Saturday, March 17, 2018

Some Pictures and Words

So in college, one of my closest friends/roommate received catalogues with hunting/outdoorsy things, and there were little camo clothes for babies. She joked that when we all started having babies, she would get us some baby camo. Well, after Noelle was born, she sent me a little camo sweatshirt that she knit herself. Clara wore it the other day, and now all three of my babies have worn their baby camo! I just love the pointy hat!

I've been following an up and coming bakery opening in our town on instagram for a little while and they had their soft opening this week. Jonah and I decided to go check it out, and brought home a cinnamon roll! I worked on my self control and waited for Luke to get home to try it. It was absolutely delicious, and we want to go back and try more of their food! Luke says the cinnamon rolls I made for Christmas two years ago were still tastier, but sadly I have NO clue what recipe I used!! I'll keep trying a different one each year until we get another one hopefully close to it.  :)

So we've gotten into the habit of celebrating Noelle taking a math test by getting something sweet after school. She complains about her homework and going to school, so we are trying to make things as positive as we can. They chose McDonald's this time and Jonah enjoyed his hot fudge sundae while wearing his Thomas the train robe, and I snitched bites of Noelle's Oreo Mcflurry. She got her test back yesterday and got 100 percent on both parts! Go, girl!

Yesterday morning, Jonah, Clara, and I went to a women's Bible study at the home of one of the ladies in what we are now calling "our" church. It was SO good. We stayed for three hours and I got to talk to mamas in different stages of life while Jonah played and Clara hung out with me and eventually fell asleep. They are reading through the Old Testament, and for each day's reading, the husband of one of the women types out a summary of the chapters, which made it easier for me to jump in. 

After school, we drove up to Franklin to Babies R Us to spend the gift card Clara got for Christmas. (We wanted to make sure to spend it before they are officially out of business!) We ended up with some cute clothes and Pez dispensers for the big kids. Jonah keeps asking for all sorts of things for his upcoming birthday, including a bike. We went to look at their options, but nothing seemed like the right thing for him in our price range.

Afterwards we met Luke at the mall food court for dinner. We walked around a little bit afterwards and of course had to go the American Girl Store. Every time we go there it takes me back to getting the catalogs in the mail and circling everything I wanted. Noelle gets excited when we go to the store, but doesn't really play with the dolls (not American Girl brand) she does have the home. Maybe some day!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Baptism and Chick Fil A

Sometimes we get to lose an hour of sleep to the time change AND an hour when this little one decides to be awake for awhile. At least we got to see the clock change from 1:59 to 3:00 together.  :) I think the bags under my eyes just keep growing and getting darker. It's a season, and someday I'll sleep more!

This morning we drove up to Nashville to be able to witness the baptism of the daughter of some of our close friends from MD. We've known this Jack and Jess since right about the time we got pregnant with Noelle, so it was special being able to see their sweet girl get baptized. Even though we choose to not baptize our littles as babies, we understand the importance of praying and coming alongside the raising of our children in the Christian community. It takes a village for sure, and I'm thankful that our main village is the church! I couldn't resist snapping a  few quick pictures of our kids in front of a blooming tree as we walked back to the car.

And Jonah's face in this one! Luke says it's a keeper for sure for his graduation or wedding day.

Rewinding to yesterday, Luke was feeling pretty blah from the cold that seems to have wiped us all out over the past few days, so I took the kids to Target for some grocery shopping. There was also an event being put on by the Our Generation doll toy collection. They had little craft kits for each child, and Noelle and Jonah colored a little bookmark to bring home. We've also discovered that Target has a free cookie for kids, so made sure to hit those up.

On Friday, Clara took a TWO HOUR NAP! It was a miracle! Although I'm also thinking it might have to do with the Nyquil I took the night before. It has yet to be repeated, and I did take more Nyquil. Oh sweet girl, you need to learn how to nap! 

