Benjamin 3 Months

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Growing like a weed…

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Ben 3 months old

3 month Collage

It’s no big surprise, but I am in love with this little man. He is such a people person and loves giving smiles and chuckles to anyone who will give him the time of day. He talks and squeals and goos and is very talkative all the time.

If you follow me on facebook then you know that he is also scooting all over the place. He does this thing where he arches his back and pushes with his feet and can wriggle all over the floor now. This means that we have to be a bit more vigilant about strapping him in and not leaving him on elevated places (like the couch).

He had a very exciting month with visits from his grandparents (my parents—yay!) and his Oklahoma cousins. He did so well with varying schedules and being passed around and all that goes with that. Every time we saw his cousins the first thing they each would do (unprompted) was come right over to him and give him a kiss on the head. So sweet. He, of course, loved all of the snuggles he got from my parents .

Since about 2 1/2 months he has been pretty consistent with sleeping “through the night” about 6-7 hours and only getting up once in the night and then the early morning. Of course there are exceptions and I don’t mean to advertize his sleeping habits since I know that can be a sore spot for some. But this is a where I document a lot of his progress and development and so it is the record I keep for myself. He goes anywhere from 2-4 hours between nursing, but usually it’s around 3 which makes me real happy. We have been very successful with the wake/eat/play/sleep pattern and he usually does okay with being laid down to fall asleep on his own.

Sometimes the “schedule” goes out the window or he just wants to be held to sleep and I have been SO okay with that this time around. There seems to be a lot less stress and mom guilt for me this time around. With Ellery I was so intent on doing things “the way we were supposed to do them” and now I realize that I can create good habits, but I also can decide what is best (or what I want) in any given situation because I AM HIS MAMA. hah! It has been very freeing to just sit and snuggle when I want to or whatever it may be.

He still takes about 3 naps in a day and today when he woke up from two of them Ellery and I went in to get him from his crib. Even though he was staring at the wall as soon as he heard our voices (both times) he would start smiling and cooing. Then Ellery (carefully of course) would go in his crib with him and bounce on the mattress. They both loved it. Then we played a game of “where’s your smile” and I would get smiles from Ben and Ellery alternatively. I love how she loves to interact with him and even watch us interact with him. She is such a good big sister.

Keep posted for a 2 year update on her. Crazy. Town. My baby girl is two.

Thanks for reading.

Benjamin 2 Months

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Remember when Ben turned 2 months…almost a month ago?

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Ben 2 months old

2 month Collage

So I love the laundry basket charting idea, but a) he is already getting big for it and b) we bought a brand new one and the edges are a little sharp still so I have to put a blanket in with him so he doesn’t get hurt. We’ll see how long I can squeeze him in there.

At his 2 month appointment he was 13 lbs. even and 23 3/4 inches long. He got some of his first shots and was NOT very happy and did NOT want to nurse after, but he did calm down with his pacifier. He loves that thing—a little too much. He spits it out during the night and seems to need it to settle himself back down in the wee hours. So, some of my nightly trips to his room are just to give it back to him.

We love giving him all sorts of nicknames. He is commonly called Ben, Benny, Benji, Benny Boo Boo, Brother, Baby—pretty much anything that starts with a “b” I guess. He started giving real smiles at about 4 weeks and he has not stopped. He loves looking at faces (even his own) and smiling and cooing. I love all of the little noises he makes!

He is a very content baby and mostly only cries when he is hungry, sleepy, or needs his pacifier. We even took him to a movie with us a few weeks ago and he did great! He loves his swing and going for walks. He still sleeps a good deal during the day and has a few nighttime feedings. At about two months I started putting him in his crib for his first long stretch of the night and he seems to do pretty well with this.

Also, it is very difficult to get pictures of Ben without Ellery being involved. lol.

ben ellery 2 month Collage

Ellery is still loving her little brother and regularly gives him kisses and worries when he’s not around. She has learned how to give him his pacifier the right way and says “pacifier Ben” so much that we think it’s her nickname for him. I love how she says his name too, “Ben-ja-MIIIIIN”. We are so blessed. I’ll be back soon with a 3 month update. Where does the time go??

Rearrange-eosis and a Gallery Wall

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Most people that know me even a little know that I like to change things up pretty often in my home. One of the comments I hear the most when people come to our house is “Oh, you rearranged again.” I’m pretty sure that I have a disease called rearrange-eosis. It’s a condition where I very regularly feel the need to rearrange decorations or furniture or perhaps the entire house. I’ve had it for just about as long as I can remember—I distinctly remember moving things around in my childhood home—and it definitely got worse in college.

