Tuesday, April 18, 2017


Don't doubt in the dark what you know to be true in the light.

The Shield of Faith

After we got back from Colorado, I really started wondering what life would be like with more children. I questioned my motives (maybe I'm just sad I don't have a girl) and I really thought about it and pondered this desire for a long time even before I brought it up to Joe. To be honest, it had crossed my mind numerous times right after I had John. I thought for sure I was pregnant that following May. And my heart sank when it was negative but I brushed off that feeling as just being hormonal and a woman. But in the beginning of 2016, I really thought about it. I asked a couple of mothers I knew what it was like to be "done". I didn't have that same sense they talked about. I even called up my sister in law Valerie (out of the blue) and asked about having only boys and how she felt about it. Her reaction surprised me. She told me that if I ever questioned having more kids that God only gives babies as blessings, and I could regret not adding to my family. That whatever God brought me to, He would bring me through. Even then, I only told Joe that story in passing and never really shared my true feelings. I prayed about it all the time and it weighed on me, all the time. I secretly wished we would just wind up in a 'Suprise, I'm pregnant' moment. 

In April, at a Rend Collective concert, these lyrics spoke to me about my concerns and hesitations: 
In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won't walk out
Your great love will lead me through...
In the silence, You won't let go
In the questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
My biggest fear was my parenting failures. Why should I even think about adding more kids to my family when I am failing the ones in front of me. 
So after even more praying and searching, I broached the topic with Joe. We joked about it at first but the more I pestered him and brought it up, the more it shut me down. In the fall, I told him I was serious; I wanted him to pray about it and discuss it for real. And boy did it not go well. I thought that if I laid this situation in front of him, he could be the decider. He is the husband and the head of this family. I thought if he said he wasn't feeling it, that I could be okay with and submit to that answer. I told him I'd need help getting over it, but eventually, with strength from God, I would be content, and not bitter or angry. He unfortunately, didn't see it that way. He saw a decision with no 'right' answer. We fought. A lot. Bigger and deeper than ever before in our 12 year relationship. I didn't like his reasoning ("I just don't!), and he felt like I was manipulating him.
Pretty much every, single insecurity ever, was brought up. My faith was shattered. Why would I have these feelings and desires for so long even after praying and praying over them? Why would God give this to me only to have it shot down so fiercely? Why couldn't my husband see my point of view and see my heart? God, is this how you are telling me No?! I don't understand! My intuitive nature and 'gut feelings' are what my husband praises me for. Being able to make a split second decision and to be decisive and intuitive are things he admires and trusts me in, but not THIS? What planet am I living in, Lord? How could I be so wrong? How could we be so far apart?
Priscilla Shirer talks about standing behind the shield of faith and the enemy shooting fiery darts that are meant to distract and detract you. We become too busy putting out fires, that we can't advance in the work God has given us. In Luke 5, the calling of the disciples, she points out that the calling of the Lord will often make you go. "WHAT?!" On the road to Emmaus, in Luke 24, the friends of Jesus said their hearts burned when He was near them even though they didn't recognize Him! I thought my heart burned for this calling because Jesus was near. This calling that made me go WHAT?! I thought Joe and I had agreed on 2 kids because it was logical, and practical, and do-able. And now...I've changed my mind. And the enemy sent darts at me: that I'm not a good enough mom as it is, I'm not patient enough, I'm too tired; how much I like my sleep, I could be done changing diapers and getting up in the middle of the night, I could start getting rid of baby stuff that clutters my closet, my health could be compromised, my thyroid could flare, I could get HEG again and be useless for the first 4 months of my pregnancy.
In March 2017, a little over a year since this whole story started, Joe and I came to an agreement. We would try for another child for a period of time and then reassess after that. I feel like this was a complete God thing and I had even mentioned this idea a long time ago. The timing was perfect. I feel like my faith took me to this spot, to rely on God. I cannot say that we are going to have another baby, but I feel like it is in God's will for us to be trying to expand our family somehow. Of course, I want and dream of another child; to become a family of 5 (or maybe 6...), but I'm not sure that is part of our story or not. I want to believe that it is and that is why we went through this. I want to be able to say, "For this child, I have PRAYED", I want to be able to tell this story of faith and say, "Here is the proof! In this big, round belly!" I'm so scared though. What if that isn't how this is supposed to play out? I thought my faith would prove me righteous, but what if this isn't that time? I don't want to put this pressure on God but I feel like I'm doing the right thing. I have a peace that I can't understand but I'm still so nervous to be let down. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

4.5 years

35lbs, size 4 or xxs clothes, and size 11 shoes.
Love sleeping in your new bunk bed and moving into John's room.
Refuse to sleep on the top bunk though!
Master two wheeled bike rider.
Moved up to the 16in bike but had to trim the seat post down a bit.
Every night you ask me "What's in the morning, mama?" because you love having stuff to do and places to be and people to see.
All your teachers at church say you're a joy.
Thoughtful and considerate. When you're brother doesn't earn a snack, you often share with him anyways.
Eating habits have dramatically broadened and that's so encouraging!
When you get mad or frustrated is when you often get out of control and have trouble expressing yourself.
This was not the winter to try skiing. You get the concept but are almost not heavy enough to make the skis do what you want.
Gymnastics has been a blast and your super balance and coordination skills make you an easy show off.

