Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Refinery

The last several weeks, the Holy Spirit has really laid this word on my heart: Refinement/Refinery. As I look around this is a process that is taking place in many areas.
The refining began at home:
In regards to my own life, 2012 has been a year of refinery. Beginning in January; living through the daily agony of the skin on my son’s head and face cracking, bleeding and sloughing off on a daily basis for about 3 months straight with no answers. I found myself sobbing and on my knees in prayer daily begging for answers, strength, perseverance and God’s glory to be revealed through that storm. As the healing began in May, everything around us was in need of catching up… adjusting to the first year of parenthood, the unexpected four to six hundred a month we spent just trying to figure out what was wrong with Oliver, paying for treatments, special lotions, organic formula and foods. My prayer was to trust in His provision. When it gets so overwhelming and unbearable he takes you ONE STEP further, to a place where ONLY HE can come in and wipe the slate clean.
It was time for total surrender, and the timing was right. By end of July and early August we could say we were trudging through a season of my Husband’s cancer news and [what seemed like] every appliance in the house breaking at the same time. But hope was beginning to shine through. It was a TUFF couple of months no doubt; but the refining process was already well under way. The previous nine months having given us new strength and an even firmer foundation in Him.
Everywhere around me I was reminded throughout the year not to pity my own tribulations as my dearest friends were dealing with heavy, heavy life challenges as well; folks unable to pay their bills, losing jobs and homes, fighting for their marriages and families, kids in the ICU the list goes on. Men of faith being asked to compromise their values for corporate America; that was a common theme this year as well.
All of these people and families near and dear to me struggling to live a respectable life without facing persecution for their differences, values, and faith; a process of refinement. I am proud to say in the cases that particularly come to mind, there is victory taking place on different levels. There is victory in perseverance for the Kindom of heaven (in marriages prevailing over the enemy’s will, jobs being found where men can speak truth) and there is victory from an earthly perspective (bills getting paid and healing taking place). All a part of a refining process.
On a larger scale:
I see things like apathy in the church and towards patriotism and I can’t help but wonder: Is this all part of a greater refining process? The apathy is something we see on a grand scale for instance a stat I learned today 80% of teens here in Tulsa [right smack dab in the middle of the “Bible Belt”] are unchurched. Kinda shocking huh? But, I also see it in my own small prayer group with lame excuses week after week for not showing up or participating. Totally taking for granted a group of people that have volunteered to offer support to one another and the simple fact that we even have the freedom to do so. Kinda makes me wonder how long we will keep fighting for a freedom we don’t even seem to treasure as a nation or as individuals. It’s scary frankly and if you just rolled your eyes; you, my friend suffer from apathy as well. My question to you… What DO you care about?? What ARE you willing to fight for? If you can’t answer that question you are without passion and in effect DEAD, spiritually dead.
But back to the refinement process. I can’t help but wonder if there IS a greater refinement process going on? Maybe God is putting his people through a refinement process. 1. To see who really has passion for truth. And 2. To make those individuals stronger and BOLDER for him.
Maybe he wants his entire church to go through a refinement process. Maybe people roll their eyes about church and walk away without introducing their children to Him because the people at the head of the church are not the ones who are truly passionate about Him ….and Truth! Maybe at the end of this process there really will be a revival; a movement of love … TRUE LOVE. It’s a refinery, that’s my theory. I can’t otherwise make any sense of the apathy and selfishness that literally makes me SICK in this world.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


It has been a source of both joy and comedy over the months to see how coordinated Oliver is with his feet. At times, as he is learning new motor skills and "tricks" it seems like he may be more coordinated with his feet than his hands.
When my mom came to visit in april he was about 5 1/2 months old; she bought him his first ball... we sat in a circle passing the ball around, trying o teach Oliver how to pass. He preferred to use his feet to catch and pass over his hands, this is where he gained the nick-name Pele.
Anyway I was putting him down for a nap this morning; I needed to change his pants first. As he was laying on his changing table I handed him his bottle. I went to grab his feet to lift his tush to slide the new diaper under and was un able to because his feet were occupied. They were holding his bottle in his mouth. What a goofball. There are times you wish you had a camera handy... if it happens again, I'll have to snap a pic.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Month of August

Well... suprise! Another challenging month for the Stenglein houhehold.

It's been a challenging year for us really, starting in January began the journey with Oliver's allergies and bacterial infection. Literally bringing me to my knees in prayer and pleading for answers, healing and resolution on an almost daily basis.

