28 week update!

Baby size: About 2.5 pounds and almost 15 inches. Um... growth spurt?
How far along: 28 weeks... last trimester! Can't believe it. I think pregnancy must go by WAY faster with a toddler. 
Weight gain: 9 pounds
Sleep: Wellllll... last update it was a sinus infection that was keeping me up. This time it's a sick toddler. I remembered what it was like to have a newborn the other night. Thanks for the reminder, Landon. Oh, and ya. I'm also still up 
Food cravings:  Still nothing really... although there was one day this week that I desperately wanted CHOCOLATE. of any kind. I'm not sure if this means I have a calcium deficiency, but milk just wasn't going to cut it.
Hormonal: I mean, I know hormones are always crazy when one is pregnant, but I've been exceptionally grumpy/emotional this week. I'm sure lack of sleep has contributed. My poor, poor Randy. (He is a saint, though.)
Ligament pain: Yup. I know. It's just gonna stick around for the next three months.
Headaches: Not sure if it's because of my lack of sleep, stuffed sinuses, or what... but they've been bad this week. 
Shortness of breath: Oh, you know, still just loving it.
Exercise:  Same! Although I've noticed it's getting a bit harder on my legs... I'm guessing because of the growing baby putting weight on them? ;)
Movement: Insane. Child.
What I’m looking forward to: my glucose test! ... not really.
What I miss: Sleeping through the night without waking up to pee 53 times. I realize this sounds extreme. So maybe it's not quite 53. But it's a LOT. I've stopped counting.
I got a free 3D ultrasound at an ultrasound school here in town this past week, and it was so much fun to get a little peek at our growing baby! The quality on the ultrasound was pretty bad, though, so when they first pulled up his picture, I was like, um. He doesn't have a nose. Ha. Can't wait to see what this little guy looks like! (they DID verify he has a nose by the end of the ultrasound, btw)
To be honest, it's been a long past couple weeks (not related to pregnancy... except maybe the crazy hormones!). My poor little man has been sick with so many different viruses over the last few weeks, including his random seizure, and it starts to take a toll after a while. I feel so bad for him dealing with all this sickness, and we've all been having a tough time sleeping! 
But I'm not complaining. I've been thanking the Lord over and over, particularly after the seizure scare, for giving us our little Landon. There's nothing like the fear of losing something to make you realize just how much it means to you (cliche but true). And after hearing about the tragedy in CT this weekend, my heart is so grateful to have a sweet baby boy to love on and snuggle with tonight. We aren't promised tomorrow. But God has given us today, and I am so, so thankful for it - even the fussy, tiring, overwhelming moments it included! And I am grateful for this tiny baby growing and kicking (even if it is my ribs!) inside of me.
28 weeks with Landon on the left... 28 with Colton on the right!


26 Week Pregnancy Update

So... for the 26-week update.

Baby size: A pound and two-thirds and fourteen inches long. 
How far along: 26 weeks
Total weight gain: 9 pounds
Sleep: Worse. Bad cold and a sinus infection... that's really all that needs to be said.
Food cravings:  My mama's home cooking!
Ligament Pain – Getting out of bed in the morning is starting to get uncomfortable... and yes, I know this gets worse.
Sciatica - It's been a lot more intense this week... I've had to do a lot of stretches.
Shortness of breath – It has been awful this week. Not sure if my sickness is contributing to it, but I feel like I can't take a good, deep breath. Makes going to sleep so hard!
Exercise:  Haven't worked out as much since I've been sick (and Randy won't let me!), but still getting a few days in a week. It actually helps my sciatica.
Movement: Still crazy little man in there.
What I’m looking forward to: Breathing normally again!!!
What I miss: Breathing normally. Did I mention breathing normally?
I will be so glad when we're all feeling well again! Landon has had a rough go of it, and taking care of a sick toddler while feeling yucky yourself is no fun. 

I love watching Landon kiss Colton (aka: my tummy) and feeling and seeing Colton go crazy when his daddy talks to him! Grateful, as always, for this gift God has blessed us with.