Last week Noelle's school had a fundraiser at a Chick Fil A in Franklin so we headed there for dinner once Luke got home from work. The parking lot was packed and we ended up in another parking lot, I was wearing my slippers, and we started off at a two person table. But it was good to see more of the kids from her school, and meet the mom of one of the little girls she talks about all the time. Clara, oh third child that she is, was given bites of a chicken nugget and french fry. I mean she eats healthy most of the time, right? :) There was also a face painter, and Noelle and Jonah were excited to get their faces painted!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Pancakes and Church

God has continued to be SO good to us in our move! I'm so thankful for His faithfulness in this season of life. While I've had a MOPS meeting or MOPS Bible study pretty much every week and the occasional play date with my sister-in-law, my human contact is mostly with Luke, my favorite little people, and the cashier at Target. :)

Two Saturdays ago, we hosted what we hope will be an annual pancakes and pajamas party. We did this party in 2015, cancelled it in 2016 when we were wiped out by the norovirus, and finally did it again. We invited pretty much everyone we knew before we moved down, and all three couples and their babies came. It was a mix of family, college friends, and small group friends from MD, and we had so much fun! Since it was a small group of people, we just had pancakes, one casserole, fruit, and bacon. And our college friends brought a pan of delicious made from scratch brownies! There were three baby girls including Clara, my two year old niece, and my big two. Jonah held down the fort as the only boy child. :)

Last Sunday we tried a church that my SIL recommended. Their church in Nashville is the sending church for this newish church plant, and while it's in Franklin and a little further away than we were hoping, we decided to try it since we knew we trusted the ones giving us the recommendation. :) My SIL connected me with her friend who was a part of the plant, and when we went on Sunday, she and her husband figured out who we were, and everyone was SO friendly. It's still new- they meet in a local elementary school and are on the smaller side (perfect for us!), but it was so evident that people there love the Lord and love people.

Noelle and Jonah enjoyed the kids program, the sermon/teaching was straight from the Bible, and on Monday we attended the community group that meets in our town. I made plans to meet up with one of the other stay at home moms, the pastor's wife texted me to get me added to their women's ministry facebook page, and I had hoped to go to one of the women's Bible studies tomorrow but we woke up sick today. Luke met with the pastor for lunch on Tuesday (and they saw Jeremy Camp!) and was able to talk more with him. We're praying that this is our new church home!

After church on Sunday, we headed to a local park and "forced" our children to walk on their very tired legs around the path before playing on the playground (where miraculously their legs were no longer tired.) It was a beautiful day, and somehow Clara managed to stay asleep in the stroller for the whole walk. The kids played for quite awhile in the giant sandbox and on the playground. Clara watched all the kids playing around her and got to swing for a little bit. I am so looking forward to more of these spring days!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Clara Irene: 7 and 8 Months

Combined monthly update, because #thirdchild. Also, in unpacking our boxes and beginning to hang pictures, I've realized I have no framed pictures of her. Our picture display makes it look like Noelle is the favorite. I'll get on it eventually, right?

Height and Weight: Not sure on her height, but I sat her on our scale the other day, and she was just under 15 pounds. Definitely growing!

Diapers/Clothing: She's mostly wearing six months size, but can also fit some of her 3-6 month things. I want to be able to pass those on, but if she still fits them, we're keeping them! Clara is still wearing size 2 diapers, and we finished up all the size 2s that were in the diaper cake my friend Kristi made me for the baby shower!

Sleep: Three nights this past week, she slept completely through the night! Two of the mornings she was up for the day at 4:45, but hopefully we're moving in that direction and maybe soon she'll sleep for at least 11 hours straight?? The last two nights she woke up around 3:00 for a feed and then went back to sleep until about 7:00. Naps are still super inconsistent, and usually last less than 30 minutes, although she did take one hourish long nap this past week! She sleeps only on her back, and spends basically no time on her tummy.

Eating: She's nursing the tiniest bit and then takes a 3 ounce bottle after each feed. She's a very distracted eater, and does best if we're in her room with the sound machine on. Otherwise, she's constantly trying to see what Noelle and Jonah are doing and won't eat for very long.

Clara has been doing pretty good with solids, although doesn't love the taste of green beans by themselves (can't say I blame her!) So I try to mix those with something sweeter. She does pretty well with the butternut squash and sweet potato mix. She doesn't seem as interested in apples or bananas, but definitely enjoys prunes. In the last two weeks, we've started giving her bits of shredded cheese, mostly because it keeps her happy and occupied. She loves picking up the little pieces and sticking them in her mouth. I've also started breaking up yogurt melts so she can feed those to herself.

