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



ONE YEAR. 365 DAYS.

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
playtime
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 ;)

Love, 
Mama


Holt's Tonsil Surgery



If you have been following the blog, I mentioned a few months ago that Holt has been having night terrors ever since Evie was born (yes, for a whole year now). At first we just thought it was the transition to having a new sibling, but it kept going and kept going. And then he started snoring really bad around Thanksgiving. Finally in February at his 2.5 year checkup, we mentioned it to the pediatrician. He said a lot of times, night terrors can be caused by sleep apnea (where you quit breathing for little moments at a time while sleeping, reducing oxygen to the brain). Sleep apnea can be caused by large tonsils and adenoids. After examining Holt's throat, he said on a scale of 1-4, Holt's were a 3. We tried some steroid nose spray for a month and when that didn't change anything, he referred us to an ENT, Dr. Stinson at Cooper Clinic here in Fort Smith.

We met with her on April 12 and after one look she said, "yeah, those are rather large. he definitely needs surgery." SO, last Friday, May 5th, we checked into Outpatient Surgery Center at Mercy Hospital for Holt to undergo his first ever surgery.


--6:30AM: check-in
*the kids played and watched stuff on the iPad. Holt couldn't have anything to eat or drink since midnight, so we tried to limit Evie's eating breakfast until after he was back in pre-op. Mom, Dad, and Gran were with us to help with Evie and offer love and support. And coffee.
--7:30AM: head back to pre-op
*Daniel and I took Holt back where they weighed him and measured his height (31.8 pounds and 37.5 in tall). Then we changed him into the hospital gown and the anesthesiologist came by. He introduced himself and gave Holt a TY beanie baby bunny to hold onto. The nurse came back in and checked Holt's vitals and gave him a dose of Versed to help him relax and start getting a little loopy. It was hilarious once it started kicking in! Our pastor, Russ, came in to see Holt and he let him play with his FitBit watch--which entertained him for the next 30 minutes until time for the surgery. In his loopy state, Holt kept asking "what time it is?"
--8:30AM: Dr. Stinson came by and explained the procedure and what to expect afterwards again. Then she asked Holt if he wanted her to carry him or if he wanted to ride the "choo choo train" (hospital bed). Much to my surprise he chose to be wheeled back in the bed and the whole way he and Dr. Stinson said "choo choo!!" Y'all. She is the best. That was when I teared up. But thankfully, the meds kicked in and I don't think Holt even noticed I wasn't going with him.
--9:30AM: I start getting nervous because what only should've taken 20-30 minutes was taking over an hour. FINALLY Dr. Stinson came out to the waiting room to talk with us. She said they had trouble intubating him because of how large his tonsils were and it took him a little while to breathe off the anesthesia. She also told us his adenoids were just as large as his tonsils and she was 100% confident that he needed this surgery. It could have been bad if we had waited. She said everything went very well and that shortly we could go back and see him.
--10AM: They called our name to head back to post-op. He was hysterical, bothered by the IV in his foot and asking for "mama" which is to be expected coming out of anesthesia. I grabbed him and cuddled with him, telling him how proud I was. He asked for daddy and RoRo and as soon as my dad got back there he fell asleep on my chest. He hasn't done that since he was a baby--my heart was mush. We had to wait until 10:30AM to be dismissed. About 10:20AM the nurse came to take out his IV, gave us the discharge papers, and explained all the home recovery info we needed to know. We put his PJ's back on and carried him out to the car. He was literally the only child not screaming and crying leaving the hospital.
--10:45AM: We made it back home (so nice to only live 3 minutes from the hospital now!). He asked for a popsicle outside with RoRo.

Throughout the rest of that day he was very tired. We rotated his meds every 3 hours and he slept a lot. I had to check on him several times to make sure he was breathing because for the first time in a year, he wasn't snoring or making noise while sleeping! That night, he slept 10 hours before waking and needing medicine again. He did really good eating popsicles and applesauce and drinking fluids for the most part.

