Addison is 3 months old!

3 months

Baby girl is 3 months old! Because there is no check-up at 3 months, we’re not sure of her weight, but going by the fact that she was almost 13 pounds at 2 months and she’s only gotten chunkier, I would say she’s definitely at 14 pounds at least! The funny thing is that our guess for Owen’s weight at 3 months was only 12.5 pounds! I LOVE my chunky baby girl – from her chunky thigh rolls to her adorable chubby cheeks. She’s perfect in our eyes.

Like I said, Addison definitely seems to be getting plenty to eat! I mean, look at this girl! A lot of people refer to babies as “squishy” and I never really got that expression with Owen because he was so lean, but Addison makes that phrase a reality. I love holding this girl. She’s definitely gotten the hang of breastfeeding which makes it way less stressful and more relaxing and enjoyable. Oftentimes when I burp her, she’ll fall asleep on my shoulder so I like to linger in the glider for a while longer so I can soak up those cuddles. It is so so sweet and I know that she will soon become more restless and not stay in that position.

Addison has become a fantastic sleeper, which is completely different from those first few weeks when she would only sleep while lying on us. It started with her only waking up once in the middle of the night – normally around 4:30am – from an 11pm feeding before bedtime. Then it slowly became 5:30am then 6:30am and sometimes 7:30am! At this point, it can be anywhere between 6:30-7:30am, but the awesome thing is that I can lay her back down and either go back to sleep for a bit or get ready. This month or next I’ll probably start trying to give her a bedtime and put her to bed around 8pm (same as Owen) and see how she does.

Baby girl is smiling and talking SO much! She will smile and talk to several people, but my hearts swells when she immediately smiles and talks as soon as she sees or hears me. She definitely knows her Mama!

Addison is such a joy to our family! She has been the perfect addition to the Harrison crew in so many ways. I really can’t wait to see what her personality looks like as she grows.

Owen is growing SO fast. It blows my mind that he’ll be 2 years old in just a couple months. It’s as if he learns at least one new word a day. He catches on to words extremely quickly and repeats us often. Still no sentences necessarily, but he can at least somewhat tell us what he wants!

He is so smart! He likes to build – and then destroy – but then sometimes build it again! We took him to Stevi B’s for the first time and he LOVED the arcade! He “played” Skee Ball and got a few tickets! He was so proud. He still hangs out in Addison’s room while I feed her and recently he has started taking the books from her book rack and sitting on her giant stuff animals to read.

Owen and Addison make my heart swell. Owen has started trying to “take care” of Addison by wiping her mouth with her rag and putting her paci in her mouth. He likes to make sure that her blanket is on her and even says “uh oh” when he sees her paci out of her mouth. Likewise, Addison loves her big brother! She lights up and starts smiling when she hears him talking. It is so precious.

We celebrated Easter with my family this year at my dad’s church because when Greg and I take our own local church this summer, we won’t have the opportunity to visit my family on Sundays anymore. Owen got to do an Easter egg hunt, which he loved. He would walk around and call them “balls” and would walk toward a particular one, walking past several on the way. Ha! It’s always nice when we get the whole family together. 🙂

Wesley group

Well. We said goodbye to our Wesley of Macon family at the end of April and it was a rough night. These Wesley students have truly become our family over the past several years and it was hard. We’ve hired a new campus minister and we have full faith that he will be great for the job and the students. We know the ministry will be taken care of, but it has been apart of us for 9 years so saying goodbye is emotional.

The good thing is that we have received our appointment at a local church and it’s still in Macon! So we would be saying goodbye to the seniors regardless of whether or not we moved, but now we don’t have to say goodbye for good to the younger students! In fact, now we have the ability to be fully friends with them without the boundary of also being their campus ministers. We’re really excited about this new church and the direction it is going. We are confident that God has placed us in the perfect place for us to grow and be challenged.

