Baby Shower!

This weekend was full of fabulous times including our first mini vacation as a family of 3 (a post to come later) and my BABY SHOWER!! Woot! It's still surreal that I have a baby to have a shower for. Wierd.

First of all, I had the best 4 ladies throwing the shower for me!! It was 2 sister-in-laws, a cousin-in-law and my best friend. They let no detail go untouched. All the decor matched my nursery (chocolate colors with birds and branches). It was the most sophisticated decor at a baby shower that I've ever seen. The food was delicious and the company even better.

Here are the hostesses with the mostesses (Emily, Jess, Me & Decs, Kristi, Kins):

...a couple shots of the adorable decor...

Declan was dressed like such a little man. He had blue jeans, a tiny sweater vest and the tiniest old school tennis shoes ever. Unfortunately, he soiled it half way through so that's why he's wearing a onezie at the end. :) Here we are...

Though all the gifts meant so much, there were a couple that especially touched me. First of all, my mom ordered a wall hanging that said "For This Child We Prayed" with an awesome Bible verse. The meaning of that goes without saying. Our journey to Declan joining our family was bathed with an intense amount of prayer by many people. My sister-in-law surprised me by contacting the designer that I purchased the tree and bird decals in Declan's nursery from and had her custom make the Adoption Creed. If you're unfamiliar with it, it goes like this:

"Not flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously
My own.
Never forget
For a single minute:
You didn't grow under my heart,
But in it."

I'll try to snap a couple pictures of these 2 gifts now that they are displayed in Dec's nursery. Overall, this last weekend was so amazing. I can't wait to post about our annual family trip to a nearby state park. Thanks a million to everyone involved in my shower. It meant the world to me. :)


Professional Pictures

We had a such a good session with an amazing photographer that came to our home today. She put some teaser pics on her blog and they're SO ADORABLE!!!! Check them out:



1 month old!

I cannot believe that our little man is 1 month old today! I hear that time flies and it's so true. Here are some notable things (mostly for me to be able to re-read when he's 19):

Today: September 22nd, Declan is 1 month old!
Weight: probably nearing 9 lbs
Nicknames: Decs, little guy, buddy
This past month...
-We endured the roller coaster of constant crying and fussiness until his pediatrician diagnosed him with reflux and gave us some happy medicine to calm his stomach acid. He's recognizably better. Still a challenging baby, but much better!
-We've seen him grow out of a few of our favorite newborn outfits already and he's moved on from NB diapers to size 1.
-His cheeks have filled out so much this month!
-Just this past week or so he has been so alert. We have more awake and non-crying times these days.
-He loves white noise, the "shhhhh" sound, his Rockabye Baby Coldplay CD and to be swaddled.
-He has had 2 "parent-less" adventures and was babysat by both sets of his grandparents and one set of great grandparents.
-He had his first church visit this week. Most of it was spent eating in the cry room and walking around the foyer. He did like the worship music a lot, though!

We absolutely love this little guy!! He's changed our life in such a positive (and sometimes overwhelming way). Can't wait to experience all his changes this next month...

**edited later to add...gosh, I'm stupid. I was celebrating Declan's "month old" birthday and, really, it was only 4 weeks. He was a month old on the 25th. I'll try to get it right next month. ;)


...a fabulous day...

We had such a great day today!! For starers, my rockin' husband let me sleep in until noon. That would be a grand total of 7 hours of sleep I got last night. It was wonderful considering I get 3 hours Mon-Fri. Woot woot!!

Next, Declan has been feeling MUCH better now that he's on the reflux meds. He was on a great schedule today of feeding and then 2-3 hours of sleep, then repeat. It was nice to bum around and watch football without a colicky screamer in the back ground. He was just a joy to be around.

We dropped him off at my hubby's parent's house so we could head out to a local winery with my parents and my grandparents (who are in town from TX). Here are the babysitters:

G-pa and G-ma told us he was a dream! In fact, he didn't cry at all for the 4+ hours we were gone. Yay! This might prompt us to take a lot more outings ;).

At the vineyard, we chose a few bottles of yummy wine and settled at a table to enjoy some local musicians and munch on an assortment of bread, cheese, meat and pear. It was truly a treat. The weather treated us well in the mid 70s. Us ladies decided to go walk through the actual vineyard to check out the pretty scenery (and nab a couple grapes too!) Here is me with my grandmother:

Here is one with my beautiful mom:

...and the whole clan:

On the Declan front, as I said before, he's doing way better with his new med (praise God)! We have also found a new trick that works to calm him down. I'm sure this sounds odd but he will often times fall asleep if we prop him in his boppy with the monitor on high near his head. We turn the fan on in his nursery so it comes through the monitor like white noise. He loves it! Here are some pics of the cutie pie just chilin' in his boppy:



One of our dog children, Jack, is OBSESSED with Declan's pacis. Once it gets a little quite in my house I can pretty much count on finding him somewhere with a pacifier in his mouth. To those who are germaphobes- we sterilize them before Dec gets them back. ;) Here's what I saw when I found Jack being so nice and quiet today:

Ah ha! Guilty dog!!!

