Five months. We’re getting into my favorite months of babyhood now. Zay is laughing more easily and loves a good game of peek-a-boo or “I’m gonna get you!” He is babbling “mama” and “dada” and some other sounds like words, though not using them with control and consistency yet. He’s rolling and scooting on his back. He’s very interested in our food so he’s had some tastes of carrots, broccoli, grapes, yogurt. We’ll start more of that next month. He loved his first vacation to the beach and did great on the flights and throughout the trip. He’s a great sleeper. Lately he’s been going to bed around 9:30, waking to eat at 5:30 and then going back to sleep until 8:30 or so. He weighs 17.2 lbs and is wearing mostly 9m size clothes. He loves books and listening to us singing, especially his big sister Ali. He loves standing (with help), bouncing and peddling his walker around. He’s not sitting up or crawling yet. Lots of chomping but no teeth coming through.
My big boy is 4 months old! He’s checking in at 15.6 lbs (50%) and 26.25″ (95%). Isaiah is laughing often now. He’s very peaceful and easy going but he’s got loud, happy screeches when he wants attention. Still a great sleeper and eater, nothing new to report there. He’s working hard on rolling every chance he gets and he loves to stand. He’ll reach out and grab his toys and pull them to his mouth. He’s chomping and drooling on whatever he can get his hands on. (I had to move the airplane away from his hands because he wanted it in his mouth and it was covering his sweet face!) He’s a strong boy and I get the feeling he’s ready to move so he can keep up with his big sister.
My favorites from the past month:
Once upon a time, I wrote blog posts several times a week. I hardly missed a day. Not always deep thoughts but I’ve enjoyed this as a place to journal and keep records of our lives the past six years (even more if I count my previous blogs). I sometimes wonder if there’s any value in sharing all of this but then I get an email from a fellow foster mom looking for support, a potential adoptive parent thanking us for telling our story or a casual reader just checking in to say hello since this space has been so quiet. Two months ago I thought I was back to blogging and then the weeks quickly slipped by and I haven’t blogged much since then. I’m not sure how to restart without doing a general update post. Our family has gone through so much change in the past 6 months.
It started back at the end of winter as I was entering my third trimester. We were looking toward an unpaid maternity leave and what life would look like with two forever kids. An unexpected door opened as we prayed for provision. Jason auditioned for a new gig with a busier tour schedule that would translate to better income. He didn’t get it and we wondered why. It sounded like it was going to the perfect answer to our prayers. When he didn’t get the job, he started taking classes to get his real estate license. Then he got a call back; he got the gig after all. The timing was perfect for our finances. He entered a busy season of touring just a couple weeks before Isaiah was born and my unpaid time off work began. From his bunk in the tour bus he continued working hard on his online classes, studying and taking tests for his real estate license. It was a lot to juggle but once he’s got his mind on a goal there is no stopping him. He missed one weekend of shows—two concerts in Texas—for Isaiah’s birth and then he was back on the road two days after we got home from the hospital. His tour schedule was lighter in May, thankfully, because my recovery was much harder than I anticipated. But in June things picked up again. I started back to work full time, working mostly from home now—a huge answer to prayer! And also a new juggling challenge. Jason had 6 full days off/home in June and managed to fit his real estate licensing exam in there. He passed! He’s now a fully licensed real estate agent. His schedule for July was even fuller than June and it was taking it’s toll on all of us. Half way through the month he had a hard conversation with the band leader about needing to step away to focus on his growing family and his new real estate venture. He was willing to stick it out for a few weeks to help their transition but God made a way for him to be home within days of that conversation without putting anyone out or severing any relationships. He returned to his previous gig with a much lighter touring schedule and started full steam into his real estate business. And that’s just the big stuff. There were also soccer games, visits from out-of-town family, and so many doctors appointments for check ups, dentists, PT, OB, dermatology, radiology. Phew!
All the transitions have sent our finances on some roller coaster loopy-loops and been exhausting in other ways, too. But God is good. These changes are good and I can see His hand on us through every change. It has not been easy or painless but the blessings have outweighed the struggles:
We have two beautiful children. I was able to keep my full-time graphic design job of 8+ years and be home with my kids 6 days a week. Jason was able to add a realtor hat next to the professional musician one—both flexible jobs that allow him to spend a lot of time at home. I trust that life will feel less tiring soon, and in the meantime I have a newfound love of coffee.
The photo at the top, taken by our friend Beth Rose, basically sums up the past several months. But here are some other memorable moments, too:
I’m way behind on blogging. Let’s pretend for a minute that it’s 7/26/15.
