Where to Begin?

When I transitioned from my full time professional job to a full time stay at home mom (SAHM), I really thought that I would be able to find time to do all the things that I love to do. More time to play piano, to exercise, to bake, to read, and most importantly, endless quiet times each day.

Go ahead and laugh at me! I was an idealist!

When she was a newborn, our bug monopolized my time with frequent feedings, constant changes in sleep schedules, and diaper changes.

Around 6 months, sleep training and introducing solid foods took far more time than I thought humanly possible. I spent my days constantly looking for my coffee cup to make up for the frequent wakings at night. This gave me the utmost respect for those who return to work and have a regular work schedule to maintain after being up most the night with a teething child!

Now, at almost a year old, I simply cannot stop watching her for 3 seconds without losing track of her. Just a few days ago, she demonstrated that she knew how to climb the stairs on our deck, and I almost had a heart attack when I left her by the van to pull the stroller out of the back, and turned around to see her sitting on the deck waving her arms at me!

There isn’t enough time for anything that I do not purposefully and intentionally make time for. Recently, I have realized how vital it is to make time to study Scripture. I was able to implement a habit that allows me to actually read Scripture each day. But to truly study and meditate upon it without a sticky, drooling, chattering interruption, that takes perseverance and diligence. It may mean less sleep and an extra cup of coffee. It may mean giving up a long relaxing shower in favor of a quick rinse. It may mean letting her fuss and play with her blankets in the morning when she wakes up 30 minutes earlier than normal, so that I can finish. What it may mean, could very well look different on a day to day basis.

Yet God gave us no drop of doubt when He gave us His Word, that it is important. He gave no doubt that we need to make His Word a priority.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.                                                                                                                                     Deuteronomy 6:5-9

As I have studied this passage, I have been breaking it down and praying and pondering what is most important.. I’m still in the breaking-it-down phase, but one thing stands out to me that I will leave here. God and His Word are to be a constant part of our lives. And not even a part, but the basis and foundation for every single thing that we do!

In my next post (which will not be as delayed as this one was! Thank you sickness) I’ll share how I’ve broken down this passage as I have meditated on it and memorized it ❤

Good Mom?

The podcast played as I lifted weights during her morning nap.

“What is most important to you today?”

I hefted the weights again as I thought. It was an easy decision. Today, I want to be a good Mom. We had a good start. We both woke up happy, enjoyed breakfast, played for a while, and she went down for her nap smoothly. Success!

As if she had heard me, she kept talking.

“Young Mom’s listening, it is more important to be a good Christian than it is to be a good Mom.”

The Mommy shame is fierce. The pressure to compare ourselves to what everyone else is doing and attempt to fit into the standards we think those around us hold, even if we have never talked to them long enough to know what their standards really are, is real. As we are in the ever continuing journey of looking and searching for a new church home, it has been incredibly easy for me to fall into this trap. To watch those around me and feel like I am not enough. Not dressed well enough. Not good enough at keeping my wiggly little kiddo still during conversations. Just simply, not enough.

Yet as I listened to the podcast, the truth of what she said seeped into my heart and brought me peace.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if my daughter ate three meals including protein, carbs, and fats. It doesn’t matter if my house has vacuumed floors, the dog hair is out of its massive clumps in the corners, the kitchen sink is clean, or the baby’s blankets are all folded and put where they belong.

It doesn’t matter if the kitchen counter is a pile of unread mail, empty packaging from the most recent Amazon order, or a few cups of half-downed coffee. It doesn’t matter if we both were dressed cutely, cleanly, and had our faces washed and hair done (or bow on!).

What really matters is where my heart was during the day. Did I do my best to love and encourage my daughter, making sure she feels safe and loved? Did I correct her with gentleness and firmness each time she attempted to play in the toilet or eat the dog’s food? Was I quick to listen and discern what she might need when she cried out instead of being quick to become angry at the interruption?

I do my best to be a “good” Mom. But if being a good Mom comes at the cost of focusing on what really matters in our home, then it isn’t worth it. I’d rather have a daughter who remembers a Mom who was joy-filled and read the Bible with her, than a Mom who was always pressed and polished. I’d rather have a daughter who grows up with me teaching her how to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, instead of a Mom who snaps at her because she interrupts my Facebook time.

