Saturday, November 9, 2013

10 Months Old!

Our sweet Rebekah Joy is 10 months old! Can it be?! Each day she is coming more and more into her own and revealing her personality to us. She is a fearless, precocious, inquisitive, determined, adorable and silly girl. We definitely have our hands full! In the last month, Rebekah has:
- learned to climb stairs. Let the official baby-proofing commence!
- really taken off with cruising. She has mastered going around corners and transitioning between different pieces of furniture. Sometimes she makes laps around our ottoman in an attempt to find the best way to get to an object in the middle of it.
- started to wave. She sometimes waves her entire arm, sometimes just her fingers, sometimes her whole hand. I guess it just depends on her mood. One of her favorite times to wave is when she is caught doing something naughty, like climbing the stairs, usually accompanied by a sweet smile!
- said her first word (I know I've already said that she said her first word, but it hasn't been consistent. This one is already happening a lot more!) It's usually when she is doing something naughty like trying to get into Pippin's dog bowl (or see above!). When I catch her going towards his bowl and say, "Rebekah, no no!" She usually looks back at me, smiles and says, "nana".
- been playing peek-a-boo with her blanket. She thinks it is the greatest trick and just giggles while playing. It's quite cute!
- figured out how to make silly faces. It typically consists of arching her back, opening her mouth up really wide, and sticking her tongue out.

We love our Rebekah Joy and are so grateful that God has entrusted us with raising her. Her life is an adventure and we are so glad to be part of it.
Trying to be creative with ways to still incorporate the blocks in her monthly's pretty tricky!
My new silly face - sticking my tongue out!
I love standing at the door and looking for the big yellow bus to come and bring sister Leah home.
Pretty Rebekah Joy

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Week in Review

It seems like there is always something happening around here, and when I have down time, doing a blog post is usually last on my mind. So, I figured I can try to keep track of some of the major things that have happened during the week and try to do one post a week about those important things to share. So, here goes:

1. Leah lost a tooth! Yes, I know she has already lost teeth, but this time, it's because of the natural developmental process that the body goes through! And technically, this tooth is not the first that fell out naturally, but since we didn't see the first one come out and never found it, we are considering this week's to be the first! :) Seeing as Leah is not even 5 yet, we were a little concerned about her losing teeth, but the dentist assured us that it's okay and that some kids lose teeth early. This momentous occasion was marked with some sadness for us, though. For one thing, Leah doesn't understand what happened to her, and was very upset by the whole situation. And unfortunately, we can't explain to her (in a way that she will understand) that it's normal and okay. Also, we did not do any sort of tooth fairy thing. This is sad for us. It means nothing to Leah, so why do it? These kinds of milestones often bring back up the grief that will always exist for us in knowing that our little girl has a different life and won't do the things that other little girls will do.

2. Rebekah had her nine month check up. She weighed in at a whopping 17 lbs 1 oz, which is about the 28th percentile. Now that may not seem very big, but the doctor called her a butterball! She says that for Rebekah's height (27 1/2", the 30th percentile) and delicate frame, she is very plump. Rebekah did very well at the appointment and hardly cried at all when she got her shots. What a good girl!

3. Rebekah thinks she is a gator! Well, not really, but she does love to growl! Just in this past week, she has started taking turns in a growling conversation with us, and thinks it's just too funny! She is also starting to take turns with other sounds too, but growls are the best.

4. Rebekah is starting to cruise! She has been pulling up to standing for a while now, but in the last week, she has been pulling up on everything, all the time (including trying to stand up in the high chair at a restaurant!) and cruising while doing it. She has even been transitioning from the couch to the coffee table. The doctor said she thinks Rebekah could be walking by Thanksgiving!

5. We went to the pumpkin patch. We found one that gives you a "pumpkin barrow" and clippers to cut your own pumpkin from the patch. The place also had animals to pet, pony rides, hay rides, etc. The girls seemed to have a great time being outside, meeting the animals, and picking pumpkins.

