Wednesday, March 28, 2012

He cares about the small things

Sienna has been having a tough time with bedtime lately.  She been stalling and throwing fits when it's time to stop playing and go to bed.  Sometimes it can be over an hour by the time we start bedtime to the time she is actually in bed.  (Never mind the additional time it takes for us to go back in and adjust her pillow, give her 'one last kiss', turn the light off, etc.)  We've tried reverting back to crying it out, but that just doesn't seem like the right strategy for her and her age.  We know her actions are a a chosen behavior, not something she needs to re-learn.  Plus, she really only seems to throw a fit when I put her to bed, not Scott.  Lucky me!
Anyhow, let me get to the point.  Last night I was putting her to bed, and she started throwing a fit in bed again.  I had a LONG day at work, it was late, and I knew Sienna was exhausted, too.  I knew my patience level was extremely low, and I had the feeling I was about to lose it, which I knew wasn't fair to Sienna.  So, I said a quick little prayer and asked God to help me.  Tell me what to do.  I heard, 'tell her the story about Jonah and the Whale.'  Seemed like an idea out of left field.  She'd never heard the story, and she normally likes me to tell her one of her favorite stories at bedtime.  So, I asked her if she wanted to hear the story, and she nodded her head and instantly calmed down.  She listened intently as I told the story a few times - no tears.  Then I gave her a kiss, and she said, "I love you, mommy".  I walked out of the room, and didn't hear another peep from her.  
Last night was truly a moment when God showed me His power and showed me I can lean on Him for even the small things in my life.  I wanted to blog about this moment, mostly for my own benefit.  I struggle with wanting to 'do things myself'', and I want to be able to reflect upon this specific instance.  I hope it inspires some of you fellow type-A readers, as well.  :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Name suggestions needed!

I am about 24 weeks pregnant and feeling good.  This little girl seems to be pretty similar in-utero as her big sis.  She's not much of a mover, and she is lying diagonally across my belly.  To quote my doctor, "you have a lopsided baby!"  She's about the size of an ear of corn, and she weighs over 1 pound by now.  Scott's been able to feel her move for a few weeks now, which has been fun.  When I read books with Sienna before bedtime, she likes to snuggle up next to me and rest her hand on 'little sister'.  It's pretty stinkin' cute.  I am so excited for these girls to have each other as sisters!  I know we're in for lots of emotional times around our household in the future, but I also know the sweet, sweet blessing of a sister can outweigh all those trying times.
So, we've been brainstorming names for our second girlie, and I thought I'd see if any of you have suggestions!  Here are some things we're looking for in a first name... uncommon but not too weird, not made-up sounding, similar feeling/genre as Sienna, and something that works with our last name.  We have a few contenders, but we're open to other ideas!  We will be sharing the name once we decide!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Potty Party

Since Thursday, we've been having a potty party at our house.  Sienna woke up on Thursday morning, and she said, 'I'm ready for my potty party!"  We'd been talking up the idea of saying goodbye to her diapers and using the big girl potty all the time, and I guess she just knew Thursday was the day!  So, we rounded up all the treats in our house, set them out on display for motivation, and started potty training.  She did great!  The first day, I had to remind her to use the potty.  She tinkled a few times in her underwear, but would stop herself and  finish in the potty - awesome!  She didn't like feeling wet.  She would get upset/embarrassed and whine, "Mommy, I need my diaper."  I'd just have to give her a hug, some encouragement, a dry pair of princess panties, and we were on our way!  The second day after she woke up from her nap, something just clicked for her.  She started going to the potty all on her own; we didn't even have to ask/remind her.  She'd just stop what she was doing, announce (sometimes) she needed to pee/poop, and off she'd go!  She is definitely going to kill me later for sharing this, but.... The cutest part is when she needs to poop, she generally will go upstairs and tell us to stay downstairs until she calls for us.  A girl's gotta have her privacy, right?!  Love it!
So happy to start the potty party!!  Her favorite treats are
marshmallows, M&Ms, chocolate coins and lemonade.
The HUGE sucker that motivated her first poop in the potty!
So, she's totally potty trained, except for nighttime.  Even when she naps, she's figured out she needs to hold it until Scott or I can get her out of bed.  So, so, proud of our little girlie!!  Just in time for her 2 and a half birthday today! Way to go, Sienna!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Choroid Plexus Cysts

