Friday, June 29, 2012

Swimming lessons!

Grey's second swimming experience (first with Daddy and I) was this evening!  She could've stayed in the water all night, and we only took her out because she was turning into a prune.  (Um, and Momma wanted out!)  She splashed and cooed for over 30 minutes!  I foresee a LOT of time in this pool in the next couple months.

 Chet and I believe ALL children should learn how to swim as EARLY as possible, and have been working with Grey during bath time to float in water.  I am determined to teach her to float by the end of the summer.  I know she will never leave our reach and sight in water until MUCH, much older, as an avid swimmer, but it is so important to me that she knows how to float and swim...even before she can walk.
Don't mind me in these photos.  The post baby body that enjoys cupcakes more than exercising is not quite summer ready :)--- plus the pale skin I am wearing this summer might be permanent, since my recent dermatologist appointments have me thoroughly convinced that my skin type should avoid much UV exposure. :)

Luke and Rusty got their summer "hairdos" today!


Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Psalm 34:11

Thursday, June 28, 2012

22 months and 14 weeks!

Thinking about the 22 months that Holden has been in heaven and the 14 weeks that we have had Grey in our arms is amazing.  Oh how I love my children!

I vividly remember holding, smelling and kissing Holden like it was yesterday.  I remember hearing those WONDERFUL first screams of Grey's like they were last night.  I love that I have my "first" memories of my children always in my heart. :)

Grey is 14 weeks today, and she had a very busy day to celebrate!  We took a walk early this morning with Erica and Henry, visited our friends Sawyer, Beck and Henry at the Jones', baked cupcakes and had a nice visit with Tressa and Abbey this afternoon, all while teething.
Yes, I said teething!  This week's major milestone is TEETHING!  We would've never thought we could teeth this early, but we definitely are.  Grey is all about defying timelines. :)  She has been gumming and chewing on everything, drooling, fussing, refusing a lot of her feedings, running a fever and sleeping a lot, lot less this week.  Chet said certainly she will be an easy teenager since we are getting all this "rough" stuff out of the way early, right?  Either way, I don't want to think of my precious baby as a teenager, so I can't elaborate on that.  My sister's boys were early teethers, so Grey is keeping up with her cousins!

Bop, at 14 weeks old:
It seems like you have grown up three weeks in this past week!
  • You are teething!  We think you must be too excited to try "big people" food to wait!  Sweet girl, teething hasn't been fun, but you are still full of joy and smiles a lot!  It is especially cute and sad to see you cry while trying to smile at me.  
  • You have started noticing the television.  Your eyes get big and you seem to watch whatever we have on.  This makes me very aware of what we have playing in our home, although I should have always been this thoughtful about everything we see and hear.  It also means I mostly just have music on now, since even commercials are disgusting to enter your innocent mind.
  • You continue to "talk" more and more; you've pretty much become a chatterbox. :)  I LOVE IT!  You say "mommamommamomma" daily now, although it's not purposeful or directed toward me.  You can't help it if I say Momma to you a thousand times a day.  Some might call it brain washing. ;)
  • You are sticking with size 1 diapers another week.  You are rocking a pretty darn cute muffin top though that I happen to like.  You may be in size 1 diapers for a while longer since your Momma is too sentimental these days. ;)
  • You weigh 11 lbs. 1 oz.!  I think the rice cereal in your bottles makes you pack on those precious rolls even more!  I can't get enough of your chubby cheeks and rolls, so keep 'em coming honey!
I pray daily that you will have a fervor for things that matter eternally, sweetheart.  Nothing you do on this earth compares otherwise.  

