Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Wild Thing: 1 Month

Sweet Wild Thing,

You aren't very wild, but you sure make our hearts sing!  We're ok if that trend continues too, just in case you were starting to get any ideas.  You've been to church every Sunday of your life, and you go for the twice weekly preschool drop off/pick up for your big brother.  You made it to the rodeo with us, and you've been to see your Sandee horse twice.  Granted you sleep through all of this in your 'blue pouch' (K'Tan in Man Cub speak), but we love having you with us!  We pray you always feel loved and know that all of these good things you have are from the Lord.  We love you, precious boy!

You love sleep!  I think that's pretty common with newborns, so that's not saying much.  You nap in 30 minute to 3 hour chunks during the day.  For about 2 weeks now, you sleep 4-6 hours at night, nurse, and then go back to sleep for another 3-5.  If I only got to sleep that much, we'd really be doing great!  My sister-in-law lent us their rock-n-play.  We're teaching you to sleep without it turned on so we can transition you to something stationary soon, but I do love how it keeps you propped up so you don't have has much reflux.  You also like tummy time naps.

You're a little nursing champ!  You let us know when you're hungry, but then you're right back to being a content little squish.  Man Cub likes to ask me to, "pump Baby Brother milk so I can feed him", so you don't mind taking a bottle from your big brother either. 

You can roll onto your side, and you are learning some pretty awesome head control.  A few days ago you began giving us some cute little grins.  You love when Man Cub lays down with you on the play matYou seem to be super snug in the K'Tan, so dog walks and trips to the farm are a breeze.  

Sleeping, eating, baths, car rides, the K'Tan, your brother, music of all kinds

Dirty diapers, being hungry, being in a room by yourself for more than 10 seconds

19 Month Stats:
Weight: 9 pounds, 12 ounces
Length: 22 inches
Eating: nursing between 2:30 and 4:30 AM, 7:00 AM, and then roughly every 2-3 hours after that.
Bedtime: between 8:00 and 9:00
Awake: sometime between 6:45 and 7:30
Naps: Whenever you want them!
Diapers: Size: Newborn
Clothes: All newborn 
Shoes: No shoes yet.  :)
1 Month:


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Welcome to the World, Wild Thing

Two weeks ago today, on February 21 at 10:24 PM, our second little boy graced us with his presence.  Thanks to inspiration from a little art print from sweet friends of ours, we're calling him Wild Thing on the internet, as he certainly does make our hearts sing.

Little about this pregnancy was what I'd call easy or fun, but his labor and delivery was quite the exception.  Spoiler alert: he was born less than 3 hours after getting to the hospital.  Hallelujah!  He was due on the 24th, but I'd known for a few days that he seemed like he might be here earlier than that.  I wasn't going to complain, but I did want to be over the stomach bug that hit us hard and violently the Friday evening before he was born.  Luckily, I was feeling better by Sunday, but Man Cub, a very excited big brother, was still down for the count on Tuesday.  Isaac had to pick him up early from school due to a resurgence of tummy issues more than 24 hours after his last episode.  After a trip to the pediatrician to diagnose the tummy virus and a double ear infection, my men went home to cuddle and nap.

Meanwhile, I was at school, teaching away about Apartheid that morning, when I realized my contractions were no longer just the Braxton Hicks I'd been having since November.  I kept track of them, but kept on teaching. Mid afternoon I thought my water maybe had broken, but I wasn't sure.  It's not always a noticeable event like it had been with Man Cub.  The contractions were stronger and slowly getting closer together, but I only had an hour and a half left to teach by that point and knew there wasn't a risk of anything exciting happening before then.  It's amazing how well we can know our bodies if we listen to them!

My mom was out running errands and said she'd pick me up from school since Man Cub was still napping away at home.  Isaac drops me off at work most days since we work across the street from each other.  It works out just fine most of the time!  I got home about 4:45, ate dinner early because I was hungry, and then wanted a shower.  Isaac was dealing with more tummy virus yuckies from our sweet two year old, so I wasn't telling him every time I was having a contraction, but I let him know to make sure he had what he needed because at some point, we'd head up to Texas Children's.