Monday, March 20, 2017

30 Months - 2.5 years

28ish lbs - you're getting to big to carry anymore!
3t pants and 2t shirts, size 7 shoe
It still throws me to see you wearing joeys old clothes and shoes. It makes me do a double take. Sometimes I look at you guys playing and I'm not sure who is who!
Just like everything else I've ever worried about...giving up the paco was the best decision ever and no big deal.
Have absolutely no inhibitions.
Love to jump and climb and never second guess yourself.
Professional whiner and are often spoiled because of it.
Such a picky eater.
Could sustain life off French fries, noodles,  cashews, and water. Not a big milk drinker.
Still love goop, so that makes me think we can round out those odd eating habits.
Have become a master balance bike rider and of course, you ride like a madman.
Don't like being alone and you're lost when your brother isn't around.
Joey taught you how to climb out of your crib. So that's fun.
Too bad you're not ready for a big bed yet.
You love to sing twinkle, Jesus loves me, and happy birthday.
Ironically, at church, your teachers tell me you're quiet and reserved! So not like at home!
It's scary how much you repeat and mimic Joey!!!!
Gymnastics has been a blast and pay attention and follow directions better than I thought.
You're a little bit bigger than Joey at this age and people often ask if you guys are twins! Yikes!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Joey quote

"Mom, I love you 5. And I love dada...5. But I love John 60! He's my best brother and makes me laugh with his duppie!"

Saturday, January 7, 2017

John quote


Me: John you look good! You feel better buddy? 
John: yeah. 
Me: what should we do today? You up for an adventure? 
Me: I don't think grandmas ready for us. 

I think he's ready to be anywhere but here. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

To Compare

I'm so bad at this kind of stuff.

Joey is sensitive and logical. He thinks about other people and is extroverted in the sense he likes to be around people. He likes to be close and touching. Putting him in timeout is the worst punishment because it separates him. He is caring and curious about asking how your day went. He all the sudden starting carrying around a stuffed dinosaur and pretends it's his baby. He's been consistent about taking it everywhere and even putting it to bed at certain times.
He has a great memory and can remember a phrase that a salesman used and then bring it up in conversation 2 weeks later. He tends to let John push him around and often won't fight back. He's content to play by himself and loves anything with wheels. His ability for sound effect rivals his dad's and he has an excellent sense of direction and always seems to know where we're going or how to get there.

John is all heart. He has no fear and wants only to keep up with his brother no matter what ladder, height, or jump is in the way. He loves to throw and could play catch all day. He likes to be entertained and is more of a troublemaker. He will climb the furniture and unravel a giant roll of paper towels and dig through the silverware drawer and pull out a knife. He's a klutz and sets his eyes on something and will trip or run into a wall trying to get there.
John seems to need time away to recharge, where a little time in his crib can calm him down and often tells us when he is tired and ready to go to bed. He scares easily and even our own dog barking will cause him to cry, which is funny because he has loud, shrill scream of his own. His communication skills are lacking so he resorts to hitting and pinching in order to get attention. He does not ever sit still and isn't interested in snuggling or watching TV or playing with toys that don't have him moving and jumping around.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

26 months

John at 2 years and 2 months old

26lbs and 34in tall, those 2T pants are looking a little short...
Collected up all the pacis and gave them to Ms Amy's baby (who was actually her nephew, but you didn't know that). Cried and fussed the first night but the next morning is when you actually handed them over to Theo and you never really looked back.
It's gone so well! Your sleep habits improved almost immediately.
Can say lots of words and phrases but are difficult to understand. I'm often left translating.
So loud. All the time. Talk loudly, play loudly, you're just noisy!
Finally seeing *some* of the persistent parenting paying off in your behavior and attitude like hitting and throwing things.
So much fun to put to bed and go down so easy. Let me rock you and you sing with me and we have all kinds of funny games we play. I love it when you willingly give me kisses!
Hate having a dirty diaper and have no qualms with taking it off yourself or admitting you need changed.
Obsessed with being naked and won't leave things alone. I purposefully still dress you in onesies to keep your hands out of your diaper.
Certainly know how to play the game and pout or pretend in order to get what you want or some extra attention.
Don't like to sit still to watch tv, but Bob the Builder does catch your attention sometimes!
Greatly improved in the past couple of months of hanging out in the nursery at church. Such a relief that you finally believe me when I say Mama will be right back!

Friday, November 18, 2016

When the mountains won't move

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

-Lauren Daigle, Trust in You

Thursday, September 22, 2016


34lbs and 39.5in tall
The daily nap is becoming questionable (sigh...)
Wear size 4 pants and shirts and size 10.5 shoes. 
Just learned how to ride without training wheels and have become a master rider! 
Such a talker! You're never quiet. 
Started playing Micro Soccer for the Funky Chickens and it took some warming up. You were not a fan at first. We can see you love to run around the field and not necessarily follow the ball. You even scored a goal once!

What's your name? Joey. Joey Ambrose. 
How old are you? Three, this many. 
When is your birthday? September 24 
How old is mommy? 5 50
What is your favorite color? Blue and black 
What is your favorite food? Chicken and noodles and green beans
Who is your best friend? Dommo and Leo and papa and daddy and chuck. Grandma. And papa mike too. And Jace and jack. 
What is your favorite movie? Baymax (Big Hero Six) and Robots. 
What is your favorite song? I like to listen to polka and baymax and the Wabash Cannon Ball. 
What are you afraid of? Dinosaurs. 
What makes you laugh? Tickles. 
Where is your favorite place to go? The Lodge! 
What do you want to be when you grow up/where do you want to work? I want to work at Meggit Ford like daddy and sell money. 
What does mama always say to you? Oh that's a tricky one. Don't take things. And don't sneak up on her and wake her up. Like when I hide under your bed. 
What makes you happy? Nothing. 
What makes you sad? When something falls on me. 
What are you really good at? Riding a bike. 
What are you not very good at? Working with hammers. 
What is love? When you love someone you like someone. 
Where do you live? "Recites our address but mixes up the numbers" 
What does daddy do at work? Nothing. 
What does mommy do at work? Make the babies feel better at the bambino. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

John is TWO

My baby isn't a baby! You're a walking, talking, attitude machine!

