Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gardening Hat, Big Boy Bath and Jean

I'm sure Grady is going to love these hat pictures when he gets older! It's difficult to find a hat for such a little man. But if he's going to be out in the yard gardening with me, he needs something on his head - just ask Grandma! I think it's adorable.

On Saturday, April 10, Grady graduated from his sponge frog to his over-the-sink bathtub. He loved it - as evidenced by his splashing around and squealing with delight. Please notice that Grady remains a modest individual.

Jean came to visit us on Saturday. It was great to see her, and she helped me move the living room furniture around. It seems somewhat unbalanced here because of all the furniture moving to create Grady's nursery. Jean held Grady while I vacuumed, dusted and generally cleaned the place up a bit. It was lovely!

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

This is a typical sight at our house. Grady does not like to sleep during the day, unless we're holding him. So, we spend quite a bit of our time "working" and holding him simultaneously.

My friend Stacey lent me the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I'd like to recommend it to anyone with children who are newborns to twelve years old. When they're teenagers, we all know there's not much we can do about their sleep habits. haha. We are currently tracking Grady's sleep - he averages 3 1/2 hours at a time at night, but during the day, he only sleeps from 20 - 45 minutes at a time. According to the book, he is overtired and probably overscheduled. Argh! We do travel around with him frequently, and I've read that a nap in the car seat does not constitute a "good" nap. We just keep learning everyday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week of April 4, 2010

Happy Easter! We went to church this morning, and then headed to Grandpa Pat and Grandma Kay's house. Unfortunately, Grandpa, who just finished his six weeks of radiation and oral chemotherapy, had to be admitted to United Hospital today. Grady and I stayed at the house, while John rode in the ambulance with Grandpa. Julie and Kay drove over in the car. Grandpa has a touch of pneumonia and a bladder infection. He is very weak, but they hope to have him stronger very soon. He loves Grady and says, "He's such a nice baby," everytime they are together.

Grady and Aunt Julie on Easter Sunday.

My friends at the RFHS Sunshine Club sent this beautiful bouquet. Hopefully, Grady will like flowers a bit more than this in the future.

Grady has started to stick out his lower lip when he's not happy. How does this happen? Where has he seen it? John and I don't do this, so it must be an innate trait. Anyway, it's darn funny.

Cousins Kate and Matthew had spring break this week, so they came over to help paint the frogs and ducks in Grady's nursery. They stayed overnight, and the next morning, we hit the paints.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week of March 28, 2010

As I'm a bit behind, I'm going to condense the events of this week a bit. On Sunday, our dear friend Mike brought Grady a cradle. Mike made the cradle himself, his wife Patrice made the mattress and his daughter Sarah made blankets. We are overwhelmed by the efforts of the entire family! Grady had a particularly fussy night on Sunday - he actually cried for 5 hours straight. I couldn't do a thing to console him, and it broke my heart. All of the reading I've done says that babies will have fussy, bad times - particularly in the evenings from 6:00 to whenever. Ok, so I know that, but I wanted to cry myself at his sadness. Instead, I broke one of my first rules and headed to Target on Tuesday for a pacifier. Yuck! It does help soothe him, however, so it's worth it. My dear friend Kathy said I wasn't selling out, I was simply being a flexible and receptive mother. Isn't it wonderful to have supportive friends?!

Kathy with Grady on March 18.

We had an eventful day on Tuesday: Grady went with me to a hair appointment, which he patiently slept through, then we went to RFHS to visit friends and, finally, we headed to Target to do a gift registry. Grady was amazing the entire time! Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from that day because we dropped the camera on Sunday, and it broke.

Grady did something new on Wednesday. While I was feeding him his bottle, he actually turned his head and looked away from me. Seriously, I was a bit shocked at first as we've spent this first month gazing lovingly into each other's eyes as he eats. Then I remembered my friend Chris' research on gender differences for our master's program. Researchers have discovered that boys and girls have different cells in their eyes. Chris' article states, "The ganglion cells in our eyes are of two different types—P and M—each having very different jobs. M-cells, which are larger, are wired to rods and are primarily simple motion detectors. P-cells, which are smaller, are concentrated around the fovea, or the center of the field of vision, and are responsible for collecting information about color and texture.

Only very recent microscopic analysis of the eye has revealed that the retinas of male and female eyes have vastly different concentrations of these cells. Female retinas have a much higher concentration of P-cells (responsible for colors and textures), and male retinas have many more M-cells (responsible for tracking movement). Sax puts it this way. P-cells (denser in females) answer the question, “What is it?” M-cells (denser in males) answer the question, “Where is it going?” The interesting thing is that these are large differences that hold true across species. Every male animal has more M-cells than every female animal." If you're interested in reading more, here's a link to his article and our newest venture We Teach, We Learn:

I reread Chris' research and felt absolutely relieved. Grady is doing exactly what he is made to do!
The temperature was 77 degrees on Thursday, so Grady slept outside in the stroller while I did a bit of gardening. He also had his morning bottle on the deck. Hard to believe it's only April 1. Later that evening, we went to Kathy and Mike's for a pizza party. Amanda and Maddie were enamored with Grady, and he certainly thought they were beautiful. It's so fun to see these two young women all grown-up ~ John had each of them as high school students.
You've probably noticed that these entries don't say too much about John. He spent many of his hours this week at his mom and dad's house while Pat completed his last week of radiation and chemotherapy. As soon as John walks in the door at home, he holds, hugs and loves Grady. We are experiencing such a wide range of emotions: joy and sadness, new life and illness. Through it all, however, we know the Lord is in control, and His peace and love give us great strength.