While I was in the shower, he called the after-hours line for our midwife group to let them know what was happening with me.  When we got the call back, I was thrilled it was Titi who was on call.  Every single one of the midwives in the group at Texas Children's is phenomenal, but I had felt such a connection to Titi when we first met her at the orientation back in October.  I had told my family and friends to pray it was her day on call for deliveries when our little guy decided to be born.  Titi wanted to talk to me and not just Isaac, and when she realized I couldn't say more than a word or two during contractions, so told us to start making our way into the Med Center.  I think my poor mom had just gotten home from dropping me off when Isaac called her and said we needed her and Dad to come get our sick kid and the dogs.  Oops.  She and Dad decided to camp out at our house for the night since Big Brother was pretty out of it.  They're saints, I say!

As soon as they got to our house, we left.  I know it's totally a first world luxury, but I was grateful for seat warmers to ease back labor pains during the drive.  What a treat!  We got to the hospital about 7:15 and were ushered into a triage room about 7:45 so they could confirm I was truly in labor.  I hate that part because I'm not going to drive 30 minutes just to be sent home, but it's protocol.  Titi met us there, confirmed my water had indeed broken, and that I was 4 cm dilated.  I guess I must've had a wild-eyed, panicked look on my face when Titi said that.  When I had Man Cub, I arrived at the hospital with a broken water and 4 centimeters dilated and had hours of labor left in front of me, on top of nurses who were watching the 'broken water clock' like hawks and nearly insisted I use pitocin (I caved and did because I was dumb and didn't know better).  Titi very calmly assured me everything was just fine, that there was no rush to get out this baby, and that I was doing great, all without me saying a word. That right there, her being able to read me without me saying a word, was exactly why I wanted her to deliver my baby.  Thank You, Lord!  Peace!

Getting to a L&D room was a relief, and we got settled about 9:00.  The L&D rooms at TCH are equipped with just about anything a mommy could want: birthing balls, jacuzzi tubs and big showers, lots and lots and lots of open floor space to walk or get on a yoga mat, and wireless monitoring so no one has to be hooked up the whole time.  Lizzie was our phenomenal L&D nurse, and once she had a IV port in my arm, just in case, she let me back up to move around.  I never realized with Man Cub just how much better labor is on your feet.  I caved to an epidural when they started the pitocin with him, so I was stuck in bed, and it was miserable.

After talking with many friends, I had wanted to hire a doula to assist the midwife, but Isaac assured me he'd be all I needed.  I pretty much blew him off and figured I'd be relying on the midwife during active labor to keep my bearings. However, my man had done more than his share of homework and knew exactly what to do for me even before I knew what I needed.  Between all the awesome care he gave Man Cub and me while we were sick and then his doula performance, he's proven yet again I really did marry Super Man.  I'm not sure Titi had to give him instructions the entire time we were in labor and delivery. Isaac really did become Daddy Doula. He blew me away with his calm and collectedness. He kept reminding me of my Zambian mommy friends who do this all the time to keep me focused.  He swayed and danced with me through contractions.  Titi had two mommies in labor that night, so she was back and forth between us.  She came in after a few minutes of us being in L&D and said we'd be having a baby very soon.  What?!  Isaac had been putting my YL oils on my ankles, and I knew my contractions were being effective, but I had no idea just how effective.  Titi told me to get in the shower for 3 contractions (I couldn't do the jacuzzi due to my water breaking and the risk of infection), and sure enough, by the time I was dried off again, it was time to start pushing.  Isaac physically knew how to tell me to position my body to ease my discomfort. Man oh man, we make an amazing team.  Pushing caused my legs to have the worst charlie horse cramps, so I kept having to stop and let Titi and Ana, the newest midwife to the team, massage out my poor legs.  If I hadn't had that issue, pushing would've been much faster than the 30 minutes it took to meet our little guy.  Titi even let Isaac "catch" our sweet boy, and then I got to cut his cord.  With no epidural or drugs in my body, I was on a full adrenaline rush (sometime I completely missed with Man Cub), and it was amazing.  I could fully enjoy this tiny little babe on my chest physically and mentally this time around.  What a gift!

