Nora Monthly

Eight months of Nora

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I can’t believe I’m writing this already! Nora is far too close to her first birthday than I would like her to be. In my head she was just born the other day…but then I look at her compared to my friends’ brand new babies and oh my, she’s just so big already! I realize she’s not as much of a baby as I think she is.

Of course, I love all the things she can do now; I’m so proud of my sweet little NoJo girl. But her babyhood is going so much faster than it even did with her brother’s and it’s just not fair! Someone tell me how to fix this?!

Anyway, here’s what’s new for our Nora Joy this month…

Weight & Length: Again, I won’t know her percentiles until she has her 9 month appointment (although I’m guessing she’ll still be ranking taaaaallllll for her age). But I weighed her at home and she’s right around 17 pounds, about a pound bigger than last month!

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Clothing: All 9 month stuff now, or 6-9 month if it runs big. Only if it runs big. She’s so long! Summery girl clothes are where it’s at, man. They’re so easy. A cute snap-on romper and a bow and you’re really all set. It’s so much fun dressing her in bright patterns and pretty florals!

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Jameson’s face in this one hahaha

Eyes & Hair: Blue-eyed and cuuuuurrrlyyyy! So so curly! It’s starting to curl up all over her head but especially on the top. There is no containing it anymore. If you try to brush it down, it flies back up in an angry frizz. Someone is going to have to teach me how to style these curls because I have a feeling I’ll be way out of my element as soon as it grows in more haha! I love it so much, though, my sweet curly girly.

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Sleep: She’s somewhere between two and three naps a day, depending on the times she goes down and the length of each nap. She naps for a couple of hours in the morning and then a couple more hours (or longer) in the afternoon. Sometimes she’ll supplement this with a quick 40 minute nap around 5pm to get her to bedtime around 7:30. It just depends on the day. At night she sleeps for her long stretch in her crib and then Alex or I will bring her to bed with us when she wakes up to nurse around 4-5am. Then she’s up and at ’em by 5:30 or 6am which is SOOOO FUNNNN. Actually it’s usually not too big of a deal because Alex is up and getting ready for work by then anyway so he’ll just hang out with her in the living room until Jameson and I get up around 6:30. It’s still too early for my liking but this is where we are in life haha.

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Eating: I want to say we’ve made a breakthrough with solid foods but that might be a bit of an overstatement. We have made some improvement though! Basically we discovered that Nora just flat out hates baby food. All baby food. Doesn’t matter which kind. We tried so many. But she does enjoy trying regular table food. I think it must be something to do with the texture of pureed baby food and if I’m remembering correctly, Jameson wasn’t one for the pureed stuff either. He just wasn’t so darn dramatic about it haha. So now we’re trying more of a baby-led weaning approach (although still nowhere near cutting out breastfeeding), letting her discover foods on her own and giving her small bits of the things we eat. So far she likes apple slices, rice, bread, blueberries, Cheerios, really most fruits (not too many veggies yet), and of course the infamous Puffs. I never met a kid who didn’t like Puffs. I’ve been nursing her at her normal times and then letting her play and explore different foods each time Jameson and I sit down for a meal. It’s been working fairly well but hopefully next month I’ll have a much longer list to share of the things she likes because it’s still pretty limited at this point.

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Milestones: She’s getting better with her fine motor skills from all that practice with self-feeding. She’s also so fast at army crawling now! She can sit up completely independently and can move from sitting to laying down/army crawling whenever she wants to (albeit, not very gracefully). She gets up on her hands and knees all the time and can move one of her legs forward but still hasn’t figured out the mechanics of regular crawling yet. I bet within the next week or two she’ll have it down. She does this funny plank thing now where she’ll hold herself up on her hands and toes and just sort of stay there suspended in the air for a few seconds haha. She can climb onto my lap if I’m sitting on the floor near her (which she pretty much always chooses to do because homegirl is mama-obsessed) and sometimes she tries to pull herself to stand if there’s something sturdy (or not-so-sturdy, ugh) in front of her. I’m thinking it’ll be awhile before she gets that mastered, but she has surprised me in the past. It’s crazy to think back on Jameson at eight months because he was full-on standing up on his own by this point and cruising around the furniture. He took his first independent steps the following month! Nora is taking it slower which I’m so thankful for because it was absolutely terrifying watching my eight month old trying to stand and walk and climb all over everything haha.

Ps, no teeth yet. She’s still the gummiest gummy bear in all the land.

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Plankin’

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Her little tongue is my fave

Communication: She’s such a chatterbox and loves watching my mouth form sounds and words. I think she might be trying to figure out waving but it’s hard to tell whether she’s really copying or her arm is just flailing around. She knows her own name for sure and I think she’s starting to understand a lot of the other things we say too, like “hi” and “no touch” (although she pays no heed to that).

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Loves: Mommy. Nothing else compares. She whines when I leave the room, when I walk past her without picking her up, when someone else is holding her but she can see me close by. She wants to be in my arms at. all. times. My hip is permanently sore from carting her around but I can’t say no to that face! So she ends up coming along with me for almost everything. But she does also love baths (and now the pool!), playing with books, watching Jameson or our dog Charlie, listening to Alex play guitar, chasing this rogue yellow balloon we have roaming around our house (leftover from Alex’s birthday back in March, lolz), army crawling around to explore (especially the playroom where not much is off-limits to her), banging out “tunes” on the baby piano, gnawing on raw carrots, and sleeping on her tummy (which is adorable).

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Hates: Getting her ears cleaned. When you wipe under her chins (yes, chins). When you take away a toy or other item of interest from her. When she has to get dressed. When I’m in her line of sight but not holding her. When the Puffs are gone. (so sad.)

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Real peeved about something.

Things I want to remember: The way you smile and let your little tongue hang out as you army crawl as quickly as possible toward something cool, the way you check over your shoulder as you crawl away from me to make sure I’m still there and how you crawl back to me as fast as you can when I sit down on the floor, your extra gummy smile (when you clamp your gums together and smile as hard as you can), how I can hear you start kicking with excitement when I walk into the room you’re in, the fact that you have the absolute stinkiest farts ever, the way you and Jameson play so happily and giggly together, the way you follow me around everywhere doing your army crawl (which your daddy calls your zombie crawl), how happy you get when you see me and Jameson coming to pick you up from a nap, the way Jameson has to climb into your crib with you and kiss your cheek when you wake up (“stop movin’ your face around and I can kiss you, Nora” he says), and the way you hold hands with me as you’re falling asleep nursing. I think it’s my very favorite thing about you. (But then again, I say that about everything about you.)

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Father’s Day ❤

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Meeting her “Super Papa”
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Meeting her “Bisnonna” (Great-Grandma, in Italian)

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I still sometimes can’t believe you’re ours, sweetheart. You are everything and more! Just  the most perfect addition to our family. We all adore you so so much, baby love! Happy eight months!

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Personal Writing

The first man I ever loved

“Jessica!” I hear his voice echo through the empty church. “Come on, it’s time to go!”

