Thursday, December 12, 2013

In a valley

It's been over a month since my last post. I love reading your blogs and miss it when some of you go MIA. I wish I kept up more.  I am in a valley this week and strangely thought it a good time to post. We have been fighting illness for months. I have officially taken on too much at work (with ever looming more standards and requirements to meet) and honestly I work with a few pretty mean adults that truly suck the joy out of me. Every few weeks they get to me and I struggle to continue to overcome them. I have prayed about that situation for 4 years now... It's rough. I work with LOTS of amazing people, but 3 bad apples really have do me in sometimes.

LB is almost 8 months old. It's unreal. I feel like I have baby fever all the time because she's growing up so fast, I want her to stay little! But she's amazing! She's been crawling for awhile now, pulls up on a lot, nearly ready to walk if she could get her little legs to cooperate. She still nurses throughout the day, but LOVES her food. Howevever she has had the most stubborn cold for a month. It may just be a daycare/winter cold, but I surely hope it doesn't last until springtime. She graciously shared it with Ben and I so we've both been trying to fight it off for 2 weeks. What kind of cold is this?

N is 2.5 years old. He talks every moment of his day, lol! Seriously the kid can talk. A LOT. I try to remind myself how much of a blessing this is, but some days when I drop him off at daycare I drive to work in silence and let my ears recover :). When I have enough energy to keep up with his conversations he cracks me up. He notices everything and asks about everything he sees, but mostly repeats EVERYTHING he hears... everything!

Most of our conversations go like this:

N, "what dis mama?"
Me: "what do you think it is n?"
N: "yeah!.......mama.... What dis?"
Me: "a candy cane n."
N: "oohhhhh, a candy cane? Mama, is dis a candy cane?"
Me: "............"
N: "mama, dis a candy cane? Mama..... Mama.....?"
Me: "yes... A candy cane"
N: "candy cane.... Wook mama! A candy cane!!!!"

Lol! This goes on and on. I hope this means he will still talk to me this much when he gets older. I try really hard to continue to talk and tell him things even when I've had a really long day at work and just want peace and quiet. One day I'll miss his sweet innocent questions and curiosity.

N has been coughing for over 4 months. I ignored it for a couple months but when he got a virus I called and mentioned it as a side not, but the doctor was more concerned about the coughing than anything else. We'll it kept getting worse and worse. So mucus so that I couldn't remember the last time either of us slept though the night. His coughing fits would last for over 45 minutes, until we could get Benadryl in his system (the ONLY thing that made a difference) A few doctor visit is and meds later our doctor said N has a reactive airway.... Even google couldn't quiet clear it up for me, but he started breathing treatments yesterday that he'll continue for 6 months to hopefully clear this up. And guess what, he finally slept through the night last night with only 1 dose of Benadryl! Woooo!

I'm also struggling with coming to grips with finances. I get so overwhelmed some time with how expensive things are and trying to make all the ends meet. I've never had much of a hard time with "wants" but lately it's eating me up. I want everything I don't have...fancy clothes, all those perfect kids clothes, nice furniture, new shoes.... Worldly STUFF!! God has ALWAYS provided everything we need, EVERYTHING. I don't know why I am letting myself struggle with it. Valleys are where growth happens and I am asking and calling out His name that he help me overcome this.

A few pictures to add to my dreary post! :)
Sick LB

 N made a choo-choo... LB tagging along.
N better get ready... LB is after his train table!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

That next stage

So I think I'm there... At that next stage where I can't really pretend I'm not a real adult anymore. I am 30, with 2 kids, attend a moms bible study and want to be in bed by 8. Lol! When did this happen?!

The past three weeks have intensely done me in, it started with trying to get back into Zumba so I could hopefully get back into my jeans, but then I volunteered to help start an after school program, attend a moms bible study, go to 3 or 4 fall festivals, visit my family, have a child get sick, chaperone the beauty walk and then I get to travel to Dothan for the peanut festival.... Omg.... I need a margarita, but then it would interrupt my nursing and pumping which makes things more stressful... Maybe I just need a personal day and a house cleaner! :) :)

LB is officially crawling as of today! She's been scooting/rocking on all 4s for about a month, but today she had her little hands moving forward one by one. I feel like I already (or still?) have baby fever though because she's growing up so fast. I just want to scoop her out of her crib and hold her all night. I don't know if we'll have more, so I just want to soak her in. Even if that means she's rotten at school from time to time. We DID get a positive report today though. They said she is learning she is not queen bee in there. Whew! At home she's usually pretty good. In bed by 5:45 or 6, 12 hours of sleep, up to nurse at 6 then hangs out in the kitchen until it's time to wake N up. And by hang out it mean yell occasionally or squeal to get anyone and everyone looking at her... Queen bee. She's ready to run and keep up with N that is for sure. She's in LOVE with him and he still loves her right back. ❤️❤️❤️

N on the other hand gets to be free from his boot tomorrow! (It's officially been 2 months since he got his cast on a broken leg.) I am so ready for him to be free from it although it hasn't slowed him down ONE BIT! Dr. A said he couldn't believe how active he was with one leg... Lol, I said that's why he broke his leg to begin with... Busy busy boy.

