Before we get onto other business, I should start with some sleep highlights, it's only right, I know you have all been waiting with baited breath...
Firstly, starting the day before Christmas Eve Levi began doing an 8 hour stretch at night (and would then go back for another few hours before getting up for the day)...it was good while it lasted. A Christmas miracle if you like. Last night we were back to a 6.5 hour stretch, I'll still take it!
He has started taking two, 2 hours naps in the day. This is great but it pushes bedtime back to 8 or 9pm.
I love our video monitor. It has let me see that twice in the last few days he has woken up mid nap, chatted a little and then put himself back to sleep for another hour or so. I am really hoping that this helps him put himself to sleep in a month or so when we implement some sleep training...It will certainly help me to know he can do it (and that he can sleep 8 hours without feeding!)
He has more recently started taking a long time to settle to sleep for naps and for night so it's only reinforcing my desire to sleep train him. I want to be able to read him a story, sing a song, and put him down to sleep. None of this endless rocking and shushing and nursing to sleep.
And now onto other business;
Pretty sure Levi is ready to start eating actual food. He grabs at everything we eat and watches us intently when we lift fork to mouth, his bright eyes pleading for a taste. He is a pro at drinking sips of water from our glasses or cups. The recommendation here in the U.S. is to wait until 6 months even though the more general rule in sometime between 4-6 months. On January 11th he will be 5 months old so we might use that as our compromise. I think that avocado puree will be his first food...goodness knows I am less than excited to see how this new food affects his diaper contents but I guess its all just part of the process. And my excitement to be making food for him is a pretty strong incentive too. He's growing up so fast.
I have been feverishly truing to capture these early days and months on camera, in pictures and video clips so that I can remember them in spite of the sleep deprivation that they include. I was going to make a photo scrapbook for his first year, but realised after starting that this would be a huge book. Instead I decided to break it into books covering three months at a time. I had the first one finished and ready to get printed for when I had a coupon, and Shutterfly did a 40% off promotion - don't mind if I do! I have just worked to get all our Christmas pictures into the second book. It is so much easier, and less intimidating to this project one event at a time rather than trying to do the whole 3 months at once. Especially because I am much more likely to have 10 minutes to work on it than I am to have scraped out 5 straight hours.
I often wonder if we had other children how much of this type of memory keeping I would have time to do for them. Levi gets his memory book and calendar completed every month, pictures taken for every month 'birthday' as well as the photo books...that's a little overkill I know, but it's my love language or something? I can't help it, I just love to do it.
Speaking of, I think that watching Levi grow so quickly has truly affirmed my desire for more babies in our family (it was never really a question, but we were not sure if we would try again for another pregnancy or move straight to adoption). As the new year approaches and people begin to voice hopes and dreams for the coming year, its hard for my heart to find peace. I would love for the coming year to include another pregnancy - just some of it, not the whole 9 month shabang, that would be crazy. We have many, many friends who will be welcoming babies into their lives in 2013 and it is hard not to envy their ease of process.
We can pray and hope that we will be blessed for a second time, but as we know there are no guarantees. Starting the process means we open ourselves up to the possibility of loss, or even losses. It might seem silly to even be thinking about this stuff now, after all it will probably be almost a year before we make any sort of decision one way or another but hoping that 2013 will be a "fruitful" year weighs heavy.
I guess it goes to show that the sleepless nights, and the stress and worry that babies bring does nothing to stop a mother's (and father's) heart from desiring more little ones to make their families feel complete. We believe there are still more to come before we will feel that way about our family. Whether they end up being biological or adopted we have a longing and a belief we have yet to meet all our brood.
If it comes to mind please pray for us and our family as we consider our options and seek the Lord for direction in this new year.