Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Baby Lowery #2: It's a GIRL!

In case you missed all the excitement from our reveal last week, we found out Baby Lowery #2 is a GIRL!! We could not be more thrilled to add all things pink and sparkle to our house AND help me balance out some of the testosterone. ;)

As you know, we really didn't discuss names much leading up to the reveal, so I think quite a few were surprised when we actually announced her name! How did we decide? I'll tell you!

We drove down to Conway on Monday night (21st) and I just really wanted to talk about what we were going to name our baby. My husband, being ever so sweet, agreed. We decided on the boy's name pretty quickly---Griffin John. I have always loved the name Griffin. It is unique, yet not hard to pronounce or spell and I think it just sounds masculine. It means "protector", deriving from "gryphon" which is a mythological creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion. It is known as being king of the creatures and a protector. John is my dad's first name and means "God is gracious." We loved the meaning, plus it's a family name so we thought it was a win-win.

The girl name was much harder. We were torn between two names and could not decide which we liked better. Our first choice was Norah Rose. Norah means "woman of honor" and it was Daniel's grandmother's name. Rose obviously means "rose" and it is my grandmother's middle name. We loved how it honored both great-grandmothers and we also loved the meaning. Our second choice was Evie Elizabeth. Evie means "life" and is a derivative of Eve, the mother of all mankind. Elizabeth is my middle name and since Holt has Daniel's middle name we thought it would be cool for our daughter to have mine.

We decided to sleep on it and talk about it the next day. The day of the reveal, we were actually at the eye doctor, and we both just felt Evie Elizabeth seemed to "fit" this baby if she was, indeed, a girl. So, literally we decided on her name the day of the reveal party. This whole pregnancy I have felt this baby was a girl, but the day of the party I was starting to doubt and think that maybe it was another boy. We would have been so happy either way---if it was indeed a boy, Holt would have such a great relationship with his brother. And if it turned out to be a girl, I had no doubt he would have the sweetest time with his sister.

So it's a girl! And her name is Evie Elizabeth Lowery. We cannot wait to meet her and see her sweet little face, find out what color her hair is, and count all those fingers and toes. She is going to be the perfect addition to our family!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Baby Lowery #2: 19 Weeks

This is our last post without knowing if we are expecting another precious boy or a sweet little girl! I am so excited I can hardly stand it!

We go in for our ultrasound on Monday (the 21st), but we won't find out until Tuesday night at our gender reveal party. This is my favorite ultrasound of all time---an entire 30-45 minutes of just looking at your baby, head to toe. It. Is. Heaven. We tell the ultrasound tech we don't want to know right away and give her the number to call our bakery so she can tell them whether to use pink or blue icing. I LOVE surprises and I want everyone to see our faces when we find out what we are being blessed with, so this is the perfect way for us. It is absolute TORTURE to wait those 30 hours or whatever, but is beyond worth it.

What are your guesses???

Most people think it's a girl, and I'll admit I'm convinced it's a girl in there too. HOWEVER, I've had a few friends lately who have experienced completely different pregnancies and they are expecting another precious little boy…..so we will see! Either way we will be so happy! P.S.---still no names.

*Check out Holt's 19 Weeks blog HERE*

DO NOT FORGET-----we are LIVE STREAMING the reveal!!! So, no pressure, but if you would like to tune in, then here is what you need to do:

1) Download the Periscope App
2) You will have to sign in using 1 of 2 ways----either with a Twitter account or your phone number
3) Search and follow @DanielHLowery
4) Turn on notifications so that it will beep to let you know when we are broadcasting
5) Be sure to tune in TUESDAY, DEC. 22 around 7:15-7:30pm so you can see what we are having!

Other than being tired, I have felt pretty good the last couple of weeks. It's been a busy time finishing up shopping (thank you Amazon prime) and wrapping gifts and getting everything ready for Christmas but we have been enjoying it! Holt is too little right now but by next year I'm hoping to start an Advent tradition as a family---any suggestions of great Advent books for littles would be appreciated! I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful time celebrating our Savior's birth with family and friends!