Life is fun and great and I'm tired, but I'll sleep later. ;) I have a 2 year old and 6.5 month old. Precious sweet blessings. 

Trying to sit up!!!

Chick-Fil-a breakfast date today


Flash dance?

My heart is so full. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cat napping

4.75 months old
25.5" long
Her hair grows straight up. 
Loves baby food, sleeping at home, & her brother.
Dislikes getting caught sleeping at school, which means she needs a cat nap before I can convince her it's time to nurse. Otherwise I end up having a hungry baby at 4am. No bueno. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday N!

N turned 2 a couple weeks ago so I want to give him his own post that I can look back on and remember where he was at just 2-years-old.

He successfully blew out his candles at each one of his celebrations :)
We started celebrating his birthday in North Carolina, then had our own little birthday celebration on his actual day at home and finally had his 'party' this past weekend at our house with a few friends including his BEST friend (and cousin) Cara.

At N's 2-year-old check up he was 36" tall (90th percentile), weighed 27.5lbs (50th percentile) and had a 19" head (50th percentile). These are our typical percentiles and we suspect he will be tall like his dad (6'4"). He wears mostly 3T now. He was also cutting his 2-year-old molars, which I had no clue. He's done great with them minus a low-grade fever (typical) which then caused him to get heat rash ALL over his body after he played outside in the heat with the fever. (Didn't realize until after the heat rash that he had a fever :(

Pancakes, cool whip & sprinkles for birthday breakfast! Sierra wants some too :)

The doctor asked if N could say 20 words which made me laugh. I said um, more like 2000 words? N will repeat EVERYTHING you say, but also uses around 90% of what he says in the correct context. Even words like again, after, echo, no its not, i like it, i not reach it, help mama, bless you mama, thank you, no thank you, where are you, what are you doing, where are you going, etc... Talkative is an understatement. :)
He is still taking a 2-3 hour nap during the day and sleeps generally 12 hours at night still, although his can be flexible if we are doing something fun and keep him up later. N is not the best eater though, but the doctor said it was completely normal. He has days where he eats a ton and then won't eat barely anything for a day or two. He is very picky too. He likes yogurt, cooked carrots, chicken salad, chicken enchiladas (home made), ALL snacks & sweets, watermelon and cheese. HA! That's about it.
Opening DD's present
He is officially pacifier-free too! I was not ready for this at all, but the doctor told us the sooner we do it the easier it will be on him. Ben made the decision on Sunday that would be the day and so today was 5 days without it! Whew. He had a few moments of sheer sadness when he couldn't have it, but really he's done great. AND now we can put footed pajamas back on him! For some strange reason he would put his paci inside his pajamas and when he had on footed pajamas he couldn't get it back out... which would mean at 2am he'd cry for us to come get it out for him... thus we stopped putting those pajamas on him so his paci couldn't get trapped. Silly boy.

LB even got in on the fun
The past 2 years have been so much fun with this precious boy. He has such a kind heart. LOVES his sister. His teacher told us he talks about her at school all the time. The teacher said she didn't know her name though since all N calls her is 'baby'. Today I took LB to school to pick N up and when I opened the door all the kids came running to see her. N got so worried telling them all NO! NO BABY!! and trying to keep them from grabbing her. It really was precious to see him be protective of her. He even reminds me to put the baby in/out of the car (not that I need reminding) - he will tell me as soon as I put him in or get him out, "get baby mama".

There are no words to explain the joy we have that God allowed us to raise N. He is fun, smart, kind, somewhat passive, can be wild and crazy, is so funny (he says all the time 'I funny mama"... "uh, no throwing your food at the dog is not so funny N..."). We just LOVE LOVE LOVE him to pieces. He loves to rock and sing songs before bed and this is one of my favorite moments as he lays his head on me, mumbles the words along with me and sings. Sweet child.

Happy Happy Birthday to you!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend Adventure - North Carolina

I am in the car at this moment sitting in the back with an 11 week old and an almost 2-year-old (tomorrow is his birthday). We are on the way home from North Carolina where we visited Ben's grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins. It was a quick trip we planned at the last minute. This side of the family are not travelers so we knew for them to meet LB we needed to head up to see them. Since I only have about a week at Christmas, we decided summer would be our best option. I have to admit I was not looking forward to this trip too much. I was dreading the 11 hour drive that would only be separated by 2 days of visiting.