Two roommates encouraged the habit and probably suffer from the same disease. In fact, I’m pretty sure my first roomie and I rearranged our room together almost once a month. You never knew when you were going to walk into the room and be faced with a maze of dorm room beds and dressers as we figured out how things would fit and if we had tried this thing in that place before. I also had one roommate who I drove a little crazy. Don’t worry, we worked through it without too much heartbreak. My current roommate (my wonderful husband) is very gracious as I often move things around, ask him to move things around, put more holes in the wall than you can count, patch up holes in the wall, etc.

Case in point, I’m about to show you my “new” gallery wall that I put up a little while ago which has now been completely replaced by something else. In my defense, my hubby made me a beautiful faux mantle/shelf for my birthday and I had to make room for it somewhere.

Almost everything I used in this gallery wall was either something that was handmade or that I’ve had for a while and just needed a new home. Here it is above the t.v. in our living room.

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You can kind of see the “shelf” Mike built for the DVD player and remotes that rested on top of our old, BEAST of a t.v. We found a really good deal on a flat screen so that is another big change our living room went through recently.

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The indoor barn quilt is something I made a little while ago and I am still extremely proud of it. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. The “choose to see the good stuff” picture is actually black construction paper and a chalk pen that I free-handed. It was a really good reminder in the midst of busy days at home and I am hoping to find another place for it or create something similar.

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The cross I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby a long time ago, the mirror is something that I believe I was given by my rearranging-partner-in-crime-roomie, and the “love” sign is from a craft store that I painted.

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Next up was the wall art I made based on Hillsong’s inspiration song “Oceans”. If you haven’t heard the song, you should really listen to it. It is one of my favorite new songs and whenever I hear it (or see the wall art) I am reminded that my growth as a follower of Christ comes in the PRESENCE of my Savior. Not in the best intentioned books or small groups with amazing friends or any other “good” thing. (Those are really good though). It comes when I am still before my God and get to know Him better in an intimate, personal way.

oceans artwork Collage

I used two old canvases that I repurposed, two vintage handkerchiefs (one was my grandmother’s), and cardstock that I cut out with my Silhouette. I love the floral fabric peeking out from the letters.

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The “O His Love Divine” canvas was a gift from one of my besties and was made with wooden letters glued to canvas and then painted over.

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I really enjoyed the gallery wall while it lasted, but I can’t wait to show you what the wall looks like now!

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I can’t see myself being cured from rearrange-eosis anytime soon.
Any one else suffer from this disorder?

 

 

Sunday’s Thought 7.13.14

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Matt 5 48

(created in picmonkey)

This is something I have wanted to do for a while and I don’t know why it’s taken me so long. I rarely post on Sundays because if I did, I wanted it to be a different tone. I love the idea of having a thought for the week or a verse that has been on my mind that I can share.

It says, “Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you. ” That is Matthew 5:48 in The Message. The ESV translation is, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”.

This is what I want for my week and my life.

Benjamin 2 weeks and 1 month old

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You know how they say that you take TONS of pictures of your firstborn and then forget about any siblings after them? Yeah…about that…

The good news is that I have been taking pictures, just probably not as many and I have been severely lacking with the blog posts. But I’m going to try to make up for that a little now. I knew that I wasn’t going to try to take a weekly picture like I did with Ellery, but do monthly pictures instead. I also wanted to try to keep track of his growth using a laundry basket and his stuffed dog from Go Dogs, Go.

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Ben 2 weeks old

2 week Collage

We LOVE our little man SO MUCH.
The transition from being a family of 3 to a family of 4 has been much smoother than I anticipated. I think that SO MUCH of the smoothness is due to the fact that Mike is a teacher and is HOME for the summer, so he has been a HUGE help. Big sister Ellery has done so well from the very beginning. There were still some sleep issues we had to work through with her during the transition, but she has LOVES “baby”. She is very gentle and affectionate and has been very understanding with the sharing of mommy and daddy’s attention.

Breastfeeding has not been without its ups and downs, but has been much easier than last time. Ben has been such a good eater and that has been a huge blessing. When Ellery and I were trying to nurse, she was constantly upset and I couldn’t please her—until I have her a bottle. Ben puts up with whatever and is very flexible and LOVES nursing. Seriously, huge answer to prayer. Thank. You. God.
(And thank you to those that were praying specifically for that—God used you as a special blessing in my life.)

This does mean that ONLY I can feed him (unless I pump and try a bottle), whereas with Ellery I could let Mike or others feed her. But this also means that I don’t have to worry about bringing bottles and ice packs and my pump everywhere I go and having to put baby down to get their food ready and so many other complicated things. I think it also means that Ben is a little more attached to me and it might mean it takes him longer to establish some long stretches for sleep, but it is a trade that I am so, so willing to make. I love nursing my little boy and the bond that we have created.

