Saturday, March 22, 2014

Disney Character Meet and Greet

It has been a year this week since we went on one of our all time favorite family vacations: a trip to Walt Disney World! I am embarrassed to admit that I haven't finished editing all the photos I took :( So for now--and hopefully to get back into the groove--I am sharing the almost all of the photos of the characters we met. We still talk about this trip like it happened yesterday and we are all itching to go back to the most magical place on earth!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Standing on the Promises

Today would have been Elijah Damaris' first birthday. And so we dedicate this whole day remembering and celebrating the brief lives of our two children that are now waiting for us in heaven. Last year, I spent most of the day crying. I was not only grieving the loss of two children but the uncertainty of another chance to be a mother again.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,

Thankfully, this year is a little different. Today was spent with less tears and more smiles. Less anger and more hope. Less withdrawing and more snuggling with my children. The pain and grief are certainly still there, as I assume they always will. But today is brighter than last year.

By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

For my God is faithful. He keeps His Covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments. My God granted us the desires of our hearts in His own time. We just had to be patient and remain faithful.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of Christ my Savior;

And today, I am standing on that promise. God blessed us with another child. By no means does Amelia replace her brother and sister. But she makes the pain less intense. And I am currently holding tight to that promise. All 8 pounds and 4 ounces of it.

Standing, standing,
I'm standing on the promises of God.

Read about Elijah Damaris here.
Read about Ruth James here.

Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars
And a candle for Elijah and Ruth

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blood Draw

Nathaniel's iron level was borderline anemic during his quick finger-poke test at the clinic, which was done during his four year old well child appointment. The pediatrician said the result usually comes back normal when done using the definitive test but he would rather be safe than sorry. Well, we had such quite a traumatic experience after receiving four immunizations (one on each limb!) that I made Hubby take Nathaniel this time.

I purposely made him wear his Spider-Man shirt so he can be brave like the superheroes. And Dean said Nathaniel actually did fine. Obviously he cried (I mean, I would too if it wasn't embarrassing for a grown woman to do) but Nathaniel didn't even notice that they have already started. In fact, he was pretty shock when he found out they were done and said, "Oh, that didn't hurt." 

Daddies can be too much of "tough love" sometimes and told Nathaniel what was going to happen while they were still at the waiting room. But Nathaniel also misunderstood and thought they were going to take all of his blood. Kids are so funny sometimes. They take everything so literal! Anyway, his CBC results are back and I am happy to report he is not anemic :)

My Baby Bunny

Nathaniel is such a great big brother to his baby sister, Amelia. And it seems that he is also proving to be a good Daddy someday. He took one of his stuffed toys and has been treating it like a baby. He rocks, kisses, sings a lullaby and even places it on the crib and asks me to be quiet when it is asleep. Today, he asked me to swaddle his baby just like I do with Amelia. This makes me so proud!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Well Child Visit (Four Years Old)

Weight: 41 pounds
Height: 41.5 inches

Nathaniel had his four year old well child visit two days ago. Oh, you know… I'm just a couple months late taking him. With the busy-ness of the holidays and his birthday, moving to a different state and welcoming a new member in the family---it just kept getting pushed down the to-do list!

Thankfully, Nathaniel is a very healthy boy. He passed his hearing and eyesight assessments with flying colors. He is developmentally on track and is within a healthy weight and height range. However, his iron level is borderline anemic so I need to take him to the lab to do an actual CBC test instead of just the finger-poke quick test done at the clinic. I am not looking forward to this. At all. The pediatrician said this usually comes out normal when done using the definitive test. But in the case that he is anemic, a vitamin supplement should fix the problem. And if it is severe, an iron supplement will be prescribed.

