Monday, December 15, 2014

Mary, Did You Know?

I love Christmas music. Some are silly and fun and catchy, others are very meaningful and make me ponder the true meaning of this season. One of the latter ones is "Mary, Did You Know?". During this Advent season, as I snuggle my 4 month old son, I keep pondering the words to that song: 

Mary did you know that your baby boy will some day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I AM.

I tear up every time I hear that song. I feel like now that I have a child, I can relate to Mary in a different way than I ever have before. I cannot imagine, knowing about the role her son would play in the future, the emotions that she went through. I'm sure she went through all the normal "mom" emotions---unconditional love, awe, wonder. I'm sure she stared at her newborn son, consumed by amazement that He was God Incarnate. I'm sure she stared at him wondering if he knew who he was as a baby. I can imagine her anguish when he cried, not knowing exactly what he was crying about, and probably crying with him. I can imagine the immense joy of seeing his first smile and hearing his first laugh. I can imagine how proud she was when he conquered new milestones--sitting up and reaching for things and saying "momma" for the first time. 

I am sure she was flooded with gratefulness and utterly humbled that God chose to bestow this amazing gift to her, but yet it was probably also such a burden. It's hard enough to be a parent, but to be a parent to a PERFECT child, the Son of God? He never had to be disciplined because he never sinned. I imagine she probably felt resentment every now and then towards her other children because they WERE sinners and had to be disciplined. Wow. Talk about a tall order. 

One other thing that makes me tear up every time I think about, is the pain she must have went through when he was being tortured and whipped and beaten and crucified. FOR ME. As a mother, your heart physically hurts when your child is in pain. To watch your son go through that, knowing that was the plan all along; knowing He had to go through it to fulfill the prophecies and the new covenant; knowing that it was the right thing. I figure that didn't make it any easier. She was still his mother and I cannot imagine the excruciating pain that must have caused her.

The Christmas Story has taken on an entirely new meaning for me this year. And it makes me even more amazed and thankful to my God that He allowed His son to go through all of that for me. To save ME--an unperfect, sinful human being. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Holt: 4 Months

"Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation."--C. Everett Koop

What a great reminder. And how true! AND…how is my baby already 4 months old? What a joy he is!  He is such a wonderful fit for our family. I am so thankful and humbled by how the Lord created him just for us.

*Milk allergy update: Holt has responded extremely well to me going dairy free! It has taken us this whole month for it to completely get out of both of our systems, but he is feeling so much better! Thank you to those who have been praying for us. The good news is he should grow out of this between 6 months and 1 year--although I'm guessing it will be closer to the 1 year mark since his sensitivity seems to be somewhat severe.

*Thanksgiving: We celebrated Holt's first Thanksgiving and it was a blast! You can read all about that here

Weight: 11 lbs 9 oz (3rd percentile)--he has lost about 3 oz. since our last visit. The pediatrician doesn't seem worried because he is continuing to sleep well at night and be on target developmentally too. We are just going to do everything we can to ensure he is getting the proper nutrition.
Height: 25.5 inches (85th percentile)

Milestones: *he holds his head up pretty much all the time now *he found his toes and loves to grab and chew on them *he talks to us all the time *he laughs every now and then *standing is still his favorite--the kid can seriously stand for 10 minutes at a time *he can see at longer distances---he can recognize us across the room and has started to look out the window in the car *his pincher grasp is improving--he can pick up toys and bring them to his mouth

Sleep: Oh man. This has been somewhat up and down this month. He HAS slept through the night several times (yay!)--I'm talking 8:30PM-7AM. That. Is. Glorious. Let me tell you! However, he will do that a couple nights in a row, and then bam! The next night, he wakes up around 5:00AM or so. We had a particularly rough week and a half around Thanksgiving because he had a pretty bad cold, which made it to where he couldn't breathe very well, and his reflux was acting up pretty bad so he wasn't eating as well. Both of these combined made it rough for the sleep department. He still takes 3 naps a day, although some are only 30-45 minutes, but all in all he does great.

Favorite Things: *his toes *his fists *music *talking and interacting with us *looking at lights and out the window *cuddling *shower time

Feeding: This has been up and down this month too. Since we left to go to Miami and I was gone from him, I had to pump to keep up my supply. However, even doing that your supply still gets a little low. It's been tough on me to get it back up to where it was--especially because when he had the cold and his reflux acted up, he refused to eat. I was having to supplement with formula because I knew he was hungry and he felt like he had been losing weight. It was so hard! Thankfully, at the tail end of being sick he hit a growth spurt (he ate every 1-2 hours during the day for about 2 days straight). I think the result of that helped my supply increase and get back to normal because ever since then we haven't seemed to have as many problems. It's been a rough couple of months between the milk allergy and my supply dropping, but hopefully we are on the upswing now!

practicing sitting up in the Bumbo

loving that fist!

yeah, this was one of THOSE days

His cousins, Caroline and Olivia, absolutely adore him! 

ready for church

Holt's first Thanksgiving

So thankful to be married to him :)

He LOVED his Aunt Hannah!