How far along? 19 weeks
Maternity clothes: My GAP PureBody shirts came in and they are luxurious---don't mind me if you see me in the same two shirts 24/7.
Sleep: Once I finally fall asleep, I sleep good, but lately I just haven't been getting tired until around 11PM or later--which is VERY unusual for me. I am NOT night owl by any means---usually by 10 (if not before) I am out. Maybe a little bit of pregnancy insomnia? I don't know.
Movement: So thankful to say YES! It isn't very strong yet, just little flicks, but oh how I relish those little baby kicks.
Food cravings: I honestly just want to eat out for every meal. I rarely find something in the house that sounds good to eat, so I have to make myself eat. I would LOVE to go eat sushi, waffle house, a really good ribeye steak, panera bread, olive garden…..ANYWHERE! Oh and donuts and orange juice----I have REALLY wanted donuts and I drank an entire carton of OJ by myself this week….and BRAUM's frozen yogurt with heath bar (which my hubby was so sweet to go get for me the other night).
Food aversions: Meat. I think it's a texture thing. Sometimes it just makes me gag.
Looking forward to: FINDING OUT THE GENDER!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Baby Lowery #2: 17 Weeks

Oh hey 17 weeks! I know, I skipped another week, however it was Thanksgiving week which was CRAZY so I feel like I had a good excuse. Right? 

The belly definitely "popped"--there is no hiding it anymore! The best part is I have started getting comments on the belly, which means I actually look pregnant now. Yay! I have also been feeling some baby kicks all of last week, which I LOVE. This is MUCH earlier than I felt them with Holt which is so exciting! I had an anterior placenta with Holt, so I didn't feel anything until around 21-22 weeks. I am constantly in awe of the miracle of life. It truly is utterly AMAZING how God created our bodies to help create and grow LIFE. 

We had a doctor appointment this week and everything checked out great! Heartrate was 160 (I always tear up hearing it) and everything is measuring right on target. After losing 8 pounds up until this point, I actually gained 3 (thanks holidays) so my doctor was really excited. Next appointment is December 21st and that's when we get to have our big ultrasound!! I can't wait! 

DON'T FORGET! We are LIVE broadcasting our gender reveal using PERISCOPE. Download it from the App Store---it will require you to either sign in with your Twitter account or a phone number. Then follow @DanielHLowery and make sure to turn on your notifications so that it will alert you when we go live! We plan on doing the reveal Tuesday, December 22nd around 7:15pm or so. Be sure to tune in! We can't wait to see if we are having a little brother or sister for our Holt-man! 

How Far Along: 17 weeks 2 days
Maternity Clothes: I ordered a couple of "PureBody by Gap" long sleeved maternity shirts on Cyber Monday (so I got a GREAT deal) and I am so excited to get them! If you've never tried the "PureBody", do yourself a favor and get some---literally the softest and most comfortable shirts I've ever worn! 
Stretch Marks: None
Sleep: Great! I re-connected with my body pillow and again, if you're pregnant, do yourself a favor and get one! You will sleep so much better!
Best moment this week: Feeling baby kicks and hearing the heartbeat again
Movement: I am so excited to say YES! That is my very favorite thing about pregnancy---feeling life move inside you is absolutely incredible!
Food cravings: Pimento Cheese sandwiches with yellow mustard, anything with a cream sauce, blueberry waffles from Waffle House, and honestly I'm craving eating out. I would eat out every meal if we could afford it. 
Food Aversions: Weird about meat still---except bacon. I can always eat bacon! And sometimes I don't even know I have an aversion to something until it's mentioned or on the table. 
Have you started showing: Yes! So excited!
Rings On/Off: Well, come to find out, I can't wear my rings for the remainder of my pregnancy (and it's KILLING me). My rings were trapping moisture and causing the dry skin and blisters (beginning of cellulitis). I had to treat it with oils and neosporin. I'm back to normal now, but I can't wear any rings on that finger until my pregnancy is over. :( 
Happy/Moody: Mostly just EXHAUSTED. I feel like I can't get enough sleep and I am living for bedtime (especially Holt's). 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Baby Lowery #2: 15 Weeks

Well, I guess I'm on a roll of only blogging every other week. Sorry little baby. I guess it's just harder for me when I switch over on Saturday instead of one day during the week. However, here we are at 15 weeks! I have really noticed a difference in how I have been feeling---I have little to no nausea, my energy is coming back, and I feel like my mood is improving too. It's a win-win! I have even started getting back in the swing of things around the house---actually doing laundry and grocery shopping and picking up and cleaning and cooking! It's nice to start feeling more like myself. 