Mommy and the girls with the pumpkin barrow.
"What about this one?"
Cutest Pumpkin in the Patch!
Meeting the piggies. Leah was snorting like pigs!
Leah liked the pony. She said, "pat the pony."
Bekah was fascinated by all the chickens!
Leah loves being outside!
Two sweet girls

Friday, October 11, 2013

9 Months Old!

I know this blog is supposed to be about all that's happening in the Burgin family, and that in the past month I've only posted one entry about Rebekah. And that's being followed up by another post about Rebekah. Trust me, a lot more than Rebekah growing is happening around here! I'm trying to come up with a way to keep up better on the blog. However, we do have a big nine month old that I want to share about.

Our precious little girl is growing and changing every day. It's so amazing to watch her learning and figuring the world out around her. Our Rebekah is a very curious and active girl. Translation: she never stops! I'm sure most babies are like this, and we told ourselves that we were in for a rude awakening with the new baby, but we were not prepared for this energizer bunny! Our big "wow" moments are when she is willing to sit still in our laps for more than 5 seconds. And even then, she usually has some toy or snack to keep her distracted. And changing diapers and getting dressed? Like wrestling an alligator. She is definitely going to give us a run for our money! We are loving every second of it, too.

In this past month, Rebekah has figured out how to really crawl, and she is very fast! She loves to follow mommy around the house, but Pippin (and his dog food bowl) is her favorite. She knows him by name, so anytime she hears it she is immediately looking for him. She loves to climb up on his back and he is a good puppy who takes everything she gives him.

Speaking of learning names, she definitely knows her own name and turns anytime you call her. Usually I'm calling her because she's getting into something she shouldn't be (like the dog food bowl, the fire place, electrical outlets) and I think she's starting to learn what the word "no" means. When I tell her no, she pauses, looks at my face, and I swear you can see her brain at work, deciding. Oftentimes, her pause is followed by a cute smile or scrunchy face and then continuing on in whatever her pursuit was. We're working on obedience!

Rebekah has been babbling for a while, but I think she might have said her first word with meaning... "Dada". She says it mostly when she's interacting with Stephen, which is why I'm pretty sure it's her first word.

Rebekah now has 8 teeth and she loves to use them! She is constantly putting things in her mouth and trying to discover the taste of anything she comes in contact with: chairs, knobs, bricks on the fireplace, you name it, she's trying it.  When it comes to food she has a very strong opinion about what and how she will eat. She's a pretty good eater, as long as she can do it by herself. Miss Independent doesn't just want a few pieces/bites on her tray, she wants you to give her the whole bowl and let her go to town with her meal! Some more recent favorites are broccoli and chicken.

I'm thinking we are starting to get over some of the separation anxiety now, though for a while it was a little rough. Rebekah didn't like anybody to even look at her. Unfortunately for her, she's so cute. People talk to her every time we are in public. Now, she pretty much has one of three reactions: she smiles at them, she acts shy and ducks her head, or she just stares at them with a very serious face. We're working on not staring !

One final thing, Rebekah has a favorite thing. It's her blanket. She buries her face in it, she snuggles in it, when she goes to sleep, she likes to have it pulled up over her head. She loves the thing. In fact, if we want her to sit still and snuggle with us, it's one of the only ways to get that to happen. We very rarely leave home without it.

There are about a thousand other things I could tell about Rebekah, the nine month old, but I'll stop. I'm so grateful that I get to be home with her, getting to know her happy, adventurous, independent personality. She truly does bring so much joy to our lives and we are so thankful to God for blessing our family with this special little girl. And now for some pics:

The only okay pic of Rebekah with the blocks. So much for the cute laying down pics. They had to end some time!!
So proud of the mess she's made!
The pine cones were too tempting to resist, though they weren't that tasty!
Sweet, precious girl

Saturday, September 7, 2013

8 Months Old!

Rebekah is 8 months old. That's 2/3 of a year! It's crazy to think that in 4 short months, she'll be a year old! For now though, we'll just enjoy the happy, funny baby we've got and the big personality that's developing more and more everyday. Some new things about Rebekah are:

