Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Craft

When it comes to the holidays I like to try and do a little craft with my little Gooseberry and the baby girl. For Halloween we made cute little ghosts and M's mama loved it! I still have Emerson's hanging on the fridge.


I was naturally very excited about Thanksgiving so I could make little turkeys with my baby and the baby girl. This morning we did just that. I love this little turkey because it is so simple and you get a hand and foot print! 


I just used some scrapbook paper I already had, cut it in half (one half for each babe) and folded it in half to make a card, and an ink pad I had with my craft stuff. I only had to buy a brown ink pad for this little craft. Not too shabby. 

If you should try this little craft out, just make sure you have a very firm grip on baby's foot/hand and plenty of wipes so you can quickly wipe the ink off before baby decides to eat the inked hand or foot or  pat their tummy or rub their eye or ... you get the idea. Just make sure to have everything within hands reach so you don't create a bigger mess than necessary :) 

Happy Turkey Week! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

an addition and a big change

So, I have so big news to share. I am going to start watching another baby. A tiny baby to be more specific. His mama is going to be going back to work from her maternity leave in the next few weeks and he is going to be spending his days with me - and E and M. Three babies. One me. Yikes!


However, the spacing between the babies couldn't be more perfect, I think. With Emerson being ten months old, M five months, and now the new little guy, L, just a month and a half or so, there is about 4-5 months between each baby so I think that will make things a little easier, at least, I'm hoping it will.



I think the first days weeks month will be a bit of an adjustment, but I'm hoping that we will be able to get a good routine established sooner rather than later. Naturally I would take on another baby just as soon as I have a great routine established with the two babies...
One thing that I am grateful for with this baby is that he is also a teacher's baby, so he will have the same breaks as M and pretty much the same day to day schedule as well as far as drop off and pick up time goes. So that is something I'm very thankful for. It will be so nice that both babies will have the same schedule as Landon does, being on the school calendar and all.

 

It was an unexpected surprise to get another baby, but a blessing at the same time. M's mama told me the wife of another teacher at her school had just had a baby and they were looking for a sitter. She recommend me for the job with flying colors (or however that phrase goes), which is extremely flattering.



God has provided for us in more ways than we can count, so even though there will be a time of transition around these parts, I know He will give me the strength, energy, and patience with these sweet little babies.



Friday, November 22, 2013

Five on Friday ... jeans, Christmas, and a treasure hunt

one. Last week I mentioned to present we were thinking about getting E for Christmas, but yesterday when E and I were doing our weekly shopping trip we strolled down the toy isle. I found the little toy and he didn't seem too impressed with it, he did however like a little popper toy, so, I might just let him pick out which toy he wants this year. Heck, it'll make my job of deciding much easier! 

two. The unthinkable has happened, my pants are too big for me. So not only have I managed to loose all the baby weight, I have also somehow managed to go down a size. What?!? I don't even know how that is possible, I didn't even realize it was possible. But it has happened somehow. I think the fact that I lug two 14+ pound babies up and down three flights of stairs at least twenty times a day might have something to do with it. I'm just amazed and am really wanting to get a proper fitting pair of jeans. Though, I'm trying to hold out till Christmas...


three. I have started decorating for Christmas. The way I figured it 1) it gets dark here before 5. I needed some cheer and cozy. 2) we will be traveling for Thanksgiving so it will be nice to come home to a pretty and decorated house. 3) thanksgiving is so late in November that we will hardly have any time to enjoy our tree since we will be traveling around Christmas too.


four. I am so looking forward to date night (homemade pizza and a movie) tonight. Last weekend my in-laws came in to visit so we didn't get to have our little home date. Though we did have a real date I missed our little tradition. 

five. While my mother-in-law was here last weekend she hid a little present for us to find and she has been sending me texts every morning with little clues to help us find where it is hidden. I have so enjoyed getting her texts each morning and trying to figure out where it is hidden (I want to know what it is!). Here are the clues, maybe one of you will be a genius and help us find it: 
1. everybody needs this
2. Emerson is still pretty small for it
3. everyone doesn't use it
4. Emerson might enjoy it more than some people but not for the right reason
5. it sits with others
6. sometimes the bottom and back are where the treasures are found
ok, go! Give me all your ideas! :)

I hope you all have a happy weekend! Be Cozy!



