"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z = The End

The end?

I know what you're thinking.  "The End" doesn't start with a "Z".  Well dear readers, you have 2 options.  1 - continue reading the post to see what it's about and how they're related.  2 - read the title with a heavy fake French accent to get your zzzz fix.  You choose.

Ok, here goes.  So, the letter "Z" is at the end of the alphabet right?  The theme of this year's A-Z Challenge was baby/Stella/kids right?  Well, that's how it all fits together.  See, just as "Z" is the final letter in our alphabet, Stella is the final child in our family.  I've mentioned this before but it seems like an appropriate time to mention it again seeing as how it fits the theme and ends the theme.

The road to Stella was unexpected and not nearly an easy one.  None of the pregnancies were in fact, but hers was extra dramatic.  Life was crazy during the pregnancy, it was a roller coaster, Amy went on bed rest.  I could go on, but it's nearly a year in the past so it's well over by now and is far behind us.  The blessing that Stella has been to us all has far outweighed the troubles we experienced on the road to have her.  

It was not a decision that Amy and I took lightly when we decided to stop at 3 children.  Sure, we wanted more but it just wasn't the best idea for our family.  God has blessed us with 3 amazing children and Amy and I both feel our family is complete.  This makes it easier as we watch Stella grow and change, hitting and passing milestones.  Sure, sometimes it is bittersweet as we realize that it is the last time we will have a baby doing this or that, but at the same time there is a peacefulness about it.  A sense that everything is as it should be.  As HE would have it be.

So, now you see how "Z" = the end.  Told you it worked.  Although saying it with a French accent works well too!

All is well, 26/26 down and challenge completed, in Drosche Land.        

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y = Yo Gabba Gabba

Yo Gabba Gabba.

You know, the TV show.  On Nick Jr.  With DJ Lance Rock.  And the weird characters.  Well, if you've never seen it, look it up so I don't sound crazy myself for talking about it. It'll give you a frame of reference  for this post.  Go ahead.  I'll wait.

Ok, are you back?  Good.  First of all I have to thank Amy for helping me to think of a topic for this post.  "Y" isn't necessarily a difficult letter, I just hadn't thought of one yet. And here I am, barely getting it squeezed in for the "Y" day!  Yikes!  I'd better get on with it.

Anyways, Yo Gabba Gabba.  It's Stella's first favorite show.  Yes, she watches TV.  Don't judge me.  She doesn't watch it all day and it isn't used as a babysitter.  I know there are tons of people out there that think that kids shouldn't watch TV before a certain age and/or shouldn't watch too much.  Clearly I'm not one of them.  Yes, I know about the studies and correlations to behavior and whatnot.  But, at the same time, for every study that proves one thing, there's at least one study that proves the opposite.  So yes, Stella watches TV.  So do the boys.  We love us some TV in Drosche Land.  I watched TV lots when I was a kid and am still addicted now.  I grew up to be perfectly fine.  Most of the time.  :)

Ok, enough soapbox.  Yo Gabba Gabba.  Stella loves it.  She loves the characters.  The music.  The movement.  She actually dances to it sometimes.  I think it's dancing.  It is a mixture of jerky movements and a rocking/bouncing.  Yeah, I think it's dancing.  We're thinking about a Yo Gabba Gabba theme for her 1st birthday, but I'm not sold on it yet.  We will see.  

With a toddler back in the house these kind of kiddie shows are back.  Truthfully though, they have never fully left as the boys still enjoy watching them, although they won't always admit it.  They actually get a kick out of Yo Gabba Gabba too, but if you ask them, they'll deny it and say it's for babies.  But between you and I, we know the truth!

So, Stella watches TV and she loves Yo Gabba Gabba.  Soon enough the television will be taken over by princesses and fairies I'm sure.  But for now we have these quasi-educational "baby" shows with cutesy songs and characters.  But it keeps us all entertained!

All is well, 25/26 down, in Drosche Land.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X = ?

I'm not sure what x is for today.  

There aren't many words that begin with x period, much less ones that pertain to my theme.  

Stella isn't the 10th child of mine, or even the 10th grandchild so that's out.  

I could describe Stella has having been xanthic when she was a newborn, but I've already blogged about jaundice.

She's not shaped like a sword, so she can't be xiphoid.  Nor is she a toungeless, clawed frog native to South Africa, so xenopus is out.  One of her favorite toys are wooden blocks, which are xyloid objects since they're made of wood, but that wouldn't make for an interesting post.  I've taken hundreds of pictures of her over the past 10 months, but I haven't xeroxed any.