Wear size 24 month pants, 2t shirts, size 6.5 shoes, and size four diapers.
Weigh 26 lbs and are  inches tall.
You are constantly on the move. 
I know you were "supposed to" but you my son, are the reason we actually do anchor the furniture to the walls. 
Your speech has exploded in the past couple of months and you'll even sing now. 
Love to eat junk food and fruit. 
Try to keep up with your brother at every turn, even so much as pooping on the potty with him and taking over riding his balance bike. 
I feel like if I gave it a 100%, you could be nearly potty trained but that thought is so overwhelming! We'll get there... 
Such a klutz and are constantly getting hurt. You trip over your own feet all. The. Time. 
You hate wearing shoes and socks! As soon as possible, you take them off like in the car, grocery cart, stroller, or just kick them off in the driveway. 
Make the funniest faces and expressions and "give looks". 
Have an attitude as big as the sky. 
Such a sweet and easy kid to put to bed. 
I swear you hide paci's from us so that when we take them away, you go and find your hidden stash. You'd walk around all day with one in your mouth if I'd let you. 
Got your two year molars over a couple of weeks and was waking up every few hours during the night.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Gospel applied

Harsh words will be spoken, patience will wear thin. Frazzled mothers will act frazzled. And when this happens, our own sinfulness does not detract from the power of the gospel; it illustrates why we need it. Do not use your own mistakes as an excuse to wallow about what a bad mother you are. Repent, seek forgiveness, get it right, and move on. Believe. Be forgiven. Extend that forgiveness, that belief, that joy, to your children.

As you go about your daily transformations, set your heart on the truth. Mimic the gospel in what you do. Bring peace, bring order, bring joy, bring laughter. Bring it because it was brought to you. Give, because it was given to you. The gospel is not too big to fit into little situations. It is too big not to.

--Rachel Jankovic, http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/motherhood-is-application

Gosh, it's like this girl speaks straight to my heart. She sure knows how to convict and inspire me. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

My moodiness

  •  Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you (Psalm 42:5–6).

    My soul continually remembers [my affliction and my wanderings] and is bowed down within me. But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him” (Lamentations 3:2).

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A small offering

Think about the feeding of the five thousand when the disciples went out and rounded up the food that was available. It wasn’t much. Some loaves. Some fish. Think of some woman pulling her fish out and handing it to one of the disciples. That had to have felt like a small offering. But the important thing about those loaves and those fishes was not how big they were when they were given, it was about whose hands they were given into. In the hands of the Lord, that offering was sufficient. It was more than sufficient. There were leftovers. Given in faith, even a small offering becomes great.

--Rachel Jankovic, Motherhood as a Mission Field, from http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/motherhood-as-a-mission-field

Monday, August 8, 2016

22 Months

Throwing objects (specifically at your brother) is still a giant problem you have. 
Seem to be a little bit delayed with your speech compared to your brother at this age and other kids we know. But you have more words this month than you did last month, so that's progress! 
My favorite words are granola, airplane, and yea. You don't say no though! 
Really enjoyed your time spent with cousins and Jack really took special interest in you. 
Got your own puddle jumper and you can swim with the big kids now! 
You're a fish and LOVE the water! 
Know how to whine to get attention or what you want or to get your brother in trouble. 
Loved watching fireworks and don't mind staying up late for them. 
You're very polite and say thank you and bless you without prompting but struggle with please. 
And your sharing capability is quite improved!! 


