6 week follow up appointment

Georgia and Grae

I had my 6 week follow up OB appointment yesterday with the midwife who delivered Grae!  She fell in love with him (who wouldn’t?! 😉 ;)), although as you can see from the picture, I’m not sure he felt the same.  Maybe he remembered her from his birth. haha.

Anyway, after my exam she disclosed that she couldn’t believe how well I have healed- YAY!  She said by the amount of sutures the doctor put in, she didn’t know what to expect- but apparently all the stitches have dissolved and I’m good as new!  No more doctor appointments for me! Kind of a strange feeling after going every month or more for the last 11 months! What a relief!  She told us that she would be expecting to see us again in a couple of years.  🙂

Last Christmas

In just twelve short months, our lives have changed so much.  Last Christmas was our first year celebrating Jesus’ birthday as foster parents.  It was one of the most memorable Christmases of my life.  I didn’t know how we would ever have another Christmas that would be able to compare.  I had no idea that only a year later, we would be celebrating our son’s first Christmas!

We have been so incredibly blessed and we cannot be more thankful for all of the special people in our lives.

Even though we aren’t able to celebrate with our foster sons and daughters this year, we are thinking about each and every one of you and sending all of our love your way.

Merry Christmas to everyone.


Andrea, Ian and Graeson

A family picture with our first three children ❤

She drew a star for the top of the tree 🙂


We will be posting pictures from this year as soon as we get them downloaded on the computer.  XO


5 weeks old

My Dearest Grae-

you are FIVE weeks old now!  How did that happen so fast?!

You continue to melt our hearts with every grunt you make.  We are still waiting patiently for you to smile for the first time… okay, that’s a fib- “patiently” may not be the right word.  We both try to make you smile in any way we know how- tickles, noises, making ourselves look like fools… you are interested, but usually just give us a critical look- one eyebrow cocked, scowling- as if to say… “Is that all you got, Clown?!”

Your hair is growing a lot- and it’s definitely still more red than blonde.  Your eyelashes are so long!  You have very sensitive, fair skin- just like me (sorry, Bud).  You haven’t ever had a diaper rash (probably because I change you every 30 minutes), but you’ve had a rash on your face the last couple of days.  I think you got it from Mommy and Daddy’s clothes- I didn’t think about washing our clothes with baby detergent- I only washed yours.  That wasn’t very smart of me, was it?  We have everything washed with the right stuff now though, so hopefully it will get better and never come back.

Your bruise and scrape on your head from the capput (your birthday hat) you got when you were born have finally gone away!  So did your jaundice.  You are not even a little yellow anymore!  I guess all that tummy time in the sunshine has paid off.

We have to cut your little fingernails almost every other day- those things grow so fast!  You don’t seem to mind it- especially when Daddy cuts them.

I’ve started giving you Tri-vi-sol, which is a vitamin drop for infants so you can get vitamins A, C, and D- the doc said your milk doesn’t have enough of those goodies.  It tastes like grape cough syrup and you love it!  I thought you would gag- and you do make a really funny face, but you get so excited when its time for vitamins, kicking your feet and opening your mouth wide for the dropper.

Other updates: 

-Sleeps in 4-8 hour stretches at night

-Refuses to sleep on back

-Refuses to be swaddled

-Hates sleep sacks- as long as the legs aren’t touching, everything is all good

-Eats 4-8 ounces every 1-2 hours during the day (Momma calls you Porkchop for a good reason!)

-Has awesome head control and loves to look around the room

-Likes to try to head butt Mommy and Daddy when hungry

-LOVES ceiling fans

I wonder what you are thinking when you examine the ceiling fan??

-Loves baths and diaper changes

-Hates towels and getting dried off after baths and hates shirts getting put on over his head

-Favorite TV show- Crocodile Dundee (Don’t ask me~ Ian swears he watches it and doesn’t take his eyes off it for 30 minutes straight?)


Mommy and Daddy

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A look inside our life (Grae’s first month)

December 15, 2011-(I forgot to publish this when I wrote it last week in case you are wondering why the date is wrong).

A dear friend suggested that I share a typical day of our lives each month as Grae is growing up so we can look back and remember each stage of his life.  What a great idea. 🙂

So, here it goes-

I am taking twelve weeks of maternity leave- we are currently on week five.  As much as I believed that this would consist of sitting in my pajamas and watching soap operas all day while holding my content baby boy… I was very sorely mistaken.  Even squeezing in time for a shower takes a lot of creative scheduling… and a lot of caffeine.