So, I' not sure what to say today.  I could get cutesy and talk about how eXcited I was to finally have a girl.  Or I could once again talk about her cute, chunky, XXL arms and legs.  But I really wanted a word that began with an "X".  Oh well.  I should have foreseen this problem.  Sadly, last year's X post was more interesting I guess.  Although, once again I have to thank Google for helping me, and through me you dear readers, to learn some new words.  Even if it is only for a few minutes while I write this post!  

All is well, 24/26 down, in Drosche Land.  

Friday, April 26, 2013

W = Walking


No, not yet. But soon. Very soon. 

Stella has been cruising around for a few weeks. Holding on to legs, tables, couches, and whatever else she can grasp onto as she works on strengthening her walking skills. She still has a way to go, but we're close.  I'd say maybe a month. By summer for sure. 

Braeden walked very early, around 9 months.  That was crazy.  Jackson waited until a little past his first birthday. I think Stella will be about the same. Quite honestly, even though it means she's growing up quickly, I'm ready for her to walk. I some aspects it will make life easier. She will be able to do more and go where she wants. In other ways it will make life far more difficult. She will be able to do more and go where she wants.  

So we wait. It's the next big milestone for her. She wants it badly too. So badly. She's had a couple of face plants this week at school as she is starting to let go of things to stand unassisted, but she's not been too successful. But she's persistent. And she knows she'll get her way. Eventually. 

All is well, 23/26 down, in Drosche Land. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V = Virus


A dreaded word if you're a parent.  It means your kid is sick.  You knew that.  It also means there is nothing, i.e. medicinal, that you can do to help.  Darn.

If the virus is also accompanied by a fever, as they usually are, then you're also staying home with them until they are fever-free.  Ugh.  

Now, you know we've had our share of sick kids in these parts, but luckily Stella has managed to avoid it for the most part.  Sure, she's been out sick a few times, but nothing compared to what the boys were like at her age or even in recent years.  Amy and I often ponder her good health and why she is blessed with it.  Is it her healthy weight?  Her healthy appetite?  Just luck of the draw?  Whatever the reason we are glad that she is, by far, the healthiest of the 3.

I know I'm tempting fate by publishing this and I hope I don't end up regretting it.  Knowing my luck some sickness will take hold of us here and we'll be at home once again.  Hopefully these gloom and doom thoughts are for naught and all will remain calm in our house for the next month until summer hits.  Ahhhhh, the joy that would bring!

All is well, 22/26 down, in Drosche Land.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U = Ultrasound


The blessed time when you get to see your baby for the first time.  I have always loved seeing the ultrasounds of all of the kids.  Even though, admittedly, I am horrible at seeing/recognizing anything in them.  Luckily for me, Amy is excellent at that.  

We waited the standard allotted time, 20 weeks right?, with the boys.  I remember finding out their genders.  Braeden was our first so we had no clue.  Well, at least I didn't.  Amy knew he was a boy from the start.  The same with Jackson.  Everyone was thinking/wondering if he would be a girl since we had a boy, but Amy knew better.

Stella's pregnancy was different though.  Amy was unsure (shocking I know).  I was hoping it was a girl.  Everyone was hoping it was a girl.  We'd made up our minds to be surprised.  Yeah right!  That didn't last long.  Amy and I gave in but still couldn't wait until 20 weeks so we booked an appointment at an ultrasound place outside of our doctor's office.  We took the boys.  At first she wasn't cooperative at all.  We got great face and body shots, but nothing gender-specific.  We were on the verge of giving up when bam!  GIRL!  We were shocked actually.  I'd been hoping for it but the confirmation still came as a surprise.  The boys were excited, even though they'd both been hoping for a little brother to torment play with.

As soon as we returned to the car we called our families at the same time and shared the joyous news.  It was awesome!  I can still remember it clearly.  I still look at the kids' ultrasound pictures often, we have them in frames at home.  I love seeing them and mentally reliving the time when they were in utero (I love that term).  Great times.  Stressful, but great.

All is well, 21/26 down, in Drosche Land.   

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T = Teeth


A big milestone for any baby.  However, I speculate that Stella is especially pleased with her teeth because they allow her to eat food! She loves to eat and before she had teeth she seemed to be growing tired of pureed food and things she could gum up.  At least that's my impression.  

She currently has 6 teeth and we think that she is working on some new ones.  All of our kids get their first teeth fairly early in life.  Braeden had teeth by 5 months, Jackson and Stella had their first ones come in around 6 months.  Just one of the few things they all share in common.

My favorite part of new teeth is the adorable smile that comes with the new chompers.  Sure, a gummy, toothless smile is cute, but I love the huge grins filled with tiny little teeth.  So cute.

