Thursday, September 30, 2010

Introducing Solids =)

Let's just say my little Isabella sure LOVES to eat! This blog entry may not interest all of you who follow our blog - but it will be a great resource for me in the future! =)

So, my baby girl is now nursing 6-7 times a day (depending on if she wakes for a night feeding) and she's enjoying 3 solid meals a day! I've decided she enjoys nursing....not for the nutritional value of it - but for the total experience of snuggling up close with her mamma! She would pretty much nurse all day if I let her! I'm thinking it's going to be hard to cut feedings in the future! She also loves solids too! She gobbled it up from the first time I put a soupy little bite of rice cereal in her mouth!

I have to put a plug in for this awesome, amazing book I was given by a friend! It has been so informative and helpful! I decided a while back that I was going to do everything I could to nurse Isabella for the first year of her life along with slowly introducing her to an all natural/organic diet! This book has been such a helpful tool!

Isabella will turn 6 months this's an update on her solid food diet!
(boring for most of the readers I'm sure!)

At 4 1/2 months we started organic rice cereal mixed with breast milk once a day. I gradually increased it to 3 times a day. (2-3Tbsp. at each meal)
After a about a week of rice cereal, we introduced organic oats mixed with breast milk just in the mornings for breakfast. She enjoyed her rice cereal for lunch and dinner.
Then, we introduced avocados, sweet potatoes, bananas, pears (not a huge fan yet), nectarines and peaches. I plan to introduce her to winter squash and plums this week!
Of course, we are going by the 4 day wait rule (eat a new food for 4 days before introducing another food) just to make sure she doesn't have any food allergies.

At this point here's a typical feeding routine....

7am Nurse/Oats w/2 cubes of fruit

10am (upon waking from nap) Nurse

12 2 cubes of veggies w/ 1 cube of fruit

1 (before nap) Nurse

4 (after nap) Nurse

5 3 cubes of veggies w/rice (I usually give her 2 different types of veggies.)

7:30 Nurse before bedtime

**She usually wakes once to eat around 3 or 4am and then wakes at 7am for breakfast!

I'm looking forward to sharing with her pediatrician how she has taken so well to solid foods! At this point, she is eating the serving size of a 7 month old!!! Plus, she nurses lots too! =)

I'm definitely looking forward to running the official "Super Baby Food Diet" by her pediatrician to get his feedback. I'm not quite sure if I'm going to use it w/Isabella due to her milk allergy at this point. But....this is the diet...

Breakfast - Super Porridge meal (homemade grains - gradually adding more ingredients)
Lunch - Yogurt Based meal (I gotta check w/pediatrician about alternative yogurt since she has a dairy allergy)
Dinner - Varies each day!

I'm so thankful that my baby girl loves to eat and has such a good appetite! It will be fun taking her to her appointment next week and seeing how she has grown! =)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Thankful Heart....

The Lord has used a chain of events today to speak to me.......and I have a thankful heart!

As I was eating my breakfast this morning, I was checking my email while watching Isabella play on the her play mat. I received an email notifying me that someone had posted on my "Baby Center Forum." This took me by I had remembered starting a new forum about 1 1/2 years ago when I was researching and trying to find out information on my 2 blood clotting disorders. Anyways, I quickly went to the forum to scan over what someone had posted. Well, about 1 1/2 years ago I had messaged back and forth with a few girls who had also been diagnosed with my blood clotting disorders. They were super helpful and very encouraging......the last post was by a girl who had just conceived and was due in May 2010. (3 weeks after Bella) Well, as I skimmed over her latest post today - she was notifying me along with the other girls that she had gone into labor after carrying her baby 9 months and had given birth to a stillborn baby.

As I read this... tears flooded my eyes! This precious baby was due right around the time of Bella - her mamma had the same diagnoses as I did - and treatment - and her baby did not make it! I just had to stop right there as I watched my healthy Bella boo playing and thank the Lord for her precious life! I pray I never take one minute of her little life for granted!
I felt the Lord giving me a sweet reminder of the miracle that He blessed me with.......I went to church overwhelmed with a heart of gratitude.

As Jeremy and I were sitting in church.....we sang this song of worship....