And... here is the comparison pic (pregnant with L on the right)... I still can't believe how much lower I'm carrying this time! 


24 Week Pregnancy Update!

So... I actually kept a real pregnancy journal with Landon, but I thought it would be fun to keep track of it online this time... mostly so I will remember. I have an awful memory these days. 

Baby size: Over a pound, and almost a foot long. About as long as an ear of corn!
How far along: 24 weeks
Hard to believe I only have 16 weeks to go! Which, by the way, totally proves that pregnancy is 10 months instead of 9. I do realize that we get two "free" weeks, but seriously, who came up with the idea that pregnancy is 9 months?! 4 weeks x 10 months = 40 weeks, people. .... yeah. Okay. Moving on.
Total weight gain: Depends on who you're talking to. Doctor says 3, I say 8. I lost five and gained them back when I stopped feeling so sick, so in my mind, that's weight gain. But the docs say to start with your pre-pregnancy weight. Whatever. Baby's growing. :) My midwife is super awesome and doesn't stress about the weight gain, she just emphasizes that I eat right. [I may or may not have indulged in some Christmas cookie ice cream tonight. It's Friday.]
Sleep: It has been so much better lately! I'm still waking up occasionally for potty breaks, but if I limit my water intake after dinner, it really helps. 
Food cravings: Nothing, really... except maybe Mexican... but I crave Mexican when I'm not pregnant, too.
Heartburn – It's not strong at all... just notice it after a big meal.
Ligament Pain – I've been pretty crampy/achy this week. It started getting bad around the same time with Landon, so I guess my babies just decide to go through growth spurts at the same time!
Sciatica: Way worse than it was with Landon, and it's especially aggravated after I work out. Just doing exercises and dealing with it!
Shortness of breath – It's not as bad as it was with Landon since I'm carrying lower, but I especially notice after I eat that it's harder to catch my breath, particularly if I'm sitting and squishing all my insides. :) 
Exercise:  I've still been able to keep going to the gym 4-5 days a week. Randy is home a lot these days, so he's able to watch Landon for me. I'm so thankful! It really helps my energy levels and is great prep for labor. 
Movement: This little guy is super active... like his older brother. But I absolutely love this part of pregnancy... it makes it so much more real! And... admission... super hard to concentrate in church when your tummy is jumping. :) 
What I’m looking forward to: Not being in the awkward stage of pregnancy - I feel like wearing a shirt that says: "Even though I may have eaten too much last night, this is NOT a food baby."
What I miss: My clear(er) complexion! Actually, I started really breaking out after the elections. So... maybe I should blame all those darn politics instead of hormones.
Overall, though, I am feeling well and have a lot more energy than I did. I think Landon is probably grateful that I'm not lying on the couch all day and am actually feeding him occasionally. Just kidding. Sort of. 
We are so thankful to God for this gift of pregnancy. I never cease to be amazed at the miracle of life growing inside of me. So thankful for the Lord's protection and sustaining grace.

So I went back to my previous pregnancy pics and thought it would be interesting to compare. One thing is certain: With Landon, I had a sweet tan from our cruise the week before! Ha.


Mommy thoughts

It's been an interesting last few weeks. Not because of my pregnancy - that's actually been great, minus the occasional congestion/indigestion/shortnessofbreath/roundligamentpain/exhaustion/gagreflex... you know. ;) I do really love this stage of being pregnant, though - not too uncomfortably big, sweet little baby kicks and punches, etc. I am carrying so much lower this time - baby Colton uses my bladder as a trampoline. For Landon, it was my ribs. So... it's either bruised ribs or continual potty breaks. Haven't quite decided on a favorite yet. Nightly routine: pee, climb into bed. "Randy, I gotta go to the bathroom." "You just went." Pee, climb back into bed. "Um... I gotta go again." "Are you serious?" Pee, climb back into bed. "Randy... um... really... I have to go again." No answer. Pee, climb back into bed, pray that baby will move his feet somewhere else. Fall asleep, wake up at some ungodly hour, pee, stumble back into bed... you get the picture. It's quite laughable - but not really. So... don't.