What this looks like in real life will take many different versions over the years, I am sure. Yet over the next few weeks (maybe longer?) I will be looking deeper into what attributes and characteristics God shares with us in Scripture that can challenge me to grow as a Christ follower first, wife second, and Momma third. I’m eager to see what Scripture says. Because I know the more that I look at Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram, the more inadequate as a good Mom I will feel. Scripture however, will show me the truth of who I am to be as a believer, wife, and Momma…

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Photo Credit: Laura Crowe Photography

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbandsso that the word of God will not be dishonored.  Titus 2:3-5.

 

(The Podcast was Revive our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth! I highly suggest you look into it. It has encouraged my faith and my walk with Christ deeply over the past half a year as I have adjusted to life as a SAHM!)

10 Months ~ 7/27/2017

Dear Elise,

Oh my sweet girl, you are so precious to us right now! Your sweet little adventuring and discovering everything you see fills our hours together. You especially enjoy pulling yourself up on the couches, chairs, tables, and toilet. Yes, the toilet fascination continues :/ You also have decided crawling in and out of the shower is especially fun, and it is also exciting to pull dishes out of the dishwasher! Your curiosity abounds, and I love it! We have begun to find a balance between letting you explore as well as correcting you and training you. You clearly understand the word “no” as well as “on your bottom” (heard frequently in the pool and bathtub) and “do not touch.” You’d like us to think you don’t know what we are saying, but thankfully we know better!

You are thrilled to see your Daddy every day when he gets home and throw yourself forward out of my arms so that you can hug his chest and he is forced to take you. You play Peek-A-Boo whenever we lay you down in your crib,  pulling your purple and white blanket up over your head, saying “eyyye!” (hi) and then pulling it down quickly with a massive smile on your face. You suck your thumb to sooth yourself, and have just begun to crawl over to me occasionally during the day and lay your head on me (chest, leg, arm, whatever you can reach) and suck your thumb while you lay there. I absolutely love it when you do this, as does your Daddy, but it has never lasted longer than about 60 seconds. There is simply too much to do to cuddle!

You babble and talk with much enthusiasm, and we recognize “Mama”, “mo” (more), and “eyeee!” (hi, with a high pitched emphasis on the “i”!). You also just started signing back and saying “mo” (bringing your hands together) when you want more food while in your high chair. This is practiced frequently, as you continue to love food, especially with your 2 new teeth! The top two teeth broke through within a week of each other, and it’s already making you that much cuter.

We were blessed to have some good family time this past month, just you and me and your Daddy. We went out to breakfast at our favorite place, spent the afternoons relaxing together, and even hit up the local ice cream spot a few times. Those times are my favorite. They’re simple, laid back, and abundant with memories. It was one of these afternoons that you discovered you could give Ruger his rope toy, and he would play with you! It’s a comical exchange of you getting his rope and attempting to hand it to him, followed by him getting the rope and gently tugging a few times before you let go. Once you let go he desperately tries to get away, but you crawl after him as fast as your little arms and legs can take you! You’ve also recently tried giving him his frisbee, as well as bits of food or trash you find on the floor. He’s not quite sure about that!

Other exciting events were swimming with your cousin (technically he’s a 2nd cousin, I think), hanging out at your Aunt’s house and observing your other little cousin (also a 2nd cousin) who is not too interested in you yet, traveling downstate for a funeral and keeping me up until 3AM after driving down after your bedtime backfired on us (somehow your Daddy managed to sleep through it all!), going to the beach for the first time, traveling up to the Garlyn Zoo with Grandpa and Grandma A, and seeing your first Independence Day parade. This next month will hold even more family time, but hopefully in a more relaxed, and slightly less rushed manner.

Keep on growing, sweet baby girl. We love you to pieces!

Love,

Mommy

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Watching the 4th of July parade with all seriousness.
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You love all of your grandparents!!
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Matching Momma/Baby day 🙂
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Seeing the Tiger at the Garlyn Zoo with Grandma and Grandpa A and Uncle Tanner.
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Grandma and Grandpa A
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Picnic on the bay with Daddy! This is where Mommy and Daddy would go while we were dating, married, and then the one time on bed rest we were allowed to escape. We love to grab a meal and sit and watch the bay!
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Playing with Ruger
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Just chillin’, watching your cousin swim. Notice your crossed feet!!
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Driving with Daddy!
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Happy 10 months, Bug!

