Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2 Months Old

Mason is 2 months old! Oh how the time flies.
  • He is wearing size 2 diapers since about a week ago. Just like Elliott, blowouts signaled the need for a change.
  • He is wearing 0-3 month clothes, however, I can tell he won't be in this size much longer! Such a growing boy.
  • He typically eats every 3 hours during the day and has been sleeping 5-7 hours at night. I'm thankful he is sleeping that much, but I am definitely ready for him to sleep through the night. Even waking up once gets tiring. He did sleep until 7:00 on his two month birthday which was INCREDIBLE!
  • He drinks 3-4 oz from a bottle when I'm at work. That's right, started work this week.
  • He follows the eat/play/sleep routine, but he seems to have a harder time taking long naps. Maybe it's because there is so much chaos in the house with a small toddler and a barking dog, but he seems to take shorter naps than Elliott did at this age.

  • He is such a smily little boy. His smiles truly warm my heart.
  • He has really started "talking." His little coos are the sweetest.
  • He really likes his bouncer and his swing...probably because he spends lots of time in them during the day.
  • He loves to be held, but not on your chest, down in your arms. Better position to look at his sweet face.

He had his two month appointment last Monday. I must say I felt slightly crazy bringing two children under the age of two to his doctor's appointment. Elliott usually does really great at the doctor's office, but I think she cried more than he did this visit...and he got shots. It's a little difficult holding 2 crying babies. :) He is growing boy though, and here are his 2 month stats:
Weight 13 pounds 6 ounces (65%)
Height 25 3/4 inches (99%)
Head 15 3/4 inches (50%)
We love our sweet little guy and how much joy he brings to our lives!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

6 things...

Since I posted about 6 things I miss about Oklahoma, I thought it was only fair to post 6 things I like about South Bend. So in no particular order, here they are.
1. The river. There is river that runs through town, and when the weather is nice, there is an amazing paved path around it that we love to walk. Something about running water that is good for the soul.
2. Aladdin's. My new favorite Mediterranean place. The food is amazing and decently priced. I'm obsessed with Baba, a hummus like eggplant dip. My mouth is watering.
3. The snow. I have a love/hate relationship with the snow. There are days it feels like a prison, but it's amazing how beautiful it is while it's falling.
4. Our church. We are so blessed to have made so many good friends in such a short time. It has been an amazing reminder of what a blessing it is to be part of the body of Christ.
5. Chicago style pizza. Not so good for the waist-line but oh so tasty.
6. The mall. Such a silly thing to like, I know, but it's a great place to have a play date with friends. We like the play area in the mall and in Barnes and Noble (which is attached), looking at the animals in the pet store, watching the train, and eating at chick fil a. Oh how your perspective changes when you have kids.

And a few pictures just because.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


After a difficult day yesterday, today has been a much better day. I'm so thankful. For starters, I got to go to pilates this morning while Kev watched the kids. Amazing what a little exercise and fellowship does for the soul. Then, when we took our car into the shop, they said that since the door broke where it did, it was an easy and relatively cheap repair. They are already finished. Thank you, Jesus! I think this whole experience has reminded me that God is always faithful, even in the "little" things.

This morning I was being reminded of another character trait I am lacking...contentment. Why is it so easy to become discontent and so hard to be content? Discontentment raises it's ugly head quite frequently in my life, it just looks a little different each time. Recently I have seen it's presence regarding our house.

When we first moved here, I really loved our house. It's a rent house, but it has lots of character and style. However, as the days tick away, I find things that really bother me. Like there is only one bathroom and it is upstairs...ughh. And it has an upstairs and a basement. The bedrooms are all upstairs and the washer and dryer are downstairs. I feel like I'm constantly going up or down stairs and with two small children this is no small task. It is also just two bedrooms so Mason sleeps in our room (=I hear every grunt/cry he makes, even over the sound of a fan) and when we have visitors, they have to sleep in our dining room. You heard me right, our dining room. Don't you want to come visit? However, with all of these things, I got a good dose of truth this morning.

"Make sure your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you..."
Hebrews 13:5

Thankful for the Word to refocus my perspective.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I feel like each and every day I get a little more confident, a little more comfortable having 2 kids. I'm not going to say this transition has been hasn't. It has actually been surprisingly more difficult than I was expecting. However, it does seem to be getting easier, and for that I am thankful. However, today was not one of those easy days. I decided to take the kids to the mall before Elliott's nap. Seems easy enough, right? Kev had class until 6 so I knew we had a long day ahead of us, so it's always nice to break up the day. Getting out the door is a small, or not so small feat. Making sure the diaper bag is fully stocked, putting everyone's coats/blankets on (it was in the north), carrying everything and everyone out to the car, etc. When I got out to the car with Elliott, I realized our stroller was not in the car. I opened the trunk but then decided to wait to put the stroller in until I opened the garage because the door was partially open since it was caught on the garage. So on my second trip out with Mason, I decided to open the garage...without thinking that the trunk was already open...caught on the garage. I watched in horror as the garage basically hyperextended our trunk door and it then slammed shut.

