Vacation Recap!

Our vacation week is (almost) over. It was partly a staycation to work on house projects and partly day trips. What family chooses to work on house projects during¬†their time off?! We do ūüôā Keeping up with dishes and laundry is difficult enough for me with 2 kids. Decluttering and organizing is just impossible on my own (there’s never enough uninterrupted time!) So we took advantage of having Ivor home to get stuff done. And it actually made us happy. Seriously. I feel less anxious in a decluttered house. Toys are one thing, but our own clutter is just unacceptable and really does give me anxiety. Anyway, that said…we made a lot of progress downstairs. We still have to tackle our bedroom and closets, then we’ll be set. Oh, and the garage…but since that’s not a living space I don’t mind as much.

Anyway, moving on to the fun stuff!

We spent a day/night in Napa and tried out 2 new wineries. We ate at The Farmstead Restaurant because they have my favorite burger in the entire world. It’s a “farm to table” place, so every part of the burger is fresh. Homemade buns, fresh arugula, grassfed beef cooked and seasoned perfectly, white cheddar cheese, homemade mustard and ketchup. Basically, it’s the best thing ever. Gwen is also apparently a fan of the restaurant. Well, she’s a fan of food in general. So she was very good and kept asking for “mo”.

Then we tried out the wineries: Conn Creek and Alpha/Omega. The kids started getting a little antsy during the 2nd winery visit, understandably. So we left, checked into the hotel, and headed back out for dinner in downtown Napa at a place called Grace’s Table. Another fantastic¬†restaurant. Really great food, and they were very welcoming of our 2 munchkins. Gwen had figured out by this point that the¬†server is the one bringing the food (not mommy or daddy), so she started asking her (our server) for “mo please” (using both sign language and her own language). It was hilarious. Little Ivor had been sleeping most of the time but woke up and started screaming just in time to order dessert to-go!

I was really worried about staying in a hotel with a baby¬†who hasn’t been sleeping through the night, but he surprised us and slept straight through, from about 9pm to 7am (whew!…I don’t *think* anyone complained about us). Although we were on the 3rd floor and whoever was below us might’ve complained about my toddler sprinting back and forth across the room at 7am. Sorry, 2nd floor dwellers! She’s hard to contain. Also, it was the first time we ever shared a bed with Gwen. Amazing how a tiny human can make a King sized bed feel like a twin….

We headed home Tuesday morning, worked on more cleaning and then went for a family run later in the afternoon. Running¬†Update: my pace is picking up and I met my 3 mile goal! I think I¬†would’ve been able to¬†hang a bit¬†longer if I didn’t start off so fast…need to work on pacing myself a bit more.

I digress.

Wednesday was our trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Ivor and I had visited there a few years ago, before we had any kids. It wasn’t as fun then. We got there just in time for the Open Sea feeding. Gwen said “wow” at first, but then seemed to get grumpy/scared (it was kind of dark in there). But after diaper changes we moved on to some other exhibits and she really started enjoying herself. A lot. Her¬†“wow”‘s¬†got a lot more frequent and a lot more enthusiastic. She ran all around, bouncing from one exhibit to the next. Little Ivor thought the open sea feeding was pretty cool too. After a quick stop for lunch we headed home because they were both tired and cranky (slept the whole way home!)

Later that day we checked out the pumpkin patch right around the corner from us. They had hay tunnels, farm animals, a little train for kids to ride, and of course, pumpkins. Gwen was only interested in running around and watching the train. She didn’t care to see the animals (which was surprising), and she just viewed the pumpkins as running obstacles. But she had fun ūüôā

The last part of the week was set aside for relaxing at home and getting projects done. And unfortunately, we got sick ūüôĀ Gwen was first, then me, now little Ivor. We all have annoying colds. Boo. But we’re thankful Daddy is home and taking good care of us.

Another huge bonus to having Ivor home this week was all the wonderful meals he made us. I took a lot of pictures and will post them with recipes eventually. Keep an eye out for those.

Overall, it was a great week with lots of sweet¬†moments with the kids, amazing food, and house productivity. We so needed that time together. I wish it could last longer, but now we’re looking forward to Ivor taking the rest of his paternity leave in a few months. I’m already making plans!

