Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yummy Sweet Potatoes

Today I put a pile of sweet potatoes on Steven's tray for him to feed himself. He prefers to be spoon fed (which I still do the majority of the time), but it was nice to eat at least half of my dinner before it got cold.

This is the first time we've had food in the hair, so he got a bath as soon as he was "done."








At the Zoo!

Well, our trip to the zoo sure was adventurous today! Instead of going this morning like I originally planned, I decided that Steven needed to get a good nap today. We went after he woke up, and by the time he was fed, changed, dressed, and out the door, it was close to 3:30.

On the way to the zoo (we were pretty much there by then), I realized that I hadn't packed the stroller :( Since we only have one car, we don't keep it in the trunk anymore, so I have to remember to take it with me when I go places. There was no way we could do the zoo without a stroller, so we decided we would just have to rent one.

When we got to the zoo and went in, we found out that the zoo closed at 5:00 today. Ugh!! I was so glad that we have season passes! The family in front of us paid $62 for 1 1/2 hours at the zoo!

We saw an amazing number of animals considering the time we were there (which ended up being close to 2 hours). It was hot, and I was feeling faint by the end, but we had fun. Here are a few pictures from today.








Steven was so tired by the end--he didn't even wake up when we returned the stroller! I ended up waking him up when we got to the car because I couldn't put him in his car seat without changing him. He had soaked through his diaper, and he stunk! I changed him in the trunk of the car (my new favorite way to change him), and then we were good to go.

We'll be back to the zoo again sometime soon. . .preferably on a much cooler day!

Way Too Busy!

I can't believe how busy my life has been this week! Normally, Steven and I hang out at home and get stuff done around the house. Since I haven't had a car for over two months now, I've adjusted to a fairly quiet daily life.

However, when I do have a car, like this week, my life is crazy busy because I try to get everything done that I possibly can. As a result, in the last two days, we've gone on a play date, went to an orthodontist to get my retain removed, went to another doctor, went to Target to exchange a defective product (I HATE Target's return policy. Seriously, HATE, HATE, HATE it. It's to the point where I don't think I'm shopping there anymore.) and buy Steven's oatmeal, went to Jo-Ann's to get onesies (40% off coupon!!), went to the dollar store to get frozen peas (weird, but the best place to get Birdseye peas, and they're the only ones I've found that don't have salt in them), went to lunch with Katie to Applebees, stopped at a garage sale and found a tuxedo for Steven (I'll post pictures of it later!), went to a movie (WITH Steven. Crazy momma!), and a few other things that I can't think of right now. All that in the last two days!

We were supposed to go to the zoo with my sister this morning, but I decided that Steven had to get a good nap today instead of just dozing in his car seat between stops. We're going to the zoo this afternoon even though it will be significantly hotter and the animals will probably be sleeping like they were last week.

Tonight I give back the car, and honestly, I'm kind of relieved to. Tomorrow is another crazy day since I have to go to Flint for a project (and do it with one car), but after that, my life will slow back down. Steven and I will (hopefully!) fall back into the old routine of sleeping in a little, playing in the morning, watching for cars and trucks out the living room window, taking regular naps, and getting things done around the house. Then I will have time to post all the fun pictures I've taken in the last week. I promise they'll make it on here. . .sometime.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Windshield Update

I went to get the windshield repaired today, and after going to two different locations (the first one didn't have any evening windshield workers), I found out that it has now spread too much to be repaired. It really isn't that big, but it did spread over the weekend. So instead of a $20 repair, we have to buy a new windshield :(

I'm not as upset as I thought I would be though. The windshield has quite a few chips in it because it's weakened to the point that practically anything leaves a mark. I'll feel better with a new windshield, even though it's almost 10x's the cost.

A Long Day Already

So far, today has been quite frustrating. I've been up since 5:30 since I couldn't sleep, and the little buddy got up extremely early this morning at 6:30. He was surprisingly pleasant all morning for a little boy who didn't get enough sleep last night.

