Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Sickies

I know it's all a part of parenthood, but for three weeks straight now one or both of our kids have been sick. We are so ready for spring and consistent healthiness!

It's constantly "wipe my nose!", and the battle of getting Noelle to take the cough/cold medicine. Some days she's right on board with taking it, other days, not so much.

And I'm pretty sure poor Jonah has been sick almost every month of his life. So much for breastfed babies being healthier than formula fed babies. Or maybe that's negated by having an older sibling. And the poor boy is also teething up a storm and does not wake up happy. But he's still got the super cute thing going for him. And I don't want to jinx it, but he's slept completely through the night for four nights in a row now.  Of course, since sickie Noelle ends up in our bed almost every night, my sleep hasn't been any more restful.

To some extent we've been avoiding public places because I don't want to be that mom who brings her coughing, snotty kids out in public. But I can only be contained for so long. Cabin fever sets in and even Jonah is ready to break out! We went to my mom's house for an afternoon and we go to Chick Fil A on days when the runny noses haven't been too horrible.

I guess one benefit to being stuck at home is we seem to mostly have Noelle potty trained. She hasn't had an accident in a few days and I've even risked taking her out to public places with no diaper or pull-up, and so far, so good! It's still a battle some mornings to convince her to wear underwear, but Aunt Heather bought her some Frozen characters underwear so hopefully that will get her more excited!  But it seems to have clicked and she's been consistently good about telling me when she needs to use the potty.

I've also started contributing the occasional blog post to MomQuery, including one about Noelle's speech delay and one about some of our favorite bath time toys. I don't consider myself much of a writer but it's fun to use my brain in a different capacity and write about motherhood and babies!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Jonah: 10 Month Update

And just like that, we're two months away from my baby being one!

He continues to be constantly on the move.  He took his first independent steps this month, which started with two little steps, and then days later walked across a room.  He mostly wants to still hold our finger and walk, and I spend most of the day walking around the house like that.  But on occasion we can get him to walk by himself, and I think in some ways it will be nice when he can walk just so he can be a little more independent.

Height and Weight: Sitting him on our scale at home, he was about 18 pounds 3 ounces.  Noelle was 18 pounds 1 ounce at a year old, so we'll see how much he weighs by then even though he's in a smaller percentile than her as of his 9 month appointment.

Sleep:  Just this past week things seem to be getting better for night time sleep.  He and Noelle have been sick, and he's been teething so we had a bunch of nights where he was waking up twice a night. But in the last week he's been waking up between 11 p.m. and 12 a.m. for a feed, and then seems to have mostly eliminated the 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. feed.  And he even had another night of completely sleeping through the night! I will take it!

Naps are still a longer one in the morning about 2 to 3 hours after he wakes up, and a shorter one in the afternoon.  He definitely needs those two naps, but on occasion refuses the second one. Silly Jonah.

gross gross gross

Eating: He nurses when he wakes up, before bed, and at night.  He gets four or five 4 ounce bottles of formula throughout the day.  He seems to not be as interested in cheerios, but he and Noelle downed a bunch of fruit loops right before dinner last night, which of course became dinner.  Healthy mom for the win over here!  He had some Chick Fil A french fries, seems to like peas, and will also eat bits of pretty much whatever I'm eating.  He also eats a peanut butter sandwich pretty much once a day, and is quite adept at feeding himself!

Diapers/Clothing: He's wearing size 3 diapers, and is mostly wearing his  6-9 month and 9 month clothes.  He can still fit 6 month clothing length-wise, but the sleeves are short, so those have all been put away.  Grow, baby, grow.

Social/Milestones: This is the same as last month, and he is on the move!  He had his first steps, and he also discovered the fun of climbing up the stairs!  I ran upstairs for a few minutes and told Luke to keep an eye on him, and when I came back down, Jonah was halfway up the stairs.  Needless to say, we have invested in baby gates.

He still mostly prefers being with me, but he did fine when my mom was over here watching him. She is starting to watch the kids once a week for me for a few hours so I can run out and do errands kid free or have some time to myself.  Amazing!  We usually time it around Jonah's nap so he's asleep for part of it, but he was fine with her being there when he woke up.

He's working on two more teeth coming in, which brings his total to six!  It seems like three of the top ones popped through all at once.  Poor guy, but overall he seems to be handling it well.

