Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mark is officially done and our puppy adventure continues :)

Yesterday, Mark finished up his last day of summer class and is officially done with his degree!!! YAY! Of course that begs the inevitable question.....what next? And we are still asking it! Mark has searched for a full-time job at churches and Christian schools both here and back home in VA, but so far God doesn't seem to be opening any doors. So we are just going to stay where we are for now. Mark will continue working as a part-time dispatch supervisor at UPS and get another part-time job as well. He might even take one class this semester because that is all he would need to get his ACSI teaching license. If his new job doesn't permit it, then I might take a class to slowly plug away at my Master's degree in Christian Education. Being a Mama is much more important to me than finishing my degree, but if we stay here, then I might as well take one class when Mark is home to babysit. Karis goes to bed by 6:30 every evening so I would have plenty of time to study. We are still keeping our ears open for a full-time position because it would be so nice for Mark to be able to quit UPS and get off the night-time schedule. But UPS has pretty much paid for his degree with its tuition reimbursement and both of our babies with its great health insurance so we really can't complain :) God has really taken care of us during this journey through seminary in some amazing ways and we can't wait to see what he has in store for us next!


Well, our first night with our new puppy was quite exciting. She slept on my lap all evening til bedtime, then we put her out on our back deck for the night. (Like I said before, we weren't really planning on getting a dog, so we didn't have a good spot prepared for her yet...Her house and running fence are coming with Mark's folks on Friday :) About 10:30, we heard a big whelp and found that she has squeezed through the cracks on our deck posts! So Mark fixed her up a good area under the deck, which she seemed to prefer. She seemed secure and we went on to bed. The next morning, however, when Karis and I went out to bring her in around 7:00, she was no where to be found! An hour later, Karis and I went on our morning walk and found her running around! Last night, we tried to put her in the bathroom for the night, but she woke Karis up with her whining :) So Mark took her back outside and tried to secure her make-shift running area better. Then he sat down to watch her. Sure enough, she wriggled out! So we had to tie her up for the night. We decided to try to crate train her, and will probably continue, but she howled on and off all night long and it was pretty miserable. So we sure can't wait for Mark's folks to get here tonight with her little shelter so we will have another option!

Although I am now convinced that a puppy is more work than a new baby, we do love our new puppy and have had so much fun with her! Feel free to stop by and play with her anytime!


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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And puppy makes 6!

Well, I hinted at it last night, but now you know! We somewhat rashly decided to get a puppy :) We always wanted one, but it just never seemed like the right time. But yesterday our friends found this puppy and her brother abandoned inside their fenced in backyard. They already have 2 dogs and couldn't keep these. So we took Karis over to play and they were just so sweet that we couldn't resist getting one. We went back tonight and picked her up. Isn't she a cutie? We are praying that she will turn out to be a great dog for Karis. Haven't agreed on a name yet -- the only one we both liked we liked so much that we might use it as a girl's name if it turns out we are having a girl baby:) So we are still thinking about that one. Tommorow we are taking her to the vet to get her shots and find out as much about her as possible. We think she is about ten weeks old, but not sure. Any thought on what kind of mix she might be? We can only guess. She's been sleeping on my lap for the last hour :)
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Monday, July 28, 2008

I love my life!

Ahhh, there is nothing better than cuddling with my sweet baby and kitty... well, I guess if we had a puppy to cuddle with too, that might be better :) Maybe someday...

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

14 Months!

What a busy and fun little girl! Her Daddy and I just sit and watch her entertain us all the time. Imitation would definitely describe her right now. She wants to do everything we are doing. Yesterday I was folding laundry and she picked up a washrag and walked into the kitchen and started wiping the floor around her high chair like I do after every meal :) Like most other babies, she loves getting ahold if our cell phone and holding it to her ear and just chatting away! Except that she holds it backwards :) She loves cooking at her little kitchen, especially if I put water in her little sink and give her a spoon to stir it with.

Mealtimes have been a lot easier lately because she has really gotten excited about trying to feed herself with a spoon. So I give her one and I use one and she ends up eating way more than she used to because it is so entertaining to her and she will do it for so long. And she is actually getting pretty good at it, depending on what food it is and how well it stays on the spoon :)

Karis is also really excited about being a big helper. Every morning I tell her, "ok, its time to get ready for our walk," and she will go and try to find my tennis shoes and bring them to me. Sometimes she brings my bedroom slippers or her Daddy's crocs if she can't find my walking shoes, he, ha :) And she will usually give me whatever water bottle she finds lying around. I'm excited that she can now follow commands to another room, without my help. For example, Karis happens to be a toothbrushing wanderer. She loves to walk all over the house while brushing her teeth. For the most part, she does well with it, but every now and then she gets distracted. Today, she came back to the bathroom with the Kitty's toy instead of her tooth brush :) I told her to go find her toothbrush and she went straight into the living room where she left it and brought it to me!