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Beauty of Womanhood

“Who is this who looks down like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, awesome as an army with banners? (Song of Solomon 6:10)
Who indeed? A woman, of course.
Where but in the Scriptures could we find a vision of womanhood as glorious as this? Who but our God could design something with such blinding beauty alongside robust strength? The Psalms and Proverbs fill out this vision of a woman that shows us fortitude clothed in splendor — a woman who presides over her domain with strong arms and resourcefulness (Proverbs 31); daughters that are corner pillars, whose strong support could only be matched by their exquisiteness (Psalm 144:12).The home — that center of all learning, the heart of nation-building, the dispenser of love and stability, the venue for gospel hospitality for single and married alike, in short, the footings of humanity. This home-based influence — because of Christ — can last for a thousand generations, yet our culture urges us to cast it aside for the pursuit of rewards a little less off in the distance and certainly ones that don’t require diapering.And what does it offer in return? Women who strive against themselves, at war with the seeming redundancy of two X chromosomes, in a competition we were never made for and, in our hearts, don’t really want to win. For when a woman sets herself up alongside a man — as made for the same things and without distinction — the result is not uniformity, but rather, a reverse order. Our culture exchanges the glory of feminine strength for a treadmill race to nowhere.
The unique influence of a godly woman is in transforming things. A woman is to be compared to a crown on the head of her husband (Proverbs 12:4). This is not because she’s merely decorative, but because she is the thing that makes her good man great. She transforms a promising bachelor into a purposeful, respected husband. He gives his seed and by some miracle and mystery, God has designed her body to nurture and grow a new person, as Nancy Wilson outlines in her address “Dangerous Women”In this transformative role, whether single or married, a woman mimics her Savior. Like him, she submits to another’s will and, also like him, God uses her to take what was useless on its own and shape it into glory. Dirty things clean; chaos turned to order; an empty kitchen overflowing with life and food; children in want of knowledge and truth and a mother eager to teach; a man in need of help and counsel and a woman fit to give it; friends and neighbors with a thirst for the truth and a woman opening her home and heart to share it with them.
A woman is a prism that takes in light and turns it into an array of greater, fuller glory, so that those around her now see the rainbow that was contained in the beam. She constantly radiates reminders of God’s faithfulness. She reads the black and white pages of the word of God and takes on the task of living them out in vibrant hues for her children, her neighbors, and the world to see. When the Bible commands feeding, nourishing, training, and love, a godly woman sets to the task, enhancing and beautifying everything around her.
God’s design outlined in the Scriptures is a vision for womanhood that is not just right and to be obeyed, it is experientially better than all the world has to offer. And it doesn’t just apply to those who are married or mothers. Single women of any age are meant for full godly womanhood. To be a mother in the deepest sense — that is, spiritually — nurturing and growing all God’s given her.
God has made us for glory, women. Not glory that terminates on us, but glory that spends itself glorifying everything given to us and points in all things to Christ, who is the radiance of the glory of God, the Savior and ultimate transforming one. And as we behold him — his perfection, his saving work, his glorious face — we are changed from one degree of glory to another.
Abigail Dodds, from http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-beauty-of-womanhood

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Motherhood as a mission field

At the very heart of the gospel is sacrifice, and there is perhaps no occupation in the world so intrinsically sacrificial as motherhood. Motherhood is a wonderful opportunity to live the gospel.

Think about the feeding of the five thousand when the disciples went out and rounded up the food that was available. It wasn’t much. Some loaves. Some fish. Think of some woman pulling her fish out and handing it to one of the disciples. That had to have felt like a small offering. But the important thing about those loaves and those fishes was not how big they were when they were given, it was about whose hands they were given into. In the hands of the Lord, that offering was sufficient. It was more than sufficient. There were leftovers. Given in faith, even a small offering becomes great.

Lay yourself down for the people here with you, the people who annoy you, the people who get in your way, the people who take up so much of your time that you can’t read anymore. Rejoice in them. Sacrifice for them. Gain that which you cannot lose in them. 

It is easy to think you have a heart for orphans on the other side of the world, but if you spend your time at home resenting the imposition your children are on you, you do not. You cannot have a heart for the gospel and a fussiness about your life at the same time. You will never make any difference there if you cannot be at peace here. You cannot have a heart for missions, but not for the people around you. A true love of the gospel overflows and overpowers. It will be in everything you do, however drab, however simple, however repetitive.

God loves the little offerings, given in faith. 

Do not think that your work does not matter. In God’s hands, it will be broken, and broken, and broken again, until all who have need of it have eaten and are satisfied. And even then, there will be leftovers.

Rachel Janokvic 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The preferred parent (and it's not me)

This has been going on for some time now; at least a year a half, but probably closer to two years. I remember it started to bother me when he'd wake up in the middle of the night screaming for daddy. And I couldn't calm him down, he'd hit and fight me, claw my face or punch me. The screaming would continue (no matter what I did) until Joe woke up and came in and "saved me". More recently, Joey would wake up at the crack of dawn trying to catch daddy before he left for work. So Joe started leaving earlier and earlier and Joey would wake up earlier and earlier and throw a fit when daddy left or when he woke up and daddy had already left. This is still the case and happens almost 2 mornings a week. On the weekends, I can't put his shoes on or wipe his butt. He won't go to the store with me alone or have me bathe him. He won't snuggle me or give me hugs and kisses at nap time and putting him to bed is out of the question entirely. He says flat out, "I like daddy better" or "You go on the walk by yourself mama". 

So, here is some advice to myself for when I lose my way:

In fact, when your child plays favorites, it's a sign that he feels close to you. "He's secure enough in your love to know that he can jilt you and still get a warm welcome back."

Young children live in the moment. So, “I don’t want you” (or even “I don’t like you”) means “I don’t want you in this moment."

Another gift to children of dual parenting is that children are invited to become more flexible thinkers and, later, more sophisticated problem solvers, because two parents, no matter how much shared value they bring to parenting, will not do things exactly the same.

remember that your child cannot and should not be called to meet your needs for love and care. 

If you must, it's all right to say, "That hurts my feelings," but then let it go. 

Get in the game. When your child is playing, hang around and watch, then see if you can join in, says Dr. Pruett. Chances are, you'll be tolerated, especially if you get down on the floor and follow her lead.

I'm all yours for 15 minutes. What do you want to do?" If he doesn't know, grab his favorite toy and get started having fun

"I understand what it's like to be angry. You can calm down when you feel like it. I'll stay with you." Once she's settled down, he should offer to play with her, with a toy or game.

I'm sorry, sweetie; I know you wish you could have Daddy. I'm here with you now, you're safe, and I love you so much." 

Sunday, June 5, 2016


My mom always said that even though Maggie was a surprise, she was the easiest baby and just fell into place in our family. She thought the transition from 1-2 kids was the hardest. I, on the other hand, definitely think the transition from zero to one was way harder. Joey was colicky and I thought I knew what I was getting into but in reality, I had no FREAKING idea. Even though I could sleep when he slept and snuggle all day long, I was way less tired and exhausted with John than I was with Joey. John had a few things going for him though, he slept, he didn't mind being put down every once in a while, and he nursed. Joey did NONE of those things. We already developed a routine and John fell right into it. 

