putting weight on her legs and standing
on the table with a little help from daddy!

We have an occupational therapist coming to our home every two weeks to work with Mercy and track her development... you know, make sure she's coming along as she should be. She gave us a monthly/bimonthly checklist of things Mercy should be accomplishing, and I thought it might be interesting to share with y'all what we're working on and how Mercy is doing during this process. I'll update on this every time we reach a new set of goals.

So.. According to Mercy's due date, she would be a little over 2 months old, and that's how we measure her development.

The checklist for a healthy 2 month old is this:

  • lifts head prone and turns it side to side
    • This means she lifts her head and turns it while she's lying on her tummy; she does this very well!!
  • tracks across midline 
    • This means she follows objects with her eyes as they move across her 'midline;' she's been doing this for a month or so, it's awesome to see her watch one of us stand up and she'll follow us across the room as far as her head will turn!
  • turns to side of sound
    • This means she turns her head and looks toward the direction sound is coming from; at church last Sunday when Chris got up to give the greeting, she turned her head toward the pulpit the second he started speaking!
  • holds objects briefly
    • This is self explanatory and if you've seen this little video:  you can see she is clearly doing this! (I watch this video every day over and over again!! It's seriously one of the cutest things ever!)
  • smiles to audible/tactile stimulation
    • She is literally ALL SMILES the minute she hears her daddy's voice when he gets home from work! Daddy's girl!
  • makes cooing sounds
    • This is so much fun for us! She is such a talker, always making happy squeels and what sounds like Pillsbury Doughboy giggles! Gotta get that on camera! Maybe she won't be so awkwardly shy like her momma was!
  • decreased head lag pull to sit
    • I'm pretty sure this means that when we pull her by her hands to the sitting position from lying on her back, she holds her head up on the way; and she does!
  • hand to mouth for self calming
    • She hasn't quite figured out how to consistently get that thumb in there yet, but she sucks on those fists like there's no tomorrow!
She passed all of her "tests" with the OT today and is right where she should be in her motor development! Her daddy and I couldn't be prouder of her!

These little steps of development have been so much fun for us to watch. Each new little accomplishment is such an exciting celebration. We actually had a pretty awesome moment today when we were working with her on rolling from her belly to her back... she did it over and over again! Really big deal, that's not on the list until three months! I'll get that video up on youtube soon...

Stop reading now if you're not interested in my emotional drama! But... I've been doing some developing of my own... as a mother, a wife, a woman of God... and what I'm seeing is that Mercy is developing at a much speedier rate than I am!

I've been a momma for 4 1/2 months now, there are some parts of this housewife/mom journey that I hoped I would have down by now... In some areas I've done ok, in others I've failed miserably...

Here we go:
  • wakes up at a decent time of the morning and starts moving
    • ok, one important thing to understand here is that Mercy likes to sleep as much as I do. Maybe that's an overstatement (ok, probably) but she gives us 9-10 nighttime hours every few days, which is amazing, and she's usually waking me up for the day around 9 or 9:30. That being said, depending on how well you know me, you may understand just how big of a deal 9:30 is!
  • keeps the house tidy so Chris can come home and feel relaxed and surrounded by clean-ness
    • I struggle a lot with something I inherited called "being lazy" and "procrastination." Period. I have a lot of developing to do here. Ok, one more thing... really, if you came for a visit before I became a momma and and after, you would notice a pretty serious difference in cleanliness... still have a lot of work to do though!
  • does the grocery shopping and dinner cooking, only making delicious meals on a small budget!
    • I have to say that this is slowly becoming one of my victories (maybe not the delicious part :/ ) but weekly menu planning has saved my life, and I'm enjoying the kitchen more than I ever have before! 
  • accepts reality and the hardships that come with mommy-ing a preemie, and has increased patience and trust as she grows
    • I would say this was a fail until a couple weeks ago when I had a hard conversation with something we're now calling my "bosom buddy."(A Hard Conversation) Attitude shift.... and on a super awesome note, we're now nursing with no follow up bottle two-three feedings a day, and when we do follow up with a bottle, it's typically no more than two ounces, usually less! I'm almost in tears over here! We have really turned a corner, and even though my freezer is out of pumped milk and the bottles we're giving her are mostly formula, I have been granted peace beyond understanding. God is working in a mighty way and renewing my trust daily! This is a victory!
  • eats three decent meals a day
    • Fail. I usually eat breakfast but almost always forget lunch until about 4:00, too close to dinner! Can't produce milk if I don't eat and drink. Got some work to do.....
  • displays an attitude of Godly forgiveness and grace in my thoughts toward my doctor for calling my baby girl "it" and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of other things I'm bitter about with said "doctor"
    • Clearly, this is a miserable fail. I have some serious praying to do about this... it's just that every time I try I get angry and bitter... hmm... maybe that's where I start...
  • sets a positive example as a Godly wife and momma for Mercy to watch as she grows
    • I don't think this is something that can be fully measured or ever completely developed, more like something that can be worked towards and strived for, and that is definitely what I do, some days more effectively than others, and I trust God to use me in ways I know are immeasurable.
  • unconditionally loves the mess out of that baby girl with every fiber of my being, even when she's pooping down my leg and screaming bloody murder in my ear
    • It's a victory... and there's lot's of pooping going on!
There's so much more, I don't want to overwhelm you with my developmental drama so I'll save some for her three month list!

Mercy and I are growing together, and we both still have a lot of growing to do. Mercy physically and me spiritually. Can't wait to see God begin to develop our sweet girl's heart for Him, I believe He already is! God is changing both of us each and every day, in fact, some days I look at little Mercy and feel like I can physically see the ounce she put on over the last 24 hours! She is getting so big so fast, probably about 9 pounds now! As quickly as she's growing and as slowly as I am, I know we both still have miles and miles to go before we're done.... actually, are we ever done growing? I don't think so...

What are some areas of development you're working on? How is God changing and molding you as you grow?

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
-Romans 12:1&2

Let's set some goals today and trust God to give us what we need to do what He's called us to do: to grow and develop, to be transformed, more and more into His image each day!

Love to all of you from the Ellzey's! Thank you for your continued prayers, we are loving every new step of this journey and so grateful to each of you for prayerfully helping us get here!