Thursday, February 23, 2017

Cast Your Vote: Free Printable Ballot

We throw one party a year and it's this weekend! If you are interested in following along with the Academy Awards and need a ballot - check out this free printable!

Grab a bowl of popcorn and sit back with some friends and have fun!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Baby B2: Nine Months Old

It's been a big week in our house. After having three nights in a row of terrific sleep for everyone (only one feed!) we had a couple of super rough days and nights with a little guy sprouting teeth . . . three to be exact. And another one close behind! Three teeth at once seems like a joke, but I assure it is not something you can ever truly laugh about. I can't. I'm just so tired. Chris reminds me often that "it isn't easy being a baby."

I've been saying that Stephen has to play catch up because his teeth seemed a little slow to come in. So, now he has a total of five and one more on the way (I just know it). On the plus side he has been very eager to eat more and more foods and his hand/eye coordination has improved so self-feeding is happening!

And just this past Thursday, Stephen finally took to crawling! Only going a few "steps" at a time, but he's got the motions. And then, literally minutes later, he pulled up to standing in his crib. Seriously? In one week! Now I need to get busy and clean! He loves getting tangled up in our phone charging cords and finding bits of paper on the floor.

William has started to play with him more which is awesome and so fun to watch. Today, they sat in the crib together, laughing and squirming around. William said it was a space ship blasting off to Mercury. Stephen just thinks William is a super hero. The way Stephen watches his big brother shows an admiration and brother-love I hadn't even anticipated or hoped for. Of course, William doesn't always want Stephen to play with him or with his things but that makes these moments all the more sweet.

Stephen loves to sing and yell, especially in the car. Sometimes he hums with my while I sing to him at bedtime. He also loves kicking. . . the cupboards, the toy box, the baby gate, the cookie sheets, his crib, the car seat and water.

Nursing has come to an end. He just refuses to latch at all now, which I believe is because he prefers the bottle and we've never had that great of a nursing relationship, truthfully. I saw it coming, as he had first given up nursing during the day but now even refuses at night. Guess that means I can give the "okay" to sleeping training, right!? He takes a bottle just fine and we've supplemented with formula since the beginning. My supply has always been low but now it's just so low I often wonder if it's even worth pumping. I don't feel quite ready to give up completely, but I know I won't last much longer. This has been hard to come to terms with. I had every hope that the second baby would be easier to nurse, not harder! I had put up with a lot for William and nursed him for 14 months even though my supply wasn't enough. But Stephen just isn't interested.

This month we've stayed close to home as the boys both had coughs and colds for most of it. And there was just so much rain! The sun was out a few days ago and it finally felt like the February I love. We've made it the parks a few times with friends and Stephen just loves the swing!

The photo shoot this month was quite hilarious, and a lot of work. He refused to sit in one spot long enough for me to actually focus the camera and the blocks were no help at all -- although I have plenty of photos of them in his mouth! We didn't even try posing on his back because he never stays there either! I even had to pull Chris in to help and my last series of shots are my favorite!

He loves pulling our faces and glasses right off our noses!

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Dentist

Growing up, I actually came to like the dentist. My first dentist was a friend of my dad's from high school and I remember my very first visit -- especially the drawer full of prizes. My first tooth brush was light purple with a yellow duck and my first prize was a ring. I remember very little about the actual cleaning experience except that I was told I shouldn't have a pacifier anymore. That was devastating.

Fast forward a decade and I still really enjoyed getting my teeth cleaned. Its true, I hated the fluoride treatments and the sealant process, but I loved how my teeth felt afterwards. Then in high school I got braces on my lower teeth and even that wasn't terrible.

But now, it makes me nervous. It's not the dentist, but the tools. There is a newer tool, I'm not even sure what it looks like, but the sound is irritating enough that I've actually had to stop the cleaning halfway through. I could not stand the sound. It's some sort of pressure washer/water pick and it drives me nuts. Even when I ask if they can clean without it, they usually say no. (As if they forgot what tools were used a mere 5 years ago!) But I'm learning to deal. I still love how my teeth feel afterwards.

And now, as a parent I get to watch my son experience this process of teeth-cleaning. It's interesting. We usher our little people to a stranger and tell them to open wide and sit still. We expect them to obey as their mouth is poked, prodded, polished and flossed. And then we (I) get frustrated when it turns into a scream fest and nothing actually happens except paying the bill.

William has been to the dentist three times. The first was right before he turned two. I found a pediatric dentist that promised all the bells and whistles. And William did love the giant TVs everywhere, but he refused to sit in the chair even when they gave him 20 stickers. He screamed and thrashed about, the hygienist looking at me like this isn't normal. I ended up holding him in my lap and the dentist skipped the cleaning and wiped fluoride on his mouth and looked at his teeth for 30 seconds (or less, literally) and declared him "just fine." William still picked out a prize and I still paid the bill. I was so mad. Why is this even necessary?

His second experience, right before Stephen was born was a little better. I had found a different pediatric dentist which seemed calmer - no big screen TVs, private rooms, quiet. He still sat in my lap an still fussed a bit, but they gave him a dragon with big teeth and a 12" toothbrush and told him to brush the dragon's teeth while the hygienist got ready. She explained everything and showed him all the tools. When the dentist arrived, he had said "all done" but sat a few minutes for her anyway. It was a success although a lot of work.

Last week, I took him to his third appointment; we went to the same dentist as the last time. Prior to the appointment we borrowed dentist themed books from the library and talked about teeth each time we brushed. He is very impressionable right now and play/acts out most of his books. William even brought one of the books to the appointment and told the hygienist about it. He climbed up on the chair (I was holding Stephen and wasn't able to be much help) and laid back, opened his mouth and sat there for 30 minutes without moving . . . seriously. They scraped, polished, flossed and put fluoride in his mouth and he didn't even complain once. I sat there with Stephen in amazement. He was perfect.

I'm not sure if he actually liked the experience, but he knew exactly what was going on and put up with it. He was excited about the chocolate toothpaste and the new toothbrush and the prize at the end. He loved the toys in the lobby and the magazines and didn't want to leave. He may not do this well ever again, but I felt so blessed by this little boy's ability to sit so well for it all. Maybe he'll learn to like it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Faith on Repeat

It has been nearly a month since I left my job to stay at home full time with my boys. We're still finding our rhythm. They've been sick (RSV, cough, cough) for weeks and are just now showing signs of normalcy. Even with the sicknesses I have loved being home with them.

I'll be honest, I'm still taking it a little easy on the projects. Did you notice I haven't been blogging much? I've started focusing on a little more self-care in my quiet moments. I do a quiet time with my journal and Bible, I joined a gym that has childcare and I'll go when the kids aren't sick! I started watching a TV show while I pump during nap time. It feels good not to rush all the time. Don't worry. I also do the laundry, make homemade meals every night and try to clean up and do the dishes all day too.

I wish I could say this choice of mine has been easy-peasy for our family. But it hasn't and it continues to have it's challenges. I mentioned in a previous post that my husband's company hasn't been able to pay their employees in January. Still haven't actually. But worse yet, was that his insurance was also canceled. The day before mine ended and our family was supposed to go onto his. Ironic right? Scary too. So, now we're applying for private coverage which is totally insane.

I haven't wanted to write about it because I was hoping it would just fix itself and be a non-issue. But that doesn't seem to be the case. So, here we are digging into our savings and praying for provision just like we were at the beginning of this journey.

Check out my post from exactly 7 years ago:

Did someone press the rewind button?