However, it was a great trip! Since it was so short we didn't do any type of vacationing, but rather just visiting with family. Both of the kids were EXCELLENT on the way to North Carolina. I am so thankful. And currently this trip back home as been just as good. No tears, screaming or tantrums. N had me cracking up before we stopped for lunch because we could tell how extremely bored he was as he started making various animal noises in between asking, 'I get out?' in the sweetest persuasive voice he has. He is such a great traveler. I just remembered I had downloaded an episode of Barney to my iPad during last year's tornado season in case we were stuck in the tornado shelter for a long period of time, so he is watching Barney as we speak happy as could be.

stringing beans with DD

We were able to visit with both Ben's grandparents, the kids' great-grandparents. We had N an early birthday party of sorts last night. As usual I was much more excited than him. :) ONE DAY his excitement will catch up.... one day! He wasn't really catching on until we sang 'Happy Birthday' and then he joined along very excitedly... still not realizing it was HIS birthday, ha! They have parties all the time at school for his classmates so he knows the song. Tuesday when he goes to school it will be his day :)

LB got to meet her cousin whom she is named after (middle name). A sweet sweet lady.

and almost turned over! She got to her actual tummy once but had her arm stuck under her. Here shes gone cross-eyed fascinated by her hand after making it to her side. Distractions..

We tried to get great-granddaddy to blow a birthday horn with N, but he would have nothing of it. Everyone sing with me, "Every party has a pooper that's why we invited you.... party pooper..... that's you!" ha! Noah loved making sure he had his cane though.

It was fun none-the-less :) Ben's mom came with us and she had a good time visiting her family as well even though she comes up here much more frequently than we do. We've been lucky just to get up there every other year.

LB did NOT like her birthday hat!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Lovin'... Had Me a Blast

Life is great! I am currently recovering from working three 10-hour days with my little bug. It has been a long week, but it is a blessing I can take her to work with me while Ben's mom traveled to Italy. I have been trying to catch up on blogging since we've had so much fun the past few weeks. We have played outside a lot, running around aimlessly. :)
My sweet helper & me giving LB a bath.  

We spent Father's Day at my parents house with my parents and older brother's family. We attempted to get a new picture of all the grandkids now that LB is here... here is a typical shot - Casino (the white dog) photobombs EVERY picture, LB looks like she's falling out and half the kids aren't looking. Hilarious!
Ava, my oldest niece, LOVES frogs. Here she caught one and was showing me, N thinks its hysterical... he likes frogs as long as someone else is holding them. 

We then went to my grandmother's house last week with my mom, brother, sister-in-law, 2 nieces and nephew. It was a crazy blast. My nieces are 90 mph most of the time and N is usually 20 feet behind trying very hard to keep up. He LOVES them. He thinks they are both named 'Cara' although only one of them really is. He asks about Cara every day and when he sees a little red-headed girl, he says, CARA!!! 
 LB & Great-Grandma Ocean

Fishing off the pier

Even LB is fascinated with Cara.

LB was wonderful at the beach. All 4 of us slept in one room which made me very nervous at first that no one would get any sleep, but everyone did great! N was so worn out every day that he gladly got in bed with his paci and LB has gotten herself into a little routine which I am loving. The sleep training hasn't been 100% since we went on vacation, but the part that we worked on prior to going was her laying in her bed and putting herself to sleep which is going really well! I lay her down after her last feeding and she'll wiggle and talk for a few minutes before her little arms go above her head and out she goes. Presh. She's still waking up once, sometimes twice a night, but nurses quickly and goes back to bed. I really can't complain. 

 LB & Nana

Anyways, the beach was a blast, we stayed up late, rode bicycles, played in the sand, watched for lizards and manatees and really just had a great time together. 
My favorite little hoarder

We have about a month and a half left before school starts back 5 days a week and I am so eager to fill every day until then with fun memories. I am thankful that I have tomorrow off though so I can mentally catch back up. We have our first neighbor play date Friday so I'm excited to get to know some of our new neighbors. Then next week we may head to North Carolina to see Ben's grandparents for a couple of days and introduce LB. Lots of exciting things!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Summer Fun & LB 8 Week Check Up

Rain, rain, go away... 
Daddy wasn't thrilled about this when he walked in, but it WAS washable paint... no harm :)

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time off these past 8 weeks. We've had a lot of fun and I've enjoyed this maternity leave more because I was probably forced to stay awake and pay attention to my almost-2-year-old. :) I have technically started back to work, but since I am a 10-month employee and my principal is awesome, she is allowing me to work whenever I can to get in my 20-days during the summer. This means that I'm working about 2-days a week all summer with 2 weeks that I have the entire week off. Also, I have no childcare for LB while my mother-in-law is in Italy, so LB comes to work with me! It is wonderful!
Look what I can do!
N has cut back to just 3 days a week at school. Last week we went to the McWane Center (a hands-on-museum) with a good friend and her 18-month twins. N is 23 months currently. Then this weekend we had a small-group social at our house with 5 other couples and their children. It was really fun. One of the kids who came told his dad that he had "100-fun!" ha! I'm assuming that is good.

