Nora Monthly

Three months of Nora

IMG_8982

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!

Snapseed 22

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.

Snapseed 23

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.

IMG_8957

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.

Snapseed 20IMG_8386IMG_8688

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.

IMG_8415

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.

IMG_8983IMG_8691IMG_8921

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.

Snapseed 29Snapseed 21IMG_8793IMG_8620

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.

IMG_8959IMG_8798

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

Snapseed 24IMG_8781Snapseed 20 copy

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.

Snapseed 33Snapseed 27FullSizeRender 3FullSizeRender 2IMG_8417IMG_8379IMG_8378IMG_8429IMG_8423Processed with VSCO with a6 presetIMG_8559IMG_8572IMG_8601IMG_8630IMG_8668IMG_8672IMG_8695IMG_8703IMG_8733IMG_8728IMG_8739IMG_8748IMG_8766IMG_8867IMG_8785IMG_8878IMG_8880IMG_8858FullSizeRender 4IMG_8903IMG_8905 copyIMG_8977IMG_8974IMG_8972

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

IMG_8352

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. ❤

IMG_8314

IMG_8064
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!

Snapseed 30IMG_8303

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.

IMG_8341IMG_8313Snapseed 20

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!

Snapseed 25IMG_8077IMG_8084

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!

Snapseed 21Snapseed 24

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.”

IMG_8326

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.

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetIMG_8126IMG_8133IMG_8115

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

Snapseed 23

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…

IMG_8353IMG_8329

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.

Snapseed 26Snapseed 31

Snapseed 29
Dem crazy eyes. 
IMG_8327
“FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAAAA!!!”

IMG_7677IMG_7659IMG_7684IMG_7791IMG_7792IMG_7843IMG_7794Processed with VSCO with m5 presetIMG_8024IMG_8026IMG_8070IMG_8072IMG_8091IMG_8046IMG_8124IMG_8163IMG_8157FullSizeRender 2IMG_8251IMG_8257IMG_8307IMG_8310Snapseed 21IMG_7680Snapseed 27

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!

IMG_8340

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?!).

Snapseed 8

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.

Snapseed 15

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!

Snapseed 19Snapseed 6IMG_7477

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.

IMG_7491

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.

IMG_7659

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.

Snapseed 18IMG_7388IMG_7127

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.

IMG_7360

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!

Snapseed 17Snapseed 14

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.

Snapseed 5Snapseed 11Snapseed 7Snapseed 4Snapseed 16IMG_7272IMG_7111IMG_7131IMG_7137IMG_7172IMG_7173IMG_7198IMG_7201IMG_7231IMG_7265IMG_7320

IMG_7486
Who disturbs my slumber?
IMG_7496
Will sleep anywhere.

IMG_7510

IMG_7520
“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! ❤

Snapseed 10

At home, Baby #2

Four.

As I sit here writing this on a Sunday afternoon, all my babies are asleep. Yes, all of them (Alex and Charlie included). So it’s the perfect time to finally post some of my favorites from Nora’s newborn photoshoot!

We considered hiring a professional photographer for these pictures but it really came down to us being too cheap and too lazy to look into it much, hah! So with my little Nikon DSLR in hand (and the free editing apps on my phone, yep that’s how cheap I am), I went to work on capturing these moments for our family. And you know what? I love how they turned out. Not because they’re perfect (they’re certainly not!) but because they’re our family and because there are four of us now and because there’s just a whole lot of happy in these pictures. 🙂

IBSAE9444

LKPBE3038

EVBQE5974NPJRE3330MIGME6027VTBAE2521PMCPE6405UCDIE9579 (1)

XQWFE2316

HHCZE9127IJSFE1201CKWLE6845TCAIE9685YIUUE9497

NEAZE7037OQXQE2806TJNEE7161 (1)OKOEE0049EHOCE4315UCYZE9105

FXVLE7592GTFME1979CTKTE2498XTVLE9474IMG_E7078

WXGME6726

The blanket my sister made for her. 🙂

TNJTE3778SIEWE6853

XPPTE9927RQJAE3736PKLRE0803KHOQE5408GLOLE6877TERTE0380AFIXE1948

How most of this photoshoot actually went haha! Toddlers.

We love you SO much, NoJo, and we are so incredibly thankful that you’ve officially joined our family!