Social/Milestones: She seems to constantly be teething with so much drool and hands in her mouth, but no teeth yet! She's solid at sitting on her own, and if she wants something in front of her, she'll lean forward as far as she can to try and reach it. If she can't reach, she'll cry until someone gets it for her or picks her up. Crawling does not seem to be in the near future. :)

She loves to smile at people, and will sometimes make as much noise with her little voice as possible, like she just wants to be heard. Thankfully she's doing well in the car seat and seems well past the crying every time we are in the car.

Likes: She still loves baths, and has been bathing in the big bathtub for a while now. She splashes around and holds toys. She'll easily spend 20 minutes playing in the water! She loves being held when she's awake, which means most of the day. Sometimes we'll go up to the bonus room to play, and she'll play with toys for 10-15 minutes. Thankfully some mornings she'll play longer while Luke and I squeeze in a workout.

Dislikes: Obviously sleep is still not a favorite, and when she wants to be held but mommy is busy makes her unhappy. Mostly she's content as long as she's being held!

Fun things: We've had two trips to the zoo, a visit from Nana and Holden, exploring as a family, MOPS meetings and Bible study, trips to Target, her first Valentine's Day, play dates with Aunt Debbie, and lots of treats with the big kids. And just yesterday (when she turned 8 months) we had our Pancakes and Pajamas party with friends!

Pictures from the last few months:

trying on Jonah's sunnies

sleeping at the zoo

cuddles at Dunkin Donuts

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Zoo and The Factory

Clara's latest thing has been to sleep through the night, BUT she's been waking up between 4:45-5:20 FOR THE DAY! One morning, I put her in the running stroller and she joined me for an early morning run/walk and we got to enjoy the sunrise together. She also fussed for the last mile, but I kept reminding her it was her decision to be up for the day.

This morning however, she slept through the night and didn't make a peep until almost 7:00!! (All the praise hands!!) Thursdays are my rest day anyhow, so I try to "sleep in" but was counting on being up super early anyhow. When Luke's alarm went off at 6:30, I looked over at him and asked him if he thought Clara was still alive. (spoiler: she was.) She also took a 40 minute nap when we got home from running out to Target. We'll see how the rest of the day goes!

On Monday, Noelle had off for President's Day so we headed to the zoo. I told her and Jonah that I was bringing the stroller only for Clara so they would have to do a lot of walking. If there was any complaining, we were turning around and coming straight home. Since it was a holiday, we were there along with everyone else. But we were there for about three hours and Clara eventually fell asleep (it was a 4:45 a.m wake-up that day) in the ergo. It was close to 80* and Noelle and Jonah did a fantastic job walking around!

We waited in line to go into a bird exhibit that we walked around in for less than five minutes. But hey, learning to wait is a good life skill. And it was their choice, and they had fun watching the birds fly around them. When we got to the giraffes, which Noelle had been talking about for days before going tot he zoo, she went straight to the wishing well and then looked at the giraffes for about 30 seconds.

Right before heading back to the car, we stopped at the farm animal exhibit so they could brush the goats.

Tuesday was even warmer, and Jonah, Clara, and I met up with my sister-in-law and niece at a playground near them. Jonah had a blast climbing everything and going down slides, and Clara always loves watching all the kids running around. There's a train car at the park, so Jonah pretended to drive the train for a few minutes before we headed home.

Last week we got our TN license plates and driver's licenses down in a town called Columbia, and we decided we wanted to go back this past Saturday to see more of the town. (I mean, Luke had already decided we're buying an entire pie from the pie place we stopped in briefly.) However, Saturday was pouring rain, so instead we headed to Franklin to the The Factory. It's an old factory of some sort with little shops and eateries inside. They also have a farmer's market on Saturdays, so we walked through that briefly, ate some samples, and then headed inside.

We enjoyed two of the famous Five Daughter's Bakery donuts ($4.50 a pop, but so delicious!), and I got an acai bowl. The kids could see the bakers making the donuts and had a blast watching them. Noelle begged to do the paint your own pottery place, so that may need to be a future mommy/daughter date! It was fun, and I'm loving these leisurely Saturdays to explore as a family.

Ellie's Doughnuts outside at the Farmer's Market

Monday, February 19, 2018


A few weekends ago we headed to Barnes and Noble in Franklin for their story time which included the new Fancy Nancy book. Noelle was so excited and dressed herself extra Fancy Nancy-like just for the occasion. And she of course loved it, especially since she got a crown.

