Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When Are We Going to Have Another?

Now that Matthew is *gasp* approaching 1 year old (really, I can't believe it!), we get asked with pretty regular frequency when and if we are going to try again. Let me bunny trail here for a second and say that the question doesn't bother me, for reasons I'll explain in a second, but it can be a pretty hurtful question for people who've struggled with infertility, so please keep that in mind if you consider asking it of a friend you know struggles with infertility. Because we still have 6 embryos left, in my head the question has always been a matter of "when" and not "if." But not everyone has that "luxury" if you will, so for other IF people, the question can be a source of great pain. But, I digress. For us, the question isn't hurtful. (Really, truly! It isn't and never has been, so please don't feel badly if you've asked. I only wrote the above as a caution in the hopes of sparing the feelings of other IF friends who are caught off guard by that question). As I said, we still have 6 of Matthew's siblings waiting for us in frozen storage. And barring any medical interference, we will eventually give all of them a chance to be born to us. If something tragic were to happen to me that would prevent me from having any more pregnancies before we had transferred them, we would return them to Sheila and Beau, who would carefully choose another adoptive family. All 4 of us are committed to all of these babies having an opportunity to be born, however that may be. So, Lord willing, Matthew will grow up with genetic siblings in our home. Our original plan was to transfer two more embryos this coming spring, which would put any successfully implanted babies as being born right around Matthew's second birthday. That timeline changed when we discovered how sick pregnancy makes me. With my pregnancy with Matthew, it was just me and DH and the dog. I could easily go to sleep on days when I was too sick to function. Those of you who have read a long time here know that was most days, until I was 7 and a half months along. On my worst days, I would throw up 30 times a day or more. If you've ever been sick like that for even a day or two, you know how impossible it is to function well. Unfortunately, they don't know what causes Hypermesis Gravidarum, and doubly unfortunately, it is also often worse with subsequent pregnancies than it was in your first HG pregnancy. Additionally, since we always transfer two embryos at a time, we always have the chance for twins. Twin pregnancies are even worse on HGs. If we were to try again this spring, Matthew would be just over a year old when I would conceivably (pun intended!) be the sickest. We just thought that was a lot to put on our plates. He wouldn't understand how to play independently, or how to take direction that mommy needs to rest, and he's too young for me to feel comfortable sending him to daycare or something. So, we decided to put it off a year. Our tentative plan is to try again in Spring 2013, putting the baby born around Matthew's third birthday. But beyond all that, I just have no desire to rush through this time. As much as I love all of my children, he will always be the first one I got to hold in my arms. I'll never get to have just one (small) child at home again. I cherish all of the time I just get to sit and enjoy him. That one on one time will be significantly reduced when another sibling comes along and though that new sibling will bring us much joy, it will just be different. I'm not ready for different yet. I don't want to rush through his infancy, just so I can start another baby's infancy. And I don't want to spend the end of his infancy too sick to enjoy it with him. Right now I'm delighted with life as it is. Todd, Matthew, and I are finally hitting a groove together. He's finally sleeping through the night so I feel like I can be present in life again instead of dragging through in a sleep-deprived stupor. I'm not ready for change yet. I want to be fully ready to jump with both feet in to a new arrangement before we actually do it. That's not to say that I don't eagerly await the day when I can meet all of the rest of my children, how and whenever that/those day(s) may come(s). But I want to honor the child here in our home already, and I want to make sure I am as prepared as possible to give any new children the best care I can whenever it is they come to us. I just don't think that time is now. Other parents are rockstars at having children close together in age and I have great respect for them, so I hope my explanation of our choice is not perceived as a criticism on others who are better equipped to do this faster than I am. My mom was one of those--my brother and I are 53 weeks apart. We just don't think that's a good fit for our family. Perhaps if my pregnancies weren't so rough, I would feel differently. But quite frankly, it's a little daunting to consider being that sick for that long again, especially with a one-year-old under foot. Even doing it with a two-year old sounds slightly terrifying! There's no guarantee that I'll get HG again, but in my short-lived pregnancy with our girls (the pregnancy ended at 6 weeks) I was already sick, and my NVP with Matthew came on really early. Sheila had HG with all of her pregnancies, too, so the odds are not in our favor for an HG-Free Pregnancy. I find myself missing Matthew being a tiny little baby. Those days are the days I say to myself, "maybe we could do this again soon." But, overall, we think waiting until 2013 is the best fit for our family. Infertility brought a lot of downsides, but one upside for us now is being able to prepare and plan as best we can. We know there's zero chance of us becoming pregnant spontaneously, and at this point in our life, we're ok with that. It's funny how your perspective changes.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Running away TO home!