Baby #2

She came with the sun

Nora Joy. Our sweet October sunshine girl is here! She was born ten days early on Thursday, October 19th at 9:13am. She was 7 lbs, 6 oz, 19 inches long and absolutely beautiful in every way.

Processed with VSCO with c2 presetSince the day we found out that I was due near the end of October, I had the 19th in my mind as the day I really wanted my daughter to be born. Both of my high school best friends have their birthdays on that day so I thought it would be special and fun for my little girl to be their birthday buddy. But I never expected it to actually happen! Such a sweet little gift on top of everything else. 🙂

Earlier that week (on Monday) I started having some actual contractions. I always have Braxton Hicks throughout my pregnancies but I could tell these were the real deal. I was so excited thinking labor was starting! The contractions never got consistently time-able, though, and they never worsened in their intensity. By dinner time they had fizzled out completely. I was hopeful that labor would start up that night or maybe the next day, but Tuesday and Wednesday were totally normal days with maybe one or two real contractions sprinkled in just to keep me on my toes.

I went to sleep kind of disappointed on Wednesday night after a day of trying things to get labor going (walking around, eating spicy foods, bouncing on my yoga ball). The next day was the 19th and it looked like we were going to pass right by it. Oh well, I thought, she would come when God’s timing was perfect for her. I fell asleep around ten and was woken up about 3 hours later (around 12:45am on Thursday, the 19th) to contractions.

I stayed in bed for about half an hour timing contractions on an app I had on my phone. Alex happened to wake up and notice what was going on but I told him to try and get some sleep while I figured out the pattern. I was expecting it to be like my labor with Jameson, with contractions staying consistent and progressively getting closer together and more intense. But these were totally all over the place, sometimes feeling really intense and sometimes fizzling out before they got started. They were 6 minutes apart, then 3 minutes apart, then 7 minutes apart, then 11 minutes apart, then 4 minutes apart. It was a mess haha.

I texted Alex’s cousin Michelle (who is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital we would be delivering at) and she happened to be working! She gave me some advice and then I called my midwife (Stacie) at 2:17am to let her know what was going on. Since there was no set pattern with the contractions Stacie advised me to take some Tylenol, drink some water, and try to sleep. If it was real labor, it wouldn’t go anywhere.

I ended up laying on the couch in the living room watching The Office for awhile as I kept trying to time contractions. They were still ALL over the place but never more than 11 minutes apart. I found the pain to be far far worse laying down, but getting up made the contractions come closer together. Eventually I settled on resting on the couch between contractions and getting up to move around as I felt one coming on. Alex was able to help me here and there by rubbing my back, praying over me, and talking me out of hurrying off to get an epidural. And I was asking for it hardcore this time. I don’t think I ever asked for it with Jameson’s labor, but this time on top of contractions I felt so sick to my stomach all night long. And honestly I was scared about it being a very long, drawn out labor since the contractions were a hot mess. I was worried about how to know when to go to the hospital, worried about when to have Alex’s dad come over to stay with Jameson, worried about speeding through the end part of labor and not getting to the hospital in time (we barely made it with Jameson). Basically I was just fearful and not trusting the Lord.

Finally around 6:20am I got up, threw up, and decided right then and there that we’d better just go to the hospital even though contractions were still kind of random. The intensity of them was enough to push me to make the decision. I figured the worst that could happen is they’d send us back home. As soon as we decided, I had a 20 minute stretch of no contractions at all. I was able to get all our stuff together, say goodbye to Jameson (who happened to wake up right before we left), and get into the car with no problems. During the 20 minute drive to the hospital I had one good contraction and nothing else. I started feeling silly for having us head out since labor was obviously slowing down. But then we were there and I knew I should at least have them check me out.

The nurses at the front desk were kind of like, “You’re in labor…?” and I wasn’t able to give them the pattern of contractions because there wasn’t any. I guessed they were on average about 10 minutes apart. They checked me in and sent me to triage where, lo and behold, they found I was 6-7cm dilated and 90% effaced! “Yep, you’re having a baby today!” the nurse said, and I looked at Alex and kind of just shrugged my shoulders. Guess we’re meeting our daughter today! It was 7:20 am and the sun was finally up.

