Wednesday, April 23, 2014

{Backblogging} July 2013

We kicked off July with a celebration at the lake with family. The kids enjoyed time with their cousins while the grown ups enjoyed time catching up over coffee and board games and watching the kiddos play. it is rare to get the whole gang together, and I love when we can.
Anna, Caroline, Ainsley, Laura Beth, Joshua, Luisa, and Huck

My precious Mamaw with Ainsley Kate
We didn't do as much of a garden this summer since we had two fairly new family members.  However, we did enjoy our blueberry, blackberry, and muscadine harvest.  We typically go to a blueberry farm in Pell City to pick blueberries, but this was the extent of our fruit picking this year.

Life in general continued in a relaxed manner.  The big girls loved their baby sister.  Luisa was still having trouble adjusting to the change (I promise, more on her attachment and bonding process later).  Overall, though, life was fantastic.  Ainsley was a good sleeper for a newborn, just waking once at night to nurse and sleeping pretty well in between.

I schlepped those silly girls all over the place.  We resumed our normal routine of PT, church, Costco and Publix trips, Bible study, doctor appointments, and playdates. Ainsley was usually in the sling so that I could help Lu navigate with her walker or push her in the stroller.  I taught one summer camp for two weeks in July.  Philip was able to stay home during the morning to make that possible.  It was a busy summer, but it was lots of fun!

Teaching Luisa to play a matching game

Sisterly love

Thursday, April 17, 2014

{Backblogging} June 2013

In some ways, our early days home with Ainsley were a lot easier than I had expected. My expectations, however, had been rather low.

Can I be honest?  I spent the first 8 months of this pregnancy somewhat bitter.  I definitely wanted more children, but not at that moment! I was resentful that we were changing our family so quickly after adopting Luisa.  I felt as if we were short-changing her.  I longed to give her stability, and pregnancy hormones and changing family structure didn't reflect my vision for her.  I was afraid that the resentment I felt during my pregnancy would linger after the baby arrived.  I was truly, genuinely fearful that I would not bond with this little surprise as quickly as I had with Caroline.

Was I ever wrong.  As soon as she was here, I couldn't imagine our family any other way.  Of course this was the way it was supposed to be.

If only Luisa had agreed.  I'll share her experience another time.

Enamored sisters

Nana and Grumpa with the Grands

Mommy's Helper #1

Mommy's helper #2

Third kid gets sharpied in on the Pinterest art.

My brother and his family got to meet Miss Ainsley on their way back through Alabama headed home from Disney World. We had a day at the lake with the cousins. These kids are all so sweet together. I only wish they got to spend more time with each other.

LuLu and Uncle Rob

Caroline and Anna with pirate faces

Joshua and Luisa

All the girls piled on the hammock.  Ainsley will be hopping on next summer, too, I bet.

Laura Beth and Ainsley

Mimi and her girls
Then we settled into our new normal. Unfortunately, both grandmothers were unable to come help out after she was born. Philip was able to take some time off. The he went back to work, and I was home with my three sweet girls for the summer. 

Having three wasn't really much more difficult than two.  I strapped Ainsley on in the sling, and we went on about our life. Ainsley was an easy baby, and she always gave me a couple of three to four hour stretches of sleep every night. I felt great She was nursing well and gaining weight. Our sweet friends were bringing meals. Family members were keeping our big girls for a few days at a time. Life was blissful. 

Finger painting fun

Ainsley's first time at church

Getting back to weekly PT

Luisa's new ride

Caroline LOVED to color that summer

This is where Ainsley spent the bulk of her time

Silly bedheads with their oatmeal

All the girls snuggled up to read before bed

Ainsley and Daddy.  Be still, my heart.

Monday, April 14, 2014

How's Ainsley Kate?

The question I get a lot lately: "How's Ainsley doing?"

The short answer: "Great!"

She is off all of her meds as of early February.  It took five weeks to wean her off of her steroids, and another four to six weeks for me to see the effects of them gone.  She is such a happy baby again.  She moved into her own crib for the first time a week or so ago, and we are all sleeping better now!

Right now she is ten and a half months, eating anything we try to feed her, entering that separation anxiety stage, ALMOST crawling, and babbling "ma ma ma ma ma ma," "da da da da da da," and "ya ya ya ya ya ya."  She lives in the Ergo when we are out and about.  For the most part, she is a typical third kid and pretty go-with-the-flow.

At this point, we are having Early Intervention send a PT once a month and an OT once a quarter to just monitor her progress.  She lost two months at a time that is crucial developmentally, but we are expectant and hopeful that she will soon be fully caught up with no residual delays.  She is our little rock star baby.

The biggest risk of Infantile Spasms developing is between four and ten months.  It's rare to have a recurrence, but I didn't realize that I was holding my breath.  It wasn't until that ten month mark had passed that I exhaled.
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