Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jonah at 10 Months

10 months! What a fun last month it has been. You've really found your voice in the last few weeks. If Drew and Hannah scream or squeal, you follow suite! You finally said a "word": byebyebyebyebye. Of course you don't know what it means, but you sure are cute when you say it. :)


You're climbing and crawling all over the place. You're splashing in the tub. You're t-totally in love with Drew, and think he is super funny. (He feels the same about you.) You can PUT DOWN some puffs and yogurt melts. You're finally into soft solids, including potatoes, beans, pasta, bread, etc. When you run out and want more, you slam those chubby hands onto your tray and moan impatiently for more. See, that's so cute at 10 months! (Would NOT be so cute at 3.)

You are cutting tooth number 6, and you have no problems using all 5 that you have! ;) If I ever have to put my finger in your mouth, it has to be quick! On that note, I put my fingers in your mouth about 2 gagillion times a day. You put E V E R Y T H I N G in your mouth. Paper. Leaf fragments. Dirt. 3 day old food hidden under the cabinets. Whatever! I'm constantly sweeping and vacumming, but I still continually swipe your mouth. You better not be a picky eater when you get older! ;)

You pretty consistently take two naps a day: one about 2 hours after waking and one in the afternoon between 2-3. You nurse every 3 hours in the day and once (or twice) a night, depending on what's going on in your little world that day.
 
You're in a size 12 month clothes and size 4 diaper. You're at least 21 pounds, if not a little more. 

You're not easy to make laugh, but we love when you do because it's genuine. You're still fairly laid back, content, and only fuss with diaper changes or being put down when you're tired.

I can't believe your first birthday is just around the corner. Didn't I just hold you for the first time?! Precious Jonah, you are such a sweet boy, and I cherish you!

Love,
Mommy













Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jonah @ 9 Months

Happy 9 months, my sweet boy! I just love this baby stage. You're learning so many new things, attempting to mimick others' behaviors, improving your gross and fine motor skills, and are t-totally in love with your mommy & daddy. What's not to love?!


In the last month you've started pulling up and "cruising" around furniture. You've even started walking with your walker. *tear* And along with that comes....

You're into my china cabinet and love pulling out my glass/crystal candlesticks. (Note: must baby proof that.) Unrolling the toilet paper is a favorite pastime, and you can crawl with sonic speed if you see the toilet lid open. Water play! Pulling open drawers and cabinets (even with locks) is a lot of fun until it gets your chubby little fingers. The stairs! Oh the coveted stair access! You yanked and pulled on the gate so much that it eventually broke, so now we're just barricading the landing with random toys to hold you off. But if they're moved by a certain 3 or 5 year old, you do your best to make it up a stair or two (or three) before Mommy swipes you up. Rascal!

Food wise: you ate 5 or 6 bites of mac and cheese yesterday and SMILED about it. Write that down! We'll take it! You will gum around some green beans, but mainly prefer puffs and cheerios. I use them quite frequently as a method of entertainment while I'm cooking dinner. You still nurse about every 3 to 3 1/2 hours in the day and you nurse to sleep. In other nursing news, you have 7 teeth. We're adjusting to that! Let's just say you can be known to bite.

You wake up only once a night now, usually around 4:30/5 and then sleep until around 8am.

Today at the doctor's office you weighed 20 pounds, 1 ounce. You were in the 50% for weight, 75% for height, and you were at the top of the charts for head size still. You're in 9 month and 9/12 month clothes and are moving into a size 4 diaper.

You still aren't talking, but I'm working on your first word being mama. I think it only right since the other two said dada first. ;)

You love: your blankie, chewing on a passy, bathtime, puffs/cheerios, being tickled, diaper changes, Drew, the stairs, the toilets, opening and closing drawers, pulling on my pant leg, and crawling into tight spaces.

Not-so-crazy-about: getting your nose wiped, taking medicine, bumping your noggin', and getting shots. All evidenced today!

 You are such a little ray of sunshine. I love when I'm bouncing you around the room, helping you go to sleep and I look down and see your big grin looking back at me. Melts me every time! You give me these huge open mouth, slobbery kisses and it makes me weak in the knees. I love our cuddle time in the rocking chair and cherish those moments! I'm loving seeing your personality begin to blossom. You are a JOY to us and I couldn't be more thankful God gave you to us.

