Friday, February 27, 2015

Life before all the snow

I think all this snow has stolen my creativity and desire to write! Thankfully, there are pictures to sum up a little of what we've been up to in early February. 

Jackson was so kind to share his awful cold with us. He started throwing up in late January and gave that to Jonathan and me, and he passed his head cold along to Rachel and me. Jonathan got a little of it a few weeks later. The kids and I were down and out for 2 weeks. Rachel had the sniffles and then suddenly got much sicker in the span of 10 minutes when I put her in the stroller to take a walk. She just began to look ill and spiked a little fever and intense congestion. Poor girl would not smile for several days and we kept her in the carseat to sleep so she could breathe. We watched lots of movies, drank lots of tea and water and went through a Costco-sized package of tissue boxes. It was pretty gross. I went to sleep at 6 or 6:30 every night for about 10 days. Thank goodness we are all healthy and back to normal! 
 MANY thanks to Beth and Matt for coming to help out and for Jonathan, who was dad-of-the-year when I was sick. This picture below is JB, coming off of night shifts, staying away even longer to care for the kiddos when I literally could not get out of bed. Grateful does not even begin to describe what I feel for him that day and many, many others.   
 R just adores her grandparents. She can recognize their voices on the phone, especially BB and Pop Pop. She lights up when she sees all of them. It's so sweet to see her begin to recognize her special people.  
 Remember when it wasn't snowing every day? When was that? Early February? Seems SO.LONG.AGO.  But as a friend reminded me today, Spring is coming quickly. It also made me think of this season when we are longing for Jesus to come again. Spring come quickly. Jesus come quickly! 
 My boys love to cruise around ODU on their scooter (J) and skateboard (JB).  Link gets a kick out of this and somehow, despite the fact that he faints while jogging or playing fetch, he can sprint next to JB on his skateboard for an hour and not look like he is going to die. Rach and I tag along and watch all the college girls swoon over my boys :) 
 Happy Valentine's Day! 
 Jonathan and I haven't had a date for Valentine's day in ages! We really don't care about the holiday, but it was so nice to get out and be alone. We used to long for Jackson to start talking when he was 18 months old and now sometimes we long for just a moment of adult conversation that is not punctuated with curious toddler questions. We waited until Monday to get a reservation and every place in Norfolk was completely booked except for 5pm and 9:30pm reservations. We ended up at my favorite place, No Frill where we splurged and got 2 desserts: mile-high carrot cake and a decadent chocolate ganache. Yes, we finished every bite.  
 We LOVE getting hand-me-downs for both kids and all of Rachel's are coming from Aunt Karen. My other aunt, Aunt Kathy, made this beautiful dress for cousin Piper, which was Rachel's Valentine's Day dress. What a talented seamstress! We can't wait for a few warmer days when she can wear it to church. 
 It's harder to have some traditions in our family because Jonathan's schedule is so irregular. I would love to have "go-running-and-eat-pancakes" Saturdays, or Friday "pizza-and-a-movie" nights. So, we decided to start what I hope will be a once a month tradition of Dinner and a movie. We bought Planes and ate dinner in front of the TV (gasp!). J thought it was the most amazing thing and we are excited to continue this new tradition.  