On a super exciting note, Greg and I have been planning a trip to Disney World this fall! We found out that kids under 3 are free so we knew we needed to go before summer 2018 when Owen turns 3! We looked at our calendar, picked some dates, chose and reserved our rental house, got the tickets, and we’re good to go! We’re SO excited and know that Owen is going to LOVE it! Addison will be 8 months old so hopefully she can enjoy it too!

Until next month. 🙂

Two months in!

Addison is 2 months old! And let me tell you. This month was far better than the first month. I forgot to mention last time that that first month was so rough that Addison may be the last addition to the Harrison crew and if she was born first, she might be an only child. Things have changed now thankfully! I think that when you get far enough away from the first few months with a baby, you forget how tough the first few weeks are and that makes it even harder. Because Owen is such a relatively easy kid now, I forget that he screamed and cried for hours everyday and we had to bounce him and sing to him constantly. But there is an end to it. There really is. And we’re finally getting to the end of this rough patch and ready to move on to the next one!

Addison had her two month appointment this past Monday and she did great! As a reminder, she was 8 pounds 3.6 ounces and 21 1/4 inches when she was born. At this appointment, she was 12 pounds 13 ounces and 23 2/14 inches long! She is in the 90th percentile for both length and weight! This is very different from Owen, who was the 99th percentile for length and 30th percentile for weight at this point. We’ve gone from a long and lean string bean of a kid to a tall chunky monkey! Bathing Addison is a completely different experience from bathing Owen because I have to make sure I clean her rolls and I didn’t have to with Owen! Ha!

I have officially had to retire Addison’s newborn sized clothes and move her to the 0-3 month clothing. Truthfully it probably should have happened a couple weeks ago, but I wanted to stretch it out as long as I could (figuratively speaking). After we finish going through the size 1 diapers that have already been opened, we’ll move her to size 2! That is different from Owen as well. With Owen, we moved up in size when he peed or pooped out of the diaper a few days in a row. Addison hasn’t really done that yet, but we’ve definitely got to move up because they’re too tight on her legs!

Apparently there’s something in my kids where they hit 2 months (give or take a few days) and they have a completely new outlook on sleeping, for the better! Owen started completely sleeping through the night a few nights before turning 2 months and now a few nights before Addison turned 2 months, she all of a sudden she started only waking up to eat once in the night! She clearly knew that Mama was losing her mind with sleep deprivation. Ha!

Addison has started smiling a lot and doing the baby cooing and it is the best thing ever. I forgot how amazing this part of babies growing up is! She has started recognizing me more and more and it’s the best! I love that smiling face!

Owen has been learning more and more words everyday! This kid is so smart. He is enthralled by everything around him – especially dogs and anything in the sky. He points to the sky and says “jet” and has a bunch of animal noises that he does, while he laughs. Some of his favorite (and most consistent) words are: trucks, jet, woo woo (puppy), uh oh, whoa, up, and ice. We’re finally beginning to be able to decipher what he’s trying to tell us.

He’s always been a big helper, but that has increased even more since Addison was born! He loves to help reload diapers into the baskets, carry laundry, and carry Addison’s diaper bag. In fact, he will only carry her bag (not his own) even though they’re the same kind of bag!

Owen LOVES his baby sister. He gives her kisses all the time and will only take pictures if she’s in them also. In fact, there are times that he won’t give Greg or me a kiss good night until he gives her one! He’s so interested when we do things with her like when I give her a bath or feed her. He hangs out in her room with me while I feed her and he plays with his “trucks.” When I sit in the glider, he insists on being the one to hand me my nursing pillow. He’s an amazing big brother already. I can’t wait to watch them grow up together!

Owen has developed a newfound interest in all of Addison’s things. It’s like he must have whatever she has! When I put Addison’s headband on her, Owen insists on wearing one too. He wants to sit on her pillow and is always climbing onto the play mat that we pulled back out for her to play on – he’s waaaaay too big for it. Ha! And when I was taking Addison’s 2 month pictures, Owen insisted on also wearing a sticker so I put the 1 month sticker on him (since I wouldn’t need that one again) and he wore it around the house for the next like 30 minutes.