Finally in April and May we began to feel as though the situation was somewhat predictable and manageable. I felt like "okay maybe I can relax a little". (Other than Mike's 2 trips to the E.R. on Easter Weekend) The weather was beautiful, and the garden was more fruitful than EVER this spring.

In June we were pleasantly suprised with the news of our second baby on the way. We were not "suprised" about the pregnancy other than after YEARS of trying for Oliver we just didn't expect for things to come as easy this time. Truely a blessing an answer to prayer and wishes come true.

By Mid-June, though, the heat just got so strong and unlike with my pregnancy with Oliver I was really lethargic, tired and having daily nausea. We gave up on the garden. Oliver and I didn't go much of anywhere for the next 4 weeks except the occasional early morning errand. The car would heat up too much to take the baby out. We were basically TRAPPED looking forward to our tuesday swim days and Living for the weekends when Daddy is home! I Began to sink quickly into a depression :(

The 3rd week of July my mom flew us down to Tucson for 2 weeks. A MUCH welcome change of pace! It was the end of my first trimester so the help and extra naps were a God-send. We were able to come home somewhat refreshed... and anxious to see Daddy!

The day we got home, Mike had gone in for a follow-up CT Scan for a "suspicious spot" on his kidney. [Three months prior, on Easter Weekend, he had gone in for another unrelated problem and a scan done at that time caused the initial suspicion]

On Monday July 30th Mike had a biopsy done on "the spot". We were feeling some anxiety, it was a long day. Our prayer was for an accurate Biopsy so we could deal accordingly and know what we were working with. We were told that the Doctor should have results within 24 hours so Mike called a few times the next day... but it wasn't until
August 1st that we found out the biopsy was/is malignant. He was informed over the phone with no details but an appointment set for the following Tuesday. The week to follow was without a doubt emotional. We immediatly began educating ourselves on every possible precaution we could take to stop feeding and reverse the growth of the cancer. [and I thought we ate pretty healthy before the cancer diet became a part of our household routine]

My Brother came in to offer us some much needed emotional and prayer support for a few days. I was, to say the least, OVERWHELMED now with every member of our household having different nutritional needs. What lies ahead being the pregnant mother of a 10 month old and wife of a cancer fighting husband? Mike's head swimming with similair thoughts "How do I take care of my Family and fight cancer? I have 2 babies..." We don't for a second claim to think that we are capable of or left to play this hand on our own. As a matter of fact it is because of the great friend and healer we have in our savior Jesus Christ that we have been able to stay sane and strong through ALL of the challenges we have faced... this... just another opportunity to give Him the glory.

Meanwhile we had been talking all summer long on our evening walks about how we have a strong feeling about God bringing a great change in this next season of our lives...

Anyway, rewind to the saturday before the biopsy, the heat of summer was topping out at 112-118 every day, and the Air Conditioner seemed to be literally dying. A service man came out dumped a bunch of chemicals into it and said "it's a matter of time" On Thursday, the day after we received our life-changing news it was nearly dead again, I had a guy out to give a price and were told we'd not only have to replace the A/C but we'd also have to replace the coil and furnace because it's all connected and out of date. I said thank you, we'd like to get another opinion before we make a decision. That night as we were getting Oliver ready for bed we heard an aweful noise coming from the laundry room which was literally the sound of the motor on our washing machine spinning it's LAST rotation. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
We proceeded to put Oliver to bed, hand rinsed the laundry in the tub and as we were standing on the back patio wringing out towels we just had to have a laugh. I mean what ELSE could POSSIBLY happen in one week??
Oh... about the A/C, our "second opinion" guy was a miracle worker, he had everything working just fine in less than an hour. I told him "you have a new customer".

Anyway, the following Tuesday we went in for our long-awaited doctor's appointment. The doctor's attitude was very reassuring. We have aparently discovered this cancer VERY early on. It's also extremely RARE to find this type of cancer so early. Along with our nutritional, supplementational and hard-core prayer activity we plan to have it removed laproscoprically with a less than 10% chance of seeing it again. Plus we will be having routine scans done, so the "prognosis" is good. Praise the Lord.

This last week we have all gotten hit with a nasty virus, probably all the stress finally breaking us down... I finally have begun to feel somewhat human today after about 5 achy nauseus miserable days. I was beginning to wonder "Are we EVER gonna get a break around here?"