Likes and Dislikes: He still loves bath time- thank goodness!  If he's getting super fussy, I can put him in the bath and he gets happy as a clam.  It's so fun watching him interact with Noelle.  He thinks she's hilarious, and we hear a lot of "No, Jonah" and "Get away, Jonah".  Ah, the beginning of a wonderful relationship!  He definitely does better if we leave the house at some point in the day- I think he likes the change of scenery and people watching.

He still does not like being left in the nursery at church, but he did make it through one whole sermon by crying himself to sleep.  He doesn't like being contained to his high chair for too long, and if I leave him to play on the floor while I'm getting dinner together, he fusses until I pick him up or walk around with him.  He's definitely NOT Mr. Independent.

Fun things we did: We've had quite a few snow days in the last month, which Jonah doesn't seem too impressed by.  We celebrated his Grandpa W's birthday with yummy Texas Roadhouse food, and he "watched" his first Superbowl (Seahawks vs. the Patriots).  He celebrated his first Valentine's Day with pizza and a drive around Carroll County.  There was a lots of time spent at Chick Fil A, and a few play dates sprinkled in there as well.

Pictures from the month:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Running and Such

I've continued to be a part of the 5 a.m. club, and I get up to run almost every morning. (Though not quite that early on weekends!) I signed up for a half marathon on April 26, and have been slowly adding to my "long" runs.  This will be my first half marathon since I was pregnant with Noelle and I am excited, but definitely nervous! This past Sunday when we were stuck inside because of copious amounts of snow, I ran 10 miles on the treadmill.  The longest I've run since having Jonah!  Just have to be able to add three more miles to that now.

I'm also still going to bed by 9:00 in order to be able to wake up at 5:00.  It's hard because I don't get any time in the evenings with just Luke, but that makes us appreciate what time we do get together even more.  Luke's sister has been incredibly generous with her time and is watching the kids on the first Friday of the month so that we can go out.  For February, Luke and I went to a local hibachi place where we had the rehearsal dinner for our wedding.  It was so fun to be out and to actually be able to sit through an entire meal together.

Last Monday, Noelle went over to my friend's house for a little bit, and while Jonah was napping, Luke (who had off for President's day) and I got to actually sit down and watch a couple of episodes of Psych.  In the ten months since Jonah was born, we have watched very little t.v. together, which is something we really enjoyed doing before Jonah was born.  Someday.  Someday when the kids are older we'll have time to catch up on t.v. shows.  Right?!?

Both kids have been battling sickness, and it's been especially bad for Noelle.  Both have runny noses, but Noelle has had a horrible cough that mostly comes out at night.  She's come to our bed almost every night for the past two weeks coughing like she's got the black lung, which makes for some not so good sleep for all of us.  But I think we're on the upswing and we can get back to going out in public without worrying about infecting everyone around us.

We got some good snow over the weekend, which Luke was especially excited about.  He's been hoping for a good dumping and he got it.  On Saturday we got probably at least six inches of snow. Then on Sunday, while it took some convincing, Luke took Noelle outside to play.  Once she was out and discovered how fun it was, she and Luke were probably out there for close to two hours.  They built a snowman and made snow angels and walked around in the snow.  While the snow is fun for kids, I am ready for some nice outdoor weather when we don't have to bundle everyone up in 20 layers!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The End of Breastfeeding

We haven't completely stopped nursing, but the end will be soon.  Jonah gets nursed first thing in the morning, before bed at night, and when he wakes up for a feeding in the middle of the night.  But other than that, it's mostly formula and solids.

And I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I'm not really sure how I expected to feel about it either.

In a lot of ways I'm relieved.  Nursing was so hard for me in the beginning, and I never really fell in love with it.  Which I feel bad about as well- I feel like I'm supposed to love everything about being able to provide for my son.  But nursing often felt overwhelming, especially when he refused to take a bottle and I was literally the only person who could feed him.  It was hard telling Noelle all the time that she needed to wait until Jonah was finished with a nursing session before I could help her with anything.

It was hard feeling like I could never be away from Jonah, and worrying about him whenever I was away.  I think I've gotten better about this, but it's still hard! In his almost 10 months of life, I've only been away from him three times at bedtime.  By the time Noelle was 11 months old, I had spent three full nights completely away from her! It's definitely a completely different thing when you're nursing your baby versus formula feeding them.

