Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last Week in May

Thanks to Auntie Amber for coming to visit me, for the sweet gifts, for changing my diaper pretty much all weekend. Aren't you glad I didn't pee on you?

Go Twins! I'm a fan even when they aren't any good.

I have some great aunts, that's for sure!

One Month Old!
Okay, I didn't eat this cupcake. I'm a milk-only kind of guy.

-Eli

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Full Days.

These days have been full, meaningful.

  • Auntie Amber came to visit on Thursday. It's like having a nanny. Love.
  • Eli was a month old on Friday. Adorable as ever... photos to come.
  • Saturday was Grammy's birthday! We sure miss our loving, talented, hard-nosed mom and grammy! My sister and I sang her Happy Birthday on the phone and her immediate response was "you sing as beautifully as you always have." This really means "you still sing crappy." But the beauty of family - she loves us anyway.
And today... well, one year ago today was Maelee's Day. We had our daughter's burial service on a bright, sunny beautiful day in Buffalo surrounded by great people. It was a hard day for us, bringing finality to Maelee's death. It was a moving day, seeing so many friends and family rallying behind us. It was a peaceful day, being reminded of the Truth and promise for the day when all things will be as they ought to be.

And one year later, we are enjoying our sweet rainbow baby boy.


We miss you dear big sister.

-Heather

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Grunter.

We have a nickname for our four-week old: The Grunter (mostly said with a German accent for additional amusement). He's full of grunts and noises. Normally this is fine and fun. However it can be a tad embarrassing when he is obviously grunting to get out a BM (like during Sunday's sermon). Also, his consistent noises are hard for the light sleeper in me as I'm still learning to sleep through those and awake only when he is really crying (not sure if that's attainable).

We love Eli and are blessed to have him (noises and all) for the past four weeks. Here's a video of some of his noises... if you want to spend one minute & nineteen seconds of your life watching it, go ahead!

video

Also to note: I have done this whole post typing with just my right hand while I hold this fussy boy in my left. I feel a bit more like a mother for accomplishing it. Grateful I have the use of both my hands normally... chicken scratch is so not time efficient!

-H

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Correlation.

I have found in the last weeks there is a direct correlation to Eli's sleeping/eating behavior and my own productivity and general outlook on life...

But wait! I have said before how I very much do not want my life to revolve around my kids. I want balance, perspective.

Oh but we are finding this to be a bit difficult. First off, he's a miracle. Hard to focus elsewhere when you have a little miracle around you. Secondly, he's adorable. Third, he's fairly consuming at this point in his newborn life.

Sometime last week our little guy started on a crazy every-two-hour-if-not-more feeding schedule. He rarely made it more than two hours from the start of one feeding to another. It wouldn't be so hard if he slept in between... but often getting the poop/gas out prevented him from a nice, deep sleep. Poor 'lil guy!

As a result, I didn't get anything accomplished over the weekend. Nada. My list is long, of course, but alas, nothing was crossed off. Brushing my teeth was an accomplishment. Good thing Greg was around else I would have looked like.... well, let's not go there. Still functioning, still thankful to be in this state... but just not able to do anything else but be Eli's mom (and food source).

My family will understand the extent of my sleeplessness when I say: I didn't take a single photo of Eli for three days.

All that to say... I'm really banking on the last days being a growth spurt in our little man. ?!?! That's reasonable, right?!?!

I'm hoping that's the case. Last night our boy slept for FOUR hours in one stretch... then another THREE hours! Ah, sweet, sweet sleep. I am hoping to get at least a line or two crossed off my list and maybe even venture outside (if I can handle the heat). And I will keep trying, asking for a life lived with the right perspective.

And of course, I'll take some photos. Here's a few from yesterday... I think you can agree Eli is filling out.

Blue eyes!

I think he got my large tongue.

I have a few rolls now!

Notice the pee on the couch. We went through quite a few outfits yesterday...

-Heather

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Due Date 2.


Today is actually Eli's official due date. I am one happy camper that our boy has been outside the womb for the past three weeks versus still inside. In honor of that, I thought I'd take a short video and post it. It's mainly Eli having the hiccups... but that's what he was doing 20 minutes ago when I got this bright idea. You should be glad it's not video of 25 minutes ago... when he christened the play mat with a never-before-seen amount of monumental spit up.

video

-Heather

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bring On Your Opinions.