We have finally figured out a solid morning routine. Usually what happens is I feed Addison, get Lucy, fix Owen’s breakfast, then we all go get Owen. He gets so excited when I bring Addison into the room so I’ll sit at the end of his bed and we take a picture of the three of us. After getting him dressed, we go eat breakfast at the table while watching Chuggington. It’s become a pretty good routine for us!

After breakfast, we usually play with Owen’s trucks or go outside, with Addison in the carrier. When Owen goes down for naps, oftentimes Addison and I will take a nap in the recliner with her on my chest.

Sometimes we’ll go on “adventures” which Owen LOVES. We may go to the park or to the Wesley House or sometimes if they’re just driving me crazy and we need to get out, I just drive around town. Thankfully both kids like the car! I took both kids out to Publix by myself for the first time and we survived! The awesome thing is that Publix gives a cookie to kids while you shop so Owen was plenty preoccupied and Addison was in the carrier. Since then, we’ve been out a few times just the three of us and so far we haven’t had any meltdowns, but I’m sure that will change at some point. Ha!

Speaking of that, a few weekends ago Greg went on a weekend retreat with Wesley so I had the kids to myself. I was a bit intimidated at first thinking about it, but we actually did really well! I took the two of them to the food trucks for lunch on Saturday and we actually made it to church on Sunday morning! It was actually pretty encouraging. Up until that point, I had only had them from waking up to dinner time when Greg got home. That weekend, it added dinner, bath, and bedtime. I know I could have just skipped baths, stayed at home, and missed church, but I wanted to try to have a normal weekend.

Like most parents, I was worried that I couldn’t possibly love another child like I did Owen. And in a way, I was right. I certainly love them equally, but it’s not the same. I can already tell that my relationship with Addison is/will be different than my relationship with Owen – in a good way! I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a mother/son and mother/daughter relationship or because Owen was first and Addison was second or because their personalities are so different, but I LOVE that the relationships are different. It speaks to their uniqueness and how we bond differently. I love that little boy and little girl more than I can express or explain.

Here’s to continued good months and even better sleep! 🙂

Addison’s 1st Month!

Addison has arrived! Well, she arrived 6 weeks ago so I’m super slacking on the updates, but turns out having two little ones leaves very little down time! Ha! I’m going to try to keep this post focused on the first month rather than the additional two week so I have something to write about for her 2 month update!

Addison has been…unpredictable…literally since the moment labor began. As a reminder, her due date was Sunday, February 19. Two weeks prior, on Sunday, February 5, I spent the whole day in bed with the stomach bug that Greg and Owen had a few days before and had been having some pretty strong Braxton Hicks contractions. I came out of the bedroom to make some toast and lie in the living room watching the Super Bowl with Greg. After the game, I went back to bed and had a much more intense contraction. I went to roll over in bed to get my phone to tell my mom that we might be going to the hospital that night when my water broke in bed at 11:30pm. I got a shower while Greg got our bag together and a friend came over to listen out for Owen while my parents started the drive over.

Greg and I got to the hospital around 12:45am. Because my water had already broken, they moved me from the Observation Room to a Labor and Delivery Room pretty quickly. Soon after that, they took some blood to check my platelets to determine if I could have an epidural. My platelets were at 69 which means unfortunately, the anesthesiologist on call that particular morning would not give me an epidural. I was pretty crushed. I got super lucky with Owen because my levels were the same, but that anesthesiologist on call gave it to me anyways. The next few hours were really rough. I have never been one who wanted a natural, epidural-free childbirth. At all. And to be completely honest, if no epidural is what my future childbirths would look like, we may be done having kids. Ha! Around 4:15am, I felt Addison drop and I realized then it was time to push. When the doctor and nurses came in, Addison was already crowning and at 4:26am, baby girl was born! She was 8 pounds 3.6 ounces and 21 1/4 inches long!