So what would happen if we had another? How would that transition go? Easy baby, difficult baby? Would it matter? I'm so much more confident, knowledgeable, and relaxed, would it even matter?

I've gotten used to being "alone" and I feel like I've sort of developed my "rhythm of motherhood" so to speak. I know what's easier for me to handle and what makes life harder. 

I've never been happier or more content or fulfilled in my whole life but yet I all he sudden don't feel "done" or feel like my family is whole. I question that thought and those feelings all the time and wonder if we should consider adding to our family.

Having John was a no brainer. We wanted two kids close together so we both agreed very early on that as soon as Joey turned one, we'd start trying for another. It didn't really matter how I was feeling about being a mom at that point, I knew I wanted a close sibling. Now John is older and sleeping and more independent so it feels like this could be the right time. Siblings would still be close in age and I would be a little more situated adding another kiddo. What would happen if I got sick again though? What if it was worse this time around? What if I end of hospitalized and needing a picc or it doesn't get better at 15 weeks? 

Haha none of this even matters though. Everything is out of my control and I'm not guaranteed another breath on this planet let alone another pregnancy or baby or my idea of a "perfect family".  

Thy will be done, Lord. Show me the way to your heart. Help me follow your commands for my life. And let your glory shine through my life. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

20 months

Do not like to share. 
Temper tantrums galore! 
Enjoy the attention you get from screeching at the top of your lungs anywhere, anytime, for any reason! 
Got your first haircut! 
Love to ride in the tractor with Joey. You've learned to hang on tight with his driving! 
Love the water whether it's in the tub, shower, kiddie pool, or at the Lodge. 
Got a double ear infection while daddy and I were away. 
Moved your car seat forward-facing and you were quite scared the first few rides but now you get a giant kick out of being able to see around and interact with the whole car. 
Peekaboo Barn and Snapchat are your favorite things to play on my phone. 
Can climb up the swing set ladder but need a spotter in case. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

18 months

Wear 24 month clothes with some 2t shirts thrown in there. 
Size 4 diapers and a size 6 shoe
Know lots of words and but will only repeat me if I ask and convince you into it. 
Can give real answers to help make your wants and needs understood. 
You seem to function the best when you take a cat nap in the car during the morning errands and then a longer nap in the afternoon which works out well for having you and your brother sleep at the same time. 
We're working on keeping the paci for bedtimes and times of comfort only. 
Joey likes to crawl into the crib with you in the mornings and you guys play. It's sweet ... until it gets too rough. 
Your hair has these big soft curls. It's so fun to play with them when you snuggle me. 
Love to play with your "bruh-ba" and will ask for him when he's at school or bang on his door when he's napping. 
Your food preferences change on a daily basis. It's hard to keep up.
Still love goop though and will ask for it by name. 
Love your junk food and sweets though!

3.5 years old

Weigh approximately 32lbs. 
Wear 3t pants or shorts and 4t shirts. 
I feel like you've had two growth spurts, one near Christmas and one more recently in February or March. 
Potty training has been stupendous! Going number two, took some work (I threatened to throw away your favorite pair of superman undies if you pooped in them again, and it worked!) but you figured it out and have very few accidents. 
Still need size 6 diapers at night and wear "pull em ups" occasionally during nap time. 
A nap is still a must everyday. Even if it's 20 min in the car. 
Love to snuggle in our bed in the mornings. 
Wear size 9.5 shoes and can put them on yourself (hallelujah!). 
Got a bike with training wheels but we hope to have those off soon. 
Started preschool at Stow Alliance with Gabe and have done well adjusting and seem to like going two mornings a week. 
Went on your first airplane ride to Colorado. You sat next to Chuck and played iPad and ate candy the whole time. No big deal! 
You're a big helper and are always willing to give a hand emptying the dishwasher or helping with laundry. 
Favorites foods are cheese roll ups from Taco Bell, chicken nuggets, blueberries, cheese, and pizza. If someone asks what your favorites foods are you say "chicken and rice". Just like your daddy! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

17 months

23lbs 13oz, 2ft 8in, and 19in head at your well check this past month. 
All spot on average except for your 85% head circumference. 
Say a handful of words, mostly names
Call Joey "bruh-ba" and ask for him all the time 
Love to be outside with a ball
Favorite toy is a ball and love to throw anything, which is quite painful at times 
Get really fiesty and don't like to share your snacks
Will nod your head Yes and No but don't say the actual words. 
Pretty much down to one nap a day but struggle at times
Have all your teeth, including your I teeth and molars
Become a bit more picky with your food and will turn down things that were your favorite. 
Those eyebrows though! 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

16 months

Love to climb. Onto the couch, coffee table, kitchen chairs, kitchen table...anything! 
Successfully mastered the chick fil a play place. 
Bite when you get excited and riled up. 
Know some of your body parts like eyes, ears, nose, mouth, feet, belly, and head. 
Still only say Mama consistently but will occasionally belt out a Dada, baba, Papa and even Yaya. 
Love your paso and hide them places. 
Wear 18 month clothes and size 5 shoes. Seem to break out if I use a diaper other than pampers. 
Traveled fairly well to Colorado and back for Christmas (let's just say you weren't the worst baby on the plane). 
Can take off your diaper. Watch out! 
Favorite toy is a ball and love to throw things at people's faces. Watch out! 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

