Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Holt Turns THREE


Y'all. My mama heart can't handle the fact that it's been three years since I first laid eyes on this beautiful child of mine. The one who made me a mama.

1095 days and 26, 280 precious (and let's be honest, some not so precious) hours with him. He has taught me more in the last three years than just about any other human being has in my 28 years on this earth. Because of him, I have a greater understanding of God's unconditional love for me as His child (and how His heart must hurt when I disobey or make bad choices).  Because of him, I have a better understanding of how selfish I am as a human, and I have learned what it truly means to have a servant heart--to put someone else's needs before my own (pretty much all the time).

Motherhood is a calling. It is THE HARDEST thing I have ever done. But it's also the most JOYFUL and REWARDING thing I've ever done too. Motherhood is having your heart walking around outside your body. And this one right here started it all. From the moment I heard his tiny heart beating on that very first ultrasound to the moment I heard his first cry to the moment of tucking him into his big boy bed.


So what is Holt up to at three years old?

He has a big heart--he is seriously one of the sweetest kids I've ever met. He is very in tune with people's emotions and will say, "Mama, you mad?" or "Mama, you happy?" Or he will notice others and ask why they are mad or sad.

He is extremely inquisitive. I know most 3 years olds ask lots of questions because that's just their brain exploding with learning a whole bunch of things at once. But, my word! Not only is Holt a typical 3 year old, but he is his daddy's child. Meaning, it's like questions on questions on questions. ALL. DAY. LONG. "Mama, what is this?" "It's a bug Holt." "What kind of bug?" "A locust." "Why is it a locust?" "Because that's how God made it." "Why is that how God made it?" Etc, Etc, Etc....
Sometimes I just have to go in my closet and close the door to just breathe for a second.

He has started showing physical affection. He will consciously come give me a hug or want to cuddle on the couch. And at least once a day (but usually much more) he'll say "Mama, I give you a kiss?" And then, "Mama, I give you a butterfly kiss?" And then, "Mama, I give you an eskimo kiss?" Gah, it just absolutely melts me. Everytime.

He definitely thrives on routine and everything being in its place. He is not very keen on change. We have had LOTS of change this year, but he has handled it like a champ. Daniel got a new job and we moved to a new church with new people, we moved to a new house (back into Fort Smith), he got his tonsils and adenoids taken out, and he moved out of his crib into a big boy bed. That's a lot for a little kid to handle and I have to say I have been so proud of him.

He still loves lawnmowers. Everytime we go to Lowe's, we stop and let him "ride" every single one. He has started expanding his love for trucks though--dump trucks, cement trucks, fire trucks, semi trucks, you name it. Oh, and airplanes and helicopters. We live close to a military base so we typically have fly overs by our house and he always tells me, "Mama, some day I want to drive an airplane."

We have started working on memorizing Bible verses with him. Since January, he has memorized three verses and we are working on the fourth. This has been such a sweet time with him! And it helps me memorize them too.

He loves to watch TV. During the summer, it's more of a struggle to fill our time with other things (mainly because Evie makes it harder to get out of the house) but once the school year gets going we stay busy with Mother's Day Out and BSF and playdates. He still loves Daniel Tiger, but is slowly expanding to Bubble Guppies and a few educational shows on Amazon Prime. He also loves Trolls and Moana. And still loves 101 Dalmatians and Lady & the Tramp.

Probably the biggest news this year is that he is potty trained!! We still put on pull-ups for nap and nighttime but other than that, he is in underwear and fully goes to the potty without prompting! Also, he 's a little obsessed with going in the urinal (LOL).

He still takes one nap a day from 12/12:30pm-3:00pm. I usually have to wake him up! Bedtime is till 7:30pm and he normally sleeps til 7:30/8am. He is a really good sleeper!

I have started writing down some of the funny things Holt says! Enjoy!
 "Mama/Daddy, you hur (hear) me?"
"Daddy how you make that fire? Because daddy is a man, son. Holt is a man."
"How you doin dad?"
"Don't worry it bout it mama"
"I need to put on my swim-soup (swimsuit)"
"Mama is drinking out of the toilet daddy" (referring to when I had a stomach virus)

His vocabulary and understanding of what is happening around him is astonishing to me. He is to the point now that I can have little conversations with him which is crazy! I cherish those little moments of asking about what he learned at church or Vacation Bible School or what all he did on his latest adventures with Melly and RoRo.

Weight: will update after appt on 08/15
Height: will update after appt on 08/15

Holt Parker,

I am so proud of you. You have handled this last year so incredibly well! You are a great big brother to Evie and have started trying to "play" with her in the playroom. You love to have tickle fights with her and chase her around the house. You love to spend time with me and daddy but you also are so brave in doing things by yourself or with new friends. You are so smart and I can't wait to see how much you learn in "school" this year! You fit so perfectly into our family and we are so glad you're ours! Love you to the moon and back little man!

Love, Mama

Photo dump (from the last 6 months):

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

To my husband on Father's Day:

When I would daydream about my future as a little girl, I imagined I would have a husband that would be my knight in shining armor, sweeping me off my feet and riding off into the sunset with me, straight back home to our house full of children who would behave like little angels and we would be one big, happy family.