We didn't have a name for him until the next day, but "Baby Brother" had worked just fine for months, and worked for a few more hours as well.  After we'd all cuddled and he nursed while Titi stitched up my tiny little tear, I let Isaac take him across the room to get weighed and measure.  That squishy little baby was 20 inches and 8 pounds, 6 ounces.  And, at least for a few days, he had a full head of jet black hair, just like I did when I was born.  Score one for Mommy genes!  Wild Thing has blonde roots though, and his hair is already brown.  He has the most gorgeous purple gray eyes.  They aren't blue, and they aren't brown, so yes, they almost seem purple right now.  It'll be exciting to see what color they turn as he grows.  

We had a great stay at TCH but I missed my big boy.  He seemed better Wednesday, but then that night got sick again, landing him in the ER at TCH on Thursday morning with my parents while we were waiting to get discharged.  Ugh.  Poor, poor Big Brother.  My parents really are saints.  They took him back to their house that evening, and the three of us went on home.  It was a odd, quiet night with no 2 year old and no dogs, though we were grateful for the sleep.  Finally, oh finally, Man Cub was able to meet Wild Thing on Friday when he was well enough to come home.  A part of me has had to mourn that there aren't any pictures of my two boys tucked into a hospital bed with me, meeting each other for the first time.  This part of it was not how I envisioned it.  We had lots of facetime chats while we were in the hosptial though, and that was nice.  When it finally did happen, the meeting at home was flawless and absolutely precious.  Brotherhood deserves its own post.  These two melt me.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Happy 13th Birthday, Bailey

11 years ago today, I brought home a scrawny, sick chihuahua from the Brazos Valley Shelter.  I still can't believe how much Bailey has changed in 11 years.  He's 13 (or so) now, and his heart has grown even more in this last year as he's learned to adjust to a mobile baby in the house. 

Sweet boy, you're everything I dreamed of in a dog.  A cuddler, a defender, a shadow, spunky, and loyal.  Thank you for being my reason to get out of bed, even still, and countless snuggles in the evenings.  You love a good chew boy and a newly filled Kong.  Other than that, a cozy blanket is what you want most.  Thank you for running to Man Cub's room each morning and after each nap.  You make him feel so special, and he thinks you're just the greatest for it.  Tonight you'll have eggs and dog bakery cookies from Buddy Bites for a special birthday treat.  You're so spoiled a little extra won't hurt.  I love you so stinkin' much, little bug. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Man Cub: 19 Months

Sweet little Chimwemwe,

We love you, we love you, we love you!  Silly, silly boy!  Your joy and your love are contagious.  Your teachers at school and at church rave about you all the time.  You are making such sweet friendships, and we love watching them blossom.  You are infatuated with your horse Sandee.  Bailey is still your favorite dog, and you seem to constantly want to be surrounded by animals.  Just fall in love with Jesus first, baby.  That's our prayer for you each day.

The little tree frog sleeper is still in love with his sleep!  Yay!  Keep it up, buddy.  This past week has been a little rough because you're cutting 4 teeth, but once you're asleep, you're asleep.  Yippee!
Nothing here as changed.  Same old picky eater.  One of my dearest friends comforted me greatly when she said she's convinced we either get good eaters or we don't, and that at this particular age, there's not much to do about it.  

