I'm Jessica, writer and creator of Milk with a Meal. I live in a cozy home in the desert with my three loves and our curly little puppy. We love Jesus, we love each other, and we love this life we've been given. Make yourself comfy & stay awhile!
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Hates: The usual culprits. Tummy time, car seat, being away from me for too long. Ps, these pictures crack me up:
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.
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.
Happy half birthday, NoJo baby! We love you to bits and pieces. ❤
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!
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.
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. 🙂
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!
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. Dramaqueen. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Communication: Smiling all the time, almost laughing, cooing and squealing. We’re slowly seeing bits of her personality and loving every second of it!
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.
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.
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. ❤
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.”
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.
Hates: Not a fan of her car seat on occasion and doesn’t like when people are too overbearing haha. Homegirl needs her space.
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…
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.
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!
Happy 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?!).
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.
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!
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.
Eating: 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 notnurse 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Oh 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! ❤
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. 🙂
The blanket my sister made for her. 🙂
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!
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.
Since 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.
Shortly 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.
Everything 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.
Holding his daughter for the first time.
God 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.
First picture as a family of four!
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.
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.
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. ❤
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.
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! 🙂