Anyway... back to the last few "interesting" weeks. I don't know if that was quite the right word choice. Before I was a mommy, when I said "interesting" it was just that. Now... it's maybe a combination of super frustrating/hilariously exhausting/completely laughable/emotionally psychotic. Anyway. One day, out of the blue, Landon decided that sleep was for the birds. He started fighting naps and bedtime - and we're not talking 30 minutes. Two hours is more like it - if we were lucky. It alternated between talking or screaming - no rhyme or reason. Nothing changed (other than cutting some new teeth, darn them). Throw in some pregnancy hormones and you have a puddle of tears. Not Landon, me. [You can take this moment to pray for my hubby.]

I know this might sound crazy, particularly to those of you who don't have babies yet, but I have really struggled giving this situation over to God. Landon is crazy, insane, never stops going, but he has been a good sleeper since he was just a few months old. [I imagine this has something to do with the fact that he uses all the energy he has during the day and can do nothing except fall into bed, completely exhausted]. So then, one day, he decides to forget sleep. Like went from 14 hours to 10. And this mommy likes control, particularly when it comes to sleep. Those two factors don't mesh. But... the important part is that I have a gracious, loving Heavenly Father who knows exactly what I need to learn. And He will use some crazy random things to teach us those lessons. [For other moms, it may be something else that drives them insane. That's why there's apples and oranges, pears and tangerines. Now you all know one of my major flaws. But that's okay. You can pray for me better. :)]

So what have I learned? (Um... or what am I still learning?) One, I'm super impatient. Way more than I ever thought. This is not encouraging, but in another sense, it's good for me to see areas where I need Jesus to change me! Two, I can't control anything. Yup, I already knew that in my head - but I'm in a situation where I'm experiencing it firsthand. There really is absolutely no way to make a baby sleep... as much as I want to. Three, coming to the end of myself pushes me closer to God. And that's exactly where I need to be. Four, my strength is found in God ALONE. Not going to lie... it's hard being pregnant and tired and dealing with an overtired toddler. Thankfully, Randy has been home a lot these days, and I am so grateful for that. But ultimately, there is no where to turn for strength but my Jesus. He promises it fully and freely. And finally, I can apply the Gospel in every single situation, including this one. Jesus is so everlastingly patient with me and all my many shortcomings. He has willingly given Himself for me and sacrificed His life - and I'm upset because my day is messed up because my toddler doesn't sleep? His example is really all I need.

I know. Most of you are probably laughing at me by this point. Seems pretty dumb to stress over a kid sleeping, huh? And I guess it is. But sometimes God takes those crazy things we want to have control over, makes us realize we don't actually have control, and molds us more into His likeness.

Ironically, I think we are over this stage -- or getting there. The time change seemed to actually help him (weird, I know). I remember when he was a colicky newborn thinking that I would never ever ever have a child that didn't wince in pain every time he ate. Um... guess what? I do. When I'm in the middle of a stage, I feel like it's never going to end. So I'm learning to tell myself that THIS WILL PASS. And I get Randy to tell me that, too. He has handled Landon and my tears beautifully. I'm pretty sure every other guy in the world would look at me like I'm crazy and take a three-hour drive. Randy takes Landon, tells me to go to the gym and work my frustration out, and wears him out so he'll sleep. :)

And a huge thank you to my mom. I called her almost every day for three weeks, some days in hyperventilating tears, and she listened, loved, sympathized, and prayed. Never made fun of me, never told me I was screwing up, never told me I was being too emotional. I guess having seven kids makes her a pretty awesome veteran. :)

Anyway. That's all for now. Pretty random, I know. Just wanted to share some of my mommy moments. It helps me to write and be able to come back and read these - because I know there will be other moments I'll need to remind myself that we did make it through alive. :)