Shifting Over

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A few months back, Tyler and I were curled up on the couch late at night while Elise slept, catching up on life after a particularly busy week. I was sharing with him some of my struggles of the week as well as some of the joys. Because of his job, there are times in our schedules I don’t see him except for between 12 and 6 AM, and Elise doesn’t see him. This was one of those going-on-seventy-hours weeks.

The topic of our discussion that night was our marriage, as well as the couples we know who are entering into marriage this year. We talked about our strengths. We talked about what we did in the beginning of our relationship that we are thankful for, such as the things that guard and strengthen our relationship. We talked about our weaknesses., like the things that stress us both deeply and avert us from our greater purpose. We talked about what we’d like to share with those couples, the things that we learned the sticky-rough-painful way..

At the end of our conversation (because it was after 10 pm, and I was falling asleep), he looked at me and said “babe, you should write a blog about marriage.” I didn’t, and still don’t, know quite what to think of that! We are just past our 3rd anniversary, and I know enough to know that everything I know is simply a drop in the bucket. Yet what we know has come through much prayer, much counsel, and many, many late night talks (because I married a night owl!).

As this blog has unfolded it has ultimately been a story about our daughter. It began as a way to update everyone about our high risk pregnancy, and then moved on to an overabundance of adorable baby photos. Recently, my focus in life has (thank the Lord!) shifted from “stay pregnant and don’t move” to “figure out how to keep the baby alive” to “learning how to glorify God as a Wife and a Momma.” I’ll continue with my monthly posts about Little Miss until she turns one (which is only a few short months away!), but I will also be adding in other posts.. The topics will depend on what God is teaching me, which can vary by the day. I am grateful, honestly, to be out of that pregnant and newborn stage of life for now. I miss it, as it was a precious time with much to be learned, but I am enjoying where we are right now immensely with our little family and the adventures that we have.

I have always been able to process and think better when I write. Journaling has been a huge part of my life, and during my recovery from Elise’s birth, it helped me work through the myriad of emotions and frustrations. It has also helped me as I was single and anticipated being in a dating relationship, as I traveled away for school, and as I joyously dated, was engaged, and then married, who I believe is the best man in the world for his daughter and I.

That man has encouraged me to continue writing this blog and shift my focus onto more marriage and Momma related things. I don’t have an idea what I am doing in the grand scheme of things, except that it’s always a good idea to be able to apologize when I get frustrated or short-tempered. Which I do quite frequently, it seems. This will definitely not be a “how to” blog, because I am learning “how to” each day! But it will undoubtedly contain a little bit of everything, from A to Z (except, I went from a Z to an A… thus the new headline. If you have a better idea, please let me know!).

All that said, here’s to a shift as we have exited the newborn stage of life and are so very close to the toddler stage. As I am ever learning how to balance being Momma and wife. I’m not a crunchy Momma, except for the parts that I am. And I’m not a modern Momma, except for the parts where I am. We have a mix of methods and techniques, but we have an idea of what is working the best for us for where we are right now. That may change tomorrow! But the important thing is that our choices and decisions are based on the Word of God, and that influences every single decision we have made regarding our lives.

I hope you enjoy what is to follow! And if you don’t, no offense taken. I am sure there are plenty of things you could do besides scroll through my musings! If you do stick around, may the Lord bless you in your journey, wherever that may have you right now!

9 Months ~ 6/27/2017

Dear Elise,

You are on the move. There is no stopping your pudgy little legs from crawling all over the floor as fast as you can go. There is no keeping you from pulling up on the couches, chairs, trash can, toilets, or piano. There is no calming down your gleeful splashing in the tub or pool. And there is now no keeping you content while you are restrained in your car seat, unless I continually hand you food. Which isn’t always possible, and in that case there is no quieting your protests.