I peek my head over the smooth edge of the wooden pew and see my dad heading towards me. Running my hand along the back of the pew as I move easily through the tiny aisle, I skip over to meet him. His big, warm hand envelopes my small one and together we walk through the doors.

This is my first memory of my dad. I was probably two or three years old at the time, and I don’t have a clue as to the context of the memory. I couldn’t tell you which church it was, what city we were in, or even why we were there. But I can still remember the feeling, even after all these years, of hearing my dad’s comforting voice and not really caring about anything else. It didn’t matter what came next – lunch, maybe, or home to see my mom; we were together so I was happy.

1011857_10152246234597474_1089348598_nFast-forward a few years. I’m seven or eight now, watching my dad as his fingers skip quickly and effortlessly across the ivory keys of our old piano. The melodies blend beautifully with his voice and the sound floats through the high arches of our piano room, amplified by the wooden floors below. He sings words he wrote to the tunes he created and I watch with fascination as I try to sing along. My dad never had a lesson in his life, I think. Will I be able to create music this good when I grow up? His eyes catch mine and he beckons me to come sit with him. I climb up on the thin cushion of the piano seat and together we sing his songs… “I believe that God made the ocean, then He came and was baptized in the sea. I believe that God made the mountains and led up there to be tempted by the enemy. I believe that God made the forest, then was crucified upon a tree. And I believe that God will return, in Jesus Christ, to glorify His redeemed.”

1530421_10152246234642474_1790361373_nNow I’m ten or eleven. New York is experiencing some of the worst thunderstorms I’ve ever seen in my short life. My sister and I lay shivering in our shared room, hiding under the covers as lightening slices through the night sky and thunder cracks deafeningly overhead. “Do you think the roof is going to crash in on us?” I ask my sister, whose bed is pushed against mine. The door creaks open a bit, shedding a sliver of light that breaks up some of the darkness. I see my dad’s silhouette tiptoeing in and breathe a sigh of relief as he climbs to the middle of our beds and lies between my sister and I, putting a big strong arm around each of us. He starts to sing “I Love You, Lord” and a sense of calm relaxes my body. My eyes droop shut and I fall asleep against his chest, listening to the echoing vibrations of his softly singing voice.

My dad is the very best person I know. His heart for Jesus and for people is truly unmatched by anyone I’ve ever met. He was the first one to share the Gospel with me and he is the one who has helped me and guided me in my personal walk with Jesus all these years. I can remember dancing around the living room with him, making up songs to help me remember Bible verses…and then reciting those same verses in my head whenever I was feeling lost. I can remember running through mock evangelism conversations with him while we sat side by side on the front step of our house in New York…and then using some of the ideas I learned from him to talk to my friends about Jesus. I can remember family Bible studies, reading through missionary books together, and one-on-one prayer times. My childhood was more blessed than I ever could have realized at the time, and my dad is most of the reason why.

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Growing up, we never had the biggest house on the block, we never had the fanciest new car, and my parents were always trying to find creative ways to save money (e.g., getting Internet through the Comsewogue Library?? I still don’t know how that worked). But we had more than most and more than we needed. My dad gave up his dreams of stardom and musical fame to make a living for my mom, my sisters, and me. I’ve watched him graciously suffer through jobs he hated, awful bosses, and terribly long hours – all with a smile on his face and the love of Jesus in his heart. He has sacrificed everything – so much more than I deserve – to give me the beautiful life I’ve had so far.

I have very few memories of my dad where he isn’t smiling or laughing or making up very silly songs or playing funny1005559_10151772575327474_1475014998_n jokes on people. He instantly becomes friends with everyone he meets and genuinely invests in their thoughts, ideas, and even worries. When you talk to my dad, he honestly makes you feel as though you are the single most important thing in the world to him. Like absolutely nothing but your immediate conversation is of any significance. Like maybe whatever you’ve been struggling with isn’t so hard, after all. Maybe, because he believes you can take on anything, you should believe that you can too. And if it doesn’t work out? That’s okay. God has a better plan for you anyway.

He has a way seeing through people’s facades, knowing what they need, and bringing Jesus’ pure light into even the evilest darkness. There have been countless times where I thought I was putting on a good show and had everyone fooled by my fake smiles and empty laughter. And maybe I really did have most people fooled, but not my dad. He would just march straight into my room and sit with me while I cried, helping me fix my broken heart and reminding me again to fall on my Savior.

Sometimes, late at night when everyone else is asleep, I walk down the silent hallway to fill my glass with water, and through the cracked back door I see my dad wrapped in his soft brown blanket, looking up in wonder at the stars that dot the sweeping Arizona night sky. I never know what he’s thinking and I never want to intrude and ask. But I imagine that maybe he’s thinking about Abraham from the Bible as he gazes up at the same stars and prays to the same loving Savior. I bet sometimes he’s praying for me, because that is just how he is.

Today on your birthday, Daddy…I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for everything you are and everything you’ve been for me. I’m sure I don’t even realize all that you’ve done for me yet, but the older I get the more immeasurably thankful I become for every bit of what you’ve given me. Thank you for your advice, your wisdom, your jokes, your honesty, your sacrifices, and your love. You are one of the greatest blessings I’ll ever have and I couldn’t be more grateful to God for letting me be your daughter. This letter to you doesn’t come close to saying everything in my heart, but I hope it shows you just a little bit of how much you mean to me. No matter where I go or who I become, you will always be the first man I ever loved.

I love you more than words, Daddy…and I’ll always be thankful that you loved me first, too. Happy birthday. ❤

Love always,

Jessica Joy (I’m a girl, not a boy)

P.S. Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, and you are my dad. They call me The Rhymer. I make good rhymes.

my dad, dressed in his best to impress his neighborhood crush.

Originally posted on Becoming Mrs. Iwanski (February 25th, 2014)

Nora Monthly

Seven months of Nora

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Seven months old! It makes me want to cry if I think about it too much, so I really can’t let myself. I’ll be planning her first birthday party before I know it.

This month has been so good. Some things have been hard of course, but Nora is such a sweet presence in our lives that I forget all the difficult stuff the second she goes to sleep at night. Like right now all I can think about is snuggling her up and feeling her tiny little hands wrap gently around my cheeks. She’s so cute you guys. I can’t stand it.

Here’s what’s new for little miss NoJo this month…

Weight & Length: I’m not sure of her percentiles or height (her next doctors appointment isn’t until 9 months) but I weighed her at home and she’s 15.8 lbs, which is just a bit more than she was last month. And three pounds less than her brother was at this age!

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Clothing: All 6-9 month now at least. Some brands only fit if they’re in the 9 month range. My sister just gave me a whole bunch of my niece’s old clothes and it’s like Nora got a whole new wardrobe! I’ve been loving seeing her in all of my niece’s little outfits. It seems like just yesterday I was seeing Madelyn in these things and now it’s Nora’s turn! It all goes by so quickly. Gah I’m so sentimental today.

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Eyes & Hair: There is no stopping the curl on this little girl’s head. It hardly ever lays completely flat anymore and I love it! I can’t wait until it’s grown out a little more so we can see just how curly it’ll be. Her eyes are still such a pretty blue and sooo big haha! She has the roundest eyes I’ve ever seen.

