Sunday, July 28, 2013

Root, Root, Root for the ROYALS!

Saturday, July 20th was Lincoln's first Royals game. We went with our friends, Adam and Jill.

Lincoln did pretty well for a four-month-old. He liked walking around the stadium, seeing the fountains and the hall of fame, and hanging out in the breastfeeding room. He was not a big fan of the loud and sudden cheering.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Four months

Lincoln -

How is it that a third of a year has passed since we met you for the first time?! It seems like your personality is really starting to shine this month, especially this weekend since we've figured out your "new" schedule.

On Tuesday, June 25, you rolled over from your tummy to your back for the first time. Since, you do it selectively, sometimes going a whole week without it. You also roll from your back onto your side, but you can't get any farther than that - your arm is always in the way.

You've started to really notice Jazzy and love to look and smile at her. She occasionally licks you, which makes you laugh. Mostly, though, she ignores you.

This month, you got to experience your first wheat harvest and your first trip to the cabin. Both were big hits, and we're looking forward to sharing these experiences with you again and again as you grow up. Your first Royals game was not your favorite, though.

You have really good control over your hands and arms, and you're starting to figure out the feet thing. You're starting to really play with toys - shaking, moving, and, of course, chewing. Your favorites are your taggy and dog blankets, an owl with crinkly wings, your oball rattle, and your play mat. In the last week you've started to move the ball in a throwing motion and once or twice have been able to let go and actually "throw" it, but I think it's more of a fluke than a purposeful motion. Usually your fingers are too entwined with it to let go. You definitely favor your left hand so far.

You chew and suck on everything you can get into your mouth. You also drool a lot and show all the "classic signs" of teething. Even though that's been going on for several weeks, nothing has poked through.

There are a few surefire ways to get you to smile:
  • blow on your tummy (not raspberries, just air). You gasp, then grin.
  • give you big kisses with a "muah" sound effect.
  • have you give big kisses with a "muah" sound effect. You usually stick out your tongue and lick us, too.
Daddy also has a couple games he plays with you, like when he sniffs your toes, then says "smelly feet, smelly feet, smelly feet" while shaking your legs. This is hysterical to you. You smile a lot and laugh great big gaspy laughs.You also have a little shriek-laugh that we call your "pterodactyl" noise.

We started rice cereal a couple of days ago. At first you weren't too sure what to do with it, but you're starting to figure out that it's to swallow. You really love to suck and chew on the spoon (surprise, surprise) and try to help us put it in your mouth.

At your four month check up, you weighed 13 lbs., 12 oz. and were 25 inches long. (I think you're actually longer. You were screaming pretty hysterically so she didn't really get your leg straight. I'll probably measure you myself sometime this week.) You wear your diapers on the smallest snaps but I think we need to let the rise out one snap. You are in 3-6 month and 6 month clothes. Some of your 3 month things kind of fit, but I went ahead and packed them up.

We love you, Lincoln!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

rice cereal

{first tastes of rice cereal... pretty neutral, just trying to figure it out}

Friday, July 19, 2013

the sucky part

Yep, sometimes parenthood sucks. And this is one of those times.

I have to say that I have been fortunate to be able to breastfeed Lincoln with very few problems. Sure, there was pain and soreness (for me, the soreness comes and goes). Yes, my supply dipped when I started running again. But, for the most part, it's been great. I absolutely adore the extra special time I get to spend with him, especially on days when there are a lot of people around and that's about the only time I get to hold him.

I will say that I attribute my success in part to my determination. From the beginning, I said that I would do whatever it takes to have Lincoln continue to nurse. Yes, there were - and still are - definitely days I wanted to give up. Yes, it would have been easier to mix a bottle of formula when he woke up every two hours all day. Yes, it would have been nice to let a grandma feed him at night. No, I would rather not have had to pump when I went back to work for four days. But we made it through all of that.

And now...

The past couple weeks, Lincoln has had a really tough time sleeping. It's gotten progressively worse - from a little fussiness to screaming for up to an hour before finally giving in and going to sleep. We consulted the experts (including our parents and a book by a doctor whose other work we really like). We started working on a bedtime routine. I examined my diet. But none of this seemed to make a difference.

Then I switched our daily routine from eat-wake-sleep to eat-sleep-wake. This seemed to help a little bit, mostly in the morning. Yesterday was his four-month check up, and we talked to his doctor. She confirmed what we had suspected. The kid is hungry. Hungry beyond what I am able to provide right now. This was confirmed yesterday evening when he nursed, had a whole 5 ounce bottle, then another 3 ounces about an hour after that. It's worst in the evenings when my supply is lower. (He also might be teething, but who knows?!)

