Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Random Grouping of Things

I am sure you have noticed that I don't blog nearly as much as I used to.  Our poor desktop is dying a slow, painful death, and half of the keyboard no longer works.  So...I am at the mercy of Scott and his work lap top.  And these days, I have to get in line to use the lap top!!

Let's see, what do I want to record about the day's happenings of late?

John is so quickly transitioning from baby to toddler.  It amazes me.  He loves balls and trying to play catch with Ada, and this morning he said "ball" for the first time, and proceeded to say it over and over.  "Ba, Ba, Ba," he said as he tried to roll it on the carpet.  He loves to splash Ada in the bath tub, and tonight they were both doubled over in laughter over it.  It was so much fun to watch them.  We had a bit of a nursing setback this weekend, as he has been sick and wouldn't really eat or drink anything.  I finally gave in and nursed him, and tonight, when he seemed to be feeling better, I offered him a sippy cup of milk. He loudly protested.  I think we'll get back on track tomorrow.

What else is there to record?

Scott and I went on our date.  The first one in such. a. long.  time.  Ada was wailing when we left, but we got a text from Jeremy (one half of the couple who baby-sat for us) before we were even out of our neighborhood letting us know that Ada was already laughing and dancing.  So, Scott and I enjoyed a leisurely Olive Garden dinner, with no children.  What a treat.  And when we got home Ada was bouncing off the walls with excitement over her night.  (John slept the entire time.  I put him to bed right before we left).  Hopefully it won't be a year before we got on another date.

The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying the amazing weather and grilling out.  Scott and Ada read, while waiting on our food to cook.

And the rest of our days have been full of the typical stuff, including the library where Ada insisted on bringing home every Maisy book she found on the shelf.  Do ya'll know Maisy?  She is Ada's favorite "read."  She goes crazy over Maisy books.

While I was in the children's section at the library, I also managed to grab a couple of books for myself

This is going to be an obvious statement, because who doesn't?, but I love the Narnia books.  I love the way the books cause me to think about the gospel from an entirely new perspective.  I always leave the book with a deeper understanding of the gospel.  Do you agree?  I also grabbed The Horse and His Boy.

So, not much new is going on around here.  I am still trying to figure out a way to get a handle on the state of my house, though it's not in terrible shape right now (mainly because Scott worked on the gigantic laundry pile all weekend--thank you hubby).  In my search for a solution (I am forever searching for a solution) I came across two new blogs that I am loving--Mama's Laundry Talk and A Slob Comes Clean.  I especially love A Slob Comes Clean, as I can so relate to everything that she writes. 

And finally, there is much I am praying about these days.  Much.  (I mean, aren't we always praying about a lot, but you know what I mean--more concentrated prayers).  My heart is heavy over different situations not directly related to me, and there is also much I am praying about for my own life situation.  In the midst of that, though, I am learning much about God's sovereignty, which overwhelms me with peace and rest!!  Hallelujah for that!!  My discipleship group is currently reading Trusting God by Jerry Bridges and Be Still My Soul by Nancy Guthrie.  I highly recommend them both.  They both remind me that God, in his perfect wisdom and sovereignty, is always working for my good and his glory, which are one in the sameNo matter if it feels otherwise. 

And that is an update of the goings-on around here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The End of an Era

Well, folks, I think that John is officially weaned.  I can't believe it.

Just this week I dropped the morning feeding, and I was only nursing him before bed each night.  Well, tonight I had a late night of tutoring, so I told Scott to try to put John down without me here.  Scott fed him a sippy cup of milk, put John in his bed, and never heard from him again.  So many mixed emotions, you know?

Mostly I am relieved that it was such a painless process.  And I am excited because I can now do so many things like visit my dear friend, Lindsay, in Birmingham, and hopefully soon each of my sisters in New Orleans and North Carolina.  It's freedom, you know?

But it's also a bit emotional.  I prayed and prayed and prayed that John would be a good nurser, specifically that he would nurse for a year.  My dear friends in my discipleship group also prayed for this the entire time that I was pregnant.  God provided in abundance, even after John was given a bottle for his 8 day stay in the NICU.  And, of course, with John making the switch to a sippy cup, I am also a bit emotional over losing my little baby boy.  (I don't mean really emotional; I just mean, like, "awww, my baby's growing up")

Anyway, I am doing the typical mom thing and saying, time is absolutely flying by.

But, I am thrilled over my scheduled trip to Birmingham for a much needed girl's weekend.  AND, this weekend, Scott and I are going on our first real date since John was born.  Again, a friend of mine from discipleship group has graciously offered to watch the kiddos while we go to dinner.  So...big things are happening around here.