IMG_6666Shortly after that I was moved into a labor and delivery room. The tub was filled with warm water and ready for me, but I had to wait a bit to get in because the baby’s heart rate dipped down every time I had a contraction. They let me in a little while later and it felt sooo nice. I never got to use the tub with Jameson because he came so quickly. This time I was able to use it for ten whole minutes hahah. All of the sudden I felt like my water had broken (hard to tell in the tub, they later said it didn’t break completely) so they hurried me out and back to the delivery bed since the hospital doesn’t allow tub births. Everyone was standing by watching me closely because they knew once my water broke, she would be here within a matter of minutes.

Sure enough, pushing contractions started and it was go time. Alex prayed over me and then we got started. I was trying to be careful at first because I pushed Jameson out so quickly that his poor little face got bruised. I didn’t want the same thing to happen this time. But with each contraction, her heart rate would dip again. So I started actively pushing with Alex holding my hand and Michelle by my side. Ten minutes later I was reaching down to pull my daughter up and onto my chest in one of the most incredible moments of my whole life.

dsc_2428-1Everything felt so surreal but also so vibrantly alive. There is nothing in the world like it. I was holding her and crying and looking at Alex in amazement and everything was perfect. I couldn’t believe she was here (and looking so much like her big brother) and it was less than two hours since we arrived at the hospital. I think once we got there and I knew I could relax and have my baby safely, everything just got moving. I never did find a pattern in the contractions, though. The closest I got was between 5am-6am when they were about ten minutes apart. Besides that, my labor never really followed a set plan the way it did with Jameson. And honestly it never felt quite as intense as it did with Jameson. I think part of the problem I was having all night was thinking it would be worse than it was.

XZDKE9815

Holding his daughter for the first time.

WGUHE5716MYIOE6902MVVUE6062KWUCE5197God was so gracious to me and gave me such a wonderful labor and an amazing delivery. From start to finish it was only about eight and a half hours and I was able to do it completely naturally, the way I had been wanting to and praying for. It all fell into place even better than I was expecting! Alex went to get Jameson a little while later and he was able to meet his sister just a couple hours after she came into the world.

IGCGE5046

First picture as a family of four!

OQPXE0471UAANE8225SQAPE4573

TVXSE7271AIIJE0032

The next 24 hours were filled with a few visitors (mostly family), lots of brand new baby snuggles, and plenty of rest for me (although honestly this recovery has been incredibly smooth and simple). I could barely take my eyes off my daughter the whole time (still have trouble looking away). She is breathtakingly beautiful and so so sweet.

UIBXE3155SJRSE4985

IMG_6801IMG_6796IMG_6788IMG_6731IMG_6701IMG_6699

Jameson’s first time holding his sister. I couldn’t stop crying!

Oh! And her name. ❤

It was a debate the entire pregnancy about what we would call her. Alex had his favorite, I had mine and eventually we decided to wait until she was born to settle. We both liked each other’s top picks but we wanted to be sure we chose the one that fit her best. After she arrived, she looked so much like Jameson that I honestly couldn’t see either name on her. Alex saw “Nora” right away (probably partly because that had been his top choice all along haha). I didn’t want to give up on my favorite name (which we may use in the future if we get the chance) so she didn’t have a name at all until probably 6 or 7 that night. Finally I looked down at her, tried both names out, and Nora just fit. The dark wavy hair, her sweet and even-tempered personality, the classic feel of the name…it all just fit. There’s no other way to describe it. And knowing that Alex was so sure and so in love with the name…how could I choose anything else? I was a little sad to leave my favorite name behind but Nora is my favorite name for her, my daughter. We gave her the middle name Joy because it’s my middle name too and because my dad always used the acronym of it to teach me about what true joy is… Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. JOY. I want to do the same for Nora.

MQXLE9986EREAE8431

Her name literally translates into “a joyful light” and she is exactly that. Our little sunshine girl. I fall more and more in love with her each time I look at her (which is all the time) and she fits into our family as if she was always a part of it. I can’t believe we were ever without her.

Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of our sweet Nora girl. ❤

And just a few more from our hospital stay…

IMG_6694IMG_6705IMG_6707IMG_6709IMG_6710IMG_E6698IMG_E6712IMG_E6869IMG_6753IMG_6758

At home, Recipes

A simple morning

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

With the new baby coming so soon, I’ve been trying to find special things for Jameson and I to do together. Nothing too fancy, just little ways to fill our days with fun and sweet memories. I’m so excited to add a new little friend to our family but these last few weeks with just my boy are so precious.