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Sleep: She’s a pretty scheduled baby at this point, pretty much all by her own doing. She takes 2-3 naps a day (depending on how long they are) for several hours each. Her third nap (if she needs one) is still typically 40 minutes and really just to hold her over until bedtime around 7:30. She gets up for the day preeeetty consistently around 6am, although sometimes it’s before then (wah). I know she wakes up at least twice a night to nurse but it’s all a blur to be honest hahah. She may only wake up once sometimes, or maybe more and I just can’t remember. Who knows! We’re just starting to transition her to her own room at night. She sleeps for her first stretch in her crib and then I just bring her to bed with me when she wakes up wanting to nurse late in the night. Eventually I’ll probably go into her room and nurse her in there before putting her back down, but I honestly love having her with us at night for right now. I remember being so darn stressed about getting Jameson to sleep through the night in his own room by this point but it’s so different this time around. She’ll do it when she’s ready. She still seems so little to me that I don’t mind a bit. And…there’s always coffee.

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Eating: Breastfeeding is going just swimmingly but solid foods on the other hand…I wouldn’t describe it as a “disaster” per se…but it kind of is hahah. She has hated everything so far. Bananas, sweet potatoes, applesauce, rice cereal, pears, blueberries, grapes. Hates ’em all. Just spits them straight to the floor the second they touch her tongue, all while making the most dramatically disgusted faces she can muster. She even figured out how to clamp her gums together so I can’t get the spoon in there, which is simultaneously hilarious and incredibly frustrating. I’ve found that she tends to do better when I give her food in her fresh food feeder, but even then she’s making grossed out faces the entire time. Oh brother. We’ll keep trying!

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Don’t let this excited face fool you. She was really only happy to bang the fresh food feeder on the high chair tray.

Milestones: She’s such a little wiggle worm these days, rolling all lengths of the living room and scooting herself in different directions (although not very far and not very fast yet). She can sit up by herself for short periods of time but has a habit of simply forgetting to hold herself upright, at which point she’ll just launch in one direction towards the ground. So basically I never leave her sitting up alone. She loves being upright in her walker or bumper jumper and the other day I actually watched her try to pull herself up to stand! What in the world. I’m not ready for that yet. Figure out how to crawl first, Nora. 😉 All in good time.

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flop.
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Big girl!

Loves: Tags on toys, all types of music (most especially Alex’s guitar), playing on our toy piano, mommy mommy mommy, Jameson and all things having to do with Jameson, when you dangle a blanket over her face (I don’t know, okay? she loves it hahah), peekaboo, baths, being outside and going for walks in the stroller, and watching me put on my makeup (she loves to sit on my lap the whole time and watch me carefully in the mirror).

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Hates: Food. Being by herself. Really being away from me in any capacity. Even if I’m sitting right next to her, it doesn’t take long before she starts whining to be in my arms. She’s a liiiiittle obsessed with me.

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So pissed I left her to wash the dishes.

Communication: She babbles all the time (and I adore it) and she watches my lips so closely whenever I’m talking to her. I can tell she really wants to know what I’m yammering on about all the time. She also started copying certain things this month… when we shake our heads and say “Nora, do ‘noooo'” she’ll shake her head back at us. It’s so cute! But she really only does it when she’s in the right mood, otherwise she just stares blankly at us like we’re a bunch of lunatics. Real judgy, this one.

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Things I want to remember: The way you hug my face, how you start breathing really fast and excitedly when we dangle a blanket over you (lol), how I sometimes catch you staring quietly up at me when you’re on my hip (and then you smile so sweetly and bury your face in my shoulder), the way your face breaks into a gigantic grin and you squeal so loudly whenever I kiss you or talk to you, the way you laugh at everything Jameson does (even when he’s being cranky about something…which subsequently makes him sort of mad. “It’s not funny, Nora!” But it kind of is funny), the way you try to swipe whatever is in my hand if I’m holding it near you, the way you smash your fresh food feeder on the highchair loudly and proudly, and how cute you look when you’re determinedly scooting towards a cool toy (or, you know, something you’re not supposed to have).

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Nora Joy, we love you little sunshine girl! You are so smart, so much fun, and getting more and more beautiful by the day. We can’t wait to see how much you learn and grow this next month! ❤

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Letters to Littles

Letter #2

My sweet Nora Joy,

Hi baby! You’re six months old now and so much fun! The last time I wrote to you, you were still in my belly. Now you’re becoming your own little person and I can’t imagine life without you in it. You fit into our family as if you were always part of it. In a way, you always were.

Just like your name means, you are truly a joyful light. So smiley, so giggly, so so cute. We love tickling you and playing peekaboo and snuggling you tight. Right now you’re a total mama’s girl, always wanting to be in my arms or at least very close by. I don’t mind a bit. You are so content to just sit on my lap, or ride around the house on my hip as I play with Jameson and get things done. I loving having you as my tiny sidekick.

You and your brother are absolutely obsessed with each other right now. You scream with excitement just seeing him, and he loves helping you sit up and making you laugh and telling you everything that pops into his head (even though you have no idea what he’s saying…you are just so happy that he’s talking to you). Seeing your relationship is one of the best things in my whole world. Sometimes I want to join in on the fun of you two giggling and playing but lots of times I’ll take a step back and let you bond, knowing that I’m watching a friendship form right in front of me…a friendship that’s just for the two of you. You’ll always have each other and that gives me so much joy and peace. I hope you choose to stay friends forever, even when you don’t have to anymore.

I’m so glad you’re here with us, sweet girl. You’ve given us some scares but the Lord has blessed us with your life and we’re deeply, unfathomably thankful. I’m sorry if I get too protective over you now and then; you are so precious to me and I would do anything to keep you safe. I pray you know this kind of love someday too.

There are so many things I want to say to you. So many things I can’t wait to watch you learn. There are some things I’m nervous about teaching you, too. Being the mother of a daughter is already so different than being the mother of a son. I pray I can be a faithful example to you, and that you grow up to be a good woman who loves the Lord. I’m so thankful that I get to be the one to guide you and help you grow.

I love you from the depths of my heart, from every corner of my soul.

Love,

Mommy

Nora Monthly

Six months of Nora

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Another wonderful month with this little beauty! I’m a bit late on getting this posted because things have been extra busy around here. But both kids happen to be napping right now (blesssssss!) so I’m able to write for 0.38 seconds before one or both of them wakes up.

Nora is sugar and spice (but mostly nice) and she gets cuter by the day. We finally had her neurological follow-up appointment this month and it looks like we’re in the clear, praise God! In fact, the neurologist was kind of confused as to why we were even there haha. She assured us that Nora looks absolutely perfect. Of course we’re going to watch her carefully (I will always and forever be slightly more worried about her) but for now we’re moving on with life and putting that scary episode behind us. On her medical records it’s labeled as a Brief Resolved Unexplained Event (BRUE) and hopefully it never becomes anything more than that. She is happy and healthy and here with us and that’s really all we can ask for.