And what is John eating now that he has given up the "liquid gold?"  Lots of things.

What you see above is John taking advantage of Ada's forgotten cheese-itz snack.  And, in the blue sippy cup?  Vanilla almond milk.  And the bottom picture?  A grilled cheese sandwich and a banana. 

He's my big boy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just a few things

Lately, John is trying so hard to use a spoon.  Bless his heart, he just can't get it.  Those are cut up carrots, in case you were wondering.
And here, as Ada was watching cartoons, she very seriously said to me, "These are my exercises.  They help my legs."

Finally, an easy solution to Ada's itch for a garden.  I found these little "kits" in the dollar section at Target.  One is for strawberries and one is for a flower (I can't remember the name).  Ada loved putting it all together.  Who knows if it will work out, but in the mean time, I am going to encourage her to water them everyday, and if they do grow, we will transfer them to larger pots.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Big" News

Guess who started drinking out of a sippy cup yesterday?  And by drinking, I mean more than a couple of sips.  For two days in a row, John has finished an entire sippy cup of milk.  A huge step in the right direction!!  We're getting there.

And, by the way, are you loving this weather as much as we are?  This week we have used our double stroller twice, which is more than we have ever used it. 

p.s. Ada requested that I take that first picture, and that was the pose that she chose. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wonderful Sunshine

Today, I am so very thankful for 60 degrees and sunny.  We made up our own little game of hopscotch, and enjoyed the sunshine while John snoozed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A little hair "incident"

So, I accidentally chopped off Ada's hair last night.  It was such a mistake.  I know you are wondering how I could accidentally chop her hair off.  It was wet, and it's curly, and I meant to just give it a trim.  It turns out I can not cut hair evenly, so I kept trying to even it up, until we ended up with a short-haired girl.

The good news is that I really think the length is cute on her.  I have actually wanted to try a short cut on her for a while, but I loved her long, curly hair, and I didn't have the nerve to cut it short, so it's a "happy accident" of sorts.  I was feeling a little sick over it last night, though.

The only problem is that it desperately needs to be "cleaned up" by someone professional, but we are having no luck getting Ada to agree to that.  We made it into a place today, but, again, that resulted in lots of tears from Ada.  Luckily her hair is very curly, so it is forgiving of my mistakes.

Ada LOVES her new hair cut, and she is so confident with it.  Scott, who loved her long hair, is still upset over it, I think.  I keep telling him he has to forgive me;) 

And, by the way, that picture you see above was taken at 8:30 this morning.  My house was that messy by 8:30 am.  Oh man.  We were headed out the door to an open house for the Homeschool group we will be joining next year (Classical Conversations), which is super exciting, and I will post more about that later.  Ada did not actually need a backpack this morning, but she insisted that she couldn't go to "school" without it.  Anyway...I just had to post about Ada's big hair cut.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

How we celebrated last year...

Valentine's Day marks a year since we brought John home!!!

And here we are a year later...

We made Valentine's cards for the cousins.  Though Ada, in all of her selflessness, refused to use pink or red because she didn't want to give up her pink and red construction paper.

And on Saturday night, Scott took us all to Dunkin Donuts where Ada celebrated the holiday with a heart shaped, pink iced, heart sprinkled, cream filled donut.  She wanted to eat the entire thing, but I insisted that we cut it in half.  (I was still a bit horrified that she was putting all of that into her tiny little body).  John also celebrated by tasting Scott's donut.  He LOVED it.

And that's about it for us.  I told Scott that back in college when I was single that on Valentine's Day I used to wish that I was going on a date with my husband.  Now I am married, and I am still wishing for a date with my husband;)  (Not that Scott isn't willing to take me on a date; it's just not in the cards these days).  But I am so very thankful for my husband and "this life I've found."  It's not what I imagined--how could I have imagined it?--but it's so comfortable and safe and familiar, and I love that.  And, if I was able to go on a fancy, romantic date tonight, Scott would certainly be my choice for a date.  One day, Scott, one day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Little Man

(I actually wrote this yesterday afternoon, and I am just now posting it.)

This guy was my date for the day.

Scott traveled to Alabama today to pick up some furniture that we are "inheriting" from his brother and sister-in-law.  He is coming back here, along with his parents, tomorrow morning.  All along he planned to go without us, so that the kids wouldn't have to do that trip two days in a row.  Well at the last minute, Ada decided that she wanted to go.