This is a pic of a rare moment when Declan is asleep. Notice the bib. It's cute, right? Well...it's also a necessity because little man has reflux. He started some meds today and hopefully he can get some relief:

I think the best thing about changing his diapers (yes, there are a good things about it) is all the crazy faces he makes. I can barely stand his cuteness. This picture was taken about 1 minute before he projectile vomited straight in to the air like a little Declan puke fountain. It was, um, disgusting. Needless to say, he went BACK in to the bath tub (he had just had a bath). He proceeded to pee on my face which was shockingly not as gut wrenching as it sounds. Anywho...that was a gross tangent but it's been quite the day with many outfit changes (me and Decs). :) Here's the munchkin:


No one warned us...

So Mark and I were sitting in our living room watching football the other day. We heard Declan cry super loud and looked over towards the nursery. Then we glanced towards the monitor...NOTHING. It wasn't him. No one told us that, as young and tired delirious new parents, that you hear what you think is your child crying constantly. Tonight I was laying down in the bedroom (after a very long day of Declan refusing to nap over 20 minutes...makes for a frustrated and tired mommy) and I hear Declan wailing in the living room. I stumble out half awake to see if Mark needs my help and I find Declan zonked on his daddy's chest. So when do the voices, I mean crying, stop? Will we forever hear a crying child? Please remember I slept a total of 3 hours last night/today when reading this post. ;)


How blogging has affected me...

I was tagged by a fellow blogger to write out 5 ways blogging has affected me. I'm supposed to tag other people but that's a lot more effort than my tired mommy brain can handle. So, if you feel led to make a list of your own, please do! They are fun to read.

Here's my list:

1. Blogging has been an outlet for me to honestly talk about what I'm going through with infertility, adoption or just life. It chronicles my journey and gives me something to re-read years down the road.

2. Blogging has given me connections to others that have touched my life beyond what I can say. I've "met" people that are struggling with infertility. I could read what they were going through and relate 100% which was invaluable when I felt alone in my fertility struggle. When we closed the door to treatments and opened it to adoption, I just went searching for blogs that talked about adoption and now have a whole new world of people that I relate to!

3. Blogging has made it possible for people to follow our story and saved me from re-telling things over and over. Now, my friends just say "so I read this or that on your blog..." instead of asking me how my last treatment was or when is my next adoption meeting, etc.

4. Blogging has educated me! I have learned LOADS about tons of things from reading a wide variety of blogs. I've gained new perspectives on everything from going "green" to thrifty living.

5. I've learned that my blogging can affect others. I know people connect to our story and they love and support us. I still can't believe the outpour of support when Declan's birthparents had a change of heart. All the comments and messages touched my heart forever. Our journey hasn't always been pretty but it is our life and if I can help anyone out there with my story, it's all worth it.


Why all the crying?

Declan loves car rides. It's one of the "tried and true" things that will make him fall asleep. Well, I couldn't figure out why he was crying our whole way home from the library on Friday until I took him out of the car and saw this:

So he apparently doesn't like his hood completely covering his face. Who knew? ;)


Baby wearing...

I am a big fan of baby wearing and I'm trying to turn Declan on to it. He's either really having it or completely not liking the idea. Yesterday he was being really fussy and I put him in the sling and it turned in to over 2 hours of deep sleep for him. Here's how we started out:

and here is where we ended up:

Now, today's goal is to call and solidify daycare. Declan will be going to daycare twice a week this winter and possibly more in the summer depending on how busy work gets. I'm happy to be doing part time for awhile especially since he's colicky. Tonight Mark and I are attending a parenting class. We had been registered for one and it ended up to be the night that he came to us! So needless to say, we skipped it. I got a call this week from the coordinator of the class that caught wind that we were coming. They always find an "example baby" to give the bath to, swaddle, etc. They asked if Decs could come for that and I warned her that he's fussy and she thought it'd be a great opportunity for us to learn more too. So, all 3 of us will be off to parenting class tonight for 3 hours. Please pray we can maintain our sanity. ;) Pictures later, maybe....

It dawned on me at 1am that my blog header was needing a little updating so check it out!


What is this thing?

So Declan isn't sure what to think about the vibrating bouncy seat. We thought he might like it because he loves car ride. We'll see...he might grow in to liking it. Geesh he's cute! Here's a pic (notice the big "what is this thing??" eyes):

*Edited later to add:
p.s...We had our two week check up yesterday (a couple days late) and Declan was already 7 lb 11 oz. (He was 7 lb 1 oz @ birth, lost some weight and now is steadily gaining!) He has also grown 3/4 an inch. I think his cheeks are getting so chubby. :)


Declan the gasinator

It's been one week since we were shocked (ahem blessed) with our little guy. He continues to be super gassy and we're still trying a million suggestions and techniques trying to find the right ones to help with his colic. Yikes. There are such loud cries coming from our home at times. But, all in all, we adore our little guy!!! His cheeks are getting chubby and he's been eating more and more formula so I'm excited to see what he weighs tomorrow at the doctor. Here is a picture from this morning. He sometimes just stares at me on the changing table while I babble to him. It's fun mommy-Declan bonding time.


