that keep up with my blog! Woot!


Just in time for Thanksgiving...

...We got an awesome new centerpiece for our table!!

Want a closer look?? I know you do!

Seriously, though, how long should we wait to use our bumbo? We tried it out today and he loved it!!

Yes, I'm a MckMama addict and you should be too.

I found a blog forever ago of a hip, fun mom with kids ages 3, 2, 1. Yes, you heard right. The kicker? She was preggo with #4..sweet baby Stellan. Early on, Stellan was giving a poor prognosis of living outside the womb and the intense prayer circle went in full effect. Super long story short, he was born completely healthy and confused the heck out of a gaggle of doctors. She's got a little contest going on her always entertaining blog. So, go check it out. Word of caution- you will become addicted. :)


Open adoption

This past week I've had several people inquire about our open adoption. I don't mind talking about it because I'm passionate about adoption. There are definitely details that are private and personal to our family (how "open" is our adoption, details about the birthparents, etc). If anything is specifically asked about those issues I tend to give more of a surfacey answer. Truth be told it is hard for people not in our boat to understand our relationship with the birthparents. The comments started from day 1 when people heard that the birthparents actually brought Declan to our home after they signed relinquishments instead of us picking him up from the agency. To us, this was such a special and memorable moment and it was surprising to me when we heard comments like "THEY came and brought him...that's crazy (or weird) or wasn't it uncomfortable?" That day was amazing and, though it was heartbreaking to know it was the hardest day of their life, it was amazing to see their strength and their certainty of their decision- in person.

I know by now that our situation is not completely normal. We had an "identified" match (a mutual friend gave our number to Declan's birthmom and she contacted us). But the best part of our match were the months we were able to build a friendship with the birthparents as a foundation for our future. We truly see them as part of our extended family and we hope, especially for Decs, that it stays that way.

Please know it's not all roses in open adoption. It takes a great deal of effort (emotional, etc) and consideration on both sides. We are forever grateful to Declan's birthparents and are thrilled that he'll have 2 more people to love on him as he grows. We hope he'll be a bright, open minded, educated child (regarding adoption and other things). We pray he feels special and adored no matter the fact that he didn't grow inside of me. We've vowed to not hide or sugarcoat how he joined our family but instead to celebrate it.

Now to all those that say "I just could never do an open adoption," I want to say that you're right, you might not be able to. BUT...I did have some of the same thoughts and judgments before reading a handful of great books (Spirit of Open Adoption is one that comes right to my sleepy mind). After meeting Declan's birthparents there was no question that we CAN do this. Let me be the first to say I'm no expert on this topic. My son is 13 weeks old and I'm sure we have a lot of learning and experiencing to do. But through many conversations I've realized open adoption might not be for everyone, but it is our life...and we're blessed.


So I've changed my mind...

I follow about 30+ blogs daily. Blogs of women struggling with infertility, mommies, those waiting to adopt, those who have adopted, friends, etc. I would say only 1 or 2of these blogs are restricted like I have made mine. So after thinking long and hard and changing a couple security options, I've opened my blog back up. I really have enjoyed my 98 readers but stupid blogspot limits it to 100 readers total and I think that my journey (especially with our adoption) is something that can help others and I hate to think that no one else can read and learn from my life because of a "number of reader's cap" that blogspot has.

So for now, I'm OPEN. :) Tell your friends. Just kidding. Keep reading and commenting. I love to hear from all my real life friends and blog friends.


My little sheep...

As far back as I remember Declan's breathing has sounded very sheep like. There is no other good way to explain it. Our doctor mentioned at his 2 week appointment that his "mucus is still drying up" and not to worry. Well, now that he's almost 3 months and he still sounds the same I decided (with some Nana encouragement) to take him to the doctor.

Turns out he has narrowing of his larynx (it's official name has 23 letters and I can't pronounce it). So of course I have mommy guilt that I didn't get it checked out earlier but it's all a learning process, right? So from here, we see an ENT specialist in early December so they can take a closer peek down his throat and what not. Sounds like a great time for mommy and baby. Not. Anywho, the doctor predicts that our visit with the ENT will go good and that they'll tell us he will just grow out of it. *Fingers crossed*

Poor little sheep. :(


Please pray!

