Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bethel's 8 and 9-month posts!


Well, once again, I am super late with Bethel's monthly posts. I kept telling myself during her eighth month to get her post done, but I finally just decided to combine 8 and 9. Maybe I can make it my goal to stay caught up for the rest of the year ... it's only 3 more posts for crying out loud! Ha! Oh, the curse of being the second child!

Anyway! Bethel is up to so much these days! As her 8-month picture shows, she makes this scrunchy-nose face as she breathes heavy through her nose, and it is beyond adorable! She is quite the babbler, lots of baby sounds, grunts, squeals, yells, and screams! Her "words" include "had" and "dada". She is not crawling still, but she is a professional scooter, backwards and in circles. She's still trying to master going forward. But she's getting close to crawling! She's beginning to like pacifiers, chewing on them mostly. She enjoys crinkly-noise toys and rattle-sounding toys and spikey balls the best. She popped one tooth through about a month ago, and the others are taking their time following, no more just yet. She sits up well but can't get to a sitting position on her own. She is starting to explore getting herself down from sitting positions, but she often bonks her nose on the floor when she does. She's very good at picking up tiny objects, so we have to keep the floor picked up a bit better these days. She weighed over 22 pounds at her 9-month appointment. Bethel loves it when her sister makes her laugh. She likes peek-a-boo. She's a professional sleep fighter, doesn't take very long naps during the day but sleeps really well over night. She's eating lots more baby food and much less formula. She is a fairly good independent player, and we are slowly introducing her to quiet times in her crib in the afternoons from time to time. She enjoys sitting up, being outside, and anytime daddy gets home from work.

Mommy is loving this season as a mama! Yes, there are burn out days and days when I wish they would both take their nap at the same time and days when I'm ready to skip the bedtime routine and "clock out" at 8pm. But wow, I am loving it! Ready for number three, but we'll see how that goes. ;) God has been teaching me so much about thankfulness and worship and prayer and priorities in this season of my life! I have to fight for a thankful heart and wise attitudes to set the priorities that line up with God's priorities. I have to fight for the discipline to eat well and exercise regularly. I have to fight for the time to pray for others and prep for my moms' Bible study and simply breathe in God's presence. I have to fight for an attitude that says, "I'm gonna make everything I do worship ... whether dishes, diapers, drawing pictures, playdoh, no time to myself, cooking, spending 45 minutes feeding my baby in her bumbo, exhaustion ... I can turn these things into worship if I just refocus my attitude." And grace, sweet grace is always a lesson I'm enjoying learning. God is awesome! I'm so thankful for His work in my life!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Bethel is 7 months old!


Gosh, I love this beautiful, smiley daughter of mine! She and her big sister are my joys! Love, love, love being their mama!

Bethel turned 7 months old on June 2nd, and I think she's gonna really take off with her development any day now.
She is ....
~ rolling back and forth from back to belly constantly
~ beginning to rotate herself around in partial circles while she putters around on the floor
~ clapping often
~ laughing at all kinds of goofy faces and peek-a-boo
~ not a fan of people she doesn't know well, especially men
~ 21 pounds, 26.5 inches!
~ eating tons of baby food, yogurt, and bananas
~ grabbing everything she can get her hands on
~ occupying herself in her bumbo and saucer for good chunks of time
~ liking our morning playtimes outside
~ Starting to give kisses ... at least to mommy ... as of today ❤❤❤

Mama is totally enjoying this season of motherhood. I still get worn out. I'm still ready for them to be in bed by 8:00 every night. But wow, I am so thankful to be Bethel and Haddie's mom! I am ready to start trying for baby #3, but the practical side of life may keep us from that for a bit. *Sigh* ... So I'll just enjoy my girlies and continue growing and learning for now. Continuing to learn so much about thankfulness and practicing it too. I'm also continually trying to practice prayer for others and proper prioritizin'. Keep first things first and let unnecessary things go, ya know? It's a process, peeps! And I am completely in love with my young mamas' group! So excited and thankful for these friendships and weekly refreshment for my soul. Also! Darrell recently started a Bachelor's degree in Healthcare Management online, and we are super excited for the opportunities that will open up for our family. It feels amazing to have a plan in place and goals to work toward. So proud of my hubby! ... I just feel so thankful and alive and free! God is so faithful and so gracious!