I love you, my sweet boy!
Mommy

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Homeschooling Thoughts: Year One

So many times I've wanted to sit down and document our first year of homeschooling. I wanted to document my fears, my expectations, my excitement, my goals, etc. After all, I do feel I have a passion for this journey and I want to be able to look back on this process in 10 years and remember. Maybe I'll remember so I can cry tears of "oh my baby is growing up too fast" or maybe I'll remember so I can empathize with that new homeschooling mom who is alone and scared out of her wits in that first daunting Kindergarten year. But I've stopped short of writing about it several times simply because what hovered over all these emotions was fear of judgement. Or maybe fear and judgement.

Some may assume we don't agree with public/private schools. They would be wrong. We homeschool at this very moment because this is what God placed on our hearts, for our family for right now. It's not what we set out thinking we would do years ago. But it's where God called us, and we feel we must be obedient to what he's called us to do. So we homeschool. And we know God may not be calling you to walk the same path. For all we know, he may not always want us to walk this path! So, for now, we obey. We buy math books and literature books and handwriting books and try to craft something with glue sticks and work in a messy science experiment when the stars are aligned and the baby's asleep.

So I have God's applause. That should be enough. 

Right? 

Isn't that what good Christians should think?

If I'm being honest, in some moments, it doesn't feel like enough. I crave someone else's applause and approval. I guess that's part of being a "people pleaser" at heart. I need the "atta girls" of encouragement. 

I wonder if I'm failing miserably. Am I meeting all the right milestones? Am I harming my 5 year old vibrant boy by teaching him at home? Am I screwing him up for life?! Is there a handbook for this whole thing?! Let's be honest: homeschooling doesn't make you the coolest mom on the block by the world's standards. And in some ways, I wonder if it will sentence my kids to a life of dorkdom. It puts us under some labels and assumptions. He'll be undersocialized. He'll be damaged for life. A horrible test taker. A slacker who wears pajamas everywhere.

;)

So here we are in February of Drew's kindergarten year. He's learning to read and doing so well. His handwriting is incredibly sloppy, but he's come a LONG way since September. His math skills blow me away. He and his sister are so much closer. They play together non-stop. Today they've been outside for 4+ hours playing in the mud, pretending in the clubhouse, building sand castles, and using their imaginations like a kid who doesn't own a TV. (Which we do. And we use it. A good bit.) And to be honest again, we don't "do school" every day. And he's excelling. It's working for us.

His character has blown me away these last few months. Sure, he has his 5 year old moments. He's an immature kid, so they're to be expected. But, my--what growth I've seen in the last few months. I've been praying over him that he would be gentle and kind and would have a heart of giving. So I'm not sure why I've been surprised lately when I've seen these gifts blossoming hugely. My heart swells with pride for him and the young man he's growing to become.

And it's when I sit alone and go over thoughts like these that I remember that following God's call for our life and not comparing it to the rest of the world's standards is what matters to me. It is why I do what I do. Because I am not here for me. I am here for Him, to glorify and serve Him. And I'm going to be praying that His applause drowns out the need for the applause from anyone else. 


Monday, February 17, 2014

Jonah @ 8 Months

I'm a week and a half late, but I've been writing this post in my head for a while. You've really hit some milestones in the past month!

Your cuteness factor has somehow increased. I didn't think it was possible!


Most notably, you're sitting alone, crawling everywhere in a speedy fashion, pulling up on items, and attempting to walk with your walker. Daddy is cheering you on and encouraging you to walk. I'm plopping you on your bottom every time and attempting to make you feel content with your rear on the floor! Dad's not going to be the one chasing you out of the potty in a few months! ;)
 About 2 weeks ago (right at 8 months), you decided you would eat some pureed baby food and not gag. What an accomplishment for you! You gobble down puffs and cheerios placed on your tray as if someone is going to swipe them and leave you starving. They make a great distraction when we go out to eat or when you eat with us at the table. You nurse about every 3 hours and you nurse to sleep at each nap.

Your naps are improving some in length and predictability. (Watch--I probably just jinxed them.) You nap around 10am and again around 2:30pm; you go to bed about 7:45/8:00pm. Then you usually wake around 11pm to eat again and usually once more around 4-5am. Will you ever sleep through the night? Maybe by age 2. Maybe. I cannot let you cry it out. I have become such a softie with baby number 3 that I probably coddle you a little much. I'm quickly realizing why the youngest children are spoiled!