I stumbled upon a blog tonight of a sweet young family who is adopting their second child. They had the blessing of bonding with their new daughter at the hospital and, right before taking her home, they were told the birth mother had doubts and is going to take her home for now. My heart completed dropped because I know how she feels. I wouldn't wish that pain on anyone and reading her posts brought back all those emotions from 3 months ago. So, please please please lift Adrienne and her family up in your prayers. (click on her name to link to her blog)

I can attest that our God is so big! I'm praying for the birth parent to have the strength to make the right decision for her baby and for Adrienne and her family to have peace with that decision.


Baby wearing...

It's national baby wearing week. I had no clue, but I read it on someone else's blog, so it's got to be fact, right? ;) I haven't worn Declan nearly as much as I had planned to but I still really enjoy doing it when we do. He's pretty fond of it as well. :) My favorite so far has been the moby but I also like the Peanut Shell. I'm going to ditch the stroller more this week and wear my little guy. :)


I'm buying a billboard to say....

For the first time...

Don't miss this freebie!!!

I was watching O.prah today and she has a fabulous giveaway on her website. Just go to www.oprah dot com. Click on the free gift from Snap.fish button on the front page. You can then link to their site and create a 20 page custom photo book (bound with hard cover...$29.99 value) for FREE. The kicker? You have to create it and put in your order by Sunday. GO DO IT. Our custom book we made was "Declan Isaac chronicles...birth to 12 weeks". Fun fun!


Happy Birthday to my Honey!!

I can call him my honey shamelessly because we both call each other honey constantly to the point that family has made fun of some of our conversations ("honey, no not that one...yes, honey, that one....no, honey, it's that one over there"). So, anywho, I want to give a huge shout out to Mark for gracefully turning the big 2-8 today. I look forward to a childless dinner soon. xoxo


Can't a girl get some sleep around here??

Let me preface this post and say that I have had bad insomnia for years. Until Declan joined our world, I used a wonderful drug called Ambien to give me my 8 hours of fabulous sleep. (Disclaimer- don't start taking it...you'll be hooked...it's highly addictive). I quit cold turkey to put on my mommy hat and, frankly, I'm usually so exhausted I don't need it.  Well now that my wonderful son is pretty predictable (he eats around 10pm, around 2am and around 6am) I should be able to get more sleep. 

This is how it goes in our household these last couple of months: I feed Declan his 10pm feeding and then hang out on the computer or watching t.v. until about midnight. I usually get pretty tired around then. I go wake Mark up at 1am to start his "shift". He lets me sleep from 1am to 5am by myself in our room. That's the only sound sleep I get! Why you ask?? Because I can't sleep with the monitor on!! It's like a crazy mommy instinct that won't let me drift off in to deep sleep! My hubby doesn't understand at all. 

So now on the weekends we have this new plan: I feed Decs at 10pm and then go to bed (no shifts on these days). Mark then does the next feeding when Decs cries and then I do the next. Honestly, I don't get good sleep on this new plan. I do it because Mark likes the normality of us both going to bed in our room. 

Last night I was so excited for my beloved 4 hour shift of sleep in my room monitor-less while Mark rocked his shift out on the couch.  I was super sleepy and drifting off when a loud beeping started. I got Mark and he climbed on a dresser to take down the smoke detector that had a low battery. I go back to bed to try again to sleep. This is where my past insomniac ways hit me- I have huge trouble falling back asleep after waking up. So I start getting sleepy again and there it went again...that loud beeping!! What the freak is going on?? Mark came back in and realized it's the dang carbon monoxide detector. ARG. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep AND it was a work day. I zombied my way through the day and hope to get more zzzzzzs tonight.

Any tips on making this whole sleep thing work better? I'm at a loss. I'd like to exit "survival mode" and become a bit more normal. Ultimately I'd love Deckers to drop his 2am feeding and sleep through the night but whatev. If anyone in blog land has any good ideas, let me know!


November 4. 2008.

Woot woot!!

Did you? 


Halloween 2008

Watch out for the ferocious sleepy dragon!!

We had a blast at our halloween party. The kiddos were so freakin' cute. This is my favorite picture ever I think:

We trick-or-treated at my parent's house too. Declan got a little love from his cousin Batman (aka Shauny):

Declan had to be stylin' to run errands on Halloween with his mommy and I think he liked his spider shirt!