Here’s what’s new for our little six month old! (Phew, can’t believe it’s already been half a year!)

Weight & Length: At her six month checkup this morning she weighed in at 15 lbs, 5 oz (I think about a pound heavier than last month!) and she’s 2 ft, 3 inches (adorable). This puts her in the 84th percentile for height (!!!) and the 29th for weight. And interestingly (well not really hahah but it is to me) her head size is only in the 9th percentile! For some reason I feel like her noggin is bigger than the average but apparently it’s much much smaller. Maybe it’s all that delicious chub in the cheeks throwing me off. 🙂

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Clothing: She’s almost out of her six month clothes (especially Carters brand, which runs a little small). I generally look for the 6-9 month stuff to buy her, or 6-12 month at Gymboree. I bet I’ll be getting 9 month stuff before I know it; she’s just so tall! I bought her a couple of cute bathing suits for this summer and I’m so excited to see her splashing around and playing in them in the coming months! It’s already getting toasty over here.

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Eyes & Hair: No change with those baby blue eyes (everyone always comments on how blue they are!). But her hair is starting to change! It is definitely going to be curly. I’m so excited! A little curly Nora will be adorable. I’m not surprised at all, though, because Alex has insanely curly hair and my hair was in giant crazy ringlets when I was a toddler. I’m actually surprised that Jameson doesn’t have super curly hair. Some days Nora’s hair is tame and other days it will not lay flat. It just springs back up into big curls. It is so stinking cute. Plus, I think it might be going red! Or maybe more like an auburn. It still looks light brown for the most part, but the sun brings out allllll these gorgeous red and blonde highlights. I can’t wait to see the color when it fills in a bit more.

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Sleep: I feel like this is pretty much the same as last month. She’s down to three naps a day (one around 8:30am, one around 11:30/12, and one around 4:30 or 5:30pm depending on how long the afternoon nap was). Her morning and evening naps are typically short (around 40 minutes each) but she usually takes a good long afternoon nap, around two and a half hours at a time. But it’s not an exact science of course. Nothing in parenting ever is. Sometimes her morning nap is long if she had a hard night and that throws everything off. She’s still having trouble staying asleep for long stretches at night (some nights she’ll wake up once or not even at all, other nights she’s up every three hours) so I think we’ll probably transition her to her own room at night this month so she can get used to it and hopefully get her act together haha. I’m just kind of scared. It’s so convenient having her nearby and I don’t want her to cry super loud and wake Jameson up (their rooms are right next to each other). But I know it has to be done eventually… ugh. Maybe the next month haha. I might drag my feet just a little bit longer.

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Eating: We tried out her first solid food this month (mashed banana) and she HAAAAAATED ITTTTT!!! It was actually hilarious. I’m so glad I took a video of it. Is that mean? Oh well, she’ll think it’s funny one day. She was seriously so offended that we tried giving her such a horrendous substance. We tried applesauce too and she had the same reaction. I might pick up some of that super bland rice or oat baby cereal at the store and see if she’ll tolerate that. And then gradually add food in to get her used to flavors in a more subtle way. Feeding her straight from the table is obviously not going to work for Nora just yet. It’s okay though, she has time. And breastfeeding is still going well so I’m not worried. Table food is just for fun at this point anyway.

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Milestones: She’s officially rolling back and forth all over the place! She had been doing it on the bed and on the couch for awhile now but absolutely refused to try on the floor. Literally nothing could entice her. Then one day, she just rolled with total ease as if she could have done it all along. I’m pretty sure she wanted to make sure she had the coordination and strength down before she gave it it a try. Whereas Jameson had no problem trying and failing over and over until he finally got the hang of it, Nora really wanted to perfect her rolling game plan before she showed off. She sits up with support (she does best with the Boppy around her) but I don’t trust her enough to just leave her there to play without toppling over (or folding in half, that’s always funny) so I’m always nearby. She really does love being upright though and seeing everything going on around her so she enjoys jumping around in the doorway bouncer thing and being in the walker she has at Alex’s parents’ house. She can even take little steps and push herself forward in there! Her fine motor skills are improving as well; she can pass toys from one hand to the other and flip them around to check out all the interesting sides.

 

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Loves: Finding the tags on all of her toys, holding hands while she nurses to sleep (my heart!!!), playing in her walker, anything having to do with Jameson, being on my hip, baths, going outside, when Daddy gets home from work, listening while I read books with Jameson, and she really liked her first time in the swing this month!

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Hates: The usual culprits. Tummy time, car seat, being away from me for too long. Ps, these pictures crack me up:

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Communication: This has been a fun one this month! Just a few weeks ago she started officially babbling! She had been getting close for a couple of weeks, saying things like “aaaaaaba.” But then one day she started the real deal babbling and now she babbles all the time, things like “bababa,” “mamama,” “dadada,” “nanana,” and “papapa.” I know that’s not super interesting to anyone but to someone who studied and loves speech and language, these are my favorite things! Jameson was all about the physical milestones (he was legit crawling by this point) and didn’t bother with speech sounds until 8 months. But Nora is so interested in it. She watches my lips so closely when I’m talking to her and tries to copy what I do. So sweet! She also figured out how to blow raspberries which is simultaneously adorable and gross because of all the drool. Just constant drool with this one.

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Things I want to remember: The way you grab my face with both your hands and smother me with “kisses,” the way you actually hug me with your tiny little arms (you are so snugly), the way your sweet fingers find mine when you’re nursing to sleep and you hold on so gently, the way you hold your brother’s face in your hands when he’s playing and talking with you, your kicky little legs when you’re so stoked about something, how you “swim” when you’re on your belly (arms and legs up and moving in all directions), the way you reach for me when you want me to hold you, the way you play with your soft baby books (hold them up over your face, drop them there, and kick happily until someone lifts the book off to reveal your huge grin/tongue sticking out), and that big gummy smile you have on your face 90% of the time.

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Happy half birthday, NoJo baby! We love you to bits and pieces. ❤

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Nora Monthly

Five months of Nora

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Praise God for a much more peaceful month! Nora hasn’t had any more episodes and we haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary. We’re still waiting on the referral to go through for her full neurological evaluation (I’ve been getting kind of annoying with all my calls to the doctor) but I’m cautiously hopefully that everything will come back clear on that anyway. We’re so thankful that she’s doing so well!

Here’s what’s new for Nora this month…

Weight & Length: No well-visit this month so I’m not sure of her percentiles or height but she’s just under 14 lbs, about a pound heavier than last month! Yay Nora!

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Double chin game is strong

Clothing: She’s still in 3-6 month or 6 month stuff and somewhere between size 2 and size 3 diapers, but we’re going with size 3 because they just seem more comfortable around her little round belly. She can’t really wear her footie pjs anymore because she’s just so tall! Things will fit her everywhere except in length, or they’ll fit her in length but be so baggy and huge everywhere else. Luckily summer is fast approaching so she’ll probably be in onesies (and bathing suits) starting pretty soon anyway. I can’t wait to see her in all her sweet little summery things!