Well, good thing I was feeling better today because I had an OB appointment today where we found out that we are expecting our next baby to be another BOY!! Soo excited, we were secretly hoping for Oliver to have a little brother... apparently our great "wish granter" was privy to the secret :) We are blessed.

Thursday we meet with the surgeon, so we'll be in prayer that goes well and we can schedule surgery soon.

So, we've had our challenges this year, nearly each one accompanied by a great blessing. We continue to live in great anticipation of what the next season of our lives will bring and are on the edge of our seats to see and be a part of God's Glory being Revealed through it all.

Monday, August 13, 2012


My reading this morning took me to 2 Timothy 2. At first I thought "how appropriate" as the first verse says (1)"You then, my son be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" as we are currently facing some pretty daunting [to the unbeliever] GIANTS in our household. (3) "Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus" Amen! I thought "we're suited up for battle!"
... Then I read on: (4) "No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affiars - he wants to please his commanding officer." Now wait a minute, this scripture is for all of his children.
Likewise verse (16) "Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly"

Thoughts of political rants, chick-fil-a non-sense, social networking conflict, personal conflict, useless ramblings with no basis other than self-importance and foolish pride rolled through my mind.

Brothers and sisters, God used this scripture this morning to remind me and whoever comes across this:

There is ONLY ONE battle worth fighting

Reconcile your differences

Be accountable

I guess scripture has a little something for all of us today.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Oliver 9 Months : A visit to Gramma's

This month Oliver and I went to visit my Mom in Tucson for 2 weeks. He was an absolute angel on the plane both ways, thank God! I was a bit nervous about how that would go! We went to see Dr Martha for Allergy treatments and also had 3 Cranial Sacral treatments done to help align the bones in his skull... what a difference! We went for a walk and swam almost every day and enjoyed lots of quality time with "gramma"!
Being in my first tri-mester with baby #2 it was a MUCH needed break from the "norm" for me too! I have been trapped inside much of the time this summer with the heat and this one is taking a greater toll on me that Oliver did! My mom was a HUGE help with Oliver and let me take some much needed naps too!

While we were there, Oliver turned 9 months.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In an effort to be both organized and budget conscious I decided to prepare 2 different meals with one chicken this morning... anyway... I failed to think ahead ingredients-wise... or at least I thought. I got started then realized I had no onions or carrots...
No problem! I took a little walk down to the old garden and dug some up! Although I have to shamefully admit things are getting a little overgrown down there so I had to dig around to find the onions. What a treat that was..... and not to mention SUPER cheap!
Having my own produce and herbs comes in handy from time to time :)


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hope for when everything is made RIGHT!

Loved this little note in my study bible:

on Revelation 17:7

...No matter what happens, we must trust that God is still in charge, that God overrules all the plans and intrigues of the evil one, and that God's plans will happen just as he says. God even uses people opposed to him as tools to execute his will. Although he allows evil to permeate this present world, the new earth will never know sin -niv

AMEN ... and that is a day worth living for!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Just thought I'd post a little update.. it's been a while.

In Mommy news we've been sucessfully introducing solids for the past several weeks. I felt confident and did green beans without checking for allergy first 'cause things were going so well. He broke out but we caught it quick. I had him treated and then 'pureed' some of my own, but they only chopped up fine... still kinda mealy... we tried to re-introduce today at lunch and he did not like AT ALL. I think it was more texture than anything so I am going to wait a bit ... maybe just give him store-bought for a while. I think they cook them more 'cause the color is not as fresh looking.

We've been eating asparagus, broccoli, chive, lettuce and herbs from the garden for a few weeks now. Peas are all blooming so hopefully a matter of time.

I'm motivated to get some of the landscaping looking better. Mainly because I want to mix-in some fun interactive kid-stuff... but some areas really need some attention anyways.

I've been having fun making the bags and purses... I was able to successfully come up with some of my own designs and they turned out cute. I feel like I was able to conquer (not perfect) that quest so I am okay with moving on to the out-door stuff for a while... haha.

Anyways that's about it. I'm 33 today. WHhooopppeeedddooo.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

5 months....