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I’m a Wife First

On a mom blog you’ll find posts mostly about, well…being a mom. Milestones, updates, funny stories and pictures, etc. But in honor of my 4th wedding anniversary this week (July 17th), I’m dedicating this post to marriage/my husband. Because before I became a mom, I became a wife. And my marriage takes priority over my kids (*GASP*, yes, really). Having a strong marriage makes me a better mom. It just does. Disclaimer: I’m not saying single parents can’t be¬†good parents (I know plenty of amazing¬†single parents). I’m just talking about my situation¬†here. Everyone has different life circumstances. I’m just commenting¬†on mine, lest I offend anyone (which is apparently really easy to do online…have you read the comments on articles that get shared all over facebook? Don’t. You’ll lose all faith in humanity. Online commenters are monsters.)

Moving on.

I remember Ivor telling me once that someone “joked” to him about how once you have kids, you (the husband) are no longer the priority, but you’re even below pets. It was said in jest, but sadly I think there’s some truth to it. It’s easy for “mommy” to become your whole identity and consume your life. It is a pretty demanding role. Time consuming. Physically, mentally and emotionally draining at times. So keeping my husband and my marriage a priority requires actual effort. It doesn’t come naturally. I need to be intentional about it. I’m not content¬†shrugging my shoulders¬†thinking¬†“well, this is¬†just the way it’s going to be for now while our kids are so young…we’ll get back to our marriage eventually”. ¬†I don’t believe it was God’s design for marriages to just “get by”, but rather, to thrive and actually be enjoyed and be fulfilling! Even when kids come into the picture.

So there are a few practical things we’ve¬†done to try to keep marriage a priority . Not to say we do it perfectly all the time. There’s always room for improvement and it requires a lot of flexibility and grace. This is just what we’ve found to work for us right now, most of the time.

1. Going to bed at the same time. Even if I’m exhausted and he’s not, just being in the same room, in the same bed, makes a difference.¬†Seems obvious, but the physical proximity to each other makes us feel closer (go figure). The times when I’ve gone upstairs to bed and he stayed downstairs to watch TV (or vice versa) just felt strange and not right. So we go upstairs at the same time. Even if one of us falls asleep while the other reads/listens to music in headphones or whatever.

2. Along those lines, we like keeping our bedroom *ours*, a sacred place just for us, not our kids. Yes, we kept the babies in with us during¬†those first few weeks of their lives, because it’s just easier for the nursing thing. But¬†once they start sleeping better through the night, into their own room they go. I know everyone’s time table for that is different. But it was important to us. Once you have kids, they kind of take over the whole house. Their things are everywhere and it’s a shared space. But our bedroom is the one¬†place that we always want to just be ours, and off-limits to the kiddos (for obvious reasons).

3. Finding something to do together. Friendship is an important part of marriage so taking an interest in the other’s hobbies/activities is one way to maintain our friendship. It’s pretty easy to do when you have similar interests of course. For us, music is an important part of his life (and I like music). It’s¬†a hobby and a passion for him, but it’s also¬†how we’re replacing my income since I’ve stopped working outside the home. So since he¬†can get pretty busy with music stuff, I participate in it with him when I can.¬†I’ll give my honest opinion on whether something sounds good or terrible (and he appreciates that). I’ll sit with him while he’s working on audio or video editing, and offer my creative expertise, etc.¬†I’m also doing a lot of administrative work for the business (keeping track of gigs, calendars, social media, making flyers etc.). While I can’t always be at his shows with him, it’s how I can still participate in that part of his life. It’s not just his thing, it’s our thing.

4. Taking¬†time to talk about our day. Whether it’s at night right before bed, early in the morning before the kids wake up, or at the dinner table. Spending time each day to just talk about what happened at work, or at home, telling him all the crazy things Gwen did, etc. Recapping what goes on while we’re not together is a good way to keep us connected. I like to know how his job is going and how I can pray for him. Likewise, he likes to know how crazy my day was, what the kids were up to and how he can pray for me. And it’s also a chance to brainstorm together how to handle certain parenting situations (now that Gwen is a toddler….lots of those conversations are starting to happen lol).