And for the record... I wouldn't trade being a mommy to my little Landon for anything. As frustrated as I get over silly things like sleep, I will never, ever tire of those sweet baby kisses and hugs, our nightly reading and snuggles, and all the precious moments God has so graciously given us. Rachel Jankovic, one of my favorite writers/bloggers, has a quote about mothering that has been on my heart a lot over this past month:
Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work.
Stop clinging to yourself and cling to the cross. There is more joy and more life and more laughter on the other side of death than you can possibly carry alone.


first trimester recap

Well, since it's finally out and official, I decided I would recap the last 14 weeks or so... mostly so I can remember. ;) Because (yes, I know you shouldn't start a sentence with because when it's a fragment - oh well), quite frankly, my brain has turned into a pile of mush. Example: I was throwing away trash bags in our big garbage can outside today, and guess what went along with it? My cell phone. It took me about 4 hours to realize this, and the smell on my cover still remains. Upgrade next month!

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. We are so, so excited about baby #2. I truly feel blessed and so incredibly thankful to God giving us this sweet little miracle. I was going to be all fun and creative when I told Randy, but I actually just ran to him with the pregnancy test with HUGE eyes and my hand over my mouth. This is what happened when I got pregnant with Landon, except that I was panicking that time. And this time I wasn't. :) Randy said, "Are you sure? You should take another one." So I did. This is also what happened last time. Randy is a little confused about two pink lines. Anyway, Baby Bean and Landon will be about 26 months apart, and I'm so glad they'll be close in age. I know I'll be crazy mama for a bit, but there's no way to get around that one! Well, maybe, I guess - if you hid in the bedroom all day. That doesn't typically help babies, and actually, I guess it does make you crazy mama. Moving on.

This pregnancy hasn't been much different from my pregnancy with Landon, other than the morning sickness being a bit worse - okay, a lot worse. I seem to be a lot more sensitive to smells, and considering that I'm still changing Landon's diapers, that hasn't worked out so well for either of us. Thankfully, little man doesn't seem to bothered when he finds me throwing up - he just dies giggling. I'm glad someone gets a kick out of it. The nausea has actually kicked up a notch the last couple of weeks (I mean, really?), and I've had to take Zofran on desperate occasions. That stuff is amazing. I think I've been a bit more emotional this time, too - I pretty much sit and cry every time I watch a Baby Story. Or when I think about a Baby Story. My energy levels are a lot better than they were with Landon - and considering I'm chasing around a toddler all day, I am so thankful! But that doesn't mean I don't take naps when I can. Shoot, I took naps before I was pregnant. I can't even begin to describe the love I have for sleep. So why, you ask, do I have kids? Because they are worth every single second of that lost sleep! (Okay, admission: I've totally forgotten what it's like to get up with a baby every 3 hours in the middle of the night. But it's still worth it. And I'm still alive.)

I think the question I've gotten the most this pregnancy is, "So you want a girl this time??" I guess people assume that since I have a boy, I automatically am going to want a girl this time. But I'm actually kind of leaning towards boy... and I've had an intuition all along that it's a boy. Yes, that could totally be wrong, I realize that. But I would absolutely love to give Landon a little brother! Plus, I have all the clothes, the toys, AND I'm an expert at changing boy diapers... you know. But I will truly be happy with whatever God blesses us with. I know that's cliche, but it's true.

Landon doesn't really have an opinion on the new baby coming our way. As long as he's getting fed, he's cool. We ask him where the baby is, and he points to his stomach. Or Daddy's. Or mine. I'm sure the concept will come to him eventually.

As for my baby bump, I haven't gained any weight yet (I've only lost it due to lovely morning sickness), but that hasn't stopped that little baby bump from growing! It really is amazing how something so little can affect so much. I can't say I love hormones. I can't say Randy loves hormones. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most of the time he hates them. But he is incredibly amazing and I couldn't ask for a sweeter husband to share this journey with! (although, some days, I wish he could get a little taste of what it feels like to have the need to puke, cry, laugh, sleep, and hyperventilate all at the same time)

These pictures are our sweet little baby at around 6 weeks, 9 weeks, and 12 weeks. So tiny. But yep... we are in love already.