It has taken me nearly all of 14 weeks to establish a regular routine, but I think we have got it!  I'm very grateful our mornings consist of walks in the park with Erica and Henry!  Fresh air, blood pumping and girl chat is quite nice to start our days.  Grey and Henry usually fall asleep on the walk, but both of them love being outdoors.  Even with reflux and teething, Grey is doing good and has decently predictable naps.  (Granted, we are far from a Babywise baby, but our schedule works for us!)  We are reading the Old Testament together, and are currently in the Chronicles.  I have been humbled by many experiences lately that I have forgotten a lot of Scripture, and I miss the power of the Word!  I am making it a priority to read the Bible, regardless of what our day looks like, and we are all benefitting from it.  I am able to stay on top of Holden Uganda work a lot better too!  This is a HUGE blessing since Holden Uganda is continuing to grow in a way only God can do!  I still wake up each day humbled to be a part of the bigger picture God has for our firstborn's life.

These are pictures of the sweetest person I have ever known, taken today for her "14 week shoot" (still using my iPhone because our computer is in Dallas getting fixed and I have no way of getting our camera's card on a computer):

We have discovered our feet this week.  They pretty much are hilarious.
Chubby tummy
Muffin tops and smiles?  These "tools" make it easy for Momma to spoil me.
Precious grins.  I pull out all the stops when I want to get my way.
Big girl face.
Silly face.
 Not a picture of Grey, but of the baby ducks we saw on our morning stroll.  They were so tiny and worthy of stopping for a picture!
 Henry, Sawyer and Grey chillaxin during our playdate.  What fun it will be to watch all of Grey's friends grow up together!
Baking cupcakes with Momma - one of many experiences in the kitchen together.  I look forward to teaching her how to cook and bake (even if "bake" might mean 'came from a box mix' on occasion).  I know a lot of moms are not fortunate enough to get the privilege of staying home, and I am extremely grateful for each cherished moment.  Grey #1 - seemed to like her boppy more than she ever has while we baked today, and #2 - wanted some chocolate.  She kept reaching for the frosting and sprinkles.  She's her momma's baby. :)
(The side of my fridge is covered with pictures of special kids in our lives, I know. I can't put them up.  Our home is lived in.)

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you."  Solomon answered God, "You have shown great kindness to David my father and have made me king in his place.  Now, LORD God, let your promise to my father David be confirmed, for you have made me king over a people who are as numerous as the dust of the earth.  Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people, for who is able to govern this great people of yours?"  God said to Solomon, "Since this is your heart's desire and you have not asked for wealth, possessions or honor, nor for the death of your enemies, and since you have not asked for a long life but for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I have made you king, therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you.  And I will also give you wealth, possessions and honor, such as no king who was before you ever had and none after you will have."  2 Chronicles 1:7-12
Not a coincidence that we read that today.  Imagine what it would be like if our leaders asked this of the Lord.  
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people - for kings and those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  1 Timothy 2:1-2

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sweetest 3 Months Earthly Possible

That subject truly sums up our life.  I do not deserve the blessings we get daily from our Savior - and will never understand how we could be given such a precious gift.  These past three months have truly been the sweetest possible.

This morning we had to do our monthly photos next to "grey bear" for size, of course!  Right when I was starting to enjoy practicing with our REAL CAMERA (not my iPhone), our Mac computer crashed.  Thus I have a ton of photos sitting on our camera, with no way to get them off.  So I am back to using my phone again, even though I have no storage left and have to delete photos as I take them. :(

Grey can sit much better than she is sitting in these photos, but she has inherited her momma's affinity for all things soft.  She simply cannot resist a grey bear cuddle! ;)

At 3 months, our sweet-spirited, happy, funny baby:
  • Wears 3-6 month clothing and size 1 diapers
  • Weighs 10 pounds 6 ounces
  • Focuses on and reaches for people and objects
  • Coos and talks all the time
  • Stands and bounces 
  • Sleeps through the night (or about 6-7 hours!)
  • Shares her happy spirit with us through constant smiles and giggles
  • Eats 3 ounces per bottle, every 2-3 hours during the day
  • Is irresistibly adorable

Grey, your temperament and character have been shining through amazingly, as you are feeling better and better.  I believe you are one of the most tender-hearted babies in the world.  You seem to sense our feelings and emotions and want everyone to be happy.  You are never stingy with your cuddles and smiles.  You are very alert and smart, and are extremely aware of your surroundings.  Sweetheart, you are sleeping through the night and establishing your own schedule, which is such a blessings to us; I think I may miss our all-night snuggles though. ;) This month your physical development has blossomed!  With minimal help, you are standing and sitting.  You have advanced hand control and can hold your bottle and grab toys we give to you.  You are the most beautiful thing we have ever seen, and your outward beauty reflects it.  You are so valued and loved, dear daughter.