So now I have to manually open the door and there is basically no way to easily get things in and out of it (until we get it fixed). I know this is not the end of the world. Yes, it is an expense, but things could be worse. However, with all this being said, it really shook me up. Afterwards, I felt so I failed. After much thought, I think I responded like this because I feel like I try so hard to be a good mom. I try to think ahead, plan fun things for us to do, love on the kids, make sure they have what they need (like food and clean clothes), and with all my thinking and planning, I made a really silly mistake. I feel much better now. Thankfully, I have a very sweet, reassuring husband who loves me even when I make silly mistakes and surprises me with Starbucks to brighten my day. I'm still processing this day because I know I will make many more mistakes in the days and years to come. I know I can't find my identity in being a good mom, or a good wife, or a good employee, or a good friend. It's just so easy to do.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I'm not sure if any of this makes sense to anyone, but I feel like I'm still learning, still wrestling with so many thoughts and emotions. On a much lighter note, we were so blessed to have some very special visitors this past weekend. My sister and her husband flew in from Texas to stay with us. It was such a special, sweet time and the days flew by. We had an amazing time, but unfortunately we took very few pictures together. I'm so thankful they were able to get a glimpse of our life here. Love you guys!
Walking around campus. It seemed like a beautiful day (36 degrees and sunny) but got REALLY chilly.
Anja is 35 weeks pregnant. Can't wait to meet her little guy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

6 things...

We've been living in Indiana for a little over 6 months now. 6 months...half a year. Kind of hard to believe. In some ways it feels like much longer and in some ways much shorter. God has graciously eased the transition for us, and although we have still had hard days (which we knew we would), it has been filled with mainly good days. I have been thinking recently of things I miss in Oklahoma. Obviously, friends and family top the list, but here are a couple of other things in no particular order:
  1. The sun. Cloudy and overcast gets
  2. Warm weather. Can you tell we're still in the midst of a long winter here? Although this winter has been very mild (so they say), I am ready for a little warmth. You know you're perspective is skewed when you think 40 sounds really nice.
  3. Blue Bell ice cream. It is really a crying shame to not have something so good as Blue Bell up north. They are missing out and don't even realize it. There is no good substitution either. So sad.
  4. Braums. me some Braum's milk, ice cream, etc. I just like the store actually. The closest thing we have here is Dairy comparison.
  5. A good sandwich place. I'm sure they exist here, but I still haven't found one that I love. I am a HUGE fan of Jason's Deli and could probably eat there every day. Great healthy selections for a good price. What more could you ask for? I also LOVE Cafe Plaid. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
  6. Good Mexican food. I took good Mexican food for granted. I thought it existed everywhere. Unfortunately not. I'm a Texas girl at heart (the state not the school...just thought I should clarify) so Mexican food was a staple in our diet. Not anymore.
6 things for 6 months. Not too bad I guess.

Monday, February 13, 2012

18 Months Old

I have been wanting to write this post for several days now, but I am constantly amazed how little time I have that my hands are free. When Elliott is napping or goes to bed at night (my "free" time), I'm typically feeding or holding Mason. I'm definitely not complaining and wouldn't have it any other way, but it definitely limits my posting. Part of the reason I want to post these updates is I don't want to forget. There are so many moments I want to take a mental snapshot so I can remember the cute things Elliott is doing, so this is my snapshot (since I forget so quickly).

