Category Archives: Baby

We Survived Disneyland With 2 Under 2!

I know, I know. With a title like that, I sound like a privileged brat who doesn’t notice the blessing that’s right under her nose. I mean, how many people are dying to a) Just have children (that was us not that long ago), or, B) be able to afford a trip to Disneyland?

I’m grateful, truly I am. That being said, taking two such young children to Disneyland is no piece of cake. I wrote out some tips below for taking small children to Disneyland that I want to remember in the future. And maybe if you’ve got little kids and are planning a similar trip, this post will be a blessing to you too!

1. In all seriousness: Consider delaying your trip. If your children are like ours — both under 2 years old — then I suggest waiting a year or two. We went to Disneyland because my sister and her family are here for a short time in the U.S. and we didn’t want to miss out on a family vacation with them before their kids are all grown up. That is the ONLY reason we went. We didn’t plan this trip for our kiddos (sorry, kids). At their age and stage, smaller scale trips (like to a train museum or a pumpkin patch) are much more their speed.

2. You’re still reading, so I’m guessing this means you’re convinced you need a trip to Disneyland. That’s great! Now you need to decide if you want to drive or fly. Both of our kids are prone to crying/screaming in the car. Our littlest is 5 months old and nurses every 2.5-3 hours except at night. So 8-9 hours (not including needing to stop and nurse Rachel) of driving to Disneyland seemed like a terrible idea. If your kid loves the car, then by all means– drive! Driving all night is also an option because the kids are sleeping, but probably not a safe option for us. We chose the more expensive route and decided to fly and rent a car. This became stressful when we realized we’d have to bring: 2 port a cribs, 1 double stroller, 2 car seats, 1-2 diaper bags, plus all of our clothes/diapers/burp clothes/sippy cups, toiletries, etc. We spent a LOT of time on the TSA and Jet Blue websites trying to figure out what was allowed as far as liquids, and what wasn’t included in our plane fare (we had to pay $20 to check a bag that was 1 inch too large to be a carry-on). Most airlines have special allowances for babies/toddlers so be sure to check that out.

3. If you fly, have a plan for getting through security with all your items and children. I got picked by TSA for a full pat down (yay, me) and both kids were crying at the time. If we hadn’t had help, my husband would have had to go through security with all our luggage, stroller (which they wanted collapsed) and our upset children while I was away not enjoying the pat down. With help it was still a stressful situation. Without help, I probably would have had my own personal meltdown.

Miracles do happen: Neither child cried on the plane and both fell asleep on the return flight!

Miracles do happen: Neither child cried on the plane and both fell asleep on the return flight!

IMG_20160229_153449 (1)

4. Which leads me to this: BRING HELP! This is of utmost importance. Invite your family or friends to come along and give you a hand. My parents and little sister flew with us both directions (I asked for this specifically). And although we walked to the parks alone, we were almost always quickly joined by various family members. I don’t know how we would have managed without their help. I’m not kidding. At one point my husband was in line somewhere in the park buying us breakfast, and I was at the entrance of Toon Town nursing Rachel on a bench and verbally talking with Josh to encourage him to stay near me. He was obeying for the most part, but it wasn’t a good situation. Thankfully, a Disneyland worker came up and voluntarily stayed nearby to help corral Josh until my family members arrived.

Grandparents are the best to have along on a trip to Disneyland!

Grandparents are the best to have along on a trip to Disneyland!

5. Have low expectations. My goal was to do half days at the parks. On the first day we went for the morning and then came back to the house for naps mid-day. We returned for a couple of hours in the evening and Josh suddenly snapped and had an epic meltdown– which is crazy high-pitched screaming for 10 minutes (it’s never fun when strangers are shielding their ears from the screaming). We learned from that experience, and the next day we just went for a couple of hours in the morning. Josh had a blast playing at the house and Rachel napped well. After the kids went to bed, my mom graciously baby sat and hubby and I went back for a few hours to enjoy some rides.

 

Hubby and I having fun (sans our children) one evening.

Hubby and I having fun (sans our children) one evening.