Nathaniel received four immunization shots---one on each limb! There's a reason I'm not a pediatric nurse! I told the staff I didn't want to be there but when I was taking off Nathaniel's clothes, he kept saying, "I need my Mama!" I couldn't leave then. I just held his face and told him to look at me. He was so stressed out and terrified. And it was just as traumatic for me. I wish I had known it was going to be four (no, I didn't miss any) then I would have asked to delay and space them out. Four shots after not receiving any since he was two years old was just a lot to take especially now that he understands a little bit more about what is going on.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Well Baby Visit (One Month Old)

Weight: 8 pounds, 7 ounces
Height: 21.25 inches
Head Circumference: 14.5 cm

Amelia had her one month well baby visit yesterday. Our baby girl is healthy and growing nicely. This is a huge relief since we battled with weight gain during the first couple weeks. 

Before leaving the hospital, Amelia dropped to 6 pounds, 8 ounces (she was 7 lbs, 2 oz at birth). We went to the doctor's office everyday when she was only a few days old for weight checks and because she wasn't making a lot of urine (just one to two wet diapers a day!). The pediatrician wanted me to supplement with formula but we pleaded to try to offer nursing every hour to couple hours.  If she continued to lose weight, then we would supplement. The doctor was hesitant and stated that if she lost any more or didn't gain any weight in the next 24 hours, Amelia may need to be hospitalized. This was definitely not something we wanted to hear, but Dean and I talked and prayed about it and decided to forego formula (doctor was aware of our decision). We did this because I know that if I supplement, my milk supply and breastfeeding itself could be compromised. Thankfully, my milk came in that evening and Amelia managed to gain an ounce. That tiny weight gain and the fact that she was now making at least six wet and dirty diapers a day were enough to make the doctor back off the supplement suggestion. We continued to monitor her weight with a few more visits and by her second week well baby visit, she was above her weight birth (7 lbs, 5 oz)!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

One Month Old

Amelia is one month old today! Time really does fly with the second child. I mean, how can it be a month already?!

Like most of the babies in the world, Amelia likes to be held when she is sleeping. I think it is because she likes to have something near her face (i.e. my chest, a blanket, etc). We have started wearing her during the day and so far, it works out for everyone. She naps and I'm able to do a few chores around the house. Nighttime sleep is still hit and miss. Sometimes she sleeps for up to 3.5 hours and some nights she is up eating every hour.

I still do not routinely place Amelia on her tummy for tummy time (I know, I know…) but I can tell her neck muscles are getting stronger. She is still a bit floppy but she is able to lift her head up for a few seconds now. The same goes with her hands. However, she still unintentionally claws her face when she gets angry---mostly when she is in her carseat, which makes her even more angry because of the pain. We have solved this issue by putting mittens on her, which finally stopped falling off now that she is bigger.

Breastfeeding is finally heading in the right direction. I have been healing a nipple tear for three weeks now :( I was so closed to giving up a couple weeks ago but I know I will regret it so I'm pushing through. One of the pediatricians commented that Amelia is slightly tongue-tied, but it should resolved in a few months (though we've never heard the tongue-tied issue again from the other doctors). I remember breastfeeding getting better around one month with Nathaniel so I'm praying the same goes with Amelia. I think getting used to each other, Amelia growing up and most especially time are just what we need in this department.

For weight and height information, look out for her one month well baby visit blog post.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

1 Second Everyday: February 2014

This month brought the biggest change in our lives so far this year. We welcomed the newest member of the family--baby girl Amelia. My Mom came here and spent a little over a week to help us during this transition. She was only supposed to be here for a week but we ended up having her for two extra days thanks to the winter storm :) Nathaniel watched his first movie (The Lego Movie) without me or my husband---just more proof that he is growing up so fast! Unfortunately, there is not very much diversity in this month's 1SE since we stayed at home for the majority of the month---most of it cheering for the USA teams in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Kids Were Here

Nathaniel took his baby sister's first Dolly and placed it on the carseat. He even took the time to buckle it up so it can be safe. Amelia received this little doll for Valentine's Day---although quite honestly, it has been spending more time with Nathaniel. It is currently in Nathaniel's bed because he has been sleeping with it at night. He says his little sister is letting him borrow it.
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