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Eyes & Hair: Baby blues and medium-brown hair! Sometimes it still looks super dark but in the sun I swear it’s going blonde or at least much lighter brown, kind of like a caramel color. I’m getting super antsy to see how it grows in and get to start styling it all cute and girly!

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Sleep: Last month things were bad with naps and good with nighttime sleep. This month it’s kind of the opposite. Although this week specifically has just been bad all around haha. I feel like she’s in the middle of switching up her sleep pattern right now so this category is kind of hard to write about. She’s been waking up like every 3-4 hours during the night (very strange for her, she usually sleeps 8 hours straight and then goes back down for another 3-4 hours after a quick snack) but her naps have been somewhat more predictable. I think she’s actually in the process of dropping down to three naps a day. She’s been able to nap for longer periods of time as well, like an hour and a half or two hours sometimes. But like I said, this week in particular has been hard for her so I’m not quite sure how it’ll work out yet. Hopefully she settles into a schedule soon. She takes every nap in her crib now but we still have her with us at night because honestly I’m just not ready for her to be down the hall and away from me! Plus it’s just darn convenient to have her close for all those nighttime wakes she’s currently dealing with.

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Eating: Still exclusively breastfeeding although she’s getting so grabby with table food that she’s almost swiped some of it on more than one occasion. Once she shoved her entire little hand into my yogurt haha! We’re still planning on waiting until 6 months to start introducing any solids and even then it’ll be just for fun. I might try out a sippy cup with water for her soon because I remember that Jameson loooved that at this age, but besides that it’s business as usual. Although I will say that she is a very stressful nurser. She constantly moves around, whips her head around at any noise, sometimes chokes, it’s just a hot mess sometimes. But she has been more willing to nurse to sleep, which I know some people dislike but I absolutely adore. 🙂 This phase is so short that I’ll take those sleepy snuggles wherever I can get them!

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Look at that teeny hand!

Milestones: I feel like this is mostly the same as last month actually. I mean obviously she’s fine-tuning a lot of her skills but there haven’t been any big and new milestones this month. I thought for sure she’d be rolling from back to belly by now but she’s still so content to stay where she is (aside from scooting herself forward a bit while on her tummy). She does roll up onto her side but so far hasn’t given much of an effort to flip all the way over. Oh well! Makes things easier for me to have her stay in one place. She’s getting better at sitting with support (she can actually sit up by herself for very brief moments of time), can grab and hang onto her feet, and is officially a “hip baby” now, although she prefers to be carried facing out so she can see everything that’s going on.

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She fell over a second later.

Loves: Jameson, Jameson, oh and Jameson. Homegirl is obsessed with her brother (no arguments here, I’m obsessed with him too). She giggles nonstop when he’s around and when he does things to make her laugh she literally cannot control herself. Like big, adorable belly laughs for as long as he’s willing to stand there playing with her. She can’t handle her love for him and it’s so adorable. He is without a doubt her most favorite person, even more than me I think. She also loves music, being outside, grabbing/gnawing on everything, taking baths, hanging out stark naked, playing with my pink water bottle, being on my hip, and honestly whatever she can get her hands on.

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Hates: Tummy time for more than like five minutes, the car seat most days, and being passed to anyone who isn’t me or Alex. Although she does have a soft spot for my dad.

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Tummy time quitter.

Communication: She’s adding new sounds to her repertoire all the time, including raspberries and excited squeals. She loves to coo back and forth with me and responds with smiles almost any time someone talks to her. She’s also learning to turn to me as kind of her home base, which is very sweet. She’ll smile shyly at someone and then bury her face happily in my shoulder to make sure I’m still around. She laughs all the time with Jameson and copies his happy screams too. And her facial expressions are the best.

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Somebody is teething.

Things I want to remember: Your sweet blue eyes quietly watching my every move, your warm squishy belly, the way your face breaks into a giant smile when Daddy gets home from work, how it feels to watch you and your brother becoming friends, the way you laugh so hard you can barely catch your breath when Jameson does something funny, the way you like to keep one hand on my face while you’re on my hip sometimes, the way your little fingers gently reach up to touch my lips when you wake up in the morning, the way you pull my shirt down over your eyes when you’re trying to nurse to sleep, and the way you look up at me when I go to pick you up after a nap (eyes peeking out of your snug little swaddle, the corners of your mouth slowly creeping into a big ol’ grin).

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Nora baby, we adore you! You are such a sweet presence in our lives and we can’t get enough of your joyful little spirit. We are so so thankful for exactly who God made you to be and we can’t wait to see all you learn and all you become! Happy five months my littlest love.

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Nora Monthly

Four months of Nora

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Phew! This has been a tough month for us. Honestly probably one of the toughest months that Alex and I have had as parents so far. There were lots of moments of joy and excitement (Nora belly laughing, Nora rolling, life with our silly and sweet toddler) but there were also lots of moments of great fear, anxiety, and lots of sleepless nights.

This past month we had our first real “scare” as parents. Jameson has been a textbook kid from the beginning (no major injuries or sicknesses or any big surprises) but Nora, by no fault of her own, really gave us a run for our money a few weeks ago. One Tuesday night she was laying between my legs and looking up at me, giggling and smiling and cooing like normal, when suddenly she started squeezing her eyes shut tight in a really agitated way and kind of brought her hand up to her nose as if she was going to rub it. It almost looked like she was about to sneeze but she couldn’t open her eyes again. Knowing something was very wrong, I immediately picked her up and held her in front of me and started shouting her name. Slowly she started fading into unconsciousness, like she was falling asleep. Her little body went limp in my arms and she was unresponsive to our shouts and any movement. My mother-in-law happened to be over (which I can only describe as the grace of God since she never comes over on Tuesday nights) and she instinctively grabbed Nora, flipped her over, and started pounding on her back. Finally Nora did a little cough and started screaming and crying, which was actually the most relieving sound in the world. I was shaking so terribly and crying my eyes out and hugging my little girl saying, “It’s okay, it’s okay, you’re okay” over and over in her ear. The whole thing lasted maybe 20-30 seconds but it felt like an eternity.

I don’t know if I can accurately describe the horror of seeing your infant lose all signs of life before your eyes. It’s a kind of sickening terror that you never ever want to feel again. We immediately rushed her over to the nearest hospital (me sitting in the back with Nora and trying/failing to keep myself together). She was totally normal by the time we arrived, even smiling at me on the way over. They ran some tests which all came back clear and transferred us to Cardon Children’s Hospital for an overnight stay and some further observation. Everything was 100% normal (except for me and Alex who jumped up every time Nora moved during the night) and the neurology team in the morning was convinced that it was not a seizure, which is what we initially thought it might be. All signs pointed to it being a choking incident since Nora was laying on her back at the time and was pretty congested and drooly. Another possibility is that she started choking or got agitated for some other reason, panicked, and then held her breath as an instinctive response which is actually fairly common in kids. Whatever the case, we were warned that it could happen again. Sometimes it never does, but we’ll need to watch her carefully (no problem there, I’ve been a total helicopter mom since she came home). Even now I feel panic welling up inside of me anytime she squeezes her eyes shut or rubs her nose or does something else weird, which is kind of a problem because four month olds do weird things all the time.