You love: bathtime, belly laughing, Drew & Hannah, playing upstairs, knocking over the laundry room trash, eating ANYTHING on the floor, Mommy & Daddy, nursing, puffs/cheerios, giving open mouth kisses, being tickled and kissed on the belly, and being able to go where you want!

You're not-so-fond of: sitting still for diaper changes, having your nose suctioned/wiped, and rocking when you want the holder to stand up!

You coo and babble some, but you're not talking at all yet. But you smile and laugh and listen to your brother and sister. Every now and then you'll get going and really talk it up, but then you've met your quota for the day and you're done. ;)

You do great at riding in the car for the most part. That's a good thing since that's how we get our breaks these days with such crazy cold weather!

At the doctor a few weeks ago, you weighed 19.5 pounds. Your length was somewhere around the 50% mark, your weight was around 50-75%, and your head was still around 95%. Lots of gray matter, I'm telling you!

You wear a size 9 month/ 9-12 month clothes and a size 3 diaper.


Daddy and I can't believe how fast your first year is going by. It really does blow my mind. I just thought Drew's and Hannah's first years went quickly. I was wrong! Please slow down and let me revel in your babyness and cuddle you a little longer! We are truly enjoying you. Folks comment all the time about what a "good baby" you are. You truly are easy to love and a joy to be around! I love you, Jonah Bug!

Mommy


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jonah @ 7 Months

Forewarning: This blog post is not laid out well. The videos and pictures are all over the place, but my time is way more valuable than my desire to have this blogged perfectly. It's on here, and that's really great for me right now! ;) Carry on!

Jonah Bug,

Here I've turned around and you are 7 months old. The fun times are really about to begin!
 
This last month has begun to show us little glimpses of your personality. So far you seem very easy going and happy--two qualities we prefer in our kids. At exactly 7 months old you were sitting up with assistance. Three to four days later, you were not only sitting without assistance but crawling everywhere--under tables, attempting the stairs, etc. Hold on a minute! I was really looking forward to the "baby can sit alone and play right where I put him" stage. You completely surpassed it in two days! Stinker. ;)



A big topic this past month was table food. You basically hate it. However, when you discovered the piece of dog food and Beggin Strip in the floor, you thought that was the most awesome tasting stuff ever. Ick! Seeing as how you're the third kid, I did not freak one bit over it. In actuality, I felt bad taking that bacon flavored Beggin' Strip away. You were really enjoying it. So back to table food--we aren't forcing it on you. We give you little tastes of what you look interested in while we're eating, but so far, you're not a fan of anything, really. You gummed a green bean a few times and didn't gag. Are we supposed to consider that success? I don't know. You're only my third kid.
You survived your first Christmas at 6 1/2 months old.
However, even though you're not shoveling down the solids, you're a hefty, healthy guy. We head to the pediatrician next week, and I'm anxious to see how much you weigh. I could weigh you here at home, but hey--that would require 3 seconds of planning and remembering. So we'll wait til next week! Again, third kid. Sorry, bub!
Insanely cute.

You're FINALLY starting to stay up a little later at night. You were going to bed at 6pm which really was rough on the rest of the family. It practically kept us house bound at night. We've moved you to 7:15 which you tolerate fairly well. I would love to put you down about 7:30/8. As far as sleeping through the night, well, you're not.


The admiration here is mutual. Oh I pray you are best friends!

You were doing great sleeping until December 20ish came around and you got very, very sick. When you finally got over bug number 1, a few days passed (while brother and sister and mom had it) and you got bug #2 with a whole new set of symptoms--a dry cough that kept you up all night, a snotty nose that can match no other, throwing up snot, gooped over eyes, and fever. It was awful, and it lasted forever. It has taken our family 3 1/2 weeks to recuperate from those blows. We had one sleepless night in there that involved very sleepy parents and a pitiful Jonah. Oh, I just ached for you and wanted so badly to take that virus away from you and go in your place. Now that it has past, I am so, so thankful for your health.
Mid nasty bug. You didn't even feel like sitting up.
I took this picture and saw it and thought, "Wow. You look really good in this picture compared to real life.