I'm also a little bit sad.  I don't really feel like I can even say I'm nursing him anymore because he gets so little from me- my supply really isn't much at all.  My goal was to make it to a year, and even if I continue to give him the little I'm giving him now, I feel like I've failed at that goal. BUT I'm so incredibly grateful for formula, and for the fact that it has helped him fatten up a bit.  Noelle didn't get nursed at all really, so I'm thankful for the time that I have been able to nurse Jonah.

I feel a tiny bit scared as well- how will I soothe him back to sleep at night?!?  He has only slept completely through the night a handful of times, and it's so easy to just nurse him for 5 to 10 minutes and put him back in bed.  I know that once we cut out nursing completely, we'll just have to deal with some cry-it-out sessions and eventually he'll learn.

I am looking forward to more independence though.  Luke and I could actually go away for the night and Jonah and I would both be okay.  He is very much a mama's boy and has not done well when we've left him in the nursery at church.  And he usually doesn't do well when other people are holding him, even if I'm right there in the room with him.  I also usually feed him his bottles, so hopefully being weaned completely will help him realize that he's just fine even when other people are holding him.

Noelle gave Jonah a "hat"

Overall, I'm so thankful that I have been able to nurse Jonah.  God certainly helped me through the super tough times in the beginning, and has been leading us the whole time.  Giving Jonah formula at six months is just another reminder to me that God is in control.  One day, when we have a third baby, my breastfeeding goals might be a little different, but hopefully having been able to do it this time will make it a little bit easier!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Heart Everything!

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll it again: holidays are even more fun once you have kids!  There's just something fun about celebrating a baby's first holiday and seeing the excitement of little things through a child's eyes.

We have two little sickies over here, and Noelle did not sleep well on Friday night.  She ended up in our bed and was coughing quite a bit.  Jonah was nice to me and didn't wake up till 8 on Saturday morning, and Noelle woke up at 10, just in time for Jonah to go down for a nap.  Luke was up before everyone (this never happens!) and greeted me with roses.  Definitely a pleasant way to start my Valentine's day.

Luke's mom gave us a Wine Country gift basket for Valentine's day, which was packed with yummy breakfast things- pancake mix, coffee, hot chocolate, shortbread cookies, and other deliciousness.  I attempted to make heart shaped pancakes, but they looked more like odd shaped blobs and were not picture worthy.  But they were super delicious!

When Noelle finally made her way downstairs, she saw the roses and wanted one for herself. Luke picked a thorn-less one out from the bunch and gave it to her, which she proudly paraded around with.  And then promptly broke.  But we saved the day and stuck it back in with the rest of the roses, and gave her a different one in her own little vase.  For lunch, I made Noelle her usual peanut butter sandwich and used a cookie cutter to make it shaped like a heart.  She thought it was pretty amazing, and requested another heart shaped one today.

so proud of her own rose

In the afternoon we braved the cold and made a quick trip out to Walmart (where we bought a heart shaped balloon for Noelle), and then drove around for a little while.  It wasn't super exciting, but we got home in time for Jonah to take a second nap, and then ordered our traditional Valentine's day pizza.  We ordered from a small family run pizza place, so it wasn't heart shaped like the one we got from Papa John's for a previous Valentine's day, but I love pizza no matter the shape!

my littlest Valentine

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Heart Shaped Cookies and Chick Fil A (Again)

Earlier this week, as part of our Valentine's week fun, Noelle and I spent the time during Jonah's morning nap making heart shaped sugar cookies. I went the lazy mom route and we used a store bought mix that just required adding butter and an egg, which she gladly "helped" stir.  I eventually gave her a little bowl with flour in it that she could mix to her heart's content.

She helped me put flour on the counter and cover our (freshly cleaned!) hands with flour to spread the dough and press down the heart shaped cookie cutter.  She loved doing it, though still has to learn the whole using your dough space effectively. Eventually we had cut out enough for our first batch to go in the oven.

