Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Annie: Twenty-three Months






Only one more of these monthly updates to go and we'll be celebrating her birthday! This month Annie has been expressing her will more and more. I'm trying to let her make choices when she can. She picks out her shoes in the morning, and I give her a choice between two outfits. She likes being the big sister and she wants to be like Mama, so I'm trying to use those wishes in my favor. She loves, loves, loves her dolls and has started picking out one to share nap time with. The morning nap was going to go away once and for all this week, but both kids (and me) got sick so that's been pushed to next week. After we get a good afternoon nap routine in place, I'm going to put the toddler rail up on her crib. Then around her birthday we plan to move her to her big-girl room (which is almost finished, I just have some art work to hang and I need to make a new lampshade). So exciting! And in other big news this month, I think Annie is finally big enough for size four diapers. She's wearing 12-18 month clothes now but will be in 18-24 month sizes by spring. She's little but she's feisty--watch out world!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Mama Journey




I'm so excited to do this baby thing again. To experience all those firsts and celebrate the tiny milestones. So much joy in the journey with little ones, where there are new wonders to discover each day. I love the nurturing of this little life inside me now, and even look forward to the birthing and the newborn days--hard yet beautiful because only I can do it (with a lot of help)--bring this little girl into the world and nourish her body and soul. Even three am nursing sessions take on new meaning when I remember how fleeting this stage is and how a tiny life is depending on me. And oh, that newborn smell, the first smile, the first time baby sleeps more than four hours at a time . . . beautiful things.

Sometimes (lots of the time) this mama thing is really hard. Annie and JJ are busy exploring and testing boundaries and some days I feel like all I do is change diapers and say "no" over and over again. I lose my patience daily and frustration builds. They wake up from their nap, start calling for mama, and all I want them to do is go back to sleep and leave me alone. Anybody else feel this way? :)

But you know what? Life is not an emergency. It's a gift. (Thank you, Ann Voskamp, for those wise words.)

Life is not an emergency. Of dirty diapers, naptimes that involve no napping, toys thrown across the room, and peanut butter sandwiches smeared on the table.

Life is a gift. Of story time, exploring outside, cuddles, kisses, and games. Life is little hands holding mine as we pray before meals. Life is learning to sing and practicing new words. Life is stacking blocks in the floor and knocking them down--forward, backward, edging forward. Life is growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, and imparting those truths to my children. Life is a gift.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Great January Clean-Out

I did my semi-annual house purge the end of December (hello, tax write-off). I cleaned out every closet and drawer and came up with a van load of stuff to donate and another big pile of things I'm selling on Craigslist, consigning, trading in at the used book store, etc. It feels so good to get rid of clutter. I'm already looking around the house and thinking about what else we could give away. We want to be good stewards of what we have. There's no reason for us to hang on to things we don't need when someone else could use them. To stay in our house, an item has to meet one of two qualifications:

We use it.
It makes us happy and/or adds beauty to our home.

1 Timothy 6:6 says, "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

I'm striving for contentment and simplicity this year.

But I am finally re-doing our master bedroom the way I've wanted it since we moved in. :) And tweaks to the nursery, Annie's room, and the playroom will be posted in the coming weeks--making the space we have the most effective for our family. And aesthetically pleasing, of course. It makes me happy. Like this bowl of citrus fruit on my dining room buffet. Hello, citrusy sunshine!

Happy Friday, y'all. Wish us luck on our weekend plans--we've got a week's worth of projects to complete on Saturday!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

JJ: 20 Months


And just like that, he's past 20 months already! Who told my babies they were allowed to grow up so fast?! JJ loves to play with balls, his cars, and Annie's dolls. He'll have lots of practice at being a Daddy when that day comes. :) He is picking up more and more words--some current favorites are bath, milk, and snow. His little future is looking very uncertain right now. The next court date is not until the end of April. We just don't know what's going to happen with this little guy. For now he will stay put with us and we'll love him and watch him grow.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Snow, snow, snow, snow, snow

We don't get much snow around here, so yesterday was cause for celebration. Annie and JJ thought the snow was awesome. They did not want to come back inside (And, yes, Annie is wearing her raincoat and rainboots. I told you we don't do snow around here! We improvised with the snow gear.)










Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Year's

We spent New Year's with Mama Rita and Papa Gene. Honey and Poppa came, too. What a great way to welcome in 2013! Annie and JJ especially enjoyed playing on the neighbor's swing set.









Monday, January 14, 2013

On Weaning

Annie weaned last month, at 21 months. I hadn't set any specific timetable for her; I had decided to follow her lead. We were down to nursing just first thing in the morning, but she seemed less interested. We went to every other morning for a few days, then one morning I didn't offer to nurse and she didn't ask and that was that. It was very easy and natural. Looking back, the earliest I could have weaned her without much resistance was about 19 months. She was no where near ready at a year. As in many parenting decisions, I don't think there's a single right one about when to wean. I don't know how long I'll nurse the next baby. But I found waiting until Annie was ready to give it up made it is so much easier all around. Besides, extended breastfeeding is healthy for mom and baby. It certainly helped keep Annie healthy. She has only been really sick once in her life, last January. And nursing is a great way to calm down an over-stimulated toddler. If you're on the fence about nursing your baby past a year, I'd definitely encourage you to consider it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Peanut: Five Months



And we're already past the halfway point, yikes. Now that I am past the morning sickness, have had a month to just enjoy the idea of being pregnant, and know that we're having a little girl (!!!), I'm turning my attention to actually getting ready for baby to arrive. I started a registry on Amazon and at Target, because some of Annie's things are worn out and a few I would just like to upgrade. They make such adorable things for little girls, I can't resist! I am also making plans to freshen up the nursery. It will stay mostly the same, but new rug, new chair, new artwork and accessories. I'm meeting with a doula the end of the month, and I've started looking for a new photographer. (I loved Annie's baby photographer, but since we've moved I need to find someone local.) What else am I forgetting? Really, some more newborn diapers and we'll be set. Baby will be nursing and we have an infant car seat. So whatever I'm forgetting we can live without. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Annie: Twenty-two Months



Soon I'll have a two year old, wow! This month Annie had so much fun celebrating Christmas and New Years. She loved having extra time to spend with Daddy and opening presents and eating cookies. Her favorite toys right now are her dolls and all their accessories. She feeds them and burps them and brings them to me to change their diapers. :) She is also very interested in puzzles and loves to play outside. "Slide" and "outside" are two of her favorite words. I can't keep up with how many words she knows now, she learns them so fast. She is learning colors and her favorite to say is "yellow." Annie wants to wear a hair bow every day. After she gets dressed she runs over to her bow holder and asks for a "bow." I think it is very adorable.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cookie Decorating

Finally getting around to posting these pictures--better late than never!

A few days before Christmas, Honey invited JJ and Annie over to decorate cookies. They had a lot of fun with icing and sprinkles and cookie-eating. Poppa helped out, too. Thanks, Honey!




Friday, January 4, 2013

Christmas Day 2012

(scroll down for yesterday's exciting news!)

Early Christmas morning was spent with just our little family. The kids opened their stockings to see what Santa brought for them, we celebrated Jesus's birthday with cinnamon bread, and then we headed to Honey and Poppa's house. There Annie and JJ opened another stocking and we all opened lots and lots of presents and ate lots and lots of good food. A happy Christmas, indeed.