I have started getting heartburn already. Yay. So this baby better have a lot of hair! I notice it most in the evenings, and it's worse if I haven't eaten in a while. I have used some of my essential oils for heartburn, and they are really helping so far. However, if it escalates over time I may actually have to use Tums or some other helper for heartburn (has anyone tried Alka Seltzer fruit chews for heartburn?) along with my oils. I've also heard apple cider vinegar works. 

We went to the doctor last week for a checkup and we got to hear the heartbeat for the first time! I never get tired of hearing that sound. It was holding strong and steady at 150 bpm. That usually indicates a girl, however Holt's heart rate was ALWAYS in the 150's, so I'm not putting much stock in that. Everything looked great and we go back on December 3rd for another checkup and routine lab work PLUS we found out we get to have our gender ultrasound on December 21st!!! We are planning another gender reveal party like we did for Holt and we will host that in Conway on the evening of December 22nd. Just like with Holt, Daniel and I won't know ahead of time (yes, I'm a glutton for punishment) and we will find out by biting into a cupcake filled with either pink or blue icing. I absolutely LOVED finding out that way before---I loved having everybody see my reaction and getting to share that sweet moment with all our family. 

We are planning on doing a live stream of the reveal for those that won't make it to the party using the Periscope app! All you have to do is download the app, follow us, and it will notify you when we are going live so you can tune in on your phone or tablet! The party will start at 7pm, so the reveal will be sometime between 7:15-7:30 or so. I hope you can make plans to tune in! (I'll give more detailed instructions closer to time too. )

How far along: 15 weeks
Maternity clothes: Not exclusively, but yes
Stretch Marks: none
Sleep: Wonderful. And usually not long enough.
Best moment this week: Hearing the heartbeat and starting to feel better
Movement: Still nothing from baby yet. Hopefully that will change in the next few weeks!
Food cravings: Fettucine Alfredo. I've had it 4 times this week! And I've had coffee a few times!
Food aversions: I'm still weird about some meat. Unless it's fried. 
Have you started showing: I think I have a more noticeable bump now! 
Rings On/Off: Actually off this week. :( My wedding rings were rubbing the skin on my finger, causing it to be extremely dry and I even got a blister. So I took them off all this week and rubbed oils on. I'm happy to report it is MUCH improved and I think I"ll be able to wear them again next week!
Belly button in/out: In
Happy/Moody: Much happier!
Looking forward to: Thanksgiving next week! And actually being able to eat food (and lots of it)!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Baby Lowery #2: 13 Weeks

Um, can you tell it's first thing in the morning?? 

Hello 2nd Trimester!!

OH I am SO excited to finally get out of the 1st trimester. Of course all week I didn't really have time to think about it because my whole family got the stomach bug and I was busy taking care of them. Either way, I'm thankful that is behind us!

So far I'm continuing to feel a little better and I think I'm slowly getting my energy back. And I finally had some kind of food sound good---miso soup. Yes, like you get when you go to a hibachi grill. Thank goodness Walmart carries it! I may or may not have bought several packets and that may be all we have for dinner this week ;).

How far along: 13 weeks, 2 days
Maternity clothes: Mostly
Stretch Marks: none
Sleep: Still going strong!
Best moment this week: Not getting the stomach bug
Movement: I've had lots of muscle twitches in my belly, but nothing from baby yet.
Food Cravings: Miso soup and potstickers. I had miso soup for dinner Sunday, lunch AND dinner Monday, and I'll probably have it some more later this week. Also, Wildberry Poptarts!
Food Aversions: Still kind of weird and picky about meat. Still no coffee. Absolutely no tacos.
Have you started showing: I feel like I am, but then I look at the picture and not really.
Labor signs: none
Belly button in/out: In
Rings on/off: On
Happy/Moody: Probably moody, but in my defense we battled the stomach bug AND I'm still battling with our health insurance appeal (yes, even though we won).
Looking forward to: Doctor appointment on Thursday and FINALLY hearing our baby's heartbeat!!

Holt: 15 Months

It's hard for me to believe it's already been 3 months since Holt turned one. It's crazy! Lots of things have happened since then:

*At the end of August, Daniel and I went to Houston for a conference and got to stay with his Aunt and Uncle. We had a great time and Holt had a wonderful time with his Melly and RoRo too!

*In September, we found out Holt is going to be a big brother! We are due with Baby Lowery #2 in May 2016! If you missed our post about it, click HERE

*At the end of September, we took Holt to his first State Fair. We got to feed some animals, watched pig races, ate really good fair food, and enjoyed our time with friends.