His healthy eating habits have also meant that he is steadily gaining weight and becoming such a healthy boy. He was just under his 7 lb. 8 oz birth weight when we left the hospital and was already up to 8 lb. 2 oz at his two appointment! This has means a vast difference in his first few weeks of life compared to Ellery’s because we were so concerned with her losing/gaining weight and we don’t need to have that concern with this guy.
Another HUGE answer to prayer. God is so good. (God would be good even if we did have to worry about his weight, but I am so for His abundant blessings.)

 

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Ben 1 month old

1 MONTH Collage 

Case in point, do you see the additional leg rolls already?? Such a healthy stud.

Ben’s disposition is pretty similar to how Ellery was as a baby. He is a very happy baby and likes to see everyone and what is going on. He loves looking at faces and studies them as if he is memorizing every inch. Like most newborns, he loves sleeping on people and not so much sleeping on his own—but we are working on it. He gets up often at night to eat, but usually goes right back to sleep so I’ll take it. For a while he was eating every 2-3 hours at night (and even more frequently during the day) but he has started to stretch it out a little more.

We waited a little while to introduce a pacifier because I was nervous about it messing up breastfeeding, but once we were pretty well established we tried it out and he is a fan. Like his sister, he likes to sleep with his hands up by his face, but he also flails them around sometimes and freaks himself out so we go back and forth with swaddling.

He has started giving us the cutest smiles and really works at holding his head up. So far, he seems to like tummy time and I think he would sleep on his tummy if we let him (don’t worry, we don’t). He also really loves bathtime and going for walks outside. He likes the car and his car seat—especially since he gets to sit in the back with his sister.

He will actually turn 2 months old pretty soon and I will post more updates then.
Thanks for taking the time to read about our little family—I love being able to keep people updated near and far and we appreciate you!

Why Being Needed Is Beautiful

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being needed is beautiful

I was recently at a get-together with several families that also have young children. Some of the moms were getting food—balancing multiple plates for multiple children, trying to find things that they will eat and then cut them up into tiny pieces before worrying about getting food for themselves. One mom asked another a question, but then caught herself when she realized she had been distracted and not really heard the answer. We then had a conversation about how often this happens and we wondered when the day would come when we could actually have full conversations with one another and hear the answers to the questions we ask.

I started thinking about this in light of this excellent blog post Are You Lonely, Mama? that I read the other day. (If you haven’t read it, click on the link, read it, and come back..it’s that good.) Motherhood can be lonely. I’ve felt it. I am a very extroverted, people-loving person who, almost two years ago, went from a full time job of being around lots of people all the time to being at home taking care of one little person full time. I have never regretted the decision to be a stay at home mom, but it was a very hard adjustment for me, especially at first. Just ask my husband, who got a full run-down of the day the moment he walked in the door and heaven help him if he was “late”. I’ve gotten better..I think.

Thankfully, I have been blessed with an amazing community of moms that support each other, give advice, pray together, help one another, and don’t judge. However, even our time together is often distracted or disjointed. I might ask how you’re doing, but then walk away before I hear the answer as I chase after my exploration-loving toddler. Or I might now even say “hi” to you at all, despite having every desire and intention to. But, I think this is just another bond that we share. I get it when in the middle of a conversation my friend starts running toward the bathroom because her toddler has to pee or when half of a phone conversation is spent listening to a parent talk to their child or abruptly ended because someone just fell off of a chair.

This is the stage we are in and (as we are so often told) one day we’re going to miss it. Sure, it will be really nice to sit down with a friend and have uninterrupted conversation about topics that don’t necessarily revolve around children. Or to be able to call that friend I haven’t talked to in a while because by the time the day is done and I have a few “free” moments, I am exhausted. Or to not be stuck at home because someone is sick or has passed the sickness on to the rest of the family. But, at the same time, I remind myself how incredibly blessed I am to have two beautiful children who need me and love me so much. I am so thankful to be their mama who they go to for comfort and love and laughter and security. I get to hold my daughter and rock her little body when she wakes up grumpy from a nap. I have the joy to nurse my baby boy who wants to eat all the time so that he grows and thrives. I have the privilege of watching these tiny little babies become kids who become people that will impact the world. They make me better and I am so thankful for them and how they enrich my life. I don’t deserve any of it and I thank God for giving it to me anyway.


In the words of the author of the post I mentioned earlier:
”Just remember that this is a season and it is the most sacred season you will ever have the honor of experiencing. This is the time when your babies need you and want you and enjoy having you around. This is the time when they will cling to your legs as you try to leave the house without them and run into your arms when you come home as if you’d been gone a lifetime. You will never be more loved and wanted and needed as you are right now…in this moment.”