5. Part of #4 sort of, sitting down at the table and sharing a meal together. We both love food. Like, a lot. Good food. And good wine. We appreciate it. And we like enjoying that together. I once received a voicemail from him that was all about an amazing burrito he just ate lol. And I’m¬†very blessed to have a husband who doesn’t just love good food, but can also¬†MAKE¬†really good food. He makes most of our meals. He¬†loves to do it. And I love to eat it. He likes seeing my face as I taste his delicious food and I like having the¬†opportunity to compliment his superior cooking skills, especially when I didn’t have to prepare it. He cooks, I clean. It works perfectly ūüôā

So those are ¬†just a few things we’ve made an effort to do in our marriage to keep it a priority. I’d love to hear other suggestions! I should also note that this is all under the umbrella of GRACE and PRAYER. Lots of it! What holds our family together is not our list of 5 things, or our resolve to just “try harder” every day. It’s a complete dependence on God, his grace and goodness to us. His constant work in us. Because if we only relied on ourselves to accomplish those 5 things, we’d fail. Every day.

Thanks be to God for an amazing, adventure-filled 4 years of marriage! I look forward to many many more years of adventure (and good food).

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Embracing the Crazy

Today was the doctor’s appointment. Gwen’s 15-month checkup and Ivor’s 1-month. Big Ivor was at work. So I was on my own with both kids. It started off well:

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Look at her, sitting there all happy and content eating her snack during her brother’s part of the visit.

I wish I could say she stayed this happy the whole time.

Once the doc left the room after Ivor’s exam and I started getting his clothes back on, Gwen¬†decided to hop off the chair and start exploring the office.

Sigh.

Then when the doc came back in for Gwen’s portion of the visit, little Ivor started¬†screaming his head off. So first I tried rocking his carseat with my foot, while trying to hold Gwen still and keep her from opening drawers, pulling things off shelves, etc. all while¬†attempting to listen to what the doc was saying. He still screamed. She still squirmed. So then I decided to pick him up and hold him while the doctor examined Gwen.¬†She¬†was less than cooperative for most of her exam. Swatting away the doctor’s hand, thrashing her body all around, screaming. Especially when she got her shots.¬†¬†I had switched out little Ivor for Gwen at that point, so he was back in his carseat screaming, and she was in my arms screaming, while the nurse poked her with a needle.

Then I got them both strapped into the double stroller and out we rolled through the lobby, with every eye on us. Thankfully it’s a pediatric doctor’s office, so everyone there was a parent and “got it”. Still couldn’t help but feel like quite the spectacle though lol.

All that to say, it didn’t upset me or stress me out (surprisingly). Was it fun? No. Would I want to do it¬†again? No. But we survived. And I don’t have unrealistic expectations of a toddler and a newborn in a doctor’s office getting poked and prodded.

The scene in that office is my life now. Sure, it’s a little crazy. But instead of fighting it or letting it ruin my day, I’m embracing it! We have lots of great moments (yesterday’s church outing, for example, couldn’t have gone smoother!) Right now they’re both content and quiet, allowing me to write this post.

Gwen has started *attempting* to say “I love you” (after you say it first). And little¬†Ivor has started smiling at us.

As someone recently said in a comment on a friend’s facebook page about having kids, “yes, my hands are full, but my heart is fuller.” Couldn’t have said it better myself!

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2 Weeks, No Sleep

I had forgotten certain things about having a newborn/baby. Yes, Gwen is still my baby…but she’s more of a toddler now. And her¬†toddler activities and the whole pregnancy thing made¬†the last year a blur. So as I’ve been spending the past few nights awake with a tiny human feeding off of me ALL NIGHT, wondering what in the world was going on…it became clear and I remembered those pesky things called…growth spurts. Brief periods of time during a baby’s first year that they act like they’re STARVING and need to eat 24/7. Growing is a good thing. Meeting milestones is a good thing. I get that this needs to happen and the result is good. But for a nursing mama it’s kind of an exhausting process. As my toddler and my husband snooze away at 3am, I’m awake…sitting up in bed with a baby on my boob. Hoping that maybe THIS time when I lay him back down he’ll actually sleep for longer than 1 hour. A solid hour is all I ask for at 3am. Is it too much to ask?

Sigh.

It goes by quickly. It goes by quickly.

Fortunately at his 2-week check up this morning it was confirmed that he has indeed grown. He’s up to 8 1/2 lbs now and 21 1/4 inches long. His head is bigger too. Always reassuring. I’ll be taking BOTH kids in for a check-up in about 2 weeks. It will be Gwen’s 15-month and Ivor’s 1-month. It will likely be the first time taking them somewhere by myself too as that day is also (big) Ivor’s first day back to work. Waa. Pray for me.