Right now, one of Jameson’s favorite things to do is help me cook or bake. Whenever I start prepping food he gets all excited and pushes a chair right up to the counter and says, “Awight. I help Mommy.” And even though it may take five times as long with him “helping” me, I can never say no! I love teaching him how to follow directions, add specific ingredients, mix and knead and measure and spread, and of course taste-test along the way. 😉 The pride on his little face when he’s doing his part is totally worth the extra flour on the counter or the crumbs dropped on the floor. Someday I know I’ll be begging him to spend time with me.

So for now, we cook everything together. A few weeks ago I decided to try my hand at baking some homemade bread. I don’t own a bread machine or anything like that so I found a super simple white bread recipe that you can bake right in the oven. It came out delicious! Soft and chewy with a crispy crust. Jameson loved eating it straight up but I preferred mine toasted with plenty of butter and jam. 🙂 Either way, it was gone in minutes. We took it outside and enjoyed our snack together, just the two of us.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

Processed with VSCO with b1 presetProcessed with VSCO with s2 preset

If you’re interested in trying the recipe for yourself, you can find the one we used right here. And then let me know how it comes out! 🙂

Bumpdates

Bumpdate – 36.5 weeks

I can’t believe it but we’re almost to full-term! On Sunday I’ll be 37 weeks so it’s really just a waiting game at this point. Baby girl is free to come whenever she’s ready!

We had an ultrasound and regular appointment this past Tuesday and thankfully, everything looked perfect. My midwife has been concerned this whole time about my weight gain and the fact that my belly keeps measuring about two weeks behind…so they had us come in for an extra ultrasound to check on this little peanut’s growth and my fluid levels. Praise God it was all good news! She measured in the 39th percentile at around 6 lbs, 2 oz and everything else was right on track. We got to see her little face too, but she’s so smushed in there that it was hard to see anything very clearly. She looks like she has chubby cheeks though, just like Jameson! Her nose also looked super similar to Jameson’s. But I guess we’ll see for sure when she’s born within the next few weeks!

Later at our regular appointment my belly still measured two weeks behind, so basically I’m just carrying her really compactly. No need to worry at all! They’re still pushing me to gain as much weight as I can so I can have some extra fat storages for breastfeeding after she’s born (I’m only up to 11 lbs gained total, which we now know is mostly just baby and fluid). I’ve been instructed to add milkshakes and cookies and all things fatty into my diet! Don’t mind if I do. 😉

How far along: 36.5 weeks
How big is baby: About the size of a large cantaloupe (19-22 inches long and around 6 lbs, 2 oz according to our ultrasound)
Movement: Fewer giant rolls and more slithering, sliding movements if that makes sense. She’s running out of room in there so she can’t perform her acrobatics the way she used to. I can tell exactly how she’s positioned (head down, her back on my left side, her feet on my right side) and I feel her the most where her legs and feet are, as well as down very low in my belly where her arms and hands are. Sometimes it feels like she’s trying to push her way out!
Major symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions are definitely picking up and some of them are kind of intense. There have been a couple of times where my stomach was contracted for over five minutes straight, and sometimes I have to stop everything and focus on breathing through them. Besides that, just normal end-of-pregnancy symptoms…exhaustion, shortness of breath, and lots of extra pressure in my pelvis. Everything feels like a sign at this point…like I could go into labor at any moment. I’ll be sitting around and something weird will happen and I’ll think, “This is it! Here we go!” But nope, usually just have to pee again.
Best moments this week: Our friends hosted an open mic worship night this past weekend which I loved going to with my boys, and I’m also loving the fact that it’s finally OCTOBER!!! Baby month is officially here!
Looking forward to: Labor? Delivery? I don’t know but I’m really excited for this whole process to get started so we can meet our little girl. 🙂

** Cravings: I’m adding this category back in this week because I’m finally having some real cravings! They are super boring and lame (basically just cold and crunchy things, like raw carrots and raw broccoli) but I know they’re for real because the other night I thought I was going to lose my mind if I didn’t start eating some broccoli from the fridge right away. Thinking about it right now is actually making me kind of anxious…like I need to go get some broccoli right now. Okay bye.

This picture cracks me up because of the little foot going under the crib. 😂

At home, Baby #2, DIY

Our simple & sweet baby girl nursery

I’m so excited to share this today! Our baby girl’s nursery is complete. I’m almost 36 weeks right now so we still had a bit of time to finish it up, but I’m so happy it’s done! (Nesting totally takes over my mind at the end of my pregnancies.)

snapseed-36We chose to go very simple and minimalistic this time around, partly to save some money and partly because my style in general is pretty subtle and classic. The room has a sort of shabby-chic vibe to it, but the decor is really just the basics and a few statement pieces I found along the way.