My day was going fairly well before I left for work this morning. I fed Steven, even allowing him to "self-feed" his rice cereal (mixed with applesauce and mashed bananas). It took him a while to figure it all out, and he was never too into it, but I thought that it would be interesting to see how he did. (He also was in just his diaper and due for a bath, so it was a safe time to try!)

I gave Steven a bath after breakfast, and he enjoyed playing with his toys. However, he pooped in the tub for the first time ever, so I drained and rinsed it, and then filled it back up again so he could play a little longer. Steven does really well in the tub, especially when I wash his hair. He doesn't like having water in his face, obviously, but he doesn't cry when I rinse his hair. He also was fairly cooperative while I combed out his hair. Now that it is getting so long, I need to do a better job of combing it out regularly. That would keep the ends from getting so tangled.

Steven didn't squirm too much when I put his cream on and then powdered him up. Now that he is so proficient at rolling over, it can be really difficult at times. There's nothing like wrestling a squirmy naked baby! I also put creamy baby oil in his hair and then gave him little twists. He looks so cute with them, and they're so easy to do! (Becky--I don't have a book. I learned how to do twists from a mom at Mocha Moms. If I had a girl, I'd definitely get a book, though.)

Since I got up so early, it felt like I had all the time in the world before I had to get ready for work. Not so. I ended up rushing around even more than usual, and that's when the real frustration began.

I couldn't take my normal route to work because of an over turned semi that had traffic back up for miles. I didn't realize that it was still backed up until I was on the highway, just past the exit for a good alternate route. I had to turn around to get back to that road.

In the process, I realized that my permanent retainer for my bottom piece had come undone on the right side of my mouth. That will make eating a challenge and also means that I have to find an orthodontist to either remove or repair it.

I also noticed that the ding in my windshield is continuing to spread, so I might have to go to a repair shop after picking Steven up this afternoon. At least it will only cost $20 to get it fixed.

The new route I took ended up having several large construction zones (as does most of the Detroit area right now). That meant that I was be even later to work. Fortunately, I didn't have an 11:00 appointment, and I had already called in to let them know my situation. (Turns out I don't have ANY appointments for the entire time I'm here!) Things are so slow in the Writing Center this summer!

I finally made it here only to realize that I forgot several things, including my flash drive. I had hoped to download our pictures from the zoo, but that will have to wait. I also ran out the door without grabbing a book to read or Steven's baby book to work on (yeah, it really is that slow). It feels like I've already been here for a lot longer than 1 1/2 hours, and I still have almost 2 hours left to go! What a way to start the week!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Steven's EKG

**Update: Steven did really well with his EKG this morning. He seemed nervous when they were putting all the stickers on him and as they hooked up all the wires to the stickers. It would have scared me too! I couldn't believe all the stickers and wires--way more than when Mark and I had ours done.

The pediatric cardiologist will read the EKG tomorrow, and we should find out the results on Monday. I'll will be sure to let you know what we find out.**

In a couple hours we take Steven to the children's hospital in Detroit for his EKG. Honestly, we don't really know what to expect. Please pray that it goes well and that Steven's heart is perfectly fine (reminder--this is precautionary, not because of an urgent problem).

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cheerio Monster

Steven is getting more an more coordinated every day. Today I finally took some pictures of him eating his cheerios. To say that he loves them would be quite the understatement!




Concentrating so hard!


Getting it into the mouth.


Going for some more--you can never have enough!


Yeah, I'm cool. I'm eating cheerios.


I ended up borrowing the high chair from my parents' house since they are out of town right now. Mark worked on ours last weekend while I was in Colorado Springs, and I'm hoping to work on it this weekend, and maybe even have it finished by the beginning of next week!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Home from Colorado Springs!