Today we had to go on a road trip to Birmingham for LB's 8 week check-up. (She'll be 8 weeks tomorrow.)
Her stats:
Weight: 75th percentile - 10lbs 9oz (I had just fed her, but still...)
Height: 95th percentile - 24 inches long
Head: 75th percentile - 15 inches
We have a big baby on our hands! She has gained 3 pounds in 5.5 weeks. The doctor was very pleased with her and slightly shocked at how 'tall' she is. They left off her percentile at her 2 weeks appointment, so I asked today and he said she was 'off the charts' at 22 inches. Which makes me think they measured her wrong at birth. They said she was just 19 inches... is it possible to grow 3 inches in 2 weeks and another 2" in just 5? We also never got a picture of her accurate weight, but several pictures of other weights.... which also makes me think we aren't sure what she really weighed... give or take an ounce. It was almost midnight, maybe the nurse was tired.
We started sleep training with LB 3 days ago. She had accomplished step 1 about a week ago which is nursing every 4 hours during the day. Step 2 is eliminating night feedings & Step 3 is sleeping/resting 12 hours. (N has done it since 16 weeks old very happily. He still sleeps 12 hours if we don't have to wake him up for school/work.) So this next step involves laying her down at 7 (my assigned bedtime for her) and letting her cry it out in a sense (she only cries for 2 minutes and then I go back in and hush her and put her paci in - which is really the only problem - I just can't pick her back up unless she's escalating). Last night she cried/yelled about her paci off and on for about 2 hours until it was time to eat again at 11. From 11 she slept until 4am, nursed and back to sleep until 6:30. Well, tonight is already better, we only had to go in there 4 times to put her paci back in and so far she's content. The elimination of night feedings will be my biggest struggle since she is nursing and I can't adjust it by ounces. The book says to slowly lessen the time she nurses by 3 minutes (instead of 3 ounces) every 3 nights. 2nd night feeding first, then 1st, then 3rd if there is one. So the 2-4am feeding is already down to only 9 minutes of nursing by her own will. The 11pm feeding is still a full 20-minutes, no 3rd feeding since 7am is when she should be waking anyway. I hope in 4 weeks we really will have this down.

I am ready for this step to be over already. I know it will work if I will be consistent, but its SO hard to just not go in there and scoop her up and let her sleep on me for an hour or so while I rock her :) (Thankfully the book says after 6 weeks she can be rocked to sleep once or twice a week, just not 2 days in a row, otherwise we'll build bad habits.)
Sweet brother! 
(I don't know how to do with his hair... its SO straight it goes right back like this no matter how hard I try to comb, move, anything.)
And then, he's done! LB almost fell on the floor :(
N's update:
He's HILARIOUS! Today he talked the ENTIRE time from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham and back. I understood most of what he said, but I'm pretty sure 75% of the time he wasn't even really talking to me, but to himself. He'd talk about his daddy and how he has a big truck. He'd say Bye Daddy! about 90 times. He'd sing/mimick the radio, then tell me 'hey mama' randomly. Just so funny. At the doctor, as Dr. A was trying to talk to me about LB, N got really close to him and said, "Hey!... Hey!... Hey!... Hey! Hey!" until Dr. A finally acknowledged him. N then proceeded to get every item out of the diaper bag and tell us whose it was. He came across one of my earrings and looked at it for a long time and then tried to give it to Dr. A. He decided that item was his, lol!

N is just a wonderful, kind-hearted little boy. He does throw the occasional tantrum when he doesn't get his way, but thankfully they don't last too long and don't involve throwing his body down or anything beyond some wailing and lots of tears. He's a wonderful helper. Ben told him to clean his toys up when we went to get him at church nursery yesterday and we then had to wait 10 minutes for N to clean up EVERY toy in the nursery. The worker kept telling him that was good, but N wasn't satisfied.

He talks about the potty a lot during the day and wants to sit on it any time someone else has to potty, but doesn't ever actually do anything. 

He gives lots of hugs and kisses and says 'bless you' & 'thank you' ALLLL the time. He'll say 'Love You' if you remind him too, but I can't wait until he volunteers it himself. :)

This is a very funny age, the things he says crack me up. 

Overall, even though I am tired, could use a pedicure and a nap, I wouldn't trade this time for anything. It is so sweet. I am very thankful LB is a mostly-easy going baby and N has adjusted so well to her being at home. He's bossy, but very sweet.

 Big slide at church fling

 Water-table at museum

 Look closely - we're in a HUGE bubble!!

 Find Nemo kids!

N's a hoarder... he puts EVERYTHING in his trucks, carts, etc.

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