Saturday, June 30, 2012

First taste

When Mason was 6 months old, we decided it was time for his first taste of something besides breast milk.  I have definitely been in NO rush to start him on baby food.  In my mind, it's just one more thing to do in the chaos of life.  They still have to nurse, so it truly does just add an extra step.  However, I did feel much more relaxed about starting solids with Mason than I did with Elliott.  I actually wrote about it here, but I WAY overthought starting E on solids.  I felt like I needed to have it all figured out. It's so great the confidence you have with a second child.
It was a family affair.
 I just love this picture.  I feel like Mason is saying, "I trust you mom, but I'm not sure I like what you're giving me."
 I started with oat cereal mixed with breast milk.  Elliott never liked rice cereal, so I just decided to try oat cereal with Mason.  I know it's not as "hypoallergenic" but I'm so laid back now, right?  So laid back I forgot to put a bib on the little guy.
 He actually ate several bites but wasn't super impressed.
His favorite thing was the spoon.
 "My thumb is way tastier than this weird cereal stuff."
 Baby blues.

I gave him some banana mixed with oat cereal tonight and he still wasn't impressed.  I chose banana out of laziness...I haven't gotten a chance to make any baby food yet, but we almost ALWAYS have bananas in our house.  Miss E is part monkey.  He ate maybe 2 bites, but at least E was more than willing to finish the rest of his banana. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More noo noos

Miss Elliott has been talking more and more these days, but as she learns to talk, she definitely does not have perfect pronunciation.  Most words, she will definitely say the first syllable but as far as what comes next, you can never be too sure.  I think she is loving being able to communicate, but she gets very frustrated when we can't understand what she is saying.  I can imagine that would be very frustrating, so I make a huge effort to grasp what she is trying to communicate.  Sometimes I wish she understood the concept of charades so she could act it out as well.  Another added element of difficulty is so many of her words sound the same.  Kev says it is all about context, but sometimes even context doesn't help you out.  Like when she says "ma" she may want more or milk...or just randomly be asking to see her friend Maryn.  All three words she might use frequently while she is eating.  Usually our conversations go like this.

E: "Ma mommy."
Me: "You want more?"
E: "Ma, ma."
Me: "Are you saying you want more [insert whatever she's eating at the time]?"
E: Getting increasingly frustrated, "ma ma!"
Me: "Oh, do you want some milk?"
E: "Yeah, ma (obviously...I've been saying that all along)!"
I know that in no time, she will be saying words correctly, and putting more and more words in sentences, and when that day comes, I'll probably miss the cute way she said milk, so I thought I would document mainly for myself, words that she says.

Noo noos-noodles
Momo-her name for my mom (was supposed to be Mimi)
Bah-her pacifier
Peez-please or pizza
Wah wah-water (she specifically asks for ICE WATER constantly)
There are other words I totally understand what she is trying to communicate, but she is not using the correct name for something.  Example...she loves calling animals by their sounds, not their names.  As we were walking today, she would say, "Mommy, woof woof, woof woof."  Then "more woof woof."

Hop hop-bunny
Woof woof-dog
Whoo whoo-owl
Ooo oo aahh-monkey
Bawk bawk-chicken (she also calls chicken to eat this as well)
However, she will say kitty cat, duck, geese, bobcat.  As a parent, I try to say the correct pronunciation of things, but all the sudden, I'll hear myself saying, "Elliott, do you think we'll see more hop hops today?"  Oh dear.  She may never learn the correct pronunciation. :)
Giving M a fish face.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Renewed perspective

It has been one of those mornings.

Miss Elliott woke up in a mood.  A seriously bad mood.  Everything was a fight from eating breakfast to changing clothes/diaper.  I could see defiance and obstinance etched on her face as she just waited for me to ask her to do something so she could yell "no (which sometimes I think is her favorite word, unfortunately)."  It was one of those mornings where multiple fits had been thrown...and it wasn't even 8am.  And I already had the fleeting thought, "When is too early to lay her down for her afternoon nap?"  You may think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.  It's the kind of start to a day that I question, "How am I going to make it to bedtime?"  Kev felt bad to leave, but unfortunately, duty calls.  

So I decided to take a walk.  We needed to get out of the house and I needed to spend some time with Jesus begging Him for patience, grace, and strength to get through the day.  As I was walking and praying, I had a thought that is not really profound, and I'm sure millions of moms have thought it before, but it was really encouraging to me today.  

My children are my mission field.  However, I would never dream of going oversees on a mission trip and not laboring in prayer for the people I was meeting with, and yet I frequently go days without praying for my children's salvation and their hearts.  When I am trying to reach out to my neighbors, I would never imagine just spending time with them halfheartedly, trying to "make it through," and yet so often the time I spend with my children I feel distracted by the millions of tasks I "need" to accomplish or I'm just wishing the time away until Kev gets home at 5.  I may know that that they are my primary ministry during this season of life, but there are days I am not treating them like that.

Such a simple concept, but I was SO thankful for the renewed prospective God gave me today. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer time!

Summer is here...and we are LOVING it!!  Summer has a whole new meaning in our household since Kev went back to school.  He still has to work/study, but he has been so much more relaxed about it his schedule and has had more free time, which is amazing!  We decided early we wanted to spend the summer doing fun things as a family and just enjoy the time together.  I feel like so far we have been doing pretty well at this.  Our fun has included almost daily walks to the park, multiple zoo trips, a spontaneous trip to Michigan City, and a day at Silver Beach in Michigan with friends.  We have spent lots of time outside as well, which of course, Miss E will NEVER refuse.  I'm just amazed that it is already the end of June.  Slow down Summer!