Davis updates

My poor neglected blog. I truly haven't forgotten about it. But when I think about it, I'm either in the middle of something (can we say busy toddler?) or it's the end of the night and I'm much too tired to type. Or think, for that matter.

Anyway... an update on life (and I'll try to keep this [somewhat] short). We left Virginia on March 8, but didn't make it to Pensacola until a bit later because Randy took some leave and we got to go to Charleston for a few days while my parents took care of Landon, which was fabulous. So, obviously... we are now in Pensacola. I love the heat, the slowness of life, and the fact that we are 15 minutes from the beach (although we haven't been there a lot due to the extreme heat). Randy had about six weeks of flying, but other than that, he's been home pretty much all day every day, which is so fabulous after 6 months of sheer madness. We actually got a surprise vacation last week (and had some baby-free time!). Randy starts up the craziness again this month. We've been blessed to have him around so much... I'm not quite sure what Landon's going to do with just Mommy all day!

We found a great church within a few weeks of visiting around. I feel blessed and encouraged every week - love the worship, the Christ-centered focus, and the body of believers. God is so good to meet our needs wherever He has placed us.

My little sister had a beautiful wedding in May and was whisked away to Ohio for her new hubby to start dental school. I'm pretty sure we are now on opposite sides of the US (well, kinda sorta). I'm not bitter, but I'm not happy about it (Jared... *ahem*). However, I am most thankful for technology. :)

I've enjoyed setting up house since we've been here... and I have yet to post pictures. Part of that is due to the fact that I'm chasing a crazy little guy around, and part of it is due to the fact that I haven't quite finished "setting up." It probably won't happen before we leave, so I should probably just post pictures anyway.

Our not-so-little Landon is 18 months old. There are so many things I want to remember about this stage. He is so crazy and full of energy and personality. He is all boy - loves being outside and playing in the grass (aka dirt), kicking soccer balls with his daddy, and oh, yes - eating. He has been known to inhale two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a sitting. (Btw, side note: I am SO glad that he doesn't have a peanut allergy. I think I might die. I love it that much.) We call him our little explorer - toddles all over the house getting into anything and everything. And I'm okay with that, honestly, unless he's going to physically harm himself (for instance, drinking toilet water with 1000 Flushes in it - almost happened). I think his curiosity is a good thing - just hope that by the time he's 5, he's not rummaging through the drawers to find our toothbrushes to brush his teeth (his current obsession). He is generally a happy little guy and giggles at everything (especially Randy). My new favorite is when he walks in the room where I'm at (or vica versa), and I say, "Heyyyyyy!" and he responds with "eyyyyy!" He better be that excited to see me when he's a teenager. Anyway, in a nutshell, that's my little guy. I love him more than I ever thought possible and I absolutely love being a mom. Yes, I realize I say that a lot. But it's true.

Like I said, we've had a lot of extra time to spend with Randy over the past couple months or so. In that time, I've been able to see what a fabulous daddy he is. I mean, I knew it before (he's changed some awful diapers). But I've been able to see it every day in action. I know there are a lot of fabulous daddies out there, but honestly, these days, it's rare. I'm so thankful he takes time with Landon. And Landon knows it. As soon as he hears that door open, he runs to it and says, "Dada? Dada?" I just love it.

So those are some good things. I haven't mentioned the frustrating military unknowns. Tear-my-hair out mommy moments. Clingy, whiny, teething days. Tears from bitter disappointments. Stress-filled decisions. Overwhelming loneliness. Face-to-face moments with my own sin.

That's not because these things aren't real. They're a bit too real some days. And to be honest, I complain about them far too much. Maybe not on Facebook or on this blog... but I definitely do a lot of it in my heart (and perhaps to my husband some days... *ahem*). But choosing to dwell on the wonderful, sweet things that God has given me, specifically His goodness to me in Jesus, causes me to praise Him rather than to complain. I have so very, very much to be thankful for.

This song has become so special to me over the past several months for many different reasons. Jesus really is so wonderful to me.

