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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On a Rainy Day Like Today

Despite the rain and gray skies, today was a good day. Today was a day for pumpkin candles, and clean floors, and baby snuggles, and crochet projects for babies, and fall table decor, and time in the Word, and intentional time praying for my Levi, and pot roast. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

I love all things fall! I always have! I love crispy crunchy leaves, pumpkins, boots, flannel, fires, sweatshirt and jeans weather, harvest, etc!  Yesterday we went to a pumpkin patch with some friends (we actually went with friends, and family, and friends of ours work there). It was the perfect fall day!

Giant pumpkin ^^^

Face painting fun!

Friends (and yes that cute baby is dressed like a pumpkin;can't wait to see her ensemble for Christmas tree season)

Our little family! I think I need to buy done flannel to fit in!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

3 Months!

Well per usual this is a couple weeks late because I forgot to post it! Woops!

Life is busy and it is busily bustling by!  I can't believe it's been 3 months! 3 months of life for this handsome, smiley, little guy!
He brings us so much joy and so many laughs.  Despite a rough beginning to the week I enjoyed capturing some of his many faces this morning.  

About the rough beginning, we had our first big weekend trip with Levi.  He went camping at 4 weeks, travelled to St. Louis for a car and a quick aunt britani snuggle at around 8 weeks, and went to Madison, Wisconsin this weekend to hang out with aunt Lyndi. And he did great this weekend- sleeping in the car, sleeping at night in the pack n play, being toted around on hikes and a tour of EPIC (where my sister works) and to restaurants.  

And then Sunday night hit!  As soon as we got home, Ryan had to head to Cincinnati for work just for the night, Levi went to bed easily and then decided to wake up every 2-3 hours in the night and needed some extra help getting back to sleep for some of the feedings. By morning I was exhausted and on top of that my throat and ears were really hurting.  I work Monday and Tuesday so my goal was to make it through the days so that Wednesday we could focus on getting him some really good sleep and getting back on schedule.  So that's what were doing today.  But I guess that's all to be expected, and while we won't make a habit of weekends like that, it was worth it and in the long run I think it's good for me and for him to get off schedule and have to get back on.  After all, someday our baby(ies) won't be the only child(ren) and routines will have to be a little more flexible.

So anyway, here are some more pictures of our little traveler and a few things of note:

-Levi is still rolling from tummy to back although it's still pretty hit or miss, but Ryan finally got to see it! He is also acting like he might be close to rolling from back to tummy.
- He loves to sit and stand and can do so with the help of holding your fingers.  He enjoys the bumbo seat.
-He loves to look around.  Sometimes I have to turn off lights or cover him while nursing just to get him to focus.
- He especially loves ceiling fans, lights, mirrors, and people.
- He is quite social. Even if fussy for me when he is with other people he does great.
- We had our first date night (to P.F. Changs) and my parents watched him. 
- He is super wiggly and always on the move; I'm nervous for the day he starts crawling!
- He is interacting with and grabbing toys which is really fun. He loves th "L" taggie I made him and the rattly cloth cow that my friend Christine got him.
- Anything and everything goes in his mouth- his hand, his arm, my hand, my arm, blankets, toys, etc. He is also an expert spit bubble blower!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What is Normal Anyway?

I catch myself talking about "normal" a lot, as if normal actually exists for a family with a baby.  Normal is changing for us more rapidly than it ever has before become normal changes rapidly for our now 2.5 month old.  His daily routine, how long he sleeps at night, how often he eats, what he does during wake time, what he likes and dislikes- these things have all changed multiple times since birth.  

I'm not sure how many days it takes before I constitute something as normal for us but it can't be very many (he hasn't really existed outside of the womb for too many days), but I keep finding myself craving normal.  

The past few weeks I've been waiting and watching for things to get back to "normal", and as I thought about the concept of normal with a baby I just had to laugh!  Our past fourish weeks have looked like this:
-Levi started a developmental growth spurt (also know as a wonder week) and was fussy and clingy and had trouble napping on his own or eating very well 
-in the middle of said wonder week Levi and I both got sick with a head cold throwing off eating and napping even further 
-wonder week 8 persisted through the cold and lasted a few more days
-I went back to work
-Levi had a physical growth spurt that lasted almost two weeks in which he wanted to nurse every 1.5-2 hours
-we had 1 day of "normal" before Levi hit another wonder week and started sleeping poorly and wanting to cling to me often and totally throwing off our bedtime routine 
     (^^^Just a random cute baby picture 
     for your viewing pleasure)

So for the past few weeks our normal has been, well, not so normal, and my expectation is that much of the next year will feel that way.  So here's to embracing the adventure of life with kids and allowing God to continue molding me in each stage of life!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back to Work

Last week I went back to work. Just part time-20 hours-and I'm fortunate enough to work at our church-a place where I can bring my baby with me and where there is lots of flexibility and grace.  And it was a good week.

Leading up to last week I was not looking forward to going back.  It's not that I don't like my job or the people I work with.  That's not it at all.  I love what I do (bookkeeping) and I work with awesome people!  But I like being at home.  I feel like introversion has become this popular thing to be lately, but it is real.  And as a lifelong introverted homebody, I enjoy my home and my quiet.  I've always been like that; in high school on Friday nights I used to prefer being home, maybe with a friend or two, but certainly not out at big social gatherings.  But for me there is a very real danger of isolation and selfishness at home.  Again, it's not that I don't enjoy people, I really do!  I love small, intimate gatherings with people whom I can be real with and vice verse. But the longer I'm away from that, willingly confined to the walls of my home, the more easily I forget my need for people and relationship.  My need is different than say an extrovert in that I don't realize I'm lonely and sometimes when I need to be around people I don't even want to be and I certainly don't feel like I need it.  It's also different because I really do need that alone time, that home with just my small little family time, in order to be restored and refueled. 