I always look back to the past month's photos to see how much Grey has grown before I blog.  It amazes me that in only 30 days she can change like she does.  As Grey's stay-at-home Momma, I can't ever imagine getting enough kisses and love from my baby girl.  I am so excited to wake up to her first morning "sugars", and value each priceless moment until I receive her goodnight kisses.

Grey's 'approximate' schedule at 3 months old looks something like this:

Wake up at 4 or 5am to eat (sometimes Daddy feeds us at this time, if he isn't already gone)
Play and snuggle with Momma
Another bottle around 7am
Medicine 8am
Bottle 9am
Quick walk before or after 9am bottle (depends on how we are doing)
Long nap 10am-12pm (this nap is KEY to a "good day")
Bottle 12pm
Bottle 2pm
Bottle 4pm... and this "bottle every two - or sometimes three - hours" schedule continues pretty much all day...
If the weather is okay and we have time, we will take an afternoon walk
We always play and read a lot in the afternoon
"Cat naps" in the afternoon, usually totaling about 1 hour
Medicine 8pm
Bath right after medicine
Last bottle 9pm-10pm (depends on prior bottles, and/or how sleepy Grey is)
Rock with Daddy until we fall asleep (hopefully by 10pm)

This weekend we have had Brittney, Danny (Britt's bf) and Blair staying with us.  Grey has loved the extra arms to spoil her.  :)

The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.  Psalm 121:7-8

Thursday, June 21, 2012

13 Weeks!

Our preciousness turned THIRTEEN WEEKS today!  That is only half as crazy as the fact that she will be 3 MONTHS tomorrow!  Look at this photo!  She looks so grown up...sigh...and sweet...and just all kinds of preciousness.  I sat her on the couch to "practice" sitting for her 3 month pictures tomorrow.  She is sitting very well.  It's truly amazing how much babies develop in one month!

We have my sweet college friends staying with us, so it's been fun and busy around here, and I don't have a lot of time to blog!  Blair, Brittney (and Britt's boyfriend Danny) won't leave until Sunday, so Grey is going to be rotten with all the spoiling! ;)

Because I will be [hopefully] blogging tomorrow too, for her three month update, I will try to include a little of what Grey has been up to this past week.

Grey spent her first night away from us last weekend!  Tisha and Jimmy Jim kept her while Chet and I enjoyed our first date in a long time Saturday night in Fredericksburg.  Grey LOVED spending time with them, and to be honest - cried when we got back and picked her up. (Not the homecoming I pictured in my head haha!) :)  I think she could have stayed there and been loved on forever, which was wonderful to see.  As much as I missed her every moment, it was surreal to see her being loved and cared for so much from "grandparents".  During her stay there, she had her first swim - which was captured on video, of course ;).  Grey really enjoyed the water and splashed around happily the whole time!  Speaking of "captured on camera", I don't think I could have managed being away from our little Bop if Tisha didn't send us the constant photos and videos that she made our hearts happy to see she was enjoying herself so much.  Even though under the best care, oh heart won't be able to handle another overnight stay for awhile.  :)  (Chet and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves though, and I know it was needed!)