The dog children and other parental reflections...

So it's 5am and I still only sleep about 2-3 hours a night so if something I type here sounds dumb, give me a break. ;) I thought I'd follow up to say the dog children have gotten WAY better. They still are pretty stressed when he's crying but they are otherwise pretty calm. We had an "ahhhh" moment last night when Declan was totally asleep on my chest (about to be put in his car seat to sleep) and Mark had opened the window and it was raining and the fresh air filled our living room. We were just as we were 1 week ago- sitting on our big couch with both sleepy dogs just enjoying relaxing together. Of course now there was a pretty cool addition to the picture. It was a really cool "this is us now" moment and it made me teary. The weird thing is that I haven't been weepy really at all so far. We were in shock for a couple days and that was a tear blocker and, fortunately, I don't have to deal with all the crazy hormones I would be if I had birthed him. Side note- I have much respect for women who have babies and go home to recover and have to care for an infant. I'm physically the same as before he joined our family and I still struggle so I can't imagine.

One thing I want to openly admit is there is no way to be prepared. I pride myself on all my reading and research. I had pretty definite opinions on things I want to do (my baby will sleep in their crib right away!). What have I learned? Having a newborn is living in SURVIVAL MODE. You do what you need to do to have him be happy. I'm also in shock how much stuff you go through: diapers, wipes, formula, bottle washings, laundry. He's such a little guy and I've done 3 loads of wash in 6 days! Ha! Maybe I should have bought more newborn clothes, huh? ;) So, to summarize, my life is no longer mine and that's a million percent fine. I wouldn't want it any other way. He's amazing and we're smitten. :)


Best birthday EVER

Ok, so my blog will become private soon, I swear. It's a bit more of a project than I thought it would be and blogger only lets me have 100 readers and, to my surprise, my hotmail inbox is pushing that amount of requests! It's been so heart warming to hear from all our readers and thanks for all the sweet notes you put on your emails. :)

So as you guessed from my title, I turned 27 yesterday. We had a great day with Declan. He had his first check up and weight 7 lb 6 oz already (he was 7 lb 1 oz at birth, lost a little before discharge from the hospital). So he's a big, growin' boy! He still has what the doctor considers colic and our hot button screaming crazy times are in the evening and night time. He's happier during the day. No sleep for us, but sleep is overrated anyways.

Our Bible study had a little get together last night. Here are the cakes that my friend K made:

Here's Declan and the birthday girl:

It was nice that Dec met everyone in Bible study. We were the only couple without kids so now the day care is complete!! (that's a joke for those in our group) ;)

More later...we have a busy weekend...b-day party @ my parents tonight, Husker game tomorrow (not sure if we'll watch it here or not), my nephew's b-day party Sunday and possibly church that morning.

*EDITED later to add...* I forgot to address Declan's name in this last post. People have been asking about it. First of all, it's pronounced "Deck-lan". It's Irish and mean's "full of goodness". Mark was watching a movie a couple years ago and heard the name Declan. He told me about the name and it's been in our heart ever since. I always felt like we'd have a son so, all through fertility treatments and the adoption process, I prayed for him by name. :)


...going private...

At the prompting of our caseworker, our blog is going private. Please email me at smash_effect@hotmail.com for the password! Thanks!!

**Edited to add....I looked in to making my blog private, and I'll actually be adding y'all as readers by entering your email addresses. So just shoot me an email and scratch the whole password thing.

We survived our first night!

So it's 6am and, if you know me, it's obvious that I'm a mommy b/c I never ever get up this early. Truth be told- I haven't slept yet. Declan has been eating almost 2 oz every 2-3 hours and then we can get him to sleep for a couple hours but I'm just not used to baby sounds so I just constantly checked on him to make sure he was okay. He has tons of gas (they warned us) so that makes for a pretty uncomfortable dude at times. The birthparents told us he slept only in the carseat or with them so, though we tried the crib, he ended up next to us in the living room all night in his carseat. I would say we are pretty overwhelmed with parenthood. but also soooo ridiculously blessed.

p.s....the dog children are overly interested in Declan. It's a bit annoying actually. One of us has to hold off two 60 lb dogs while the other feeds. Otherwise Decs will get licked and sniffed like crazy. I hope this is a stage that passes. For these first few days they'll have a lot of "kennel time" and the guilt has already set in but hopefully they get used to his presence and back off. Anywho...


Worth the wait....

Yes, to our shock we sit here as a family of 5 (us, a new baby and the 2 dogs of course). I'd like to introduce the world to Declan Isaac. He was born August 25th at 1:35am weighing 7 lbs 1 oz and 20 inches long. He came home to us this afternoon. Our pain and sadness this last week has melted away and we feel our prayers were answered and all we can say is God is SO GOOD. Here is a teaser picture for you (we only have hospital ones from a week ago)...