However, in Stella's case (or Amy's rather) the teeth have brought an unfortunate side effect.  Biting.  Stella loves to bite.  Oddly enough the only one she seems to bite is Amy.  Arms, legs, shoulder; no body part is safe from the random roaming nips she gives out.  They're just that too, random.  One minute she's cuddling and all cute, the next it's "OUCH!".  Well at least that's been my observance between Stella and Amy.  It just must be some weird bonding experience they share, albeit one that I am sure Amy wish didn't exist.  Hopefully it will pass soon before it extends to others - family members and classmates.

With the boys we had one of each.  A biter and a bitee (I think that's a word).  I'll let you guess about who was who, but suffice it to say their personalities go hand in hand with their role.  Having had both I really would love to have a bitee again.  Well, I mean I don't want them to get bitten, but it's better than having the kid that bites everyone else's.  Trust me.  Hopefully Stella doesn't take after her younger big brother!  Time will tell!

All is well, 20/26 down, in Drosche Land.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

S = Slobber


Ok, so maybe a more appropriate word would be drool, but I already had a "D" themed word.  So I'll go with slobber.  Plus, trust me, sometimes if is quite applicable in Stella's case.

When this girl teethes, it is like she has sprung a leak.  Neither boy drooled so much when teething.  That or I just hopped in a boat and forgot.  We can always tell when she's teething because the front of her outfit is soaked through and we find little puddles on the floor where she's been.  Thank goodness for tile floors.

This, along with the acid reflux, is a reason why the majority of photos of Stella show her in a bib.  Ugh.  I hate bibs.  I mean, I'm happy for them, they serve a purpose.  But she has so many cute clothes and a soggy bib just ruins the look.  Luckily the spitting up has slowed dramatically and she's holding steady with her 6 teeth so she goes bib-less quite often now!

I do have an affectionate term for her when she is in full on drool mode.  It's the same I used for the boys.  Drool Monkey.  I don't know where it came from, but it fits.  It also makes her laugh.  So it's a win-win.

So, I can't wait for all of her teeth to be in so we can move past this wet stage of life and onto bigger, dryer times!  Until then the bibs and burp cloths are always within reach.  As is an extra, dry outfit!

All is well, 19/26 down, in Drosche Land.  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R = Roly Poly

Roly Poly.  

As in Stella's chunky little legs.  And arms.  And feet.  The girl's got the cutest little fat feet.

A chunky baby is something totally new for us.  Both of the boys, Braeden especially, were long and lanky; sometimes bordering on the scrawny edge of things.  Like little spider monkeys.  But not Stella.  She came out looking just like one of those cute pudgy cherubs.  She loves her milk.  She loves her food.  She's our healthy little eater.  The boys were never really into food and honestly, have just begun to become good eaters on a regular basis.

Just another new learning experience we've had as parents of a little girl.  I'm telling you, everything about this 3rd child has been different than the others.  It's refreshing in a way.  Keeps us on our toes.  Keeps it interesting.  

I have a feeling that Stella will always be a good eater.  She doesn't really have foods that she doesn't enjoy.  She attacks nearly everything we put on her plate with such ferocity that we are often lucky to keep our fingers!  But seriously, she loves to eat.  She even is a noisy eater, especially when she really likes what she is eating, which is often.  She'll sit there and  babble, "mmmmmmm" the entire time she is eating.  It is hilarious!

I'm sure she'll lose her baby fat as she begins to enter toddlerhood, but for now we are enjoying the cute, chubby little baby we have.

All is well, 18/26 down, in Drosche Land.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q = Quiet


Something Stella definitely is not.  Not at all.  Ever.  Seriously, the girl is loud.

Now, don't get me wrong.  The boys made noise.  But nothing like what Stella is capable of.  She is louder and everything is at a much higher pitch.  Happy? She squeals and screams.  Excited?  She squeals and screams.  Angry?  She squeals and screams.  Tired?    She squeals and screams.  Hungry?  She really squeals and screams.  Have you noticed a pattern here? The girl can make her some noise.

Maybe she just wants to make sure we know she is there?  Being the youngest in a family of 5 with 2 dogs can't be easy.  Let me assure you, she makes her presence known.

From my talks with other parents of boys and girls, I have found similar accounts.  Therefore I can hypothesize that it is because she is a girl.  It has to be.  What other explanation can there be for the large amount of noise that comes from such a tiny human.  Squealing, screaming, giggling, babbling, shrieking, etc.  Everything seems louder.

Then there's the pitch I mentioned earlier.  Whoa!  There are times I've worried that I might suffer hearing loss.  I didn't know that pitch could be reached outside of a dog whistle or Mariah Carey.  Yikes.

I'd like to say that we have become accustomed to it, but I don't want to lie.  It still surprises us when she belts out one of her earsplitting sounds.  Luckily though, it is generally not a bad thing and she is happy.  So I'll take that.  Better to have a loud and happy baby than a loud and cranky one.  Right?  On a related note, I may be in the market for ear plugs.