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Thursday, November 21, 2013

happy 10 months Emerson!

I cannot believe Emerson is ten months old today! I feel like we were just driving to the hospital in anticipation of his birth and now here he is, army crawling, pulling up on furniture everything, and chatting up a storm. My little baby boy is growing up so fast. *sniff. So I'm just going to share what this little guy is up to these days as I have done for the past nine months before I start the waterworks.

Emerson,

You are one busy boy, my dear. You are rarely ever still and if you are it is probably because you are sleepy. There is just so much for you to see and do, and I must say, I love watching you explore the world around you.


You are still army crawling like crazy. But man, you are one fast little guy. We have to make sure to keep an eye on you and all of the doors/gates closed just to keep you in a safe spot. You love it when I chase you. You'll decide you want to go somewhere (like the window to pull on the blinds or the baby gate or an outlet - that is covered with safety plugs) and dart off. Then you will turn your head to see if I'm going to just watch you or chase you. Most the time I chase you because it makes you squeal in delight and it's just too cute not to.

I know it's a little blurry, but with his speed and my s-l-o-w camera it's the best I've got :) I'm really hoping I get a DSLR camera for Christmas so I can get some better pictures of you! 

One of your favorite places to go to is the bathroom. While I'm getting ready in the morning you will push the door open as far as it can go, look up at me, grin, and then laugh your little laugh like you just did the best thing in the world. Then you "crawl" over to the places I don't want you to go (i.e. the trash can and the toilet). But, I just scoop you up, plop you on your bedroom floor and we repeat the whole process for as long as it takes me to get ready - which is significantly longer since I am continually having to stop and redirect you.


You love nap time and you let me know when you are sleepy. We read a few books together and then I lay you down. You usually nap anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour in the morning and in the afternoon you usually nap anywhere from an hour to two and a half hours. Though, some days those naps are shorter. I really don't mind just so long as you wake up happy, which you typically do.


Bath time is still a favorite for you. You get so excited when I undress you and turn the bath water on. Even though your baths are fairly short, you love to kick, splash, chew on your rubber duck, and suck the water out of the washcloths (which drives me nuts, but it makes you happy so... )

You love to help with laundry. You follow me into the laundry room, help me load and unload the clothes from the dryer and even help me put your clothes away. Lets hope you are always this eager to help me clean :)


You officially have five little teeth! They are the cutest little things, but I can never get a picture of them. My camera is too slow for you these days. You haven't really bitten me (or anyone else for that matter) yet, but you do like to bite my shirts and pull them with your teeth.


Pulling up on things is so much fun for you. You will pull up on anything and everything you possibly can: the bookshelf, bathtub, couch, your rocker, the kitchen chairs... anything. You can even move yourself from one side of the chair to the other. You especially like to pull yourself up on your bookshelf and pull everything off of it. Though there are a lot of books on your self, you like to get them a few at a time. Sometimes it seems like you know exactly which book you want, go over to the bookshelf, look at the books, and then you pick the one you want and sit down with it.


Speaking of books... you love them. You pay more attention now when we read together and really study the pictures, you also turn the pages when we read. I love watching your tiny little hand reach out and turn the pages. You still like to "eat" the books, but you are interested in more than just that now, which I love. One of your favorite things to do is to look through your books, you lay on the floor and hold the book up to read. So cute! I hope you always love books as much as you do now and as much as I do!