You are now fearless around the horses!  Getting Sandee for you has been such a dream!  We still have a lot of horse safety to teach you, but you're getting it.  And Sandee and the others adore you.  It takes my breathe away to see 1200 pound beasts following you around so very, very sweetly.  You are learning farm chores like filling up feed buckets with hay from the hay bale and feeding the chickens. When you ride on the big tractor, you know right where the horn button is, and you know that if the RPMs rev down, you're about to stop.  That doesn't make you happy at all!  You have your Papa's (my dad) hair-thick waves that won't stay put for anything.  I guess that's an accomplishment?!  You can jump now, and you've turned everything into a trampoline. You are a puzzle master and you like to color with markers (ColorWonder). The majority of the time, you correctly identify blue, green, yellow, and red. The Mega Blok set you got for Christmas has become a great new toy.  You very much enjoy building towers and forts.  New words: pictures, owie, eyebrow, (his own name), train, choo choo, yucky, milk, mac, bucket, mitten, flower, cheese, read, outside, playground, lights, clean up, jump up, nurse, phone, basket, room, necklace, fox, keys, town, love you, TV, wet, piano, potty, one, two, three, grape, flag, cow, jacket, bow, buckle, doctor, catch, float, help, cookie, tickle, that way, dance, spoon, snap, veggies, heart, leaf, happy, stem, house, barn, Sandee, applesauce, blue, green, red, yellow, pink, chin, hair, dolphin, oatmeal, raisins, breakfast, stairs, diver, shark, grouper, kong, 'chuff' (what a tiger says), tiger, thumb, hands, beads, pot, much, chair, ladder, rub a dub dub, swoosh, dip dip, hoops, Mickey, fries, night night, sticker

All the same things you've been liking along with puzzles, coloring, watching scuba diving videos, Mickey Mouse, blocks, and books, books, and more books!  You've also found an even deeper desire to bang away on the piano.  Play, baby, play!

Solid veggies, most meat, occasionally you don't like getting dressed, when Aggie Belle gets too close to your food.

19 Month Stats:
Weight: 25 pounds, 2 ounces
Length:  33 inches
Eating: nursing 7:00 AM, 4:45 PM, and 7:30 PM; breakfast around 7:15, lunch around 11:15, and dinner around 5:30.
Bedtime: between 7:30-7:45
Awake: sometime between 6:45-7:10
Naps: ~12:30-3:00
Diapers: Size 3
Clothes: size 12-18 months, and 18 months onesies; 12-18 months pants/shorts; 18 months rompers.  18 months pjs.
Shoes: Size 5

Year 1:

Year 2:

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Fragement: A Story of Intrigue and Adventure

With The Fragment, Davis Bunn has yet again woven a story of intrigue and reconciliation.  Set against a backdrop of a collapsing Ottoman Empire and the end of the Great War, young Muriel is sent to France and later to Constantinople to use her talents as a photographer and antiquities researcher to identify a reliquary believed to hold a remnant of the cross of Christ.  Muriel, with the help of U.S. Senator Thomas Bryan and French diplomat Charles Fouchet, sets out to uncover mysteries held long secret due to the silence of time.  With governments changing hands and political tides ever changing in 1920s Europe and Southwest Asia, will Muriel and her new friends be able to piece together 2,000 years of history before new powers once again hide away the past?

This book served as a reminder to me that we can't force another's spiritual journey.  We can pray, and we can be examples, but ultimately, the choice to follow Jesus is in the hands of each person.

Whether or not the True Cross was actually split into reliquaries and divided among the early churches doesn't really matter. This is a work of fiction, after all.  Yet, the idea of the cross still existing is oddly comforting.  Relics don't save souls, but the idea of see what it is that brought about the blood of Savior is a unique perspective.  Salvation came to us on that cross, and all of God's promises since Adam and Eve were forced out of Eden for their disobedience came to fruition the day Jesus overcame the cross.  Hallelujah!

As always, Bunn creates believable, well-rounded characters who draw in the reader into an adventure of suspense and spiritual discovery.  The Fragment is a companion to The Pilgrim.  The book releases February 19th, and you can purchase it here

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Franciscan Media in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Aggie Belle is Five!

This gorgeous, cuddly, precocious girl is five today.  How?!!?  Wasn't it just last month Aggie Belle was the rolly-polley rescue puppy? 