Aside from the lack of sleep, we are doing well. He’s such a sweet, handsome little guy. He loves to cuddle and poop in clean diapers 2.5 seconds after I put them¬†on him. When he’s awake, he’s very alert and looks all around and studies faces and objects. He makes lots of funny faces and noises (grunts and squeaks). He doesn’t seem to be phased at all by his sister’s loudness. Speaking of, Gwen has started giving him kisses! I melt.

Also, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has brought a meal to us. We appreciate it SO much! I especially love when these meals include cookies…and wine. Seriously, it’s the best ever. THANK YOU ūüôā

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Boy, That Escalated Quickly- a birth story :)

The much anticipated birth story of our 2nd blessing- Ivor Alan Griffiths.

It began on Sunday, June 1st, when I woke up and started getting ready for church. Super mild braxton hicks contractions started happening. It wasn’t anything different than what I had been feeling for the past 2 months or so. Noticeable “practice contractions” as they’re described. Not the least bit painful, just noticeable. The only difference this time was the frequency. Up until then¬†I had only felt about 2-3 each day. But now they were coming about 2-3 every hour. So I just began keeping track of them to see how long they lasted and how frequently they were coming. About 10-15 mins apart, lasting about 1 min each. But they weren’t getting any stronger or lasting longer so I just¬†went about my day as usual. We went to the grocery store after church, ate lunch, watched some TV, took Gwen for a walk, cooked dinner, etc.

And right¬†around dinner time is when I noticed a difference in the strength of these “practice” contractions. They were definitely stronger than before. They got my attention and made me have to close my eyes and breathe through most of them. Still easily managed, but just required some focus. From about 6pm-10pm I kept track of them. They were coming a little more frequently now, about 7-10 mins apart. Still lasting about 1-1:30 mins each. Since this had been going on all day, and there was a noticeable change in strength, we decided it was probably time to call my doctor. The call was made around 10pm I believe. She said to give it another hour and if the contractions remained the same, or started coming more frequently, to go ahead and get to the hospital. She knew that I wanted to do as much of the laboring on my own as possible, without any meds, so she was comfortable having me wait a bit longer and labor more at home. If I definitely planned on getting an epidural, she would’ve had me come in right then.

So we double-checked the hospital bag, threw in some last minute things. Ivor decided to shave, only to have his razor die about 10 seconds in, so he looked fantastic ūüėČ We were both¬†kind of giddy at this point, realizing this was probably it. Part of me still didn’t want to¬†get my hopes up though because I didn’t want to get sent home for “false labor”. Not sure why it takes me awhile to believe I’m actually in labor. Even with Gwen, when my WATER BROKE to start labor, I wasn’t convinced until we got to the hospital and they told me “yes, you’re in real labor”. Anyway, Ivor charged his razor and was able to finish his shave. Meanwhile I kept track of the contractions. They started out great- the same frequency and strength as before (which would mean we were going to the hospital). But¬†then toward the end of that hour window we were given, they started to vary, getting farther apart. Sigh. It was almost midnight at this point and I was sleepy. Ivor had already started drifting off. I figured if I was¬†to get any rest at all, I should try then. See if I could sleep through these contractions. And I did sleep…for about 2 hours. Until the contractions woke me up. Another increase in strength. Definitely could not ignore these! I woke Ivor up and told him we needed to leave right away. And off we went.

We checked in at the hospital at 3:20am on 6/2. I got set up for “labor evaluation” and my nurse checked me. I was 5-6cm dilated and completely effaced. She felt the “bulging water bag” and predicted it would break soon. Labor evaluation complete: this was the real thing. That’s when Ivor sent out the initial messages¬†to family and close friends that the little man was on his way!

I was still managing contractions well on my own and the baby was doing¬†great. So we did some walking around the halls, which definitely helped move things along…as the contractions¬†came way more frequently whenever I did so. My OB arrived to check on me around 6:30am. She asked if I wanted her to break my water bag, since it hadn’t yet broken on its own, to help speed things up…but she warned¬†me that contractions¬†would get more intense and there might not be time for an epidural (or I’d have very little time to make a decision on that). I decided to just let her do it. ¬†“The sooner this is all over, the better. I want this little guy out,” I thought. So she checked me and I was now 7-8cm dilated. I was so happy!¬†We were almost there. She said she’d check back in with me in an hour and that there would be a good chance I’d be ready to push then.