IMG_20160228_204215179

6. Take a good stroller. There’s a ton of walking involved on trips like these, such as: Getting to your gate at the airport, walking from the hotel or house to the park (our walk was 1.7 miles each way), and not to mention walking around the parks. Bring a stroller that has reclining seats so that your children can nap in it. We took a double Bob stroller and never had to collapse it once while at the parks. Don’t be afraid to take your nice, expensive stroller. There are expensive strollers everywhere you look at Disneyland! They are also parked everywhere unattended while people go on rides. Just bring your valuables with you.

(On a side note, Disneyland does rent single strollers for $15/day. We opted not to go that route because we would have had to rent two strollers, they don’t recline, and the word on the street was that they’re hard and uncomfortable.)

2016-02-27 08.46.19

7. Have your diaper bag situation down to an exact science. Hubby and I did. We each took a back pack, and each of us had a ziplock bag with wipes, ointment and diapers for both children. We weren’t sure if we’d always be together at any given point in time, so we were both prepared to change diapers. In my backpack I also had my wallet, spare change of clothes for Rachel, burp cloths, two lightweight large blankets (for swaddling/shade), hats for both kids, spare pacifiers (for meltdowns), snacks galore, sippy cup, nursing cover, sunblock, and water for me. If you’re looking for a nice diaper bag that’s also a backpack, here’s the one I have (and recommend!).

8. Avoid rides with long lines at all costs. For an almost two year old, waiting in line is equivalent to getting your teeth pulled. Stick with rides that have a 5 minute wait time!

9. Download the Glympse and the Disneyland app before you go (both free). I hadn’t heard about Glympse before this trip, but it’s is basically using your phone as a tracking device (when you decide to share your location) so that you and your family members can see where the other is at at any given time. Obviously not everyone wanted to go on toddler rides, so we split up a lot. It was easy to tell when a ride was over or if a person was still waiting in line using the app. The Disneyland app was invaluable because it had live wait times for each ride in both parks. Great information to know before making a trek across the park!

10. Review rides before you go. Make sure they are appropriate for your baby/toddler. I literally watched YouTube videos of rides before we went, because several toddler rides at Disneyland have scary themes! If they don’t have scary content, they are at a minimum very loud and overstimulating. Rachel cried during The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at one point because it was scary and loud for her (Josh did okay). Both did fine on It’s a Small World. Our kids don’t have much exposure to TV (Rachel has none) so we definitely took that into consideration when choosing what rides they could go on.

On the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

On the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

It's a Small World.

It’s a Small World.

11. Even if you’re like us and your child has had a meltdown before even entering the park, try to recover and have an upbeat attitude (not something I’m gifted at). Look around and realize that children are melting down everywhere, at all times of the day. You’re not alone, and you’re not the only crazy one to take such little children to Disneyland. (All I had to do was just be thankful that I wasn’t pregnant at the time, because that would have made the trip about 100x harder!) Perspective is everything.  🙂

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Baby, Toddler, Traveling

Rachel is 5 Months!

Our little Rachel turned 5 months old on Sunday. Where has the time gone?

DSC_0056

Rachel in a dress from my childhood.

Rachel is doing great! Here’s a recap of what she’s doing these days:

Eating. Rachel nurses every 2-3.5 hours during the day and then goes to bed around 6:30-7pm. She sleeps 6-10 hours and then nurses once in the middle of the night. She’s a very efficient nurser and only takes about 5-7 minutes, which is really nice. She nurses usually about 7 times in a 24 hour period. She’s pretty fussy while nursing, depending on the day, because she’s impatient waiting for the letdown. If she’s interested in it, I plan to wait until she’s 6 months old to start solids.

Sleep. She’s a great sleeper. I put her down while still awake with her pacifier and she puts herself to sleep. I do still swaddle her. Once she hits 6 months old we’ll probably stop swaddling her and that’ll mean we’ll have to sleep train her (yay). She mostly still sleeps in the rock n play sleeper in her room, but she’s running out of room in it! And she’s sat up in that thing twice now (not while swaddled, though.) She sleeps in her crib but loses her pacifier more quickly and tends to wake up more frequently.

