Monday, June 08, 2015

30 Weeks

I'm 30 weeks with Baby Girl #2! Thankfully, I am feeling really well and enjoying this part of the pregnancy. I am feeling better right now than I have the whole pregnancy. The whole pregnancy has been fairly smooth so far.

Evelyn is very excited for her Baby Sister and loves to talk about her. She has been with me to two check-ups and likes to hear her heartbeat. Sometimes she will lay her head on my stomach and say she can hear her. One day she even saw her through my belly button! ;) I think she has a pretty good understanding of what is going on, considering she's only two. One night we were getting ready for bed and she asked, "Mama, who put that baby in your tummy?" I was shocked! Just a few nights later, she asked if the baby is eating in my tummy and what she was eating. Evelyn is sure she is eating chicken nuggets and "mac-ee-roni and cheese!" She also wants to know if the baby can grow in her tummy for a while when she's done growing in my tummy. She is excited for the baby to be done growing and come live with us. She has plans to kiss her, hold her on the couch, give her a high five and tell her "I love you Baby Sister!" Most importantly, she is excited that Mum and Pop are coming when the baby is born!

My body definitely feels the affects of growing a baby and taking care of a VERY active two year old! I'm thankful for my chiropractor and look forward to my visits. Everything is looking great with the baby and I'm growing right on track. My most recent blood work came back better than normal for being pregnant, which is a huge blessing!

We are excited for summer to be here! I finished up baby-sitting last Friday and we have big plans for the Summer. We are starting off this week with potty training! Chris' family will be coming at the end of the week and we will be heading down to the Keys next week. After that, a friend from home is coming to visit, my sister is coming, we're staying several days at a resort in Orlando, a church meeting in July, and a few trips to Disney! We're also still hoping and praying we will be buying a home in the next few weeks. I know the weeks will fly by and it won't be long before we're enjoying our new sweet girl.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Evelyn is 2

2 Years Old
Likes: Mickey Mouse, being outside, dolls, riding her bicycle, chocolate, singing, Walmart, medium rare steak, grits, tapirs
Dislikes: washing her hair, sleeping alone, going to the doctor, swimming
Our sweet and lively girl turns 2 today. She has been so excited for her birthday and talking about it for several weeks. She has had her birthday plans made for a while. One night during her bath about a month or so ago, she decided she would "eat chocate cakes with Bobbie Jo, Jamie, and Audrey at a restaurant" for her birthday. This week we've been talking about her party at the park with her friends and chocolate cupcakes. She also informed us that she needed to go to the zoo to see the tapirs for her birthday. So that's what we'll do.

This has been a busy, fun, emotional, and exciting year. Evelyn made two trips to Illinois, two trips to Mississippi, a trip to Texas, and a trip to New York City this year. I am thankful for a good traveler (as long as she is thoroughly entertained) and for the excitement when it's time for a trip. Living away from all our family is very difficult, but I am thankful for opportunities to travel.
Bike riding through Central Park
New York City Skyline
New York City - June 2014, Evelyn 14 months old
Thanksgiving in Illinois
First experience with snow at Thanksgiving in Illinois - Evelyn 19 months old
Thanksgiving with Cousin Lily
Crouse Family at Christmas
Christmas 2014 - Evelyn 20 months old
She has developed a love for going to church and often asks if we're going each day. She is learning how to act during the worship service and some Sundays are better than others. In the past few months we've really been focusing on starting teaching her the discipline of worship and why she has to sit still and be quiet. We've been focusing on less toys and playtime during the worship service. I'll be honest, this is very difficult and I want to give up often. But, I remind myself of the importance and the long term implications.

