Archive | Baby #2

Handful

Oh my, he is a handful.

january 29. tuesday_0029

A smiles-all-the-time-even-when-you-say-no handful.

january 29. tuesday_0031

{And it’s pretty hard saying ‘no’ to this precious little guy…even if he’s climbing the stairs or hanging off the back of a chair by one finger.  He’s that adorable.}

February 2. date night. engagement party_0005

He was so proud of himself for crawling into the little rocking chair all by himself.

He is so so so very close to walking.  He’ll stand there and then he’ll start walking–2 or 3 steps at a time–before he goes to his knees for his “Moseby Turbo Speed” crawl.  Have I mentioned he’s a fast crawler?  Uhm, YEAH.  Baby Olympian crawler.  For reals.

February 2. date night. engagement party_0002

February 2. date night. engagement party_0001
And this is how he perfers to cruise around the house…walking between someone else’s legs.

And all these grainy pictures? Just random positions that I’ve caught him in the last couple of weeks. Believe me, there were more, but I chose to pick him up instead of take a picture…don’t want any ER trips before his first birthday, you know.

Every meal is like this folks.   EVERY meal.

watching the world go by.

satisfied with himself.

we're in trouble now...

I just realized I haven’t taken any photos of his stair-climbing adventures.  They’re not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure!

1


What I Haven’t Said

The cold rain comes down from a sad, cold sky.  The windshield wipers do their best to slap it away, but it’s still hard to see.  It feels as though the clouds are crying and aching with us.  I feel numb, yet so raw at the same time.  A juxtaposition of my soul.  Afraid yet strong.  Weak but steadfast.  I once heard someone say they were “strong at the broken places” and oddly I felt that exact same way.  As my hands gripped the wheel, my knuckles white with anxiety, I cried.  I cried like I had never done before.  I heaved so hard it actually felt like my ribs were going to break, my lungs might collapse.  It was animal-like.

Beside me sat a white box addressed to a genetics lab.  Inside was a small vial of Moseby’s blood that was taken at the local children’s hospital.  {He had laid so still while they took his blood.  Large tears rolled down his cheeks and he looked at us, questioning us, but he did not move.  My sweet boy!}  Now I was on my way back to the genetics lab so they could ship it for us.  I couldn’t help but look at the box at every stop light I came to.  Perhaps I should just throw it out the window and drive home.  Act like this was all some dream and that we didn’t need to know.  We could just pretend that this wasn’t a possibility for him.  But my head told my heart that it didn’t make sense.  We needed to know.  We had to find out.

Oh, my dear, darling boy.  Our much prayed-for blessing.

When Moseby was a little over a day old, still in the hospital in fact and before any paperwork had been signed, we found out he had a 50% chance of having a rare genetic neurodegenerative disease called Machado-Joseph Disease or SCA3.  It’s specifics are easily Googled, but suffice to say it scared us to our core.  Not enough to walk away from the “situation”–an adoption term that means baby–we were already so head-over-heels in love that we just laughed when the caseworker mentioned that we didn’t have to accept his placement.  He is our fate.  Our destiny.  He is our son just as much as if he had come from my womb.  So we signed the papers, cried happy tears that we were a family of four, and began our lives together.

At our first appointment with our pediatrician when he was two days old I mentioned the possible condition to the doctor.  His happy, jovial mood instantly changed.  ‘We’ll get you into with the best genetics doctor in Atlanta as soon as possible,’ he said somberly.  I think that’s when the reality set in that this could be something bad.  And later C. held me as I sobbed in the pediatrician’s parking lot, our newborn son asleep behind my seat.  We came home and told our families about this possibility.  They all said to not worry about it until we knew for sure–after all, there was a 50% chance he didn’t have it!  We had to think positive!

And it turns out genetic testing and counseling is a very busy business.  We were told we would have to wait over nine months for an appointment and that they could see us first thing on December 12th.  They asked if they needed to send us a reminder card and I laughed nervously.  No, 12/12/12 would be forever etched in my brain.  We began the wait for our appointment.