I have decided I have a love/hate relationship with this age. I absolutely love to see how much she is learning, to see her little personality develop, to see her inquisitive nature, to hear her speak more and more words. So much fun! And yet she is at the age where she can go from laughing to a full blown fit in about 1 second. We actually had a moment like that public. Love it. The whining also wears me out. Without further ado, here is what she has been up to this past month.
  • She is wearing 2T clothes and has recently been able to fit into several 3T things. She is only 18 months, so yes, she is a big girl. It is really hard for me to buy things for the future because I'm not really sure what size she'll be wearing.
  • She is wearing size 6 diapers. We've been trying to plant the "going in the potty" bug in her ear recently by purchasing her very own green potty. No such luck yet, but she is really loving her potty book that is also slightly annoying.
  • She is still a pretty good eater but definitely is way more picky than she used to be. She eats very few veggies (although I still offer them), and has limited her fruit selection. I'm thankful she still loves grapes, bananas, and recently prunes. Her favorite things to eat are still all bread products. We give her fruit/veggies, then her protein, then her carb. If she even knows a bread product is coming (like pancakes), she won't eat her protein (like eggs). She's getting too smart for her own good. :)
  • She still loves to read, but she recently likes to "read" on her own. She spends quite a bit of time looking at books. So cute. It's funny to me the books she wants to read over and over, like Where's Wooly and Whoever You Are. She has really liked paper books lately and is not tearing the pages now.
  • She wants to climb on EVERYTHING these days. I think she is a little bit of an adrenaline junky because she wants to stand as close to the edge as possible on anything she is standing on. Not so good for my cautious spirit. Makes me a little nervous for what the future holds.
  • She LOVES to be outside, in the heat or cold, and she loves the snow. She is constantly pointing to the closet where her snowsuit is wanting to go outside, even if there is no snow on the ground.
  • She loves to be chased, especially if she thinks Truman is chasing her. She will laugh and run in circles through the dining room, kitchen and living room. Yesterday she was trying to climb on his back, unfortunately Truman was not cooperating with her plans.
  • She loves music and is either singing or wanting the music on. Her favorite songs are The Wheels on the Bus, 5 Little Monkeys, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider. She loves to "jump" when we do the 5 little monkeys but she can't quite get off the ground. So stinkin' cute.

Having tea with Mimi and Papa
  • She still is not a big fan of dolls or stuffed animals. She likes to color (which mainly consists of her putting stickers all over her coloring page), play in her kitchen, dump her toys out, climb/jump on things and read books.
  • She still is our little introvert and rarely talks to strangers...sometimes she won't even make eye contact with them, which always makes me laugh. She will however tell them "bye bye" when they have either turned around or are too far off to see her wave.
  • She LOVES to watch all kids (especially ones with hats...good thing we live in a cold climate), cats, dogs, squirrels, and birds. We watch for squirrels and birds frequently.
  • She has a new obsession with lady bugs because we have found 4 in our house. She talks about them often.
  • She has started talking much more, and although she still is not the most verbal child, she will now try to mimic what we tell her. She does NOT perform though so no one ever sees it. :)
  • She also communicates in her very own sign language. Head side to side=turn on the music. Motioning to her lips=I want chapstick. Putting something in her ear=I want to listen to music with headphones. Acting like she is drawing=I want to color. Deliberately swallowing=I want a drink. The funny thing is when she does her "signs," she also says, "Yeah, yeah, yeah" over and over. I feel like she is telling me, "Yeah, you know what I want."
  • She is now a big fan of watching shows. She asks for "Blues" often (Blue's Clues) and likes anything with singing.

Miss Ellie-Bean has her 18 month check-up soon so I'm excited to see how much she weighs. We're so thankful for our precious little girl!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Surprises with 2

I'm happy to say we're slowly starting to fall into some routines here, which is such a good thing for my sanity. We're surviving so far without Mimi, Papa, Grandma, or Grandpa even though it's not near as fun without them. I'm sure once we get our routines settled, I'll go back to work then we'll have to find all new routines. I have 3 more weeks off work, but I know it will be here before I know it.

So I am the queen of expectations. I don't usually realize I have such strong expectations until they're not met and I totally over-react. I typically see these strong expectations emerge in my relationship with Kev, and through the years we've realized our relationship is much better off when I can communicate these expectations instead of expecting him to know them. I'm sure many women struggle with this...or at least I hope I'm not the only one. I say all of this because I have been amazed at how many expectations I have had with this second kid that just have not panned going into labor early, expecting the delivery process to be similar to last time, etc.

Well, I've had a couple of more unmet expectations to add to the list recently. First, I assumed I wouldn't get great sleep after I had Mason because he would be waking up to eat. The first several weeks were actually not that bad. He was generally waking up twice (sometimes only once), Kev was there to help, and I was really feeling quite rested. Fast forward to a week and a half ago when Elliott started waking up...and has woken up every night since then. Elliott has always been a great sleeper. She started sleeping through the night very young, has always taken great naps and we have never really had problems with her waking up at night. Until a week and a half ago. I have wracked my brain as to why in the world she would be waking up. I blamed it on teething for a long time, but then it didn't seem to be making a difference when I gave her motrin. I thought maybe her ears were infected, but they weren't. Maybe she was getting hungry, maybe she was thirsty, maybe she was too hot/cold, maybe she was getting scared because her room was so dark, and on and on. I don't think it's related to Mason getting up because she usually wakes up before he wakes up. Then she's up for at least an hour. Add that on to the time I'm up with Mason to feed him and you've got TWO very grumpy parents. We usually hold her for awhile then have to let her cry/SCREAM for 20-30 minutes, hold her again, then finally she'll go to sleep. Exhausting. Did I mention she also has been taking shorter naps in the afternoon? Not what I would have expected.

