Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Clara Irene: 6 Months

How is our last little baby six months old!! (And quite closer to seven months at this point!) I know these baby months are flying by because of all the transition we've had going on. Plus, you know, when you're sleep deprived things can become quite blurred as well. :)

Clara's six month well check went smoothly, and she handled her shots well. She cried of course, but was easily comforted. I was glad to get one more appointment in with our MD pediatrician, and when I mentioned that we were moving, she got papers together for me of all three kids vaccines so that I would have them. In the midst of moving, I did manage to lose track of the papers, but I think they are floating around in the van somewhere. Maybe.

Height and Weight: Clara weighed in at 13 pounds 2 ounces (3rd percentile), and I cannot remember her length. She's growing right on track and just as she should!

Diapers/Clothing: Just last week, I moved her into size two diapers, mostly because we finished off a box and knew there was no point in opening an entirely new box. I do have a full box of size one diapers so I just need to find a mama friend with a teeny baby to pass them on to! Clara is mostly wearing size six month clothes, but when I pulled out a size three months outfit the other day, I decided to put it on her, and it fit just fine. I might as well get as much use as I can out of these clothes! And it was also one that Noelle wore, which I love seeing them out again. I'm starting to pack away the 3-6 month sleepers though, especially the ones that have been washed over and over again.

Sleep: Oh sleep for this child! She turned six months old on Christmas Eve, so she was still sleeping in bed with me at my parent's house at that point. Clara pretty consistently was waking up around 11, 2, and then 4:30. I'd nurse her, and she'd usually fall back asleep. Every now and then she'd decide to be awake for awhile and wiggle herself around. Luke and I joke that her arms have a mind of their own- flailing around and keeping her awake! And naps have been in the car or in my arms mostly.

Eating: She's still nursing, but it seems that in all the craziness, my supply is probably dipping even more. Each feed, we nurse for a few minutes, and then give her a two ounce bottle of formula. Every now and then when she's upset, she won't take a bottle and just nurses for comfort. I'm kind of amazed that we're still doing any sort of nursing, but I figure we'll keep it up for as long as we can, especially with all the sickness that is going around!

Social/Milestones: At six months, we were attempting to spend more time with her sitting, and she was getting better and stronger at tripod sitting. At this point, she's pretty much past using her arms to hold herself up and only falls over on occasion. She can definitely roll back to front (and pretty much does so immediately if she's doing any sort of tummy time), and right before her six month well check, I finally happened to see her roll from back to front. I think she's repeated that once since then, but at least she can do it! She just hates being on her tummy! She doesn't have any teeth yet, but there has been so much drool, so I keep thinking it's going to happen. She loves to hold toys and put them in her mouth. And she can even take her wubbanub and put the pacifier in her mouth. She also ate her first solids- carrots and beets! I was completely inconsistent in feeding her, but she at least tried them!

Likes: She still seems to like bath time a lot. She kicks her legs around in the bath tub splashing water everywhere, and even got to sit with the big kids and cousin Holden in the big bathtub at Nana's house. Clara definitely prefers to be held, but every now and then will be content sitting on the floor with baby toys. She loves watching her big brother and sister, especially when they're being crazy and moving around a lot. She also likes the vacuum. I can set her down and vacuum the whole downstairs and she usually doesn't get upset.

Dislikes: She gets pretty cranky on the days that she absolutely refuses to naps. So she hates naps, and being tired. Oh silly girl, naps are the best! She's usually most unhappy when she's not being held. 

Fun things: Clara got to see her first snow on the same day as our annual cookie-baking day. She celebrated her first Thanksgiving, sat on Santa's lap, wore lots of Christmas outfits, got lots of love from her siblings and Holden, picked out her first Christmas tree, and attended her sibling's Christmas programs. Overall, a very fun sixth month!

Love these little one!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Sick Days and a Snow Day

Our first week in TN included christening our new home with the stomach bug! It started with Jonah, got to me, and then poor Noelle threw up at the end of her school day on Wednesday. Clara possibly had it- she was fussier than usual and spitting up more, but other than that seemed fine. Thankfully Luke has not gotten it (and we're praying that continues!), and he was able to work from home on Wednesday so that I could get some rest. I am so thankful for a husband who has always stepped it up when me or the kids get sick!

how most of our sick days were spent- tv and sleeping

We've been pretty housebound, but after five consecutive hours of no puking yesterday and way too much tv, I told the kids we were getting in the car and driving up to visit daddy at work. There was no way we were getting out of the car because we must contain all the germs, but mama needed to leave the house! This was my first time attempting to drive anywhere other than to Noelle's school or the donut shop (priorities!), but thank goodness for GPS. We hopped on the highway and got to Luke's work in about 20 minutes. (In two years, we never once went to visit him at his job in DC- yet another advantage of this job!) We called him when we got there, and he came out with chocolate chip cookies for all of us. We looked a hot mess, but it was good to see him, see his office building, and drive around for a bit.