*Also in September, I started taking Holt with me to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). He has been loving it and so have I. It's amazing what all they do with him during those two hours---sing hymns, teach the Bible Story (same one I learn), and they have a quiet time.

*At the end of October, Daniel and I went to our first Razorback game this season and some sweet friends were kind enough to keep Holt all day for us (thank you Mark and Cathy!!!). We had a blast on our day date and Holt did absolutely fabulous.

*We didn't take Holt trick or treating this year, but we did dress up in our crab costume to go to a friend's birthday party. He refused to wear the hood, but he looked so cute!

*November brought the stomach bug to our house. Yuck. Holt had been asleep for about an hour when the monitor came on and I saw him throw up in bed. This was the first time he has ever had a stomach virus and he was scared and confused and crying. Broke this mama's heart! I stripped him down and took a bath with him while Daniel changed his sheets and got everything in the wash. He got sick again after the bath and I sent Daniel to Walmart to get Pedialyte, more lysol, and a few other necessities. We draped towels over the rocker in his room and around the floor, and I just held him trying to get him to sleep. He threw up a 3rd time all over me and him and the towels and at that point I called the on-call nurse to see what else needed to be done. While I was on the phone with her, he PASSED OUT on me (covered in puke and all) and at that point I decided it was more important for him to sleep than to force him to clean up yet (the love of a mother transcends being covered in puke y'all). Once Daniel got back from Walmart, Holt was so asleep he started moving around like he does at night and flopped over on his back. We took that opportunity to clean both him and me up (he slept through the entire thing) and then we placed him back in bed. Daniel and I slept on the floor in his room all night just in case something happened. Needless to say, we didn't get much sleep, but on the plus side Holt did not get sick anymore. A couple days later, Daniel came down with the bug, but got over it rather quickly. And the Lord was merciful in sparing me---I didn't get sick!


*Holt got his 2 top teeth! I know he is working on several more because I can see the white through his gums, but no more have broken through.
*He says quite a few words: mama, dada (sometimes daddy), up, down, please, whoa, dog, woof woof, and a few times I have heard touchdown. He jabbers all day everyday and I love it.
*He is finally showing interest in reading books! He will bring us one and actually sit in our lap and let us read it. He is very interested in animals and animal sounds. He has one particular book of animal sounds I read at least 25 times a day. It gets monotonous but I am just so glad he wants to read now so I don't mind.
*He is busy, busy! We are constantly on the go when we are awake and he is starting to show an interest in opening cabinets and drawers and dragging things out. Yay. That is making things a little more chaotic and we are starting to learn how to pick things up and put them back.
*He can throw a ball really good now too! It's probably normal for boys his age, but I am constantly impressed. Sometimes we will just throw the ball back and forth for 5 or 10 minutes and he actually throws it TO me.
*Graduated to size 4 diapers
*We still love football! Anytime it's on he quits what he is currently doing and starts clapping and then says "touchdown!" I. Love. It.
*He still takes 2 naps a day and sleeps all night--usually from about 7:30/8PM--6:30/7AM

Weight: 24 lbs 15 oz (75th percentile)
Height: 32 inches (80th percentile)

Little Man had a huge growth spurt between 12-15 months. He cruised along at about the 50th percentile for a long time and then boom! He decided to amp it up a bit!


Your daddy and I absolutely love this current stage you're in---your little personality is really shining through and you are stinkin' hilarious!! You crack yourself up all the time and you just jibber-jabber and carry on "conversations" with us constantly. You are ALL boy---you love to be outside playing in the dirt and water, you love to throw anything and everything, you already love sports, and you are just "go-go-go" when you are awake. You give the sweetest hugs and your smile absolutely lights up a room. You love to have all the attention on you, but you also play by yourself wonderfully. We just know you are going to be the best big brother. We love you with all our hearts son!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Baby Lowery #2: 12 Weeks

LIFE. Messy hair, cozy sweater, and always followed by my toddler and my dog

Well, I forgot to do 11 weeks. Oops.

But, here we are at 12 weeks! The home stretch. Hallelujah! I have been making some progress as far as sickness goes. Most mornings I feel really good now and don't even start feeling bad until evening (5pm or so) and even then it's not as bad as it was. One morning this week I even woke up hungry (what?) so I'm excited for that! I'm able to do a little more around the house, but oh my---I feel like my house will never be clean again (and I'm sure my husband feels that way too).