My other unmet expectation is her reaction to Mason. Everyone assured me that since she was so young (16 months) when he was born, she wouldn't have any jealousy because she was too little to understand. I was counting on this. This has not been my experience. I'm not sure if she is jealous or what, but she seems to always want to hit or scratch him. It is so sad and very difficult to know how to respond. Granted, she is in the hitting/scratching stage and does it to us sometime, but I was not expecting this to be a problem. Mason basically stays in his bouncer on the table all the time because I don't really trust her with him. I'm just praying and hoping that this will improve (hopefully sooner than later). She has been a little sweeter lately which I have been very thankful for.

Anybody have any experience with either of these issues? I'm sure I will have many more unmet expectations but these are the most recent ones.
First bottle with Daddy.
Sweet little guy!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I've been a little out of the pocket with blogging lately, so I'm going to do two posts in 1 day to catch up. Amazing, I know. As long as both kids stay asleep long enough for me to get it written. It took me 4 days to do the last post because I had to write it in small increments of time. One of the reasons I have been out of pocket is because my parents were visiting us this past week. It's always a happy day when Mimi and Papa come visit. My mom has actually been here 4 times in the 6 months we have been here (kinda crazy but wonderful) and this was the second time for my dad to visit. He also had never met Mason. It was such an amazing, sweet visit, and my heart broke to see them go today. It was SO nice to have some extra help caring for two kids, and also just get to hang out together. We didn't do anything spectacular and yet it was all so fun.

I always have to mentally regroup when they leave. I have to remind myself, "You can do this. You can care for two kids." The power of positive thinking, right? I know I can, it's just so much easier when they are here. :) These are the moments that my heart grieves to live so far away. We don't know when we'll get to see them again. It may not be until the summer. SUMMER...sounds so far away. It makes my heart sad to think so much time might pass before Elliott and Mason get to see their Mimi and Papa. I know that God has us here for a reason, and I really feel confident that this is where we are supposed to be, but that doesn't mean there aren't days where it's still hard to be so far not be able to just visit for the weekend.
Sweet kisses.
I wanted to post this picture so you can see my dad's Truman wound. Truman is also abundantly glad when they come to visit because my dad always plays with him. However, Truman can sometimes be a little rough with his play. When they were wrestling on the ground, Truman swung his head and around and clocked my dad in the eyebrow. My dad had blood running down his face and somehow cut his lip as well. It truly looked like he got in a fight...especially since around his eye got all swollen and discolored. So sad.

We love you Mimi and Papa and can't wait for you to come again!

1 Month Old

It's hard to believe Mason is already 1 month old (and a week)! Oh, how the days pass quickly. He is getting so big so fast, and here is his 1 month update (with pictures from his newborn photo shoot).
  • He is wearing 0-3 month clothes and I realized today that since he was unable to extend his legs in the newborn outfit I put him in, it *might* be too small.
  • He is wearing size 1 diapers and has had way fewer blowouts than with the newborn diapers. What is it with my kids having blowouts? On a side note, I did just purchase several cloth diapers to try. Dipping my toes in the waters of cloth diapers...let's see if I like them.
  • He is nursing every 3 hours during the day, and the longest he goes at night in between feedings is typically 5 hours. HOWEVER...he did sleep ALL night a couple nights ago (1 month 1 day old). WHAT? Granted, I wasn't able to fully enjoy it because Elliott decided to wake up 3 times (she's teething). Then the next night he went 8 hours in between feedings and I don't think I moved a muscle until he woke up at 5:30. Oh how I love sleep!
  • He took a bottle for the first time when he was 1 month old. He gulped it down.
  • Thankfully, he loves his bouncer and swing because he spends lots of time in them. The result of having 2 small children.
  • So far, he is great in the car and usually doesn't make a peep when we run errands or go out to eat.
  • He does get fussy occasionally, and he has a very sad, high pitched, pathetic cry. It makes me feel sad for him and want to laugh all at the same time. Does that make me a bad mom? :)
  • He smiled at his Mimi when he was 1 month old and at me several days later. SO sweet!
  • Unfortunately, poor guy hasn't gotten much tummy time. When I have tried to put him in his activity gym, Elliott decides she wants to be in there so immediately asks that I take him out so she can crawl under it or carry it around. Poor younger brother. :)
  • He's such a snuggly guy and sleeps on our chest frequently.
  • He got a cold when he was 1 month old thanks to his big sister. No fever but a not-so-fun stuffy nose.
  • He likes his pacifier...most of the time. Elliott likes it as carry it around, suck on it, etc. I've decided it must be virtually impossible to keep one kid well when the other is sick.

I love this picture! This is as close as we got to Elliott "hugging" Mason in the photo shoot.
This is usually what Elliott does when we tell her to smile for the camera. Oh goodness.
Our little family of 4.
We are so thankful for this first month of life with little Mason!