Towards the end of the sickness. Look at those eyes.
You love: baths, watching/being entertained by Drew and Hannah, crawling everywhere, Mommy & Daddy, nursing, chewing on anything, the jumperoo, playing with Jill and being tickled.

Asleep in the jumperoo! I finally have one of "those" kids! Third time's a charm!
Two times?! Touch me twice!

 
You dislike: taking medicine (you are horrible! you gag every time and throw up a large portion of the time), getting your nose wiped, and being suctioned. All sickness related, so I'm thankful we aren't dealing with those currently!

By this point with Drew and Hannah, I'm pretty sure I had let them cry some at night and learn to put themselves to sleep. I remember it only taking one or two nights with them and they slept through the night ever since. So why can I not do this with you, even though I'm walking around half-zombie most of the time? Cause you're my baby! You know how they talk about the "baby of the family?" Well, you're gonna be the baby for good reason--I treat you like a newborn. I just love you to pieces and can't stand to hear you really cry. So for now, I'll just keep getting up with you at night and trusting that you won't be doing this in Kindergarten. ;) You better not be!

I love you, my sweet Jonah. You are the most precious little thing, and I thank God he saw fit to bless us with your perfect personality!

Love,
Mommy

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Jonah @ 6 Months

Jonah,

Not only am I on time for this month's update--but I'm a day early! This has nothing to do with the fact that you barely napped today--stinker! ;)

 
I've been told the more children you're caring for, the faster the baby seems to grow. I feel like I'm not getting enough baby time with you, like it's flying before my eyes and I'm not getting to savor it. It hit me yesterday that you're half way to ONE. Halfway to walking, being into everything, and being a hot mess. ;) I still think of you as my newborn, so all these bigger baby milestones are shocking me. It can't be time for these!

 When it comes to moving, you're on a ball. You're rolling and pivoting all over the room. You get yourself wedged inbetween furniture and up under the Christmas tree--and quickly! Last week you started getting up on all fours and rocking. Sometimes you rock with so much momentum you spring forward! You LOOOOVE to bounce, especially in your jumperoo. You'll stay in it for over an hour just chewing and jumping. You roll over both ways with ease, especially in diaper changes. You're starting to sit up with some support. Yesterday you sat for 4-5 seconds without me touching you. Woohoo!

Your first tooth popped through 2-3 days ago. A bottom center shiny pearly white popped through and my finger discovered it. ;) You are continuing to drool everywhere at all times. The carpet stays wet from your drool along with my shirts. Drew & Hannah are not big fans of the slobber. ;)

 
You've tasted a few baby foods in the past few weeks. You had your first taste of table food at 5 1/2 months (applesauce) and you weren't a fan of something about it.
 
 
 
You tried mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes and bananas. You weren't a fan of any of them! To be honest, I just feel like you're WAAAAY to little to be eating baby food. You're my newborn, remember?
 

You nurse every 3-3 1/2 hours, and you also nurse to sleep. I was going to fight the nursing to sleep, but you know what? You're little for such a short amount of time, and what better do I have to do? So--you nurse to sleep and it works well for now. I love to hold you in my arms after you're asleep and see your pouty little lips and listen to you breathe. There's just nothing sweeter than rocking a sleeping baby.

You take about 3 naps a day. Your first nap of the day is about 2 hours after waking and it's usually about 2 hours long. Then you' up two hours and back down. The next two naps are difficult at times. We kinda struggle from 1ish to 6ish when you go down. I'd prefer you go to bed around 7, but we're getting there--albeit slowly. (Time change set us back an hour from our goal!) You usually eat once a night. You were waking between 7:30-8, but the last few mornings it's been 6:45. Mama has been STRUGGLING with that early wake up call because we all know mama's a night owl. I'm burning at both ends here!

Drew & Hannah are so smitten with you. I love to find them talking to you when they think I'm not looking. They just dote on you and talk sweetly. This morning Drew put a crown on your head in the jumperoo. Ha! You are treated like royalty around here!

You light UP when you see your Daddy. That makes my heart so glad! He loves to give you a bottle on the few nights I'm out with church events. He's also a professional at getting you to sleep when we're out and about. On Sundays, he takes you out during worship (since your nap time falls right around 10 usually) and gets you to sleep. I'm so thankful he volunteers for that, and I think he enjoys y'all's 1:1 time.