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nice houses and Jesus

My sweetheart is in the field this week, training in the the cold, rainy dreariness while I'm keeping the house at 72 and bundled up in a sweatshirt. I am also becoming increasingly tired of all the political debate on Facebook. I wonder if there's a way to filter out political statuses...? Or maybe I should just take a break in general. For many different reasons. Yes.

The weeks Randy are gone always prove to be the ones where I'm ready to go a little bit crazy. Just a wee little bit. It's like God knows I'm not going to be able to depend on anyone but Him. Irony at its finest. And it really is beautiful... when my response is right. But that's another post for another time.

I've had this topic on my mind for a while. I'm not quite sure of the best way to put it, really. It's a lesson God's had to teach me over and over again -- it's one He still is teaching me. It's nothing eloquent (never is), but it's a lesson I'd thought I would share all the same.

Jesus is more than enough.

If you're anything like me, you've dreamed about a really nice home someday. I mean, let's face it, Pinterest does not help. I have all my dream home pins neatly tucked away in a corner of my brain for "someday." In reality, "someday" probably won't happen. And that's okay. But I'm not really talking about designer homes with luxury spa baths and closets the size of your master bedroom. I'm talking about the materialism that grasps us -- me. Dissatisfied, tired of what I have. Needing (wanting) to redecorate my house. Really feeling the urge to go out and buy a new wardrobe (and not just because of post-baby blues!). Of course, there's nothing inherently sinful in decorating my home and buying clothes or whatever it is you love to do. I love to decorate and have fun with it. I actually like these military moves because it means I get to rearrange/redecorate my living room again. (Yes, yes, I know I'll get sick of it eventually.) And, of course, if it fits into the budget, there's nothing wrong with buying a new outfit or gadget or whatever now and then. But let's face it: it's all about the heart, and I know when I've crossed the line in mine. When my desires for those things become more intense than my desire for Jesus, they have become idols. And the heart of my issue is that I'm not finding Jesus my satisfaction. Instead of being consumed with Jesus, I have become consumed with things. 

The beautiful truth that sets me free is found in the heart of the Gospel. My Savior is not just barely enough. He came to give me life -- and to give it to me abundantly (John 10:10). These things can't satisfy me because He didn't come to die in order for me to find my satisfaction in earthly things. He destroyed those idols at the cross. He is my treasure, my joy, and my satisfaction in this world of emptiness. Just a little lesson God's been teaching me... and I'm sure it's not over yet.


... and he's a year.

Two blog posts within a two-week period! Something must be wrong with me. Ah... I blame it all on hormones. But then again, I blame everything on hormones.

My little sweetie turned a year old on Tuesday. I'm not sure how that happened. Well, I do. 12 months ago, I was in a hospital room, and now, 12 months later, here we are. You is smart...

I had a super easy labor with Landon... much easier than the first 4 months of life with him. I was induced at around 6:30, got the perfect epidural around 12, and pushed him out in a short 16 minutes. 3:46 p.m., to be exact. I told Randy that if having children only involved the labor, I'd have like 6. But it's the newborn part that always makes me rethink #2. But... that's all a hazy memory now. Sort of.

Soo tiny. Wow. 

So what is my squirt up to these days? He...

- is a whopping 18.12 pounds and 28.5 inches (for you people who like stats). As in, the 4th and 9th percentiles. Makes me laugh... I was most definitely in the 85th percentile for weight around his age. However, his daddy was not. And I'm happy with him staying small... love to hold him (when he will let me!).

- loves milk. I started giving it to him consistently about 2 weeks ago, and he's done great adjusting. My only issue is that he's extremely dramatic: when he's done drinking, he throws the cup away from his mouth and then I have milk all over my floor (those no-drip cups are lies!).

- is, very unfortunately, dropping his morning nap. Unless he's exhausted, he'll play and talk to himself for about an hour and a half (no crying, mind you). Occasionally, he'll take two naps... I just have to play it by ear. Which, for me, is quite difficult. I love routine.