Well... actually more like 5 1/2 months, He's 24 weeks today!...
I dressed him up in these overalls one day last week and thought he looked so cute, I better get the camera out! His skin has been so sensitive that all I've been able to put him in these last couple of months is sweats. I bought these overalls when I was pregnant and now that he can finally wear them, he will probably grow out of them in just a few short weeks! His skin is consistently improving, some days better than others.... nothing at all like how bad it was with the undiagnosed bacterial infection. We're slowly introducing solid foods.
He's been doing fine with rice cereal for several weeks. We tried Banana's first and he had a reaction. Then peas, then avacados, they seem to be going well. His favorite so far is avacado! Next is sweet potato's, then oatmeal baby cereal.
He's also rolling over now and has had 2 teeth since he was 22 weeks old! He's really at a fun age, sitting better and better all the time, and LOVES the Jump-a-roo!
Since moving to solid foods twice a day he's sleeping through the night too! He goes to bed @ 7, we wake him for a bottle @10, he wakes @ 5am for a snack and gets up around 7 or so. Not bad!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's a hard job

This picture is a reminder for me of where we've been and how far we've come

It's funny, I was thinking about the other day and shared with a friend of mine over a conversation about parenting... it seems as though being a mom is living in a state of constantly second guessing your decisions. It's so easy before becoming one yourself to look from the outside and think you know how you would react to situations or methodically approach things like bed time, food, illness... yikes just wait 'til discipline comes in play!
It's like you're trying to read your child and respond in a way that is appropriate for them as an individual. You don't want to give in on everything, but they live in this soft spot you never knew you had... especially if you're a real tuff-ass like myself. And when they're sick or hurting you just want to make it magically go away. Truthfully this whole process we've been through with the rashes, food allergies, bacterial infection has probably been ions more painful for me than him.
Over the weekend we tried our first non-cereal food; bananas. Everything seemed to have been on the mend since I finally gave up breast-feeding. So we thought it was a good time to get started... I mean, he's HUNGRY! Ya know? And he has 2 teeth! Well... we started noticing some reddness in the cheeks and around the mouth then tuesday night he started secreting/sweating UGH! I went to the store at midnight to buy goats milk thinking he was reacting to the formula. Who knows! My head swimming, I began to suffocate again. I swear the enemy knows his way in.... why can't I lock that door??? I would recite in my mind "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" Matt 11:28 I know he can take my anxieties but I can't fully let go. Somewhere in this life as a parent I am going to have to learn to let go a little bit. So maybe this is all a lesson in trust. Well, perseverence... now trust... Okay Lord have I learned all I need to from this? That's what I am really saying.
Anyways, In the morning I gave him cereal mixed w/water and called the doc. They said they would get him in in the afternoon. He was wtill hungry, I gave him the Goats Milk.... in front of my face he started turning redder, maybe even swelling up? Is my mind playing tricks on me? WHAT DO I DO??? I called my neighbor Dana a mom of 3 boys and asked her to look at him... I was panicking. I'm tired of panicking. She prayed with me over Oliver, a while later we left for the Doctor's a little early. During the last break out; the word took me to James 5:14 "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord." So this time I stopped by the church, an emotional mess. Many staff members stopped what they were doing and gathered around me and Oliver in prayer. I am so thankful for a praying church.
The doctor felt confident that Oliver's reaction was to the Banana's and not the formula. Probably most people would have been able to see that... but you're lookng through a foggy lens when you're emotionally exhausted from putting out the same fire over and over again. Anyways, he seems to be doing good.
Last night I said to Mike, "I got dealt the wrong hand, I am not a good match for this challenge" He assured me that is not true, that I am strong enough. We agreed this is just the first of many challenges. It's the hardest job on earth. Probably cause you care more about this job than any other you will ever have. It's a blessing to care so much.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Relevant Scripture Today for Me

My Current reading plan continues to speak to the long long long trial of my son's illness. So thankful for his healing, just a couple spots on his cheeks to clear up.

Actual Scripture:
1 Peter 1 1-12

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

My Translation:

1 Peter 1: 1-12
We will face trials and persecution for our faith. The old prophets did, Christ did, the first Christians did. So will we. These trials refine us, make us stronger in our faith. Because the old prophets suffered persecution; we have concrete proof of our salvation through Christ. He fulfilled prophecy and will come back for those who hold fast to his truths. For those who are called, he sent us his spirit as a gift of counsel, teaching, help and guidance.

Friday, March 2, 2012


This post is really for me, but you are welcome to read it.