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First time I’ve been in an ambulance. Broke my heart that it had to be for my little baby.

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So sweet and happy anyway.

All of this was a huge test of how well I put my trust in the Lord. I’d like to say I handled it all gracefully but there were a lot of moments of doubt and questioning and sinful fear. In the days after we got home from the hospital I lived in terror that it would happen again and that it would be worse. The only way I was able to kill those thoughts was through almost constant prayer, through the prayers of others for me, and by meditating on the promises of the Lord. I had post-it notes with verses written on them all over the place and any time I felt that fear creeping in, I recited the verses again and focused on all the things I was thankful for in the moment instead of all the things I was afraid might happen. With some time now God has given me a better handle on things and this whole experience has really changed so much in my life…from the things I’m thankful for to the way I value life to the way I pray for others. I hope nothing like this ever happens again but I can see how the Lord used it to challenge me and sanctify certain areas of my life.

Needless to say…it was a difficult month for this sweet little girl. Getting past the hospital stay was a relief, but then the poor baby was sick for several weeks after that with an ear infection and a nasty cold she couldn’t kick. It kept her up coughing at night, made it almost impossible for her to breathe, and stressed us all out to no end because we were still reeling from the fainting episode. Praise God she’s as good as new now and she hasn’t fainted again. We have seen her do that squinty-eyed stressed out thing (which is how the episode started) but I’ve been able to snap her out of it and she hasn’t passed out again. We’re continuing to pray for her protection and watching her closely at all times. And this week (at my request) her pediatrician put in a referral for us to get a full evaluation with the Phoenix Children’s neurology department within the next couple of weeks, just to put our minds at ease.

Anyway. I know this was a long intro and probably could have been (should have been) a separate post…but it’s relevant to Nora’s fourth month and I wanted to include it. This month was hard. But God is good and there were a LOT of good things that happened this month too. So let’s leave all this crappy stuff behind and be thankful for all the wonderful, blissfully normal things we got to experience with Nora too. 🙂

Weight & Length: At her four month appointment this week she was 12 lbs, 12 oz (18th percentile) and I forget how tall they said she is but she’s in the 70th percentile for height. Tall and skinny! She’s trailing almost three whole pounds behind where Jameson was at four months, which is kind of crazy to me. But Jameson did have some deliciously chubby thighs so I’m guessing that’s where those extra three pounds were hiding haha. Her head circumference was in the 30th percentile, so we’re right on track there!

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Clothing: She’s in 3-6 month stuff for the most part, although some 6 month outfits fit her if the brand runs a little small. They’re usually kind of baggy on her but she’s so tall that she needs the extra length! Diapers are size 2 now.

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Hair & Eyes: Her eyes are still that gorgeous blue, but her hair has been changing a bit! She’s lost a lot of it since she was born and the hair growing in underneath is like…golden blonde with some reddish tints here and there. Kind of like how Jameson’s hair was when he was a baby. So I’m thinking it might go strawberry blonde like her big brother’s, which would be super cute. 🙂

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Sleep: We hit a rough patch this month with her nighttime sleep because of the hospital stay and how sick she was afterwards. There was one horrible night during the thick of it where she would not stay asleep unless she was being constantly bounced up and down on the yoga ball. So from around 6pm to 3:30am Alex and I had to switch off who was bouncing her continually. That was baaaaad. But now (fingers crossed) she’s back to her normal self, sleeping in 8 hour stretches at night and only waking up once or twice to eat. Her naps are still…meh. Usually in 40 minute increments, or longer if she’s in the baby wrap or the swing. We’ll work on it. For now I’m thankful for good sleep at night!

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Eating: Nursing every three-ish hours, or whenever she’s hungry. I’m not strict about it because she’s so particular about when she’ll eat. If she shows any signs at all of wanting to nurse I’m immediately shoving it in her face hahah. She will straight up scream and cry if I try to feed her before she decides she’s ready. Drama queen. She’s getting super distractible during meals now, which is an added issue haha. If she hears something while she’s eating, she has to whip her head around and check what’s going on.

Also she really likes to eat my water bottle.

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Milestones: This month, she laughed! She’d been doing these silly little giggles for a while, but a few weeks ago she gave us a real, honest-to-goodness belly laugh while I was playing peekaboo with her. I loooove her laugh! So tiny and squeaky and adorable. I’m obsessed. I can usually get her laugh at least once a day now, with a silly noise or peekaboo or tickling her or kissing her cheeks. She also started rolling from belly to back this month and she’s gotten really good at it. It kind of makes tummy time a pain in the neck because if she doesn’t want to do it, she’ll just roll herself right on over no matter how many times I flip her back. She’s getting close to rolling the other way too (back to belly). She can get up on her side and then does a little side crunch thing, but she can’t quite get over her shoulder yet. I bet it’ll happen this month! She’s also getting good with her fine motor skills and can hold toys, bring them to her mouth, and put them back down on her own. She’s a terrible judge of distance, though, and will try and grab anything that’s in her line of sight even if it’s literally across the room. My favorite is when I’m changing her diaper and she’s looking up at me intensely and then slowly, slowly her hands will come together in front of her as she tries to grab my face from a foot beneath me haha.

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Loves: Jameson, when Alex plays guitar, her Minnie Mouse toy, Sophie Giraffe, when I read books, playing peekaboo, “singing” loudly, and whenever I kiss her cheeks or talk to her or even just look in her general direction haha.

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“Hello, yes. These are my favorite toys.”

Hates: She’s not a fan of the car seat or getting dressed (really just her arms going in sleeves) or too many new things all at once (especially people…homegirl’s already got some stranger danger instincts). She’s also starting to dislike being carried around in the baby wrap (which makes me so sad) but she’s very content to face outward in the Ergo. I think she just likes to be able to see everything that’s going on.

She also kind of hates when I make this one really high pitched sound with my tongue hahah.

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Communication: She loooves cooing at us and trying to “sing” (screaming loudly and happily, usually along to music but also just whenever she wants to hear her own voice). She laughs and smiles all the time and she’s getting to be so much fun to “chat” with because of all her new sounds.

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Bout to scream/sing

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Things I want to remember: The way you try to grab everything in sight, even when it’s in another room, the way you laugh when Jameson does something funny, your surprised little giggle shrieks when I tickle you, your big gummy smile when Jameson and I sing “Baby Beluga” to you during bath time, how incredibly jolly you are in the morning right after you wake up (nothing can spoil your mood!), that excited kicky thing you do with your eyes all wide and mouth in a little “o” when you see a cool toy you want to have, how your eyes lock on me no matter where I am, and how you regularly check around to make sure I’m still in sight.

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Oh Nora, we just love you so much. We’re so thankful you’re ours and so thankful for every moment we get to have with you. You are adored and cherished and loved beyond what I can say. Praise God for every wonderful day, every normal day, and every difficult day. They are all so worth it. Happy four months, NoJo girl.

