Zachary: 3 Months

This month our goal was to introduce Zach to more time with other people and less time with mom and dad. So all of us get a break once in a while.

We started the month with Zach’s first time away from family. The gym hosts a parent’s night out once a month for members. We dropped Zach off with diaper bag and bottle and had time for dinner and to play a board game before picking him up. Zach did great and loved the attention, Mom only looked at her phone about 5 times.

The following weekend, Zach spent a full day with his grandparent’s while mom and dad went to a renaissance faire (for more on this see Renaissance Faire). The next day he spent all of church in the nursery where he took a bottle then promptly fell asleep in the crib.

That next week Zach and I went to the gym so I could attend a Zumba class, it was great to get back to exercise and to take a live class again. Zach did great and only became fussy because he got hiccups near the end of the hour.

We are excited that he is doing so well at interacting and spending time with other people.

Zachary is talking up a storm and adding new sounds all the time. He has learned he doesn’t have to cry to get what he wants, just make the right noise. According to his two-month appointment (more like 10 week) he is ahead in many developmental markers.

Some of those markers include rolling from his back to his stomach, holding up his head on his stomach, reaching out and intentionally grabbing objects, and laughing and smiling spontaneously. He is also quick to get frustrated because his body cannot do what his mind wants it to such as crawl or hold onto objects. He drools like crazy because he’s already teething! And as you can tell enjoys chewing on his hands.

The biggest blessing of the month is that Zach no longer rages against sleep. He can self-sooth, suck on his thumb, to sleep at least for one nap during the day and if he’s almost asleep then he can be transferred to his cradle without many problems. In addition to this, he is now feeding only once in the middle of the night! So Mom is getting four to five hours of sleep in a row! I forgot what it felt like to function with a few REM cycles each night.

Zach is as full of curiosity, determination, and energy as ever.

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Happy Father’s Day! 2017

Last week I said I would be honoring three men in my life this year for father’s day; more on the first two see: honoring father’s day

As for the third? Last but of course not least I have to honor the newest father in the family, my husband Luke.

Leading up to Zach’s birth Luke worked tirelessly at a seemingly never ending list to get us established and settled in a new home, state, and job. From the second he found out were were pregnant he fixated on selling the house in Wayland, setting up new insurances and bank accounts, looking for/buying us a home, getting us a safer/newer car and so many other details while also trying to establish himself in a new job. Luke sacrificed many weeknight hours and almost every weekend leading up to May getting us settled. This  includes also attending a twelve week birth class on the weekends with me and being attentive as we prepared for parenthood.

Adding to all of this, he was wonderful husband and coach through a difficult, and exhausting labor process. He was extremely encouraging, helping me through long hours waiting for Zach in spite of his own exhaustion, and hunger. Luke almost never left my side and only did so to update family. Near the end,  he provided the reassurance and wisdom I needed for us change our birth plan and bring Zach safely into the world.

Now that he has a few week’s experience as a father, I can say he has also been great as a parent. He was super involved in Zach’s care as well as mine after we got home from the hospital. Even now that he he is back at work he checks in with me during the day to see how everything is going. On the weekends he’s very attentive and helps with all aspects of Zach’s care and love to play with him. He has already established a strong relationship with Zach and can tell what he needs or wants sometimes better than me. On the very overwhelming days, Luke has been taking Zach and Kira on a walk in the evenings so I can get peace and quiet while I finished up projects around the house, shower, or take a nap.

I never questioned or doubted Luke would be an awesome father. But I admire him even more as a husband through this whole process. He has been here for me in ways I never expected or anticipated he would need to, and he has taken it all without complaint.

I am honored to watch the way he interacts with Zachary as they build up a relationship together. I can see how much love he has for his son as well as joy and hope as he looks to the lifetime of adventures they will have together.

Happy First Father’s Day Luke!

Setting up: furniture

We never fully established our home in Wayland with furniture and then downsized what we did have when we moved to Centralia.

For a few months everyone who visited seemed content to use stools, folding tables/chairs, a blow up bed, and share our only sofa/ love seat.

But it was obvious when we moved to our new home in Chehalis, which has even more square footage then Wayland, that we had minimal places to sit or eat.

Now that we have moved, we have been blessed to borrow or be gifted many pieces of furniture. We are honored to use furniture for mine and Luke’s childhood for the nursery (more on this to come). Plus we were gifted a desk, two bench seats, a bed/ bed frame and several other pieces by family members. These have helped us set up a guest bedroom; which has already gratefully been used several times.

Even with all of these items, we realized we did not have places for people to sit or eat when they visit after Baby Greene is born. We have been looking the past month or so on craigslist and offerup impatiently trying to coordinate the right items, price, and timing/resources to pick something up.