Meal time is becoming more exciting every day. You love eating and feeding yourself. Your favorites are sweet potato, peas, carrots, Lil' Crunchies, and Mum Mums. You also really like yogurt and cheese. You still eat a few purees throughout the day, but are mostly feeding yourself. I am continually trying to introduce new foods into your diet, but I know there are a lot of foods you have yet to try. I want to give you some of what we eat, but am still apprehensive about doing that. And also, I just don't feel like what we eat is good enough (read: healthy enough) for you. I know the day is coming when you will be eating everything we are, but that day is not yet.


You are still nursing, about four times a day. Though we will be weaning you from the mid-morning nursing time so you will be down to three times by the end of this week. 

Most nights you wake up about once to nurse, sometimes it's twice, and sometimes you sleep through the night. I know you can sleep through the night (you have done it numerous times), but when you wake up in the night I automatically get up and go into your room. Perhaps it's time to stop? I'm not sure though, so if you wake I usually feed you. Although, I have gone and just held and rocked you a few times and that seems to do the trick. So, I really don't think you need to nurse in the middle of the night any more, I think it's more for comfort and because you are so used to it.


I truly love being able to spend my days with you. I love playing, cuddling, tickling and kissing on your tummy, reading, chasing, and plain old just sitting with you. You make my heart melt all day long. I really can't believe that in two short months we will be celebrating one whole year of you! Where has time gone?! I enjoy you each and every day and cherish each moment because I know the days of you wanting me more than anything or one else are fleeting.


I love you to the stars and beyond, little Gooseberry of mine.

Mamma

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

keeping up with the dirty laundry, among other things. a little schedule.

Why is it that as soon as you finish one chore, say the laundry, it's time to do that same chore all over again. ...maybe it's because it takes me about a week to get the laundry done. I have no problem washing and drying the clothes, and most of the time I even manage to get the majority of the clothes folded, but putting them away... Well, that part just doesn't happen around these parts (unless it's Emerson's clothes and those get put away the same day cause lets face it, folding tiny baby clothes is one of the best things ever, and he will just unfold them all right away if I don't put them in their proper home).


Then there are other things, like dishes that are truly never ending. Sometimes I wish I had a fairy so she could wave her sparkly little wand and the kitchen would be shiny and clean. But I suppose that's just not how it works. Shame really. 

To help me with the never ending chores I have to keep up with I have made a little schedule to help: 

Monday - make the bed. (i.e. change the sheets)
Tuesday - laundry day (on which I try to do everything, including putting the clothes away)
Wednesday - dust (which I loathe so it rarely ever happens, but I like to list it just the same)
Thursday - grocery shopping 
Friday - tub day (clean the bathrooms)
Saturday - floors (sweep, mop, and vacuum)
Everyday - clean the kitchen and pick up the living room

I really try to make all of these things happen, but sometimes the day passes and the chore doesn't get done. That's life though, right? :) 

Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to chores? 

Monday, November 18, 2013

a happy little weekend visit

This past weekend my in-laws came to visit us for a few days. They arrived on Friday evening, we ordered some pizza (a rarity in our house), enjoyed our meal together, and they loved on Emerson like they hadn't seen him in forever. That boy is loved I tell ya. 

It was a lazy little weekend, we mostly hung out around the house. Nothing really out of the ordinary I suppose, it was just nice to have the company of family for a few days. On Saturday afternoon Landon and I went out on a little lunch date while Emerson stayed home with his Grammy and Auntie M. After our date we came home and Grammy, Emerson, and I went out looking for a high chair. While we didn't find a high chair Emerson did manage to get a hold of some new pjs. He picked them out all by himself. Obviously, he had have them. Thanks, Grammy! I even washed them that day so he could wear them to be that night. That's how much he loved these jammies. 


While we didn't really have any big adventures, the time at home with family was so refreshing. It was nice to have company and conversation. It was nice to be able to do a little bit of baking by myself without having to keep on eye on my mobile little boy as he was playing happily with his grandparents and Auntie. It was nice to have my in-laws in our home, to share what little we do have with them.