Our color scheme was mostly neutral (whites, creams, and grays) with hints of dusty pink and very light green. I figured this would be easiest to customize later based on her personal style. 😊 We started with the dresser and glider, which we already had, found a crib to match, and added the rest here and there over the past few months.

snapseed-31

snapseed-37

snapseed-29fullsizerender-3

Some of the pieces came from Hobby Lobby, some from Target, some from Marshalls. But my favorites are the ones that are homemade (my sister and I each crocheted a blanket) and the ones that came from my childhood room, like the framed picture and “The True Princess” book on the bottom shelf. Basically I’m a sentimental sap, pregnant or not. 😉

img_6443

snapseed-38

Beautiful blanket and bow made by my sister.

snapseed-40

The first complete blanket I’ve ever crocheted! (Don’t ask me about the one I tried to make for Jameson…it was a hot mess. I’ll try again soon haha.)

This room has quickly become my favorite in the house. It’s so naturally light and pretty that it didn’t need much work to begin with. Adding a few little personal touches here and there was all we really had to do.

img_6430img_6439snapseed-32img_6457

I can’t wait to bring our little girl home to this pretty space and fill it up with love and sweet memories and that perfect newborn scent!

img_6468img_6455

snapseed-43

And I can’t resist posting one of my little photography assistant. Because look at that face.

img_6445

See you soon, baby girl! xoxo

Jameson Monthly

2 Years of Jameson

We have a two-year-old! That feels so weird to say, like Alex and I are adults or something crazy like that. I thought I would be more sentimental and sad around his birthday this year because we’re officially all done with his babyhood but honestly I love this stage so much! Jameson and I are becoming such good buddies now. We can play lots of bigger kid games together, we joke around, we have little conversations, he helps me with easy chores around the house. Of course there are things that are harder now that he’s bigger…he’s got his own ideas about how to do things, he’s learning how to share and how to be a good sport, he’s finding out that sometimes things don’t go according to plan and sometimes we have to be patient. But he’s still our sweet and thoughtful boy and we still have many more good days than hard days. He is truly such a blessing and I feel so lucky to have him every single day.

Here’s what’s new for our little guy at two years old…

Weight & Length: At his two-year-old checkup a couple weeks ago he weighed in at 25 lbs, 8 oz and measured 2 feet, 9 inches tall, which is only about two pounds heavier and two inches taller than he was six months ago. This puts him in the 20th percentile for weight and the 22nd percentile for height…such a little peanut! Everything was healthy, though, so we aren’t concerned at all.

Clothing: He’s in 2T stuff now, and size 7 for shoes! I’m currently working on putting together his wardrobe for fall/winter, and gathering stuff for his sister too. It’s a whole new world buying things for two, especially since now I’m buying for a little girl as well!

Sleep: In all honesty he is not the best sleeper. He naps once a day for about an hour and a half to two hours (never a problem) but at night he’s kind of a fitful sleeper. Some nights are fine, others he’s waking up every couple of hours and calling for one of us. Alex usually goes in and Jameson will immediately lay back down and go to sleep without a problem, so I think he just gets scared and lonely sometimes.

Eating: Jameson is still such a picky little eater. He prefers to snack rather than eat full meals, but he’s good about eating what we tell him to even when he doesn’t want to (although it takes him a loooong time. Literally the slowest eater I’ve ever met.). His favorite things to eat are strawberries and blueberries, oranges, French toast, eggs, chicken nuggets, PB&J’s, pizza, rice, yogurt, Pirate’s Booty, and really any kind of sweet (of course). He’s not really into many meats or veggies so we usually have to work a little harder to get those in.