I got back in town yesterday morning and spent most of the day napping after having gotten up at 3:30 a.m. to catch the flight home. Today I got up early to take Mark to work so I could go to work too, and I'm pretty sure it'll be an early night for me today.

I had a good time in Colorado, and the conference was amazing. I can't tell you how much I learned, partly because I'm still processing it all myself. So today you'll just have to settle for a picture post :)

The conference was held at Glen Eyrie in Colorado Springs, and most of our sessions and meals were in the castle. The weather was perfect while we were there, and of course, the view was amzaing. These pictures are all of or from the castle.












If you look on the right side of my blog, you'll see that I updated my links. Be sure to check out the different sites/videos I have under Eating Disorders and Body Image Issues. Evolution, by Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, is one you won't want to miss!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Updates

After not posting much for the past week or so, I have three new posts today! (Don't miss the two picture posts after this.)

Tomorrow Katrina and I leave for Colorado Springs. I'm excited about going and praying that God will show me what He plans for me to do with the information I'm going to learn. Because my best friend is fighting an eating disorder, I want to learn as much as I can about both the disease and how to help those fighting it.

As of yesterday, I had $300 for my trip, and two more people mailed checks today. I don't know what the new total is, but I am so thankful for those who have given money to help me go and those who are praying for me as I go and return.

Please pray for our safety as we travel. We have a direct flight to Denver and then are driving down to Colorado Springs. I'm not as good of a traveler as I used to be, and I've started getting clausterphobic on airplanes. Thankfully I have something to help me with any panic attacks I might have. We leave around noon tomorrow and come back around the same time on Sunday.

Also pray for Mark and Steven (and Katrina's husband, Kris, and son Eli). My parents are watching Steven tomorrow, and then Mark is taking Friday off work for a daddy/little buddy day. Mark is great with Steven, but this is the first time that I've ever been away from Steven for more than a few hours. I'm really not all that nervous about it, but still. . . You can also pray for Kris and Eli--Kris is taking Eli on his first camping trip. That's brave!

**********

Today I scheduled Steven's EKG at the children's hospital in Detroit. We go down next Thursday morning, but I don't know how long it will take for us to get the results back from the pediatric cardiologist. We're in a bit of a dilemma because we want to use Steven's medicaid for all of this. (We haven't used it yet, but there are no copays for anything!) The problem is that it's time for the adoption to be finalized, at which point he no longer has the medicaid. We're holding onto the court paperwork for now, but I'm not sure how long the court will let us do that.

Obviously, we want the adoption to be finalized, but it doesn't change our day-to-day life at all. We want to still have the medicaid in case Steven needs any other tests/procedures after the EKG. We don't anticipate this being the case at all--the EKG is precautionary--but we want to have it just in case. (He is on our BC/BS insurance as well, but the copays are significantly higher.)

Thank you for praying for us as I travel and as Steven has his test next week! I'll be sure to update you on how the trip went when I get back since I doubt I'll have access to the internet while I'm gone.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family Reunion

So, I'm finally getting around to posting pictures from our family reunion. Unfortunately, we didn't take many (although we did get a fun video of Steven on the trampoline!), but here are the ones I have.

The Amazing Plastic Cup!


Cousin Adam checking out Steven and his cup.


It might have been Adam's cup first, but he obviously didn't mind sharing :)



Steven and cousin Josiah.

Josiah's one very white little boy, esp. next to Steven!



We had a lot of fun at the reunion this year. It was interesting because every married first and second cousin had a baby boy in the past year. That's 7 baby boys! Only 4 of the boys were there, and Steven was the youngest present at 7 1/2 months. Can you imagine how crazy it will be next year!?

Go here to see more (and better!) pictures from the day.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Exciting Contest!!

**Edit--Link Now Works**

Most of you know that we made the switch to cloth diapers a few months ago, and we are loving it! We use the BumGenius 3.0 one size pocket diapers, and we highly recommended them. (See previous diaper posts and links on the right.) So you can imagine my excitement when I found out about this contest (scroll down the page to find the contest information).