I wasn't able to do a lot of planning when pregnant with Eli. I just couldn't do a ton of research not knowing if I was going to get to bring him home... just one of the affects of losing Maelee.

So here's another chance for you, if you are so inclined and have opinions, to share.

1. Any must-read caring-for-baby or parenting books or sites? I am not going to jump on some bandwagon and never get off (not my style... I'm just too laid back for that) but if you have found a gem, let me know. Or if you have a magical sleep solution, let me in on your secret.

2. Any solutions for diaper rash? Favorite cream/paste? Our fair-skinned sweetie is going to have some skin issues for sure.

3. For our loves-to-soothe-by-sucking boy... pacifier or thumb thoughts? And I'm not joking here... Eli just gave Greg a hicky on his arm.

Weigh in by commenting or emailing or messaging me!

-Eli's mom

Three Weeks Old.

Taken a few minutes ago:
Our grunting, cooing, sleep-loving, every two-hour feeding, much adored little man has been alive and healthy for three weeks now. What grace! What joy!

-Heather

Monday, May 16, 2011

Food.

Eli smiles a lot right after eating.

Last night was the hardest as far as Eli not sleeping. He's actually been pretty good the last week. But last night was a rough one and I'm running on a few hours here. Please know that I'm grateful for my lack of sleep... it means I am responsible for this alive baby! It's not going to be easy (I so get why sleep deprivation is a means of torture) but I'm up for it. Literally! Ha!

I say that to say... I was going to make me some peanut butter toast for lunch. I burned the toast. Badly. And I was too tired to try again. It's just sitting on the plate all black. So I opened a bag of animal crackers, ate some of those, and sat on the couch. I'm not proud of this... I'm just prefacing the whole southern tradition of people making meals for you as one awesome thing.

Thanks to those that have expressed interest in making a meal for us now that our family is gone. Ya'll are sweet. Some friends created an online meal schedule thing so for the few of you that have asked, you can go here to view it and sign up if you are into this sort of thing. Our bellies thank you.

What Fun Was Had...

Greg and I are blessed to both have our parents alive and healthy. And both are still married (in fact, none of our grandparents are/were divorced). What a lineage for us and Eli! And our parents love us and we enjoy being around them. Pretty great, eh? After Maelee died, our parents spent a good bit of time together as grieving grandparents. So one of our greatest joys with Eli was for each of them to get to be celebrating together with us.

To our parents: Thanks for coming, loving on us, being willing to help out where needed, making wonderful food, cleaning our house, letting us use your kindles, doing laundry almost constantly, changing Eli (and getting peed on), driving me around, buying groceries and toilet paper and diapers and who knows what else... we cannot say thank you enough!

We took a short trip to a plantation house 45 minutes from us because our parents like history... and because we figured we should do something besides sit in our living room and watch Eli.

They match! My parents with their first and favorite grandson.

Eli's Grammy and Grandma. We went out to eat at Mr. Bunky's after our outing to the plantation. This photo was taken there but doesn't represent Mr. Bunky's hardware store/restaurant/meat market at all. Seriously. It was such an experience I'm saving it for it's own post.

What a GREAT photo of our little man with his beloved Grandma and Grandpa Kasowski. Joy! Real quick Kasowski story: yesterday Greg blessed our food with the Kasowski prayer and right when we ended with the "rah, rah" Eli grunted. It was awesome.

This post is mainly about the grands... but we must give a shout out to Auntie Amy! She came and loved on Eli and we all know he adores her. She (and Andrew) gave him sweet gifts including great Twins and Bears gear (including a Bears Mr. Potato Head!), a bag full of puppets (which have already been used by Greg), and the meatballs movie! Amy also made us all watch Tangled together smooshed in our living room... and we all liked it!

Eli wants to say: "Thanks again to my grandparents! I love you!"

Eli is one seriously blessed boy for having two family lines that are so loving and downright awesome!

-Heather

Not a Zero.