In the meantime, they wanted to monitor the baby so I was sitting in bed and didn’t really notice the contractions getting “way more intense” like I was told they would. So when my doctor came back in and I said things still kinda felt the same, she told me to get up and move around, which I apparently could’ve been doing anyway because the cords I was hooked up to for monitoring stretch pretty far. Wish I would’ve noticed that.

So, here’s where Ron Burgundy comes in.

When I got out of bed and started moving around the room, things got out of hand quickly. The¬†contractions quadrupled in intensity and I started to feel nauseated, and overheated, like I might pass out. Transition. After about 4-5 of them I made Ivor get the nurse back in the room. She tried talking to me to see how I wanted to get through this¬†final stage, not knowing how quickly this stage was going to go. Do you want to go in the shower and sit on the birthing ball, take Fentanyl (the pain med that “takes the edge off”), etc? But the epidural was for sure out of the question at this point. No time. And as she was trying to talk to me, we kept getting interrupted by contractions coming one right after the other. At some point I said “get me the fentanyl now”.¬†

And probably a minute later, “I need to push”. So much for the fentanyl idea. No time for that either.

Then everyone was suddenly in the room rushing for delivery, getting me into a better pushing position.

And I’m screaming in agony, feeling as though death were imminent.

I remember them telling me to grab my legs, tuck my¬†chin and push with the next contraction. But in that moment, that was a ridiculous request and I couldn’t imagine being able to do such a thing. Doing anything other than lying there screaming in pain was impossible.

But then the impossible happened. I listened and did what they said. And in about 2 pushes, in 2 mins, he was out and in my arms at 7:55am.

The total time from “I need to push” to “look at your baby!”….5 mins tops?

That’s basically how everyone in the room felt lol. We all just looked around at each other like “well that just happened!”. By the way, my poor nurse had just started her shift when I was transitioning. Our introduction was basically “I’ll take that fentanyl now—wait, I need to push”, aaaaand “here’s your baby!”

I couldn’t believe that happened. I still can’t. Giving birth without any pain meds was¬†something I always wished I could do, but never thought possible. ¬†I always knew I’d give in at some point. I’m a pansy. And I did give in…remember when I asked for the Fentanyl about 1 min before saying I need to push? Yeah. And I certainly didn’t expect to push him out so quickly either. Birth is a crazy thing. So unpredictable. But I am so thankful for such a positive experience with a great support team- my doctor and the nurses¬†were¬†amazing, as was my husband. He’s just as vocal, if not more-so, than the nurses lol. Hearing his voice the whole time and his encouragement meant so much to me and helped me get through that. When I said “I can’t”, he said “yes you can”. And I believed him. He’s an amazing husband.

And the result of this crazy, beautiful, whirlwind of a story…our baby boy:

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He is so precious and we are so in love with him already. He’s soft and warm and cuddly. I had missed having a little newborn ūüôā I didn’t miss the being up all night thing. No, not so much. But I know how quickly time passes and before I know it, he’ll be a toddler causing trouble with his big sister.

I can’t believe we’re a family of 4.¬†We are so blessed. Thanks to everyone who has prayed for us and wished us well and encouraged us.¬†Please don’t stop doing that! We’ll need it now more than ever as life with “2 under 2” begins. I’m sure it will make for very entertaining blog posts, so stay tuned ūüôā

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Snapshots of Recent Days

Just a few photos on my phone that I like. Thought I’d share. Cause my family is cute.

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And in case you’re wondering how I spend my evenings:

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Every day I tell myself I’ll be productive after Gwen goes to bed. Get stuff done that I wasn’t able to get done throughout the day. But then, this happens instead. I have zero energy. My whole body hurts. I’m sleepy. So to the recliner I go. This is definitely the home stretch of pregnancy. Only 1 month left until¬†my due date! Woooo! We just had a doctor’s appt. today and I’m already 2cms dilated, 50% effaced. Which is totally normal for 2nd pregnancies. It doesn’t mean I’m about to go into labor any day, but once I do start labor, things should move along fairly quickly. For me it also means that progress has been made- only 8 cms to go.¬†And that knowledge helps me psychologically ūüôā 2 cms down without laboring….I like that. Must keep up my walking routine (er, waddling rather). The doctor is predicting that he’ll be about 6-6.5 lbs based on her measurements today..which is¬†kinda surprising. That’s smaller than Gwen was…and I predicted he’d be bigger. But who knows…it all depends on how long he decides to stay inside. We’ll find out soon enough!