Obviously, fairy tales aren't real life, so that didn't happen. But what DID happen is I found a man who loves God more than me, who strives to do the right thing even when it's hard; a man of character and integrity and honor; a man who works hard to provide for his family; a man who treats his wife as an equal partner, respects her, loves her, and keeps her in line when needed (because we all know how bossy and sassy I can be); a man who loves his children FIERCELY and would do anything for them; a man who willingly got up with me for middle of the night diaper changes and feedings and fussy babies; a man who comes home from work and immediately runs to his children to wrestle and spend time with them; a man who realizes how important it is that I have breaks from the kids so I don't burn out; a man who makes me laugh; a man who puts up with my hormones even when they are flat out crazy (hello pregnancy and post-partum); a man I love more now than I did the day I married him.

I am so proud and honored to be your wife and to have you as the father to my children. Thank you for being you. And thank you for doing this whole parenting thing with me---you pretty much rock at it.

You're my person and I love you.

P.S. this year it just so happens your 30th BIRTHDAY is the same day as Father's Day. i'm excited to experience a new decade with you and celebrate you TWICE!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Evie: 12 Months


We made it. In the very beginning, I wasn't sure we would. But after about month 3, time has FLOWN. Even amidst all the hard days and sleepless nights, time seems to go way too fast. We went from a sleepy little newborn baby girl to a WALKING, talking, laughing precious little toddler girl.

When Holt turned one, I wrote a post about 12 Lessons in 12 Months of Motherhood. The same applies with the second kid too! It's been a good reminder to go back and re-read.

Evie finally started walking this month! It has been the absolute cutest thing! Of course it was the week after we moved into our new house and it was like all of a sudden she figured out she could do it! And she is SO proud of herself. She just walks around with her little arms in the air and the biggest smile on her face. She has mastered it so well already--she can walk while holding toys or a cup or a snack. It is so fun!

Walking has seemed to bring her out of her shell too because her personality has just exploded! She has turned into such a ham! She cracks herself up and loves to discover new noises. It's hilarious to see her and Holt together--he says "Mama! I make Evie laugh!" Then he starts fake laughing and then Evie laughs at him and then he starts really laughing and they just keep going for like a full minute. You can't help but laugh too! Makes my mama heart burst.

We celebrated Evie's first Easter this month.

We officially moved into our new house this month. SO glad that's over!

Evie wore her first baby ponytail this month. Goodness she makes a cute little Pebbles!

She was Holt's biggest cheerleader during his tonsil surgery. You can read the full story on that HERE!

She busted a new tooth this month! Last month one of her top teeth came through and I thought the 2nd one did too, but it kept going back up in her gums. It FINALLY popped the other day. Now I think she's teething several other teeth though. It has been interrupting her sleep which is no fun. Poor thing.

She has a couple new words! She now says "uh-oh" for just about everything. But especially when she drops something on the floor--whether accidentally or on purpose. She just started saying "wheee!"and every now and then she says "wow!" But her two favorite words are "mama" and "uh-oh" lol.

WE FINALLY MASTERED THE SIPPY CUP. Oh my goodness. I thought she would never figure it out. Stubborn little thing! Wonder where she gets that from ;) And now that she has figured that out she drinks so much more fluid! It used to be a huge struggle to get her to drink 12-16 oz a day. Now she probably gets minimally 20oz a day.

Also, baby girl can EAT. The other day for breakfast she had a donut, whole banana, a waffle, an egg and a cup of milk. Her belly was huge!! And 2 hours later she was ready to eat again. She's still so tiny so I"m not sure where she's putting it, but goodness! Thankful to have another healthy eater!

Weight: 18 lbs 11 oz (30th percentile)
Height: 28 ¼ inches (20th percentile)

Favorites: *her daddy *her brother *her mama *food *walking *being outside *any kind of ball *music

Sleeping: Sleeping has not been the best this month. Between moving, teething, trying to learn how to walk, and going through a leap, it's been rough. Thankfully she still sleeps all night, but she has been waking up between 6-6:30AM and then only sleeping about an hour during the day. Sometimes an hour and a half. We have moved to one nap a day (WAY earlier than Holt did) but that seems to help. AND we have been putting her down for nighttime between 5:45-6PM. NO JOKE. Since she doesn't sleep much during the day she is just utterly exhausted and can't make it past that. I have to be honest, it's kind of nice. But it's crazy to me!

Feeding: As mentioned above, she is a fantastic eater. So nice to finally be at the point that we don't have to space out feedings and bottles and can just "wing it" with snacks and meals and cups of milk. We live on pouches and puffs and goldfish for snacks. She eats a waffle or an egg with cheese and a banana with milk for breakfast. Lunch is usually a peanut butter or grilled cheese sandwich with goldfish. And dinner is usually whatever we eat--she loves tuna, chicken, veggies, pasta salad, breakfast for dinner....whatever!

Typical schedule:

6-6:30AM  up for the day
7AM  milk and breakfast
playtime and snack at some point
10:45-11AM  lunch
11:15-11:30AM  nap
(if I'm lucky, she sleeps until 2 but not usually)
snack after nap
5PM  dinner
5:45-6PM  bedtime (sometimes we can stretch it to 6:30PM for bedtime but not often. if we have night plans then I'll probably let her have a later afternoon nap so she can handle it)

Photo Dump:

moving week

i'm right there with ya sister!

annnd two seconds later...

we have a walker!

birthday donuts! 

love my little one year old!

these two. goodness my heart just melts

heart eyes

mama! take a picture now that we are clean! 

Celebrating Mother's Day with my loves

Happy FIRST birthday my Evie-girl! We are so thankful for your life and the joy you bring to our family! Praying you will be a woman of strength and character--a heart of a warrior and and loving and gentle spirit. Keep that spunk of yours! It makes life interesting ;)