Friday, November 27, 2009

Sleep & Slings

Lately, our cute and content Mer has been cute, but not so content in regards to sleeping for naps and bedtime. We aren't really sure what is happening with her and why she is acting this way. My first thought was that it has to be her teeth. However, even after giving her Infant Motrin or Hyland's Teething Tablets (which I am typically a huge fan of by the way), she still wakes up and just cries and cries. Since I love to research, I did some research indicating that it could possibly be that she is coming into a new milestone (which she is-in crawling) and that would be why her little body is waking up as it is overworking right now to reach it. However, I have also suspected some acid reflux. I took her to the chiropractor, which really did seem to help for awhile. But, we are back to not taking the best naps, or waking up a ton before going down for good at night. Needless to say, it is frustrating for me as I have a very busy two year old, so I can't take the time to truly work with Meridian to get her down for naps (nor do I really want to). At night, her constant waking not only wakes up Z (as they share a room), but it also takes away from time with my husband, time to work out, and my time to relax.

Thus yesterday, in the midst of my Thanksgiving preparation, I brought out the sling! Not only can I be hands free to work around the house with it on, but Meridian can also sleep in it. It still isn't ideal, but it works for now so that I can keep my sanity, and she can get her precious sleep.

I currently have three slings. An Ergo, a Beco, and a Peanut Shell. The Ergo and Beco are very similar to each other and the Peanut Shell is more of a pouch. When I had Zoelle, my mom bought for me an Ergo. I loved it. Here is a picture of little Z in the Ergo with me as we were going to work in the garden.

Over time, for me, it has been replaced with the Beco. I only like the Beco more because it sits more comfortably on me and I like the colors of it. See-here is Meridian in it as we prepare Thanksgiving dinner.

However, the Ergo is handy to keep for Chris to use, or for both of us to babywear a kid. He gave me permission to post this picture of him with Zoelle in the Ergo at 6 months (sorry about the cover up of our last name in the pic. If I knew how to work with my photo editing, I'm sure I could do a much better job).

 The Peanut Shell is handy to use when they are little as they can stay nice and snug close to you.

I plan on using it solely for bonding when we adopt. It can even be used to wear a toddler. At times, I like to wear Zoelle in there.

I still would love to try a Mayan Wrap and probably a Mei Tei too. For now, I'll be grateful for the slings I have, as they allow Mer to nap and me to still function.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dear Meridian

Hi sweetheart! Right now, you are being held by your daddy as he gently tries to rock you to sleep. Early tomorrow morning (11-19-09), you will be six months old. I cannot believe it! Six months seems to have flown by much faster this time than it did with Zoelle. I remember every moment of your incredibly fast delivery. The joy I had at seeing that I had another little girl, is unspeakable. You also got to be born in the water, something your mama had wanted forever.

At six months:

You are still just eating breastmilk. Mommy isn't really sure when we will officially introduce solids.
You don't really care to nurse all that often (so the opposite of your sister).
You just started sitting up on your own, but you are still quite wobbly, so we help you a bit.
You can roll from back to tummy, and tummy to back.
You can get up on all fours and just about go forward. We think you will be crawling so very soon.
You are not sleeping through the night yet. You were/are a better sleeper by far than your sister was, but lately you have been going through some tough times. That is ok though, as daddy and I both said, we want to hold you close just a little bit longer.
You adore everything and anything that your big sister does or says.
You weigh 15lbs. 6 oz. and are 26 1/2 inches long (much tinier than your sister was at this age).

You are our little content baby Mer. As Grandma recently just told me (and I agree), you ooze sweetness. You want to cuddle, kiss, or just smile at one of us the entire day. You are incredibly sweet peanut.

Don't ever loose your sweet spirit Meridian. God has put that in you and He will use it to bless those around you. You are already a little buddle of blessing to us each and every day, honey.

On the one hand, I can't wait to see you grow and learn in the next six months. On the other, I am sad as there is only a first one time. Tonight is the very last time I can say you are 5 months; it will be a matter of moments that I am telling people you are one. In the meantime, I am going to soak up the cuddles, snuggles, kisses, and love and just enjoy you for who you are today as a six month old.

Happy Half Birthday Mer Mer! I love you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dear Zoelle

Hi baby girl! Right now, you are, *I think* sleeping in your big girl bed. Daddy says that not too long ago, you were still singing and talking, and he couldn't get you to stop. Why does that not surprise me? You are so much like me sweet, silly Zoelle.

Tomorrow (11-18-09) you turn 2.5 years old. I cannot believe that you can be that big already. It seems like just yesterday that you were this tiny little girl all hooked up to monitors with dozens of doctors and nurses surrounding you trying to figure out what exactly was wrong.