We are still battling this skin problem/illness/allergy/yeast/bacterial infection with Oliver, my 4 1/2 month old son. It's now been going on for half of his life. The last bout, I felt helpless and hopeless. I spent time in prayer and the Lord assured me that he is my strength. I clung to that and he slowly started to improve. THat was a couple weeks ago. Another outbreak started yesterday and I don't even have the strength to reach out for the Lord's strength.
I am a week hopeless mess. I'm in temendous emotional anguish over my baby's health. We begged and prayed for him for years, and the joy of motherhood had been robbed from me. I have been a sobbing mess for the last 24 hours. We went back to Dr Olsen last night and he called in a script for a bacterial infection. THe skin all over his head is open and raw and he is secreeting profusely again. I feel like hei is NEVER going to heal.
I turn to scripture [feeling forsaken] searching for any glimmer of hope to cling to. The Lord told me to read on in the reading plan that I have been doing. It lead me to the book if James which begins and ends in speaking of perseverence. James 1:1 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete. James 5:11 As you know we consider blessed those who have persevered.
Lord, I pray that it is no mistake that you lead me to this portion of your word during this time. Not because I want to be tested, quite frankly I didn't ask to persevere anything. I would give anything for you to take this illness from my baby. But I thank you for seeing me worthy of perseverance and most of all I have hope that when there is something to persevere, there is also a promise of resolution.
I pray that your resolution is a complete healing for Oliver. I pray it come soon, and you continue to strenghten us until that time


Monday, January 30, 2012

Better than Mittens.... No More Scratching!

The last 4 or 5 weeks we have been dealing with a "skin irritation" with our little Oliver... Initially we weren't exactly sure what we were dealing with... So, treatment was more or less stabs in the dark...
Is it a food allergy? We eliminated one food after another only to watch his condition decline...
Is it certain fabrics?... Okay... nothing but 100% cotton...
Is it detergent? Okay we'll wash everything in hot water only...
Is it bath soap? Okay then we'll bathe him in water only!
This has been my new mother's constant source of anxiety since before Christmas... I've been a ball of stress!
Well, the good news is, we have finally settled on a diagnosis; and are working on getting rid of the problem. Every day he's improving, praise God! I can get into details in a seperate post...
What I want to share here is my new invention (shown in pictures) that has been dreamed up out of necessity. Through out this crazy itchy scratchy nightmare, Oliver's skin continually flares up with itchy break outs here and there. Cortizones not only lose their effectiveness, but they ultimately feed the problem. Then, just when something about heals up, he scratches his skin open again... it's a never ending battle. We started swaddling him again at night and for naps... but little Houdini gets his hands out and begins scratching in the middle of the night before ever making a peep! I have walked in to find him more than half dozen times a bloody mess literally. SOOOOOOO frustrating!!!!!!
Anyways... the little mittnes are fine for tiny ones... but he is about too old to be swaddled and has long ago figured out how to get mittens off... If they stay on, even the cotton is TOO abrasive for his delicate skin! So it's been 2 steps fwd, one step back over and over again!
Anyways, I came up with this idea on sunday morning; laying in bed. After church, I came home and made a couple proto-types. They were too small... so today I whipped up a couple bigger ones. I think we may have a winner here.
The key here is 2 things:
1, the garment cannot be removed by the baby... but it can't choke or injure either. and
2, the satin fabric... no matter how much he rubs his skin, it won't scratch. At least I hope not.

He had a litte nap with it on and it looks to be a success... However, to be precautionary we have it on under the swaddler for tonight. I need to have a full day of naps to observe tomorrow and probably make another even a tiny bit bigger to fit on the outside of a blanket sleeper.

So what do you think?? Is this something you would use? Should I try and make more?? I think I would call it "Better than Mittens" or something like that...

PS Ignore the ugly gold color... it's the only color of this material I had... and I wanted to see how it would work first :) Thoughts Appreciated!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Singing Baby