 

Pregnancy Update- 34 Weeks!

How far along? 34 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: almost 30 lbs
Maternity Clothes? of course
Stretch marks? Nope
Sleep: constantly interrupted by the need to pee
Best moment this week:  I ate entire pint of ice cream in one sitting, cookies-n-cream, but it was organic so that makes it okay, right?
Miss Anything? being comfortable
Movement?¬†oh yes, he is quite the active little bugger like his sister was….he’s also positioned with his feet ready to kick me in the ribs whenever he feels like it (which is often)…and like his sister, it’s always on the right side…
Food Cravings? ALL THE SWEET THINGS. (nothing changed here)
Anything making you queasy or sick? meh, not really anymore
Have you started to show? Only getting bigger at this point
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Labor Signs?¬†Braxton hicks ¬†(practice contractions)…especially on days when I’m really active and not drinking enough water
Belly button in or out?¬†Oh it’s out there now
Wedding rings off or on?  Still on!
Happy or Moody most of the time?¬†I think I’m happy most of the time lately, but it wouldn’t take much to set me off
Wisdom:¬†Seeing your husband as a daddy is extremely attractive. I learned¬†this¬†when Gwen was first born but it only gets better, the other night he tucked in a stuffed bunny and I tell you that¬†man has never been more sexy (maybe those are the pregnancy hormones talking….moving on!)
Looking forward to:¬†¬†Having the little man on the outside of my body. Pregnancy is beautiful and amazing, but there comes a point when¬†you’re just ready to have your normal body back and be¬†holding him in your arms instead…and I’m pretty close to that point.

 

12-Month Update! (revised)

We made it to 1 year! Woohoo! I can’t believe how fast it went by. While it didn’t seem like it at the time, looking back on it now it seems like just a blur. A blur filled with lots of vivid memories though ūüôā

Speaking of blurs…I feel the same way about her party yesterday. We survived our first kid’s birthday party (being the hosts, that is). It was very small but I thought it was perfect and I’m not sure I could’ve handled a much bigger party lol. Not at my house at least. We did learn a few lessons for future parties that I’d like to share (for anyone getting ready to throw their own party soon):

1. It’s kind of hard to set up and decorate the day of while chasing a 1-year old around. Do more stuff the night before after the little one is in bed.

2. Likewise, if you’re preparing all the food, prep as much as possible the night before. No matter how small the party is. ¬†No matter how quickly you THINK you’ll get everything done. Those morning prep hours FLY by and before you know it, the doorbell is ringing. We had lots of fresh fruit that just never got prepped or put out. Not sure anyone cared or noticed, but now we have a fridge full of fruit. Whatever will we do with it all?? ūüôā

3. Put someone else in charge of taking pictures. While I did get some, it wasn’t as much as I would’ve liked (I took zero pictures of any of the guests..and that was supposed to be my party favor, oops! Don’t worry party guests, I have a plan B !). I was just so busy trying to talk to everyone and keep Gwen out of trouble, that I didn’t have time to play event photographer too.

I’m sure others have a few pro-tips they could share for throwing kids birthday parties too ūüôā

Anyway, it went by quickly but it was a lot of fun. We are so thankful for technology and the ability to have some of our east coast family live streaming at the party. They even got to sing happy birthday to her with us in real time, which was really special. Gwen is loved from coast to coast!

Okay, on to the last of the monthly updates ūüôĀ

Her little personality is really blooming lately. And she is quite the social butterfly (when she wants to be). We did a lot of errand running this week in preparation for her party, and she would smile and wave and babble at everyone we walked by in the store lol. We were at the grocery store one day and I was so miserable because EVERYBODY was shopping at the time……on a Thursday afternoon (why??). Anyway, Gwen just loved seeing all the people and it was hard to stay miserable while she was putting a smile on everyone else’s face.

She’s still signing “please” all the time and just today started signing “food” or “eat” to me right before dinner time (without me asking her first). On several occasions she’s picked up a book and brought it over to me or Ivor and signs “please”, asking us to read to her. It’s kind of adorable. ¬†Highly recommend teaching your baby sign language!