- is still into absolutely everything. His favorite toy was, is, and will continue to be, the laptop. When it comes to "no" and the computer, you can forget about it. I might as well be speaking to him in tongues.

- has become extremely stubborn regarding food lately. Lately, the only things I've found him to be interested in are chicken nuggets, yogurt, bananas, oatmeal, and pureed veggies (see previous post).  What child doesn't like mac 'n cheese? And whose child actually rejected a frosted & sprinkled birthday cupcake, even after a taste? Mine. Ahhhhhhhh!!!! Okay, telling myself that it's a stage.

- is teething. That's all I will say.

- has no interest in walking. He cruises all along the furniture, but when it comes to walking without support, he gets this petrified look on his face and sticks his legs straight out. Crazy boy. But since I rushed crawling and he was into everything, I'm not going to rush walking. He can take his good ol' time.

My friend Melissa had a cute post the other day about what she'd learned in her first 15 weeks of mommyhood, and I thought I'd touch on highlights of the first year. I don't know that anything I've learned is necessarily earth-shattering; probably every mommy can relate. But for what it's worth, here it is, folks:

- Plan showers around the baby's nap. But not around the time he's going to wake up. Or you might end up with cuts all over your leg from shaving in a hurry because he's screaming (because I do NOT believe in shaving one leg).

- No matter how many people tell you not to compare your child to others, you will still do it. Unless you're not normal. Or maybe on your 5th or 6th. I guess by then it doesn't matter.

- Letting a baby cry it out does not mean that one day he will hate you and end up feeling ostracized and distant from you. In fact, he will probably end up happily drifting off to sleep on his own.

- It is okay to call your mom 7 times a day during the first few weeks... or months, in my case. She will probably understand why you're crying.

- Sleeping through the night is usually short-lived in the first five months. At some point, there will most likely be a regression.

- Everyone has an opinion. Take the helpful advice and throw out the rest. And whatever you do, don't feel guilty because someone else chooses to parent differently from you.

- Being back to your pre-pregnancy weight and being in your pre-pregnancy clothes really doesn't mean much. Post-baby bellies are just way too jiggly for their own good.

- Hormones do not help with the afore-mentioned jelly belly. In fact, epic amounts of tears may occur in regards to the jelly belly... or for no apparent reason. It is key that in those moments, you hold your baby instead of going through your closet of size 0's.

- I cannot operate without a schedule. Kudos to those of you who can.

- Don't plan doctor's appointments for mealtime. It could get ugly.

- Sound machines are one of the world's best inventions. No, really.

- Don't invest in the most expensive toys on the market. Instead, buy an old cellphone, get together some old keys, a set of coasters, some measuring spoons, and you should be set.

- Breastfeeding does not make you a superior mom. Ever.

- Since I am a mom, I will take pictures of my baby -- hundreds, maybe thousands. And I will probably only delete the ones where it is not actually evident that the photograph contains a baby.

- Babies will only be small and sleepy enough to hold for a little while. I still tiptoe into Landon's room before I go to bed and hold him while he's sleeping sometimes, just so I can hold him close without him squiggling away.

- Nothing can prepare you for the way you're going to love your child. Not nine months of pregnancy, not The First Year, not all the mommy advice in the world. Nothing prepares you except being a parent. All those hard newborn nights, those frustrating days where all you can do is pray, and those overwhelming love-him-so-much-it-hurts moments -- that's what it's all about.

Happy birthday to my favorite little guy in the world.

I know it's fuzzy, but I love how happy he is. 
This is how I find him all the time!


recent happenings

Well, here I am again. Blogging over a month later. I guess that's because I don't always have a ton to say. I mean, I could sit and write about what I do every day, but that would involve feeding baby and changing baby diapers. Which is great and everything... but you all don't need details about that. Although there were some recent diaper changing episodes...