Naps. Rachel pretty much naps in between all feedings during the day except between the last two feedings in the evening before bed. If she’s swaddled and in her crib she’ll sleep around 2-3 hours. If she’s in the swing she sleeps around an hour, depending on how loud her older brother is at the time. (When she’s sleeping he walks around saying the loudest “SHHHH!” I’ve ever heard, ha!)

DSC_0065

Play. She loves her Bumbo seat and being anywhere she can see people. She loves people and is very quick to return a smile. She really enjoys being held and just sitting in your lap. She is very social, and a bit more clingy with me than Josh was. She likes the swing less and less, and prefers it only in the mornings. However, she can see the entire kitchen and living room from the swing so she likes that.

She had her first trip to the snow last weekend and did (mostly) great in the car on the way there and back. She will be headed to Disneyland sometime in the near future as well! I’m really hoping she’ll do okay with all of the loud noises there, as well as the plane ride.

DSC_0047

We love you Rachel Noelle!

2 Comments

Filed under Baby

Getting Over a Grumpy Heart

“With thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Phil. 4:6

I’ve been thinking about this verse a lot lately. My heart replaces thankfulness with grumpiness sometimes before I can even count to three. I need to stop and pray when that happens — and more importantly, I first need to think of something to be thankful for!

Last night we went to my parent’s house for the Superbowl. Josh actually did great (other than not napping) and we had a lovely afternoon. But then Rachel lost it around 5 pm and just couldn’t pull it back together. She screamed and screamed. When it dawned on me that we would need to skip a delicious tri tip dinner and leave my parents’ house prematurely, something in me sort of snapped. “Seems like it’s either one kid or the other that starts screaming and won’t stop whenever we go somewhere!” I lamented to my sister. She assured me that it all very normal and asked if I’d like a tri tip dinner “to go.” But I fighting intense feelings of disappointment and frustration.

Last night didn’t get any better. Josh cried for hours. Rachel slept great thankfully — I’m sure all that screaming wore her out! But between the two children, I did not really get to bed for uninterrupted sleep until 4:30 am. My husband covered for me so that I could get a few hours of sleep, but then that meant that he’d be getting to work late and, consequently, home late. Again, my heart desperately wanted to feel sorry for itself.

Later on this morning, I got a few text messages from my older sister. They had discovered mold inside the walls in the older granny house they’re living in (at my parent’s property –while they’re home in the states). The mold was sort of a big deal — my brother in law and my Dad had to strip the wall there down to the studs and repair it with new installation and siding. My sister chose to not freak out about the mold. But I think she was fairly horrified this morning to see that one of my nephew’s blankets (that he keep on his bed) was embedded with a lot of mold. She stripped his bed and washed everything with bleach. She could have been distressed about the mold (and the other 99 things that have gone a muck in that granny house since they’ve been there). She could have been scared about potential sickness or felt burdened by all the extra work. Instead, she sent me this text:

“Lord, thank you for work to do and the strength to do it.”

She is choosing to respond opposite of what her emotions are telling her. This takes great self control! It is something the Lord is teaching me right now. I may have every excuse in the world to be grumpy or to complain. But that doesn’t make it okay. Attitude really is everything.

Lastly, a few pictures. I took Josh to see his pediatrician today because right after I blogged last week he broke out into a rash following a mild cold (I think he has Fifth’s Disease, an extremely common childhood illness). Today he had a fever though so I took him in to make sure he wasn’t getting a secondary infection. I’m thanking God that he seems to be just fine!

At the doctor's office.

At the doctor’s office.

And Rachel in her new snowsuit. Can you believe this snowsuit is size 3-6 months?!! My mom kindly ordered it online for her (I picked it out). It’ll work because it has a sleeping bag effect on her so I think she’ll stay quite warm. 🙂 We’re headed up to the snow soon! I’m sure we’ll all get a kick out of seeing her in this jumbo suit. I laugh every time I look at the picture!

Sumo wrestler baby Rachel!

