Saturday, October 15, 2011

Clarity (Not Really...this post RAMBLES!)

Seriously. He is such a joy.

You know how some days, every.single.thing is just muddy? Wishy Washy? Unsure? Unsettling? Just not clear...

Yep, I've had a lot of those in the last 22 months and 17 days. If I believed that life was fair, I'd say more than my fair share.

But...I don't believe that. Life has certainly proven itself to not be fair, and even more, we are is hard. There will be trouble. (Sometimes 'trouble' sort of seems like an understatement, doesn't it?) The Promise is we aren't alone.

So that's what I've been clinging to...and has been faithful to me. The Promise. I have lately had so, so many days where things are just so crystal clear. Like roadblocks just sort of push themselves out of the way and say, "Here, Lori...this way, please..."

A lot has been due to the study I've been doing. (Again, it is Angela Thomas's Brave and it is UH-MAZING!) A lot has been due to the ladies with whom I've been sharing it. A lot has been due to my purposeful effort to focus even more on the things that so clearly require my focus (and to push those that don' Facebook, ha ha!) I cannot believe how much more I get accomplished when I just spend a preset amount of time on the computer and dedicate the rest of my day to other things.

Now...before anyone gives the, "Well, DUH. Of course you do..." speech, I think it should go without saying that I don't know how I would have made it through the last nearly two years without the support I have received via my computer. Whether it's articles to read, emails sent at just the right time, friends who are now like family via their blogs or just me being able to get stuff of my chest on this blog...there is NO.DOUBT in my mind that God ministered (and still does) to me through thousands of different ways using technology. And I am grateful.

I'm just at a different place where my time is needed differently...and though I miss a lot of the security that I have had in others 'who get it'...I'm feeling more BRAVE these days and am able to wean myself.

So...speaking of weaning. (This is what happens when I go almost a month without updating. SO much to write about. SO little time or space!)

Yesterday I had a really encouraging doctor's visit. I haven't really been throwing a lot of details out because there's still a lot of stuff that is ahead of us, but the gist is that we are looking into perhaps having another child. I didn't really intend to share this quite so soon, but I posted a status on Facebook yesterday that said I was praying with expectancy, and sort of opened an accidental can of worms. I MEANT that I was praying with the expectancy that God will continue to show His amazing glory and hope that meant an even larger family for us.

Not that I am expecting, ha ha!

(Yet. Soon? Hopefully? Maybe? Who knows?)

So let me set the record straight--and I'm glad to do so with some clarity right now.

We are going to explore different options.

It will be difficult no matter what happens because John will be very busy and gone for the better part of all of next year.

If it doesn't happen, I will not feel one bit incomplete as a mother. I was given the gift of two amazingly beautiful and precious baby boys. That's more than I ever dared to dream. Those baby boys have already exceeded every expectation of what it means to be a mother and another child in our family truly will be icing on the cake. (Yummy, delicious and super loved icing!)

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness day. Yes, an official day. Not many people know that because October is all about the pink for breast cancer. I've said it before. Both issues are close to my heart, obviously. I have enough room to honor and remember for each situation.

I miss Matthew. With each new thing Luke does, and each day looking less and less like my pictures of seems like Matthew just falls a little farther behind us...and by us, I mean where we are as a family. I hate that feeling, but I realize that time doesn't stop because a family member's life does. Balancing that feeling and realization is hard. I'm glad there are days that help everyone remember how life changing losing a child is.

Because trust me. Those of us who have never forget. And it's nice when others remember.


Luke is fabulous. So, he and I both had the flu. Reported to the CDC and everything type of flu. (Also known as the one with the letters and numbers but don't want some weird spam comments!) We've basically been sort of quarantined for a bit and it was MISERABLE for me. Thankfully, according to his doctor, he is the poster boy of the flu. Then she said he was actually poster boy for breast feeding since she believes that's why he had no symptoms other than really messy diapers all day long and he tested positive when I tested. He still has some residual chest and nasal congestion, as do I, but seriously...this little boy is just amazing. One would never know how sick our family has been!