A few days ago a lady from our insurance company called. She was verifying things about Eli's birth and whatnot. In the middle of our conversation she, referencing her records, said the statement: "but you have other kids at home." This caused me to pause and say "Well, no, our daughter was stillborn last year." And then I had to clarify our whole history. Then she said something that made me want to throw the phone across the room: "Well, they really should have entered this as zero."

I'm sorry, lady, but my daughter is NOT a zero. I gave birth to her beautiful 6lbs 8ozs of being. I cannot just erase her life, her one way-too-short life, to a zero.

Don't ever make the mistake of telling someone that has had a loss that because their child is gone that they don't matter, that they don't count. I know that for stillbirths that often means there isn't a correct box to check... I know it doesn't always fit in nicely or matter for insurance purposes. But I don't care! It matters to me. She matters to me.

Maelee will always be our firstborn. Having Eli is beyond-words wonderful. And someday I'll tell you all about how my emotions are going all over the place missing her while having him. But for now, join with me in not letting Maelee be a zero.

-Heather

By the way, even though the lady upset me with the way she went about our conversation (a little sensitivity goes a long way folks), I was not a jerk to her and I answered all her questions (she was doing her job). Lesson to remember: People ticking you off is not a ticket to get to be nasty (appreciate that southern wording!).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Gaining.

Eli gained a whole pound in a week! At our doctor's visit yesterday he weighed 7lbs. 12.5 ozs. So we can kiss our jaundice worries away because our boy is gaining weight and eating lots (meaning he poops and pees with the best of 'em).

Last night was the first night we haven't had to change his clothes from the evening 'til morning... he has always, always peed through everything (and everyone!). However, we tried a new brand of diapers last night and they must be more suited to his small butt. Or his cute 'lil bum is just getting big enough for diapers. We'll see.

Our household is getting ready to experience our next new normal. Greg's parents flew out this morning and mine leave tomorrow morning. We are just bummed all the grandparents won't be here to love on us. And I'm actually going to have to do work around the house! I've been so very, very spoiled this last month. I wish you all could have my mom and mother-in-law come and serve you for a month... we are talking legendary service in all things domestic.

More photos of our last week with "the grands" coming soon!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandpa Dale!

It's Grandpa Dale's birthday today! He doesn't really care much about his birthday... but I (Eli) am sure glad to get to spend the day with him.

My Grandpa Dale's hands are so HUGE! I think my hands will be like his someday. I like to have him hold me and I usually always fall asleep (even though he tries to get me to wake up) because his hands are comfy and his voice is so soothing.

3 Generations of Goofy Kasowskis

Dale Joseph
Gregory Joseph
Eli Joseph

I'm so glad to get my middle name (and a plethora of great traits) from two solidly amazing and handsome men!

Happy Birthday Grandpa K! I love you!

-Eli

Okay, Eli's mom is writing these posts and soon I'll get back to writing not from Eli's perspective... but it's just so fun to get to put words in his mouth!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Two Weeks Old.

My mommy sat me up (not cool - I'm only two weeks old and can't even hold my head up) just to take my photo in my cute outfit. I am cute though, eh?

-Eli

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Relatives.

Meeting Vivi via web cam. She's older and wiser.

Meeting Grandpa Dale. He's good at waking me up.

Auntie Amy lovin' on me.

I marked Grandpa Lloyd as my territory today.

-Eli

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Great Photographer...

Took some photos of our boy this morning. And here's a link to the sneak peak of some of the pics. What an awesome photographer that we already have a few great shots to see! Click here and get ready to see one seriously sweet boy!

It's an odd day for us. Maelee would be 13 months old today if she were here. And we spent it getting to take newborn photos of our rainbow boy. What a blessing.

AND the family has arrived! Grandpa Dale, Grandpa Lloyd and Auntie Amy are now all here. Let the celebrating and spoiling and fun begin!

-Heather

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One Week Old!

Eli Joseph Kasowski - One Week Old Today!
*getting his sunlight for the day*

A very well loved little man.

Family.

With two loving grandmas!

Before Dad left for work today... Eli's doing a bit of stretching (notice the short pants already).