15 months old

"The days are long but the years are short" pretty much sums up my feelings on you, little man. 
I think of you as a tiny infant and not as my second toddler. 
You love to throw things.
And are a carb and chicken -aholic
Very still very much a mommas boy and don't like to be out of my sight or out of my arms. 
But have quite a flexible attitude for me. 
I can say "Go night-night John" and you know it's time to go to bed. You're easy-peasy like that. A song and a minute of rocking and you're done. Thank goodness for an easy bedtime. 
Saw Santa and cried (what did I expect?) 
Love to help and be a big boy like your brother. 
You're an excellent pouter and know exactly how to stick that lip out. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

14 months old

Attitude. And drama. 
You have a lot of it. 
Screech, cry, pout, you'll do it all to get your way. 
Working on no more ba-ba's, but you know what you want and will ask for them. 
Walk pretty much all the time now but are still very accident prone and topple over quite easily. 
Thanksgiving was fun but all you are was buttered bread and crackers. 
Did not like seeing Santa. 
Such a mamas boy and have lots of stranger anxiety. 
Will lean in to give kisses. 
Know where your belly is and will put your finger in anyone's unsuspecting belly button. 
Love apples and would eat an entire one if I let you. 
Worry that someone is going to take all the food so you shovel it in and choke. 
You're tongue is constantly hanging all the way out of your mouth. 
Always want your brother's blankie and not your own. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

13 months old

Finally took your first steps! 
But still crawl more than walk for now. 
That poor little noggin sure takes a beating for all the learning and balancing you're doing though. 
Faked me out and are still taking two solid naps a day 
And are beginning to sleep through the night again. 
You bite. Often. 
So we dressed you as a shark/piranha fish for Halloween. 
Dada was supposed to be the fisherman that caught you. 
Able to climb up on just about anything and will nose dive off the futon on purpose. 
Love to scream and shake your arms to get attention or food. 
You'd think you're a bottomless pit sometimes. 
You'd eat all day if I let you. 
They only way to guarantee you won't bite is to put a paso or food in your mouth! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

12 months old - ONE year old!

What a month, John-boy. 
On your actual birthday we were standing in the kitchen when you proceed to barf all over me and thus started a 6 day long adventure in vomit, diarrhea, an ER visit and getting admitted to the hospital. 
And then a week later you caught a fever and rash your brother so kindly shared with you. 
And then you got three new teeth. 
Exhausting is an understatement. 
All of this has traumatized you to anyone who wears a stethoscope and has made you cling even more so to me. 
We've had a whole lot of cuddling going on this month. 
This was the only time I ever missed and regretted not being able to nurse you. 
Had to postpone the birthday party and then you were sick anyways and didn't get to celebrate at all; you wouldn't even eat the cake and slept through most of it. 
But you finally got that fourth tooth on the bottom to even you out! 
Your One Year stats: 20.5 lbs and I honestly don't know how tall (sorry bud). But you're about 50% for everything. 
SO CLOSE to walking but not quite yet and boy does it frustrate you! 
Speaking of which, you have quite an attitude and flair for the dramatic; talk about some temper tantrums! 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The past 11 months

Will babble Ma-ma-ma-ma to cry for me or to get me attention. The mamas get real long and drawn out when you're tired. 
If I catch you doing something silly and laugh at you, you will continue doing that same thing until you physically can't anymore! 
You're questioning the need for two naps a day
And aren't back to sleeping through the night. 
Have done really well riding in the trailer (except for once) 
Really know how to throw and fit and cry when something doesn't go your way but
Love to play with your brother 
Or climb over your dad on the floor 
And feed the dog from your high chair. 
I Wonder when you'll get some hair?! 
I'm really sad you're about to turn one :( where did my baby go? 
Back to a happy stage of development and are such a "happy baby" now

Monday, August 31, 2015

Three years old

At three years old: 
Yikes, the terrible twos are a real thing. 
You can be very aggressive and mean at times but also love to snuggle and can be very sweet and giving. 
You're a parrot and repeat everything. Going through the drive-thru is a lesson in concentration! 
Are VERY slow to wake up just like your momma
The big boy bed has been no big deal and I can't wait for you and your brother to share a room one day. 
Would prefer not to ride in the stroller but walk instead
Really mastered your balance bike and can go for a mile or two 
Love swimming and don't mind going under or getting wet but are not a fan of the giant splash buckets. You had a blast at GWL. 
Started violin lessons with Gabe.
Can count to (approx, give a take a missing number) 10, know yours and all of our full names and what street we live on. 
Even call me Mama Jessie sometimes when you want to be silly. 
Need 3t pants for length but they're so baggy everywhere else (an adjustable waistband is a must!) and usually wear 3t shirts. Still wear size 4 diapers and a 7.5 shoe. 
Can put your sandals or crocs on yourself, AMEN! 
Favorite toy is anything with wheels like matchbox cars, monster trucks, and trains. 
Have "Adventures with Gram" on Wednesdays and ride in her car and go to the library, the park, "Chick-a-lay"
Potty training is going really well! You took to peeing on the potty great but pooping, not so much. 
Will pray (and often remind us) before dinner and thank Jesus for everyone at the table. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