This blog is to update about our family and to speak candidly, when appropriate, about our life journey.  I also want this to be a place where friends, family & passersby can find helpful information about the wonderful, up & down journey of being a parent.  We've had yet another one of those up & down moments.
At our ultrasound the morning before Valentine's Day, we heard the ultrasound technician say the phrase that makes you stop breathing.  "Well, there is something I am going to need to report to the doctor."  She went on to tell us that our baby had bilateral choroid plexus cysts on her brain.  (Scott and I wondered if something was wrong because she looked multiple times, for extended periods of time, at the baby's brain.)  After telling us about the cysts, the technician quickly said that most of the time these mean nothing, unless another abnormality is found on the ultrasound, which we did not have.  She said our doctor would give us more detail but not to worry.
I remember laying on the exam table and staring wide-eyed at Scott across the room wondering if his heart was pounding as hard as mine.  "Your baby has two cysts on her brain, but don't worry."  Yeah, right.  I felt in a fog the rest of the ultrasound.  We were supposed to meet with our doctor right after the ultrasound, but she was running late because of the morning snow fall.  So, Scott and I went down to the cafe to wait, and we both just didn't know what to say.  The card containing the news of whether we were having a boy or girl was laid to the side, and we just held hands across the table in the cafe.  I didn't cry.  I just didn't know what to think.  After awhile, I pulled out my iPhone and googled the diagnosis.  (I knew I shouldn't, but I just couldn't stop myself.)  Immediately, I read choroid plexus cysts are a 'soft marker' for Trisomy 18, which is a very serious chromosomal abnormality.  However, most babies with this condition also had other obvious developmental challenges seen on ultrasound.  We got a call on my cell phone that our doctor had been pulled into emergency surgery, so we couldn't see her until later that day.  So, we walked numbly to our cars and tried to piece together our emotions.  The excitement of the day was gone.  In its place was uneasiness.  Somehow I had a feeling this ultrasound was going to have a hiccup, but actually experiencing it was so different.  I sat down in my car and just started shaking.... not from the cold, mostly from the nerves and anxiety.  Somehow I drove to work and got through the afternoon before heading back to the doctor's office later that day.  When I finally got to meet with my doctor, she told me she was not concerned about the cysts, and they mean nothing in isolation.  They are just a normal part of development.  About 1% of babies are seen with these at the 18 - 20 week ultrasound.  I went home, feeling better, but still feeling unsettled.  My doctor graciously scheduled a level 2 ultrasound to reassure me and to get a second set of eyes on our baby girl.   Today was that ultrasound.
A lot of praying and soul searching happened in the 2+ weeks between those ultrasounds.  After the first day of initial anxiety and fear, I felt a current of peace in my soul amidst the unknown.  A sense that our baby girl was in fact 'normal', regardless of her physical condition.  She was just as God intended, and we would need to adjust to help her grow & develop... just like every parent does for their child.  A fellow blogger encouraged me that God equips all of us to deal with whatever our children bring to the table... no matter what the physical or emotional condition.  I truly believe this.  I've seen this happen in our own lives with Sienna.  Was she what I expected and how I anticipated?  Definitely not.  But did God get me through and is my life richer for the experience?  Definitely yes.  So yet again, God used our children as another way for us to trust Him.  And it felt good to rest in His arms.  The situation was still scary and unsettling, but it didn't feel so lonely & hopeless.
Fast forward to the level 2 ultrasound today; we got great news.  The cysts have fully resolved themselves, and our baby girl looks healthy and beautiful.  She is developing just as expected.  She was covering her face with her hands, and it was so cute to see her tiny little fingers.  I can't wait to have her tiny fingers curled around my finger.
What a blessing a child is.  What a blessing.  Baby girl, you are dearly loved and much anticipated.  I love how God has used the journey of your arrival in our lives.

Profile pictures of baby girl at 18 weeks and 6 days