- Rebekah is becoming more and more aware of the world everyday. This is most notable when you put her down on the floor. Don't take your eyes off of her for a second or she'll be gone! Already her favorite things to go for are outlets, Pippin, and the fireplace. I guess we're going to have to baby proof soon!
- She's still not crawling with belly off the floor, but that hasn't seemed to slow her down. She is very good at getting from sitting to laying, and back up. She pushes up onto all fours, and has occasionally made a couple of "crawling" moves before collapsing onto her belly. It won't be long before she's up and running, I just know it. 
- She also really enjoys pulling hair, especially Mommy's hair. We're working on not being so mean ;) - She loves to play peek-a-boo, be tickled, and sing "lap songs" (like "Ride the Horsey, From Wibbleton to Wobbleton, and This is the Way the Lady Rides).
- One of the funniest things, though, is when Daddy points at her. Don't ask me why this is so funny. I guess, it's just their thing.
- Rebekah has also become extremely affectionate. She squeezes back when I hug her and she covers my face with baby kisses when I hold her close. I love every drop of baby slobber she leaves behind!
- Rebekah is becoming very proficient at self-feeding. Some of her favorites are: green beans, sweet potatoes, and cheerios. Your typical baby favorites! She is also very fascinated with eating utensils and wants to take them from us and feed herself. She still needs to work on figuring out which end goes in the mouth, though.
-I know I have talked about how happy Rebekah is before, but the best proof I have is this: in the last 2 weeks, Rebekah has had 5 teeth come in and hasn't made a peep about it. In fact, 2 of the 5 surprised me. I had noticed the other 3 and just looked one day and there was another tooth. I looked again in another couple of days and yet another tooth had poked through. The only way that I have been able to tell that anything is going on with her is that she has started getting up multiple times in the night. I'm hoping now that all of these have come through, things will settle down and she will go back to getting up only once (and maybe even dropping that one nighttime nursing!)

We love our Bekah Bunny and can't wait to see what this next month will bring!
Bright eyes
"I see you behind that camera, Mom!"
R is for Rebekah

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A trip to Iowa (with a fun stop along the way!)

We made our second annual trip to Iowa to meet with the amazing doctors at the University of Iowa. More about that later. We drove this year (17 hours!) and decided to make a fun trip out of it. So, we stopped in Chicago for a few days of family vacation fun exploring a new city. Stephen had never been to Chicago before and it's been about 15 years since the last time I went. We had a great time being tourists and doing almost all of the necessary Chicago things while we were there. And, of course, our girls were almost perfect. We are so blessed to have children who are great travelers and don't mind being dragged around to all of the things Mommy and Daddy want to do. We made our trip a lot easier by staying in a nice hotel right down town. We were able to just walk (or ride) everywhere we wanted to go. I wore Rebekah and we brought the umbrella stroller for Leah, so navigating everywhere was easier because of that, too. The weather was also pretty perfect, so it was just wonderful to spend so much time outside.  And now, some of the pics of some of the things we did!
Navy Pier
On the ferris wheel at Navy Pier
Leah had a great time on our Chicago River boat tour
At the Field Museum. One of Stephen's favorite places. He loved seeing the dinosaurs, especially Sue.
Splashing in Crown Fountain (the spitting fountain) at Millennium Park
Family pic at Cloud Gate (the bean)
Sweet sisters at the bean
We ate at lots of great local places and, of course, had some Chicago style deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati's. We also took the "L" to many places, including Wrigley Field to see where the Cubs play. We took a stroll down the Magnificent Mile and did walking tours of some of the historic neighborhoods in the city. It's hard to believe we did as much as we did in just a few days, but one of the things we have learned in 9 years of marriage, is that we travel well together. And, we are teaching our kids to be traveling pros, too! It was a great vacation.