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Nora Monthly

Three months of Nora

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Nora is officially out of the newborn stage and on into regular old babyhood! We’re coming up on some of my favorite months so I’m really excited. 🙂 We are obsessed with this little girl and everything she adds to our lives!

Here’s what’s new for Nora at three months old…

Weight & Length: She didn’t have a checkup this month so I’m not sure about her percentile rankings and all that, but I weighed her myself at home and she’s right around 12 lbs, which is about a pound and a half bigger than last month. She’s filling out here and there (especially in her deliciously round belly) but at a much slower rate than her chunky big brother ever did. Very petite, this one!

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Clothing: She’s still in 0-3 month/3 month stuff right now and size 1 diapers. We have yet to break into her 3-6 month stuff but that’s okay with me because she has so many cute outfits that fit her right now! I’ll be sad to give them up.

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Hair & Eyes: Her eyes are still quite blue and her hair is mostly dark brown. I think it might be lightening up a bit (sometimes I see reddish tints) but overall it’s still the same. I know we have awhile to go but I can’t wait to see the texture it will be! Curly? Wavy? Straight? I also can’t wait to get more adorable hair bows for her because I’m a bit of a bow hoarder.

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Sleep: Well we’re finally hitting a rough patch with sleep. (The perfect angel sleep couldn’t last forever I guess.) Her sleep at night is still usually awesome…she sleeps from about 7:30pm-3:30am, eats, sleeps again until around 6:30am, eats again, and then wakes up for the day around 7 or 7:30. But her naps. Ohhhh her naps. She will only sleep for 30 minutes at a time. Like on the dot. She cannot get herself back to sleep unless she’s in the baby wrap or in her swing or sometimes the stroller. Basically she needs to be lulled back to sleep or else she’s up after half an hour. I’ve tried just dealing with it but then she’s needing to sleep every other hour and it’s absolutely exhausting (and near impossible with a toddler in tow) to spend 10 minutes rocking her and carefully getting her down only to have her wake up again 30 minutes later. And since I don’t feel like she’s ready for intense sleep training just yet, we’re basically just taking advantage of the swing or the baby wrap or the stroller once a day so she at least gets one good nap in. The rest of the time I still do try to have her nap in her room so she gets used to it but honestly this is just where we’re gonna be for a little while. As long as it’s not messing with her nighttime sleep, we’ll make it work.

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Eating: Still nursing around every 3-4 hours, but she’s really so particular about when she’ll eat. She doesn’t nurse for comfort like Jameson did…if she’s upset (which usually only happens when she’s overly tired) there is absolutely no consoling her until you can manage to rock her to sleep. She usually only nurses to sleep before bed and during the night. Otherwise, she absolutely refuses to nurse unless she’s actually hungry. I like that she knows what she wants but I’ll admit it was much easier to comfort Jameson and get him to sleep and I kinda miss that hahah.

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Milestones: She is sooo close to real belly laughs! She does this funny squeaky laugh/cough thing when you tickle her and she squeals in delight when you’re playing with her. I’m dying for a real, honest-to-goodness laugh though! Any day now, I bet. 🙂 Tummy time is still ehhh (she mostly just lays her head down and sucks on her hand haha) but she’s getting really good with her fine motor skills. All at once she noticed she has hands and can use them to swat the toys on her playmat or bring a soft toy up to her mouth when she’s in her bouncer. But since she’s not super great at it yet, she gets really annoyed when she can’t quite get her Sophie Giraffe exactly where she wanted it to go haha.

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Loves: Warm baths, the Solly Baby Wrap, her playmat, her Minnie Mouse stuffed animal, Sophie Giraffe (although it’s kind of a love-hate thing), watching Jameson, when Alex plays guitar, and when I talk to her or kiss her face or make silly sounds.

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Hates: Being tired (who doesn’t?), when she can’t get her toys all the way to her mouth, and when a loud scary noise happens (she gets the saddest look on her face, sticks her little lower lip allllll the way out, and just wails). Sometimes she hates her carseat too but she’s gotten much better about it.

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Communication: Smiling all the time, almost laughing, cooing and squealing. We’re slowly seeing bits of her personality and loving every second of it!

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Things I want to remember: The way you smile at me in the morning when you wake up all bright eyed and bushy tailed, that cough/laugh you do when I tickle your ribs or legs, how Jameson calls you his “baby sisto,” how big you smile when I start talking to you or kiss your cheeks, that face you make when you’re trying to grab Minnie Mouse on your lap (lips all pursed out), how Jameson shouts “NOWA’S AWAKE?!” with glee any time you wake up from a nap, the way your eyes get suuuuper wide when I make that high pitched sound with my tongue, and the way your daddy says “Hi Newt!” to you every time he comes home from work.

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We love you a bushel and a peck, sweet girl! More than yesterday, more than just this morning! These past three months have been so extra happy because of you. You are a joy in our lives and we’re so so so SOOOOXISCJIDSFIWG thankful God blessed us with your sweet, fun, beautiful self.

Nora Monthly

Two months of Nora

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It’s hard to believe our littlest love is already two months old! She continues to be such a sweet and joyful presence in our lives. She’s full of smiles these days and keeps us all swooning over those baby blues. What a beautiful little blessing she is!

Here’s what’s new for Nora at two months old…

Weight & Length: At her two month check up this week she weighed in at 10 lbs, 9 oz which is two and a half pounds more than she was at her last checkup (at 2 weeks old). She’s in the 28th percentile for weight, 88th for height (!!!), and 42nd for head circumference (glad that’s evening out haha!). I compared her stats with Jameson’s from the same age and they were the exact same height, but he was already three whole pounds heavier than she is! I kind of miss those extra chubby cheeks, but Nora is just a dainty little lady and that’s okay too. ❤

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Double chin game is strong.

Clothing: She’s in size 1 diapers and 0-3 month stuff pretty solidly now, with the occasional newborn item still fitting if it runs big, and the occasional 3 month item fitting if it runs small. My favorite places to shop for her are Target and Old Navy but I love buying her handmade bows from small shops online. It’s so different and fun shopping for a little girl!

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Hair & Eyes: Her hair is still dark brown and wavy and her eyes are still blue! I never thought I’d have a blue eyed babe but it looks like the blue is here to stay for now! She’s constantly getting compliments on how gorgeous those eyes are, which I completely agree with.

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Sleep: She’s still such an angel with her sleeping habits. She isn’t on a super set nap schedule during the day yet (which I don’t mind a bit) but she’s so good about napping wherever we put her. She doesn’t need to be rocked or anything. She likes to have her binky and her blankie and she’s good to go. She’s pretty much down for the night around 8pm and wakes up between 7 and 8am. She gets up once or twice a night (more like just once a night these days) and goes right back to sleep after a quick snack. Easy peasy, this little one!

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Eating:  She nurses every 3-4 hours during the day (not nearly as often as her brother used to at this age). Besides that, there’s nothing much to report in this category. Everything is business as usual!