Grey has been sleeping better and developing her own schedule!  I had been stressing over this for weeks...months...and lo and behold, she has pretty much set a schedule on her own.  My personality is a touch "do it right or go home/do things my way", so I had been robbing myself of some of the joy to be had in the small things when I worried over her schedule.  Having a baby who was colicky and has reflux has nearly been impossible to establish a schedule with, so we are extraordinarily grateful her 'clock' is more predictable.  I think if I am ever going to give advice to new mommies, I will let them know that comparing their babies to others is only going to make them crazy.  Each baby and family is different, and it doesn't matter what advice books and friends give, what works for each family is what matters.  Chet and I love our little minimal sleeper, and even though I want her to sleep enough to be healthy, it's ultimately not going to do any good if I stress over a day that she sleeps only a couple hours.  :)  She is sleeping more and more though; we are praising the Lord for a baby who usually falls asleep in her Daddy's arms around 9 or 10 (Daddy's "magic hold" is truly MAGIC), sleeps in her crib until about 2, and then joins us in our room until about 4 or 5.   We wake up early, which works wonderfully for our family since Daddy goes to work early.   I am beyond blessed to spend the early morning hours snuggling, laughing, cooing and reading with my precious daughter!

Sweet girl is laughing so often now, and her favorite things (little kids, animals, grey bunny and blankies) make her laugh for hours!  Looking in the mirror and being outside bring on some fun giggles too! :D  When she is around little kids, I always think about her big brother...I believe God gave me a special gift with Grey loving toddlers so much.  Her "toddler" brother in heaven would make her laugh if he was here, and I adore watching the joy in her face when she is around my friends' kids.

These past couple of weeks have been crazy busy for Chet and I.  I feel as though it can't possibly be late June already!  Each day we fall more and more in love with the beautiful daughter the Lord has blessed our home with.  We've been given 13 of the best weeks on earth.  We love you dearly, precious Grey Danelle!

They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty - and I will meditate on your wonderful works.  Psalm 145:5

Saturday, June 16, 2012

12 weeks!

I'm two days late writing Grey's 12 week post, and I'm doing it from my phone!  Let's see if this blog app works! :) It's not allowing me to add pics?? Oh well! Since it's 2:30am, I will list 12 things you were up to this past week, our sweetie: 1. Smiling!  You are a little ham and nearly always smile for our phone cameras.  Convenient when I prefer to take 200 photos a day of your perfectness. ;)  2. Cuddling. Even more than usual.  Just when we thought we had reflux under control, it flared up worse this past week.  This meant lots of snuggling for momma!  As much as I hate reflux, I'll never regret a moment with you honey! 3. Working on a schedule!  This is a tough job at 12 weeks, suffering with reflux, huh?  We are so proud of you though, because you are more predictable around the clock than ever before! 4.  Sleeping better!  If you fall asleep around 9pm, you'll wake up once around 2am and then sleep in until 5 or 6!  This doesn't happen every night, but we are starting to enjoy this trend! 5.  Filling out your size 1 diapers. We may be moving on up soon!  6. Officially hit the "10 pound" mark on the scale.  I may always call you my tiny hiney though. ;)) 7.  Learning and studying all around you.  You have such a serious "learning face".  It makes me smile and laugh when you concentrate so deeply on all your surroundings.  We are in Brady right now and you have seemed to notice everything! 8.  Tried to "talk" to Henri and the dogs and get their attention. Have I ever said you're cute? 9.  Eating nearly 4 oz. at meal times!  We had gone down to 2-3 oz., but your reflux seems to be okay with 4 on occasion.   10.  Well, this might be for your 13 week update: but you will spend your FIRST DAY AND NIGHT AWAY FROM US!  You are soooo lucky to have a Tisha and JJ who love you to pieces and are going to keep you tomorrow so Momma and Daddy can have an anniversary date! :)  Huge step for all of us... Will update with the weekend photos and fun soon!   I love you more than any amount of words can express.  Thanks for being my sweet spirited baby for 2 1/2 months, Grey! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 7, 2012

11 Weeks/2 Month Well Check/4th Anniversary

What a week it has been for our family!

Chet and I celebrated 4 years of marriage yesterday.  The past four years have been filled with joy, fun, struggles and heartache, but we have always been blessed.  I can't imagine anyone I would rather have by my side through it all than Chet.  He is quite simply my true love, and our love has grown tremendously each year.  We have yet to really "celebrate" an anniversary, but we have a goal that by our 10th anniversary we will do something really special. ;)  (Such is life with jobs, etc.)  We did enjoy placing dead LAST in our church's youth group fund raiser Brain Bowl last night - haha.  And we were together.  So that is romantic, right? ;)
With the arrival of Holden, our love grew in a very unique and special way; we learned to support and pray for each other more than we ever had.  With the arrival of Grey, our love continues to grow in a beautiful and FUN way.  I look forward to a lifetime of LIFE with Chet by my side!