Afterwards we grabbed lunch at a pizza place (the cauliflower crust was delicious!) and then headed home for some downtime. Those quiet, family filled Saturdays are kind of nice.

thanks for the picture, Noelle!

We finally got to meet up with some of our wonderful friends who moved from MD to TN almost a year and a half ago. It was SO good to see them and catch up. The goal is to see each other once a month (at least!) I am so thankful for wonderful friends who love the Lord and who are so familiar with moving a finding a whole new set of friends. We love them!

We have the occasional warm day (well, my definition of warm means it has to be at least in the 60s and sunny) and we try to be outside for at least a little while on those days. Sometimes we'll go to one of the nearby playgrounds for the kids to run around and get out some energy after we pick up Noelle from school.

And even with MOPS, Bible study, and the once in awhile play date with my sister-in-law, our lives our much slower here than in MD. There's a lot less running around since we don't have to drop Noelle off in the mornings, and with Jonah out of school, there's one less place to be. Usually one morning a week, I try to get as much cleaning done as I can, and try to remember to throw a load of laundry in whenever I can. It is a game changer having our play room UPSTAIRS! All of the kids toys are out of sight (for the most part!) and not in the main room of our house like in MD. You can find Jonah, Clara, and I playing and reading up there on our slower days!

There is a Books A Million right in our town, and a couple of weekends ago, they were having a Harry Potter day. Noelle and Jonah both wore the sorting hat (Noelle was Hufflepuff and Jonah was Gryffindor), "played" quidditch, and answered some trivia questions to collect some stickers.

And our sweet girl who hates naps. On weekends, I'll sometimes nurse/bottle feed her to sleep and then just sit with her in my arms while I read or scroll Instagram. She's only little once and is already growing way too fast! I'm sure it's not helping the whole napping on her own situation though. :)

Noelle had another math test last week, and her treat of choice afterwards was froyo, much to Jonah's extreme glee (he's OBSESSED with froyo!) It was delicious and I spent way too much, but they enjoyed it. 

The end of our street just kind of dead-ends into a field. There's a sign posted that our city has approved for more homes to be built, but it doesn't look like that's happening any time soon. Jonah had fun showing me "his" rock collection and shooting his nerf gun into the grass. I'm sure come spring/summer we'll have to be careful of ticks and other bugs. But it is nice having that open space within walking distance!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Valentine's Day 2018

Our Valentine's Day was sweet and simple, and done just right for our first one in TN. Noelle woke up excited for her Valentine's Day party at school, and I gave her a heart shaped pancake and toast with a heart cut out in the middle. This girl loves her holidays and was excited to celebrate the day!

Jonah, Clara, and I headed to my MOPS Bible study where Jonah played while Clara and I got to sit and talk about discerning the voice of God with other mamas. It was good, and this study by Priscilla Shirer has been good for me in the short amount of time I've been involved. When we got home, the doorbell rang and a bouquet of tulips was delivered to me. I texted the below picture to Luke! I love holidays, and the day to celebrate love is one of my favorites. Doesn't have to be romantic love, but I'm thankful that I have my forever Valentine. :) 

When Noelle was home from school, I told her that we would be doing a scavenger hunt later on for their Valentine's Day gifts. She begged and begged to do it then, but I wanted her to wait for Daddy to get home to join the fun! Of course it ended up being the one day he was stuck at work for a little bit longer, and by the time he got home with our pizza dinner, it was an hour later than our normal dinner time. But we got the kids focused on the pizza, and then started the scavenger hunt. It's such a simple thing to do with them, but they love it! They kept saying "oh thank you mommy!" Oh my little loves! We got them little toys from Target, which they of course were super excited about (and have probably lost by now.)

Noelle looking at their first clue

We also stopped at Walmart on our way home from school to get a few more things, including two heart balloons to add to our Valentine's Day decorations. They are still going strong three days later, and it will be a sad day once they are no longer floating.

I'm so thankful for Luke! We were trying to remember if our first Valentine's Day together was in 2005, which means 13 Valentine's Days with each other. And I think all involved pizza. :)

And my littlest Valentines. I'm more sleep deprived and frazzled than ever before (aside from maybe October-December of last year with all the moving stuff going on), but these three are SO worth all the crazy. And sleep is a non-essential, right?