All dressed for church - February 2015, Evelyn 22 months

One of the big events from this year was our car accident and Evelyn's broken leg. I am still amazed at the mercy of God through that situation. She handled the 6 weeks in the cast like it wasn't a big deal and has no lasting problems. I show her pictures and videos of her time in the cast and she always asks "what happened to Evelyn?"
Learning to crawl with her cast - August 2014, Evelyn 16 months old
Last day of the cast!
I am constantly amazed at Evelyn's thirst for knowledge and how she takes in EVERYTHING! She is a very fast learner (except when it comes to discipline) and has a memory like I've never seen. She will remember a person/toy/event months after the fact. When we were in Mississippi for Christmas, she enjoyed playing with a singing Rudolph. When we got to my grandparents' house for this last visit a few weeks ago, it took her about three minutes to look where the Rudolph was and ask what happened to it. She loves to ask names of people when we're out and about. If she learns a checkers' name at the grocery store, she will ask for that person by name the next time we're there.

I have a feeling she will keep us on our toes and be very challenging to keep engaged when we begin schooling. I'm looking forward to that time, but also a little nervous. She's not one to play with toys much, but loves practical life and learning activities. She loves to do puzzles, but gets bored once she's mastered them. She loves to read books and read to her dolls. Her baby dolls are one of her favorite toys. I believe she currently has 9 dolls, each with names, and she knows them all by name. It makes my heart happy to see her taking care of her dolls and role playing with them like I take care of her. She will repeat conversations that I've had with her. It is sweet to watch. It's also eye-opening to see how she views different scenarios.

On a skills level, she knows all her shapes and colors. She can sing her ABCs and can identify about half of the letters. She can rote count to about 15 and has recently been doing 1:1 correspondence with more consistency. She helped me prepare treat bags for her birthday party and when we finished, she pointed to each bag and counted 12 of them. She can also sort objects by color. She loves to look at seek and find books. She loves to sing and has recently started enjoying playing "Name that Tune." We will take turns humming a tune and naming what the other person has hummed. Her favorites (and ones she usually picks to hum) are "Twinkle Twinkle," "Mary Had a Little Lamb," and "Nothing but the Blood."

Evelyn is constantly busy, constantly moving, and constantly talking. She is curious about her surroundings and always has a lot of questions. She is very sensitive to feelings and gets concerned when someone is sad or sick. She loves to give hugs and kisses. I have no doubts she will be a loving and helpful big sister.

I am thankful for a wonderful year with my girl. I enjoyed recap the year with her before she went to bed last night. I reminded her of all the big events of the year. The days are long, but the years are short. It's a sweet time and I'm thankful for our sweet girl. She is a blessing from the Lord.

Happy Birthday, Evelyn!
17 months old
At the zoo with Mum - September 2014, Evelyn is 17 months old

Visit with Pop - September 2014, Evelyn 17 months old
Christmas - 20 months old


Friday, March 27, 2015

Updates and Baby Number Two

 It's been brought to my attention by a couple of faithful readers that I've been negligent in my posting responsibilities. I do apologize. Life has been busy the past six months! Let me try to update you quickly...

After our car accident in August, Evelyn had a spica cast from her chest to her ankles for six weeks. She did so well during that time. I was thankful for my mom being able to be here to help out and mainly keep Evelyn entertained. Thanks be to God, she doesn't have any lasting difficulties from the break. She started walking the afternoon after her cast was removed and was back to 100% in two weeks.

During the time that Evelyn was in her cast, I started babysitting a little guy from church. He's now almost 10 months old. Evelyn loves having him here and playing with him. It has given me a good look into life with two kids. Some days are quite interesting!

We drove to Illinois for Thanksgiving. It was great to be with my family. Evelyn did very well on the LONG drive. Just a few weeks later, we drove to Mississippi and on to Texas for Christmas. Again, Evelyn was an amazing traveler. It was fun to be with Chris' family for Christmas and also be able to spend time with my grandparents in Mississippi.

Merry Christmas!

2015 has been a whirlwind so far. In addition to still babysitting, we've started the process of finding a home to buy. We've been renting since we moved to Florida and we're ready to find a place of our own. The house shopping process isn't really something I enjoy. I'm not good at making decisions,  especially when there are a lot of options. We currently have an offer in on a short sale house, so we're waiting patiently for word from the bank.

Evelyn is growing and learning faster than I can process. She will be 2 next week! She is very excited for her birthday and likes to tell everyone "I'm going to be 2. On April Terd. I have chocate cakes." She keeps us on our toes, keeps us laughing, and makes me just shake my head sometimes. I do believe she is a perfect combination of Chris and me.