Baby Bop (I don't know why we started calling her that, but it has stuck) is 11 weeks old today!  These weeks are speeding up so quickly that I feel like every time I open my laptop I am writing a new weekly blog.  Sweet girl is growing up before our eyes and seems to think she is way bigger than she actually is.  Her 2 month well check was on Tuesday, where she received a perfect bill of health, plus Dr. G said she was "VERY socially developed".  She astounds us with how much she seems to "know" what is going on, laughing and cooing all the time.  My favorite thing lately is how she LIGHTS UP when we pick her up.  Her whole face smiles when anyone will hold her; precious loving baby.  Grey also received her first round of immunizations, and was incredibly tough and brave.  She cried for only about 20 seconds (nurse Kim is a rockstar with quick shots!), and in the words of Daddy, "Wow?!  That was it?  She cries worse from reflux and colic!"  I was much less brave on the other hand... ;)

2 Month Well Check Stats (at nearly 11 weeks):

  • 14.5 inch head circumference - 10th percentile
  • 21.5 inches long - 25% percentile
  • 9 lbs. 11 oz. - 25% percentile 
  • Smiled the whole time (minus the shots), and did not even fuss when Dr. G was checking her over!  
  • Holding her weight and head wonderfully.  She has always had good physical control.
  • Not very flexible.  We've known this for a while, but our little miss has a mind of her own and does not like to be forced into stretching.  Let her stretch on her own, and she is Gumby.  Try to do it to her, and she stiffens up like Tin Man.  ;)

Clearly, she has not let her early arrival or reflux slow her down one bit!

Her shots made her run a low-grade fever for these last two days, but nothing major.  She still acts and looks a little 'under the weather' this morning, but is a happy girl regardless.  Today's 11 week pics:

Bop, your noteworthy "milestones" this week are:

  • You are sitting unassisted (but still leaning on something) perfectly!  Sometimes sitting aggravates your reflux, so we limit it though.  You look so grown up sitting, so maybe it is a good thing we don't do this too often. ;)
  • You are working on getting used to a sling.  You still cry and fuss when in one, but we are getting better!  
  • You have been saying "mamamammama" when you are really upset.  I know you probably do not know that I am Momma, or that you are even saying it, but it's so cute and I LOVE to tell Daddy that 'you said Momma first'. ;) ;)  I am sure you mimic this since I say Momma Momma Momma to you a thousand times a day.  I was determined to have you say it before Dadda or Daddy. ;)
  • You keep socks on!  Silly to add this to your milestones, I know, but it's quite nice to keep your tootsies warm and cozy without you kicking them off.  Your feet still only fit into your one pair of jelly sandals, and not a single other pair of shoes yet.  Whenever they grow, I know you'll be a "shoe girl" with your closet full of adorable shoes.
  • Your favorite places are in our arms and outside - cuddly nature lover!
  • You coo at and reach for your books and toys.  
This weekend Chet and I were able to be a part of a special Tiny Treasures Ministry dinner in Lubbock (the precious ministry through the Covenant Foundation that helped us pay for Holden's funeral), so Grey had her first experience away from us!  Aunt Carrie watched her while we were there, and although I missed her every second, I knew it was good for all of us.  Grey did wonderfully and loved her time with Aunt Carrie!  She also spent time with Chet's mom, "Ahma", last night, so it's been a BIG  week for little G!

Few snapshots from this past week:



In the sunshine, her eyes are so blue!

Top left right before shots, and rest of them right after, loving on Aunt Carrie (our nurse practitioner too!) and happy.

Wednesday (yesterday):

I read the 2 Month Developments paper our doctor gave us, which suggested we do more tummy time. Grey is not a huge fan yet!  Sit ups are tiring!