She still only has 2 teeth. Sigh….I feel so limited to what I can give her to eat because of this. But we’ve been working on exaggerated chewing so she’ll do a better job gumming things before swallowing. She still loves cheese and fruit, yogurt, pasta, most veggies…though she’s been getting a little pickier lately, only eating 2 or 3 bites and that’s it. Meh. Time to start hiding veggies in yummy smoothies for a snack ūüôā

We’ve started her on whole milk now. Bye bye nasty formula with your foul smell and expensive price tag! Lord willing, I’ll never need to use it again. (Remind me not to get pregnant again before little Ivor is done nursing lol)

Ok, that’s all my brain can handle this weekend. I may post a 12-month update part 2 after her appt. on Tuesday with her weight/height stats.

Happy happy birthday to a very special little girl. We love you!!

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* UPDATE after 12-month well visit (didn’t feel like creating a new post for this):

Weight: 21 lbs 6.3 oz (73rd percentile)
Height: 30 in long (79th percentile)

That makes me one proud mama after the struggles we went through several months ago with her weight dropping. So happy she caught up ūüôā Now let’s hope she continues to be a good eater as we enter toddlerhood lol.¬†

 

 

Love and Vegetables

What do vegetables have to do with love, you ask? Not much, but it made you curious to enough to read this post ūüôā No really….we’ve started a little home garden outside on our balcony and this week we are seeing glorious little flowers blossom and miniature vegetables like this starting to grow:

cuc

 

This is a little japanese cucumber! Isnt it cute?!

The process of gardening is very rewarding. It takes effort and care and the occasional spray to keep bugs from eating away at the leaves. But it’s so satisfying to see the work pay off. ¬†Kind of like marriage. If you neglect it, it dies and bears no fruit (or veggies in our case). And if you don’t take certain protective measures, Satan will take advantage and eat away at your beautiful green leaves.

You know what I mean.

I love my husband and I love our marriage. I love him so much more today than I did 3 years ago (we’re approaching our 3rd anniversary in a few weeks). Sometimes I catch myself missing the dating period of our relationship (the fuzzy feelings and butterflies that come along with it, etc.). Seeing photos from that time still give me the same feeling…like this one:

canyondate

 

This was taken at the PA Grand Canyon. Where I grew up, and where he spent most of his summers growing up (I always wonder if our paths ever crossed and we just didn’t know it). Gosh, he’s cute.

However, our relationship isn’t BASED on warm fuzzy feelings, which is why instead of fizzling out over time, it just grows stronger (only by the grace of God). Because without God, let me tell you, this man would drive me crazy. He would say the same thing, by the way. ūüôā

It’s been my challenge in the past 3 months (since Gwen was born) to keep Ivor and marriage a priority. It’s so easy to just be in mom-mode 24/7 (because, well…I am a mom now, 24/7). But I am a wife first. And I believe with every fiber of my being that one of the best things I can do for my daughter, is to love her daddy. I want to model a strong, godly, lasting marriage for her. I want to gross her out by kissing him in front of her (she’ll appreciate it one day).

So, let me extend that same challenge to YOU too (those of you who are moms with husbands). Don’t neglect it. Water that marriage and keep Satan from eating ¬†your leaves and killing your japanese cucumbers.

See how I brought it back there….?

I’ve only had one cup of coffee so you’ll have to excuse me.

Though She Be But Little…

…She is fierce!

This quote by William Shakespeare from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the inspiration for the new Blog Title. It sums up my daughter perfectly I think (she’s barely 3 months old, I know). But it’s how I hope she stays…fierce. I know I may regret saying this when she’s a toddler…and then a teenager. But being¬†fiercely¬†passionate (about things that matter) is an admirable trait in my opinion. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary has several definitions for the word, some are not so nice. But what I’m going for here is “unrestrained zeal” or “furiously active or determined”. Not so much the “violently hostile” or “given to fighting or killing” part ūüôā I hope we can teach her to speak up, stand out and fight for what is important to her. Her faith, her family, her passions, etc. I also don’t believe that this is contradictory to having a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). Which is also what I pray for her. I want her to have both! She can be gentle and quiet in spirit, but be fierce about her convictions. ¬†That’s my prayer for her.

I look forward to seeing her little personality develop and finding out what she’s passionate about. ¬†If she’s anything like her daddy, it will be many many things ūüôā Right now, it’s all about milk…..music….and clean diapers.

fierce one

 

 

 

Side note: I’m currently trying to find a new “look” for this blog…so you may see something different with each post. Sorry!