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Milestones: She’s been bringing her hands to her mouth a lot more now, and her head and neck control is getting better by the day (she doesn’t need much support anymore when I’m holding her upright). She’ll even push up on me with her hands if I have her laying on her belly on my chest. She is not a fan of tummy time in general though, and will only tolerate it for a few minutes at a time before she starts whining and burying her head into the floor haha. So I don’t push it too much. I feel like I was so on top of things with Jameson (too on top of things), knowing exactly which milestones were supposed to happen when and getting him to practice every day. But with Nora I’m like “eh, she’ll get there when she gets there.”

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Loves: Music, her binky and blankie, her playmat, kisses, watching Jameson, and she loves when people (especially me) talk to her. And she’s a big fan of naps in the Solly Baby Wrap.

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Hates: Not a fan of her car seat on occasion and doesn’t like when people are too overbearing haha. Homegirl needs her space.

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Communication: She’s so smiley these days! She smiles at pretty much anyone who talks to her, but I get her smiles most often (lucky me!). She makes sweet little cooing noises and laughs in little squeaky gasps. It’s so cute! No true giggles yet but I’m so excited for that. My favorite thing right now is her scrunchy nose smile…

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Things I want to remember: Your double chin, your scrunchy-nose smile, the way you open your mouth so wide and try to eat my face when I kiss your cheeks, the way you quietly watch my every move as I’m hurrying around the kitchen making breakfast for Jameson in the mornings, how excited you get the second someone starts talking to you. how you attack the binky when it gets close to your lips, and how gooooood you smell. I could sniff ya all day, is that weird? Oh well.

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Dem crazy eyes. 
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“FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAAAA!!!”

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We’re all so in love with you, sweet girl! I can’t wait to get to know you better in this coming month. Happy two months, baby!

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Nora Monthly

One month of Nora

IMG_7475Happy one month to our Nora Joy! ❤ You guys. This girl is a dreeeeaaam! How obsessed is too obsessed because I am TOTALLY OBSESSED with my daughter! She is the sweetest little thing. So calm, so easy going, so so adorable. She has us all totally in love.

As I write this she’s really closer to being a month and a half, but man is it hard to stay on top of with things when you throw another kid in the mix…even if that kid sleeps half the day. There always seems to be a ton of stuff to do. I feel like I’m just now catching up on all the cleaning and regular house stuff I kind of ignored in our first few weeks home.

Oh well. Anyway. This is a Nora update so let me get started on all the wonderful things about this sweet girly…

Weight & Length: She didn’t have a one month checkup so the most recent stats come from her two week appointment. She was 20 inches tall (45th percentile) and 8 pounds even (51st percentile), which is 10 oz more than her starting weight. 🙂 Her head circumference is the only thing well above average, placing her in the 67th percentile (she can thank her father for that big ol’ noggin. More room for extra brains though, right?!).

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Clothing: She’s in 0-3 month stuff for the most part, although some of her newborn things still fit. She’s pretty skinny everywhere except her little belly, which is adorably round. It makes it kind of tricky to find onesies that aren’t too tight around her middle and still fit her teeny arms and legs. Although to be honest I keep her in pj’s 95% of the time.

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Hair & Eyes: She was born with lots of dark brown hair and those typical newborn gray eyes. Now sometimes I can see tints of red in her hair when she’s in the sunlight but I have a feeling it will stay fairly dark for awhile. Maybe a deep auburn someday? That would be gorgeous. It curls here and there too but not nearly as much as her dad’s hair does. I’m thinking it’ll be closer to my hair texture (wavy now, but ringlet curls when I was little). Her eyes have gotten bluer and bluer and I’m thinking they’re going to stay super light, which is surprising to me! Alex has brown eyes, I have green, and Jameson has dark hazel so I figured hers would be somewhere in that range too. But nope, girlfriend has the most beautiful baby blues. They totally melt me!

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Sleep: I have to remember to thank her when she’s older for the blessing she has been in the sleep department. She goes down for the night around 8, wakes up around 3am to eat (and goes right back to sleep), eats again around 6, and then gets up for the day between 8-9am. Sometimes she only wakes up once during the night to eat! I feel like we totally skipped the hazy newborn sleep deprivation phase. She’s amazing. And even with all that good sleep at night she’s still napping like a champ really anywhere we put her during the day. The interesting thing is that she actually prefers not to be rocked to sleep (which is 100% different from her brother). Give her a blanket and a binkie and put her down by herself and she’s out within minutes. It’s the strangest thing. I’ve never met a baby like that before. She really loves having her own space at times. Of course she does like to be snuggled too but in general she is super low maintenance when it comes to sleep.

IMG_7633IMG_7472Eating: Nursing pretty much every 3 hours on the dot during the day (sometimes sooner if she’s a little grumpy). Another difference between Nora and Jameson that I’ve noticed is Nora will not nurse if she’s not hungry. With Jameson, I could pretty much use it to soothe him even if he had just eaten half an hour ago. Not the case with Nora. She actually gets kind of mad if you try to feed her before she’s ready haha.

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Milestones: She has surprisingly good head and neck control for a one month old and she’s way more in tune with what’s going on around her these days (when she’s not sleeping that is, haha). She follows us with her eyes and turns her head to different sounds or new voices. We’ve gotten a few true smiles from her and once or twice I heard her giggle in her sleep, but no real laughs just yet. I can’t wait for that day though. 🙂 Baby laughs are the BEST.

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Loves: Sleeping (of course), kisses from all of us (Jameson is especially sweet with this!), snoozing in the baby wrap, her binkie, holding onto something as she falls asleep (usually my shirt or this little bunny lovey we have), music (especially when Alex plays his guitar), and listening to mommy’s voice.

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Hates: I’m having a hard time coming up with something she hates. Honestly she is such a happy, content little thing. I guess she’s not fond of her carseat sometimes and she does really despise having her nose cleaned out. But besides that she’s really a go-with-the-flow kind of kid.

She did sort of hate this outfit at first though hahaha.

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Communication: She’s so much quieter than Jameson was. He was always grunting or making some sort of annoyed sound haha. Unless she’s hungry or getting tired, she’s pretty much quietly observing everything around her. She makes little cooing noises here and there and I can tell the difference between her different cries now. In fact I actually get excited when she cries for real because it’s so rare that I hear her little voice!

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Things I want to remember: Your quizzical face (eyebrows all the way up, lips in a little “o,” big blue eyes as wide as they can go), how you grab onto my shirt when I’m holding you and you’re falling asleep, the way your whole little body relaxes and you sigh the second I pick you up, the way you watch my every move so intently as I’m holding you, how unbelievably sweet your brother is with you (asking where you are the second he wakes up in the morning, begging to hold you all the time, smothering you with kisses and hugs, and doing his best to help you when you’re upset), the way your hair curls up right at the top of your head, how your daddy calls you “Newt” haha, how sweet you smell all the time, and how you’re calmed instantly when you hear my voice.

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Who disturbs my slumber?
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Will sleep anywhere.

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“Happy” Thanksgiving.

IMG_7651Processed with VSCO with s2 presetOh Nora, we just love you so much. You are such a beautiful blessing to our family and we adore everything about you. I can’t believe there was ever a time you weren’t here with us! You complete us so perfectly. Happy one month, sweetheart! ❤

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