Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baby B at 5 Months

Brother time - Baby B has definitely become accustomed to the ways of boys. She's completely unfazed by loud noises, sudden movement, and lots of physical contact.

This past month has brought a lot more interaction from you. You're watching everyone around you and smiling at most people. You save your biggest smiles and giggles for your foster brothers, who love you to bits. 

Kiddo, you talk a lot. All day long you're cooing, growling, babbling, and saying "aaaaaaahhh! aaaaaahhh!" It's really cute, and it's got to be a girl thing because my boys didn't talk like this until they were about a year old. You're also blowing raspberries, which is incredibly cute.

Last month you premiered your Three-Quarter Roll. This month you really started rolling back and forth all the way. You've shown us that you like to sleep on your tummy. I'll put you on your back (per doctor's, social workers', and developmental specialists' orders) but you always roll yourself over to your tummy and happily sleep that way.

You've gotten really grabby. You'll grab your feet and chew on them when you're on the changing table. When I'm holding you, you'll reach out and try to grab whatever I'm holding (or trying to eat). If I put my face close to yours, you'll try to eat my cheek.

I stopped your "dream feed" this month. I had been putting you to bed at a normal time of 7:30/8:00pm and then getting you up between 9:30-10:30pm to feed you again while you were still asleep. Then I realized that you weren't eating very well in the morning when you first woke up. So it dawned on me that you were probably ready to give up your dream feed. So we ended it, and sure enough, you started drinking more in the morning, which in turn caused you to sleep longer for your first nap of the day, which in turn caused you to eat more later, which...well, you get the idea. In the end, you  dropped two feedings and gained more nap time. You're also starting to be able to stay awake longer than your usual one hour. You can sometimes stay awake as long as two hours, though you start getting sleepy around the 1.5 hour mark.

We are still waiting to hear whether you'll be staying with us. We got news this month that we'll probably be keeping you as long as December before we find out what your future will be. You'll be ten months old by that time. Even though we're overwhelmed at the idea of having you for so long and possibly having to give you up, we are constantly reminding ourselves that this is why we decided to be foster parents: to give babies a healthy start in life and to give them a loving family to attach to. You met with a psychiatric social worker this past month who evaluated you and reported that you were one of the most well-adjusted and well-bonded babies she'd ever seen. Hearing that report was so encouraging. Even if you don't stay with us forever, just the fact that you spent six (or eight, or ten) months with us and were so well bonded with us means that you will have a good life; you'll be able to bond with your future parents (if you do go to another family), and you will be able to have healthy relationships with any siblings you may have, with friends, and someday a spouse. Ultimately, God is sovereign, and we are trusting in his perfect plan, even if that plan doesn't include you staying with us.

Enjoying some tasty toes

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Goodbye, Dad

Mark's dad, Gregory John Knapp went to be with his beloved Savior on July 11th, 2012 at the age of 65.

He passed away at his home, surrounded by his family. Greg dedicated his life to sharing the love of Jesus Christ with all he knew. If you'd like to learn more about this love, you too can learn how to know God personally.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Linda; his son Matthew and daughter-in-law Cameron; his son Mark and daughter-in-law Autumn; six grand-children; his brothers, David Jr. and Jonathan, his mother-in-law Irene and his brother-in-law Richard. 

We miss you so much, but we know we'll see you again someday. We find joy in knowing that you are with Jesus right now, whom you loved so much in life.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Santa Cruz

This weekend we went "camping" in Santa Cruz. It wasn't really camping, it was more like "crashing in our trailer at the end of a really fun day at the (park) or (beach)". Truth be told, the first day was pretty rocky. Baby B was a big ball of fuss, the boys were extra... energetic. And we had forgotten a bunch of things for our trip to the beach. And I had forgotten how difficult it is to bring a small baby to the beach. But the boys had fun, and that's all that matters, right?

Doing tummy time with the big brothers in the trailer. The only way we've found to survive with two kids in a small trailer is to bring along lots of favorite movies for those times when Mark and I are both occupied doing other things. Here they're enjoying Robin Hood while I'm making breakfast. (And just for the record, I don't make a habit of propping Baby B in front of the TV - this happened to be the only flat surface in the trailer for her to hang out on. And the big brothers were really entertaining her.)

Baby B did a great job sleeping in all sorts of places. She napped on our bed when we were in the trailer and took her naps in the jogging stroller while we were out. She is such an easy baby!

On our second day of "camping" we went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The kids had an amazing amount of fun. Ben was our little daredevil and wanted to go on all the scary rides, most of which he was too short for. Tommy was content to go on the tamer rides. At one point he remarked, "Mom, my way is better because the rides I like are the safest." It's been so interesting to see their different personalities come out during our trip to the park. Tommy often tried to figure out how the rides work, while Ben sought out awesome thrills. We were exhausted by the end of the day, but it was worth it!