I was certain as the days turned into weeks and those weeks turned months I would forget.  And I did during the day.  I would see this wonderful, perfect little boy checking off milestones left and right.  Gaining weight, growing.  Smiling, cooing, being an absolute joy.  But at night I remembered.  Each time he awoke I would look at his face in the soft moonlight as he sleepily drank a bottle and I would pray.  More often than not I would pray with such fierceness that tears would roll down my cheeks unto his head.  Please God, PLEASE.  Please let him live a long, healthy life.  Do not make him suffer.  Do not give him this disease.  Please keep him healthy. I said the same prayer every time.  Repeating it like a mantra.  Oh, how I prayed!  Oh, how I hoped!

Because as parents, what do we really want for our children?  Happiness and health.  Sure, success and grandbabies and closeness are all wonderful things, but in the end we want them to be healthy–able to physically do what they want–and happy.  The thought that my baby may not get to experience a healthy life and that his life would be cut short?  Well, it physically hurts my heart.  And so I prayed.  And prayed.

The genetic counselor said that normally the test takes only one to two weeks {instead of looking at his entire DNA, they look simply at chromosome 14q}, but because of the holidays it would be after the first of the year before we knew the results.  So we celebrated Christmas and New Years the best we could.  I would often find myself staring off into space, realizing my cheeks were wet.  Sometimes I would cry and C. would hold me and say, ‘Natalie, you can’t think this way.  He might NOT have it!’  But I cried still.  I honestly didn’t understand why my soul hurt so much, of course, now I know.  I was grieving the loss of a “normal life” for my son.

Finally, we received the results.  Our genetic counselor called us last Thursday.  As soon as I answered the phone, I knew.  Her cheerful, upbeat voice was replaced with sympathy.

Oh.

But as she told me the news, I didn’t cry.  I realized during the phone call that my heart knew he had it all along–that’s why I had cried so much the past ten months.  This mama’s heart–this mother’s intuition–knew that my perfectly created son has Machado-Joseph Disease.  We don’t know when the onset of his symptoms will be–we are now fervently praying the onset of this disease will be early adulthood, as oppose to…well, much sooner.  We’re praying for the researchers that will hopefully find all sorts of treatments for the symptoms he will have.  We’re praying specifically for some studies going on in Portugal that are trying to block a molecule called Calpain {…which makes the extra protein that Moseby’s brain will produce eventually into fragments…and those fragments are what start the neurodegeneration, if that makes sense}.  If this research that is being done on rats now can be done on people…well, it would be the first-ever treatment for MJD.

The reason I’m telling you this very private, very personal story is because I’m begging you to pray for Moseby.  Pray for him please.

5


A 1/2

Our little guy had a birthday of sorts yesterday–the half-year kind. And of course I documented it well!

At 8:54am–the time he was born on that rainy Sunday morning six months ago–we all gathered around him on our bed and sang him Happy Birthday.  I think you can tell how he felt about that.

may 25. 26. artist. six month birthday_0001

We are blessed, y’all. So so so wonderfully blessed.

Then it was time for a bath before church. {Is it just me or are little boys so much stinkier than little girls?!} His baby bath tub has two ends–one for infants to lay back and the other end for bigger babies to sit up. This is his first time sitting up to take a bath. He kept bending down and drinking the water. Silly boy.

may 25. 26. artist. six month birthday_0003
I’m sure I’ll get questions, so real quick–those brown things on his back are called “Mongolian Spots”. Moseby has a lot more than average (two dozen are so all over his body).  But they’re totally normal and will fade on their own.