Now you are 2.5 all snuggled into a big girl bed. At 2.5 you can do so much more than I ever expected you to be able to do. You can:

Speak in complete sentences
Have an "adult like" conversation
Get dressed almost completely by yourself
You can recognize all your letters and the numbers 1-10
You can say your abc's and count up to 20 if you feel like it
You know all of the common shapes (triangle, rectangle, square, circle, oval, diamond, star)
You know all of the common colors (black, brown, white, red, blue, purple, pink, yellow, orange, green, silver)
Pretty much everything else (which basically means I can't remember everything else you do)

Two things I thought for sure you would be done with at 2.5:

Nursing-Mommy always said I would have you weaned by now, but you still ask once a day in the morning. Sometimes you do nurse, other times, if we are busy, you don't. I'm ok with it most days, but other times, I struggle nursing you. Not because of you, but because I feel at times that you take away from your little sister. I do however realize there are so many health benefits for you, not to mention it is a good bonding time for us.
Potty Trained-You are so very close. You almost never have day time accidents anymore. I'm also pretty sure that if I took the leap and made you wear "chunies" in public, you wouldn't have any accidents either. You often wake up dry after sleeping all night or at nap time.

You are so stubborn and determined and I know that God will use that for good in your life. Your dad and I constantly pray for God to use that spirit of leadership in you always. On the days you are stubborn, I look at you and often tear up wondering if things would be different if it was still just you and I baby girl. I wonder if you realize how much I too sometimes wish it was. Not because I don't love your baby sister, but because I want the "old you" back. The one who would just hang with her mommy and not throw tantrums. We had so many good times together. I want you to know, that just because you have a little sister now, it doesn't mean that we can't continue to have those good times.

As you grow in these next six months, I am going to strive to take the time to snuggle you, cuddle you, and love you more. After all, time is just going way too fast. You no longer look like a baby, but instead, look like my big girl.

Happy Half Birthday to my first daughter; my spirited baby girl.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What's In A Name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."~Shakespeare

That perhaps is my favorite quote of all time. Here Juliet was telling Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person behind the name.

There is meaning behind the name of my blog. Nine years ago, I went on a mission trip to Caracas, Venezuela. On that trip, the Christian music group Zoe Girl was performing for us. I got to spend a huge amount of time with Kristin Swinford (one of the members) and she actually wrote a song for my group that spoke greatly to my heart. The song is called Plain and it speaks to girls who feel they are plain, yet to God they are anything but that.

I want my girls to know that they truly are a jewel and a treasure to God. That they are one of a kind in God's eyes.

Girls, may you forever remember that there is nothing about you that is plain. For you are a jewel and treasure to not only me and your daddy, but ultimately to God.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Hi everyone! Welcome to our family blog now known as Jewels & Treasures! I wanted to give you all a little welcome post to start with and also take the time to explain exactly what this blog will entail.

I have thought for two years now whether or not I truly wanted to create a family blog. A lot of time, thoughts and prayers went into the making of this blog. Eventually, I came to the decision that for my girls, I would love a record of their life on "paper". This is the best way for me to do that. I'll be posting pictures, talking about them, and maybe even a video or two will come forth on here.

So definitely first and foremost, this blog is for them. However, as you may already notice, I also will possibly be doing some advertising. Each business I even think about advertising for, will be thouroughly prayed about before I actually go ahead and advertise.

Lastly, I plan on trying to jump into the world of product reviews. I am known to my family and friends as a researcher. I love to research various items before I actually go out and purchase them. What better way for me to research, then to try products and then share my knowledge with my friends and family.

So sit back, grab a piece of pie, some coffee, and enjoy the reading.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Contact me

Have a question for me that you've been dying to know the answer to? Please feel free to e-mail me and I will do my best to answer in a timely manner (just remember I have three little ones so timely is umm...not always on time). My email is jewelsntreasures (at) yahoo (dot) com

If you are a company reading this blog, please know that not only do I like to find the Jewels & Treasures in my daily life, but I also like to find them in products. If you have a product you would like me to review, or if you would like to sponsor a giveaway, you can contact me at: jewelsntreasures (at) yahoo (dot) com I am a PR friendly blog.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A little about me

Hi, I'm Vanessa. Wife to one handsome man. Mama to three beautiful girls. Reader. Writer. Photographer. Singer. Pianist. Explorer. Walker. Runner. Ultimately, just me.

A little about Chris:
He's gentle, quiet until you get to know him, extremely funny, loves to be outdoors, loves to hunt, fish, is a business owner, loves to cook and bake, and is the most incredible husband and dad I've ever known. I've been married to this jewel for ten years!

A little about Zoelle:
Often called Z, she is 6 and has always been known as our spirited child. Yet she also has a sensitive heart. Our firstborn jewel is learning to carve a place for herself in this world and isn't going to let anyone stop her. She loves to learn and soaks up anything she can. Her favorite things to do are math, reading, playing outside, swimming, playing with her dolls, and playing with Lego Friends. Her favorite color is blue!

A little about Meridian:

Often called Ridi (or Rinni), she is 4 years old and is our content, independent adventurer. Our middle jewel is all quiet, and plays by herself for hours at a time. She is a collector of "junk". She loves to play Lego Friends, watch movies, and sleep (haha). She can often be found wearing stripes head to toe, or wearing clothes full of pockets to collect treasures with. Her favorite color is purple!

A little about Xiomara:

Sometimes called Xio, she is 3 years old and is our joy-filled baby. This little jewel was long awaited and has an incredible adoption story that God wove just for her.  Exuberant is the perfect word to describe her and the energy she brings. She lights up a room and makes everyone smile. She is rarely crabby and is always singing or dancing away to music. Her favorite color is yellow!