So I'd been dreading going back to work because selfishly and foolishly I had started to think that all I needed was inside the walls of my home in the country.  And while I still love being home and my quiet time with just my family, and while I probably need more of that than the average woman, work is good for me, maybe even great!  To see other people who love me and care about what is going on in my life helps me to stay balanced.  And that's really what it is for me, for all of us-finding the balance-of what we want and what we need and what we need to do for others because this life isn't really about us anyway is it!

So my hope in working part time is that I wouldn't forget so easily my need for community and relationship.  And my challenge is to figure out the balance of being in community and still protecting our alone time as well. Because it's not wrong that we need time to ourselves to refuel; God wired us that way, but when all of my time becomes time to myself then it's no longer refueling is it, it is simply selfish isolation because I don't have anything to refuel from!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Levi is 2 months!

I am once again almost a week late on this, but our sweet little guy is 2 months old already! This week has been an eventful one- we had his 2 month appointment and shots, Ryan travelled a couple days for work, and I went back to work and small group. 

-Levi weighs 12 lbs 4.5 oz and is 23" long
-He is still at about the 50th percentile for height and weight and 80th for head size
-He is mostly wearing 3 month clothes although he can still wear some 0-3 month and needs 3-6 month for sleepers
-He rolled over again at 8 weeks, this time from tummy to back during tummy time. He's been trying to repeat it since then but he just gets frustrated and lays his head down
-Laughing and smiling and talking are some of his favorite ways to communicate
-He has started interacting with toys a lot more
-He still doesn't love baths but he doesn't seem to loathe them like he used to
-We survived his first head cold
-He is pretty consistently sleeping 7-9 hours at night; his longest stretch has been 10

I've been reflecting a lot lately; I think a state of reflection might be my new norm.  These past two months have flown by! And with each passing day our normal changes a bit; babies just change so quickly. It's incredible how much I can enjoy him, even through the cryjng, and not sleeping sort of moments. I keep a lot of notes about our weeks (because I'm a nerd like that), and I've realized that when people ask I tell them how good everything has been, and I really mean it, but I look back at my notes and remember the nights we were up for several hours just trying to figure out how to make him stop crying and the long days in the beginning trying to figure out how to make him shut his big alert eyes and take a nap.  But it's only been 2 months and already that's not what I remember.  

I think that's how God views us, despite our sin and our mess ups, He enjoys us, far more than I will ever be capable of enjoying Levi. And while He knows all of our ugly, unpleasant moments, that's not how He views us. If someone were to ask our Heavenly Father how he views His children, He wouldn't have a list of all of the hard moments with us, He would tell them how much He thoroughly enjoys us simply because we are His! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Baby Stuff I Love: Headcolds

I know I just posted a product review, but as we approach 2 months of motherhood, and because we are coming off of our first baby sickness, I am feeling quite find of a few of our baby things. So this is a baby product review of sorts, for the things that got us through our first bout of congestion and head cold!

Poor sick baby!

So here are a few of the things that got us through the week in no particular order:

1. Medela pump n style double pump and bottles

Levi was so stuffed up and having such a hard time breathing out of his nose that nursing was kind of miserable. He would open his mouth for a breath and not only spill the contents in his mouth everywhere but leave me exposed mid-stream. What.a.mess!  So I got really cozy with my pump and he became good friends with our medela bottles. They are the only ones we've tried so far but they work well for us!

2. Crane drop cool mist humidifier
This is the first time we used our humidifier. I registered for it primarily because we burn wood for heat so I was afraid of what the dry air would do for Levi this winter. I have been told that the important thing to look for in a humidifier is cool mist, but the design of this brand is quite nice! The top opening can rotate to point different directions, it doesn't leak or spill, and as an added bonus it's not bad to look at!

3. Nose frida snot sucker
Okay, this thing is genius! After this week I am completely sold on this item! I spent so much time sucking snot out of Levi's little nose! It's $15, and so you could save the money and use the free one you get from the hospital, but I promise you won't be sorry you splurged on this one, especially after their first head cold! It is much easier to use- much easier to get a seal on their nostrils and since it doesn't really go up I their nose the way traditional nasal aspirators do, you're much less likely to injure them ( I know someone who have their baby a bloody nose trying to use the bulb style sucker). And it is nice to be able to see how much snot you're getting out of there and know it's working. Levi doesn't scream any less than with the bulb sucker but at least is screaming is not in vain!

4. Little remedies saline must

Ok, so this is the cheapest item on my list, but certainly not the least important. In fact, this item with the nose frida will run you just over $20 together, but they pack a huge punch!  I sent my husband to walmart to get saline and he came home with two different kinds. This and the standard saline squeeze bottle, and let me just say this mist is awesome! Any saline will do! Buy some now and keep it on hand! But the mist is great if you can find it! Saline has really helped the screaming during snot sucking situation because it loosens the mucus and makes if more runny and suckable and less plastered to the nasal cavity!

So there you have it! The 4 things that got us through our first head cold! Those things and lots of snuggles that is!