Jonah, you are one loved little fella. I'm pretty sure I kiss your face at least 200 times a day. Who can resist those baby soft cheeks?! I thanked God tonight rocking you to sleep for blessing us with your perfect little life. He has big things in store for you, my son! And I'm so thankful to take front seats to see how it all unfolds!

Love,
Mommy

Friday, November 22, 2013

Happy 3rd Birthday, Hannah!

My baby, Hannah,
Last night as we drove home from Target together, I told you that 3 years ago you were in my tummy and God was almost ready to take you out and put you in my arms. I reminded you that you're special, and there's no one else just like you. I told you that I'm so thankful God gave you to me. You responded, "I KNOW you're glad God gave me to you, Mama." Apparently, I've told you a few times. ;)
 

Where to start with our now 3 year old girl? Seriously, I don't even know where to begin because you've grown SO much in the last year.

 

 
You are 29 pounds, and still wear a lot of your 2T clothes, but are beginning to fill out your 3T shirts. 3T pants still are pretty big on you, but you're getting there. You have been potty trained since about August (YAY!!!!!), but you still have a good many random accidents. (Just yesterday you peed in the restaurant when Daddy took just you and Drew for lunch. Last week, you peed in the middle of the pumpkin patch. You keep us alert!) Your hair is SO long, but you insist on not cutting it. I'm not sure how much longer it can get without being ratty all the time. You got it trimmed in July and were not thrilled with the whole hair-cutting process.

 
Your speech is great. You say whatever you wanna say and still have that cute baby voice and pronunciation to lots of words. You use lots of big words that sound funny coming out of your mouth (ex: frustrated, angry, librarian and diarrhea come to mind. All are hilarious.). Sometimes your little mouth will say whatever you're thinking--like this morning in worship. I got onto you for continually putting your legs on the side of the pew. You finally looked at me and said in your firmest voice, "Fine. I am going to the OTHER Bible class." When you get in trouble for something just before we're about to go somewhere, you usually exclaim that you're not going to (church, the store, the fair, etc). I think it's quite funny. SO different than Drew! It's as if your feelings are so hurt that you're being corrected that you're just gonna shut down and be mad. Dramatic!


Speaking of Drew, the two of you are great friends. Of course you guys bicker daily, but overall, y'all love playing together. Drew will build an elaborate tent with air conditioning, heating, and a sewage system while you go in the house to make food and take care of the babies. That's y'all's version of "house." I love it! You call him "Drew Man" which is a-stinkin-dorable. Y'all sleep upstairs together, and when the lights go out up there, y'all will seriously play and laugh for several hours some nights. You guys really do love each other. :)
 

You love babies, books, the multicolored bears, my kitchen utensils and playing pretend. You will have the most random items in your bed to sleep with--play food, a fork, money, a book....who knows?! Sometimes you have so much STUFF in your bed, you hardly fit! And you sleep with your baby bed bunked up next to yours, full of babies.You love to find the moon in the sky. I love that about you.

 
You're a mama's girl right now--through and through! You follow me just about everywhere (bathroom? yes.) and want to run all my errands with me. You gladly sit in the front of the basket while we get all of our items at Target, and you really love this time. Given the choice between me and Daddy, you want ME to take you to the bathroom, get you dressed, get you ready for bed, etc. When it comes to bedtime, you want Daddy to go sleep with you. A few minutes ago I walked up to get Daddy because he'd fallen asleep in bed with you. You had your pillow on his stomach and both of you were sacked out. Sweetness. :)

While you are so sweet and tender-hearted, you are also a MESS. Recently, you drew ALL OVER the walls  upstairs while you were supposed to be napping. You'll get all into the pantry and my bathroom items, and wow can you make a mess! I feel like you're getting into less than you did 4-5 months ago, but I still have to really keep an eye on you! You like to do things on your own, love to help in the kitchen, splash a lot in the tub, and do your best to keep up with Drew.
Into tea bags at the beginning of the year.


 

Hannah, I wanted a daughter so badly that I could do girly things with, and you were my answer to that prayer. I love you and I LOVE getting to be your mom! You are so full of life and joy and sweetness and....drama....and I could just eat you up some days! My goal is to raise you to know and love Jesus and build a relationship between us that makes us best friends.
 

I truly, truly love you.

Love,
Mommy


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