You continue to “point” at everything, and get lots of praises when you point out Mommy or Daddy in a photo. Grandma A discovered you could do this, and now you and I like to flip through the photo album in your room and point at pictures of Daddy when he is out working late. You also “wave” while saying “eyeee!” (hi) at the grocery stores. Your waving is done with two hands and you are very enthusiastic about flapping your arms. It honestly looks a bit like you are attempting to fly off somewhere. This is the same flapping that will drench whoever is giving you a bath, or fling food around in excitement after a new taste of something. You continue to love food, and so far the only time you haven’t been very excited about something was plain greek yogurt. After adding a bit of vanilla the next day, you were almost as excited about it as you are about ice cream! You eat everything Daddy and I do, and like to investigate what’s on the table to ensure you are not getting cheated out of something we have that you do not. You also still love to nurse, and I am grateful for that.

You are slowly doing better about going down awake for naps. Bedtime is usually fairly easy, but you have a difficult time settling down for your naps. After all, there is so much to do and see and chew on! I have tried to make the time before naps a focused time where we read and play in your room before we rock for a little bit, and then I lay you down. You aren’t too keen on being held while I read, but you like to sit and chew on something else (usually another book) while I show you pages. You’ve also recently started sitting and flipping through pages of your books on your own, which makes me so excited! I love to read, and your Daddy does not particularly enjoy it.. I have been hoping my genes and example would win that war 😉

We have enjoyed taking you to see and do new things over the past month (as if California wasn’t enough last month!). The fish hatchery, Lake Michigan, picnics, bike rides… Our home is surrounded by so many beautiful things, that we are trying to do it all! At least, Momma is. I think I still have some cabin fever left over from last summer! And so far, except for not liking both of your feet in the grass at the same time, you have been a trooper! We are already eager for next summer and going to family camp, kayaking, swimming, and doing even more fun things once you are a bit more steady with your mobility!

The helmet is still on your head, but we have a finish line!! August 10th you will be done, barring any unforseen problems with it. We had a scan shortly after you turned 9 months old, and were SO thrilled that you had grown and are now in the “normal” range for plagiocephaly. Our goal was to get your head under 6 mm of unevenness, and you were at 5.7 mm! The orthotist gave us the option to be done or to do 6 more weeks. Your Daddy and I talked about it for quite a while over the next few days before deciding that we should keep going. The tricky thing with these helmets is that if we take it off of you for even a day or two, we risk it not fitting well and giving you pressure sores. Because of that, we decided to just finish it out strong.

You are the delight of our days, and no foul mood in this house can continue when you flash us your toothy-grin while you wrinkle your little nose and raise your eyebrows at us. Thank you for being such a blessing to our home!

We love you, Bug!

Love,

Mommy

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Grass on your toes can only be tolerated one little foot at a time!
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Oh the smiles you give us first thing in the morning!
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Such a big girl, standing up by yourself!
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Watching Daddy mow the lawn with great curiosity. You pulled yourself up and stood to watch him for 10 minutes!
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9 Months of you!
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First burley ride with Momma!
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The “helping” has begun!

 

Family

Our first official family photos were done when you were around a month old. I was still moving very slow and was easily exhausted. Your Daddy had been struggling with health issues as well..  It had been a hard month for us physically and emotionally. And while we were thrilled with the photos of you, but we saw the photos of ourselves and were eager to do a new family photo when you had grown a bit older and we felt more like “us” again.

At a few days shy of 7 months old, we took these photos with our favorite photographer lady. We planned to take your helmet off seconds before we took a photo, since you were always so happy as soon as it came off… Except, of course, this time.

You refused to smile. Your Daddy, Laura, and I did not hesitate to stoop to any level of silliness to try and coax a smile from you. And somehow, we managed to catch a few, but for the most part, you just stared. But my goodness, are you beautiful when you stare!

My beautiful girl, I love you so. Thank you for the joy you bring to your Daddy and I!

Love, Mommy

 

Photos by Laura Crowe Photography, http://www.lauracrowephotography.com

 

8 Months ~ 5/27/2017

Dear Elise,

Oh my goodness, sweet baby girl. You have wrapped us and your entire extended family around your little finger. From your two-toothed grin to your giggles and fake cough to get attention, your Daddy and I cannot get enough of you!