Artist: Chris Rice
Song: Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus)


Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

After singing it, our pastor shared about a little girl (little sister of one of our high school students) who passed away at 3 years old after a difficult life on earth due to various health issues. I began to cry as I reflected on my two babies I lost early on in pregnancy.......but those tears were tears of joy knowing that they are with Jesus today! Tears of joy - as I reflect on beautiful Isabella and her healthy life. As Jeremy had his arm around the high schooler who was teary eyed missing his little sister - I was reminded that this life we live on Earth is only but a quick glimpse in comparison with the life we will share with all those we love in heaven one day!

So, today I'm praising Jesus for my sweet Isabella.....praising Jesus for the hope we have to see those we've lost one day in heaven and thankful for the peace He gives us as we pursue the purpose He has for us on this Earth!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Little Pace Patriot at her First Pep Rally!

We took Isabella to her first pep rally today! We have several of our high school students at church who participate in the band, dance team, twirl team, cheerleading team and football team! So........Isabella got to get up early from her afternoon nap so we could surprise all the students at the pep rally! She LOVED hearing all the music.......and watching all the action on the basketball court! Of course she stood out......there aren't very many babies in a high school pep rally! She's a little Pace Patriot at heart! =)

Birthday Surprise...

It was Bella's little friend, Charleigh's first birthday on Tuesday! So, we took a stroll down the street to surprise her with a Birthday balloon......and a little cake! =) It seems like yesterday I was holding sweet Charleigh for the first time! I was about 10 weeks pregnant with little Isabella when I first met Charleigh.........God has been so faithful to bless my friend Christi and I with these beautiful little babies! =)
(um....side note - I was SUPER nauseated etc. from pregnancy in this pic - had to even take a break at the nurses station while walking up to see Charleigh - so I think I overcompensated and smiled extra huge in this pic! haha)

Having both walked through miscarriages - we are both truly blessed to have our sweet girls and watch them grow up together! (fun playdate - we decided to let them swim in their diapers!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Adopted G'ma =)

Yesterday, Isabella and I went to visit Mrs. Ruby and Mr. Richard! We have grown to love this sweet couple over the past few years! I first got to know Mrs. Ruby on Sunday mornings because she was the greeter/passed out the bulletins at the door Jer and I went through each Sunday to enter into the Worship Center! They used to live in Panama City and they remember seeing Jer as a high schooler! =)
They prayed for us to have a healthy baby as we were walking through our miscarriages......I remember how excited I was to share the news with them about our pregnancy with Isabella! Mrs. Ruby was so so excited! Well, they have just fallen in love with sweet Bellla and they give her lots of sugar each Sunday! Mrs. Ruby has decided that Bella can be her adopted grandbaby since her grandauger lives far away and Bella doesn't have any grandparents in town! =)
Too sweet!
The Lord is so good to us - blessing us with such sweet friends!

Bella showed Mrs. Ruby her baby doll that she loves!

And we showed them her new of which is sitting alone propped up on hands! =)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Taste and See that the Lord is good!

"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him." Psalm 34:8

I've always loved this verse.....and it has new meaning to me every day during this new season of life! It's been my prayer that I would continue to hunger after the Word and that I would diligently feed on His Word each and every day. I need it more now than ever before as I use all my strength and energy to invest in little Isabella's sweet life as well as encourage and support Jer in our ministry with our high school students! I definitely can't even begin to attempt to be the wife and mother He has called me to be without the strength that only He gives through His Word!

This verse has been on my heart for many reasons recently.........

The Lord has been so faithful to fill my cup as I seek Him........and I have continued to find Him so very "Good" as I've savored His Word each morning. I have found refuge in and peace......and wisdom that only He gives!
I've been introducing little Isabella to knew foods the past few weeks! As I watched the excitement on her face yesterday while tasting sweet potatoes for the first time - I got to thinking about how that is somewhat similar to how we should be as we look forward to our time with the Lord each day and as we feed off of His Word! =) Bella LOVES to eat.......she looks forward to every bite...and she has definitely found that it is GOOD for her! I pray that as she grows - she will also have a hunger for the Word...a hunger to know Jesus personally and an excitement that is contagious to those around her!

It's quite a task to get pics during feeding it takes both of my hands to feed her as we attempt to get all the food inside the mouth rather than on the face! =) But, I managed to capture a few cute moments!

"Yummy to my tummy!"....says Bella Boo.

"Oh, this is too good to be true!"......starting to get a full tummy!

"Ah, this was truly a fabulous meal!"........."Now time to kick back and relax!"