Hey! Here we are!!

It all started in October. Matthew and I took a spontaneous trip to Chicagoland to see my best friend and her family. As I mentioned in my last post, it was a wonderful trip. (I did get my camera back!!)

We arrived home on a Saturday.

The following Friday, we departed for Southern California. Southern California is where I was born and raised. It's also where DH and I both attended college and where we met. The occasion of the trip was for our vacation, and the specific destination was chosen to allow us to attend the wedding of a little boy grown man I used to babysit!  I was also his VBS leader, his camp leader, his Sunday School teacher, his Children's Church teacher, and his Pioneer Club leader over the years so I had a lot of time to spend with him and his sister and their parents.

This is how I remember (and sometimes, still think of) these sweet "kids" (sorry, Shane and Dev!)

I could not love this kid and his family more if they were my own flesh and blood so when he finally popped the question to his beloved earlier this year, I asked Todd if we could make it a priority to attend the wedding, and he worked hard to make it happen.

Here we are.

The wedding was beautiful and I didn't make it 5 minutes without bawling like a baby. Matthew melted down shortly after the reception started so we didn't get to stay past the first toast, but I did get to witness the ceremony, and I got to tell my boy I love him and give him and his new bride (and the rest of his family) a big hug. While we waited for them to arrive at the reception, we also got a chance to visit with many of the other people I grew up knowing at church.  It was a wonderful opportunity to see so many people, and to introduce Matthew to them!  

Here we are with Shane's parents. I didn't get a good photo with the kids (dislike!)

But I did get a nice photo of just their family. Aren't they beautiful?

Shane's parents were two of my mentors growing up, so we sort of had this little chain going on.  I had asked Robin if we would be able to see them at all after the wedding but I knew the chances were unlikely as I was sure they had other family festivities to attend. Saturday night as we were leaving, Robin said she'd call me in the morning about getting together! I was elated!

We went to church at the church I grew up in, which was neat. Then We packed up the hotel and headed over to their house, expecting to spend an hour or so. They spent the whole afternoon with us. Watching them play with Matthew made my heart so full.

I really love my friends and family in Phoenix, but having Matthew connected with this piece of my history added a whole new dimension to my journey as a parent and as a woman. I really truly felt like my heart would burst that day. I left with my eyes brimming with tears--joy for the experience we'd just had, and sadness that I won't likely see them again for years. I really don't want to live in California, but I do wish we could have the opportunity for Matthew to know and spend time with them. An amazing and humbling moment for me was when I asked Sean and Robin how they managed to raise two such great kids and Sean said, "You helped." Guys, if you're reading this, that blessed me more than you know. I hope Matthew has Seans and Robins in his life, and that I can be as good of a parent to him as you have always been to your kids.

On the way TO my hometown, we stopped at our adoption agency

where Matthew got to meet our adoption coordinator!

That was incredibly special for us, too.

After leaving Sean and Robin's, we headed down to La Mirada, to visit our Alma Mater. We got up on Monday morning and took Matthew to chapel.

Then we met some of our dear friends, who have a daughter just 6ish weeks younger than Matthew, for lunch in the College Cafeteria. THAT was a blast from the past as Dave and I had many lunches there together, MANY years ago ;). Dave is one of my oldest friends. I met him during my freshman year before either of us had met our spouses and we've stayed friends, since. Spending time with his family was precious to me, too. I was such a gypsy growing up that having any kind of history with anyone is still sort of foreign to me, and extra precious.