All is well, 17/26 down, in Drosche Land.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P = Pretty


As in pretty baby.  Pretty girl.  Something we have heard a lot of in the past 10 months.  Something Stella has heard a lot of in the past 10 months.  It's also the nickname I have for Stella.

See, I love nicknames and diminutives.  Every time we've been pregnant and have been working on names, I have also focused on a nickname.  For Braeden it was Braedy, we decided that early on.  Jackson was Jack, but Jack-Jack was quickly created when he was born.  Braeden also has the nickname of Bubba because that is what Jack called him when he first learned to talk.

But what about Stella?  I fell in love with that name, but there isn't really a shortened version of it.  I actually did stress somewhat over what her nickname would be.  What would I call her?  What cute little name would we use?  Well, after she was born I quickly took to calling her Pretty.  She answers to it now.  She smiles when I call her Pretty.

We also call her by both her first and middle names, Stella Pearl, as well as Stells.  Apparently I was able to find, or at least create, a shortened version of her name.  But I'm the only one who calls her Pretty.  Amy doesn't, Braeden doesn't, Jackson doesn't.  And it had better be a very long time before any boy calls her that!  Until then it will be my special little nickname for her.  My pretty little girl.

All is well, 16/26 down, in Drosche Land.      

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O = Old


Yes I know I'm only just dipping my toes in the waters of the 30's, but there's nothing like having a baby to make you realize that you aren't as young as you used to be.  See, we had the boys early.  I was 25 and Amy was 24 when Braeden was born and just a year older when Jackson came along.  So we were young parents.  We would often get asked why we didn't wait longer, why we chose to have kids so young.  Well, we both wanted them.  It's not like we had tons of money to travel or spend on ourselves anyway.  Plus, there will be plenty of time for that when the nest is empty.  Right?  Hope so.  At least if we continue on Dave Ramsey's plan there will be.

So we had kids young.  I remember going to parties/school functions/whatnot where the boys' classmates' parents were also present.  I felt so out of place at times.  Here I was in my 20's, basically just winging it and having fun along the way, while there were all of these "older" parents with established careers, 401Ks, and family-friendly transportation (not a tiny Cabrio).  Awkward.  We are still younger than many of the parents in either Braeden's or Jackson's class, so that keeps me feeling younger than I am (sorry other parents!).

Flash forward 6 years and Stella comes along.  Sure, we're "experienced" now.  Yes we have a house in the suburbs and a minivan.  We're the parents that used to intimidate me.  Yikes!  How did that happen?  I thought I was young?  Crap, the 30's came along and wrote me a reality check.  

Getting up with a newborn is harder when you're in your 30's.  Running around and chasing after a crawler who is into everything seems to be a bit more exhausting now than I remember.  Of course, having the other 2 running around doesn't help much in the busy department, but I think some of it has to do with being older.

I don't feel older, well not most of the time.  I don't think I look that much older, no gray hairs yet!  But then here comes this adorable, chunky little girl to make me realize otherwise!  Oddly enough though, she also makes me feel young sometimes.  Having a baby is fun, even though it's a ton of work.  She keeps me on my toes, literally.  So I guess it's not so bad being an "older" parent in the long run.  At least I won't be having these same worried in a decade!

All is well, 15/26 down, in Drosche Land.     

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N = Naps


This post may harken back to the "F" post, but I am so pleased with Stella's sleep habits that it bears repeating.  Plus, it fits for "N" as well.

Ahhhhh, yet another area where Stella was, and is, a completely different baby than her brothers.  Neither of the boys were "good" or "easy" when it came to naps and bedtime (Braeden especially).  Stella though, she's a dream (pun intended).

She slept so often and so well when she was a newborn that Amy and I often worried that she was sleeping too much or that there was a problem.  But, we just kept with the saying, "Don't wake a sleeping baby.".  It worked.  She quickly and easily transitioned to sleeping through the night.  Although I have to admit that I owe this to Amy as this is one area where she shines as a parent.  I give in.  I fold.  One more hug, one more kiss.  Shhhhh.  But we firmly decided to make sure that Stella would not pull any of that foolishness.  We intended to proceed with the cry it out method but, luckily, didn't have to do it too often.  

She continues to sleep beautifully through the night.  It is so nice to have a good night's sleep on a regular basis.  However, it does seem as though she is already hard at work on eliminating her naps during the day.  She is pretty much down to one nap a day that ranges anywhere from 1 hour to 3; it just depends.  We're not too worried though, it's just another sign that she is growing up.  Plus it will come in handy next year at school when there is a designated nap time during the day.  

