Saturday, January 22, 2011

I don't have a nursling anymore. :(

I'm sad. Solomon has shown less and less interest in nursing. He often just "snacks" and never gets full so he's fussy. But he's starting to get up on his hands and knees and is easily distracted. He's a very busy guy these days. I've tried taking him in a quiet room (not easy with four kids, 7 and under) but it doesn't seem to help.

Still I kept going. A few nights ago, I took my concerns to God in my daily quiet time and asked for a clear indication about when to wean. (One of these days I'll quit asking for that clear indication.. and I'll just ask for I dunno.. a milder indication? A gentle indication? A gentle nudge?)

Brandon and I believe that indication came tonight. I tried to nurse Solomon. He was having well.. a temper tantrum I suppose, but he looked like he was so hungry but every time I'd try to latch him, he'd arch his back and pull away. He's not teething... We went through this a few months ago but we kept going. In the end I was frazzled, in tears and my nerves were shot.

I tried to nurse him a little later once I had soothed him and calmed him down and he bit me. Now he's bitten me before, but only when he was under my nursing cover... but this time he clamped down and wouldn't let go (and we weren't using the nursing cover.) I had to pry his little jaws open as I used every ounce of self control in my body to not jerk away.

Thank God he has NO teeth yet.

He fussed and then after a bit he turned in to nurse and started smacking his lips.

And he bit me again... this time he clamped and wiggled his bottom jaw back and forth... It brought tears to my eyes and Brandon said "Enough. Stephanie, you've done enough. He'll be fine."

So Solomon will be weaned. I don't think it will be too hard because he's taken a bottle of pumped milk with no issues. Of course, he doesn't like to take a bottle from me-- so we'll see how it goes. Daddy will take over some feedings this weekend and if worst comes to worst, his big sisters that have been chomping at the bit to feed him bottles will get their turn Monday. I don't think it will come to that, but we'll see.

I'd appreciate prayers during this time of adjustment for our family. I'm so thankful that we both fell asleep together while he nursed the other night. (It is really rare that I sleep while nursing him. If anything, I'm hyperalert.) God knew that it was coming to an end and let me have that one last special time with him. I'll treasure it always.

7 months 21 days... and another chapter ends. *sniff, sniff*


Sunday, January 16, 2011

It's that time of year...

When most people plan resolutions and fall off the wagon quickly. A few years ago, Brandon and I decided that we really aren't resolution kind of folks. We decided that each year in December and January we'd reminisce, dream and then make (or update) long term goals.

We also project the budget out another year on our spreadsheet so that we stay 2 years ahead. Of course things change, but we like to see when our projected finances meet with our future goals.

For example, with another addition we'll max out our vehicle, so we have a goal to save for our next vehicle so that we are able to pay for it in cash.

We are also getting around to thinking about buying a house so a house down payment of 20% plus closing costs is a long term goal too.

It's been interesting to watch our spreadsheets and goals change. We've had to majorly edit a few things.... like our family-growing plans. We were actively trying to add to our family in 2007 and 2008, but that didn't happen via adoption or birth. I never had on any list to move to Virginia. In 2009, we were matched with Xander much more quickly than we ever dreamed. And right as we were gearing up to adopt again.. Solomon made his presence known via morning sickness.

I chuckle when I think of how things have worked out. Sure, I thought I had it all planned out in such an ideal way, but when I look around me and then look at my lists... God has planned our lives far better than we ever hoped or dreamed. I still continue to hope and plan, but in a much more relaxed way than I once did.

If only I could go back and tell that Stephanie that things were going to work out and that things would be far greater than she ever imagined...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another Dream...

Early this morning, I had another adoption dream. My sleep has been very broken lately so I'm not sure if the dream was over when I woke up or if I interrupted it by waking.

Brandon and I were packing our large suitcases. We were planning to be gone for up to 2 weeks and we packed all kinds of things for ourselves and a little girl. We took the children to a friend's house and came home to sleep a bit before another friend came to pick us up to take us to the airport.

I fell asleep and woke up in a panic. I couldn't find my passport and I started tearing our place apart. I was frantic and kept repeating, "We waited all this time and now I can't find my passport!?!"
And then I woke up.

I, of course, have no idea what this dream could mean. But a few of the details struck me as odd.
  • We were going to be gone for up to 2 weeks.
  • Our flights were all planned out.
  • I was panicked over not having my passport... which makes me think that we were traveling internationally. I do not currently have a valid passport-- Brandon has never had a passport.

Brandon and I have been at a fork in the road trying to decide if we are going to adopt internationally or domestically. I thought we were on the same page and that we were planning on adopting domestically. Guess we should pray about this decision further.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Story Behind the Picture

I snapped this picture (with my phone) when we were in the Magic Kingdom. Our kiddos were waiting fairly patiently to meet a character. I snapped the picture in the moment. I wasn't worried about messy hair, Xander having no shoes, Solomon always having his hands in his mouth, or even Julianne looking like she wasn't sure what was going on.

I wanted to remember that moment forever.

Unfortunately this hasn't always been the case. I have an eye for detail... and well that can be either a blessing or a curse. Unfortunately, I've let it be a curse in my life. I can't tell you how many times I've put my children through endless amounts of pictures to get things "just so." Every hair in place, outfits looking perfect and pristine. I had sucked the joy out of memory taking. I've deleted wayyyy more pictures than I've kept.

Thankfully, God knew this about me and has given me four children, 7 and under and made me realize that in my human-ness I can't make every single detail perfect anymore. Sometimes I have to just relax and roll with it. My life isn't a movie that I can reshoot things over and over and over and make them appear perfect every moment of the day.

So my Christmas cards had an imperfect picture tucked inside. And I continued the theme when we got to Disney. I took imperfect pictures. I let my girls wear their princess gowns two days in a row (after washing of course.. all my standards aren't gone! LOL) I put Xander's shoes (and socks!) in our bag since he obviously didn't want to wear them and thought it was more fun to randomly throw them down. I let my hair down and I loved every single moment of it.
THIS is who I want to be. I want to be the fun mom that goes with the flow. Not everything can be that way, but ALOT of the details of life don't matter in the grand scheme of things. And each day that I've purposefully chosen to not be that nitpicky woman I was has been more filled with joy, more fun and more memorable to me.

When I look at the picture of my Fab Four, I see a little boy that is so in love with his little brother, that we had to separate him so that Solomon wouldn't have his eyeballs poked out. I see a little girl that is thrilled for her big sister that we are standing in a two hour line to meet Repunzel. I see a big sister that was happy to entertain her siblings while we waited instead of whining. I see a baby that is so very loved by his older sibings and was just happy to be one of them as he contentedly chewed his fingers.

Sure Xander has the sunshade to the stroller under his bare feet. Sure Julianne has more hair that has fallen out of her pigtails than in her pigtails and isn't smiling. Sure Xander is oblivious that I'm trying to get his attention to take a picture.

This is my now. This is the family that God has planned for me. He knew I needed them. I needed to learn this lesson.

And I'm so glad I learned it now.. the future is going to be so much fun!