Until next time! ;)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Haddie is 2 years old!


This spunky beauty is 2 years old already!  Haddie is full of personality and so much fun!  She can also be pretty stubborn and loud and crazy.  She's timid in new surroundings with new people, but she warms up pretty quickly.  She loves to play outside ... swings and slides are her favorite activities.  She likes to jump and run ... she hardly ever walks.  She smiles all the time, loves her pacifier, and is learning to brush her teeth.  She gives hugs and kisses every night.  Milk is her favorite drink, and she would drink tea all the time if we would let her, sweet or unsweet.  Haddie also likes to color and draw with just about any utensil ... markers are probably her favorite.  She would paint all the time if we were brave enough to let her.  She's pretty good about going down during quiet time, but she'd stay up all day and all night being silly and crazy if we'd let her ... we don't. ;)  Haddie is super smart ... she can already count to 10, knows all the uppercase letters of the alphabet, and knows the names of several colors and shapes.  And she can say all kinds of words and phrases, as well as, repeat a lot of things, whether we want her to or not. ;) She enjoys looking at books.  She likes animals, especially dogs.  She gets excited about trucks, trains, and airplanes.  Some of her favorite shows are Little Einsteins, Dora the Explorer, Daniel Tiger, Curious Buddies, Monster's Inc., and Finding Dory.  This sweet, spunky, stubborn, super awesome girlie has stolen our hearts, and we are so thankful the life we get to share with her!

Bethel's 5 & 6-month posts :)

 

Wow!  And I thought I was behind with Bethel's posts when I typed out her 4-month post.  Nope, this one takes the cake!  This will be Bethel's 5 and 6-month posts because #momlife is a REAL thing, folks!  Oh, well.  Sorry, Beth ... the woes of being the second born, I guess. ;)

This girl is so beautiful and chubby and happy and amazing!  We are so thankful for her beautiful, little life.  And of course, just like Haddie did (and is!), Bethel is growing like a weed!  She is learning to do all kinds of fun things.  She can roll from her back to her belly, but she's only done it a handful of times.  She grabs hold of everything, and of course, it goes straight to her mouth.  She is eating some solid food but not as much as her sister did at this age mostly because life is out of control with busyness most days!  But mama is working at it.  And sadly, it's not pureed food like Haddie's was.  Again ... woes of being the second born. ;)  I don't think she's hurting for food though. ;)  Bethel has this hilarious and adorable head bang that she does often.  She has all kinds of baby talk.  Her favorite sound is "da da."  It's always dad first ... geez. ;)  No teeth yet.  But surely, they will be here just around the corner.  She loves to sit up and watch what's going on, so she spends lots of time in her bumbo and saucer ... she lets us know when she gets bored and wants to be held. ;)  She likes to play with the baby hanging rings that you hang toys with, rattle-like toys, like her rudolph rattle toy and her rattle ball, and crinkly-sound toys.  She doesn't get much tummy time because mama is afraid she'll get trampled by her crazy, older sister.  She is a spitter, not much of a napper, but sleeping through the night (as far as we know), and she has a crush on her daddy.  I know there's plenty more to share, but that's all I have time for.

This mama is LOVING being a mama.  It's the hardest thing ever, but it's the most amazing too!  I am learning so much about grace, thankfulness, finding balance, choosing what's most important and saying yes to those things, growing in my health and fitness, excited about the young mamas' group I started at my church, and currently hearing my 2-year-old bang around in her room during "quiet time."  Should probably think about going to check on her soon, huh?  This mama is out for now!  We'll see if I can get Bethel's 7-month post up on time. ;)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bethel is 4 months old!


Well, this post is oober later, but here it is! 4 months already! My dad came up to me yesterday and asked, "Does it seem like the days are just flying by?" And yes, yes they are!