10 months old

Can pull up to stand on just about everything
Get very frustrated when you can't do something or can't keep up 
Took you back to PT because you weren't crawling on all fours yet, and you promptly learned how to crawl on all fours! 
Love to babble and make noises and raspberries 
Can call out Da-da, ba-ba, and even Ma-Ma if you want something! 
Ever since we got back from GWL, you haven't been sleeping very well and went through a stage where you wouldn't take a bottle. 
I think you'll have a silly and light-hearted personality. You love to be silly and make me laugh. 
Can wave hello and goodbye 
Love, love, love to get my phone and Joeys sippy cup. 
Got another bottom tooth
Being the second child and youngest had worked out for you and you've gotten sweets much earlier than your brother ever did! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Nine months old

At your nine month well check you were 18lbs 10oz and 28.5inches tall. They said you have a big head too! 
Not crawling yet but will stay on all fours and can translation to sitting 
Have a blast swimming in Gram's pool or our baby one 
Hate being still long enough to get your diaper changed 
Bit me while nursing and I yelped and you won't nurse any more :( Guess that's the end of that
A Very effective army crawl can get you all the way across the house and 
Think you're hot stuff too!
Have blisters and calluses on your toes from the way you crawl
Mostly sleep through the night - will wake up just befor dawn and take a bottle and go back to bed 
Learned how to pull up in your crib and had to lower it right away
Had lots of fun at Great Wolf Lodge and love to swim! 
Can point, clap, dance, and raise your hands up to sign All Done! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

It's not about feelings

Do what makes you holy, no matter how you feel. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Eight Months Old

Got tired of sleeping through the night and started switching it up by waking up all the time. 
Wear 12 month clothes 
Can clap your hands 
Love swimming and playing anything water related 
Got top two teeth 
Cut down to nursing only 3 times a day and added in some formula bottles. 
And you don't mind at all 
Will eat anything and everything out in front of you
Like riding in the bike trailer 
Met your California cousins 
army crawl and roll to get where you want
Can solidly sit up but will just purposefully face plant to go from sitting up to laying on the floor
Got your first ear infection and course of antibiotics - you were so sad! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Seven months

Slept 10 hours one night!
And have consistently slept 8-10 every night! 
Generally wake up happy and smiling 
LOVE food and will screech if I can't shovel it in fast enough
Will eat or attempt to eat anything I put in front of you
Able to climb/fall/lean out of the bumbo - which is a sad day
But you can sit up on your own now
First bike ride in the trailer went well 
Still nurse 5-6 times a day and once in the middle of the night but sleep through the night 3 or 4 times a week too!!
Still in 9 month clothes and size 3 diapers
Rolling, squirming machine! So close to crawling! 
Can sit up in a shopping cart
Hate being left alone even if I'm just throwing a diaper away. 
Must have visual contact with me at. all. times. 
Can sit up in the bathtub with some assistance 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Good mothering

Be brave and courageous and tell us your struggles. We will always listen to your courage. And we will love you through anything. Love does not always agree or affirm someone — but it is always sacrifices for someone.  

This is what good mothering, what good parenting does: We don’t say,  “Do whatever you want, just be you.” We say, “Become whatever is the best version of you — just be like Him.”  We will lay down and sacrifice and serve you with our lives — so that you can have the best kind of life. 

This is the expansive embrace of Christianity: There is always first no condemnation — followed always by a movement into transformation.

--Ann Voskamp, 4/30/15

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Two and a half

At two and a half years old: 

Weigh about 28lbs according to the home scale
Wear 2t (adjustable waist) pants and mostly 2t shirts and size 4 diapers and a size 7 shoe. 
Can pee on the potty before a bath or shower and can tell me when you have a dirty diaper
Speak in complete sentence and can verbalize what you want ... Mostly 
Will eat whatever is put in front of you with some bribery
Like facing forward in the car and can point out all the trucks, school buses, fire trucks, and diggers
Christmas was a lot of fun this year with cousins. And you continue to ask for them to come play. 
Moved to a bed in March without issue
Go to Home Depot and Lowes kid workshops with dada 
Still obsessed with Daddy
Like to help whether it's with the laundry, getting a diaper for John, making waffles, or washing yourself up in the shower. 
Sit in a booster at the dinner table now. 
Becoming quite the little man with an attitude and have a definite opinion and personality. You know how to make us smile or mad

Saturday, April 11, 2015

More on Marriage

It’s called effort. It’s called selflessness. It’s called not everything is about your damned feelings. Sometimes you have a job to do. A duty. A responsibility to your wife, to your kids, and to God (incidentally, this was yet another secular marriage sermon that completely puts aside the spiritual component, which already makes it effectively useless).

“Love, and do what you will,” as the great Saint Augustine said. “If you keep silent, do it with love. If you cry out, do it with love.”

One imagines if he were around today, he might add, “if you text message, do it with love. If you use Pintrest, do it with love. 

Love is a choice. Love is always a choice. Love is an act. Love is a promise. Love is fulfillment. If social media gets in the way of love, cut it off, like Christ commanded. But if it doesn’t — if you can keep these things in perspective and in balance and still love your spouse — then so be it.

-- Matt Walsh blog, 4/10/15

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Power and Love

More than once I have heard God say that power belongs to him and that his love is constant. (Psalm 62:11-12 GNT)

All powerful and all loving. All at the same time. 