Now, the next part requires a little back story.  Our kitchen faucet has been dripping for awhile.  Like constant dripping.  Over the weekend, Luke had determined that it was getting worse and decided to fix it.  He pulled up a video on YouTube that showed him how to do it and set to work. Unfortunately, things didn't go quite as planned, and the cold water handle snapped off.  We laughed about it, and then he figured he would just use crazy glue to stick it back together as a quick fix until we have a chance to go out and look at new sinks.

Well, right as the timer was going off for the cookies, Noelle and I were at the sink washing her hands off.  I quickly shut off the water, but in my over-zealousness, snapped off the handle.  And the water was still running.  And at that exact moment, I heard Jonah crying to be rescued from his crib. I quickly pulled the cookies from the over, ran down to the basement to try to find a tool (no idea what I was looking for) to turn the water off, gave up on that, and ran up to get Jonah.  I tried calling Luke at work, but he didn't pick up, so I texted him, hoping he wasn't in the middle of something with his new boss.

Thankfully he texted me back and told me there was a knob under the sink that would turn the water off.  The water had probably only been running for maybe five minutes, but it seemed so much longer.  At least the crisis was averted!  And silly me thought it meant that all the water was turned off at the kitchen sink, not just the cold, and I spent the rest of the day washing Jonah's bottle in the bathroom upstairs. Definite blonde moment!

parfait time!

We also went to Chick Fil A yet again (and then again today with Grandma) and enjoyed a snack, free coffee, and play time in the little play area.  Noelle is wearing her Christmas dress because she had determined that it was her princess dress for the day, which was nice to have something else other than her Frozen characters princess dress, which is still very beloved.

serious Jonah watching all the kids play

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Luke & Megan: The "I Love You"

Part 1 // Part 2 // Part 3 // Part 4

At the beginning of February, Grove City hosts the PACs swim championships meet, which takes place over three days.  I'd been going to the meet since sophomore year when Luke and I had started dating, and I felt like I was really missing out (and missing Luke!) by not going senior year.  But I wasn't really sure that I should go, or what people would think of me for being there if I did.

When a friend in my sorority asked me to come with her to go see her roommate swim, I couldn't pass up the opportunity and tagged along.  The stands in the pool were completely full, and we couldn't even buy tickets to get in, so we headed to the overflow room where they were projecting the meet on a screen.

loved doing college with these girls

The overflow room was not very big, and as part of God's amazing timing, Luke's parents and sisters happened to be sitting in the overflow room.  My friend and I went over to sit with them and chatted for little, watching what we could of the meet.  I felt a little bit (okay, a lot bit!) nervous, but it was good to see them again and talk to his sisters (one of whom was in my Spanish class that semester and I hadn't spoken to at all.)

After seeing Luke swim, his parents asked if we could go somewhere quiet and talk.  I'm pretty sure I responded with "sure, should I be scared?"  Which of course his parents assured me I did not need to be, and so we headed down to sit on a bench in an out of the way hallway by the recreational gym. Once we were seated, they basically told me they just wanted to talk to me to get a better understanding of why I had ended things with Luke.  From what Luke had told them, and from what they could see (um, obviously I wasn't avoiding him by coming to the swim meets), they knew I still had feelings for him.

Luke and me with Joe on Graduation day

[Random side note: as we were sitting on the bench, our friend Joe from our missions trip team walked by with some guys to go play basketball.  He definitely saw me sitting with Luke's parents and gave me a face asking what on earth was going on.]

In our conversation, I basically told them about my anxiety, and they encouraged me with Philippians 4:6- "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God".  They talked to me about how God is not a god of anxiety and would never use that as a way to make a decision.  His parents shared some more things with me, and then we prayed together.  It was an incredible blessing and encouragement to me, no matter how things were going to turn out.

When the swim meet ended that weekend, they invited me to go meet Luke with them in the GeDunk (our student union) for some food.  They had of course cleared this with Luke before asking me, so he was expecting to see me there.  I remember feeling REALLY nervous, but jittery with excitement about seeing him after months of no communication and only random sightings around campus.  It was so weird, but so amazing to be sitting with him, watching him and his family interact with each other once again.

me and Luke after a fun day at Cedar Point

I remember just sitting there, taking it all in, and not really saying anything during the conversation. But when I figured it was probably time for me to head back to my dorm, Luke jumped up to walk me back. And then we were alone together for the first time since the September.  We talked and laughed about nothing serious, and decided to meet up sometime later that week.