But, now for the real reason for our trip, Leah's check up in Iowa. We met with the same 2 doctors again this year. Dr. Wilkinson is a vision rehabilitation specialist, who is working with us to help Leah maximize her vision. This includes tips for things to work on at home and ideas for her teachers to work on at school. He wasn't able to do any sort of acuity test, so we don't know if her vision has improved at all from last year. However, we do know that she is using her vision better. He encouraged us about Leah's vision and that she is continuing to mature in her use of it. After Dr. Wilkinson, we saw Dr. Stone, the molecular geneticist opthalmologist. He shared the results from the DNA testing that they have so far. Late last year, we found out that Leah has a chromosomal translocation, and that they were going to investigate that abnormality in the lab to determine what genes are impacted in this chromosomal translocation and what this means for Leah. At this appointment, they told us that they were able to clearly define the area that is involved and were in the midst of looking at the genes in this area. One of the genes that falls in this area of abnormality is a gene that plays a role in the development of the brain and other sensory organs (the eyes). This knowledge confirms the idea that this chromosome issue is most likely the cause of all of Leah's issues. We asked about any other cases of people with the same chromosomal translocation and were told that to their knowledge, Leah is the only one. This is both interesting and a little sad. It means that we have no other cases to compare Leah's to and no idea what Leah's future might look like. Dr. Stone also shared two things for us to be aware of. One is that people with similar retina issues have also been known to have kidney issues. We now need to be regularly checking Leah's blood pressure and kidney functioning (through blood work) to make sure everything is working well. Dr. Stone said that yearly checks should be fine for now. The other issue is that people with similar retina issues also have been known to lose their vision later in life. If this were to happen with Leah, she would be a candidate for gene therapy to maintain her vision. This gene therapy will not increase her vision, though.

So, overall it was a mixed appointment. We appreciate any information we get, even the stuff that's not so good. We need to know what to expect, so we can be ready for anything. And, nothing is definite. Again, Leah is the only one of her kind and most importantly, God is great. He is in control and knows exactly what is going on in Leah's body today and for the rest of her life. He created her and loves her more than we ever could. As long as we rest in those truths, we can face anything. For now, we face making it through each day, encouraging Leah to walk and talk more, and to be patient as she eagerly awaits the beginning of school (Mommy is eagerly awaiting it as well:)). Only a few more weeks...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

7 Months Old (and 6 months too)!

My baby is 7 months old. It's hard to believe. Everyday she is growing more and more into her name: a determined, observant planner who is full of cheer and love. If you watch Rebekah, you will surely see her watching something/someone else, trying to figure out what it is, if it's good, and how to get to it. She is really working on crawling and is pretty good at backwards and pulling herself/squirming her way forward on her belly. It may be difficult, but if she sees something she wants, she goes after it. And we haven't noticed her getting frustrated. She just keeps trying to get whatever she wants.  She has plans to do things on her own. Like drink from her sippy cup. Most of the time, she is ripping it out of my hands and trying to get a drink by herself. She loves to eat and has gotten good at picking up food with her hands and bringing it to her mouth. She still has to work on the release, though she has successfully put food in her mouth a few times.

Leah was (and still is, for the most part) a content child, but Rebekah is happy. She loves to smile and laugh and is working on waving. Right now it's a whole arm flap, but she pretty much does it anytime you say "hi" and wave at her. She loves being with Leah (though her favorite thing is pulling Leah's hair) and just stares at her in wonder most of the time. She also has found a really cute baby in the mirror that she smiles at, babbles at, and tries to touch. She still loves to play peek-a-boo and enjoys having her "baby back ribs" chewed on, too. She also does a pretty cute "scrunchy face" (see pic below) and we think it's pretty funny!

We never get tired of having her look at us either. When she wakes up from a nap and I come into the room, I am always greeted by a happy, giggling girl excited to see me. And when Daddy gets home, her face lights up at the first sight of him. I don't think we'll ever take that for granted. Our family is better and more complete because Rebekah Joy is a part of it and we are ever grateful to God for blessing us with her.

And now for pictures. Since I didn't do a blog entry from when she was 6 months old, I'll include the pictures I took from then.
Look at those piercing blue eyes
Scrunchy Face!
Look, these are my feet!
Sweet girl

Sunday, July 14, 2013

4th of July at the Lake!