Sumo wrestler baby Rachel!

Hope you have a great Monday!

5 Comments

Filed under Baby, Motherhood, Toddler, Uncategorized

Our Hope is in Christ

Our kids were both dedicated this morning at our Christian church. Before the congregation, we pledged to pray over and to train up our children in the Lord. This is not a requirement in any way for the Christian parent; it is simply a special time devoted to praying specifically for our children as a church congregation, as well as an opportunity to publicly declare our intention of raising our children to know Christ.

I’ve been looking forward to this day for months. It wasn’t so very long ago that we were wrestling with infertility and the daunting thought that we might not ever be parents. How I cried out to the Lord repeatedly, reminding Him about Hannah and Sarah (as if He needed to be reminded) and some other barren Biblical women who were blessed with children. God certainly doesn’t promise us children, so I didn’t pretend to believe that we would be parents someday. We just didn’t know what would happen, and as the years went by and the likelihood of needing a hysterectomy went up, we lived with a lot of pain and turmoil.

But then God blessed us; not with one child, but two. We don’t deserve children, but He had mercy on us.

How grateful my heart was this morning, thinking that we could have arrived at church this morning still barren. Still fighting endometriosis. Still having surgeries. But we didn’t.

And yet, it’s not all about having children, or raising children, or being a mother or a father. These children of ours are wonderful and grant us great purpose for a time. But children are not our hope– our hope is in Christ! And how we thank him for His tender mercies on us.

DSC08674

Our families came alongside to worship with us this morning and to pray over our children. After the service, my brother in law took our family picture outside the church. I’m still amazed at the color of the plants behind us!

DSC08685

Hebrews 6:19-20: We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. (NIV)

6 Comments

Filed under Baby, Endometriosis, Infertility, Worship

Rachel is 4 Months Old!

Rachel is 4 months old today, and although it’s meltdown time at our home right now I wanted to get this post done before my memory fails to recall the details about her in this age and stage!

IMG_20160104_184411

This little girl is growing like a weed. I weighed her on our home scale the other day and she was 13#8 oz (she was 6#9 oz at birth). It is a joy to see her gaining weight and growing in length. We’ll get an official weight and length next week at her 4 mo. baby check up.

Rachel nurses every 2-3 hours during the day and once at night. I usually put her down to bed around 8 or 9pm, but since I’m planning on going back to work in the evenings soon I’ll need to move it up a bit (she doesn’t take a bottle). She wakes up around 6 or 7 am, nurses, and takes another nap in the baby swing until her next feeding time. I still don’t have her on a nap schedule because she continues to sleep for at least a little bit in between every feeding during the day. Once she starts staying awake between feedings I’ll start her on a nap schedule. She’s getting close to having that happen.

I’m still putting her in the rock n play sleeper at night and she loves that thing. She rarely spits up when she’s in it, which helps her to sleep longer. Also, her pacifier stays put. She’s almost too long for it though (sadness!) so she’ll be transitioned to her crib soon. She occasionally takes naps in her crib during the day.

Following in her brother's footsteps. She loves books already. I find myself sorting through books more than I do baby/toddler clothes.

Following in her brother’s footsteps. She loves books already. I find myself sorting through books more than I do baby/toddler clothes.

She’s out of most of her 3 month clothes. She’s in 3-6 month clothes or 6 month Carter’s clothes. All of her 3 month sleepers are too short. I really need to get her some more winter 6 month basics, like onesies and pants. I’ll probably end up ordering them.

Rachel has nursed like a champ from the beginning. I’m SO relieved about that. I don’t think I have an amazing milk supply or anything, but what she gets seems to go a long way. Breast milk is amazing! (Please don’t feel sad if you are formula feeding — I did 6 months of formula with Josh and he did great with it.) I’m planning to nurse her for a year (that’s my goal). I would be lying if I said I was excited about it– I don’t really mind it, but I will mention that I made a mental note today that we still have 8 months to go. 😉

She is very verbal and loves to “talk” to you when she’s in a happy mood. She squeals with delight sometimes, and it’s soooo cute. She can also scream at the top of her lungs when she is in pain or freaked out by a loud noise. Her biggest nemesis is her tummy — she’s had a lot of gas since birth and it is a major problem whenever I eat something on her “do not eat” list (which consists of broccoli, oatmeal, beans, and trail mix).