And really, from there, you could say the rest is history.  For at least a few weeks, we hung out around campus, did things with friends, and met up in the warmth of the hallways of the downstairs of the Alumni dorm to talk.  And one night, I finally told him I loved him for the first time.  It was both terrifying and exhilarating.  Once we started talking and seeing each other regularly, we knew that this was it. There was no going back- we were definitely headed for marriage.

my sorority's spring party

But there was also no pressure, certainly no rush after all I had put us through.  I did struggle with some anxiety still, but it wasn't nearly as controlling.  I tried to not let my complete focus be on our relationship, but to also enjoy my last semester with my girlfriends, study for finals, and look for a job.  Once we were official again, my roommates told me that if I broke Luke's heart again, they would break my legs.  And I knew they would.

The rest of senior year was really full- full of hope, fun, and excitement about the future.  Luke and I didn't talk too much about marriage, but it came up every now and then, and we knew our plan was to marry each other.  It felt so right to end the year with Luke, celebrating graduation with our friends and families, and heading back home to Maryland together.

We spent the first year out of college settling into new jobs, attending the same church and building friendships there, and dating each other in the real world.  Our engagement came about seven months after graduation, but that's another story for another time!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Chick Fil A and Bath Time

My new favorite thing this month is Chick Fil A.  Twice, we've already been twice this week.  And the free coffee this month is a perk, but mainly, I go for the play place.  I have got to get on that and find what other local places have a play place.  On Monday we went for a late afternoon snack, and as I was loading us up in the car to leave, I texted my friend to see if she wanted to meet us there the next day for lunch.  Yummy food and a warm place to get out some energy.

this girl loves herself some waffle fries

I try to bathe our children every other day (okay, sometimes it's more like every three days), and I try to time it so the bath is done right about the time Luke is getting home from work.  Luke is only home for about an hour before Jonah goes to bed, so I want him to have some fun time with Jonah rather than dealing with all the craziness of bathing.

On Wednesday, bath time was going quite swimmingly.  Just the usual of Jonah moving around constantly and Noelle saying "no, Jonah!" over and over again as he constantly tried to invade her personal bubble.  I got them soaped up and scrubbed down, and then decided to let them play for as long as things were peaceful.  Mostly, it was Noelle using her bathtub crayons, and me sitting Jonah back down every time he pulled himself up along the edge of the bath tub.

little stinker!

I saw Jonah grip the edge of the tub and it looked like he was getting ready to pull up again, but no, instead, he started to poop!  Cue panic mode of trying to figure out what to grab first!  I pulled him out and plopped him on a towel in our room, all while exclaiming "ew, ew, ew!", which thankfully made Noelle more than willing to get out instead of wanting to stay in to keep playing.  I wrapped her in a towel, grabbed Jonah, and got a diaper on him as quickly as possible.

I have heard of other people's kids doing this, but never in Noelle's 2.5 years has she ever done it! I'm going to partially chalk it up to Jonah being a boy- I mean it did involve poop, and from what I hear, being a mom of a boy will involve lots of poop and farts.  Luke got home shortly after every one was safely diapered and back downstairs, and Noelle was quick to tell him that Jonah pooped in the tub.

I seriously love life with kids!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

January in Pictures

We are definitely ready for some warmer weather!  This is my first winter as a full-time stay at home mom, and I'm trying to get creative about going places without spending too much money.  Cabin fever is fo' real!

Reading books together is fun. Until Noelle gets tired of Jonah grabbing at the pages.

Someone figured out how to turn himself around in the seat of the shopping cart even while buckled in. (This is from one of our many Target excursions.)

 Trying to keep a Jonah entertained in the kitchen while I throw some dinner together.

 There were also many trips to the library.  Which involves lots of blocking the toys from being put into Jonah's mouth.

 This girl is just getting way too big!

 Just hanging out.

We had a couple of snow days.

 This guy turned NINE months old!  And is on the move!

We had some play dates and our PJs and Pajamas party.  I had some much needed me-time and a girls night, and was actually away from Jonah for bed time for two nights this past month.  Which is significant since I've only been away from him for bedtime three times total.  We also had our yearly dinner with my parents and Luke's parents that my mom hosts every year.  All in all, a good start to the new year!