She wasn't concerned with his growth at all, even though his percentile weight dropped, and supplementing with formula never came up. Thankfully, I have been able to pump (at night when he was sleeping through) and have quite a bit of milk in the freezer. We can supplement with this for the foreseeable future. I'll be pumping after each feeding to try to increase my supply, so this will allow us to have a little extra for the stash.

We have also decided to start him on rice cereal this weekend. This was tough for me. I've been doing my research on solids - purees vs. whole food, delaying until six months, rice cereal as a filler vs. nutrition. But, ultimately, it comes down to doing what's best for Lincoln, not what I want. I trust his doctor (which is why she's now my primary care provider as well), who ultimately left it up to us after presenting it as an option. And I really do think that he is at the point where he's ready. He'll continue to get all the nutrition he needs from breast milk, but this will help fill up his tummy. It wouldn't be my first choice (breast milk only until 6 months), but it's the choice we're making now.

This is really difficult for me. (I'm tearing up as I type this.) Don't get me wrong - I am so glad that I have been able to be my baby's sole source of nutrition for four months. It's a pretty awesome feat. I am proud of that. Not even humbly proud. Just proud. But when your dreams and expectations and reality don't match it takes some adjusting. You'd think after everything we've been through with him I'd have learned... We'll see how the cereal goes.


There's this little trend called "baby mugging," where you take a picture of your baby "in" a mug. You can see more pictures here

My cousin requested that her friends do it, so I caved...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


This month Lincoln participated in his first summer reading program through the Future Jayhawk club. We read 31 books in July... and it's only the 17th. You'd think they'd choose a challenging number!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Songs as We Journey

This summer, our church has reserved a portion of our worship service each Sunday for members of the congregation to share about a song that has been particularly meaningful to them in their faith journey. This morning I shared this:

Don't be afraid. My love is stronger. My love is stronger than your fear. Don't be afraid. My love is stronger, and I have promised, promised to be always near.

          I think it’s safe to say that we all know your world can careen completely of your control without prior notice. For us as parents, that happened sooner and more terrifyingly than we dreamed possible.
          On March 22, 2013, Brad and I welcomed Lincoln Jesse into our family.  Two days and only a few minor complications later, we drove home from the hospital, our conversation filled with hope and excitement for our life as a family of three.
          Seventeen days after that first drive home, we turned back silently with our feverish, dehydrated baby tucked in his car seat behind us.
          The only words my mind could form as we drove were “Please, God. Please God. Please God.” Over and over again, “Please, God.”
          That night, I sat in the isolation room of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, holding in my tears as I rocked my baby. My hands carefully navigated the EKG patches stuck to his chest, the oxygen monitor clipped to a big toe, the blood pressure cuff on his foot, the IV line trailing from his tiny head.
          We still didn’t know what was wrong and wouldn’t for several days; we could only wait in the hospital for treatment and answers. It was terrifying. So, I rocked my baby and tried to sing.
          “Don’t be afraid…”
          My voice broke before I was through the first line. After a deep breath, I started again. And again, and again, until I made it through the song, my voice shaking.
          “My love is stronger than your fear…”
          Lincoln spent one long week in the NICU, recovering from a still unidentified infection. Many times through that week, when we waited for answers then treatment, when I began to think of that tiny hospital room as my “home away from home,” when we updated friends and family, when I rocked my baby, these words came to mind.
          “I have promised, promised to be always near.”
          The feeling of reassurance that these words would eventually bring did not wash over me that first night, or even the next day. But gradually, as the days wore on, the words became my comfort.
          I continue to sing these words, to myself as much as to Lincoln. When I think about all the unknowns that lie ahead of us as parents, and often become overwhelmed, I find comfort in the understanding that God’s love is stronger than my fears and the knowledge that God has promised to be always near. 

And after I shared, we sang together.

Don't be afraid. My love is stronger. My love is stronger than your fear. Don't be afraid. My love is stronger, and I have promised, promised to be always near.  

How wonderful to share this story with my congregation, to be joined with them in song, a song so important to me. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Arkansas 2013: the boat

Lincoln loved riding in the boat, as long as it was going fast enough!

We went on a trip to the marina to get gas. When we were leaving, we had to troll out past the "no wake" buoys. Lincoln screamed, but the second Daniel accelerated, his little eyes closed and he quieted down.

hang on to your hat!

Monday, July 8, 2013