Around this time last year was when I was 6 weeks pregnant with her. We thought we were going to lose her when I hemorrhaged and got diagnosed with a subchorionic bleed. How INCREDIBLY blessed we are that she is happily sleeping next to me right now! Thank you God for sparing her life and for allowing us to cherish her in our arms! Her daddy and I often marvel over how fearfully and wonderfully made she is.

Snuggling with Mommy. One of mommy's most favorite parts of the day!

Snuggling with Mommy. One of mommy’s most favorite parts of the day!

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Baby

Simply Being Here

These days are fun yet hectic. Rachel is doing great — she’ll be 4 months old in a couple of days and she’s giggly and smiley and already popping out teeth (teething at 3 months is CRAZY, by the way). Josh is almost 23 months and is and putting words together for the first time. He can be found with his nose in a book and a train piece in one hand at almost all times. It is a delight to see them both growing and learning new tricks! But lest you think it’s all roses– our days also involve lots of screaming. So yes, it is fun and there is much laughter– but there is also much screaming too.

In light of this busy season, I have often wondered “How can I be serving others? How can I help out at church? What can I be doing to be a blessing?” The truth of the matter is that it’s a small feat just to make it to the grocery store, let alone church. With a small baby in tote who nurses often, there aren’t really any practical places for me to be able to serve at church right now (which really makes me feel like a consumer). Josh also depends heavily on routine and schedule, and not adhering to his routine for too long means a complete meltdown (which happened in an extended version on Christmas day). All this is to say is that the bulk of my ministry these days is at home– loving my kids and my husband. I know many women who have several more kids than me, who home school and serve outside of the home in multiple capacities– and they are amazing! But that is not me. I’m being stretched thin these days just by getting dinner on the table and both kids bathed before bedtime.

Blogger Melissa over at yourmomhasablog.com encouraged me today with her post about how stay at home moms can serve God. She writes that the stay at home mom has the strange occupation of simply being there. (I’ve been mulling this over as I grew up with a mom who was also “there” (even though she worked a lot from home) and the positive impact that just having her around (to keep tabs on me, or for me to ask her questions, etc) had on me.) Melissa encourages those who feel like they aren’t even very good homemakers to see that all the work they’re doing at home for their kids and husbands  are being done for the Lord– that He is their boss. She writes “We’re doing these things, yes laundry and the whole shebang, because God has given us this job, this calling of being there, and we owe Him everything. So, we serve Him with our presence in the home.” She also offers several small ways we can serve the Lord, merely by being obedient to His Word and the overflow that such obedience brings. Some examples of this that she mentioned were as obvious as being a good friend to your husband– or as small as being kind and friendly to the employee at the grocery store. Lastly, she encourages women to focus on their chief purpose: To know God and enjoy Him forever. She encourages women not to get caught up so much in what they can or can’t do, but to focus on making every day an exercise to dwell in His presence. Amen to that!

My whole life has been geared on getting good grades in school and being in such a place so that I could choose any career I wanted. And I’m glad I chose nursing — it has been a wonderful choice, full of hard work and promoting good critical thinking skills. But not much of my life has prepared me for the challenges of being a mother. I have relied heavily on my older sister (in a way, I’m really glad her kids are much older than mine so that I’ve been able to watch her parent so much) and my mother in this area, as I am oft in amazement in the jobs they have both done as mothers. Obviously, being a good nurse has always been important to me. But being a WISE mother trumps everything else, let alone my devotion to God and to my husband. And this is where the buck stops. As much as I miss not serving in more tangible ways outside of the home, for this season of life I can serve God by being in His presence and by serving my family. Showering others with the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control). Speaking kind words and encouragement to others, or being a listening ear when needed. (Or, more realistically for this week: Not complaining even though we’re all sick, responding calmly to a toddler who’s just pitched his plate of food onto the floor, and being able to smile at a baby who screams with indignation when being put down in the baby swing for a while.)