Aunt Diane and Uncle Scott came to visit on Friday morning. It was so great to spend time with them. It seems we all get so wrapped up in our own lives that we don't even see our own siblings enough. Grady already knows that Uncle Scott will be the man when it comes to teaching him about fishing, canoeing and kayaking!

Peeking out after his morning bath.
Grandma Arlene and Grandpa Gerry also came to visit on Friday. My mom called and said she wanted to see "her baby." My response, "Oh mom, that's nice. I want to see you, too." Her reply, "I meant Grady." Hmm... funny how those things work! Needless to say, we are thrilled with our parents' desire to see and hold Grady. He is truly everyone's love!
Side note: Grady slept from 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. on Friday night. It's a record!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Miscellaneous Pics Week of March 21

What can I write about this picture?
Grady is a living example of God's perfect design.

More Special Visits

Cousins Carrie and Dave, Joey and Alex came to visit Grady (and us) on Saturday afternoon. Dave brought delicious gumbo with his special sausage and chicken from near Green Bay. Nathan, their oldest, was at Boy Scout Camp, so we didn't get to see him.
On Saturday, March 27, we went to visit our good friends Cory and Sara in Somerset. John and Cory coached together for many years, and Sara and John still teach together at OHS.

Drew, Trae and Caeden (our godson) took turns holding Grady. Drew was much more interested in taking care of him than the boys were. Those crazy gender differences - are they inherent or conditioned? My faith and my experience tell me they are more inherent than we'd like to admit!

The Week of March 21

Our first week home - exciting! Grady had his one month checkup on March 23. We can't believe he's already one month old! He weighed 10 lbs, 14.6 ounces on Tuesday. He's definitely thriving. He had a return visit to the clinic on Friday due to his baby acne (yes, I'm a first time mother, and I just wanted to be sure he was o.k. ) At this visit, he weighed 11 lbs, 4 ounces. Seriously!

During this week, Grady began to really smile socially at us. When he smiles, his entire face crinkles up. I, of course, started crying as soon as he repeat smiled at me. It may have been partial exhaustion on my part, but it sure sent my heart soaring.

Jane, our Lutheran Social Services social worker, came to visit us on Thursday, March 25. We were thrilled to introduce her to our new son. She will visit us two more times before the adoption is final in six months.
Great-Uncle Joe and Great-Aunt Meem, John's godparents, visited on Friday, March 6. What a special visit for all of us. Aunt Meem is a retired elementary school teacher, and she has so much wisdom to share. While we were all talking about Grady's potential as a future hall-of-fame football player, Notre Dame basketball player, concert pianist ..., Aunt Meem said it doesn't matter what he is as long as he's himself. Yes, indeed! May we continue to have that type of wisdom as Grady grows.

Grandma Arlene also came to visit this week, and she brought Grady a chicken who sings a song to the tune of the chicken dance, flaps his wings, and moves his beak. Grady is mesmerized and a bit afraid of the loud chicken!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Family Pictures

Over the weekend, we celebrated Grandpa Pat and Great Aunt Margaret's birthday, as well as Katie and Michael's. It was such a special time for all of the family to be together. Grady also had his first outing to our church on Sunday. Our church family's enthusiasm and joy for us were so abundant. We feel a tremendous amount of love and support everywhere we go.
Uncle Tom with Grady
Cousins Michael and Abby holding baby Grady.

All of the grandkids with Grandpa Pat and Grandma Kay.

On March 20, we had family pictures at St. Anne's. Here's a picture of Grady (3 1/2 weeks), Becka (20), Michael (7), Abby (4), Joey (1), Katie (12) and Matthew (8).
Grady continues to be loved by everyone. We remember when the cousins were as little as he is, so we know we should savor these weeks because he'll grow quickly.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Luck of the Irish!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
We spent the day thinking, hoping and praying that we might get to go home today. In the meantime, Grady charmed us all with his sweet antics and personality. He liked his new bouncy chair from Aunt Julie and Aunt Kaylene. We dressed him in his "Team Grandpa" outfit from Becka - positive thinking always helps. Jane from LSS called at 3:00 to tell us we could go home. Grandpa Gerry helped mommy pack up the car while Grandma Arlene held Grady. This was a bittersweet time for me because my mom and Gerry had taken such good care of us while we were there. I had a hard time leaving, yet I was thrilled to be going home. The prospect of sleeping in our own bed sounded wonderful - I had been gone for 27 days.

Our homecoming in Somerset was an emotional thrill for all of us. Nobody knew we were coming, except daddy. They were just sitting down to corned beef and cabbage dinner when we arrived. Obviously, Grady was the hit of the party. Grandpa Pat, Grandma Kay, Aunt Julie and Uncle Brian from Denver, Aunt Julie, and Grandpa Joe were all there. What a great day!

Tears of joy...

Our beautiful boy...

Smiling Grandpa Joe
Uncle Brian - He thought this may have been the longest he's held a baby. Grady sure is special.

Grandma Kay is love struck.

Grady's first bottle at home in the leather chair. Chief was thrilled to see us, although he seemed to look at me as if to say, "Hey, I thought that baby was Grandma's."