On the home front, it's been kind of a rough week. Monday night, Holt got sick (throwing up) and then Wednesday night it was Daniel's turn. We are really praying that I don't get this stomach bug---especially since dehydration is bad for baby.

We started discussing names and can't really decide and/or agree on anything for really either gender. It's so hard after you pick a name you LOVE for your first child. Subsequent naming of children has a lot to live up to! Maybe once we find out if it's a boy or girl that will make it easier for us.

How far along: 12 weeks, 5 days (better late than never right?)
Maternity clothes: some. Definitely jeans and leggings.
Stretch Marks: None
Sleep: I'm sleeping great so far. I sleep really hard and it's been tough for me to get up in the mornings. Some days I still nap during Holt's nap (if I can) which also helps.
Best moment this week: Starting to feel better!
Miss anything: I miss wanting to eat something. I'll be happy when that day comes back!
Movement: None yet
Food cravings: Milk is still huge. And mac and cheese. I also picked up some liquid flavoring for water (like Mio) which is helping me drink more fluids. I'm also loving White Cheddar Dill Soup from a restaurant in Conway (my mom brings it to me when she comes)---still on the dairy!
Food Aversions: Pretty much most things. It's still tough for me to cook too.
Have you started showing: I haven't gotten any comments yet, but I think there is a visible bump (or pooch) poking out now.
Gender prediction: Most people say girl. I'm leaning more towards girl, but we would be just as happy with another boy!
Labor signs: None
Belly button in/out: In
Rings on/off: On
Looking forward to: 2nd Trimester! It's coming THIS week and I am ecstatic!

Click HERE to see how this compares with Holt at 12 weeks!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Baby Lowery #2: 10 Weeks

I started documenting my pregnancy journey with Holt at 10 weeks, so that's where we will start with this one too. It is so fun to look back on what was going on with my first pregnancy---if you want to take a look too, just click HERE :)

It's also kind of interesting to see that they are already a tad different. I can probably attribute that to chasing around a toddler with this pregnancy, but I also know every pregnancy is different. I feel like I'm way more nauseous and tired this time around. It's more like all day sickness, and then it gets even worse around 4pm and on into the night. I haven't been sick yet, which I know is a HUGE blessing, and I also know not feeling good just comes with being pregnant. But I'll be honest, I am so ready to feel like myself again. You kind of forget how bad you feel those first several weeks of the first trimester.

For the most part, Holt has been really good. He is able to play by himself very well so I can lay on the couch if I need to (which is multiple times a day at this point).

We went to the doctor Friday (10/16) to double check if we were expecting twins, but found out there is only one baby in there! He or she had a heart rate of 170 bpm and was squirming and moving those arms and legs everywhere. It was so sweet! Ultrasound machines blow up the image and magnify the baby, so while the baby looks pretty large, in reality it's only about 3 cm (or right over an inch) long----I find it so amazing that something so tiny has a heart beat you can see and can move and squirm all over the place!

How far along:  10 weeks
Maternity clothes: some shirts and definitely already busting out the leggings. No shame.
Stretch marks: I made it my entire pregnancy with Holt without stretch marks on my belly, although I did get a few on my hips and inner thighs. I'm hoping the same thing happens with this pregnancy!
Sleep: I'm sleeping pretty good. And I try to take naps when Holt naps, although some days are better than others. I still feel tired all the time though. Ready for my energy back!
Best moment this week: Seeing our baby on ultrasound!
Miss anything: I miss being myself. I'm ready for my energy back and to not feel like puking every second of the day.
Movement: Too early, but I think I have a posterior placenta this time (as opposed to anterior with Holt) so hopefully I'll feel some baby kicks earlier than last time!
Food cravings: MILK. I've been drinking at least 2 glasses of ice cold milk everyday. I can't seem to get enough. Other than that, nothing really sounds good….except macaroni and cheese sometimes.
Food aversions: Everything. I don't want coffee again, I don't want anything to do with tacos (unlike last time), I don't want chicken unless it's fried, I can't cook because I can't deal with smells (I can hardly open the fridge). So I really haven't been eating much except cereal, bagels with cream cheese, some eggs, macaroni and cheese….basically dairy.
Have you started showing: I feel like I am! I feel like I already look like I did at 14 weeks last time. It's not really a "bump" yet, it just looks like I ate too much.
Gender prediction: Based on the fact that this pregnancy is already quite a bit different than Holt's, my initial thought is girl. However, I also know I'm chasing a 14 month old this time which can make it different, so it may be a boy and I could be wrong! Hopefully we will find out around Christmas!
Labor signs: No
Belly button In/Out: In. It never popped with Holt, it just went flat. So I'm anticipating the same thing this time.
Rings On/Off: On
Happy/Moody: Probably more moody so far. Just from the fact I don't feel good 24/7.
Looking forward to: 2nd trimester!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Baby Lowery #2