So naps, I may not get them often (although there are times I wish I still could) and the boys are long past that, are an area of strength for Stella.  It's amazing the difference it makes when a child is an "easy" sleeper.

All is well, 14/26 down, in Drosche Land.

Monday, April 15, 2013

M = Milk


Seems innocent enough.  Well, at least it did until about 8 or so months ago.  When we discovered that Stella not only suffered from acid reflux, but she also had a milk protein allergy.  

Now, this isn't as simple as a lactose intolerance, not that that in and of itself is simple.  This is more complex.  This means no milk.  Of any kind.  In any thing.  Do you know how many things have milk in them?  Lots.  Trust me dear readers, lots.  We thought that over time it would get better.  But it hasn't.  We thought that maybe in small amounts, traces, she could handle it.  She can't.  Graham crackers.  She loves them.  They have milk in them.  Meatloaf tonight with Stovetop as the breadcrumb element (side note: delicious!), she couldn't have because the dressing mix has milk in it.  Anything with butter.  Nope.  Can't have it.

So we're having to become label-checkers.  At home.  At the grocery.  If we go out to eat.  Check.  Check.  Check.  It's not terrible, just a totally different lifestyle than we're used to.  But it's getting better.  We still have hopes that she will grow out of it.  Luckily the doctor agrees that it is likely.  We just hope it's sooner rather than later.

However, with Stella's first birthday rapidly approaching, we are finding that party planning, particularly in the cake area, is not as easy when there is an allergy involved.  Right now our plan is for her to have and angel food cake as it does not have milk in it.  Frosting-less of course.  Hopefully her second birthday will have a more traditional cake involved.  Only time will tell.  Until then we continue to check labels and look for milk-free foods and recipes.

All is well, 13/26 down, in Drosche Land.    

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L = Leggings


Yet another new and interesting thing we've experienced having a girl. It's like trying to shove a turkey into a sock. Sure they're adorable but boy are they work to get a baby into them. Especially when said baby has some chunky little thighs and squirms like crazy when getting dressed. 

No one prepared us for leggings. There are no warnings on the packaging. However, I'll admit that Amy seems to have an easier time with the leggings. This leads me to believe that to successfully use leggings requires the presence of estrogen. Sure I've put them on but it's not been easy and they always seem to be a bit crooked.  I guess there's a learning curve with this sort of thing. 

All this struggle with leggings has me wondering about tights.  Just the name alone implies it will be more difficult than leggings. We have a few pair unopened. They're just sitting there in a drawer, mocking me. Taunting me. Waiting for the day when we will do battle. Until then I guess I'd better get used to the idea and continue practicing with leggings. Oh the fun that comes along with all of the girl accessories. 

All is well, 12/26 down, in Drosche Land. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

K = Kisses

Kisses.  Baby kisses in particular.  

Is there anything better?  Stella has learned to make kiss noises and blow kisses.  It's adorable.  It's heartwarming.  It never fails to make us smile.  

What's even more awesome than Stella making her kissy noises and blowing kisses is when she chooses to do so.  Most of the time she does it in response to someone doing it to her.  Other times it's just random.  She's playing or eating and will just look at someone and blow a kiss.  Say it with me now, "Awwwwww!".  

The other way is something she started doing just for me, but now she is beginning to do it with everyone.  Whenever she is getting into something or being naughty and she is told "Stella, no" she will look back at you, grin really big, and blow you a kiss!  She then turns away and quickly hurries to do whatever it is that she was being told not to do!  HA!  It is hilarious and adorable.  For now, I'm sure that response when she's 5 or 15 will not be so endearing.  But for now it makes me smile, laugh, and of course blow her a kiss back.

So, baby kisses.  They're awesome.  Stella has taken them a step further and learned how to use them to get what she wants.  My cute little manipulator, already working the system!  Oh my, what are we in store for?

All is well, 11/26 down, in Drosche Land.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J = Jaundice


Ugh. Do you remember?  I certainly do and these are not fond memories of when Stella first came home. 

She had a bit of jaundice in the hospital but it seemed to be under control so they allowed her to go home. However, things did not get better. Our beautiful little baby girl was yellow. She had yellow eyes! (insert A Christmas Story reference here). We were worried. Mainly that they'd admit her back to the hospital and we were by no means ready for that. 

Luckily for us her jaundice was still at a level where home therapy was an option. Enter the bilibelt. Surely you remember that, if not check it out here.  We wrapped her up, plugged her in, and we were the proud new parents of a newborn glow worm.  Sure it was bulky. Sure it was bright. But it certainly did the job. After a few days her color was back to normal and the bilibelt was returned. 

Jaundice = drama. Infant-related drama that I wouldn't wish on anyone. It is no fun. Sadly, as problematic as our experience was, I know that there are some parents who don't have it as easy as we do. They have to have their babies in light therapy in the hospital. They deal with other jaundice related problems. They're in my prayers. Ugh.