Speech & Language: He’s recently totally taken off in this area! He regularly speaks in six word sentences and copies eeeeverything. He has an amazing memory and can tell full stories about things we’ve done or seen — even from months ago! Sometimes he sounds like a Minion because he likes to fill in the words he doesn’t know with babble, but I understand most of what he’s saying even if I don’t understand every little word. I love having conversations with him and I love reading books as he recites along with me. He knows about 6 or 7 letters by sight now and can sing along to parts of the ABC’s (and lots of other songs too). We’re also working on memorizing some Scripture and some Catechism questions, which he’s doing great with. There’s so much more I can say about this area but I think I’ll save it for another post. Maybe a “Jameson Says” series with all the cute and funny things he says. 🙂

Loves: Spider-Man, the Hulk, wrestling with Daddy, helping me cook/bake, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Curious George, reading, coloring, Play-Doh, playing with his racetrack, playing with his Hess helicopter, swimming, running and jumping and being tough, hide-and-seek, playing his matching games, spending time with his family and cousins, and dancing! His top song right now is probably “Get Back Up Again” from Trolls, but he really loves all music and especially when Alex plays guitar.

Hates: Currently, the wind (random, but he had a terrifying moment last week where a huge gust blasted him in the face and shot a bunch of leaves straight at him haha). Also really doesn’t like eating sometimes, and hates when I tell him he needs to wait patiently and quietly (we’re working on this). And as we discovered on his birthday (whoops) he hates the Rainforest Café.

Things We Want to Remember: How much you love feeling your baby sister kick, the way you say “C’mon Daddy!” in that squeaky voice, the way you shout “Mommy, ARE you?!” when you need me, the way you wrap us in the best hugs with your tiny arms around our necks, how you get so excited and proud when you do the simplest things (“I deet!”), how you try to bargain with us when we tell you it’s time to stop something (“One more time den aaaall done”), how you run around and around in a circle with the biggest smile on your face when Daddy plays guitar or your favorite song comes on, your “Hulk Smash” impressions and the way you pretend to shoot Spider-Man webs out of your wrists with the sound effects and everything, how you like to encourage me (“Wow! Good job, Mommy!”), how you empathize with others when things go wrong (“Oh no, Mana [Madelyn] sad.” and “Poor Daddy!” when Daddy has to mow the lawn in the heat), how you’ve started joking about poop, the way you make fake phone calls (“Hi Daddy. How’s doin’? Okay bye. *click!*”), and how you’re always ready to act goofy with me.

We love you so much, our big two year old! You make us proud every day and we’re so thankful that God continues to bless our lives with YOU! ❤

Letters to Littles

Letter #1

To my daughter,

Hi sweet girl! This is the first of many letters I hope to write to you, just like I’ve done for your big brother. We haven’t settled on your name yet but we’ll be meeting each other very soon! (You’re due in about a month!) Daddy and I decided that we’re going to wait until you’re born to see which name seems to fit you best. I hope you like it, whatever it turns out to be. I’m kind of liking the fact that you don’t have an official name yet anyway. You can still be anyone!

A couple months ago we saw you for the fourth and final time before you’re born. We couldn’t get a good view of your little face because you had your hands and feet covering it! We tried poking you and shifting you around but you didn’t budge a bit. Obviously you’re totally content in doing your own thing (something I’ve known about you for awhile now). But that’s okay; independence is a good thing. (Although I might regret saying that once you’ve hit toddlerhood.)

No matter who you are, we are so excited to get to know you! Jameson asks to feel you kick almost every day (“See baby kick?” he says) and he loves to blow raspberries directly onto my stomach. Sometimes it startles you but I think you’re mostly used to it by now. I can’t wait to see you and your big brother meet! It’s probably the thing I’m most excited for. I’m sure you know this already, but you are so blessed to have a brother like Jameson. He might get on your nerves now and then, and maybe sometimes he’ll have a hard time showing it…but I know he loves you so much. He is so sweet and thoughtful even at age two right now, and he is fiercely loyal to the people he trusts. It’s not easy to get into his inner circle but once you’re in, you’re in. Lucky for you, you’ll be born with an “in.” I promise I’ll do my best to make sure he learns to protect you and care for you and walk alongside you in the Lord. I always wanted an older brother and I’m so thankful that my little girl gets to have one of her own.

Daddy and I are praying for you daily, little one. We both wanted a daughter so much and we already feel so blessed to have you, even though we don’t quite know you yet. I can’t wait to see what you look like, figure out all your likes and dislikes, have conversations with you someday, and learn all about your wonderful personality. The responsibility of having a daughter weighs on me in a way that having a son never has. I’m praying God gives me the tools I need to raise you in a way that’s glorifying to Him. And I hope you can give me grace when I’m sure to mess things up. My heart and my intentions are always for you.

I love you so much, precious girl. You are beautiful and valued and cherished more than you know! See you soon, sweetheart.

Love always,

Mommy