Things didn't get super hard until Sunday night, into Monday and then Tuesday. He did not want to drink at all and he was starting to get severely dehydrated. I came very close to taking him to the ER for fluids because no matter what we tried, he wasn't drinking enough. The highest his fever got was 103.5, but it hovered around 101-101.5 for several days. I am SO SO SO thankful my mom came to help! I probably could've done it by myself but I would've been absolutely miserable. I had to tough love him several times and often it would take 2 hours for him to drink 3 oz of fluid. It got to the point I didnt' let him do anything until he drank. It was awful.

Finally, Wednesday was the turning point. He started acting more himself and actually asked for a drink. He consistently drank water, gatorade, milk, and PediaSure chocolate shakes and actually had an appetite. He woke up hungry for breakfast and then had a big lunch too. My mom had to head home early Wednesday morning so I am very grateful things started turning around.

I am very, very thankful we had this surgery done. And I am very, very thankful God provided the finances to pay for it and that we had so many people lifting us up in prayer and checking on us to see how we were doing. It's never easy to make decisions like that when it concerns your child, but it helps when you know it's the best thing for them. Hopefully this will help his night terrors go away completely and he will start sleeping better from here on out. He has basically been exhausted 24/7 for the last year because even though he slept a lot, his quality of sleep was terrible. Thankful for modern medicine and a relatively quick recovery!


Photo Documentation:

Right before they gave him the Versed medicine--he loved Russ' watch!

Meds were kicking in pretty good at this point. 

He kept asking "what time it is?" 

Our super sweet nurse, Kathy, prepping him to go back

riding the "choo choo train" to the OR

Evie was loving her newfound freedom of walking in the waiting room

part of our support team!

back home with popsicles

feeling good enough to color with RoRo

About 5 days post-op. Finally drinking more fluids

He was so proud and wanted to show daddy he was drinking juice

Now that we are 10 days post-op, Holt is finally back to himself and drinking his normal amount of fluid. He does still have some pain--sometimes he tells me his ear hurts, but that's just residual pain shooting up to his ears--but he really only needs tylenol or ibuprofen once or twice a day. It was tough, surgery usually is, but I am extremely grateful to our pediatrician for taking our concerns seriously and referring us to Dr. Stinson. I have no doubt things could've gotten pretty bad in the near future had we not taken action now. Thankful to have my healthy boy back! 












Sunday, April 30, 2017

Evie: 11 Months



In 30 days, our beautiful girl will be the big O-N-E! Time flies when you're having fun!

We remark all the time about just what a happy baby she is---unless she isn't getting her way LOL. Really the only time she cries is when she is either tired, hungry, or I walk out of a room. Or if she really wants to practice walking, but my back hurts so I have to put her down. She can definitely throw a fit ;)

This month we have just gone full speed ahead. She seems to understand things more and more everyday, but she isn't really saying any words. She can say "mama" and "dada" but other than that she just speaks gibberish 24/7 (thus why we nicknamed her our little Ewok).

She is a great eater and has finally started taking more of her formula! I'm excited because over this next month we will slowly wean her off formula and on to whole milk (hallelujah for no more money going to formula!). She eats pretty much anything we put in front of her and she gets pretty excited for her food. Lots of "oooo" and "ahhh" come from her when it's mealtime.

I STILL cannot get her to take sippy cups. I know she can, because she did it one time, but she flat out refuses. I've tried straw cups, the 360 cups, soft spout sippy cups, you name it. Talk about stubborn! I wonder where she gets that? ;) Oh well, one day she will decide to take them. She won't be on bottles forever.

One of my favorite things she does, is when she sees something she really likes or gets excited about, she just squeals and kicks her legs and says "oooooooo!!" She does this when she sees me or her daddy after being in nursery, or when she sees her bottle, or when she sees jewelry she likes, or when she gets to go to the nursery at church and sees the shiny stars hanging from the ceiling. It is the cutest thing! I hope she keeps that up for a long time!