3 month old Rachel. How we love her!

3 month old Rachel. How we love her!

1 Comment

Filed under Baby, Motherhood, Toddler

God With Us

“Immanuel, God with us.”

These past few weeks have been hard, stretching me thinner than ever before. At the end of the day, when I have failed to cook my family dinner because there have been too many meltdowns and a near-death choking event from the toddler, as well as persistent crying and spit up from the baby, I find myself collapsing into our living room chair. I can hear the toddler still whining from his crib, well over an hour after he’s been put down to sleep for the night.

It dawns on me: I feel sad. Lonely. Needy. It’s been a hard day and I know I’ll feel better about it after some sleep. And I usually do. How a little sleep and a little coffee tend to brighten my outlook on life.

But there is something much greater, which pours life into my needy soul, encouraging and speaking truth– again and again.

Jesus. Who Jesus is and the Gospel itself, have changed everything. We read Matthew 1 yesterday in church and we read these words from Matt 1:23: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).” I failed to retain much of what was being said after we got to verse 23. The enormity of these words knocked me over like a freight train. GOD IS WITH US. There has never been a time when I did not desperately need Him. But I do not live without hope. Jesus has rocked my world since I was a child, and He continues to do so each day.

I may feel sad, lonely, or needy. Being a mom is wonderful, but it’s also the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I may be tempted to think I’m a failure at this motherhood business. But these are just fickle emotions, prone to change day to day. They can never compare to what Jesus has done – taking my sins for me on the cross and making me perfect in His eyes. I have a great need for a Savior and I have a great need to be forgiven. That incredible day, two thousand years ago, when Mary gave birth to Jesus, everything changed. The prophecies of long ago were fulfilled, and the Messiah — fully God, fully man, came to live upon mankind. The world has never been the same.

If you’re a new mom like me, with days spent trying to reason with less-than-two year olds, or wiping spit up off of your tired face from your newborn– take hope in knowing that you are being faithful not only to your kids, but also to your Savior. And know that even though this journey feels endless (and often fruitless), He is with you all the way.

Leave a comment

Filed under Baby, Motherhood, Toddler

Life With Two & Toddler Activites

After a long drought, rain is softly falling outside today. What a relief for our parched land here in California. We still need several more days of rain to reverse this drought, but my heart is thankful for what the Lord has given us for today.

This is a busy season of life for me, and I’m thankful for it. I may only have fifteen minutes to write today before someone needs their diaper changed or spit up wiped from their face. That’s okay. I’m so grateful to be home with our kids right now and to be have the honor of training their little hearts at this young age. Some days are unbearably long (why do babies get the fussiest and why do toddlers throw the most tantrums during the time of day when parents are the most exhausted?) but the glimmers of progress give me encouragement to keep on going.

Rachel is 8 weeks old today and Josh is approaching 20 months. Despite many thoughts and ideas running through my head lately, I find that little babies make my head a bit muddled and I am unable to write coherent pieces to save my life. So, in lieu of the well thought out blog post I wanted to write, here are the highlights from the last month:

Breast Milk Jaundice: About a month ago, I noticed that Rachel had a much more yellow hue to her skin one evening. I sent this picture to her pediatrician and asked him if I should be worried. I explained that she was nursing great and growing out of her clothes.

Breast milk jaundice.

Breast milk jaundice.

He had me get labs drawn and a weight done and this little girl of mine went from 6#9 oz at birth to 9# at 4 weeks old! She definitely was not dehydrated. Her bilirubin labs came back pretty elevated for her age, at 11.3 (1-2 is normal at 4 weeks old). Her pediatrician called it breast milk jaundice  (sole breast milk use can be hard on the livers of some babies thus causing jaundice, and no, this isn’t related to the cholestasis I had while pregnant) and we started a long journey of repeating labs to make sure it was coming down. After 5 separate lab draws, we finally got signed off by her pediatrician last Wednesday when her level came down to 5.3 and her direct bilirubin came down to 0.6 (the direct bilirubin had been 0.7 for two weeks and they were not satisfied with that). Glad to be done with breast milk jaudice! Rachel’s skin tones are now back to normal.