This past weekend, Luke’s parents came to help us with any last minute prep before baby. We asked them to bring the trailer so we could pick up furniture. In two days and only two trailer trips, Luke and John were able to pick up a leather couch and chair set, a vinyl couch, and an oak dinning table set with six chairs.  All of this costed us less than what an outlet store would offer for a living room set alone.

On top of these blessings, the couple who sold us the leather couch and chair gave us four tall backed bar-stools for free, perfect for our galley kitchen for free. Next thing you know, our living room and family room are full.

This is the first time in our marriage we have bought a couch set and even owned a dinning table set, items we plan to keep for a long time. I am relieved to no longer have guests sleep on a blow up bed or eat around a folding table and chairs.  It makes this house feel so much more welcoming.

Thank you family for providing us with furniture and helping us pick-up what we need to establish ourselves and our home.

BaByQ Oregon Shower

This past weekend my in-laws hosted a BBQ/baby shower for us and Baby Greene.

Luke’s Dad, John, is locally famous for his BBQ and homemade sauce and loves to host parties to share his BBQ with others. So we decided to do a joint shower/ BBQ party at my in-laws house in Oregon for all family and friends who live in the Northwest.

The house was decorated in streamers and tablecloths in shades of blue to celebrate baby Greene and balloons and flowers brightly contrasted in our nursery colors of yellow, green, and orange. Early that morning, John was hard at work cooking the meat outside and Diana finishing up the sides and appetizers in the kitchen. As I was getting ready, Luke’s Aunts and Uncles arrived with the cake, balloons, and appetizers ready to help with set up and last minute food items.

As guests arrived men left beer and diapers on the front porch and women brought in their gifts for the shower. After everyone had a chance to talk and catch up, the meat was cut up and we all enjoyed a great BBQ meal together. John had cooked up: brisket, lamb, chicken, sausage, and pork, plenty of options to choose from. We ate that alongside homemade potato salad, baked beans, several homemade salsas and hot sauces, chips, rolls, and of course his famous BBQ sauce.

There was beer, and wine, and for the mom-to-be both sparkling apple cider and lime/pineapple sherbet punch. Whenever a plate of meat seemed to get low another tray full  was brought in. The men carved the meat in the garage, out of the rain, which was a delight for Kira. She was able to enjoy the company as well as the scraps from the floor. She was later rewarded for not eating what was on the table when unattended by being given quite a few bones to take home with her.

Once everyone had their fill of food the cake was cut. A very well decorated white cake with blue baby shoes on top; we got to take the center piece with the shoes home with us for later.

With cake distributed, I was given the seat of honor in the living room, the rocking chair. This rocking chair was used when Luke was little, John painted it for me and Diana bought seat cushions to match our nursery. It is very comfortable and I’m looking forward to using it in our nursery soon. Then Luke opened his father-to-be present from his parents: a large diaper/baby backpack filled with wipes, snacks, and toys.

After this, the men were encouraged to head downstairs or outside and the women sat in the living room as I opened gifts. With the help of family I opened present after present of baby clothes, blankets, diapers, wipes, toys, books, and other wonderful gifts from family and friends.

Once gifts were opened, everyone began socializing and some began to head home. After several guests had left, I was able to get some quality time with Luke’s family. We cleaned up from the shower, opened cards, and wrote down who gave us which items. That evening we brought in plastic boxes from the car to fill with presents. We were so blessed to have a full box of diapers and wipes, and a whole additional box of all other presents. Later into the evening we sat around talking and snacking on leftovers, enjoying the end of a wonderful BBQ/Baby shower.

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Very Special Baby Gifts

As I mentioned a few days ago I went down to Southern California to celebrate baby Greene with friends and family. On Saturday my mom hosted a brunch baby shower at Mimi’s cafe. For more on this see: SoCal Baby Shower

I received many wonderful gifts at the shower, but the most significant gifts were from my mother. If you have been reading my blog since the very beginning you would know that at my bridal shower I received an unexpected gift of a  handmade intricate red and white queen sized quilt from my mom. For more on this see: Happy Mother’s Day

Since then she had also made us a beautiful nature themed quilted Christmas tree skirt. For more on this see: Christmas review

Well  I knew before we even planned on having a baby she would make us a baby quilt, as she had already made a few for my cousin’s first kids. So in November I took my mom to the quilt store in Chehalis Washington. After wandering the store for awhile I asked her if she was ready to make another baby quilt . . .  this time for us. It was a wonderful moment as I shocked my Mom with the news of our pregnancy, her first grand child.

Little did I know, just like she started the wedding quilt before I was engaged, she had already started a baby quilt before I was pregnant.

She took my color preferences of orange, green, and yellow and choose nursery rhymes as the theme.  Once I heard my mom was including embroidery in the quilt I knew this would not be put on the ground for baby to pull out the stitching. I decided that nursery rhymes and lullabies would be a great gender neutral theme for the nursery itself and the quilt would be displayed proudly.