Being home with a baby all day every day I do things a bit differently than I used to... when I was home alone a lot self-employed. Mainly I am refering to the noise I make... Pre-baby, I would often talk to my "studio audience" about what I was doing... or what I was about to do... that, or I would have music Jammin... and I'd be singin along.
Now-a-days I find that I still do lots and lots of singing.. somehow finding ways to make singing about every little thing I do in 2-parts always ending in words that rhyme with eachother... I guess that's just what you do with babies. You sing. I think it's soothing to both mom and baby, I don't know.
Anyways, I am pretty convinced that Little Oliver has caught on to this form of communication. And I gotta document it cause it's pretty stinkin cute... and hilarious too.
When we were home in Chicagoland over Christmas, my sister gave me a few cd's on which she had burned her favorite kids songs. Earlier this week, I finally had time to rip them and get them on my MP3 player. We've been listening to children's music most of the week, and Oliver loves it.
So, today, I was holding him up by my shoulder and dancing around the family room, singing along to the children's songs... Just something to do. Heck I used to sing and dance around eveyday by myself... now I got a buddy! And he started in with his cute scratchy voice... "ooooooaaaahhh waaaaaaoooooo ooooowaaaa" (and so on) I thought... He's so cute, I love the way he sounds when he tries to make sounds.... Then I noticed that during instrumental, or if I wasn't singing he'd stop. I thought, "could he possibly be SINGING???" ..."no way!" Then the song ended. Oliver stopped too... "is it coincidence?" The next song started up, the singing started, so did mommy and so did Oliver... it was the cutest thing ever... we sang a couple more songs... before nap... we were livin in the moment... loved it!
Mike cam home from work, and after dinner I was in the bedroom putting away laundry. I heard him singing Fifteen Animals, to Ollie... we've been singing that book to him since he was a week old. And I heard Oliver chime in and start singing. I came out to tell Mike "He's singing, he loves to sing" He tested the waters a bit... and sure enough Oliver stopped when Mike stopped and sang when he sang.


Friday, January 6, 2012

12 Week Update

Wow! The time is flying by!

Wednesday was oficially Oliver's 12 week birthday. It's crazy how timely the milestones are!

The First two weeks were quiet... lots of sleeping eating and snuggling. It's almost as if I have to jog my memory here to remember how he has progressed.... and it's not even been 3 full months... maybe it's the lack of sleep... haha

Just about 2 1/2 weeks, he realized he was no longer in the womb... or so it seemed. Oliver was still his happy and easy going self... until about 4pm then he'd start to get antsy and fussy up to bed time. For the next 3-4 weeks this went on.. and bed time was DRAMA. Poor Mike didn't get to see his happy lil guy except on the weekends. I would say "I swear he is not like this all day... it was a bit frustrating of a stage. But now seems a distant memory.

I kept asking other mom's for insight and the most common answer I would get was "I don't remember". So, I began to bury my self in Baby books... I found "The baby whisperer" and "Healthy sleep habits, happy baby" to be extremely helpful. I also logged eat and sleep times round the clock for a few days. What I learned was that even though he was getting tons of sleep, he needed more... we were always trying to stave off bed time 'til 7-730... he needed to be in bed before then. Still does... so we've learned that's just what we do... once 6pm comes around... we have to be home to put bubba in bed ... makes for a heck of a social life... haha. But since we figured that out... no more crabbies!

Around 6 weeks the Adkins came down to celebrate Thanksgiving with us... Oliver got to meet 4 of his cousins who wanted to love on him 24-7. This was also fun because he was learning to focus on faces and smile :) It was beautiful! The next 4 weeks were pretty routine... eating, sleeping, snuggling growing... by 6 weeks old he was ready for 3-6 month clothing size.

The 4 weeks leading up to Christmas were pretty routine... mostly hanging out getting ready for Christmas, lots of naps and growing. Our drive went great... about 14 hrs each way... no crying but about the last 10-15 mins each way! He loved meeting all the smiling faces but brought back a cold! Or is it teething? We don't know. We got back and he graduated to the 6-9 month clothing.. and pretty well fills it out! He also graduated to the non-swaddle sleepers! What a big boy :) We've been working through a whole body rash/eczema and a ton of boogers this past week and a half. Earlier this week I got panicky... probably as all first time moms do the first time their baby gets sick. So Tuesday we took him to the doc. He said this is allergy related so I am changing my diet. He prescribed a cortizone cream for the skin which I was hesitant to use... but I had tried EVERYTHING available to me and my poor baby was itchy from head to toe. The cream cleared it up over night... so we're just working on the mucus now... I am hoping it's teething... but also eliminating the common allergens like milk, eggs and nuts in hopes to "figure it out"!

Just wednesday was was his 12 week birthday. He just in these last couple days seems more independant. He likes playing by himself and yesterday I put him down for one of his afternoon naps and heard him doing all kinds of talking to himself. I had to hide around the corner and spy on him it was so darn cute it melted my heart! Everyday is an adventure. Learning new tricks and our love as parents growing all of the time for our sweet adorable son!