Yep! #littlebabylowery2 is on his or her way and will grace us with their presence next May! We are beyond thrilled to have a new little sibling for Holt and a new little baby entrusted to us to raise up as a strong man or woman of God.

I found out I was pregnant on Friday, September 11th. I thought it fitting we found out about this baby on September 11th. On a day that marks such tragedy for our country, we got to experience the joy of anticipating a new life coming into this world!  Daniel had to work a half-day that day, so I took the test while he was at work. I was about a week late, but I honestly wasn't expecting to be pregnant. We had only been trying for a month! But there it was---faint, yet plain as day. Two blue lines on the test! I could hardly wait for Daniel to get home!

A few weeks prior, on a trip to Houston, I bought a shirt for Holt that said "Best Brother" in hopes that he would get to wear it sooner rather than later. I put that on him so that when Daniel walked in the door, he would see it immediately--and he did! He just started laughing and couldn't stop! He was so excited!

I called my doctor's office that afternoon and was told to come in sometime in the next week for a blood test so they could check my hormone levels. I went in on Tuesday, and my levels were at 3500. They told me to come back the next week because they needed to be at least 10,000 before they could see anything on ultrasound. I went back in the next Monday and they told me my levels were good enough for an ultrasound so we scheduled an appointment for Thursday, September 24th.

My mom came up to help with Holt at the appointment, and we all traipsed back there to see our new baby. Dr. Riche came in and told me my levels had jumped from 3500 to 25-30,000…..which could possibly be indicative of multiples (not always, it just depends on the woman). We always knew twins were a possibility, but having it (maybe) be a reality is kind of overwhelming and scary! Dr. Riche did the ultrasound and only found one baby, however since it was still so early and the baby is so tiny, it is possible he just missed the other one. Our next appointment is scheduled for Friday, October 16th and we will definitely know for sure that day if we have one or two bundles of joy!

Please continue to pray for us---a healthy pregnancy and a healthy mama. Also pray for us to prepare Holt for a baby brother or sister and a smooth transition for him (its never too early to start praying for that!).

Friday, August 7, 2015

Holt: 12 Months

The day has arrived. My baby is a whole year old. 365 days and 8,766 hours of life on this earth.

It has been a sleepless (somewhat), worrisome, chaotic, crazy, wonderful, blissful, joyful year.  A few weeks ago I wrote a post about 12 lessons I've learned in the last 12 months of motherhood---check that out here if you missed it!

*This month, we took him to the beach for the first time and to say he loved it is an understatement! He loved the saltwater, he loved the sand, he loved the food, he loved having all the family around to play with him---it was absolutely wonderful! I wrote a whole blog post detailing our week down there---read all about it here

beach baby

*About 2 days after we got back from our beach trip, Holt decided to start walking! I know he is way more mobile and it will require me to watch him more carefully, but I honestly love it! It's so much fun to have him toddle around.

*The weekend after we got back, my in-laws came up and took us to ride on the train from Van Buren to Winslow. Holt did pretty well and the scenery was beautiful! The next day we headed up to Fayetteville for the day and Holt got to play in the pool with his cousins! He had a blast playing with all of them!

Holt's 1st train ride

Looking out the window with LaLa

Handsome boy 

Arkansas-Missouri Line from Van Buren to Winslow

L to R: Daddy, Mama, Holt, PaPa, and LaLa

We had a blast with our cousin Sutton!

*The new water park in Fort Smith (Parrot Island Water Park) has "Tot Time" on Wednesdays from 8-9:30AM and we went to try it out! Again, I didn't take pictures (probably because I was busy trying to keep up with a busy 12 month old haha) but we went with our friend Lorna (and her mama) and Holt had such a great time! He splashed and walked around laughing, watching all the other kids run around and going down the slides. We will definitely be going back!