The other day as we were hanging outside, I got to watch Elliott and Kev looking for bugs.
 And it made me so thankful Elliott (and Mason) have a Daddy that will do fun stuff (like look for bugs).
 Elliott thinks her Daddy is pretty cool.
 It also made me thankful for Elliott's free, independent spirit.  Yes, this spirit can drive me batty most days, but I really want to focus on the good on how God has made her.
As soon as we go outside, Elliott wants to do two things: 1) take her shoes off (if she even has them on) and 2) take her clothes off (because who really wears clothes in the backyard...hmmm, wait a minute...).  I fought it at first, but let's face it, we have WAY too many battles to face and I just decided this didn't have to be one of them.  And she totally loves it.  I kind of wonder what our neighbors think (all the houses are two stories so they can see into our backyard), but who cares, right?
E loves looking at flowers (we usually don't let her pick them but I thought it might be a good photo op).
Poop scooping time.  Elliott runs around pointing out all the poop in the yard.  She's a little obsessed.  She loves poop and bugs.  However she is a mixture of obsessed and irrationally fearful of bugs.  Not sure what to make of it.
Poop scooping is necessary with this guy.  I realized I hadn't posted a pic of him lately.  Good ol' Truman.

So needless to say, these are the days I appreciate being a grad student's wife, the perks of the "business."  Here's to trying to appreciate each and every moment.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A few good ones

I'm so glad you guys enjoyed our "out-takes" from our little photo shoot.  Although the majority of the pics were not great, we did have a couple pictures that were decent.  Not nearly as funny, but here they are.
 A glimmer of a smile on Miss E.  This is about the best she'll give us.
 I love when she crosses her arms.  Such a big girl thing to do, but she still looks so little doing it.
 Our little man's still serious but at least we got a smirk out of Elliott.
 I finally got her to laugh because she was sticking her hand in her mouth and I kept pulling it out.  The key is NEVER ask her to smile.  Total disaster if you do.
Our big girl.  She'll be two in less than two months.  Oh how I love her and yet there are days I think she may make me lose my mind (not really...but kind of).  There are many differences in our personalities, and I think they become more and more apparent to me as she gets older.  These differences have just made me realize my intense need for the Lord's wisdom and direction in loving her, raising her, shaping her.  It's a daunting task and yet I'm excited to see how much God has already taught me.  God is SO good.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Our not-so-photogenic girl

I love good photographs.  It makes my heart happy to see pretty pictures, even of people I don't know (probably one of the reason I like looking at random blogs which Kev thinks is weird).  Unfortunately, my first child HATES getting pictures taken of her.

We came up with the bright idea of taking a few family pictures before church this morning.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  This is what we got with our not-so-photogenic daughter.
Inspecting and showing off her dirty feet.
Talking about shoes...or probably lack of shoes hence the dirty feet.
Trying to help Mason look at the camera.
Holding brother for a couple of totally disinterested seconds...yes I said seconds.
Yelling "all done" or "off" at brother.  I can't quite remember.
Trying to push brother off the chair.
So pleased with herself that she has the chair all to herself again.

Then things took a turn for the worst (not that any of that was good), and poor dad got the brunt of it.
I really don't want to take a picture.  What's worse than one meltdown?
That's right...two meltdowns.

Her typical response to pictures?
Run away as fast as possible.

Sigh.  Maybe she'll grow out of it.

4 (or 5) month stats

Mason finally had his 4 month well child check (although he was already 5 months).  Here's his stats with a little comparison with Miss Elliott's 4 and 6 month stats (since he was somewhere in between).

Weight: 18 pounds 3 ounces (71%)
Height: 27 inches (80%)
Head circumference: 17 inches (58%)

Elliott at 4 months
Weight: 16 pounds 8 ounces
Height: 26.5 inches

Elliott at 6 months
Weight: 19 pounds 5 ounces
Height: 29 inches

Head circumference: 17 3/4 inches

So it looks like so far, they're pretty comparable in their stats.  It will be interesting to see if that persists.  For the fun of it, I thought I would upload a couple of pics of what Miss E looked like at Mason's age.  Do you think they look similar?

Surrounded by all her favorite toys.
 One of my all time faves.  Seriously.
Another fave...even without makeup.

I seriously love looking at old pictures.  It's amazing to see how much kids change...and yet stay the same.  Love my little munchkins.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Lone Star State

After we spent a wonderful week in Oklahoma with friends and Kev's family, we drove to Texas to see my family.  It was such a relaxing and refreshing visit!
I got to spend some sweet time with my sisters and mom.  And we even got a pedicure...special treat for me.

We spent lots of time playing in the backyard.  Who can ask for more than a water hose, sand, and a mini pool?  At least for Elliott, it was heaven.
We spent lots of quality time with babies.  My sisters and I have all had a baby in a span of 4 MONTHS!  Pretty awesome.  It's so neat to me that we are all parents and get to experience babies at the same time.  I'm sure the house will be pretty chaotic here in a couple of years when they're all running around like little hooligans, but I'm excited for that too.
We joked that the boys were our "easy," laid back kiddos (this is Mason lest you be confused).
The girls...let's just say they are not quite as laid back. :)
Anj with the newest addition.
"Whatcha got there cuz?"
Love me some chunky thighs (maybe I should specify on babies...not on me).
Bath time fun.
 Miss Elliott was basically attached to Momo (my mom) the entire week...literally.  She cared very little about mommy and daddy, and I must admit, it was a nice break.
The girls and all the kids.  Our family has exponentially grown.

I've realized that my view of vacations have drastically changed.  A vacation now=family, a daily workout, and frequent Starbucks.  If I get an occasional nap, that's an added plus.  Oh how life changes.

We're so thankful for our families and thankful for the wonderful two weeks we were able to spend with them.  I'll try to limit the picture posts from now on.  I've been a little excessive of late. :)