You’re still adorable in your helmet, and we are eager to hear how much it has helped at your appointment this week. The visible change to us, however, is amazing. Your head has rounded out, your L ear is more in line with your R, and we can barely see any difference in your face now. We are glad that we chose to do the helmet, and even more glad that you have it now that you are learning to crawl!! 2 weeks ago you began figuring out that you were able to get onto your knees. From there, you learned that you could sit onto your bum (just this past week!). You army crawl your way across the living room, and are still ridiculously motivated by Ruger’s rawhide :/ It is a joy to see how excited you get about being able to move yourself around!

You are jabbering and “mamamama-ing” and “babababa-ing” and just a few days ago, figuring out “dadada”! Your first official word was “ma-ma” on Mother’s Day 🙂 You don’t seem to associate it with me yet, but you do know it’s a word! You love to mimic your Daddy and I, whether we are blowing raspberries, nodding our heads, singing, or clapping. You wave your hands together when we clap, but haven’t quite figured out how to get them to clap. You also love to roll around on the floor with two wooden puzzle pieces and bang them together while jabbering/singing.

Grocery shopping is a favorite because of all of the people that you get to smile at. When you get very happy to see someone you smile so big and show off your two bottom teeth and all your gums, complete with a wrinkled nose! Every time you do that your Daddy and I laugh! You like to be in the car, and have realized there is a baby in the mirror that you can talk to. You are also content to suck your thumb and watch the world go by out the window.

Sleep-wise, you are back to being up once a night somewhere between 3-5am, but once you eat you are back to sleep until 7 or 8. We had a rough week of you fighting bed time with much noise (screaming), so we cut out nap #3. That was not a fun transition, but now you are mostly in the groove with one nap in the morning that is fairly long (sometimes 2.5 hrs!) and then one in the mid-afternoon that is an hour to an hour and a half! Occasionally you will wake up from a nap (or not want to go down for a nap) and want attention, so you will move to the end of your crib by the door and relentlessly yell/cry/holler for us until we come see you. We often find you somewhat wedged into that corner, occasionally with your arms and legs sticking through the slats on your crib! It always makes me chuckle to find you in such a position, even if you are going on 45 minutes of protesting sleep.

You love to watch things. Whether something you spy outside the window, the dog chasing a fly, the baby in the mirror (especially the baby in the mirror), the birds when we are outside on the deck, the cars going by in the parking lot, or any face you might see. It has really been a blessing to see the world through the eyes of a baby and catch a glimpse of how beautiful God’s creation is. Your Daddy and I pray with you each night that you would see this world as His, and desire to know Him and His word.

Keep growing, sweet baby. We love you, and are excited for the adventures that we know this next month will hold!

Love,

Mommy

 

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Aunt Teresa snagged this photo of you and I after bath time one evening.
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“Does this hat make my helmet look big?”
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Mother’s Day walk with Daddy!
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So much personality in such a tiny face!
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Tongue Depressor for the win to distract you at a Doctor’s appointment!
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Your first art work, ‘painting’ birthday cards for your Grandma A and Grandma Z!
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The two-toothed smile that keeps me from getting anything done!

7 Months ~ 4/27/2017

Dear Elise,

This last month was a bit of a roller coaster! You gained two teeth, learned how to sit up by yourself, and started wearing your Star Band in an attempt to round out your sweet little head. Combine cutting the teeth and the helmet, and sleep was non-existent for a few of those weeks, but we persevered and you are now adorable with your teeth, and aren’t phased by the helmet at all during bed time!

You grow, and grow, and grow. 20 pounds even, and 95th percentile for your height! You are so enthused by eating, in addition to nursing every 3 hours, and you love to eat avocado, sweet potato, butternut squash, bread, pickle, mango/pear, rice cakes, and everything else you can get your pudgy little hands on. Dinner time is often messy, as you gleefully grab handfuls of the food and slam your hands down on the tray in rapid succession. Momma has learned that it is not even worth trying to keep you clean!