Auntie M even let Emerson 'play' with her laptop. He looked so cute banging on the keyboard and trying to eat the screen. I die of his cuteness sometimes.


We all went out to dinner on Saturday and E was so well behaved. He played and was passed around until our food came and then he sat in the little high chair like such a big boy and munched on some Mum Mums, oh how he loves those things. I forgot my camera at home, but thankfully his Auntie had her iPhone and snapped a few pictures.


This was the first time he sat in a high chair at a restaurant. Goodness, he's growing up too fast.


We had a delightful little weekend and it makes me excited to spend more time with family over the next few months. Crazy to think that next week is Thanksgiving and E will be meeting some of his cousins and an Uncle for the first time!  


God has blessed me with a wonderful little family.


I hope you all had a happy weekend too.

Friday, November 15, 2013

5 on friday: lists, kisses, and books

1. It's Christmas Wish List making time around these parts. It took me far too long to figure out what Emerson needed/wanted for Christmas. We aren't going to get him too much for Christmas but the few things he does get I want to be special. So far this is what I'm thinking about getting for the boy... I'm excited about it.


2. My in-laws are coming to visit this weekend and I am sure that Emerson will be absolutely spoiled by the time the weekend is over. Not that he doesn't get lots of loving, they are grandparents and so they are naturally bananas about him :) 



3. I am planning on doing a little bit of baking this weekend. On the menu: berry and white chocolate chip scones for breakfast and apple cake for desert. Both are delicious and I will be sure to share the recipes with you all if you like :) 

4. I have been doing a little more reading lately it has been quite nice. I have enjoyed the mindless reading and being entertained through the words on the pages. It can be bad though because sometimes the book will make me not wash the dishes, do the laundry, or some other chore that is waiting for me. As always, I'm looking for new books to read and try, so if you have any suggestions please share! 


5. I LOVE going into stores this time of year and seeing all of the happy cozy Christmas goodies out and about, taunting and calling me. Like these little guys...  mean really, how do you resist? I don't know, but some how I've managed to hold out two whole times now. Crazy. I don't think that will power can last much longer though. 


Anyhoot. I hope you all have a cozy and warm weekend! 

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

warm fuzzies

November is a cozy month. It's a time where there is actually a day set aside for spending time with your family and friends. A day to celebrate and give thanks for life's blessings. I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but I'm getting excited about it.

While the table I sit at won't be this fancy, I think this picture captures the warm fuzzies I will feel on that Thursday.




Happy Wednesday, you all! 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

some thoughts on moving

If you have followed this little ol' blog of mine for a while you may know a few months ago my little ol' family moved from Kentucky to Illinois. Not only were we moving to a new state, we were also making a significant life change with this move: Landon was going back to school (for the fourth time!) to get his PhD in Civil Engineering. This move and life change was something we prayed about for a long time before we actually decided Landon was going to go back to school.

It was easy enough to pray about and the entire time we prayed about this we both would separately feel God reaffirming and leading us in the direction of Landon pursing his PhD. In church, in our quiet time, in prayer, in conversation, in acceptances, and fellowships being provided, God was saying, "Go." So with a heavy heart we told our family and friends, sold and packed up our house, and moved to Illinois.

The moving part wasn't hard. I have moved countless times throughout my life. In fact that was the easy part, I was an expert at packing. Saying good-bye to our friends was difficult, but I knew the world would still go on when we left, I knew to not let myself get wrapped up in the good-byes. I knew that I couldn't let myself be all emotional and such. But as I was driving away from our house, from the city we called home for the past four years of our lives tears choked in my throat and welled up in my eyes. I loved my friends and the life we had in Louisville. I did not want to leave. I did not want to say good-bye to our happy little life.

But I had to. So I drove with Emerson and Boady keeping me company in the car and followed the big moving truck in front of us. We were moving to our new life, our new home.