After sweet time with Dave and Jenn, they headed out and we spent time bumming around campus, visiting our old haunts.

Here's Matthew, telling us he's done taking pictures. We hope one day we can take his picture in front of "Jesus" when Matthew is a student at the school. (Hey! We love him and have a wonderful plan for his life!)

We spent a few minutes visiting with a college professor, and then we headed over to the city park, which is where Todd and I spent much of our courtship. We had our first date, and many other dates in that park, walking around the lake hand in hand or sitting and feeding the ducks. We envisioned sharing the experience with Matthew. What we didn't know is that in the 10 years since we moved away, the ducks and geese have taken combat training and are actually ATTACK geese and ducks, who literally chased us through the park, even though we hadn't taken anything out of a bag to indicate to them that we even HAD food. We ran and hid (the "we" in the hiding part is Matthew and I---I had visions of them nipping at his fingers) in the bathrooms while we waited for them to lose interest, half scared, half laughing uncontrollably.

Seriously, look how close they are to my camera.

DH, attempting to pacify them.

After they were satisfied that they really had taken us for everything we had, they let us alone. At that point, from a distance, Matthew thought they were great fun.

We tried to get a nice family photo.

I love this progression of our attempts at a self portrait:
Matthew-"another picture? Geeze!"

Todd: attempting to get Matthew to smile.
Matthew: "You can't make me smile! Get away from me mom!"

Matthew: "Ha ha! You asked me for one smile. I gave it to you! I look adorable! You parents look lame! Mission accomplished!"

A nice passerby took pity on us and snapped a picture, but Matthew-man wasn't going to smile for her. Nuh-uh. He'd smiled in the last photo.

After the park, we headed for dinner and the hotel. We put Matthew down and then I went for my first post-baby girls' night out with another dear friend from college, who drove up from San Diego to see me. We spent hours talking until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. It was wonderful!

Tuesday, it was time to head home. Like he had on the drive out, Matthew did wonderfully on the drive home. Our vacation was amazing and my soul was blessed immeasurably.

Wednesday and Thursday were spent unpacking, doing laundry, and finishing a project for church because on Friday, we left for Flagstaff (a town 120ish miles north of here) for my church women's retreat. Todd went with me to stay with Matthew in the hotel room so I could attend sessions (I am still nursing so I could not go without Matthew but didn't want him to be disruptive in sessions). On the way up, we got word of a terrible accident on the freeway, so we detoured through another town, which is hometown to Todd's brother and his family so we had lunch with them. We eventually made it to Flagstaff, and had a nice weekend.

We came home Sunday night. On Tuesday, my parents arrived for Thanksgiving. This was nice, but a little stressful, for reasons I'll share below. I cooked the Thanksgiving meal and hosted it at my in-laws' house, which is much more suited for company and centrally located to everyone than mine is. That was nice, but just complicated to plan the meal at one house, and prepare it at another and make sure all the parts and pieces got there, get organized, etc.

Here we are :) (I'm noticing that I wear this sweater a lot! I do own more outfits!)

Matthew with Todd's dad

With all of his grandmas :)

In the midst of all that, Matthew turned 10 months old.

He weighed 19.5 pounds (finally gaining some weight and he has since cracked 20lbs!) (between 10-25%), wears size 2 diapers in the day and 3s at night, and wears mostly 9-12 month clothes because of his height. He still has just 2 teeth and almost no hair, which is a-ok with me--keeps him looking like my baby and less like a big boy. His soft spot on his head is almost gone and I miss it. He needs to be put in to his big boy carseat (sniff sniff!) so he's somewhere above 30" long. He crawls, cruises, eats 3 meals of solids per day, nurses less frequently than I was ready for, is back to sleeping through the night (hallelujah!), is my little social butterfly and a total ham and flirt, and is remarkably obedient for someone his age. His favorite foods are chicken, mangoes, pineapples, and sweet potatoes. His new skill is dancing! He stands at his activity table, turns on the music, and bops up and down. It's hilarious and so adorably cute, though I've yet to catch it on video.