We tried the sippy cup for the first time.....

She discovered how to drink all the water out of the sippy cup.....(with a little help from mommy!)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First family hike...

Our little family of three took advantage of the beautiful weather on Labor Day and went for a nice little adventure on some nearby trails! Isabella loved being outside and was quite entertained by the sounds and sights of nature! :)

"Just hanging with daddy! He showed me a huge grasshopper, a spider on a web, a dragonfly.....and many other fascinating things....."

And we wore her out.....she fell asleep the minute we put her in the car!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I am so thankful for the family of Christ........
It's definitely not easy being 6 1/2 hours from my family and 2 1/2 from Jer's family, but the Lord has always surrounded us with a family here in Pensacola. We have developed so many deep friendships within our church and in our community. The Lord has truly given us grandparent figures, parent figures and sibling figures who love on us even when we are so, so far from our own family. We are truly blessed!
One incident that happened this week was just a reminder from the Lord that He will continue to use the precious body of Christ to surround us and love on us as we continue to serve Him in the ministry He has for us here in Pensacola. Bella and I were finishing up our walk on Thursday morning - Mr. Dale called to check on us. Now, Mr. Dale and his sweet family have truly been such a blessing to our little family of three. They have prayed fervently for our ministry as well as for the pregnancy and birth of Isabella. I remember when I found out that the blood clotting disorders were the cause of my two miscarriages - Mrs. Karen - his wife - went straight to Walgreens and pretty much bought out Walgreens of baby Aspirin! (which was the medical answer to my miscarriages!)
Anyways, Mr. Dale just wanted to tell me he was praying for us and wanted to know how little Isabella was doing. =) Well, later that afternoon while Isabella was napping - there was a knock on the door. It was Mr. Dale and Mrs. Karen.......and in their hands was a sweet gift for little Isabella. Let me just add that they have bought WAY too many and I mean WAY WAY to many adorable gifts for little Bella. Well, they insisted that I open the little gift that was so carefully wrapped in pink tissue paper. When I opened the package, I found a gorgeous hand embroidered pink little dress for Bella boo! Mr. Dale said, "I just saw the dress when I was out doing a job and wanted to buy it for Isabella." A lump welled up in my throat as I knew that this was the Lord wrapping His arms around us and showing us that He loves us........just a little reminder that even when your family lives so far away - that when you are in center of the Lord's will walking obediently - He will provide all you need! Love and friendship that is truly family.......
So, here are a few pictures of little Isabella in the sweet dress!

Mr. Dale asked me what her full name was.......I didn't think anything of it at the time! But, later when he delivered the sweet gift, he said, "Oh, you'll have to look at her bloomers - I just had them monogrammed for her."

Just a quick little photo shoot before heading to church! So a quick nursery update.....Isabella did great for 45 min. - then I fed her - then she did good for another 30 min. - then I gave her kisses - then she did great for another 45 min. - then I picked her up to go home! It's definitely a transition for little Isabella! But, with patience and perseverance I'm sure she will adjust to being away from her mamma and daddy soon! =)

Friday, September 3, 2010

5 months!

Little Bella is now 5 months! In some ways it seems like we just had her yesterday and in other ways it's hard for me to remember what life was like without her! =) Seems like she has changed the most this past month! Physically, emotionally and mentally she has just turned into a baby....not a newborn!

She is grabbing everything these days. She continues to love playing on her play mat on the floor and pulling at her toys while she laughs at herself in the mirror! She has started sitting in her exersaucer and thoroughly enjoys pulling at all the toys while bouncing up and down! Her little legs are still to short even when we put it on the lowest setting - so we put our biggest book....our Bible concordance under her toes! She is so strong that she will push the book away so we have to hold the book in place with a heavy weight! =) She does not miss a THING! She watches everyone and everything around her! If someone cracks a little smile at her......her little face just lights up! We always know she's being observant/processing because her eyes get really big.......then when they start to get small again.....we know she's about to give us a BIG smile!
She is rolling all around now! Tummy to back and back to tummy! She loves for us to hold her hands and let her stand up.......oh goodness, we may have an early walker! She giggles all the time......some funny quotes that make her giggle...
"Bella, you wanna get in the tub!?"
"Are you a daddy's girl!?"

