Thursday, January 30, 2014

So. Many. Things.

1. I combined our two blogs into one. Two reasons: a. It's no longer Waverly's world with two babies, so the title, In a Waverly World, no longer works and my mind is too lazy to think of a new one, and b. I can barely keep up with one blog these days, much less two.

2. In 5 days we will celebrate 3 months of Elodie's precious life!

You know that saying, "If we'd had the second one first, we wouldn't have had anymore"? Well, I'm not saying that is necessarily true in our case, but maybe it's a little true... We were able to take Elodie home to Madagascar at about 4 weeks old. Up to that point, things were great and by great, I mean, she was still alive and we were headed back to unfamiliar territory (i.e., raising a baby in a third-world country) looking like deer in headlights. We were like first-time parents again, just in a different way.

When we got home, Elodie's true colors started to show and she cried all the time (I dedicated my last post solely to how much she cried). I kind of thought, with my motherly instinct, that something might be wrong. I threw out theories, such as, colic and acid reflux, but Chandler was convinced that she just hated the world. I started to believe him since she wasn't spitting up and her symptoms weren't directly aligned with colic. But what a mood-killer, huh, to think my kid just hates the world and we'll just have to suck it up...

So, needless to say, those were some of the most difficult weeks of our time in Madagascar. So much so, that I reached out to our medical team in South Africa, begging for help. The long-short is that we are in South Africa where Elodie has visited the pediatrician. He sent her for an ultrasound and 2 hours later, my instincts were proven true: Elodie has acid reflux and is colicky. She also has allergies, but South Africa does that to a person. The next day we started her on Nexium, gas/colic drops, and saline drops for her to nose to clear out the congestion.

It's been about 5 days and we are seeing some improvement! She's not incessantly crying and she is nursing better. She's more content between feedings and we've even managed to coax some giggles!

Elodie sleeps between 7 and 10 hours a night, loves ceiling fans (like, they make her smile as if she and the fan are sharing some inside joke), and recognizes Mom and Dad, of course, but also her big sister which makes Waverly oh so happy.

Speaking of Waverly, I don't know if we could have created a funnier kid. She definitely keeps us laughing and on our toes. For instance, the one afternoon she shimmied her whole body through the bars of her open window during rest time so she could go play with her friends on the playground... Yeah, our 3 year old snuck out of her room. We should've seen the signs. Just that morning, she told me,
"Mommy, I can get out of the window."
"No, you can't," I replied.
"Well, I can get my foot through," she answered, matter-of-factly.
And sure enough, she proved it. But we weren't sure how to punish her. She had no mal-intent, she just wanted to play with her friends and well, it was difficult to hide our astonishment and awe. With a careful talking to and instructions to not open her curtains anymore, we haven't had problems since. But we might be in trouble in a few years...

Anyway, she is as full of life, as always, and looks forward to starting school at the French School in Fort Dauphin in September. We are confident she will flourish there with the mix of Malagasy children and other ex-pat children at the school and in her class. She will have the opportunity to learn French and a little Malagasy, along with the usual studies: calendar, math, reading, etc. At home we are working on letters and she is almost able to write the shortened version of her name: Wave. The "e" gives her a bit of trouble still.

Despite the constant movement of our life, Waverly is quick to adjust and take the changes in stride. We are so proud of her and her resilience and zeal for life.

3. This summer, we will be hosting the first of many short-term mission teams! Our home church, Porter Memorial Baptist Church, is sending two teams, one in May and one in July, to work alongside us in Androy land. We are looking forward to seeing familiar faces and hopefully, giving them the opportunity to bless our people, but also be blessed by their experiences in Madagascar. We are excited to offer the chance for our church family to experience missions at a very grassroots, pre-early church level!

Gosh, what else... maybe that's all for now. My hope is that with just one blog, I will be able to keep it updated more regularly. :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Two Months.

One word to describe Elodie: relentless. When she gets crying, nothing will stop her except being held and walked around. Absolutely relentless. I don't think I could have sketched two more opposite babies, than Waverly and Elodie. I thought I was mentally prepared for our second baby to be different than our first, but now I realize there really isn't any preparation for that kind of thing, just expectation.

If I ever felt an abundance of confidence in the parenting department, I have, most certainly, been humbled by this new presence in our family.

It's really not been easy from the beginning. In the hospital, Elodie would have preferred to sleep 4 or more hours between feedings and, more often than not, I had to wake her up in the middle of the night to feed. At her 3 week checkup, she had gained only ounces above her birthweight and while I half expected it, having the same issue with Waverly, it still caught me by surprise. And I cried, thinking we'd have the same difficulties that we did with Waverly and breastfeeding would be, once again, unsuccessful. But we put her on a strict feeding schedule, supplemented a formula bottle once each night, and have since reached a gloriously happy breastfeeding medium.

Now our life is challenging in other ways. Have I mentioned that Elodie is relentless? Because this also came as a surprise to us since she was such a laid back newborn. Maybe she also misses the ease and comfort of "first worldliness" in South Africa. Just kidding. She doesn't care about that.

Seriously, though, she cries all. the. time. And just for good measure, she's strong as a baby ox. In the womb, I knew she would be a strong little baby as her legs and arms stretched into my ribs requiring more than just gentle coaxing to relieve my pain. My theory has been proven as true and in one of her fits of anger, she flails her arms, stretches her legs, and sends her head into a twirl and it becomes nearly impossible to keep a hold on her.

However, despite how difficult she can be, my heart overflows with love for her. It's amazing. I never feared that my heart would not love her like I love her sister, but until it actually happened, I didn't understand the possibility of my love multiplying. And her smiles are absolutely priceless. Probably more because they're so few and far between. Maybe she understands the theory of supply and demand...

Y'all she just cried for an hour straight. I timed it. Good thing she's so darn cute!

Sunday, November 24, 2013