What Bethel is doing and learning these days ....
Drinking sometimes 5, sometimes 6 ounces every 2-3 hours ~ Interacting with toys more ~ Exploring everything with her month ~ Shooting through her clothes - she will very soon be moved up to 6-9 month clothing! ~ cat nappin' throughout the day ~ Sleeping through the night a lot more consistently - whoop, whoop! ~ Becoming quite the little grabber ~ Still so chill ~ Growls and grunts a good amount ~ Likes to be rotated to new positions around the house ~ Has been sitting in her saucer and bumbo and doing so well in them ~ Holding herself up better when sitting and pushing herself up better when on her belly ~ Such a smiley girlie! :) ~ Got her first baby rash all over her body last week .... thankfully, Benadryl, prescribed by the doctor cleared it right up, and she was such a trooper! ~ Still as sweet as ever!

What Mama is doing and learning ...
BALANCE! ~ Giving myself grace ~ Rockin' my health bootcamp! ~ Trying to carve out more time for reading, Bible study, and prayer ... I'm gonna get this! ~ ADORING my young mamas' group - wow, it is life-giving! ~ Continuing to LOVE being a mom!! ~ eating so much better and exercising so much more than I ever have before! ~ Incredibly encouraged and thankful ~ Growing in pretty much every way all the time, it feels :) ~ Feeling empowered! ~ Excited for Spring!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Bethel is 3 months old!


Our sweet Beth is growing up too fast, as all babies do.  We are so grateful to be her parents.  God is so good to us!

What Bethel is doing and learning these days ...
Grinning up a storm! ~ Cooing and making other baby noises a lot more ~ She can flip from belly to back ... that often wakes her up overnight way before Mommy wants her to up! ~ She's quite the squirmy worm ... you put her on her back or her tummy for any length of time, and she's wiggling away ... literally! ~ She engages more with facial expressions and noises (like Haddie and Daddy playing loudly in the same room) ~ She is starting to engage with shows like Baby Einstein ~ She pretty much sleeps through the night ... as long as we give her a blanket and don't put her down before 8:30pm ~ She's pretty chill as long as her belly is full ~ She likes sitting up where she can see everything ~ She is quickly outgrowing her 3-6 month clothes and drinking over 5 ounces at her feedings already! ~ An all-around cutie bug!

What Mama is doing and learning these days ...
LOVING the Youth Mamas' Group!!!! ~ Helping Darrell cook and pack his healthy foods for his BeachBodies bootcamp ~ Working out with Darrell 4-6 days a week! ~ Loving that this healthy eating plan Darrell is doing gives us much more time together and is motivating me to exercise and eat better too ~ Feeling very distracted and exhausted a good amount of the time ... #momlife, I guess ~ So thankful for this season of life ... I love being a wife, mom, living with my parents, leading the mamas' group, going to our church, growing in my walk with Christ and in thankfulness, and remembering almost constantly how blessed I am! ~ Basking in God's grace and faithfulness ~ Just thankful :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bethel's Birth Story

Bethel's due date was November 3rd of 2016 if you go by my original pregnancy test at the health center where Darrell works and November 2nd if you go by what my delivering doctor told me after my first appointment.  She came on my doctor's predicted date, Wednesday, November 2, 2016 ... the day the Cubs won the world series!  The day I had a baby withOUT an epidural! ;)

I was convinced that Bethel would come early.  I had heard many second babies come early.  But I'd also heard that many come late.  I was hoping for early because, seriously, what mom doesn't?  Pregnancy is hard work, yo!  But I was convinced she would come a few days early just like Haddie did.  When Beth didn't come early, I copped a bad attitude.  I was so tired of being pregnant.  The day before she was born, I was sitting in my Tuesday morning Bible study, admitting to the ladies how I'd been struggling with my attitude over the past few days but was also being encouraged by the discussion that day that God is in control, and His plan was gonna be the best plan.  Little did I know, the very next morning ... 2am to be exact ... I'd start my contractions that would bring my sweet babe into the world in a fairly short amount of time!