All you have to do is post an answer to the question, "What's Your Favorite Way to Beat the Heat in the Summer?" and you're entered! The winner receives 18 BumGenius diapers, a diaper sprayer, a dozen cloth wipes, and bottle of odor remover. We started off with 6 diapers, and that meant almost constant washing with a lot of supplementing with disposables. We recently bought another 6 to give us a dozen, and that has helped a ton. However, we'd love a few more so that we can rotate the diapers and extend their life span. I'm also dying to have a diaper sprayer to help with the not-so-fun diapers.

This would be the perfect way to start cloth diapering. Good luck!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Going to Colorado!

Dear Friends,

Two years ago, one of my closest friends was diagnosed with an eating disorder, and it has been a very difficult time for both of us. In order to know how best to help her, I have worked hard to educate myself on a very misunderstood disease. I am now learning how common this disease is even though very few people talk about it.

Eating disorders affect up to 24 million Americans, and 1 in 5 women struggle with eating disorders or disordered eating. Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder, and 20% of those with eating disorders die prematurely from complications of the disorder. For more information, visit www.eatingdisorderinfo.org.

These statistics apply to those in our churches, and God has been burdening my heart for those who are fighting eating disorders. I know that He wants to use me to help others who are struggling with these issues.

In May, a friend and Navigator's missionary, sent me information about an upcoming national training seminar focusing on this issue: A Christian Approach to Disordered Eating and Body Image Issues. It is being hosted by the Navigators and will be held in two weeks, from July 17-19. It is being presented by Remuda Ranch, one of the top residential counseling facilities in the country that specializes in these issues. I encourage you to visit their website, www.remudaranch.com, to learn more about their program.

This three day seminar will take place at historic Glen Eyrie, a Christian retreat center and home of The Navigators Colorado Springs. I am looking forward to not only learning more how to help people in this area, but also to understand the struggle they are going through and how to help them spiritually. For more information about this seminar, go to their website at www.navigators.org/us/ministries/
gleneyrie/programs/programs/eatingdisorders.

I will be attending the conference with Katrina. The Navigators leadership team here in Detroit has encouraged us to attend. I am very excited to attend this seminar; however, I need your help. It will cost $575 to attend the seminar. That includes airfare, rental car, meals, housing, and seminar fees.

Would you be willing to give a gift to help send me to this training seminar? If 6-8 friends would give $50-$75 each, and another 2-3 friends give $100-$125 each, my costs would be covered. As the Lord leads, would you make your check payable to The Navigators and send it to me in the enclosed envelope? I will be sure your gift is sent to the right account and that you receive a tax-deductible receipt from The Navigators.

Thank you so much for your prayers and any financial support you may give. I am very excited to see how God will use this seminar to equip me to minister to many who are hungry for hope!

Sincerely,

Rebekah

Friday, July 11, 2008

Little Buddy in the Tub

Yesterday at Babies R Us, we were approached by a Kiddie Kandids worker and asked if she could take pictures of Steven and give us a free 8x10. Umm. . .yes! Steven was Mr. Personality while they took down our information, but then clammed up and got all serious as soon as it was time to take his picture. We finally got him smiling toward the end, and, of course, as soon as we were done, he was Mr. Personality again!

This is the picture that I picked, but I didn't pay extra to get it with the border and text. I added those through their site a few minutes ago.




They gave me referral coupons to give out--you get the same deal, a free 8x10. The nice thing? Absolutely NO pressure to buy anything!

I haven't blogged much this week because I just haven't felt up to it. However, we've had a number of things happen this week that I want to share. The one for now is that I took Steven to the doctor on Wednesday to have her check out his breathing. It sounded like he had a rattle in his chest, and I decided to get it checked out since I already had to stop by the office to get paperwork filled out and a copy of his immunization records to send in to the adoption agency.