Your main form of communication is growling. It’s usually accompanied with a smile, but if you are not doing a high-pitched squeal, you definitely can make some impressive growling noises! Most often, you can be heard making noise at Ruger, or at any other little person you may see. You also like to talk while hanging out in your car seat, which is a blessing to me. We have spent many hours in the van together over the last month traveling to Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and Indian River for appointments for your little noggin’. Thankfully, you usually are an excellent traveler! We will be testing that theory shortly after you turn 8 months with a family vacation 🙂

Curiousity abounds! Now that you can roll to wherever you please, I have been amazed at how well you can maneuver through doorways and around furniture. Belt buckles, mini flashlights, shoe laces, and dog toys are exceptionally intriguing. You ditched your pacifier officially, and have gone to sucking your thumb! The bonus to this is that you can put yourself back to sleep at night or in the car seat without me trying to play some kind of yoga game to get my arm back there. The disadvantage is I can no longer just stick your “plug” in your mouth! Your Daddy was a thumb-sucker, though, and it is sweet to see you have taken after him in yet another way. You are also sitting up independently, and that has been made easier by your helmet. You are fully aware that you can fall over backwards and it won’t hurt. The first time you do that without the helmet… You will learn! As I type, you are rolling around and trying to push yourself back onto your knees, and trying to army crawl forward. You love being mobile!

Bath time is still a favorite, especially now that you get to sit up in the big girl tub! Splashing, chewing on silicone cupcake cups (best bath toy idea), and the shampoo bottle, can literally keep you happy for well over a half-hour. We did that one teething day. I am excited for it to warm up enough to get a little pool to put on the deck for you – I have a feeling we will spend hours and hours outside this summer!

Thank you for being such a joy! We love you, and we are so grateful that God chose us to be your parents.

We love you, Bug!

Love,

Mommy

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“Daddy’s Little Girl” and your ‘sqooshy’ eyebrow from your helmet!
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First taste of blueberries/prunes was a HIT!
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Why would a parent buys toys when your child loves the booger sucker and a wooden spoon? Cheaper, for sure!
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Playing with Daddy and Ruger during the helmet-free hour!
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Precious Girl
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So. Much. Joy.
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Seven sweet, slobbery months!

Trading in the Bows

Dear Elise,

As you cry most of today, please know your parents tried to avoid this day. We’ve been doing physical therapy since you were 3.5 months old, we’ve repositioned you every possible chance, done hours of tummy time, stretched diligently, and yet your little head still needs some help to grow the way it should.

Backing up, we noticed around your one month wellness appointment that your head was tilted to the right. I mentioned it to your pediatrician, and was told it didn’t mean anything at your age. At the two month wellness appointment, same thing. At three months, a friend/colleague of mine sent me a Facebook message and recommended that you come in for a Physical Therapy consult for torticollis. I was so thankful someone agreed with me that there was a tilt! We went in, and she agreed that you would benefit from PT. We noticed drastic improvement after the first 8 weeks of therapy, but your therapist confirmed my suspicions that your head still had some flattening on the right side. I called and requested an appointment with your pediatrician, and again she told me we should wait until you were 6-8 months to make a call on whether or not something else needed to be done… Baby girl, I did not listen to her – and requested we be sent to a specialist for a scan, which would let us know if you would benefit from a cranial band (more commonly known as a helmet). Requested probably sounds nicer than what I was, I was more than a little frustrated that she was not listening to me.

You and I went down a few weeks ago and long story short, you do need a helmet. Your Orthotist and the DO we have been going to see agree that it is because of how you grew while you were in the womb. When I was on bed rest, your head always showed up on the weekly ultrasounds in the same place. They think that as you grew, you grew with your right ear bent toward your shoulder(causing the torticollis), as well as with your head pressed up against my pelvis. This caused the back of your head to be flattened on the right side, which is called plagiocephaly. And because of the torticollis, as you have grown, it has put more pressure on that part of your head which contributes to the plagiocephaly.

They measured your head with a scanner, and that gave us measurements in millimeters of two diagonals (front left to back right, and the opposite). Normal variance between these numbers is 0-6 mm. You have a difference of 10.9 mm, considered in the low end of the moderate range. If we were to ignore this and not treat you for the plagiocephaly or the torticollis, it could lead to developmental issues down the road, not to mention making wearing glasses difficult! Right now, you are hitting your milestones dead on, and we would really love to keep it that way! Treating you with the helmet is the best option not only cosmetically, but developmentally and physically. It will help avoid issues with your neck, back, vision, and even eyes and ears.