This is a big deal for Ada in the face of all the fear she has been dealing with lately.  She rarely wants to be separated from me at all, so I was excited that she was eager to go with Scott.  Obviously, Scott is with her, and she is going to familiar place to be with family, but these days there isn't much that she is willing to do away from me.  Plus it's an unexpected break for me!!!  It's crazy the difference in having just John compared to Ada and John. 

It's been fun to have a little one on one time with John.  It has made me realize how most of the time, John is just along for the ride.  Today, I spent a lot more time than usual talking to him in the grocery store, rather than trying to corral Ada and all of her energy.  And in the car, instead of answering Ada's endless questions (which I love; it's just a fact that they are endless), I was having a little "chat" with John.  It's been such a treat.

It's the first time in a year that I have spent a night away from Ada.  The last time was when I was in the hospital having John, so it's a strange feeling to be here in the house alone (with John sleeping upstairs, obviously).  I think I am going to take full advantage and head to bed early.

Update:  Ada did great on the trip, hardly missing me at all, I think, and for anyone who is interested (family, a handful of loyal friends, maybe), she has now been off of miralax for several days and continues to have success on the potty.  I am SO THANKFUL for this because I don't like giving her all of that miralax.  Thank you, Lord, for answered prayer!!! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

You Know How I love a Good Deal?

Well, today might be the best deal yet!!  (Who knows, there have been so many.  Thank you, Lord!!!)

Let me start at the beginning--as if I would start anywhere else and actually spare you a few details.  This morning as I was getting Ada dressed, I was frustrated by the fact that all of her winter clothes seem to be too small.  Her stomach and ankles seem to be showing a lot lately.  Desperate for something to put on her, I began to search through last year's box of 2T clothes, where I came up with a shirt that would be long enough to cover her stomach, though the sleeves were a little short, and I announced to the kiddos that we were headed to Target where I was praying (literally) that we would find some serious deals.  Target has been known to mark things down to as low as a dollar, and I was hoping we might find something like that. 

We didn't.  The sales weren't that great, and I didn't really love the items that were on sale (and still more than I wanted to pay for Target quality clothing).  I decided to skip buying anything there, and we headed home.

(Ada in Target saying, "I'm a rockstar!!!"  She says this all the time, but I am not sure where she heard it)

And sleepy John-John, wanting to get OUT. OF. THERE.

In the same shopping center as Target, we have a Belk, which I never ever go in.  But as I passed the store, feeling discouraged by our lack of purchases and the fact that Ada still had no clothes that fit, a voice in my head "suggested" that I try Belk.  (A voice?  Perhaps God directing my steps?  I think so).  So, in we went, and we hit the jack pot.  Let me show you.

18.54 is what I spent.  115.67 is what I saved!!!!!!

Crazy, right?

All of the winter stuff is on clearance, plus another 40% off the clearance price.  I loaded up on J. Kahki cotton dresses in size 4T so that Ada can wear them next year too.  I plan to just roll the sleeves this winter.  (I hated to buy something she couldn't wear next year this late in the season).  I am tempted to go back because the deals are so good, and they had some cute Christmas themed dresses and shirts.  I would love to get a few of those for next year (I passed on those because, obviously, they aren't a need right now). 

Look at our "loot"

(Ada loves the dresses because they are very "twirly")

Originally 22.00, each of these dresses cost only 2.99!!!  Again, crazy!!!  And the shirts, originally 15.00, were less than 2.00 each.

And there is the story of what happened when I half-heartedly wandered into Belk this morning.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy First Birthday, John!!! (Warning: Super Long Post)

My precious John Thomas.

We have come a long way, baby.

What a rollercoaster of a day last February 8th was.  I was so relieved for you to finally be here and to be what appeared to be healthy (as we had a few "scares" during the second trimester ultrasound).  My emotions were all over the place as I was relieved for you to be here and healthy but also fearful and torn as they took you to the NICU. 

Thankfully, though, you healed quickly compared to most in the NICU, and we finally brought you home on Valentine's Day of last year.  My little Valentine.

I laugh because every time I came to see you in the NICU, the nurses would talk about all the trouble you were causing.  You and another baby across the room, Roderick.  Ya'll were apparently partners in crime, feeding off of each other and keeping the nurses on their toes.  Roderick got to leave before you, but then you were quickly moved to a transition nursery, as you prepared to go home.  There was a tiny, premature baby in the NICU with you, and her mother was often there when I was.  I have an image of the day we left to go home, and the elevator opened to the NICU floor, there she sat in the waiting room, and we smiled at each other and waved.  I imagine she saw many babies come and go during her stay in the hospital.  I have often thought of her since then and wondered how their story turned out.