6:30 am– Ian leaves for work 😦

7:30 am:  Little man starts grunting and gurgling, which in Grae talk means- “I’m about to loose it if you don’t feed me in the next 30 seconds!” I rush to change his diaper before he starts to become hostile, then we head down to the couch and he nurses while I respond to emails on my phone (this also consists of a little facebook-ing).  We cuddle for a little bit before he falls back asleep on the soft fluffy blanket on the couch.

8:30 am: The morning routine starts… for me- breakfast and coffee (today it was poured over ice from the pot that was brewed last night).  For Little Dude- another diaper change (sometimes this requires a new outfit too ;)), some tummy time in the sun, and I warm up a bottle in case he decides he’s still hungry (usually he is, which means yet another diaper change is in the plans as well…).

Momma's Morning Iced Coffee 🙂

10:30 am: Nap time for Grae while I run around cleaning up and doing chores as quickly as possible- laundry, dishes, throw away all the dirty diapers that have stacked up in random places, etc.

11:30 am– Grae is wide awake and ready to play!  I put more food in that hungry baby belly and do my best to entertain the little man.  He seems to be most intrigued with flashlights and rattles.  He follows these things with his eyes like a pro-and has been tracking objects for two weeks now… what an over-achiever!  He also does a lot of sneezing, hiccuping, grunting, and kicking.  🙂

12:30 pm-Lunch time for momma, diaper change for Grae (today we went through 3 diapers in a matter of 5 minutes… he has great timing).

1:30 pm- A little embarrassing- but while Grae dozes off into another baby siesta, I watch “Bold and the Beautiful”, my guilty pleasure.  Don’t judge.

2:00 pm- Time for a walk around our neighborhood!  Today (EVEN THOUGH IT IS THE MIDDLE OF DECEMBER) it is 70 degrees outside so we don’t even have to get all bundled up!  Grae LOVES walks, he sits with his eyes wide open, trying to take everything in, quiet and happy as can be. He hears birds chirping and dogs barking and he moves his head from side to side trying to figure out where the noises are coming from.  By the end of the walk, he is over-stimulated and falls asleep again.  I usually push the stroller into our living room and let him stay there until he wakes up from his nap.

3:00 pm- Grae is STARVING! Watch out now- he likes to give anything within reach hickies- including his OWN ARMS!

4:00 pm- Because it is so nice out today, we decided to go play in the backyard with the dogs.  Grae seemed to like Deacon (my big male husky) the best.  He stared at him cross-eyed for ten minutes straight- mesmerized.  Deac told us his feelings were mutual as he licked Baby’s toes in admiration.

5:00 pm- Time to fix dinner… Baby G gets strapped onto me in our new wrap.  Best invention ever.

6:00 pm-Daddy’s home!  He feeds Grae a bottle then we eat dinner on the couch sharing stories about our days.

7:00 pm- This is Piggy Porkchop’s “HANGRY” time- as in, so hungry he is angry!  He is either nursing or eating from a bottle for the next two hours straight.  Don’t even think of taking that milk away… or else!  KEEP IT COMING, BABY.

9:00 pm- Bath time for baby.  Its part of our bed time ritual because after his bath, he is so relaxed (and usually pretty tired).

9:30 pm– Grae goes to bed, while Mommy and Daddy watch TV and hang out for a bit before heading to bed ourselves.


3:00 am- GRAE IS HUNGRY!

6:30 am…. It starts all over.

It might not be super exciting or all that glamorous, but I wouldn’t want to spend my days doing anything else. 🙂 I’m loving being a “stay-at-home mommy”- I only wish it could last longer than 12 weeks.  (Thank goodness for summer vacations.)


Today has been an extremely hard day.  Our beloved dog, Mac, passed away this morning.  It really caught us off guard… it was completely out of the blue, which makes it that much harder.  He had a belly ache last night, but he often got sick after eating dinner.  Mac wasn’t exactly a healthy dog… we rescued him from a puppy mill 4 years ago.  He was a breeder dog (hence the name Mac, as in Mac Daddy).  When he came to live with us, he was in very bad shape.  His mate passed away the day they were rescued and Mac had heartworms so bad the vet didn’t think he would make it either.  His teeth were rotted something horrible- we had to have all but three of them removed.  But that little solider fought.  He was truthfully the sweetest dog that ever lived.  I brought him to school with me often and my students loved him dearly.  He could be a stinker- which only added to his charm, and usually didn’t listen to a word Ian said.  But we love that little bugger- and always will- more than words can say.  Pets become such an important part of families… it’s just not going to be the same without him. 😦

Please send happy thoughts his way.