I hadn't really paid attention to his breathing, but someone asked me about it last weekend, and that made me more aware of it. It wasn't constant, but it did come and go a lot. The doctor listened to his breathing (and of course it sounded fine!), and she said that since he didn't have a fever, runny nose, cough, etc. that he was fine. Babies don't cough/clear their throats like they need to, and sometimes that results in what sounds like a rattle in their throats.

When I went to pay, I knew that I owed for our last visit. I hadn't paid then because I found out that they accepted Medicaid, and I didn't have his card with me since I had never used it before. But, when I got there, I found out that they don't take his type of Medicaid (Omnicare), and that's why I owed for two visits. However, the lady at the desk told me that I had a credit on my account, and that I didn't owe anything for either visit. In fact, I think I still have $10 left! I have no idea why there was the credit, and she couldn't tell me either.

After the doctor's office, Steven and I went to lunch and shopping with my friend Rachel, and while we were at Kohl's, the doctor called us. The connection was bad, so if I moved (or breathed), she started cutting in and out. However, I'm pretty sure I got all the important stuff. When the nurse did Steven's vitals, she took his pulse twice. The first time it was 240 (really high), but the second time it was normal. I guess that there is some type of condition that can cause a rapid heart rate to come and go, and there is usually also some breathing difficulties (but nothing related to a rattle in the chest).

As a precaution, the doctor is sending us to the children's hospital to get a resting EKG which will be read by a pediactric cardiologist. If we feel his heart rate spike at all, then we need to take him in right away. I've never really felt his heart beat, but the doctor said to check it occasionally to see if I notice anything.

Right now, there is nothing to worry about, but it is a bit scary to have to take your baby to the hospital. I think we're going to do it on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. (It wasn't urgent to the point of having to do it right then, but it needs to be done in the next week or two.) I will let you know when we take him in and what the doctor says. Thank you for your prayers about this!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Car Update

There was a screw stuck in our tire! I got it fixed after work last night, and it only cost $20. Yay!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Day So Far

1. Woke up much earlier than I wanted to when Mark called me on his way to work to tell me that I needed to take my car in to get one of the tires fixed since it was leaking air. (Mark drove my parents' car to work today since they're letting us borrow it while they're out of town.)

2. Lollygagged to the extent that I didn't have time to get the tire fixed. Instead, I just got it filled with air and am taking it in after I get off work.

3. Got stuck behind all the slow people who are trying to save money on gas by going below the speed limit no matter what lane they're in.

4. Called work to let them know I'd be 15 minutes late. I HATE that.

5. Get to work and find out that I actually started LAST WEEK! Oops. No one noticed, though; I didn't get a call or anything. I also didn't have any appointments during that time. Still, it's really frustrating, and it means that I lost a day's pay.

6. Realize I forgot my flashdrive at home. I don't need it for work, but since I only have one appointment out of a possible eight today, it would have been nice to get some work done.

Those things usually add up to a bad day, but so far, it's not been too bad. When I got up this morning, I found an anniversary card waiting for me in the bathroom. That kind of thing usually gets your day off to a good start. I also got to see my best friend Rachel this morning when I dropped Steven off at her house. Steven wore his "My aunt loves me" shirt just for her :) I so thankful for her watching Steven for me today. I don't have to worry about him at all while he's with his Aunt Rachel!

Back to work. . .

but first I have to get my tire fixed :(

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Today's the Day!

Today Steven gets to meet all his cousins! Well, not all, but all the ones on my mom's side of the family. Last year we had one little boy, and this year we have at least four! Matthew is almost 1, Josiah is probably around 11 months, and Steven's 7.5 months. It will be interesting to see them all together.

My mom and sister both asked me what Steven's going to wear. I don't know yet. Lauren told me that as long as it's not argyle, she'll be fine with it :) My mom gave the nice grandma response by saying that he looks cute in everything, so it doesn't really matter.