And, of course, you continued to cause trouble at home, having your first breath holding spell the night after you came home.  Just this past Sunday you had two breath holding spells in the nursery, one before I even left to go to the worship service.  You aren't a mild baby, that's for sure;) 

You have been my champion nurser, which was, of course, such an answer to prayer.  I prayed and prayed and prayed some more than you would nurse well.  And in my typical "glass-half-empty" fashion, I assumed we would have trouble after your stay in the NICU.  Trouble we have not had.  Sleep we have not had either;)  And bottles, you scoffed at those too.

Now that you are a year old, I am hoping that sometime in the near future we will actually wean, but between you and me, I feel sort of emotional about it.  Nursing has played such a HUGE role in this first year, as it is the sure way to calm my fussy baby.  It is always the right answer.  And, let's face it, nothing can replace that nutrition. is a daunting thing to wean you and figure out a way to get you to eat something that will provide some nutrition.  Daily you are eating yogurt, and I am daily making you try eggs.  So far you aren't loving them, but I will try and try again.  I am also going to make you keep trying avocado.  You have to exist on something other than cheerios and puffs once we wean.  And you aren't too interested in your sippy cup, though I give it to you several times a day in hopes that you will become interested.

You still nurse when you wake up in the morning and before bed and at least one other time during the day, but this is a HUGE improvement from even a couple of weeks ago.  You really are starting to eat more and more solid food.  And you still wake up at least once a night.  I never realized how sleepy I would be at the end of this first year:)  I no longer use the monitor, but I still wake up.  We have tried to let you cry-it-out several times, but after an hour, I always give in and nurse you.  You are a stubborn thing, and I have no idea how long you would continue to cry.

In the past couple of days you have nearly given up crawling in favor of walking.  You can go from sitting to standing with nothing to pull up on, and you love to toddle around as fast as you can, though your upper body often gets ahead of your lower body and you end up flat on your face.   You just get right back up and try again.

You are such an introvert, never very happy unless you are at home with just the immediate family.  I hate that no one really gets to see what I think of as the real John because you become such a grumpy version of yourself around anyone else.  Already I am praying for wisdom in how to encourage the good and discourage the bad parts of this unique personality that I am afraid you inherited from your mama:) 

You LOVE Ada, and I stand firm that her name was your first word.  The doctor says that it's really too early for that to be true, but I totally disagree.  You say her name very clearly (it's not a hard one to say).  You also say da-da, and uh-uh (for uh-oh, I think), but rarely do you say mama.  Again, Ada is the only thing you say consistently, but it is probably what you hear most as well.  I am trying to teach you sign language, as one doctor told us that part of the breath holding could be caused by frustration, and that if you have a way to communicate it might help.  You don't seem to be catching on to the sign language yet, though.

I can tell that you are a second born in that you always try to imitate Ada.  You like to sit in front of puzzles and throw the pieces onto the board as if "working" the puzzle, and you clap and dance along with her.  You also seem more drawn to books than she was.  Your favorite activity, however, is putting toys in and taking them back out of containers, whatever container you can find, and because we spend much time in the bathroom as we deal with Ada's potty issues, you often try to throw your toys into the toilet.  Luckily, so far, I have caught you before you were successful.  You are not as mischievious as Ada, thankfully, and I haven't had to baby-proof the house as much.  You also seem to respond to no in a way that she didn't.  I do sometimes have to pop your little hand, but other times I don't even have to do that to get you to obey.  Maybe the breath holding doesn't indicate a strong will?  Maybe it's more of an emotional thing?  Who knows.

I could go on and on and on talking about all of your little characteristics.

Bottom line?  You are a joy to me.  I am beyond thankful that God gifted us with you, our precious boy.  You have added so much fun and joy and laughter to this family.  God has already used you to stretch me and grow me and make me more and more dependent on His grace. 

Precious boy, I am praying daily that you were grow into a strong man of God.  I pray that God would protect your heart from idols.  That always, always, you would love Him most.  I pray that you would love God, that you would long to know Him and that as a result you would love prayer and His word.  I pray that you will one day fall in love with a godly woman, and that you will work hard to provide for your wife and children.  I pray that you will long for your children to know and love God and His word.  I pray that God would give Scott and me wisdom as we navigate parenthood and that we would always take you back to the gospel.  All I want, John, is for you to know God personally, for your whole life to be about Him.  That is it.

I love you, John.  Happy Birthday, sweet boy!!!