That said, we've been trying to take advantage of some of the fun fall activities this season brings. I love all these memories we are making with Luke. He may not remember them...but this mommy always, always, always will. I am so grateful.

Fun at Cox Farm!

It was all fun and games until Bessie the plastic cow stepped in...

Which set the tone for the rest of the afternoon!!!!

Although, hotdogs sure made it better. (Yes, I know. Hotdogs. It was just a teeny bit and they were all beef.)

Where's that cow??????

The next day at the Apple Festival at Grave's Mountain was much better!!!! (And yes, two completely different outfits that look the same!)


One's tired...and one's tired of pictures!

The next day was super fun at Busch Gardens with our dear friends!

First carousel ride!

He is Lukealicious!!! I gobble him up!

This is SO much fun!

Loved giggling with Matthew and Brad!

HUGE fan of Big Bird!

But surely worn out!

At his 9 month appointment last week, he weighed in at 18 lbs., 4 oz. That is 20th percentile. The nurse double-checked and said, "That can't be right!"

I told her that's about what he normally is and she looked at me very suspiciously and said, "That boy doesn't look like he misses a meal!"

No, he doesn't. Crazy, huh? Everyone always comments on how solid and bulky he is...but still...20th%! He was 28.3 inches, though, and that was 57th percentile, so...again, as usual, long and lean. (I giggle at lean every time I kiss those sausage hands!) Head circumference was 22nd percentile. Daddy's little head. All in all, a great visit. I loved the doctor he saw. I loved what he told me. "Nobody ever gets carried to college. Hold him and carry him all you want. He is healthy and developmentally right on track...he'll do what he wants when he wants."


And he is doing just what he wants! Little turkey still can't sit himself up from a laying down position (though he is just about there), and he is still 'crawling' by dragging his whole body with his arms, but last night he stood. On his own. Not holding onto anything and even balanced for a few seconds. Then he took a step toward his play table! He doesn't even really seem to care about crawling anymore, but standing. Not even walking so much. Just standing. The doctor noted that, "Hmmm...he doesn't want to sit down, does he???" Nope. He never has. Always liked to be on those feet, and now is no exception!

I mentioned weaning him. I don't want to. It's killing me. BUT...I have to in order to do the testing I need to do for Shady Grove. So...we'll see how that goes. He's already basically trying to wean himself (he LIVES for solids. I again talked with the doctor about it and she said it wasn't preferrable to wean this early, but it was common and some babies just naturally transitioned with no difficulty because they were ready and wanted to do so. Would figure that would be my Luke.) So...he'll have breastmilk until 10 months and then another half a month or more of pumped breastmilk and then formula for another month and a half or so. And we are working on more vegetables! He loves, loves, loves to try just about anything on our spoons. He likes lasagna, but spaghetti noodles feel weird to him. We've talked extensively about food allergies and we pretty much all agree that he has them..or at least sensitivity. The thing is that unless his reactions (which are now pretty much slight rashes) are serious, the APP doesn't recommend withholding the food. New studies on allergies in infants are coming out right and left saying that they'll have allergies or it's a matter of managing what is given based on reaction. Our problem is that he has such sensitive skin, it's hard to tell if he is reacting to something or someone breathed on him the wrong way, so for now, his pediatricians, dermatologist and allergists all are ok with him trying whatever he is interested in and watching for reaction. Food allergies were HORRID for I pray he's spared!

Ok. Too much rambling and the boy is up. I got up at 6:30 on a Saturday just to do this and now he's up and we're starting another fun day. Can't wait!

Here are some more pictures of the last few weeks!

He loves his Dixie Belle!
Humoring mom with some crawling!

I'm in trouble this hat season because the boy knows how to take them off. And does so. Quickly!

Hard at work!
Loves his bath bubble machine!

No sippy cups for him. Straws, please. Only. Even sippy cups with straws aggravate him because of the valve. He loves his juice boxes!

Mom might have gotten a bit out of hand with the big circle for 9 months!