As for feeding and sleeping schedules, I hate to blog about it because I know that for the mama who is up all night with her baby (or even toddler) it can be very discouraging to hear how “So and so is sleeping through the night!” at some ridiculously young age. I know it broke me to hear that other babies were happily sleeping through the night early on when Josh just wouldn’t sleep for more than 4 hours at night for what seemed like months (after we sleep trained him life got much better, but until then I was never sure that he wasn’t hungry at night since he had never once slept the whole night. It was a vicious cycle I got caught in). I thought that since Rachel was born a month early, we’d be stuck feeding every three hours at night for a while. But that just hasn’t been the case. She’s routinely sleeping 7-7.5 hours at night and has been doing so for a couple of weeks. She eats every 2.5-3 hours during the day. I’m enjoying it so much! That being said, please… if you’re reading this and you’re exhausted because your baby just.won’t.sleep please don’t despair (like I did) but just hold onto the fact that it’s only for a season and that you’re very much not alone!

Toddlerhood and Activities: It’s been a rough ride here with Josh since Rachel came home from the hospital. It was much more difficult and prolonged than I had imagined. The days are getting easier with this little guy now, thankfully. He’s finally accepted the fact that Rachel isn’t going away, and likes to say “Baby! Baby!” over and over again. He isn’t always very kind to her, but I see him occasionally going out of his way to help her.

One time Rachel threw up several times in a row in her car seat and I was out of burp rags within my reach. At the same time, I couldn’t leave her because the spit up kept coming and I had already changed her outfit twice! At one point she looked like this and I wanted to cry but laughed instead:

Spit up central. Doesn't she look sad?

Spit up central. Did I mention her spit up also landed in my face and hair?

At this point, Josh ran over to the other side of the room and grabbed me a burp rag and handed it to me. I had never asked him to do this before, so I was pleasantly surprised!

Another time he got in trouble for throwing something that almost hit Rachel in the head (if I had not stopped the object from flying through the air in time, it would have hit her). He sorrowfully took the pacifier out of his mouth and tried to put it in her mouth so as to say “I’m sorry!” Although I told him he could keep his pacifier, that was especially fun for me to witness knowing how much he loves it.

IMG_20151102_150006

This kid’s beloved blankie. He loves to wander all over the house like this while running into things like doors and walls.

We’ve done a few new activities in the past few weeks. We haven’t gotten to as many as I’d like, but hey– that’s life with a newborn, I guess! I am always looking for inexpensive new ideas to keep Josh busy. If you have any ideas, please send them my way. I’d love it!

Scooping Beans. I bought bean in bulk for cheap and put them in this heavy dutch oven that even I can barely lift. I put it in an empty plastic container we had sitting in the garage and then gave him measuring cups and whatever scooping utensils I could find sitting around. I think this activity cost $4 for the beans, and he LOVES to pour them from container to container. Also, he’s pretty meticulous about the beans and whenever some fall out of the large plastic container, he carefully picks them up and returns them. It cracks me up because he’s not meticulous about much else.

Scooping beans.

Scooping beans. Notice the lack of beans all over the kitchen floor. I was surprised!

Coloring: This kid still puts everything in his mouth. I tried coloring with crayons but after a while he just wouldn’t obey and was eating the crayons constantly. So I’ve shelved that activity for now. Not sure when we’ll try it again. Maybe after he has all his teeth?

Coloring. We'll try again later!

Coloring. We’ll try again later.

Water Play. I took 4 plastic cups and a pitcher of water and let him have at it in the backyard. To my surprise, he couldn’t have cared less about the water. All he wanted to do was stack the cups! This isn’t a wintertime activity, and even on this fall day I used warm water and he still got a little chilled.

IMG_20151028_162953

Easy water play with cups.

Easy water play with cups.