We leave early today, so I had better go to bed and get some sleep! I'm a complete night owl, and that's not a good thing. I'm also going to investigate why something keeps going off and singing "A, B, C." I think it's his alphabet ball because it never gets past the "C." Either one of the critters is investigating it, or it's doing its own thing. Gotta love toys that go off randomly!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

First Big Boy Bath!

Up until this point, I've been giving Steven his baths on his yellow bear sponge in the bath tub. However, now that he can sit up like a pro, I pulled out his little bath seat from the basement and tried it out.

Steven did great! I was worried a little about the hair washing with the water going over his face, but he handled it pretty well. I had practiced some before by letting the water spray in his face. He always reacts, but he doesn't cry.

I also experimented with the video camera and tried it out while he was in the tub. Steven didn't do anything exciting, but now I know how to work it. When I used my regular camera, I didn't realize that the flash eliminated some of the shadows. Fortunately, I noticed this before posting the pictures. I'm trying to keep this a G-rated site :)








Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yays for the Day!

Steven doesn't have to get a new physical! The doctor will just fill out the form based on his 6 month physical at the end of May. This saves me the hassle of finding a way to get him to the doctor's office. Yay for that!

(It doesn't save us a copay since we recently found out that the doctor WILL take his Medicaid, but still, yay for not having to make the trip!)

Other yay for the day--It is 4:00, and Steven is just now waking up from his nap. I put him down at 11:30. That's 4 1/2 hours!! And he's just jabbering to himself in his crib right now, so I can finish what I'm doing before I go get him. Double yay!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Heading To Finalization!

This morning (way too early for both Steven and me!), we had our final homestudy visit. It went well, and we answered the usual questions about Steven--his routine, favorite toys, favorite foods, etc. Our social worker also asked us how people are responding to him and what kind of reactions we get to him.

I told her that I had my first negative encounter last week, and it was from a very surprising source. It bothered me, of course, but it was from a person that I very rarely see, so it isn't something I'm likely to face from this person again. It wasn't against Steven really; it was more against his race in a way. That sounds bad now that I've written it, but basically, this person didn't think that I should be teaching him about his black heritage and instead just raise him as "an American." This person's argument was mainly based on stereotypes and said that it didn't make sense to teach Steven about the black community since it is mostly about criminals/poor people/undereducated. Why raise him as a black man when that is all about prisons and stuff.

Needless to say, I disagreed, but because of the situation, I couldn't really get into too much of an argument. Instead, I had to just let it go/change the subject. I know that some of you will disagree with my response, but trust me, in the situation that I was in, I really couldn't risk the argument.

Overall, though, everyone has reacted really positively to Steven, and we always are getting comments on how cute he is. I have to agree with all those comments, of course!

The last few things we have to do are take Steven in for a physical, fill out some court paperwork when it comes in the mail, and mail both the paperwork and my psych. eval to Bethany. After that is all processed, we will get the official documents in the mail saying that he is legally ours and his new birth certificate with both his new name (Steven James -----) and our names on it. The last thing our social worker has to do is write out her recommendation for adoption based on all our post-placement homestudy visits. We're definitely getting to the end!

At the end of the visit, much to Mark's dismay, I asked the social worker (hypothetically, of course!) how long you have to wait before filling out another adoption application. She said that they generally prefer that you wait until a year from placement, esp. in a cases where you are open to transracial adoption since that can happen so quickly. Mark likes the idea of waiting four years! I want our kids to be much closer together than that--I've told him that I'm ready now :)

I'm off to bed now for a nap while Steven's asleep. I woke up nauseated several times in the night, and it hasn't gone away. I realized about an hour ago that it is probably due to a new medication that I started on Sunday. I was on similar medication back in high school, and it made me really sick then. I've been on a variation of it for the last year or so and was fine, but because of my insurance, I switched to another (and apparently stronger) version. If the nausea continues for the rest of the week, I'll have to talk to my doctor about other options. There's no way I can function like this!