Yesterday it also happened to be close to 70*, which made me even more eager to escape the house. If children were well, I would have taken them to the play ground in our neighborhood or to a local park. The kids may have been in pajamas, and I might have had crazy eyes,but a drive in the car was good for all! 

We're also getting to experience our first TN snow day today! With the 70* weather yesterday we were also getting a winter weather advisory on our phones warning us of impending snow and ice. We got an email from Noelle's school by the end of the school day yesterday that based on the counties around where we live, her school was also calling a snow day.

I decided to brave the roads and take the kids out this morning for a quick drive to Target to pick up bread and some other necessities (like a Valentine's day garland). We walked in and the first thing Noelle said was "it's so quiet in here!" Luke went in to work, but planned on coming home around lunch time to get back before the roads got too bad. He said only about six of his co-workers were there, and most headed home when he did. We're getting busy with crafting, playing, pizza making, and tv watching, of course!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

New School and Zoe

Noelle had a successful first day at her new school yesterday! I think I was more nervous than she was, and she hardly looked back at as when we left. It was sweet being able to go as a whole family to drop her off and see her desk. When I picked her up at the end of the day, she was so excited to show me what she made in art and the cards that her new friends had made her.

After we dropped her off in the morning, Luke headed to work and Jonah and I went in search of donuts. We found a local place, and the donut we got was delicious! Jonah is sick with something but he perked up enough for a donut!

We also started to sleep train Clara the second night we were here because I could not handle waking up 5 times a night anymore. She cried a bunch the first night, and then about 30 minutes the second night. But I only got up once each night to feed her. I really hope to get her only waking once and not crying at all. :)

Zoe is so happy to have us here!! She follows us around and has slept on our bed every night. Last night she laid on me while I read before bed and purred the whole time. She keeps scratching at the door to go out, but we want her to wait a little bit longer.

We have been abundantly blessed since we've been here, and I can tell that so many are praying for  us. I've received texts  and emails from friends and family from home (not sure when I'll  start calling TN home :)) just checking in. My friend and sister-in-law here have been making plans to get together with me. Ladies from my new MOPS group have been helpful, and on Sunday evening the sister-in-law of one of my close friends from MD brought us a delicious dinner. Yesterday Luke came home with a gift card for me from his work thanking me for putting up with all the craziness of moving and Luke being away. Hopefully soon I'll get to my half day at the spa (I truly won't know what to do with myself!) God is so good and showing up in all the little things!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Trip to Our New State

Our last morning in MD started with a pancake and bacon breakfast made by my mom with a fire going in the fireplace. My sister, Jason, and Holden came over around 7 to join in the fun, and I was super thankful to enjoy one last meal with my family.

The cousins played and ran circles around Nana's house. We (and by we, I mean Luke) did some last minute packing into the van, and then the good-byes began. I've done pretty well until Saturday morning, only crying on occasion. Having a pretty normal life routine up through Friday made me less likely to think about the big change actually happening.

But it was time. My dad teared up, I cried, my sister and my mom cried. And I know more tears will come over the next few months as I adjust to being away. Living the day to day life with my parents had its hard moments for sure, but overall, it was a great time. We were well taken care of (also spoiled- my dad took our van in to get the oil changed and filled up the gas tank), and I had so much help from my mom with the kids.

We put the kids in the van, gave my parents one last hug and hit the road just after 8 a.m. as planned. Luke squeezed my arm as I cried more tears, and then I got myself thinking about what was ahead. I looked online for fun things to do with the kids in TN, texted with my SIL down there, and asked Luke some fun marriage questions.

Clara fell asleep fairly quickly (after waking me up at least 5 times the night before), and the big kids played with some crayons, listened to the Moana soundtrack, and talked amongst themselves. We made a quick stop at the Starbucks in Mt. Airy and then didn't stop again until Clara started fussing and we saw a Chick Fil A ahead. We pulled over around 10:45 for an early lunch and a break from the car!

We hit the road again around 12 and right away the big kids were asking for their tablets. We told them they had to wait until 2:00 (which in Noelle's words was taking forever!) but they managed to get by listening to some adventures in Odyssey and a Paw Patrol book and some princess stories on CD. Clara fussed for a bit, but fell asleep again and we pushed through until another bathroom break was needed.

We found a Subway, grabbed dinner, and stretched our legs. From there the kids played on their tablets and Clara slept until we reached our NEW house around 8 p.m. (TN time.) We unloaded the kids and showed them their rooms. They were so hyped up from all the excitement that they didn't go to bed until almost 10.

Overall the kids did so well on the drive, and I just hope it gets easier for them on the many trips we'll make up to MD!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Our Last Day in MD!

Yesterday started with a two hour delay for Noelle thanks to some single digit coldness. It made for a leisurely start for her last day at her school in MD. It's been Spirit week/homecoming and today was school colors day. Since she's on the cheer team and was performing at the pep rally and game, she wore her cheer uniform. She just got her bow at practice on Wednesday, which she is very excited about wearing!