"We can do more the kingdom of God together than we can apart" - our marriage motto 

3 Reasons for Marriage

To reflect the image of God and be more like Him
Genesis 1:26 - God created man in his image and said it was no good for him to be alone so he created Eve, a helper and companion to Adam 
Ephesians 5:22-31 - to make us more like Christ and show us a picture of the church 

To reproduce 
Genesis 1:28 - be fruitful and increase in number 
Psalm 127:3 - children are a blessing 

To reign and subdue the earth 
Genesis 1:28 - to fill the earth and subdue it. To be good stewards of our resources and battle for the kingdom of God together 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Six months old

At your 6 month well check you were 15lbs 12.6oz and 27in
Wear 9 month clothes 
Will lay on your tummy and squirm and worm and roll to try and get a toy
PT says your neck is better (not great but better) but your trunk muscles have compensated and we need to work on those to prevent scoliosis 
First tooth poked through the gums! 
And second too!!
Take consistent naps 
Like to be rocked to sleep
Can throw your paci across the room (there must be hundreds of them under the crib) 
Did well with pears, squash, and green beans. Tried toast and baby rice cakes. 
Love any food you can hold or feed yourself. You'll even snub your nose at a spoonful of goop in order to get a cracker or puff. This baby-led weaning thing might be for you. 
Spent 24 hours with Granma and Joey while mama and dada had some time alone - and her arms were tired! You're a mamas boy! 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Five months old

March has been a rough month
You, your brother and I got croup
Then the stomach bug
So our good sleeping and eating routine went out the window. 
You are capable of rolling onto your tummy, just choose not to
Had the first break in weather and got outside for some walks
Tried applesauce for the first time and did NOT like it
Had a fun St Patrick's day with Granma Nancy, Papa John, Granma, and Maggie 
Eczema got much better there for a week but then flared up again. Poor kid, you're so itchy and dry no matter what! 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

New day

Lord, we thank You that tomorrow is a new day. We ask that You would meet us in the morning with fresh strength and power so that we can make the most of each opportunity You place in our paths. Amen

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A loss of innocence

My son disappointed me today, the first of many times, I'm sure. I felt like a failure. I was embarrassed. And I barely made it out without crying and losing my composure. Fortunately, the God of grace loves my boy even more than I do. 
I'm not called to be a perfect parent and I can't expect perfection from my children. 

I read this and it spoke to me about today's incident: 

"I need only know that Jesus is bigger than any mistakes and His love covers all sins. And then give that gift of freedom to my kids." 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Four months old

14lbs 6.4oz and 26.2in - Spot on with your brother at this age
Left you on your back on the floor, came back and found you on your belly. Not sure if you did it or if Joey rolled you, which is a very real possibility.
Able to roll off your belly. 
Moving you into your crib in your room was the best decision ever. You and I both sleep so much better! 
But you're still up 1-2 times a night. 
You seem to have two personalities: as happy as a clam with a smile and laugh that lights a room OR as pissed and angry as can be with crying and tears and screaming. There's really no inbetween. 
Your nap/feed schedule is a little more discernible but still needs work. 

Things heard in my living room

"Oh no, JoJo's crowd surfing balls down! That's never a good idea." - 09/12/14

Learned something today, don't shower with Joey before his morning poop. You will regret it. 

"Please don't vacuum your brother!" -Constantly 

"Get. Your. Yogurt. Out. Of. Your. Ears." -10/6/14

"Please get your cheerios out from in between your toes." Heard on 2/12/15

"Don't worry mama, I saw you gently. Just toes only," said Joey, while running his toy circular saw up and down my leg on 03/02/15

"Don't drive on your brother." -heard constantly

"Why are you licking him?!" -Heard on 4/8/15

"You're diaper is so soggy, I bet I'll find wrinkles on your doop"  -4/25/15

"Are you teaching them fart humor already?!" "I've been trying for 2.5 years already!" -6/14/15

"You may NOT have any of my caramel macchiato! Now get your fingers out!"  -06/18/15

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Three months old

Somewhere in the vicinity of 13lbs and 11oz 
Wear 6 month clothes and sleepers and can't keep socks on to save my life. 
Christmas and New Years with the cousins went well and you slept the night away on Yaya's bed. 
Able to get rid of the shield for good one day when I forgot it at home. 
Decided to go on a 3 day nursing strike and drive me crazy trying to nurse you, and then pump and feed. 
Got your first bottle of formula because you were stressing me out, kid. But we're back to nursing now! 
Still don't have a day time schedule yet and like to take 20 minute cat naps all the time. 
The torticollis has not gotten better and we're doing once a week PT and daily exercises and stretches. 
Able to roll up on one side but not all the way over yet.
Sleep in the pack and play and still in our room. 
The four month sleep regression hit hard. 
Love to squeal and hear your own voice. 
Don't like to nurse to sleep but would rather be rocked and shushed and bounced. 
Able to hold your head up really well and use your abs of steel to pull yourself to try and sit up. 
Seem to be getting more crabby and fussy as you get older :/ 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Two months old

Sleep in your bassinet in the pack and play at night and sometimes for naps. 
Your schedule isn't as set or as noticeable as joeys was at this age. 
But we do have a little bed time routine going and that seems to help. 
Usually will sleep from 8pm to 2 or 3am and then feed and go back to bed until 5 or 6 then feed again. Usually joey wakes you up for the day around 8. 
Right in between 3 month and 6 month clothes. 
In fact, Yaya put a 6 month sleeper on you for the first time and I cried! 
Wear size 2 diapers
Are taking to the paci well. 
Still hate the car seat and will scream even if you're feed, happy, and have a clean diaper. Sigh.
Started PT and after two weeks of stretches and exercises you seem much improved! We go back for follow up in another two weeks. 
Love to chew on your hands and stick your tongue out. 
Already drool like a machine just like your brother. 
Just started to laugh and have such a contagious smile!