With Haddie, I had no contractions until about 15 hours after my water broke, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  My contractions were 5 minutes apart from 2:00 to 3:00 that Wednesday morning.  They weren't terribly painful, more like pretty uncomfortable menstral cramps, but they hurt enough to keep me awake for most of that hour.  I didn't think I was ready to go into the hospital because I expected those contractions to be much more painful at 5 minutes apart, so I decided to call the hospital, just to check it out.  By the time I got through to someone, my contractions spread out to about 10 and 15 minutes apart.  So the doctor on call told me I wasn't ready and that I needed to wait for my contractions to be 5 minutes apart.  So for the next three and a half hours, I spent my time "watching a movie" ... riiighhhtt ... on the couch ... standing up every so often to brace myself through the contraction pains.  I never once thought "I need to get myself to the hospital" because the contractions weren't 5 minutes apart yet.  So around 6:30 in the morning, Darrell came downstairs to check on me.  He asked, "should I stay home from work?"  And I replied, as I'm doubling over from the pain, "my contractions are only 7 minutes apart, so why don't you head to work ... I can always call you, and you can turn around if you need to."  So Darrell headed upstairs to take a shower.  Thankfully, HE has brains in his head, unlike me, so he never planned to go in to work.  By the time he got out of the shower, I was like, "yeah, we need to go to the hospital."  So we packed up Haddie and our hospital bags and headed that way.

On the way, my contractions were definitely 5 minutes apart!  I remember grabbing hold of the overhead handle in the Santa Fe every 5 minutes and breathing hard and fast through the pain.  We got to the hospital, and Darrell dropped me off at the door while he parked the car and brought Haddie in.  When he and Haddie got upstairs, I was doubling over the counter, sobbing, trying to fill out some paperwork.  What the heck?!  I am doubling over from contraction pain, and you people want me to fill out some paperwork???!!!  It's hilarious now, but I was not laughing then!  By the time I got to the triage room, I could barely stand the pain that was coming way closer than 5 minutes apart.  They told me to put on a gown and pee in a cup ... yeah, right!  Again, are you kidding me!?  So I shut the bathroom door, stripped off my clothes ... after your first labor experience, you don't care a whole lot about modesty ... and just barely peed in that daggone cup for them.  I couldn't figure out how to get the God-forsaken gown on either!  So I opened the door, asked them if I could order my epidural already (they looked at me like I was dreaming, which did anything but help my calm), and told them I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to put on that gown!  By the time they got me on the bed to check me, I was dilated to 7cm!  No wonder I was feeling the pain!!!  They wheeled me to my room and started my IV.  Right as they rolled me all the way into my room, I started to get the feeling that I wasn't gonna get my epidural.  A few moments later, one of the nurses said, "it's too late for an epidural."  Fear and panic welled up inside me!  I already knew that I wasn't gonna get my epidural, but to hear them say it was terrifying!  But by that time, I was already dilated to 9cm, and the contractions were so close together I barely had time to talk or think!  I remember the fear that overwhelmed me when I found out it was too late for an epidural ... I immediately started sobbing and asking the nurses over and over again ... "since I can't get my epidural, the pain will be short-lived, right?  The pain will be short-lived?"  They reassured me that it would.

I was so terrified of the pain of childbirth.  I was terrified with Haddie too, but with her, I only had to feel mild contractions for about 45 minutes before I got my epidural.  So I experienced nothing like what I was experiencing with Bethel!  During the most intense contractions, I remember a nurse telling me that "Mother Nature" will do her work, pushing my baby through quickly with my contractions.  I distinctly remember thinking, "I'm so glad that I have JESUS, NOT Mother Nature!  Thank you, Jesus, that YOU are with me!"  From the time I laid down on the bed in the triage room when they first checked me, until I dilated to 9cm, I was praying almost non-stop and remembering my focal points that I never got a chance to put up in my hospital room .... "Just breathe, and trust Jesus." and "Do not be afraid; remember the Lord who is great and awesome!"  I repeated this phrase and verse over and over and over to myself through my sobs and fear and pain.  And just before I started to push, the fear swelled so much I didn't know if I could face it, but then, all of a sudden, WORSHIP for the Lord welled up in my heart, and I began WORSHIPING God ... whispering praises and thanksgiving to God for being so good and faithful and kind and always with me.  i couldn't believe it!  I was about to experience my greatest fear, and I was praising Jesus!