Thanksgiving came and went, as did daddy's birthday.

My parents left on Saturday afternoon. I spent Sunday resting and then had to go into hyperdrive, because I was throwing my mom a surprise 50th birthday party the following weekend (which now, is yesterday).

It was a joy to have my parents at my house most of the previous week but I couldn't work on party things while my mom was here!) I planned, shopped for, decorated, and cooked for 40, mostly by myself, all while trying to keep it a secret from my mom.

Plus, it was 2 hours away so there were logistical complications involved with trying to plan everything remotely. And, the party was at her church, and she is involved in LITERALLY, everything there (she's on staff as the church administrator so nothing happens at the church without her knowledge) and our cover was almost blown in the last 24 hours but we did ultimately manage to surprise her, I think.

(Hello again, sweater!)

Today, I slept as much as I could while Matthew hung out with grandma. We watched the Packers game and then headed home, but now it's near 3:00am and my wonderful nap earlier has caused sleep to elude me now.

I keep joking that now that I'm finally home, I'm never leaving my house again EVER. It's been an amazing, wonderful past couple of months but I am looking forward to some quality quiet time here at home with my little family, refocusing our attention on the beauty that is Christ's birth.

We've set up our Christmas tree and gave Matthew his first nativity set. The poor people of Bethlehem never knew what hit them.

My parents gave Matthew this ornament, which is really neat if you're interested. We were going to begin our advent celebration tonight but got home too late so I'm looking forward to tomorrow, in doing our first advent celebration with Matthew. A relationship with God is a wonderful thing no matter where you are in life, but now with Matthew here in my arms, I just understand Christmas and Christ's birth and death and resurrection, and God's sacrifice and love for us just differently than I did before. It's really a humbling experience. I'm really looking forward to spending this season with my little family.

Well as I said, it's 3:00am and morning comes soon so I must get to bed. Thanks for those of you who are still checking in even though we've been silent since Halloween! I've been keeping up on those of you who blog and I love reading what's happening in your lives.

Goodnight, and love to you all!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

We're back! (And we're 9 months old!)

I apologize for the silence. Matthewsaurus and I took a spontaneous trip to Chicagoland last week to see my best friend and her family. She and I had talked on the phone about a week prior and we were both missing each other terribly. Then I remembered that we had a frequent flyer ticket that we had never used (thank you, South.west Airlines!) so I called and reactivated it, and a week later, we were on our way. Matthew did wonderfully on the plane ride out. He LOVED being in a house with other kids. The 5 of us (my friend and I and our combined 3 kids) just had fun doing life together-going for walks, taking the kids to the park, going shopping, etc. It was lovely!

I have no pictures to share from my trip because I unfortunately left my camera there. But having left it there is better than the fate I originally thought had befallen my camera--I thought I had lost it in the airport. So anyway, the camera is now in the mail to me and I'm anxious for it to arrive. I was SO grateful when Kim called to say they'd found it.

Sidetrack: Normally, as the first picture of every memory card, I take a photo of a piece of paper that includes my name and contact info so that if some Samaritan DOES find my camera, they can contact me to get the camera back to me. I hadn't yet done that with this camera, but I'm throwing it out there in case anyone else thinks it's a good idea. Todd once found a video camera in a used car we bought at the auction. On the camera was video of what was obviously, a child's first birthday. We felt so badly for them that they didn't have that video and we had no way of knowing who they were to get it back to them. So I usually try to ensure that there's a way someone can find me, if they want to.

Matthew turned 9 months old the day we left:

He's started crawling "for real." He moved a few inches before we left on our trip, so daddy got to see the first crawling. Then while at Kim's house, he took off across the room! Life will never be the same. We've ordered a baby cage gate so that we can try to contain the madness, but now there's nowhere he doesn't want to go. It was funny to arrive home and leave him in DH's care. DH turned to leave the room momentarily, and Matthew followed him. That surprised him as he hadn't yet connected the dots to all crawling entails now! Today I took Matthew to get his pictures taken, and there was another little boy his same age getting HIS photo taken. Matthew wanted to play with him, so he just crawled on over and did.