-Heather

Scatterbrain Mom Thoughts.

I have a ton of thoughts rolling around in my head, a plethora of blog posts topics. However, I have a newborn baby (!!!) so I the time to formulate them all into nice posts isn't going to happen!

Here is my attempt to tell you a few of these thoughts, short and sweet:

1. You know how I thought we had way too many 0-6 month clothes and was worried he wouldn't wear them all? That was before I realized how often he needs to be changed due to random bodily fluids on his clothes. Seriously. At 3am last night I ran out of good options for him to sleep in! And only because the Grandmas took one day off from laundry! So no worries if you gave Eli that. I now feel like he will get to wear it all.

2. I am grateful that Eli looks like his daddy. I usually can't tell if newborns look like anyone but a generic old man, but I guess when it's your own kid you can see a bit more. And I see his daddy. And that makes me happy. Especially because he's got long limbs like him and will hopefully not be the shortest kid in class like me.

3. On clothes: one week in and I'm a big fan of anything with feet in them.

4. Eli likes his hands by his face. Eli loves to be on his side. Eli is lazy and needs to be stimulated a lot in order to eat like he's supposed to. Eli has awesome faces.

5. I hope everyone was able to appreciate the post on his name. Since we ended up heading into the hospital that day, some may have missed it. And even though at the doctor's office on Monday they called him "Ellie", I still think his name is perfect. Just like his sister's name.

6. I miss our daughter being here. Greg and I have often thought how crazy stressfully awesome it would be if our almost 13-month old was here exploring and experiencing her new brother with us. We still grieve her even with the monumental blessing having Eli here alive. We still remember her.

7. We are blown away thankful for the out-pouring of love towards us. God created us to live in community for a reason. Even though I consider myself a fairly private person (yep, I do have a bubble), we have shared our lives through this blog and elsewhere and have been blessed. You have cared. You have prayed for Eli's safe arrival. You have loved. You have encouraged us when we needed it badly. You have remembered Maelee. You have been curious, from all around the world. I hope that we can love people like we have been loved this past year.

8. A lot of what we grieved with Maelee is being fulfilled (ie, using the car seat, sleepless nights, baby crying in the house, Greg coming home from work to baby and me, posting photos of a growing, live baby, this list goes on and on). We still miss that we didn't get to do these things with her. It doesn't take away our loss of her but it does help the heart.

9. Eli's a little messed up with his days/nights. But this is a problem I am so willing to have. I get a little emotional, wanting to be doing right by him, but overall, I am just so thankful he's here. I do feel overwhelmed at getting to be a parent on earth (thinking "I have NO idea what I'm doing!?!" and "I can't believe they just let you go home with one of these things!?"). Anywho, we have an appointment tomorrow to check his jaundice so we'll keep you updated.

10. How do people do this without family to help? I think I may try imitate Eli and whimper "don't go!!!" when our moms leave.

11. We hope to see you Sunday at church or from 2-4ish at our place for Meet Eli Day. Eli's already excited. If you can't make it, hopefully we can work out a time soon for you to meet our son. Being that it's Mother's Day, we understand if you got plans spoilin' your momma.

12. I think that's one of the first times I wrote "our son." Pretty. Darn. Awesome.

13. If I were to do one of those thankful posts, I would be typing for a really long time.

14. I find this stage of bringing home a newborn really selfish. I mean there is a ton going on out there in the world. This is oddly similar to how things were in the midst of our deep grief, too. A whole world going on but you are completely focused on one thing. Don't get me wrong: I love our "one thing". But soon I hope I can refocus a bit. Eli doesn't need a helicopter parent.

15. I like to end on a good number. I'll post a photo of EJK tonight.

-Heather

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Get To!

I GET to post photos of my child as my facebook profile photo. I get to change it often as he grows. I can't tell you how much I have wanted to do that for a long, long time. I wish everyone I know that wants a baby or has lost a baby could get to do that.

Here's a few I posted on facebook of birth through today (click on the image of our doctor and the boy to open the album):



And we were worried about Eli not getting enough to eat. But thanks to my milk coming in, I think we are on the up and up. I think he's peed through 5 outfits today (mostly thanks to running out of the preemie size diapers and going to newborn... and Eli's non-existent butt). It's awesome.