…and cousin Will (the last boy in my family born 20 years ago)

such a BIG boy!

75 degree weather in November? yes please!

Thanksgiving family photo

Found our toes!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holt's First Thanksgiving

 I'm pretty sure that this is my new all-time favorite photo. He looks so BIG here! Crazy to think that last Thanksgiving, I was pregnant with this little punkin' and didn't even know it. 

We celebrated Holt's first Thanksgiving last week--I'll be honest, it was a rough week. He got a pretty bad cold starting Sunday; Monday night he screamed (SCR-EAMED) for over 2 hours and refused to eat; Tuesday he ran a fever and continued to refuse to eat; Wednesday I took him in to the doctor thinking he was getting something worse than a cold, but, nooooo, he was absolutely fine---no fever, no fluid in his ears or lungs, smiling and talking as if all is right with the world. His best day was Thanksgiving Day (praises). He just talked and smiled and let everyone hold him and he did great for pictures. Friday we started getting bad again--snotty nose so bad we can't breathe and I think his reflux is getting worse. Whew! 

However, despite all that, it was such a sweet time with family. I feel like the holidays take on even more meaning once you have children--watching your child bond with your parents and grandparents and siblings and aunts and uncles and cousins is just so much fun. It makes me appreciate the value of family even more and got me to thinking about how truly BLESSED we are. What a privilege to be born into a family that loves each other and to have grown up loving to spend time with them--I mean, my sister and cousins were my best friends! I am so excited for my children to experience the same thing with their siblings and cousins. Of course there was yummy food (half of which I couldn't eat because of the no dairy thing) and we spent the rest of the day watching football and skeet shooting. We truly have much to be thankful for! 

Our little family of three

Good grief I love this man

Holt LOVED spending time with his Aunt Hannah

Holt-man, words cannot express how much I love you. Sometimes it hurts my heart because it just overflows with love and wonder and joy. Watching you grow is so much fun--especially now that you're more interactive! You just talk and smile and laugh with everyone and it is so cute. I am so thankful for you and can't wait for many more Thanksgivings to come!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Holt: 3 Months

Quite a bit has transpired this month so forgive the super long post!

1) My mom, sister, and I took Holt to his first Razorback football game---and he did AWESOME! He loved to watch the band and see all the people and colors. Annndd then fell asleep and was KNOCKED OUT. The cannons being fired didn't even wake the kid up! It was really hot that day so we left at the end of halftime, but if it had been cooler he could've lasted the entire game! I'll be honest--I totally teared up daydreaming about the possibility of watching him run onto that football field one day.

2) Milk Allergy: We have determined that Holt has a milk allergy. Apparently, this is SUPER common in infants and they outgrow it by the time they turn 1 year (which made me feel better). As some of you know, we have been struggling since he was 6 weeks old with lots of gas and tummy pain and (TMI) his poop has been like slime. So, our pediatrician told us to try going dairy-free for a week and see if that changed anything. Well, I went kinda dairy-free. I mean, I didn't drink milk or eat cheese (so hard!) or yogurt or anything, but I still ate normal butter and didn't really pay attention to ingredients. So, as a result nothing really changed. So then, the doctor said lets try a hypoallergenic formula to determine if it truly is a milk allergy. I was not really excited because I want to breastfeed SO BAD, but we tried it for a week to try to flush out his little system. *side note---holy. cow. That stuff is EXPENSIVE!*

Well, it successfully flushed his little body because his poops were back to normal and he was back to his normal giggly, smile-y self! YAY! So, we get to try nursing again and I am on a STRICT no-dairy diet. I have a list of ingredients I have to look for in EVERYTHING I eat. I have to have a special kind of milk, butter, bread, chocolate... you name it! Plus, I can't eat beef. YEP--no burgers, no steak, no nothing! UGH. It's worth it though if it means I get to nurse the little one.

We are also speculating that he may have silent reflux. We will be talking to our pediatrician next week about our suspicions and see what he thinks and recommends.

SO, y'all keep praying for us that all of this works itself out and we can just move on from all this stress.  It has been a pretty rough month to say the least.

3) HUGE milestone this month: Daniel was a groomsman in one of our best friend's weddings (shout out to Kyle and Elizabeth) on November 2nd. This wedding just happened to take place in Miami, Florida! We thought (for about 2.5 seconds) about taking Holt with us and then decided that was crazy and would not make a fun or relaxing time for us. So, we left him with my parents for 5 WHOLE DAYS. Y'all---it was so hard but so good! This is the first time we have ever left him and I'll admit, I cried when we left. But it was such a sweet time for our marriage! Daniel and I got to have some wonderful quality time with each other and some of our best friends that we haven't had since Holt was born. Even with his tummy issues and digestive issues, he did great for my mom and dad and they kept him on our schedule and played and interacted with him and they had an absolute blast (although I'm sure they are thankful they don't have to get up in the middle of the night anymore :p)! I would HIGHLY recommend to new parents to get away for a couple of days early on--unless your baby has a serious medical issue or something that would make it impossible. Yes it is really hard to give up control of caring for your baby because no one can care for them as good as you, but it is so vital to your marriage to spend that sweet quality time with your spouse, letting them know that they are still the most important person in this world to you. Obligatory photos:

me and my handsome groomsman

the groom and his men

the gorgeous couple

Weight: 12.5 lbs (40ish percentile)
Height: 25 inches (90ish percentile) [p.s.I'm completely guessing here, but it feels like he has grown between 1/2 to 1 inch]