We celebrated our first 4th of July at my parent's new lake house, and had a great time. Yes, it was rainy for almost every single day of our trip, but we made the best of it. I grew up spending almost every 4th of July at my grandparent's lake house in Hot Springs, AR, so it's really special to know that we have a place for our children to create some of the same memories that we have. Like playing with cousins, swimming from sun up to sun down (only stopping to eat!), catching fire flies, going for boat and tube rides, drinking "nana-nade" (my family's sickeningly sweet version of lemonade) and eating powdered sugar donuts, watching fireworks, and a million other things. What made this first summer at the lake even better, was my Arkansas family were there to celebrate with us!

Uncle Stephen gave boat rides.
The bathing beauties
Homemade American flag shirts for the little girls (pinterest!)
Red, white, and blue dresses for the 4th
Sitting with Nana
Reagan loves Rebekah!
Bocce Ball
Belle, Reagan, and Garrett
Riley had a great time catching lots of fish
We are looking forward to many more summers at the lake! Thanks, Nana and Grandpa for having all of us at your fun home!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Rebekah's first solid food!

Since Rebekah got her first 2 teeth and is very closely attending to our eating (and still wanting to nurse every 3 hours), I figured it was time to start solid foods. I'll let her tell you the story of her first meal
I'm happy to be sitting in my high chair!
I'm ready for something...
I don't know about this, Mom...
Are you sure I'm supposed to put it in my mouth?
Now, I'm getting the idea...
This stuff is pretty good!
What? No more???
She was definitely NOT satisfied with the recommended serving size for baby's first feeding, so I gave her another portion and even then she was still acting hungry. I think we have a good eater on our hands!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

We Bought a House!

After several months of searching, going out at least once a week with the realtor to look at houses, we thought we had found our house. We put an offer on it... and were beat out by another offer. I was pretty upset and was starting to lose hope that we would find a house. However, Stephen reminded me that this is what has often happened in our lives. We have minor setbacks (which always seem major at the time) followed by God's abundant provision, and that this time would be no different. He has always been faithful to provide for our family and would continue to do so. I knew Stephen was right, but was still struggling with a deadline of looking for houses to buy and not finding any prospects. About a week later, our realtor texted me about a new house that would be coming on the market the following day. We looked it up and saw that it was in a neighborhood we liked and told him we wanted to schedule a showing that next morning. We didn't know much about the house, but we walked in the door the following morning and knew. We walked through and told the realtor we wanted to put an offer on it. We knew that this 2100 sq. ft. 4 bed/2.5 bath, with an office, screened in back porch, and garage would not stay on the market long, so we submitted our offer that same day and they accepted! The bathrooms and kitchens need to be updated, but we are excited (and overwhelmed!) that we get to be the ones to make the design choices. God is good and we are grateful!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

5 Months Old!

Our lives were changed and made so much better on January 6, 2013 when Rebekah Joy was born, and each day it just gets better. Like her name, she truly is a joy.

A little bit about Rebekah at 5 months old: she is very sweet and loves to snuggle and be talked to. She likes music, especially mommy singing. Rebekah does NOT like for strangers to hold her. She will tolerate it for a little while, as long as mommy is in view, but after a little while, seeing mommy isn't enough. She gets the saddest, pouty face and cries until she is given back to mommy. I know it's sad for her, but it's one of the best feelings in the world for me. To know that my child recognizes me and wants me over others is amazing. It's something we never really experienced with Leah, so it's very new for us. Rebekah has had some big things happen this month, I'll share them (in no particular order) through pictures:
Rebekah got her first tooth! The other one is on it's way, I can see the white under her gums. (click on the picture for a zoomed in view)
Rebekah is getting a little too big for her cradle! She is getting bigger and bigger and we are about to make the transition to crib so that she can have space to stretch out.
Rebekah really wants to go! When she is on her tummy, she lifts up the lower half of her body and gets her legs going in a crawling motion. If only she could figure out how to get both halves of her body up, she would be gone!
Rebekah is sitting up... kind of! When she is in a reclining position, she curls up into a sitting position and can hold it for a good while. This picture was taken the first time it happened. She was sitting in the bouncy seat on the table while Leah and I were eating dinner one night. One second she was leaning back and the next she was upright watching us eat, wondering where her dinner was!
Rebekah finally found her feet! Sometimes she chews on them, but she still prefers her hands and fingers.
We love our bunny and are excited for the changes to come in the next month!