Later on we took his monthly pictures and big sister had to get her picture taken with him of course too. {And run off with his onesie sticker to stick on who-knows-what–still haven’t found it!}

august 26. six month birthday. memaw_0002

august 26. six month birthday. memaw_0005

august 26. six month birthday. memaw_0010
This is how you will find Moseby 99% of the time–chewing on those two fingers. He’s been doing this since he was eight weeks old and drooling up a storm. Still no teeth though. I have a feeling they’re all going to come in at once.

august 26. six month birthday. memaw_0013
This makes me laugh because all of MM’s smiles look so…well, so mean. I don’t get it.

And here are some comparison pictures. First, MM at six months old:

DSC_0426

And Moseby at one month old. Such a teeny tiny kiddo.  {He’s wearing the same onesie in his pictures for this month as he was at one month.}

one month old!_0004

What was really neat was that yesterday after I posted that first picture up there on Facebook Moseby’s birth father sent me a picture of him at the same age with his mama/Moseby’s grandmother.  And boy, y’all, it’s so neat to see where Moseby gets his features from.  {Birth Mom: eyes and mouth; Birth Dad: just about everything else…including the belly–ha!}  I am so glad that they get to watch Moseby grow up and be a part of his life and that they do little things like send us pictures of themselves as kids–such a wonderful thing for our well-loved little guy!

3


A Catch-Up of Sorts

Well, hello there.  Anyone there?

We’ve been here.  Living and growing {some more than others…Moseby}, summer coming to an end–a new school year starting.

july 31. five months old. new big boy car seat_0018

We’ve had lots of pretend play. MM changes her future occupational dreams every day it seems, but mostly she wants to be a librarian. She has created the craziest little set up on her ironing board to help her “check out” books for all her customers. She first “scans” them with her play camera and then types in their title on her cell phone and then her calculator. She gives you an old address label as a receipt and makes you sign her notebook–she really wants those books returned, you know.

mm LOVES to play library.  here she is at her "check-out station"

Her creativity and passion never cease to amaze me.

july 30. rental camera_0005

She started gymnastics {here she is modeling one of her new leotards} and is loving it. I love seeing her interests develop and watching her learn new things. It really is amazing having children & watching them grow.

new gymnastics leotard

As for Moseby–so many new firsts! His first taste of real food in the form of cereal. He’s had several fruits and vegetables and is a fan of anything he eats…no surprise there!

july 10th. first real food--oatmeal!!

He also got his big boy carseat. He’s a fan of that too.

july 31. five months old. new big boy car seat_0032

And his first time in his jumperoo. He’s a fan of that too.

july 31. exersaucer_0002

And his first time in a walker. He’s a fan of that too {just wait ’til he realizes he can go forward in it instead of just sitting there!}.

august 3. new gymnastics clothes_0016

And he’s gotten realllly good at sitting up on his own.  And loves showing off to his mama.

august 5. sunday at mamaws_0002

august 17. playtime sitting up_0002

august 18. saturday playday_0009

We’ve spent time loving on animals {I know, random, right?}.

he LOVES bess!

august 9. vivi_0001

august 12. bath. wdw. goats_0008

august 12. bath. wdw. goats_0009

And, most importantly no doubt, they’ve spent a lot of time playing together and cuddling with each other. I know they’ve only been a part of each other’s lives for less than six months, but my, these two are smitten with one another. I pray every day that this continues and grows as time goes by.

july 2. watching tv_0004

august 1. new dress_0012

august 11. evening in the grass_0003

august 18. saturday playday_0001

So, that’s what we’ve been up to.  Just living life and enjoying being a family of four.  Hope you all had a wonderful end of summer.  I can hardly believe that MM starts preschool again in two weeks because that means she’ll start kindergarten in just two *years*.  My, where does the time go?!

3


Four Month Check-Up

Little big man had his four month appointment.  And yep, he keeps right on growing.

june 30. cupcake kids_0003

At nineteen weeks he is:

  • 17 pounds, 2 ounces (82nd percentile; up from 22nd percentile at birth)
  • 25.75″ long (69th percentile; up from 5th percentile at birth)
  • 17.25″ head

Even the doctor couldn’t get over all his wonderful growth in just four short months.  So proud of my little big man!