And I was bitter about it. It wasn't something I admitted to anyone, it wasn't something I was even fully aware of. But I was bitter about this change, even though I knew it was where God was leading Landon and our family, even though I told Landon I supported him 100% with this decision. In my heart I didn't. Sure the new adventure would be fun, but I still resented the fact that we had to make this change.

For whatever reason this move has been one of the hardest moves for me to make. I have been trying to make the most of it. I have been trying to be happy and joyful. I have been trying to trust God with this change. But it has been difficult. It has been a challenge. I miss our friends, church, family, and small group. I feel like here I am all alone. I have no friends, no family, and while we attend a church that's all it is - attending. I spend my days with babies (which I love and is such a blessing!) but I miss the grown up interaction I used to have.

Anyhow, I have been making my way through a Bible study at our church and it talks about finding the gods or idols in our lives. I have struggled with really figuring out what the 'god' in my life is, and I'm still not completely sure. To be honest, I haven't been super crazy about this study. But this last week of the study has been refreshing and God is teaching me things and revealing his promises to me just as I need to hear them.

Just yesterday I was journaling and realized that I felt like this time is my time in the wilderness, like how the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. This move is my wilderness. I look back on our old life in Louisville and miss it. I look at our life now and resent certain aspects of it. I look towards the future and hope it's better, hope it's the "promised land".

Then this morning I read a verse that I feel like was just for me, it was as though I heard God say:


What a wonderful promise.

This verse is so very fitting for the season of life I am in right now. It's amazing how God knows exactly what we need and He gives it to use exactly when we need it - in His perfect timing. Not ours. His. So even though I may feel like I am in the wilderness right now, I have this promise from God and it gives me hope for today and joy for tomorrow. What a great God.

Friday, November 8, 2013

five on friday ... this and that

Friday is just a good day. Even though most of my days are exactly the same, there is something exciting about Friday. Anyhow, here are five things for this Friday...

one.  I have been having some great quiet times as of late, and it makes all the difference. I have missed spending quality time in the Word and prayer. While they are still a far cry from what they once were, I know God is using the time I do have to teach and renew me. I think it helps that I make it a point to sit down and have a quiet time towards the beginning of my day instead of put it off until I'm about to fall asleep at night. Sometimes I manage to wake up before Emerson and sometimes the babies cooperate and give me a few precious moments of peace and quite so the Lord gave give me the joy and strength I need to get through the day. Thank you Jesus and thank you babies.

two. I have always loved writing, one of the main reasons for this here lil' ol' blog. But creative writing has always been something I enjoyed and haven't been doing a whole lot of lately. One of my biggest goals in life is to become a published author. So I have decided to do something about that and do my best to make that dream a reality. I started writing a novel. Yikes! It's exciting and terrifying at the same time. Mostly exciting. I know my characters and the storyline and have direction for this story. I love when I get a few spare moments to sit down and write. It's NaNoWriMo this month and that is what spurred me on.


three. It's November and Thanksgiving is weeks away. I love Thanksgiving. The hubs and I have made a tradition of going up to visit one of my sisters in Minnesota for Thanksgiving. There is something so special about visiting her and her family for this holiday, I love it and can't wait to go see her! And I'm a little excited that this year we only have to drive 8 hours instead of the usual 12. 

and this is from two years ago, apparently I didn't take any pictures of our visit last year... 
woops. hopefully I do better this year! 

four. I have been working on an exciting little project recently that I am hoping will become something a little more than just a project. I'm making place mats, Christmas ones right now. When I get a few more finished I'll share them with you all. I am super excited about them and hope they turn out like I see them in my head (sometimes things don't...).

five. This boy. He makes my heart happy. And last night he slept through the night. He has done it a few times in the past, but I was one happy momma when I woke up this morning and realized he slept through the night. Thank you Jesus and thank you Gooseberry! Maybe it's a new habit? ...one can hope, right? :)




Happy Friday and weekend you all! I hope it is a blessed one!