We are working hard at obedience, and right now we are focusing on sign language to help. She is a great communicator, and figured out pretty quickly that if she points at something and fusses that we will know what she wants. So now when she does that, I tell her "no fuss" and then when she gives me her attention, I will tell her to say "please," "more," or "help," depending on the situation, and do the sign with the word. I kind of took a break from signs when she started being underweight and picky with her food because I thought it was distracting and a little frustrating to her. But now she is doing better and I can already see that it has cut down on the fussing she does when she wants something. Hopefully soon she will start doing the signs instead of fussing at all!



Monday, July 21, 2008

Vaccine link

It just so happens that my favorite Mommy blog, Prayer of Hannah, is actually doing a week-long discussion on the vaccine controversy! I already learned a lot just from reading the comments from today's post and just had to send the link for anyone else who is investigating this topic. These ladies have had a lot more time to research than I and I am so excited to read their advice!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hand-me-down dresses are the best!

A big thanks to my cousin Lezlie, who gave me a bunch of clothes her lovely daughters have outgrown. As you can tell from the pics, they sure look cute on Karis. I know you are wondering how long the hat stayed on Karis. Well, you are pretty much looking at it. Three pics and that was it :)


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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Baby D2 update

I had my 12 week check-up this week and it was ever so reassuring to hear that precious heartbeat! I was also excited that my iron level was fine, because last pregnancy it was always too low. I had lost a little more weight due to morning sickness, which the OB fussed about, but I'm feeling so much better now and always hungry again so I know I'll start gaining soon :) The OB also talked to me about Karis's birth and said that since she was so big and I'm not, they would probably want to do an ultrasound about 2 weeks before I'm due to see if this baby is just as large. If so, they will want to induce me early. I love ultrasounds, so I was excited about that, but I plan to politely delcine if they try to sign me up to be induced. Karis was such an incredibly healthy baby since she had time to grow so big -- she nursed so well and could eat more and sleep longer. If this baby decides to stay in me 5 days past my due date, I'm willing to take a little longer to heal in order to have such a fat and happy baby! The first week of September we can find out whether we are going to be blessed with a boy or a girl... if we decide to find out. Mark didn't want to find out with Karis, but I wanted to so badly that he gave in. I promised him the next time he could decide. And of course now he likes to drive me crazy by being indecisive :) So who knows...

We don't have a scanner so I can't post the early ultrasound pics of our new baby. So here are pics of Karis doing her favorite thing -- she absolutely loves to get in the big rocker by hereslf! She can climb up on her own and will sit and read and rock for 30 min if I keep supplying her with books :) But she can't get down safely by herself so I have to stay right there. I usually bring in some laundry to fold and a magazine to read while she is having fun in her chair :)


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Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Vaccine Dilemma

When I was pregnant with Karis, I somehow missed all the controversy over vaccines and didn't do any research. I just gave her the vaccines that the doc recommended. But since then, I've heard more and more about problems with vaccinations and I decided that I had to do my research before our next baby is born or Karis gets any more shots. I am still in the throes of research, but I decided to share some good books and websites that I have found because I have had several friends ask me what I plan to do. Right now, I'm thinking that the bad side effects seem to be a lot more common than the diseases and that I should at least delay the shots, if not go without them all together. But I plan to take it shot by shot, and research each one individually, so I can't give a blanket statement about vaccines yet. In general, I think the advice given on the Dr. Weston Price website makes a lot of sense:
1. Wait until the child is at least 2 years old (That way his/her immune system is more fully developed and the vaccine won't affect him as adversely)
2. Do not give more than one vaccination at a time
3. Never vaccinate when the child is sick
4. Supplement the child with extra cod liver oil, vitamin C and vitamin B12 before the vaccination

Since the doctors want to give the Hep B vaccine at birth, that is the one I have been researching first, and I have pretty much decided against it. The National Vaccine Information Center Website pretty clearly explains why this vaccine is unnecessary. I'll not list every reason, but mainly because its a sexually transmitted disease, not common in childhood, its not highly contagious, and its not normally deadly. The vaccine has been linked to immunological and neurological disorders. If my child someday ends up as a doctor or nurse, working with needles regularly, then he/ she could get the vaccine at that time. Its just not necessary at birth and there have been many cases of it being harmful.