Speaking of babies, I nursed Landon for the final time yesterday. The last feeding to go was the morning nursing, mostly because he loves it (I happened to as well... the only time I can keep him still). I was a little bit sad, mostly because I fought so hard to nurse him in the first place (he didn't understand the concept). But he's been self-weaning since about 9 months, so it was definitely time. [And no, I'm not into "nurse the kid until he's 4," but that's just my personal decision.] He'll be a year old next week, and I'm still kind of in shock. Maybe denial. I do absolutely love this stage... minus the teething and sudden refusal to eat steamed vegetables. Which, by the way, came out of nowhere. He will eat jars and jars of pureed veggies, but when it comes to whole peas and green beans? Heck, no, Mom. I will gag until they spew out of my mouth, even when you hide the broccoli in pureed peas. Deceitful woman. I'm guessing it's a texture thing. Regardless... I love this age. Love to see him learn, explore, and change. Just wish it didn't happen so fast.

Christmas was a blast. Randy got two weeks off, so we visited some of our friends in Greenville, which was absolutely wonderful, Landon decided to get sick and have a febrile seizure, Randy and I got to have some amazing and much-needed time together, and then we went to my parents' house for Christmas. 

[Mommy side note]: Landon is fine. I guess his fever just spiked really high, and no pediatrician thought to tell me that he could have a seizure because of a high fever. I mean, really?! Why didn't they bring this up at his 3-day-old visit? Doctors. Just kidding. :) By the way, don't Google febrile seizure. It probably will never happen to your kid. After Landon had his seizure and went totally unresponsive, I panicked. I don't think I'm a typical first-time mom because I generally don't freak out about things like germs, etc... okay, so, I probably don't worry enough... but I honestly don't even remember everything I was doing. I just know I was having a hard time breathing. My dear friend Jenny was the best person that could have been around... she is completely sane and calm and told me that he was going to be okay because he was still breathing. She was right. He's back to his normal self now. So thankful for God's protection!

Back to Christmas. All of us seven kids got to be home this year, which was fabulous. A little crazy, but we're used to that. I mean, hello, we four girls shared a bathroom at one point in our lives and we also DID NOT HAVE A DISHWASHER until Rachael went to college, and somehow we survived (with some singed hair tips and perhaps a teeny tiny bit of hatred for dish detergent -- do I sound bitter?). I finally got to meet my first nephew, Aiden, who, by the way, is stinking adorable. Made me want another one (almost). It is just way too easy to forget about those sleepless nights and colicky moments. I explicitly told Randy to remind me of those two things when I got the hankering for another kid. He hasn't. Anyway, we had a blast. Played way too many phases of Phase 10 and definitely consumed way too many calories. So, so thankful for my family. They are pretty much amazing, and I would never have made it to this point without them. 

But anyway. That's just a little peek into what we've been up to. What I want you to remember from this post is not steamed veggies or baby seizures or my family's lack of a dishwasher. I want you to remember how good our God is. Before Christmas break, God took Randy and me through some deep waters. It would take too long to explain, and it probably wouldn't make a whole lot of sense if I did explain it, but it definitely was one of those "valley" experiences. I asked "why" a lot. I cried for about four days straight. I'll admit it -- I doubted God's goodness. Well, of course I knew in my head that He was good, but by my questioning, I was doubting. It's really amazing that after the Lord brings us through so much, we still wonder if this trial is it -- if this is where we'll finally be disappointed.

He brought us through the valley. He answered prayer in an amazing and really, quite honestly, a miraculous way. As my mom reminded me, it showed me how big my God really is. How kind, how merciful, how good He is. Even in the midst of our sin, our doubts, and our fears -- He remains faithful because He cannot deny who He is (II Timothy 2:13).

The words of As Long as You Are Glorified struck me:

Are You good only when I prosper
And true only when I’m filled?
Are You King only when I’m carefree
And God only when I’m well?
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified

God is still King in my valleys. Nothing shakes Him. He isn't sitting on His throne in heaven, wringing His hands and anxiously wondering what's going to happen next. He has the blueprint in His hands and He is working all things together in order that I might be sanctified and He might be glorified. 

So... that's all for now. Giving thanks to my God because He is good -- because His steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136).

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