I miss you already Mac and I will see you again someday.  Rest in peace, buddy.

We LOVE you.

My adorable mom texted me this poem this afternoon…thanks, Mom… You are the best.

Brown and white and pure delight
His future went from bleak to bright
When a fairy princess rescued him
How his tail wagged when she took him in!
She loved him, fed him, made him well
Was this a dream?  He could not tell
This happy he had never been
And he never wanted for anything …again.

Better late than never

We’ve had our Christmas tree up for weeks, but with a new baby and 70 degree weather (and 70 hour work weeks for Ian), it’s been kinda hard to get into the Christmas spirit this year.  Finally, 7 days before Christmas, we have decorated that poor tree!  And, I have to admit, I’m so glad we did.  There is just something magical about the soft glow of white Christmas lights with a tree full of ornaments- each carrying a special memory.  Now I’m starting to feel that Christmas love.  It is Grae’s first Christmas after all… not to mention Christmas is being held at our house for the first time ever. 😉

Our Living Room

Close up of our tree

Staircase Stockings

Our Christmas Card- he's so cute we had to frame it and turn it into a Christmas decoration 😉

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Could it be?

Could this be Graeson’s first genuine smile?  And if so, how did I get so lucky to capture it on camera?  😉  We are still waiting for the big, open mouthed, gummy smile that I know will melt our hearts, so we are taking what we can get for now.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.


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Chunky Monkey- Grae’s 4th week

December 15, 2011~

We just got back from Graeson’s 1 month well check up.  His pediatrician told him he was “magnificent.”  As his very biased Momma, I had to agree that MAGNIFICENT is the perfect word to describe him. 🙂

She then asked Ian and I if we had any concerns- and I told her how he is super hungry all the time.  She wasn’t at all concerned and explained that his hunger is a good thing, indicating he is healthy, and eating is his only job at this time in his life.

I proceeded to tell her just how hungry he really is.   I explained when I nurse him, he eats for 30 minutes on each side and still acts hungry.  I told her how this makes me stress out because I don’t know if he is getting enough food, so I started pumping in order to monitor just how much he eats.  On this schedule, I know he eats 4 ounces every hour or two… which is more than a 6 month old baby requires!

I could see the shock in her eye, the look of “surely this crazy new mom is exaggerating!” When Ian and I convinced her that this truly was the case, she told me to stop pumping and let him eat for 15 minutes total… if he is still hungry, I should supplement 1 ounce from a bottle.  She thinks I might be “misreading his signs, mistaking gas pains for hunger.”  HAH!  I mean… he headbutts us while giving himself HICKIES because he is sucking so hard on his arms, and REFUSES to suck on a pacifier- but I suppose its possible I’m mistaking hunger signs… I’ll try her way and see how it goes… I’ll give it my honest-to-goodness- best… but I’m tellin’ ya right now, my hungry hippo is NOT going to have it.

After all this talk about food, it was then time to put Grae on the scale.

My mouth is still hanging open from what we found.

ELEVEN POUNDS, 7 OUNCES, placing him in the 90 percentile!! Ummm… woah.

At least I now can relax- I finally am convinced he’s getting plenty to eat.  😉

We also learned he is 22.25 inches long- which means he’s grown 2.75 inches in 4 weeks! However, he is only in the 30% for height, as well as his head circumference (37.5 cm).

The pediatrician also told us we should now start giving him a multivitamin drop each day.  I’m assuming Grae’s not going to be a fan of that either. (I’ll save my story about buying that multivitamin for another day.)

Besides having one fluffy, pleasantly plump baby boy, it was great to hear that he is perfectly healthy and meeting and surpassing all developmental milestones.  But seriously- is there anything cuter than baby fat?!

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Santa and his littlest reindeer :)

We took Graeson to sit on Santa’s lap for the very first time!

Grae was quite the hit at the mall dressed in his baby reindeer outfit.  Even Santa himself got an extra twinkle in his eye and couldn’t help but chuckle as he held Grae on his lap.  We were told he was the littlest one to visit Santa so far this year.

I thought I got a lot of attention from complete strangers when I was pregnant- that was NOTHING compared to having a baby reindeer in my arms.  🙂

Grae's first time with Santa

Mommy's little deer 🙂

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