Blogging is no longer free.  I have used up my free 1MB of storage and had to sign up for a monthly fee to keep adding photos.  ;)

"Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting yo are God.  A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night." Psalm 90:2,4

Friday, June 1, 2012

10 Weeks!

(one day late...this is becoming a habit!)

My sweet husband wanted to surprise me and take Grey's 10 week photos while I was playing bunco last night, and the ones he did snap were precious, but she just wasn't in a photo mood.  Oh well... I think she's even adorably perfect crying! :)  So great of Chet to try, and I love our chubby wubby in this outfit.

Grey spent a very busy 10th week of life!  Memorial Weekend was special, since we had Chet home from work with us for longer than we ever do! :)  Saturday we went to Chet's parents' house and Grey met all of her Erwin cousins for the first time.  We attempted a photo shoot with all the cousins, and that was eventful. ;) ha...Grey was probably the easiest one to photograph.  Some say she might have a little practice in front of the camera. ;) ;) 

Sunday was a church/family day.  Monday we went to Lubbock and met handsome little baby Easton, and our neighbors hosted us for a yummy dinner that night.  

I think babies must come in waves, because there were a ton of babies born around the time we had Holden, and now it's the same with Grey.  Just this week, 5 of Grey's baby friends have made their arrivals, even one this morning!  I cannot help but be overwhelmed with the perfect miracle each one is to their families.  So FUN to meet each one of these little blessings!!  Plus it's amazing to compare their tiny size to our [now] big girl!  It's difficult to even picture Grey that little when we see her next to these other babies.  

Grey Danelle, at 10 weeks old:
  • You are very expressive.  With each stage you go through, I am sure it's my "favorite", and this one is proving to be another "favorite"!  There is no better feeling on earth than to see you smile at me, and give me big open-mouthed kisses.  Your expressions can go from laughing to 'serious face' in an instant.  You are so.stinking.CUTE!  You also have such "searching/deep eyes", that you have had since the day you were born.  I always wonder what you are thinking, because it's so clear your mind is always busy! 
  • You spent the first couple nights in your big girl crib this week.  YIKES.  We are so proud of you, and you are doing well, all considering, for your first tries.  I checked on you every 10 minutes or so, even though I have two different video monitors by my face in bed with me. ;)  (And you have an "Angel Monitor" to detect your heart rate.)  Let's just say it's harder on me with you being across the hallway, than it is on you!  
  • Speaking of sleeping, you are only waking up twice a night - if you feel good!  YAY YOU!  We don't really have a schedule established yet, but your "loose" schedule is:  Bath around 7:30 or 8:00pm and last bottle around 9:30 or 10:00pm.  You usually fall asleep as soon as you have your last bottle.  You always seem to wake up around 1 or 2am, and usually around 4 or so.  You are an early bird, and oftentimes we are up for good after your 4:00am bottle. :)  Good thing Momma likes mornings, and LOVES mornings with you!
  • You don't just like baths anymore, you love them!  Bathtime is quickly becoming one of our favorite family times each evening, since you giggle, splash and melt our hearts with JOY.
  • You are still wearing size 1 diapers, but we have worn a few 6 month outfits!  Cuhrazy.  I actually don't even want to think about you being that big.  ;)
  • And big girl you are!  This is the first week that you have enjoyed "down time" in your bassinet and swing.  Daddy and I attribute this to the fact that your reflux is finally more controlled, and you feel a thousand times better!  Before this week, you never, ever wanted to be in your bassinet or swing, but this week you have kicked your legs, played with your toys and blankets, and seem to like a little independence out of our arms.  
  • You get bored.  You are so active and love learning, so when we sit still for too long you fuss and cry until you have something new to look at or play with.  I think you will be a busy little mover soon!  LOVE that you LOVE learning!
  • Finally have less reflux issues!  Your bottles resemble a 'cocktail', since we have to mix so much in them to make your tummy feel better, but I think it's beginning to work!  PRAISE GOD!!!!  :)
Happy 10 weeks to the sweetest person I have ever known.  My daughter, you are sunshine.

Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.  Psalm 43:4