We moved her to size 3 diapers this month. She could probably still fit in a size 2, but we have a bunch of size 3 from the pounding our church and for us last fall and I didn't really want to go buy size 2 diapers when I already had size 3 in the garage.

She learned how to wave this month.

We had a big Lowery Family birthday weekend in NWA and the kids LOVED it! They had so much fun with all their cousins! And of course, I failed and didn't take a big cousin pic with all 11 of them.




We dedicated Evie at church this month! She got to wear a "vintage" gown that my grandmother made for my cousin (who is now 20 years old) when she was a dedicated as a baby. It was so beautiful! Such a special day of dedicating her to our Lord and having the love and support of our church family.



Her two top teeth broke through her gums this month and are working their way down. I'm soaking  up these last few days when she still has a gummy smile because once those big teeth come down, her whole face will change and she won't be my tiny baby anymore.

We separated Evie and Holt into different rooms last week. I knew we would have to at some point, and lately Evie has been waking really early--usually about 6:30am or so. Holt needs more sleep, and it was causing him to be whiny and grouchy. Since separating them, they have both done better! Holt sleeps until about 8am (sometimes later) and actually a few different days, Evie slept until 7:30am! I think this will help with the transition to our new house too (see below).

Much to my surprise, she still isn't walking. She loves to walk while holding onto our fingers or cruise along the sofa or coffee table, but as soon as we let go she sits back down. She doesn't quite have the confidence to do it by herself yet. But she will! I think one day, she's just going to surprise us and take off!

We are in the process of moving right now. Back when Daniel got his new job in October, we decided to put our house on the market in hopes of moving closer--trying to cut down the 30 minute drive (one-way). Well, at the beginning of March we sold our house! We were so excited and immediately started looking for our new home. Long story short (don't worry, I'll do a separate post just on our house hunt journey), we FINALLY found a house about 10 days ago. Talk about crunch time! We are moving in this Saturday (April 22nd) and we have been super busy trying to get everything ready! Moving with kids is an entirely new experience and I am more than ready for it to be over!


Weight: 17 lbs (just a guess)
Height: 27 inches

Favorites: *her daddy--as soon as he gets home from work, she immediately goes to him and cries if he puts her down *Mother Goose Club on Netflix--if I absolutely HAVE to get something done around the house, I put this on for 30 minutes *trying to walk *eating--girlfriend loves her food *her brother---anything he does she thinks is hysterical

Milestones: *waving

Feeding: She loves food! Pretty much anything I put in front of her, she will at least try. She likes most of it, except for vegetables of course. Thank goodness for pouches! Our goal this month is to switch over to whole milk. Yay for no more formula!

Sleeping: Sleep is kind of up and down. She continues to sleep all night, with the exception of one night last week when she spiked a fever. Naps are hit and miss, but NORMALLY she sleeps about 30-45 minutes in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. Some days though, she only takes (3) 30 minute naps. Especially with teething, it's been a little tougher. We did end up separating Evie and Holt this month. She wakes up really early--usually around 6:30am or so. Holt needs more sleep and needs to sleep until about 7:30/8am so we went ahead and split them into separate rooms. So far its working really well. We even had 3 days last week where Evie slept in until 7;30am!

Photo Dump:




First (of many) family trips to Lowe's

it's been rough teething this month

mama, daddy, and Evie date





first taste of spaghetti



Evie's dedication

3 generations

Melly and Evie



she wants to walk so bad! more fun in NWA


playing with magnets

big brother teaching her how to brush her teeth

my girl





Our sweet Evie-girl,

You light up every room you enter! You love to be around people and it still hurts your feelings when you're all alone. You aren't the best napper, but I' m hoping that changes once we get through these teeth and you conquer walking. You are a big cuddler, which we LOVE, and you think your brother absolutely hung the moon. We can't imagine our family without you sweet girl! Excited to see what these next 30 days hold!