Play-Doh! He wanted to eat this too so direct adult supervision was necessary. 🙂 He had a fun time playing with it! We’ll definitely be doing this activity a lot.

Play-Doh!

Play-Doh!

Pots & Measuring Equipment. This wasn’t a big hit. He mainly just wanted to chew on the syringe I let him play with. He enjoys pulling the plunger out and pushing it back in.

Pots & Pans.

Pots & Measuring Equipment.

For Halloween, we went cubicle trick or treating at my husband’s work. It was relatively quick (which was nice since Josh had a meltdown when we got there) and there were lots of nice families who came. Josh was a lion for Halloween and since Rachel was in the front pack, I skipped doing a costume for her this year.

On the way to cubicle trick or treating.

On the way to cubicle trick or treating.

IMG_20151029_153953

Our little lion.

Our little lion.

2015-10-29 16.19.08_E

Another sad attempt at a family selfie! Sorry Josh, we tried…

Lastly, some more pictures from the past weeks!

DSC_0036 (2)

I highly recommend this Boppy Lounge Pillow. They are extremely portable and Rachel loves it. Josh also likes to play on it when she’s elsewhere…

IMG_20151107_113135

Great Grandpa and Rachel from Saturday. Rachel is just shy of 8 weeks old here.

IMG_20151106_170442

End of the day snuggle time.

DSC_0035 (2)

Hard to get a picture of this kid that’s not blurry. He is constantly on the move.

IMG_20151105_112730

Pretty sure we were in the Starbucks drive through here. Got a picture to send to Daddy at work.

IMG_20151103_101152

The human race keeps growing because of faces like this one…

IMG_20151102_201330

Daddy being brave and holding Rachel while wearing a work shirt. It probably got thrown up on…

1 Comment

Filed under Baby, Motherhood, Toddler

Oh, These Days

Today has been one of those days.

One of those days where I am eating dinner and it’s almost 9 pm.

Where I have waited in a pediatrician’s office for an hour and a half with a toddler and a one month old waiting for a simple weight check.

When said one month old threw up all over while getting a lab drawn.

One of those days when the one month old choked on milk while the toddler simultaneously tripped and fell hard.

When soothing one child means the screaming of another child.

Where screaming ensued for long periods of time in the car while mama tried not to speed home.

When mama needed to change her clothes before even 7:30 am because of so much baby vomit.

Where set plans have been revised, revised again, and yet revised one last time.

When it seems sometimes there is more corrective action happening at home than there is play and games.

When the only prayer mama can muster at bedtime is for her child to sleep well through the night.

 

And yet.

It’s been one of those days when baby girl was thought to be sick– but wasn’t.

When baby girl is rapidly gaining weight despite constantly throwing up.

When daddy was able to come home from work a little early.

When mama got to see her sister and visit, even if only for a short while.

When daddy is here soothing baby girl so that mama can get a little break.

When the kitchen is clean and at least one child is sleeping peacefully.

When there is hope for a new day, a new morning, and new mercies.

 

May He give new mercies.

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You,

When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”

Psalm 61:2

Leave a comment

Filed under Baby, Motherhood, Toddler

Rachel’s First Hour in Photographs

 

Rachel Asay (60 of 113)Rachel Asay (58 of 113)Rachel Asay (53 of 113)Rachel Asay (50 of 113)Rachel Asay (48 of 113)Rachel Asay (45 of 113)_RRachel Asay (39 of 113)Rachel Asay (40 of 113)Rachel Asay (33 of 113)_R Rachel Asay (32 of 113)_R Rachel Asay (12 of 113) Rachel Asay (31 of 113) Rachel Asay (30 of 113)Rachel Asay (22 of 113)_RRachel Asay (26 of 113)Rachel Asay (20 of 113)Rachel Asay (19 of 113)_R Rachel Asay (18 of 113)_RRachel Asay (9 of 113)Rachel Asay (7 of 113)Rachel Asay (2 of 113)Rachel Asay (63 of 113)

A huge thanks to my dear friend Katherine who took all these pictures. We will treasure them for a lifetime!

2 Comments

Filed under Baby, Birth