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


January seemed to fly by! Jackson still loves preschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9-12 at LUMPs, when he actually goes, that it. It seems like we have the 'first-year-of-school-illnesses' hitting us and he's been sick on and off since December 18th. Mostly bad head colds with fevers and a little stomach bug. He graciously shared everything with us, including Rachel, so we have been quarantined for the end of January and start of February. We registered him for school next year and he'll begin the 5 days/week class! Yippee for all! 
 Thankfully, we have the best inlaws around. Grandmom and pop pop came to visit for a late Christmas on January 12th and BB has been able to come to the house when I was sick and JB was on nights. We are so grateful for how much our parents love our kids and how they give of their time, energy and endless love.   Jackson adores them and we are grateful for the relationships they have with him.  
 Grandad is even brave enough to take Jackson into the wood shop in his garage for projects! 
Although we are still doing the nighttime (I want water; tuck me in, where is my turtle, pray again...) and morning (up at 3am, 4am, 5am...pounding on walls....trying desperately to make it until the green light comes on) battle with J, one of my favorite times of the day is when we are all home and get to read books and cuddle in bed. We talk about the day and pray for each other.  When I was up in Springfield with the kids and putting a somewhat fussy Rach down for bed, Jackson ran upstairs, touched her foot and said, "Mom, let's pray for Rachel. Dear God, please make her strong and healthy." I broke down in sweet happy tears for my little boy and am so grateful for the friendship already forming between J and R.  
 In HUGE exciting news, we have a potty trained guy in our house! Something changed in him around December 23rd and we jumped on it, knowing that we'd be home for weeks ( and he was sick so we really were home a TON).  He'd been prepping himself over the past year so it went pretty smoothly. I did have a few freakouts where i called girlfriends and asked about frequency of accidents...what is normal, etc. I've been hearing lots of friends talk about doing a potty training bootcamp for 2 days where those two days are terrible but magically, it seems like their kids are fully potty trained after that. It was reassuring to hear from other moms who are just out of the potty training trenches (for at least one of their kids) that accidents are normal and I shouldn't be striving for no accidents right now. It was so amazing to end that recurring amazon subscription of size 5 diapers. Now our money can go towards little ones for Rachel :)  We started by setting a timer to remind him to go and recently have not used the timer but we just give him gentle reminders if it's been a while. We're down to about 1 accident per week (!!!) and he goes on his own without prompting most of the time. Yet another example of how the days seem long but the years are short and how God faithfully provides for us when we need many extra doses of love and patience for each other.  

 We got a dusting of snow last week (nothing compared to the rest of our families in Boston and NJ/CT areas). Jackson screamed and ran outside. He grabbed a stick and started acting out "The Snowy Day". It is always so encouraging to see books translate into real life for him and we hope that he always has a love of reading.  

 We have been watching more basketball than ever since UVA is almost undefeated! J was sick and Rachel looks like a chunky little dude, but at least we managed to muster up some school spirit for the Duke game. 
That's all for now!

Rachel is 4 months old!

Hey everyone, Rachel here and I'm 4 months old. Life is starting to get exciting! I'm reaching for things, giggling all the time and am more alert. My favorite thing to do is chew on my hands and fingers. Really, any combination those is my jam. I have a tooth on the bottom right and think some more could be coming, so I gnaw on my first finger to make my gums feel better. I drool a lot, but NO WHERE near as much as my brother did. His drool chest would extend down to his belly button! I've started to spit-up less which makes mommy happy. I'm still on zantac, which is disgusting; I love to spit it out when mommy turns her back. I also hate the Vitamin D drops that my doctor makes me take while I'm breast feeding. Speaking of eating, I still hate taking a bottle. I just like to have mom around all the time so she can feed me. 
I think dad is the best. I hear his voice from across the house and turn my neck like an owl in order to see him. He and I like to make each other smile. A lot. We also like to watch soccer together. It's our favorite.  He finished up 5 night shifts and stayed up when he was super exhausted to take care of us while mom was really sick one day. 
Jackson has to be the coolest big brother around. He climbs in my crib to help me wake up in the morning. He shares his stuffed animals and cars with me. I like the ambulances that make noise and light up.  He does like to borrow all of my stuffed animals, but he generally returns them sometime in the same month.  J is very generous too. He recently shared his cold with mom and me. I was so sick with a runny/stuffy nose and a sad little cough. I still managed to sleep ok, but it brought mom to tears one night when I had my first (small) fever. I just looked really pale and wouldn't smile at all. But I'm one tough cookie and bounced back quickly. 
I think I weigh about 15-16 pounds but will go to see the good Dr. C next week. I'm longer and skinnier than Jackson was, so I'm mostly wearing 6 month clothes that are very baggy through my shoulders.  I love to be outside and listen to the birds but it's been too cold here for many walks.  Lincoln is a pretty good dog...he licks my face all the time and it tickles!
I still love to sleep. Bedtime is about 6:30 and unless I'm really hungry (which I have been lately), I sleep until 5:30am or so. During the day I still stay awake for 1 hour and 15 minutes and then head down for nap again. It doesn't leave a ton of play time but we manage to make the most of tummy time and reading books in the bumbo.  That's all until next month!