The only thing that has developed is Moseby’s eczema.  He shares it with two of his birth half-siblings.  {I don’t know if it’s a hereditary thing, but I’m guessing so.}

eczema spots?

eczema?

The doctor gave us a prescription steroid cream to clear up his “spot”.  She told me to do lukewarm baths, apply the special cream on his breakouts, and lather that baby head-to-toe in Eucerin.  Yep, I can do that!

Moseby also demonstrated his latest trick for the doctor–sitting up on his own.  A full two weeks sooner than his big sis {who did it earlier than average}!  The doctor was stunned.  Me?  Just one proud mama!

Untitled

Love you, Mr. Moe!  So glad you are a part of our lives and I get to experience every day with you.  Including getting to watch you eat oatmeal for the first time like you did this morning.  {And boy, did you gobble that right up!}

july 10th. first real food--oatmeal!!

{Here’s a run-down of MM’s four month appointment.  Wow, can’t believe she was ever this small!}

0


Finalization Day

On Thursday, June 7th our family gathered at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta.

photo-48

After three months we were going to make Moseby officially our son.  Of course, he’s been our son in our hearts since the first moment we heard about him over the phone with our caseworker in November.  Yes, at that very moment I knew she was talking about *our* son.  I can’t even describe the feeling.

finalization day!!

Our family with our judge and attorney.

And here we are now finally making our son legally ours after all those months of knowing in my heart.

finalization day!!

Our son with the judge.

Yes, an amazing feeling.  One of the best days of my life.

finalization day!!

My family…who experienced the same kind of joy in April of 1981 when my own adoption was finalized.

The judge who did Moseby’s adoption didn’t have us go into her courtroom, but her chambers instead.  We all sat around her table while she chit chatted and signed papers.  And before we knew it–POOF!–he was legally our son.  It was, is, a beautiful feeling.

june 7.finalization day. vbs_0007

We love you, Moseby Davin C.  We are glad you will always be a C.

after moseby's adoption finalization {he's legally a cooper now!}

And I just have to tell you about Moseby’s special outfit on this day. In 2008 C. and I went on a “make a baby” trip…that turned into a I’m-already-five-weeks-pregnant-and-nauseous trip…to Puerto Rico after over a year of trying for MM. I saw this beautiful white linen handmade outfit in Old San Juan and even though it was a complete splurge I knew I had to have it for our son {I thought MM was a boy until the gender ultrasound–I just knew it}. I never let her wear it for some reason and now I know why. I did, in fact, buy the outfit for our son. The son who was not even a twinkle in our eye at that point. And I’m overjoyed that he could wear it on such a special day.

june 7.finalization day. vbs_0025

I think he is pretty happy to be a C. too, don’t you?

1


Four Months Old.

Well, well, well.  Little big man is officially four months old.

What a joyous four months it has been to be this mama.  I am blessed, there is no doubt.

He is absolutely the happiest baby I’ve ever seen.  Want proof?  Here he is today, just randomly sitting in his car seat at Jason’s Deli just occupying his little self with smiles and kicks and coos.

Great sleeper, fantastic eater {understatement of the year–ha!}, and just an all-around joy in our lives.

four month growth progress

1


He is Officially Official!

You heard right–Moseby became officially our son as of this morning at 9am!  His adoption has been finalized.  YEEHAW!

TONS of pictures to post of our special day {and our eight-day beach vacay we just got back from yesterday} coming soon!

But I thought I would leave you with this one of our little man while you wait on me to get my fanny in gear to post all the other pictures.

may 23. happy baby. new bike_0035

Caught him smiling while playing in the afternoon sun.  This little guy is such a charmer.

Pure preciousness I tell you!