All is well, 10/26 down, in Drosche Land. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I = Infant


Another name for baby. Newborn. Clearly a term we're familiar with. One we were ready to use again. One we have been using again. However, I'm beginning to think our days with an infant are numbered. 

Stella is crawling. Pulling up and walking around while holding onto things. Babbling. Talking. Waving. Laughing. All things that an "infant" doesn't do. A baby, maybe, but definitely not an infant. 

It seems that suddenly we're 10 months into Stella's life and rapidly approaching toddlerhood. Seriously?  After just 10 months?  We're staring down a first birthday and I think that will officially put an end to the infant stage.  I don't know how I feel about this. It just seems so fast.  So final. 

Stella is our last child so this transition from infant to toddler is a big one for us. I know that all will be fine and we will move forward and enjoy Stella as a toddler, it's just that BAM!  It's here!  Luckily she's hilarious as a pre-toddler so we spend most of the time laughing and having fun rather than being melancholy. 

So there's my random train of thought about Stella growing up.  Too fast. As they always seem to do. 

All is well, 9/26 down, in Drosche Land. 

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

H = Hair


It was one of the things I was looking forward to most when I found out we were having a girl. Maybe this little girl baby would come out with a headful of hair?  Braeden was bald. For a while. When his jar grew in it did so slowly. Jackson had great hair. Soft and curly.  Kind of wild, just like him. But when we first cut it, that changed. 

But Stella. Maybe she'd be the one with the great hair. My dream was a little girl with curly red hair (fist bump Charlie Brown). No one in either of our families has this, but there could be some hidden recessive trait somewhere. I could dream. 

Alas, Stella came out with very little hair. Then after a few months it started to fall out, which is usual as the babies lose their soft, downy hair. Plus she rubbed it when she slept so she'd rub a little bald spot on the side. Oh well. It's a good thing headbands are in style. You know the stretchy ones that you can put clips on. We cold still accessorize. 

Later her hair has been growing back. A little longer. We can hold in a small clip for a while now!  That is, until she realizes it's there and pulls it out. But it's there nonetheless. The funny thing is, Stella is our only child to not have blond hair.  With more time spent in the sun, it's beginning to have a reddish tint, but she's definitely a little brunette. 

Who knows though?  Maybe she'll still surprise us all and begin to quickly grow some luscious locks!  Until then we've become the masters at using headbands and clips!  

All is well, 8/26 down, in Drosche Land. 

Monday, April 08, 2013

G = Girl

Today's topic should have been obvious. I mean this challenge is about Stella and having a new baby and she is a girl. You should have seen it coming. 

Now, you know I'd been wanting a girl. I've always wanted at least one boy and one girl. I didn't care how many of each or what order they came in. As long as I had one of each. So, I've been gearing up for a girl ever since Braeden. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't upset when we had Jack, he's awesome. It's just I've been waiting for a girl. A daughter. 

Clearly we knew things would be different with a girl. I mean, aside from the basic differences. But no one prepared us for just how different it would be. I mean, I've mentioned how time and experience have changed our parenting, but we had no clue what we were in for. 

Everything, I mean everything, is different. Diaper changes. The amount of clothing. The variety of clothing options. The hair bows and clips. Earrings. Tights. Shoes. Princesses. 

There are just so many more choices in everything when you have a girl.  For example, with boys you have a shirt (tshirt or collared), and bottoms (pants or shorts). But with a girl you have tshirts, blouses, collard shirts, different sleeve lengths, smocks, tunics, and probably more. Then you have shorts, pants, skirts, dresses, tights, leggings, bloomers, cropped pants, and again, probably more. See what I mean?  That's just the clothing options that come with a girl. Yikes!

The other major different is the sounds they make. Sure, the boys were and are talkative but Stella showed us that girls come with higher octaves of noise. One might call them screeches. And it doesn't matter what the emotion either. Happy, sad, mad, hungry, sleepy. Everything has the volume turned up, way up. 

The list goes on from there but I won't keep you here for hours. Everyday we see how different parenting a girls is and I feel, sometimes dread, it will not continue as she gets older!  I don't even want to start thinking about dating and boys, I don't even have a gun yet!  :)

But, as crazy as it is, it's also exciting. Having Stella has been, in so many ways, like being a first time parent all over again. It's fun. And it keeps us young. Tired, but young. At the end if the day though, I love having a daughter.

All is well, 7/26 down, in Drosche Land. 

Saturday, April 06, 2013

F = Fatigue


Comes standard with a new baby. Morning. Afternoon. Night. You're tired. 