So down we went yesterday to see the Orthotist to get your fancy new headpiece. You will be wearing your helmet 23 hours a day, with one hour off each day to take a bath/go swimming (whichever we choose to do that day!). It is estimated that you will need to wear it for anywhere from 3-5 months. Obviously, we are praying for 3 months! It provides gentle pressure against the areas of your head that are more prominent, which they call the “bossed” areas. It leaves space to grow where you are still flat.

Today has been rough on you, as you don’t understand why you suddenly have this thing on your head. Over the next 5 days we will ease you into it until you are in it for those 23 hours/day. Your Momma is emotional, but thankful that this is something we are able to treat, and that we caught it when we did (and thankful that your Daddy reminds me of that frequently!). The older you get, the harder it is to treat this with success. The older you get.. The easier it will be for you to figure out how to take it off by yourself. We will continue with physical therapy and seeing an osteopathic doctor. Both of those ladies will help us make sure that this is as beneficial as possible!

We love you, bug. Hopefully, when you look back on pictures of you in the helmet, you will laugh at how squishy it made your cheeks look!!

One day at a time we will get you through the helmet, just like we got through bed rest 🙂

Love,

Mommy

 

6 Months ~ 3/27/2017

Dear Elise,

Half a year! Oh my goodness, how I did not realize that the night before you turned six months I would cry when I laid you down for bed. I can hardly believe that it has only been 6 months with you. 180 days. No where near as many days as it has felt!

You continue to amaze us. I think each month I write this, I will say “this month has been my favorite.” But the joy of watching you grow is honestly just that much fun. You are mobile – and taking after your Momma in the aspect of rolling. You roll everywhere, and with surprising accuracy and speed. Once you’ve rolled a few times, you will use your arms to scoot yourself into a new direction, and then continue rolling. You will also use your arms to push up and scoot a full circle on your belly! Your little legs are trying to crawl, and heaven help us when you figure that out… I think that God is being gracious to us as your Daddy is working hard to finish the stairs and railing! You’ve also gotten much better at sitting up. As long as you don’t look straight up or try to rotate too far to the side, you’re golden.

You cut two teeth in a matter of days :/ March 15th the first one came through, and the other followed soon after.. It was a sleepless, tired blur. You have never been so upset, and we went through every pain-management idea possible. Mostly just lots of snuggles and frozen teething toys. Once the teeth cut through though, you’ve really been a wonderful sleeper. As in, a 9-12 hour stretch on average starting around 7 in the evening! I’ll take it!! Momma has begun to function even more like a human since you started that 🙂

Speaking of teeth, you adore eating. Mostly sweet potatoes, dill pickles, peas, pears, and even a lemon wedge here and there. You do not care for apples or bananas. You’ve also begun to get the hang of a sippy cup! You make funny faces at food, and stop everything that you are doing if you notice someone is eating or drinking something.

Above everything else, we love watching you learn. You like to pluck at the tags on your stuffed animals, pick at tiny specks on the floor, roll around, try to steal Ruger’s rawhide (yuck), and stand in your walker and jabber and screech. You enjoy sitting in the cart at the store like a big girl, and coo and squeal at anyone who will give you a second look. You ‘talk’ with us, and you are so excited when I come to get you from your crib every morning. You smile at the baby that is in the mirror, and will lay by the mirror that is on the floor in the guest room and have quite the conversation with that baby!

We love you, Elise. We are already proud of you, and we are so blessed to be your parents!

Love,

Mommy

 

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Daddy took you out to the car one day while I was standing in a long line. You loved ‘driving’ and watching people move while you waited for me!
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Breakfast at our favorite place to celebrate Mommy’s birthday. The Big German was almost big enough to sit you in!
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Your walker. One of your favorite places! You scoot around backwards and seem to enjoy stuffing toys down around you in the seat.
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You’re Daddy’s helper already! You supervised while he built our new mailbox, and then enjoyed the inspection process 🙂
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Teething naps only were accomplished with lots and lots of snuggles.
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My sweet girl in Hobby Lobby! Your first time sitting in the shopping cart like this.
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6 months of lovin’ you!