I started to push, and it was the most excruciating and terrifying experience of my life!!!  After about 4 pushes, I wasn't sure if I could do anymore.  The pain was more than I thought I could handle.  I screamed with each push, so much so that I surprised myself.  I screamed until the doctor said that the screams would make it take longer to get Bethel out because I was focusing more on the screaming than the pushing.  So you better believe I shut up right quick and pushed her OUT!  Only about 5 pushes, and praise Jesus, she was out and crying right away!  I was so thankful for the relief from the pain.  And I was so amazed at God and my baby when they put Bethel on my chest.  From the time we got to the hospital, until Beth was born was about 45 minutes!  She was born at 8:26am.  Bethel's birth was the most excruciating and terrifying 15 minutes of my life, but I learned so much from that 15 minutes and experienced proof of so much spiritual growth in my life!  Not only that, but I have a perfectly beautiful baby girl from it all.  I would not trade that experience for anything!  Our time in the hospital was heavenly too.  With Haddie, I had a miserable couple of days in the hospital ... battling all kinds of fear, self-condemnation, and other spiritual warfare.  But with Beth, it was a sweet time of bonding and visitors and being totally pampered. God is so awesome!  And I am so incredibly thankful for my sweet Bethel and God's never-ending grace to continually work in my life!  To God be the glory!!!


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bethel is 2 months old!


Our sweet Beth turned 2 months old on January 2nd!  What a beauty!  We are so grateful to be her parents.

What Bethel is doing and learning these days ...
Drinking 5 ounces of formula every 2 to 4 hours! ... She was about a pound and half smaller than Haddie when she was born, but I'm starting to think she's gonna be even bigger and stronger than Haddie when she gets older.  She is gaining weight and growing in length so fast! ~ Smiling! :):):) ~ Engaging with people's faces and dangling toys ~ Reacts to a variety of noises ~ Pretty self-sufficient for a 2-month old ... plays on her back in her pack 'n play and under her dangly toys on the floor for 20-30 minutes at a time, sits in her swing/rock 'n play for 15+ minutes while I cook or load the dishwasher ... she'll even sit propped up on the couch for a bit by herself ~ She likes being held up where she can see her surroundings; she's not one to be carried laying down in our arms - she's gotta see what's goin' on! ~ She's a super gruntin' pooper! ~ She gets plenty of tummy time and is able to push herself up some and hold her head up well ~ Sleeping 5 to 7 hours a night ~ Doesn't do nearly as much sleeping during the day anymore ... a handful of power naps and MAYBE one 2-3 hour nap each day ~ Likes it when her big sister is around ... even though she occasionally gets squished, smacked, and bopped on the head ;) ~ Really likes laying on her back on the dining room table ~ Notices her hands often ~ An absolute cutie bug!

What Mama is doing and learning these days ...
REJOICING!  In God's faithfulness, kindness, goodness, and working in our lives! ~ Loving being home with my babies most of the time and working outside the home just a few hours a week ~ Soooo grateful to my parents and Gma for giving me work and offering to watch my sweet babes while I do so - they are so incredible and generous! ~ So thankful for the kindness of my parents and parents-in-law for supporting us and giving us so much! ~ Growing more in love with my husband and babies everyday! ~ Reading some good books - Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood by Melissa Kruger, Hearing from God Every Morning by Joyce Meyer, my NLT Inspire Bible, and (I'm trying to read) Power of the Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian and Dare to Discipline by James Dobson. ~ Learning to depend on the Lord in every circumstance - Dependence is my word and only resolution for 2017 and beyond ~ Praying for God's direction and wisdom in our lives, especially concerning our finances/me getting a job or not, what it will take for us to get back out on our own, and how to parent our children HIS way ~ Trusting the Lord for His provision ~ Totally flabbergasted about the astronomical daycare costs, so I may not be finding a full-time job afterall ... but now, I'm not sure I even want to because I'm enjoying more girlies so much :) ~ Doing amazingly well in my attitude about getting up with Bethel once a night ~ Growing in grace and overcoming self-condemnation more and more over time - whoop, whoop! ~ Cultivating a thankful heart and seeing noticeable results - praise Jesus! ~ Hopeful ~ Excited ~ Thankful! ~ I could keep going, but I will stop here.  God is just so faithful!