The nighttime feedings. The diapers. The organizing and restructuring of your newly changed life. Throw in the fact that one of you is recovering from having a baby (and in Amy's case, another C-Section), and everyone in the house is sleep deprived. 

Honestly, this was one of the things that worried me the most about a new baby. I had flashbacks and bad memories of the boys, particularly Braden, when they were infants. Oh my, he was a handful overnight. He didn't sleep through the night consistently until he was nearly 2!  I'm not kidding folks, you read that correctly!  I remembered how exhausted we were with them both. And that was when we were young twenty-somethings. I was dreading the sleepless nights being a young thirty-something. Ugh!

Yet again though, I needn't have worried. Stella proved to once again be the exact opposite of her brothers. Those NICU nurses trained her well in her short stay with them. She at like clockwork every 3 hours. Scheduled and planned lack of sleep is far better than randomly occurring lack of sleep. These 3-hour intervals quickly turned to 4 and before we knew it, after about 3 months, she was sleeping through the night.  Seriously. I'm not kidding. 

She's been a great sleeper ever since. Sure, there are the random nights when she tosses and turns for some reason, likely teething or an illness. But even then she's not up all night. So our sleep patterns were not too horribly affected for very long. Plus we were both home over the summer so our daily schedule was far easier and we had the time for rest and relaxation when needed. 

Having experienced it both ways, it's clear which was the easiest on us. However, in retrospect, there are benefits to going through the tough times first. Surely it may not seem like it at the time, but it will pass and eventually become a distant memory.  That and you can use it later to remind your children of all the hard times you went through with them!  :)

All is well, 6/26 down, in Drosche Land.

Friday, April 05, 2013

E = Earring


Obviously something we've not dealt with before having 2 boys. Since we knew Stella was a girl, I knew I wanted her ears pierced. But when?  How early was too early?  You hear that the earlier that you do it, the better because they get over the pain faster and don't remember it. But still. When?

Well, over the Christmas break Amy and I bit the bullet and got Stella's ears pierced. We went to Claire's. I mean, that's their specialty right?  After searching through the selections and taking into consideration her small earlobes, we made a decision. That was the easy part. Now it was time for the hard part. The painful part. Amy, because she's the Mom and tougher than I am, held her.

The lobes were marked. Out came the gun. Bam!  The first ear was done. Boy was she mad!  The scream. The crying. But luckily we hurried it up and got the second ear done while she was still voicing her displeasure with the first. 

Turns out we didn't need to worry. By the time the second ear was done, she had stopped crying. That's my tough little girl!  It was over. Boy did she look cute!  We paid and left the store, feeling positive about our decision. Over the next few weeks we cleaned and turned them as we were instructed. No problems whatsoever. Score!

Just the other day Amy decided that it was time to change them out to some other studs with a little stone. You know, to give her a little color and bling. Wiggling aside, it wasn't too bad.  Now she has a cute new look!

So earrings. Yet another fun little aspect of having a girl. Of course now we've committed to a childhood of earrings and jewelry. But such is the life of a little girl I guess.  Throw in some glitter, spangles, frills, and ruffles and I think we're in for some exciting times in the near future!

All is well, 5/26 down, in Drosche Land. 

Thursday, April 04, 2013

D = Diapers


Probably the first thing you think about when you think about a baby is the diapers.  How many you'll need.  How long you will need them.  All the filling of the diapers and the changing of the diapers.  I know those are some of the first thoughts that I have.  

Now I know I've mentioned several times before that we decided to use cloth diapers with Stella, but I think it bears repeating.  That and this is the "D" post.

When we found out Stella was a girl we immediately began to think about cloth diapers. It was something we'd thought about before, but Amy has very sensitive skin so we were trying to be proactive.  So, we researched, and by "we" I mean mainly Amy.  She researched and taught me.  It also seemed to be a great way to save money and help out the environment.  A win-win right?

So we decided to go with the gDiapers brand.  We fell in love with them.  They were wonderful and super easy to use.  Now, I know you might be turning up your nose at the thought of cloth diapering, but honestly it's not that bad.  It, in my humble opinion, is no worse than disposable diapers.  Once you get into a routine of the washing and loading you're set.

As Stella grew, and boy did she, the gDiapers seemed to no longer be our best option.  See, Stella's got some chunky little legs.  The gDiapers were a little too tight on her rolls.  So we began to look into other brands.  We tried Fuzzibunz but they were a little too narrow for our roly-poly little girl and they leaked.  We finally settled on bumGenius and are addicted to them.  Honestly, I wish we had tried them prior to gDiapers because we likely would have used them from the get-go.  