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

on starting solids. part 2 - finger foods

Starting solids can be kind of intimidating, or it can be super exciting. I was both when it was time to start Emerson on solids. I talked about starting solids here and today I want to address the next big step when it comes to solids: finger foods.

Now, I'm no baby food expert by any means, but I do know what has worked for us and what we have tried. So that's what I'm going to share.

When Emerson was around eight months old I started making a conscious effort to give him food he could feed himself. I started with Puffs (the little Gerber snacks) because I heard they melt in your mouth and are hard to choke on, which is true. But Emerson wasn't too keen on those. He would put one in his mouth (or I would) and then he would cough, turn red, his eyes would water a little bit, and gag. Then he would smile really big and giggle. I did not find it to be so amusing as I was on the edge of my seat ready to jump into action and save him from chocking on a Puff at a moments notice. Thankfully, I never had to. But we did go away from the Puffs. I got Mum Mums and those seemed to go over a little bit better, after the initial gag bit.


We stuck with the Mum Mums for quite a while. I would try a few different things here and there (banana, avocado...) but he didn't really seem to like those or eat them very much. So I held off. I knew he liked the Mum Mums (he would start kicking his little feet and flapping his arms when he saw me get a package out for him), so that's what I gave him, along with the purees of course. 


Now (at nine months) I am adding a lot more finger foods as he is seeming to enjoy feeding himself quite a bit. I try to give him both fruits and veggies, but it just depends on what I have on hand or ready for him when it is time to eat. He has had sweet potato, banana, avocado, butternut squash, whole wheat bagel, black beans, peas, carrots, Gerbers Lil' Crunchies, and a few other things I'm sure I'm forgetting. Mostly things he has had in puree form, just cooked and cut up into small little pieces for him to feed himself. [I have found that the frozen peas and carrots are one of his favorites - after they are cooked of course :] And if I introduce a new finger food, I make sure to wait four days to see if he has a reaction to it, just like I did with the purees.

He is still eating purees along with the finger foods, though he enjoys feeding himself so much that I have to feed him his purees before I let him feed himself, or else I have to be super sneaky and quick in order to get a bite in his mouth.

We are still slowly introducing new foods, but I am trying to be more diligent about it, because I know it's important to let him eat different foods and flavors while he is young. I am really hoping and praying he is a good eater and not picky like his daddy is. So far, he's a great eater! Now that he is nine months he has had yogurt, and he loves it. He is also going to be trying cheese, cottage cheese, and a few other things over the next few weeks. I am really excited to introduce the dairy products (no cow's milk until he's 12 months though)!


As far as what he typically eats on a given day goes, it looks a little like this:

- wakes up and nurses
- breakfast: yogurt, whole wheat bagel, and banana
- mid morning snack: nurses after morning nap
- lunch: sweet potato bits (cooked and cut into small pieces), whole wheat bagel or Mum Mum, diced peaches (the little snack pack kind)
- late afternoon snack: nurses after afternoon nap
- dinner: carrots and peas, Lil' Crunchies, puree of some sort (fruit or veggie, it just depends what I happen to have)


Anyhow. That's all I have for starting finger foods. If you have questions or suggestions, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

the pumpkin patch


One of my favorite things to do in the Fall is to go to the pumpkin patch. There is something fun about tromping around a field full of pumpkins looking for your perfect one. This year we had to wait a little longer than we have in the past, but we finally made it to the pumpkin patch. 

The pickin's were slim. It was really rather pathetic I thought. Nearly every pumpkin was rotting or full of bugs. 


We walked to the end of the field looking for the perfect pumpkin, or at least one that was still in semi-good shape. And then we walked around some more. I think the guys found particular joy in this task. 


The perfect little pumpkin.



Our loot.
 

my snuggle baby.



First family visit to the pumpkin patch.



I think the lion in this picture is particularly adorable. I mean, look at those little hands!



Good pumpkin. Good friends. Perfect Fall afternoon.