So, she was all set in her little 3 hour routine the past couple months! She's always been a great sleeper at night....and a short napper during the day! Well, somewhere around 4 months everything went haywire!!! I mean she was waking up every hour at night....eating just a little and then going back to sleep. She was screaming when we would swaddle her up for naps and bedtime! We just couldn't settle her down! I tried every sleep training method I knew....except for crying it out.....the thought of it just broke my heart! After much prayer, Jer and I decided to take her to the doctor just to make sure we weren't missing something. Sure enough, her doctor noticed that her throat was a little red and she has also been spitting up. I mean...what's normal...hard to know when it's your first baby! He started her on Zantac three times a day to help with Reflux! Who knew!? I thought she may have had just a little reflux when she was a brand new I've always propped her up after feedings and had her sleeping on an incline. But, it seemed to have solve the problem! Well, apparently some baby's reflux gets worse once they start moving around more.....signs would be crying in the sleeping position etc. All that to say, we were so glad we took her in because it has made a HUGE difference! That night we started the meds. she slept 8 hours straight......back to her normal little self!
We also started giving her just a little rice cereal (organic)...which she LOVES! I really wanted to wait til 6 months before introducing solids because I feel strongly that breastmilk meets all her nutritional needs - but I knew that the cereal may help in holding down her milk - which would help with the Reflux. So, I've enjoyed introducing her to solids a little earlier than I had planned! I am looking forward to the process of making her all natural/organic baby food very soon!

As of this week, we stopped swaddling her up for nap times and bedtime.....and she is just perfectly content! She doesn't have tons of excessive fat on her little body - so I make sure to put her in little footy PJ's so she doesn't get chilled at night........especially cause her daddy loves to set the temp. lower at night!

Well, even with all these changes, she was still fighting and I mean FIGHTING naps and bedtime! We had tried everything.....we ruled out hunger, pain and discomfort....and after much prayer and counsel of friends we knew it was time to let her cry a little bit. So, the past few days we have been under strict "Sleep Training" in our house! The teacher in me as emerged and I am patiently, lovingly and prayerfully teaching little Bella to soothe herself and fall asleep on her own! It has been amazing!!! So, here's our little plan that is working thus far!
We turn off the lights, turn on the fan, turn on the radio with static (we are hoping for a noise maker soon!) and then we read a few books to settle her down. Then, we give her big kisses and lay her in her bed....lay hands on her and pray that she will sleep peacefully and soundly. Then, we leave her! Oh, it's soo hard! Of course I plug in my video monitor so I can watch her the entire time! At first she eats her toes, wiggles around, flips a few times....then comes the crying! When she flips to her tummy or if she cries for longer than 15 min....we (usually Jer if he's home) go in.....give her the paci, flip her over, lay our hands on her and pray for her....then leave again. The first night it took 1 hour of this.....then she fell right to sleep! The second day for naps it took 45 min and 20 min to fall asleep at night. Today is the third day and it only took her 30 min to fall right to sleep! Let me just say she has taken the best naps of her life! I mean 3 hour naps! =) So, I never wanted to have to implement the crying method.......but - every baby is unique and different methods work with different babies!

Look at this sleeping angel...this is her favorite position! Notice we took out all the crib bumpers...per doctor's orders! But, I plan on putting them back in soon....once I know she's able to move away from them easily.

Here is her typical routine that we have begun this week and she has fallen right into nicely!

7:00 Wake/Feed (nurse, cereal)
8:30 Nap (usually in the stroller while I run - then finishes it inside in her stroller)
10:00 Feed (nurse)
12:00 Feed (nurse, cereal)
1:00 Nap
4:00 Feed (nurse)
6:00 Feed (cereal)
7:00 Bedtime routine (bath, pj's, book, nurse, prayers)
8:00 Snuggled up in Bed!

*She is waking once in the night to nurse - which I am fine with because she is still so little and it helps boost my milk supply!*

Here are her 5 month stats......using my measurements so they probably aren't exact! =)

Weight 12.5 lbs. 10%
Height 25.5 inches 75%
Head 17 inches 80%

I love this sweet is a delight to have the privilege to stay home with her and be her mamma! I love each and every moment of watching her develop and I thank Jesus for blessing me with her sweet, healthy life! Being a mother has brought me to my knees as I continually realize that is the place where wisdom begins as a parent. I know that it is by His grace we will become the parents that little Bella needs to raise her to become the woman God desires her to be one day!