But boy was I in for a surprise when I opened the quilt at the shower. I expected some embellished border or flowers in embroidery.

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Instead I opened the quilt to see twelve intricate picture panels of different nursery rhymes: all hand stitched.  It was overwhelming and wonderful.

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When my mom found out I would display this quilt she decided we could do a gender specific baby quilt for everyday use.  Mom and I worked together to choose bright yellow and turquoise, combined with charcoal grey using geometric prints and a tumbler shape.

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I wasn’t expecting to even see this quilt until the baby was born, knowing how busy my mom was planning for the shower and finishing the other quilt. So again to my surprise I open a gift bag to a completed quilt top. it was awesome to see the colors and designs work together.

As you can imagine both of these gifts a very special to me. I can’t wait to put them in the nursery in our new home.

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Thank you mom for taking so much time, thoughtfulness, and prayer as you not only put together such a wonderful baby shower for me but also two beautiful and creative quilts that I will always cherish. I know how much this little one is already loved.

SoCal Baby Shower

This past weekend I traveled down to Southern California to celebrate baby Greene with friends and family.

My mom made reservation for a baby shower brunch at Mimi’s cafe for 15 people and a high chair. Because of the time of day we had the whole room to ourselves which made it easy for us to move around and greet everyone.

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The gift table was decorated in bright greens, yellows, and oranges, just like our nursery will be. On the table my mom place a bowl for cards and advice cards for the-mother-to-be.

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Also on the table were fresh flowers and pictures of me and Luke as babies in between the most recent ultrasound  of baby Greene. Last of all was a glass display of post-brunch dessert of mini cupcakes: red velvet and strawberry shortcake from one of my favorite places: cake mama’s.

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It was an all girls event of all ages, minus of course baby Greene. It was wonderful connect with people I haven’t seen in anywhere from two to four years and celebrate with all age groups. After many hugs and belly rubs I sat down under a chair with brightly colored balloons announcing “its a boy”. We then enjoyed a very yummy brunch together while catching up on life.

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As we finished brunch we took the opportunity to take a few family pictures of me with my mom and grandmothers.

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Then it was present time. As I opened gift bag after gift bag I tossed the tissue paper on the floor which made for a very entertaining game for the four girls under 10 that attended.

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I received many items from our baby registry as well as several fun additional toys and outfits. I am so thankful for everyone’s thoughtfulness, creativity, and generosity in their cards, advice, and in their gifts for me and baby Greene.

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Thank you everyone! It was so much fun and I enjoyed every moment.

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Baby Greene Update

I realize it’s been more than a month since I shared with everyone about baby Greene coming in May. I know also some of you are curious how the pregnancy has gone so far and how baby is doing? So I’ll give you an update.

I had my first ultrasound and initial appointment at 14 weeks. We found out I was pregnant much earlier, although we suspected pregnancy at 6 weeks by 8 weeks we knew for sure. But we decided because of the move to wait until we had one hospital and doctor to work with. Everything went well at those appointments. Blood work came back fine and baby was moving around a lot in the ultrasound ( I had just eaten before we came).

First trimester I was a little nauseous (like car sick) but honey ginger drops and banana chips helped. Other than that I was exhausted, warm at night, and super hungry. I was eating like crazy, sometimes more calories at one sitting then even Luke. I think it was quite an adjustment for me since I had been following a low calorie diet.  I was still teaching so I had to pack more food at lunch then I was used to and eat before and after class.

By the second trimester, after Thanksgiving, the hunger slowed down and nauseousness went away. I wouldn’t even realized I needed food until my energy level dropped. I had my first meeting with my OBGYN in December and all went well.

As of my last appointment and ultra sound at the beginning of January everything is still going well.  We decided to have blood work done to check for genetic issues and all tests came back normal. At the last ultrasound (20 weeks) they did extensive pictures of baby’s organs and spine. I was surprised that they were able to use color imaging to determine the umbilical cord and other body organs. Measurements of baby’s body showed all within a week of each other in terms of development in all areas and average age lined up with the due date. We also found out gender, which I will share with all of you soon.

Overall I have been feeling pretty good, some muscle aches and pains from body shifting and growing and depending on what I eat acid re-flux and heartburn. I have learned to stretch after exercise and before I go to bed to prevent cramps in my calves in the morning and sore hips and that balancing my diet better, and with plenty of milk, sometimes I can prevent the heartburn.

Right after the holidays I started to feel baby kick and move. It was only occasional and sometimes I wasn’t sure if it was me or the baby. But now I have gotten so used to the kicking and movement that when it doesn’t happen for a while I am surprised. I am now relying on my longer stretchier clothes (like tank tops under flannel shirts), and my new maternity shirts partnered with cardigans and scarves.

Baby is 24 weeks today which means I am now steadily in the 6th month of pregnancy (eek!) We have been talking about names, looking into birth classes, our baby registry is complete, and shower dates are set.