For my mama records: he still teeters right around 18-18.25 pounds. He wears size 2 diapers. He eats 1-2 meals of solids per day and loves it. Most of the time, he wears 9-12 month clothing because he's so long. A few of his 6-9month things do still fit him.  His 9 month pediatrician visit is tomorrow so I am anxious to see what his "official" stats are. UPDATE: Her official stats: Weight: 18lb, 6 oz (14th percentile). Length: 29.75" (90th percentile). Head circumference: 18" (50th percentile).

Loves: Chicken. Being around a baby 5 months older than him for a week made him anxious to do big-boy things, including eat like one. He previously wouldn't eat anything but purees and despised anything with texture, but he wanted to feed himself like Kim's daughter does. So, he had some plain shredded chicken for the first time. He went positively nuts for it. Double-fisted, shoveling it in to his mouth, moaning in delight all the while. It was HILARIOUS. I have it on video too...on the traveling camera. He loves bath-time in the "big boy" bath tub. He loves other kids and babies. He loves the baby in the mirror, and crawling, and singing. And he love love LOVES the outside, still. It's finally cool enough that we can be in it and daddy is growing some grass for us, so we're loving fall.

Working On: Cruising, climbing. (Oh, my!)

Dislikes: Peas (awesome!). Being still. His very first toy that we bought when I was still pregnant. He is terrified of it! It's so pitiful.

Disposition: Happy. Hammy. Impatient. Strong-willed. Stubborn. Wonderful combination ;)

As you know, yesterday was Halloween. We're still trying to figure out how we want to acknowledge various holidays in our home and in Matthew's life. We don't really do Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, but we don't think there's anything wrong with gift exchanges, and egg-hunts. We like costumes and pumpkins, but we don't do scary or evil or ghoulish and we're not sure that we're fans of trick or treating. We want our focus to always be on Christ, and for holidays created to commemorate specific things in Christian history to be celebrated accordingly,  but we also think God can be glorified in harvest festivals and Christmas stockings, too. It's been easy enough to live through as two adults, but trying to actually ARTICULATE things, especially going forward where it will have to be in such a way that a child can understand, has been a little more tricky. A friend shared this blog post with me, and it articulated many of our thoughts PERFECTLY, and gave us a few more things to chew on. In the end, he had a costume (a dinosaur-monster--Matthewsaurus!). We went over to Krista's house and had dinner with friends and family. We pushed Matthew in the stroller while her kids trick or treated and I steered Matthew away from any scary or gory decorations. We just enjoyed quality time and clean fun with people beloved to us- I think God is honored in that.

Love love LOVE this picture of some of my favorite kiddos in the world.

Skyler informed us he was "babysitting" Matthew.

And today I took him to get his 9 month portrait taken. She got several good ones. I love his little laugh in this one:

Off to get a little more work done before he wakes from his nap. He fell asleep in his carseat on the way home and is still asleep now, 2 hours later. I wonder if he's working on another tooth in there. We'll see.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

We Remember You

Thank you, Kirsten.

A Person's a Person, No Matter How Small

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. The 15th is specifically National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Did you know that 1 in 4 suffers the loss of a child? More likely than not, the child(ren) of one of your loved ones is included in this day.

1 in 4 lose a child, and yet the American dialogue remains largely silent on the subject. I think that's one of the reasons that it's rather hard to cope with. I can't speak to losing a child I've carried to term, but at least in the case of miscarriage, there are no pictures. There are few to no pleasant memories. In early miscarriage, there's not even visible physical evidence of your child's existence. There are no funerals. There's just a void in your heart for the baby you loved the moment you knew of her existence. A void that only that child can fill. Though Matthew fills up my whole heart, there are still simultaneously 5 baby-shaped, whole-heart sized holes that are reserved for his siblings.