They're super easy to use and wash.  They don't leak.  And they come in adorable colors and patterns.  Plus, the kind we use are adjustable and will grow with Stella until she is out of diapers.  Score!  I tell everyone I can about cloth diapering and I try to convince them.  It is amazing and I highly recommend it.  We do occasionally use disposable diapers.  At night.  When she has diaper rash (FYI, you can't use diaper cream with cloth diapers).  When she has some intestinal distress (you know what I mean).   

I only wish we would have tried it with the boys.  But, we were young and naive.  So trust the (slightly) older and wiser me if you are considering cloth diapers.  You won't be sorry.  If you are not in the market for diapers of any kind at all, then trust me anyway.  You have no reason not to.

All is well, 4/26 down, in Drosche Land. 


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

C = Crying


Admittedly, we have been very lucky this time around when it comes to crying.  Stella does not do much of it at all.  Now, don't get me wrong.  She does cry.  She does throw quite the tiny little diva fit.  But on the whole, especially compared to her brothers, crying is not a problem at all.

You might remember that I mentioned Braeden had colic.  Well, crying was kind of his thing.  Seriously.  He cried.  A lot.  All the time.  But we're over it, finally.  Well, mostly.  Jackson cried quite a bit too, mostly out of frustration.  He also had (has) quite the little temper.  But Stella.  She's been a breeze.

Crying is one area where we cannot complain in the least, and I couldn't be happier about it.  We put in our time with the boys when they were babies.  We did the exhausted parent of the baby who is a handful.  Now we are reaping the rewards of that with Stella.  Our easy baby.

However, don't think that our time with the boys as infants was all tears, dirty diapers, and vomit.  It wasn't.  They were amazing babies and taught us a lot about parenting and ourselves.  Things that we have been able to bring to the table when it comes to raising Stella.  For that we're grateful, and I'm sure Stella will be one day too.  They broke us in.  

Maybe we're just more experienced.  Maybe we're just calmer.  Maybe being older changes things.  Or maybe Stella really just is an easier baby.  Whatever the reason, I'm not complaining at all.  I'm happy for the lack of crying this time around.  Very happy.

All is well, 3/26 down, in Drosche Land.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

B = "Bubba"


So, if you've put your deductive reasoning skills to work, you may have noticed the quotations around the name Bubba.  Good job, dear readers.  I'm proud of you.  And yes, it is exactly what you're (hopefully) thinking.

Stella's first word.  "Bubba".  Said in reference to both of her doting brothers.  It happened about a week ago but I was saving it for today's topic.  She says it all the time now.  In happiness.  In excitement.  In frustration.  She says it.  She laughs it.  She screams it.  And they couldn't be happier that they have the honor of being her first word.

Braeden's was "Momma" and Jackson's was "Hi".  Amy had been working with Stella to get her to say "Dada" but she had long since mastered the sound for the letter "B" so the odds were not in my favor.  Oh well.  She'll say it eventually.  Amy swears she says "Dada" all the time, but I have yet to hear it.  I did, however, hear a "Momma" this afternoon and apparently she's said it before, several times.

So, now she's mobile.  Crawling all over the house, climbing the stairs, and is also working on walking as she cruises along the couch and coffee table.  Throw in the new found ability to make words and we're rapidly approaching toddlerhood.  Where has the last nearly 10 months gone?  Crazy!

My baby.  Speaking.  Crazy.

All is well, 2/26 down, in Drosche Land.  

Monday, April 01, 2013

A = Acid Reflux

Acid reflux.

Ok, so maybe not the most appetizing way to begin the challenge, but it does fit the criteria for the them and the challenge.

See, the boys both came with their hosts of issue.  Braeden has colic and cried a lot.  A lot.  Jackson was, well, Jack.  Both had breathing treatments regularly during cold weather.  But Stella?  She brought something new into the mix.  Acid reflux.

I know what you're thinking.  Yuck.  Don't worry, I agree.  It was not the most pleasant way to begin life, for her or us.  But there was medicine that helped somewhat.  If you've every had a child with acid reflux, or had it yourself, you know what I mean.  The plus side is I have become a master at removing stains from bibs and clothing.  Resolve and Spray 'N Wash have become mainstays here in Drosche Land.  

Luckily it has lessened as she has grown older and eats more solid food.  She hasn't taken medicine in a while, which is good because I really don't like for the kids to be on regular medicine if it's avoidable. However, it is still there and occasionally rears it's ugly, and messy, head.  Hopefully the closer the gets to the year mark, the further a distant memory it will become.  

My advice for others with an infant suffering from acid reflux?  I don't know if I necessarily have any.  Other than get the medicine, get used to doing laundry regularly, and a promise that it will pass eventually.  In the meantime, just come to grips with the fact that 85% of the pictures from your baby's first year will include a bib.  :)

All is well, 1/26 down, in Drosche Land.