Milestones: *he has mastered rolling from tummy to back *kick, kick, kick…and kick some more *can reach for and grab objects and bring up to his mouth * can stand for several minutes [at this point we prefer standing over sitting] * holds his head up like a champ--almost there! *talks and coos and interacts with us more * he has found his fists and loves to try to stuff the whole thing in his mouth *his hair is growing back in and it's the exact same color! we think we might end up having an auburn-haired, hazel-eyed little boy!

Sleep: He has slept through the night a handful of times--praises! Hopefully next month I can report that he sleeps all night every night! He still takes three naps a day, although the past week or so he has been doing the "twilight sleep" thing. He wakes up about 30-45 minutes into his nap and then is just awake. Hopefully he outgrows that REAL soon.

Favorite Things: *Fans *Playing on the playmat--especially now that he can interact and reach at stuff hanging down *Talking and cooing *Cuddling and Snuggling *Music *Shower Time

Feeding: This has been a pretty big struggle this month just because of the milk allergy and everything. Hopefully we are able to get everything under control and back to normal. Although, I have been extremely thankful that he transitioned to a bottle and back to nursing absolutely fine.  We will just continue to pray for good results because I absolutely cherish our feeding sessions.

And now for the adorable pictures of my son:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Holt: 2 Months


Our sweet little boy turned two months old on October 7th! I feel like he has grown and changed so much over the past 30 days. He is definitely my child--I feel like he looks like me more everyday (and everyone else comments on it too so I know I'm not crazy). Although he did get his daddy's feet and his eyes are starting to turn hazel like his daddy's too!  He is no longer a newborn in any form or fashion--a bittersweet moment for this momma! At the same time though it's really exciting because it's so fun to watch him explore everything--watching his eyes light up when he recognizes me and my voice or watching his little face scrunch up as he concentrates on studying an object or a pattern. I know it's only going to be more fun from here!

Here is what's been going on in our world the last month:

* he took his first road trip to both grandparent's houses
* we dedicated him at church at 6 weeks old--such a sweet time of publicly giving our son over to the Lord. It was a great reminder that ultimately Holt is His and I have just been given the incredible blessing of taking care of him while he is on this Earth.
*he had to get re-screened for hearing--his left ear failed in the hospital so we had to see a local audiologist to re-test it. He only partially passed at 6 weeks old and when we went back in at 8 weeks he passed with flying colors!

Weight: 11 pounds 12 ounces (50th percentile)
Length: 24 1/4 inches (85th percentile)

Milestones: *we love to make him smile and see those dimples *he can put weight on his legs and stand for several seconds *he continues to hold up his head very well *he recognizes momma's voice and face *he coos and gurgles at us *he really studies objects and patterns *he blows spit bubbles all the time *he has lost some hair due to me scrubbing his head to get rid of cradle cap--but it's sort of growing back! *I am loving his arm and leg rolls--sweet boy is growing well!

**a big milestone for this momma--making it to church on Sunday morning with both of us dressed, fed, and on time! A huge accomplishment!**

Sleep: We have been continuing to do well in the sleep department. He takes a 1-2 hour nap once in the morning and twice in the afternoon. At night, he has been going down about 8:45-9:00 PM, he typically eats anywhere from 3:30-5:30AM (we dropped down to one middle of the night feeding), and we get up at 8:30 AM to start our day. Although, about the past 2 weeks, he has been waking up with his tummy hurting from gas pains between 1 and 2 AM. I'm almost positive that if he wasn't waking up for that, he would sleep solidly until waking to eat again.

Favorite Things: *shower time--momma loves this too cause it ensures I get a shower everyday! *car rides *his paci *talking and smiling *cuddling/snuggling *watching the fan

Feeding: Going great! We are on a good routine of eating every 3 hours during the day and then he has dropped one of his middle of the night feedings (praises!) so he goes about 8-9 hours at night.

Of course I have to leave you with adorable photos of our punkin' over the last month:

all smiles!

I wonder what babies dream about?

Family photo-op

Chillin' with daddy

I love everything about this picture

say what?

first bonfire in the firepit out back

savoring these baby snuggles

he is such a happy baby!

church on Sunday with daddy

studying those stripes!

My sweet Holt, we just cannot get enough of you! It's hard to believe you have only been with us for 2 months--it is somewhat difficult to remember life without you! Mommy and Daddy love you so much--you are truly our sweetest gift.