But the world keeps going. It's maddening. You want everything to stop so that you can process what just happened, but the rest of the world keeps going, without even knowing your child existed. I remember the night of my first miscarriage, we'd been in the hospital all day and I'd lost a ton of blood. I left weak and hungry, so we went to a restaurant. They asked us if it was "just the two of us" and I nearly lost my head with the realization that the answer was "yes" even though hours before, it had been "no." Miscarriage grief can be a very lonely, silent kind of pain. Most of the world answers it with, "Goodness, get over it already. It's not like it was a REAL baby," as though your child was not yet old or big enough to have caused you pain to lose. Or, "you can have another baby," as if a new baby could take that baby's place. Or "Maybe there was something wrong with that baby, so thank God He took the baby early." Or the ever-generic, "these things happen for a reason." Especially among people who claim to be pro-life, it blows my mind to hear them. Or, people just say nothing. No matter how early in their life they are born to heaven, he or she is still a real baby who has died. Empty arms and an empty cradle await the parents who were so anxious to meet their little one.

We were blessed. We had (have) an amazing circle of immediate friends and family, most of whom did NOT say those things. I heard them, but more often, the things we heard were supportive and life-affirming. But I also know that many are often at a loss of what to do or say to support their loved ones dealing with miscarriage.

Here are some suggestions:

Pray for them. Pray with them.

Recognize that their child has died. You would offer condolences to someone in the event of a lost parent, aunt or uncle, sibling, or sometimes even a pet. You might even offer flowers or a card. It's ok to do the same after a miscarriage. Having someone else acknowledge that you experienced a "REAL" loss, having that person acknowledge that your child really was here, did exist, and did matter is immensely comforting and healing.

Don't try to explain their child's death away

Don't try to compare it to any other kind of loss

Ask them if they want to talk about their child

Talk about their child with them--it's so comforting to have your "secret" child's life acknowledged by someone else. My goddaughter shares the name with one of my girls. Before naming her, my best friend called and asked if it was ok if they used the same name. Of course they didn't need my permission, but for them to acknowledge that my own was a real little person who died was amazing.

If the miscarriage is recent, offer to bring them a meal. Miscarriage can be physically painful, exhausting, or both. Bringing a meal is sensitive to the grieving mother's physical needs and again, lets her know that you recognize her loss as "real."

Hug them

Cry with them

Recognize that some "milestones" might be hard, like Mother's (or Father's) Day, or their due date, or the anniversary of their miscarriage. Even if it's years after the fact, those days might be sensitive for them and that's ok.

If you don't know what to say, say "I'm sorry," or "I don't know what to say, but I'm here for you." Usually, we don't actually want or need to hear anything. We just need your love.

I know an overwhelming amount of my readers are among those 1 in 4. So I'm thinking of all of you today, mamas, and missing your babies right along with you.

A person's a person, no matter how small. They were here. They ARE loved. And Heaven is going to be one AMAZING reunion.

PS: As of the time of this posting (O'dark hundred ;) ) there was still time to submit your child to Kirsten's Say Their Names project.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

[It Was] Matthew Monday

It was Matthew Monday when I started this post in my head. Does that count? Because "Matthew Thursday" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

It's just after 12:30a and I've just come to bed from cuddling my sweetie pie. I just fed him at 11:30 but he woke up crying. I know the books say that I should have let him fall back asleep, but he wanted to cuddle, so I cuddled him. I know that one day, much sooner than I want it, he will not want me to cuddle him anymore. As it is, he doesn't like to cuddle much when he's awake, so I take it when and where I can get it. Do you think if I got some of that fancy anti-aging cream and smeared it all over him, that he could stay my little boy forever? I know some people aren't "baby people" but I love this time SO much. And I'll only get to have it with my first/only baby once. So, I'm a bit wistful about it passing so quickly! I'm pretty tired because he's gone back to two middle of the night feedings, and that, coupled with my insomnia makes it hard to catch up on rest. But, the middle of the night feeds are some of my favorites--he's too tired to want to play or wriggle away, so he eats, and then when he's done, he pulls off and burrows in to me. I usually have to pry myself out of the chair and put him back to bed because it's so tempting to snuggle him all night. Ah...