Some other websites that I have found helpful for research are:
Mothering.com
info on specific vaccines
Knowvaccines.com
more on individual vaccines

Some books I would recommend:
The Vaccine Book -- Sears -- describes in detail every possible vaccine; it tells you exactly what is in each vaccine and what is potentially harmful. He also offers a reasonable delayed vaccine schedule
How To Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor -- Mendelsohn -- somewhat anti-doctor, but great reference for any childhood illness or problem; helps you to know when to wait it out and when to go to the doctor; also has an enlightening chapter on vaccines


And for those of you who think a post is worthless without pics of Karis, here she is having fun at her Papa's pool:

Always trying to steal Grandma's pretty beaded flops :)
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Better, but still a little pitiful :(

My poor little baby has been so sick. Monday night was horrible. She was up pretty much all night with a high fever. Around 1:00am, it hit 104.5 and didn't break until after 3:00am. It was very scary and thankfully she is much better today. Still very fussy and tired, but the fever is gone. And I give a lot of credit to my Christian Holistic Family doc. This sickness was almost identical to what Karis had several months ago. That time, I took her to the regular pediatrician and they did a strep test, flue test, took blood in several places, and even put her on a catheter. And they never did figure out what it was, so they just gave her a strong antibiotic shot to cover their bases. And I really don't want her having any antibiotics unless absolutely necessary! I swore to not let that happen again if at all possible. So I took her to a lady in our church who does homeopathic, holistic medicine (I'll explain it better in a post later on) and she quickly diagnosed Karis with viral meningitis. Its not the deadly bacterial one that you hear about most often; its not heard of as much because it is often misdiagnosed as the flu. As I researched it later, I learned that it usually takes a spinal tap to diagnose. It perfectly described my poor miserable baby and I was so glad I saved her from another trip to the doctor's that would assuredly been as painful as the last. She also made a remedy for Karis that seemed to give a lot of improvement by the next day. Praise God that we are making it through this!
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bedtime fun

Thought you might enjoy seeing what bedtime is like at the DeLong house....full of cuddles and hysterical tickles and laughter. Sometimes I wonder how in the world she crashes so nicely by 6:30 every evening...


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Monday, July 14, 2008

Playing ball with Daddy :)

Well, Karis still had her fever for most of the day and it almost reached 104, which is just a little scary. I try not to give her Tylenol because I know that fever is the body's way of fighting whatever this is, but when it gets that high, I feel like I have to give her something. The only time she will even get out of my arms is for about 30 min after the Tylenol kicks in. The rest of the day she has been snuggling with me (which I love, of course, although I worry that she gets too hot with our combined body heat) or in her crib. Tomorrow I am taking her to our Christian Holistic Family doc so hopefully we can avoid a trip to the pedi. with all their blood-taking and antibiotics.

Here are two clips of Mark playing with Karis outside that I took on Friday afternoon. In the first one, he is helping her kick the ball, which she thinks is the most fun ever! In the second one, she is showing off her soccer skills by herself :)

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fun weekend, but sick now :(

My folks came down to visit this weekend and we had a lot of fun hanging out with them and my brother's family. Karis and Keaton, who is about 6 weeks older than she is, really interacted a lot more than ever before. They talked to each other so much that it made me think that babies must really have their own language :) We sure didn't know what they were saying to each other!

So we had such a fun weekend, but unfortunately, Karis woke up with a fever this morning and pretty much hasn't wanted to get out of my arms today. I had to wake her up from her nap after 3 hours to make sure she was getting enough to eat and then she went right back to sleep! I'm hoping it is just that she is getting her molars in, but I'm not sure. Pray that she gets better soon!

Karis and Keaton both loved having Papa Jones read to them :)


They were also quite fascinated by the window

On Saturday afternoon, we had fun babysitting Keaton while his parents had a date. We filled up the baby pool and let them go at it! It was really cute to see them having so much fun together :)


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Finally wearing the sunglasses :)

Sorry I've neglected the blog this week -- we decided at the last minute to make a trip to VA to check out a couple jobs and see some of our favorite people! We were so excited to spend an evening with Gavin and Casey, who have been in Africa forever, it seems, and Samy and Mary, who are going to have a precious baby any day now! We have missed these friends so much and just had a wonderful time together. Thanks Nina and Papa, for babysitting so we could stay out late! We also had fun at my folks' house, relaxing and swimming.