Her teacher threw her a going away princess tea party complete with princess dresses, bow ties, and fancy tea cups and tea sandwiches. Parents made the sandwiches, shared their tea kettles, and brought in princess dresses. I was planning on going but we ended up needing to go sign papers for our MD house at the last minute. Her teacher told me the kids all loved it and were all very proper. She said many pictures were taken so hopefully I see some soon!

We are supposed to close on our MD house on the 12th and yesterday we signed all the papers so that we wouldn't have to find a notary down in TN. We had Jonah and Clara with us, but thankfully our realtor cuddled with Clara and Jonah played on the tablet and ate chocolate. As long as nothing else changes, we shouldn't have to do anything else for that house!

We packed up a few things, and then I went to pick up Noelle from school. And then we were home for 40 minutes before heading out for her school's homecoming game! All the grandparents came and we watched her cheer during half time. I loved watching her do something that she enjoys and being a part of a team. After half time, the coach talked to them and told everyone that Noelle was moving away. All the girls rushed in to give her a giant group hug, and it was so sweet!

We ate a quick dinner, packed up as much as we could, and headed to bed for one last sleep in MD. Hopefully everyone is well rested enough to make today's drive as pleasant as possible!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

House Love Letter

Yesterday we closed on our house in TN! We actually signed the papers on Thursday with a notary at our church and over-nighted the papers down. On the downside, we found out that due to some tragic circumstances, the buyers for our MD house were unable to close on Thursday. The plan right now is to close on January 12th, but for now, we own two homes, which is a tad scary. (So much money!)

In honor of closing on our TN house, I wanted to post the love letter we wrote to the sellers of the TN house. As we were writing it back when we put in the offer, I was falling more in love with the house! Cheers to new adventures!


Dear Seller,

2017 has been a big and blessed year for our family! In June we added our third baby (our second girl!) to our family of five, and our oldest (the big sister) started kindergarten. Our middle child (our one and only boy) started preschool, and has become quite the adventurous three year old. We have embraced a season of new routines, fun activities, and so much more!

At the end of my husband's paternity leave, he was offered a position with a small tech company in Franklin, TN with the opportunity to start up the department doing the type of work he's enjoyed doing over the past two years. His current company is in Washington, DC, and has provided many good opportunities for him. While he has grown in his line of work and relished his time there, the hour and a half commute each way has been hard on us as a whole family. Getting home just in time to eat a quick dinner and put the kids to bed has meant time missed out on playing, reading, and watching them grow. Babies certainly don't keep!

We have visited the Nashville area many times over the last three years to visit my husband's brother and his sweet family. They have a precious girl, and we are so excited for our kids to be able to get to know their Tennessee cousin and build a relationship with their aunt and uncle here. Whenever we have visited the south, we have felt the southern hospitality both in suburbia and in the city. Being able to raise our kids in an environment that is as charming and sweet as middle Tennessee is something we have talked about often.

When we looked at the house yesterday, we fell in love with the open floor plan, talked about who would get what room, and laughed at all the crazy shenanigans our son would get into playing in the backyard and running around the neighborhood. Our cat would most definitely enjoy scampering around from room to room, and have a good place to hideaway in the laundry room. We pictured the bonus room upstairs as a playroom for our children, and the second floor bedroom to be the hideaway spot for any out of town guests we have coming to visit. I am one of four kids and my husband is one of five, and we have already invited them (and our friends) to come visit us anytime. I can imagine hosting birthday parties with our kids seated around the sunny kitchen table blowing out candles, getting cozy by the fireplace (my personal favorite!) and watching Christmas movies, taking pictures out front as they get ready to head to prom. We talked about riding our bikes to the pool, or even out to McDonald's to get ice cream in the summer. And we hope to build strong community with our neighbors and watch as our kids find their new best friends.

We will take wonderful care of the home you have created and will be so grateful if our offer is chosen.

Megan and Luke

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Eve 2017

Christmas Eve 2017 was full of fun! We started our morning at church, which of course for me meant the cry room for a nursing session/nap for Clara. After the service, we took a few pictures in front of the Christmas tree in the lobby. It was also Luke's last week at our church since he'll be in TN unpacking next week!

After church we headed back to my parents for an easy lunch and opening gifts! Noelle and Jonah could not wait until lunch was over and kept asking when it was time to open presents!

It also happened to be Clara's half birthday on Christmas Eve. How is she already so big? She's been getting lots of love from her grandparents and aunts and uncles with all the family in town!

It's also been surreal to think that this is our last Christmas while we live in MD. Next time we're here for Christmas, we'll be visiting!

And I'm going to miss being near my sister, Jason, and Holden!

We all wore our pajamas! (Perfect for eating all the food!)

And the cousins had matching jammies!

And we had all the usuals- my whole side of the family plus my mom's best friend and her family. 

Plus the group just keeps growing with all the babies!

It was definitely a joy filled first Christmas Eve for Clara!