Sunday, March 25, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect

I had toyed with the idea of titling this post as "Poopoo in the Potty", but didn't know how many of you would appreciate that jumping out at you on this beautiful weekend.  But sure enough, Ella went poopoo in the potty on Friday morning!

I shared a story earlier on--when Ella was right around a year old--about how she made the sign for "potty" when my husband farted.  So for the last six months or so, she has definitely been aware of bodily functions.  I would rather not have to worry about cleaning out a little potty, so about a month ago, we got one of those fancy toilet seats that has a smaller opening for a child.  We've been letting Ella sit on it before her bath (and really, whenever she takes an interest in it), but she hasn't done anything in it yet.  But Friday morning, as we were getting ready to sit down for breakfast she asked "poopoo?".  So I honored her request and ran down the hall with her to the bathroom, figuring that I going to be changing her out of her diaper anyway.  But when we got her on the seat and she got comfortable, I heard her pass a little gas, and she signed and said "mo(re)".  And sure enough, she went more!

We had another small success on Friday evening, but nothing else since.  I wouldn't say that we're fully jumping into potty training quite yet, but I'm hoping she'll be ready by the summer.  Until then, practice makes perfect, right?

Today's blessing was a really great sermon from our pastor who baptized Ella.  It was just really what I needed to hear.  He and his wife also suffered three losses before having their two boys, and they continue to be a source of hope and encouragement for us.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ella-isms (Vol. 3)

My baby girl is now a full blown toddler!  I wanted to share some of the things she's been into lately:

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles...and Bikes
Ella is totally into anything that moves and can get her from Point A to Point B.  We live relatively close to a train track, so we hear the distant whistles a couple of times a day.  Since she was about 8 months or so, we've been doing the sign for "train" when we hear it go by, and make the "chugga chugga chugga chugga choo choo!" noises for her.  She has now totally adopted the noises as well, and makes them--along with the motions--whenever she sees any type of train.  She also likes to point out the planes in the sky, and "car" is now one of her favorite words.  But her favorite mode of transportation is by far the bicycle.  They get to ride little tricycles at her school, so I got one for the house as well:
Sorry...I don't know why I can't turn the picture!
Monkey Business
Ella LOVES the monkeys at the zoo.  So I bought her some Curious George books, brought her to see George when he appeared on campus for a character story time, and bought her a George stuffed animal.  She does the sign for "monkey" while making an "oo oo oo" noise at least a dozen times a day.

There's No Crying in Baseball
We drove up to Phoenix for a Spring Training game last weekend, and like any good mother, I smothered Ella in sunscreen.  Unfortunately, Ella immediately had some sort of reaction, because her skin turned pink (while we were still in the shade) and tears started rolling down her cheeks.  I could tell that it was bothering her eyes because she kept rubbing (and not in the sleepy sort of way) at them, which only made the problem worse.  Luckily, our seats were in the shade, so I wiped off as much of the lotion as I could.  (Needless to say, I threw out the sunscreen and bought a new organic version that I hope will work better with her skin).
Again..not sure why I can't rotate the picture...
Jabber Mouth
The language explosion is starting!  Ella is talking more and more each day--some of which is truly distinguishable words from the English language!  I love our half-hour drive into town each day, when she just jibber-jabbers away to herself in the backseat, pointing out cars and trains, as mentioned above. She will repeat back what we say, answer for herself when we ask her questions, and pipe up with a declaration of what she observes.  Her vocabulary includes but is not limited to:  Mama, Dada, dog, duck, apple, diaper, tickle, book, white, blue, red, purple, neigh, moo(ooooo), baa, meow, mine, water, milk, magnet, cracker, cookie, potty, car, help, more...and the list goes on!  We're still introducing some new signs here and there as well, and she still uses them to point out things that she wants us to notice.

Book Worm
My New Years Resolution was to read to Ella every day.  I was pretty good about reading to her in the first 15 months, but truly wanted to be intentional about helping her develop a love for books, as my parents did for us.  So books are now always part of evening routine, and I squeeze in a few more throughout the day whenever I can.  Ella has totally responded to the increase in our reading time together, and interacts with her books, pointing out the familiar objects and asking for more whenever we finish.

Tickle Monster
Is there anything better than hearing your child laugh?  Very little compares to hearing Ella giggle, so naturally, I tickle her.  And she has now started to tickle us too.  If she ever gets fussy in the car, I can reach my hand back and give her a quick little tickle, and she now grabs a hold of my arm and tickles the palm of my hand.  When I laugh and squirm, she laughs even harder!  It's the sweetest thing ever!

Yesterday's blessing was the chance to share some of my gently-used maternity clothes with my colleague, who I really enjoy and admire...and is now developing the cutest little baby bump after also struggling with PCOS and in/fertility.  She has been such a great friend and colleague, and it's so great to be able to share in some of these little aspects of her pregnancy. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Peaceful Easy Feeling

I think I want to coin a new phrase:  HTC.  Hoping To Conceive.

We all know that in the world of baby-making, TTC stands for "Trying To Conceive".  But I don't think I'm there yet...not physically, not emotionally. I'm not ready to "try".  The thought of "trying" is kind of exhausting on multiple levels.  And yet, part of me feels like I'm wasting time if I'm not trying. 

Ever since Summer 2007 when I convinced my husband that I should go off birth control, I've had babies on my mind.  To recap, I went through a year of anovulation, followed by a year of loss, followed by some healthy times of growth, followed--finally--by Ella.  There were times along our journey when my husband accused me of being "obsessed" with getting--and staying--pregnant.  I waved him off, saying that even the most supportive husbands just don't understand.  But now that I have my Ella and can take a better look at myself, I recognize that he was right.  I admit it, there were times when I let myself get obsessed with trying to start a family. 

I found out I was pregnant with Ella in late January 2010, and breastfed her through January 2012.  For two blissful years, I did not have to think about getting pregnant.  I didn't have to think about my cycle.  I didn't have think about ovulation.  I didn't have to track my temperature.  I didn't have to lay still with my hips on a pillow.  I didn't have to pee on a stick while crossing my fingers and holding my breathing and saying a prayer.  For two blissful years, I didn't have to worry. 

The thought of going through all of that worrying and wondering again is exhausting.  Don't get me wrong--I want another baby, but I don't want to have to "try".

And yet, I had to try--really hard--for Ella.  She was worth it. 

Which is why I think I have a peaceful easy feeling about "Hoping To Conceive" instead of "Trying To Conceive" at this stage of the game.  I am starting to feel like I would be okay if Ella is the only child in our lives.

That feels so strange to say!  But I really think that I would be okay if she's all I get.  And when I truly think about the concept, I recognize that I initially felt this way back when she was nine days old.  You may remember that I ended up in the hospital shortly after giving birth to her because I had a hematoma (blood clot) that required emergency surgery.  Before they put me under, they shared that they might need to perform a hysterectomy in the worst case scenario.  My thought then--as it is now--was "Okay God, if that's what you want, then at least I have Ella!".  Here I am, 17 months later, with two post-nursing cycles under my belt, thinking the same thing.

Again, I do indeed want another baby.  I loved being pregnant, I love being a mom, and I love watching Ella light up around babies.  I also love my husband dearly, and I know that he wants more children (and would especially love to be a father to a boy).  I just want to be able to sustain this peaceful easy feeling in which I'm okay hoping instead of trying.

Today's blessing is one of my colleagues at work who was so patient and helpful for me as I worked on a project.  He can be a rather difficult man at times, but I've also found him to be such an insightful teacher.