We finally talked Karis into wearing her sunglasses for a little while. She actually gets excited about them and will start clapping her hands for herself for wearing them :) Its pretty cute, but you never know how long she will keep them on.



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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Couldn't sleep through Daddy's preaching :)

I've been trying a new strategy with Karis at church -- if I skip her morning nap, then I've been able to get her to fall asleep in the Ergo carrier for most of the service. Its been so much easier than trying to make her be still for as long as possible and then chasing her around the back of the church. And it has worked perfectly...until today. It looked like everything was going to go as normal...she fell asleep by the end of the singing and I was just heading back to sit down when Mark took the microphone to start preaching. As soon as she heard his voice, she woke up and started screaming, fighting to get out of the carrier and reaching out towards him. I realized that she was just not going to be able to sleep as long as she heard her Daddy's voice and was kinda worried that she would be trying to get to him the whole time. I started heading toward the door, but one of the pastors and his wife offered to entertain her while I listened to Mark's sermon. She really enjoyed them and I really enjoyed the break and being able to focus on Mark's sermon:) Thanks Alan and Margaret! Daddy did a great job and I guess I won't plan on a nap for Karis anymore if she is in earshot of her Daddy :)

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Peanut butter allergy and a picky eater :)

Well, its official. Karis has a severe peanut allergy. I took her to the allergist yesterday to see how bad it was and on a scale of 1 to 5, she was a five. Who knew? So now we have to keep benedryl and an epi pen on hand at all times and read the label of every store bought food item. Fun, fun. I just feel badly that she will never be able to experience the joy of one of my favorite foods. And its probably my fault -- the allergist said that because peanut allergies have become so common and early exposure to peanuts is the biggest catalyst, no one should eat peanut butter during the 3rd trimester or while nursing. OOOOPPPPPS! I happen to be a peanut-butter-a-holic and definitely had peanut butter at least once a day during the entirety of my pregnancy and nursing. Wish someone had told me it could give my baby an allegy for the rest of her life! Oh, well. My Mom can't eat peanut butter either, so she uses some yummy almond-honey butter that I suppose will now be our staple. Way more expensive, but not dangerous to my baby! Oh, and the allergist also recommends not eating milk products during the 3rd trimester and nursing since milk allergies are so common. Not sure if I can do that one, but since Karis did have a mild milk allergy the first year of her life, I'm considering it. I haven't really wanted to drink milk this pregnancy anyways, but yogurt and cheese are my favs.

Picky, picky -- my baby has gone a little crazy on me with eating. She will often either refuse to try something new or, if its something that she loves, she will take several bites, play with it, and then fuss for something different. I guess she's just getting bored with her food. If she wasn't in the low 5th percentile in weight, I'd probably just say "all done" when she pulls that stunt, but I've got to make sure she gets enough calories! So I'm trying to give her more options initially so that she doesn't think that fussing will get her anywhere and I'm also feeding her every couple of hours. That way, if she does fall apart and I just have to say "all done," then at least I know she can make up for it pretty soon. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to let me know. I'm pretty sure its just a stage she is going through, so hopefully it will pass soon. I just can't afford to let her be a spoiled, demanding baby or let her lose weight, either.

I also just wanted to praise God that I can cook again without the smells making me feel so sick! Yay! I still feel icky several times a day, but I can tell I am slowly getting better. The second trimester will come eventually! I celebrated by cooking up 5 lbs of ground beef and 12 lbs of chicken and making all kinds of casseroles and meas to freeze just in case I lose my ability to handle cooking smells again. It was pretty rough on my poor husband for a couple of weeks and I wanted to make sure we had some ready-made meals on hand just in case!
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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The 15 min hat and Walmart crocs

Ok, so this is the only pic you'll see of Karis in her hat because it only lasted 15 minutes. And you'll probably never see the sunglasses because they won't stay on either :) As soon as she realizes they are on her face, off they go! But I just have to say that the purple crocs from Walmart are probably the greatest 5 dollar investment we ever made! She absolutely loves them, for one thing, and will bring them to me all day long to put on her feet. And they were absolutely perfect for the beach because she could run up and down the coastline without hot sand burning her toes or sharp shells cutting her little feet. And as you can tell from the second pic, they even stayed on well in ankle deep water.


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