Aggie Belle, you make us laugh each day.  You still think you're an 8 pound lap dog, which usually isn't a problem.  Little kids, bouncy balls, fluffy blankets, the beach, the park, , and all of your people are the things that make your world go round.  You great us enthusiastically and guard us fiercely.

We celebrated all weekend since your sweet little cousin Layla got to stay with us.  Girl sleepover with the two of you are a hoot.  You chase chew bones, wrestle, and then crash on the bed together.  We didn't get any pictures of the two of you, but I think that made for the best party for you!  The whole family went to Petco yesterday afternoon to get your free bag of cookies from their cookie bar for your birthday and to let you go shopping for one present.  You love to sniff the displays until you find what you want.  This year, it was a braided bully stick.  Tonight, you and Bailey had a dinner of scrambled eggs and then enjoyed your bully stick.  What a day!

We are so glad that God uses you to remind us of His unconditional love, sense of humor, and wonder in life.  We love you, sweet girl!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Man Cub: 18 Months

Our Precious Boy,

We've had your gorgeous blue eyes and bubbly personality for a year and a half now.  We fall more in love with you every day.  You are learning so quickly and so fast.  Your grandparents are convinced you're gifted, but Mommy and Daddy just know you are an answer to every prayer we pray for you.  Smarts don't matter-your heart for Jesus and loving others does!  You are enthralled with the world around you, and we're excited to help you learn.  Keep shining for Jesus, Big Boy.  We love you to the moon!

You are still the same awesome sleeper we know and love.  Apparently you wake up crazy early if you spend the night with Mama and Papa, but who can blame you?  There is too much to do there to sleep!  I think it's absolutely precious that you still sleep like a little tree frog.  You have been our little froggy since you were born!

I don't think we've gotten you to try any new foods this month, but at least you aren't refusing foods that you normally like.  You are a healthy eater, but we do wish you liked a wider variety of healthy things.  You definitely don't care for cake, but you do like cookies, as we've learned with all of the January birthday celebrations we've had lately.

You are still working on blowing bubbles and floating in the tub.  Come on, summer!  You mastered the new playground in our neighborhood, including the rock wall, in one visit.  You have gone on a few walks in the neighborhood without the stroller and done just fine.  You still feed the dogs for us.  You say thank you almost every time someone gives you something without being prompted.  You rode Brownie (a pony we know) for the first time alone, and you did great!!  No tears, and you balanced well with just a little help from me. I think this one is a little weird, but you like to go around putting trash in the trash can. New words: puddle, dump truck, bus, Jacob, Bonnie, show, Howie (a pig we know), Jack (another pig we know), horse, pizza, butter (for peanut butter), round and round, boat Gabe (a goat we know), touchdown, breakfast, beep beep, here ya go, all gone, all done, ostrich, what is this?, cup, orange, alligator, crocodile, NASA, arms, teacher, children, read, frog, bear, brown, oh no, stuck, water, stick it, stick, box, granola, sky, thirsty, twig, go, crackers, thank you.

Being on the farm, horses (finally!!!!  No more being afraid!), Bailey, and all of the other things you've been liking.  You and Aggie Belle are buds, and you play, but Bailey is just your favorite.  It's so sweet seeing my boys together.  You cannot get enough of being outside, even if it's cold or rainy.  You had your first (and only) snow days this month, and you adore snow.  Daddy is already planning ski school for next winter.  Daddy won a little cork gun, and you love it!

Getting dressed, being tired, being hungry 

18 Month Stats:
Weight: 25 pounds, 6 ounces
Length:  32.7 inches
Eating: nursing 7:00 AM, 4:45 PM, and 7:30 PM; breakfast around 7:15, lunch around 11:15, and dinner around 5:30.
Bedtime: between 7:30-7:45
Awake: sometime between 6:45-7:10
Naps: ~12:30-3:00
Diapers: Size 3 (I put you in size 4 this month, but they sagged something awful, so I bought more 3s instead)
Clothes: size 12-18 months, and 18 months onesies; 12-18 months pants/shorts; 18 months rompers.  18 months pjs.
Shoes: Size 5

Year 1

Year 2

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