My sweetheart is just blossoming. He still has very little interest in crawling. He gets up on his hands and knees and rocks for a while, but then decides rolling is faster. He has recently started doing this funny little shimmy. It's pretty hard to describe, so I'll just show you. This is how he gets around when he wants to go forward. And he always only uses the one hand.

Last week, he got a freckle. Two, actually: one in his left ear, and one on his right cheek. SO cute!

He's becoming increasingly verbal. His sounds now are "ma, ma, ma," "ba, ba, ba," and more recently (and rarely), "ah, ah, ah," "da, da, da," ga, ga, ga" and "la, la, la." Last week, I was reading him "Moo, Baa, La La La" and when I said, "The sheep says "ba-a-a," he said "ba-a-a" and when I said, "Three singing piggies say 'La la la!" he said, "la la la!" He's only done it sporadically since then, but it was deliberate. I love to see his little mind working.

Another thing that's been fun to see is he's figuring out mirrors. He still LOVES the baby in the mirror. I don't know that he's figured out that that is him. He talks to the baby, tries to touch the baby, tries to eat the baby. But if he sees someone else he knows in the mirror, he'll look in the mirror, and then turn and look behind or next to himself to see where that person is standing. You can literally see the lightbulbs going off in his little head. I know not everyone has the opportunity or desire to be a stay at home mom, but for me, it's a perfect fit and I'm so thankful for the chance to be one. I just love being with him all day. People say that it will wear off. Maybe when he's a teenager ;)

I had to move him this week to 9-12 month jammies! He's still tiny in terms of weight, but he's soooo long! It's always bittersweet for me when I move him to the next size up. I am grateful that he's healthy and growing, but this time is all passing far too quickly for my preference!

His last day in his 6-9 month jammies. I just loved these ones on him so I wanted to make sure I had a picture of him in them. I got a pretty cute picture out of the deal!

On the weekend, we took him to the pumpkin patch. The weather was PERFECT--70 degrees. (In contrast, it will be 100 tomorrow). He had such a good time. He just LOVES to be outside but it's been too hot for him to be in it for months!

Sunday night (October 9th) was very exciting, too! Look what we learned to do!

He got himself to that position:

So, we've been a busy bee! He's attempting to cruise, too! He might just skip that whole boring crawling thing! Once he's up on his feet, he stands there as long as he can. He just loves it!

Other little things I want to remember: His sweet little voice. Sometimes, it's just so soft, and gentle.

He's even learning to whisper, which is so cute. Other times, he's loud and rowdy and exuberant. Oh and that fake cough thing at the end of the video is his other new thing. It's hilarious.

Often, when he finishes eating at bedtime, he pulls away, sits up, props his elbows on my chest and strokes my face. Then he smiles and coos at me. He knows bed time is imminent and he's just trying to con me into playing with him instead of putting him to sleep, but I admit, sometimes, I fall for it. On purpose. It's so cute, even if a bit manipulative.

When he nurses, he is turned in toward me, lying on his side, with his tummy and torso against my chest, and one leg and arm under him, down against my arm that's cradling him. Lately, his free leg just goes wild while he's eating. He waves it all over the air. Eventually, he settles it up on my shoulder. It's so cute. With his free hand, he likes to grab the end of my nose and hold on. It's like he's saying "Don't go anywhere, mom!" Like I could even if I wanted to.

He does this funny little thing where he tucks his chin to his chest and shakes his head from side to side, as if he's nodding, "no." The thing is, he does it at all random times and often not in response to anything so he's not ACTUALLY saying, "no."

He's fascinated with the mechanics of things. We were at a friends house for dinner a few weeks ago, and she has one of those springy/coil doorstops in her baseboard. We were on the floor playing, and he rolled over to it, and spent a good 20 minutes just tweaking the doorstop, listening to its sound and watching it move. Today, he rolled to a drawer with a hinged pull--he pulled it out and let it fall back in to place forever and ever. He's so curious!

He laughs at me when I yawn (kind of messed up, don't you think, considering he's the REASON I'm so tired?)

He is seeming like he's going to be left handed...just like his daddy {swoon}.

Ok, now it's 1:45--I need to go to bed. Night, all!