Three months old! Biggest news of the past month: Zay started laughing! We still have to work pretty hard for it, but it’s worth it. At 3 months he’s getting stronger with tummy time, holding his head up for longer periods, putting weight on his legs with help to stand up. He’s sleeping so well I’m almost embarrassed to say. (We’ve sleep trained a lot of babies.) Zay is a good eater and snorts like a pig when he’s hungry. He kicks his feet when he’s happy. Isaiah discovered his tasty hands this month and drools as he chomps on his fingers. His left hand and foot seem to be dominate. He has also discovered how to get attention with his voice; boy can get LOUD! He rarely cries but he knows how to communicate what he needs and wants. One of my favorite times of the day is story time with big sister Ali. Zay will look at the pictures or at me while I’m reading, and smile and kick his feet.
14.5 lbs. and wearing 6 month size clothes!
I’m way behind on blogging. Let’s pretend for a minute that it’s 6/26/15.
Isaiah promises he’ll smile more next month. He didn’t smile for any of my DSLR pics. [Spoiler alert: he didn’t.] At 2 months old he’s making eye contact, smiling, mimicking facial expressions, cooing and almost laughing, especially if his cheeks or chin are tickled. He’s still eating every 3 hours during the day but is starting to sleep through the night. Last 3 nights he went 9:30/10:30 – 4:30/5:00. Then back to sleepy for another 3-4 hours. Woot woot! He’s working on tummy time. No rolling yet but he loves to sleep on his right side.
Two feet tall, 12 lbs. 3 oz.
Next week he’ll be 2 months old so it’s about time I get this post published. I suspected time would get away from me so I shared this IG post on his 1 month birthday:
He’s now about 8.6 lbs [oops, way off, see below] and outgrowing newborn clothes because of his length. He’s a peaceful, happy, sweet little guy. He is starting to sleep longer stretches: 2-3 hours for naps and 3-5 hour stretches at night. He’s a good eater and he likes baths. He’s smiling at us daily. He’s slightly smothered by his big sister. If it sounds like he’s the perfect baby it’s because…yeah…he pretty much is! Oh, he does have one flaw. He’s not a fan of his car seat unless the van is moving.
At his 1 month check up he was 9 lbs. 4 oz. and 22″ long. (Up from 6 lbs. 13 oz. and 21.5″ at birth.)
Some highlights from his first month:
First morning at home
First family picture (lol!)
Check out these long feet!
First bath at home
Mother’s Day walk and picnic at Cheekwood
I wanted to get some photos of our last days of a family of three. Easter was the perfect opportunity since we were together all day, dressed up and it was gorgeous outside. Between church and lunch we went to Centennial Park and took turns taking photos of each other. After lunch, we went to Cheekwood Botanical Garden with Jason’s parents and took a boatload more photos. Ali took quite a lot of these. She’s pretty impressive as a three-year-old with that big DSLR! She took all of the ones of me alone (or my belly!), and of Jason and me.
Oops, that first one should say 2012, not 2013. 🙂
My summer-loving family has been thoroughly enjoying fall this year. Friday evening we went to a fall family festival at a church down the street from us. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Ali jumped in the bouncy house and got her face painted. We did a cake walk until we won a pumpkin cake. I love the change of seasons in Tennessee.
We recently spent an afternoon at the pumpkin patch with a couple of Ali’s besties and their parents. Jaron is our friend and neighbor and Eliza is Ali’s cousin. These three have been friends since birth—and we’ve been friends with their parents for much longer—so it’s always special to see the three of them together. They had a great time picking out pumpkins, exploring the activities and going on a hayride. I remembered to get out my good camera for a change. (Jason was on the road that day.)
I recently read this blog post from Attempting Agape and said, yes, yes, yes. These are questions I was wondering about 4 years ago and the investigation is part of what lead me to foster parenting. (Also, it was seeds God had planted in my heart from my childhood and a timely comment from a fellow blogger who was a foster mom.) Often people who are interested in adopting domestically look through the waiting child lists that are posted by most states and also through the U.S. program AdoptUSkids.org. When I was doing that years ago I was curious why there weren’t any babies or young kids on the lists. In a nutshell, it’s because—if they come into care that young—they’re stuck in the limbo of the foster care system for several years before they end up on a waiting list. And most never make it to the waiting lists (thankfully!) because they’re adopted by their foster parents or a community member before that point. Jason and I realized that as foster parents we could be on the front lines of helping kids in need, rather than coming in right at the end of their exhausting, traumatic foster care journeys.
If you are are wondering what you can do to help even one child, consider becoming a concurrent foster placement for a child or sibling group.
…Yes, its risky for your heart. Oh so risky. I understand, I do. I’ve done it. I’ve lived it. I’ve cried over kids returned to birth parents, I’ve ached. But, I also know that it is worth it. It is so worth it.