Weight: 21 lbs (50th percentile) 
Height: 29 ½ inches (50th percentile)

Favorites: *other kids of all ages *animals, especially dogs *walking *playing piano (or anything musical) *being in the water--swimming and splashing 

Milestones: *walking! *talking more--no new words, but he's making more noises *we started brushing his teeth and he loves it

Sleep: He has continued to be a bit of a crazy sleeper. When we were in Florida, he slept like a champ--probably because he wore himself out playing so hard. Since we have been back though, it's been a different story. He still takes 2 naps a day, but they have been shorter. Also, at night, I lay him down at normal bedtime (6:30PM) and he will just lay there for 2 hours before falling asleep. We are going to start a different bedtime routine and see if that makes any difference. 

Feeding: This kid is still an eating champ. He seriously eats as much as some grown adults! His favorite foods are frozen waffles, bananas, tuna (yep!), grilled chicken, string cheese, rice, Plum organics pouches, and Puffs. We started whole milk right before our Florida trip and it was an easy transition! He has a few ounces of milk first thing in the morning and right before bed. Other than that, he has water all throughout the day.  

He loves his Sophie-dog

when you're trying to pop four teeth, clothes are optional

yay for birthdays!

Love my little family

My dearest Holt,

It's hard for me to believe it's been a year since I first held you in my arms. Watching you grow over this last year has been such a joy---I am so proud of you! God made you perfectly for our little family and I can't imagine our lives without you. You amaze me everyday with your sweet personality, how adventurous and fearless you are, how much you love me and daddy, watching you explore new things that I take for granted--water and grass and sand and different foods, watching how your face lit up when you took your first steps. I pray you grow up to be a man after God's own heart and be courageous and have strong convictions, that you would have a good work ethic and that you would treat everyone, regardless of their differences, with love and respect. Words cannot express how much I love you Holt-man. You truly are a precious gift from God.

Much love,

Monday, July 27, 2015

Holt's First Beach Trip

My family has vacationed in the panhandle of Florida every summer since I was two. We originally started in Destin, but after about 12 years or so, tourism had boomed and it was WAY crowded. My parents decided to move down the beach about 20 miles east to the quaint little town of Seagrove on Highway 30A and we have been going there ever since.

All of us look forward to this time every year---we seriously start counting down the days in January. It was really special once I got married and I got to bring a boy with me, but this year was equally special because it was the first time my child got to experience the ocean. I cried watching him--his huge grin, squeals of delight, splashing in the water, walking in the sand. I will never forget it.

love at first sight

that belly though

loving the water

Let me start from the beginning of the trip…..

We left Friday night at midnight and it was a 12 hour drive. How did we manage having an 11 month old in the carseat that long? One word-----BENADRYL. Don't judge until you've tried it and know how magical it is. Holt slept all night while driving and then the next morning after breakfast when he was awake for a little while, he just sat back there contentedly (which he never does at home). He did awesome! 

We arrived about 12:30 or 1:00PM Saturday afternoon and stopped in Seaside to stretch our legs and eat some lunch. Holt loved walking around the amphitheater and watching all the other kids. 

Holt and RoRo 

We got into our condo about 2:00PM or so and Holt saw the ocean for the first time from our balcony.

We immediately unpacked and got our suits on to head down to the beach. It was a magical moment to watch my son experience the feel of sand and saltwater for the first time. 

The water was absolutely beautiful--crystal clear and perfectly shallow for a toddler. He had the time of his life. The rest of our week consisted of beach time (and nap time) during the day and going out to eat at night. I had to let go of our schedule a bit and just kind of adapt to vacation time, but Holt did beautifully. He played so hard that he napped well during the day and slept well at night. 

precious sleeping baby

All too soon, it was time to head back home. My mom, Daniel, Holt and I left Friday night around 11PM (again with Benadryl) and got into Conway about 10:30AM Saturday morning. We had a 2-hour layover there for lunch, and just to have a break from driving, before hitting the road for the last 2-hour leg home. The not-so-fun part was arriving home to our A/C being out (and it's 100 degrees outside---no bueno), but thankfully we were able to get it fixed within a few hours and the house slowly started cooling off (thanks Mike and Denise!!). 

I'll leave you with a few other photos from vacation, and you can view the whole album HERE

I'm not sure who had more fun ;)

beach BABE

family selfie

my favorites

L to R: Kirby and Hannah O'Meara, Missy and Roe Henderson, Holt Lowery, me and D

sunsets are prettier at the beach

baby cheeks (saving this for his future wedding slideshow)

magical week with my boys