The biggest news is we're expecting Baby Number 2 in August! We found out just before Christmas and had a lot of fun sharing the news with our family over Christmas. Evelyn is excited to be a big sister (well as much as she can process). We found out last week that Baby is a GIRL!!! Chris and I were both shocked to find out, but that's what Evelyn was asking for.

I'm currently 19 weeks and feeling pretty good. This pregnancy has been completely different, for so many reasons. Obviously, I have so much more going on in life than when I was pregnant with Evelyn. I'm not completely absorbed in the pregnancy. Honestly, I forgot I was pregnant for the first several weeks. The first trimester was pretty typical...extremely tired, a few weeks of all-day nausea, and noticing little changes in my body. The second trimester has brought a relief from the nausea, but the exhaustion continues. I have a new appreciation for my bed and bedtime.

I'm not promising weekly pregnancy updates like I did with Evelyn, but I will try to do better!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Sweet, sweet morning

I'm enjoying a quiet morning, sipping my coffee and doing whatever I want. My girl is still in bed with Daddy and I hear the garbage truck outside. Today is the start of a new routine, a new "normal," a new challenge.

I am a morning person by nature. I love to get up at sunrise and enjoy the quietness. Chris isn't a morning person and Evelyn isn't an early riser, so I've fallen into their patterns. But today, I'm starting a routine of getting up early and starting the day. This is mostly out of necessity, but also for my benefit. Next week, I start caring for a cute little guy in our home every day. He will be arriving at 7 each morning. If I get up and have my coffee and quiet time before little guy gets here, the morning will go much better! I'm excited for the new challenge.

What makes this morning extra special is that Evelyn has stayed asleep for an hour after I've gotten up. She is a light sleeper, especially as the morning grows, and she typically will wake up as soon as I attempt to get out of bed. But she is enjoying some sweet sleep next to Daddy. Happiness.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Church Mama

I knew this time would come and I've been trying to prepare for it mentally, but I don't think that's possible. I have had my first (and second and third) experience with what I call "Church Mama Syndrome." Do you know what I'm talking about? It's that experience of carrying your child to a long church weekend and feeling discouraged at the end of the weekend. Hear me out....

As I sat with my wiggly and sick toddler on my lap for our fifth church service in three days, I selfishly asked the question "What's the point?' I had barely heard any of the sermons, I know my daughter can't understand the sermons yet, and I really hadn't been able to fellowship with many folks. It probably would have been better for me to just stay home, or so I thought in my discouragement. I had become the person I despised seeing at church meetings. 

So what is the point? Why do we carry our children to church when the kids and Mama are just exhausted by the end? How do I worship when I'm taking my child out for correction 5 times in a service?

I realize there is a major fault in my thinking. Worship isn't about me. Worship isn't about making sure I feel good at the end. Worship isn't about meeting my needs. Worship is about Jesus. Worship is about putting my needs aside and giving honor, glory and praise to my Creator. Worship is about pouring my heart out in praise.

Sure, being fed spiritually is an important aspect of worship, but it is secondary. Fellowship with like-minded people is vital, but secondary. Encouragement and renewing of the spirit is important in the worship service, but that is done through putting the Lord first in our hearts and minds.

But the question still remains of how do I, as a mama, worship while training my child? Honestly, I'm still working that out in my mind. I know it will be a weekly challenge, but one I'm resolving to face with a good attitude. I know that worship starts long before I enter the church building. Worship starts when I prepare my heart and mind to praise the Lord, regardless of how much or little I hear of the sermon. Worship begins when I have a servant's attitude about fixing a meal for church lunch, rather than approaching it as "another meal I have to cook." Worship begins when I admit that I am weak and I beg the Lord to give me the wisdom and strength to be the best parent to Evelyn. Worship begins when I show my daughter love through correction. Worship begins when I commit to carry my daughter to church and let her grow up under the sound of the gospel, regardless of what she can understand. Worship begins in my heart.

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9