Daddy went to work today (he went to bed at 7pm last night and even woke up to take Eli duty a few times). Daddy is our super hero for sure!

-Heather

Sunday, May 1, 2011

We Are Home. Again.

Thanks for praying for Eli. Prayers are answered!

We got to come home late this afternoon. Eli's jaundice got better, he's breastfeeding better, milk is better, we both got mini-naps today... all wonderful things!

We are feeding every two hours and are completely sleep-deprived. It's awesome. I may not be getting anything else done but most things don't really need to get done anyway.

I have definitely transitioned from freaking out about getting him here alive (oh what wonder of wonders that is so!) to freaking out about any and every other thing that can go wrong. Please pray for that anxiety.

To feed and then to bed,

-Heather

You're Invited...

To Meet Eli!

Because we know how much you want to see him alive and thriving, too!

Assuming all goes well this week and our boy is healthy... we would like to invite you to our place next Sunday, May 8th in the afternoon for a Meet Eli Day! It's going to be drop in whenever you'd like, nothing formal, but finally a chance for many of you to at least see our boy! We'll have some little snacks for you to enjoy, too.

We would also like to invite you to join us at Riverbend Community Church for Eli's baby dedication happening at the 11:00am service on the same day (Sunday, May 8th - also Mother's Day!). We would love for you to join us in this very special service where we take time to praise God for His faithfulness and grace towards us in allowing us to have Eli and where we commit to raising him to love Jesus, too.

The service will be done around 12:15 or 12:30pm. If you want to join us for the Meet Eli Day that afternoon, stop by our house anytime from 2:00 - 4:00pm that day. I'll try really hard for him to be fed and napping during that time, but we'll see! Regardless, join us for a few minutes if you would like! Our parents and Auntie Amy will be here so you'll be able to meet and greet them, too.

We look forward to seeing you again friends!

Oh and one more important note: Please, please don't feel obligated to buy our boy a gift. If you want to, that's fine... just know we don't expect it one iota. He has enough 0-6 month clothes (thanks to some great hand-me-downs from sweet friends!)... so try refrain from that for sure! But it is so hard not to buy those adorable little onesies! I know! We did an amazon registry which you can find here or by going to www.amazon.com/babyregistry and searching for our names so feel free to use that as a guide if you are so inclined. But no worries!

Now to eat some lunch, feed my boy and take a little naaaapppp.....zzzzzz.....

-Heather

Hot Off The Press.

Photo taken less than 10 minutes ago!

Eli is doing better. His jaundice went way down which is wonderful... though since he's been off the light in the last hours he's gotten more yellow again. They'll check his levels again at 2pm. Because he got so dehydrated, he was on IV fluids plus I was breastfeeding and pumping and we were supplimenting with some formula as well. Basically a lot of fluids! And then we went off everything this morning after he was doing so well and are trying to just solely breastfeed (hoping my milk comes in full force today). He hasn't had as many wet or dirty diapers as we are hoping since then. It will be interesting to hear the results. But we are still hoping we may get to go home today.

He was a fussy boy last night so his momma and daddy are still very sleep deprived. Oh wow are we tired! Even with all this, it surely doesn't take away our joy or thankfulness for Eli's life. But it is hard. And all this craziness means I haven't checked my phone, email, blog or facebook except for once or twice. So apologies for the lack of response on my part!

But for all you in our hometown of Williston... you won't be able to check the blog or be online anyway with your crazy ice storm that leaves you without power, electricity, heat, gas! I guess I am starting to see why Greg's parents moved... and why my parents are moving. Ice storm in April. Good 'ol ND.

It's odd to think of all that going on while we are completely focused on getting Eli better. In fact, it's just odd to think life is normal out there for everyone else. I had the same thought last year after Maelee died - it made me mad to know life went on for others. Our life change with Eli here hasn't made me mad at the world at all... more like flabbergasted and excited and scared that this is our new life and desperately hoping we don't screw up!

We'll try keep you updated on our boy's status. But he did want me to tell you all that he thinks you're pretty great.

-Heather