Photo Challenge Submission

4


Mamas, You’re Going to be Jealous

Mr. Moseby {that is his “nickname”…though technically it’s longer than his real name…hmmm} had his two-month appointment yesterday.  Yes, yes, I’m fully aware that he’s now 2.5 months, but our pediatrician {who was also MY pediatrician} is semi-retired and we work in our check-ups around his schedule.

may 15. last day of preschool_0010

As an eleven-week old baby boy he is:

  • 13 pounds, 6 ounces: 67th percentile
  • 23″ long: 24th percentile
  • 16.5″ head: 32nd percentile

As for weight he has jumped from the 22nd percentile at birth to the 67th percentile…little big man likes to EAT!  He’s still maxing out at 32 ounces of formula a day.

As for length he has jumped from the 5th percentile at birth–mommy’s little peanut–to the 24th percentile.

The doctor says the average baby at this age gains a pound a month and grows an inch.  Of course Moseby is an over-acheiving smarty pants so he gained 3.5 pounds and grew two inches last month.  Duh.

may 15. last day of preschool_0011

The doctor was also impressed with his head strength, his ability to roll around, his love of smiling/cooing/chuckling that bring us so much joy, and his sleep. 

Did I tell you he is a fabulous sleeper?  Goodness gracious, YES.  Last night he slept….wait for it….wait for it….11 hours straight.  Told you you’d be jealous.  Our doctor said that is unheard of with two month olds.  He obviously doesn’t know our Moseby is a smarty pants yet.  {I think the hum of his fan and drifting off to the sound of waves from his Sleep Sheep doesn’t hurt either!}

2.5 months

Our little guy is absolutely perfect and thriving.  Which makes me one happy mama.  Love you, sweet boy!

2


Two Months Old

My little big man…or is it my big little man?…was two months old yesterday.  I am amazed at how much he has grown this month!  He goes to the doctor in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to find out his latest stats.  I’m going to go ahead and guess that he has doubled his birth weight–the average baby does that at five months old {that’s when MM did too}–but I’m guessing that this little guy is going to do that MUCH quicker!

april 26. two months old_0007

And for my records:

Eating.  Oh, he LOVES to eat!  At his one month appointment we told the doctor he was consistently eating 32 ounces of formula per day…or more.  The doc cautioned us about going over 32 ounces since it can lead to an electrolyte imbalance.  So under his guidance we feed him by spoon {soooo messy!} three tablespoons of cereal mixed with formula each day.  He loves it.  He also loves Gripe Water–if I ever give him some he just smacks those little lips and smiles.

april 26. two months old_0003

Playing.  He loves eye contact and will turn his head wherever his sister goes.  He recogonizes voices in his sleep.  He can reach out and grab things.  He has rolled from his tummy to back countless times {twice yesterday} and back to tummy occassionally {once yesterday}.

april 26. two months old_0011
Trying to reach up and grab the elephant on his mobile. He LOVES that elepant.

Pooping.  ‘Cause I know you wanted to know, right?!  HA!  Every single day for the last month he poops between 4-6pm.  It’s a beautiful thing because I make sure he has on a disposable diaper then and I don’t have to worry about cloth diapers and poop.  Hip hip hooray!

april 26. two months old_0004

Sleeping.  On average he gets up 1-2 times per night.  Some nights he’ll have an eight hour strech {like last night} and then a four hour stretch, other nights he has three four hour stretches.  He gets comfy in C.’s lap every night around 8 and we’ll look over and he’ll be asleep in a few minutes.  He’s a total self soother so no rocking needed…though I do it just for kicks before I put him to bed because I love hearing him breathe in his sleep. hehe 

april 26. two months old_0008

I know we said it with MM, but we feel like we’ve won the baby jackpot.  Moseby is just so sweet, cuddly, and soooo laidback.  I can’t believe we’ve been blessed to have TWO kids like that!

A little comparison from the past two months:

one month old!_0004       april 26. two months old_0001

He has the same onesie on so you can really tell he’s “filled out”.

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