Continuing the theme of unpredictability and nothing going as planned, my parents were going to stay with us for a few days to help out at home and with Owen. Well, while I was in labor at the hospital, my mom got extremely sick. So much so that the next day, she went to a Quick Med and was given a slew of medications to help her get through it. She and my dad went back home for her to get better since she was extremely contagious and thanks to rest and the medications, they were able to come back later in the week! Thankfully, Greg’s dad was incredible and took a day off work to be with Owen until we got home and was a tremendous help. And Owen loved having some solo Granddad time. 🙂

We took Addison to her four day old pediatrician appointment and she was 7 pounds 12 ounces, which is a normal amount of weight loss from birth weight. Unfortunately, Addison’s jaundice levels were high so we had to return the next day to get her blood tested again. We were told that they needed to be at 14 or lower and her’s were 14.9. We went back again on Friday and they had gotten even higher – 16.9 – so she had to do home phototherapy. Basically, they gave us an iPad-sized tablet thing that had UV lights on it. It had to stay shining on Addison’s skin for at least 23 hours of the day – basically, all the time except for during baths or the process of changing. We went back again Saturday afternoon after having her on the lights since Friday morning and her levels were at 14.2 so they let us stop with the lights! We had to go back yet again the following Monday to follow up and they were at 14 so at that point we were done for good with the jaundice testing!

Overall, breastfeeding is going well. She’s consistently gained weight and has dirty diapers. But, man is it a battle! She fights me to eat – not because she’s not hungry, but I think she’s still figuring out how to eat. It can be pretty frustrating because I don’t know if she’s just slower to figure it out or if it’s because this time around, I know what I’m doing, whereas with Owen, it was new to both of us! In addition, she’ll eat on one side and act like she’s done and then about 45 minutes later, she decides she wants to eat again which can be really irritating. But she’s definitely improved and we have fewer frustrating moments than in the beginning. So far, she has had two bottles and she did alright in taking those. She kind of fought Greg, but in the same way she can fight me. She eventually ended up finishing the bottles!

Another battle: sleeping. Oh lawd. I should clarify though. Addison WILL sleep during the night…if she’s lying on you or in your arms. I’ve spent several nights over the past six weeks sleeping in the living room recliner with her lying on my chest or falling asleep in the glider in her room after feeding her. The frustrating thing is that she has spent entire nights sleeping in her crib in her room in between feedings so I know she can do it! She’s just inconsistent and I’m not quite sure how to handle that. For a long time, we fought her on it and tried to make her sleep in the crib but that just resulted in us getting zero sleep in the night which left us cranky and irritable the next day. I’ve finally just given in and if she doesn’t go to sleep in the crib after trying once or twice after I feed her, we just go sleep on the recliner. I’m hoping this isn’t one of those instances where I’m starting a bad habit, but right now I just need us all to survive with the most amount of sanity as possible.

The one thing that Addison and Owen have been the same one is that baby girl has reflux like big brother. We’ve gotten her on Zantac and that seems to have helped a ton with the pain she was in, but she still spits up quite a bit. Again, not consistently like Owen, but when she does spit up, I swear it’s everything she ate for the past few days.

Owen and Addison are so different from one another in so many ways. Physically, to Greg and me, Owen and Addison look nothing alike – it’s rather funny! Addison has much more almond eyes and it took a while for us to even see them! But their differences go deep. Ha. I’ve told several people that I legitimately feel like a first time parent all over again because I’m clueless and just guessing with this girl! Owen was predictable and like clockwork – he ate every 2 hours pretty much on the minute. That includes at night, which means he was waking me up every 2 hours. A huge difference here is that after I fed him at night, he would go back to sleep immediately which means I got a solid hour and a half of sleep at a time, whereas with Addison, she doesn’t go back to sleep right away (if at all) and might require sleeping in the recliner. She’s just much needier than Owen was and it can really wear me down.

Honestly, it took a change of mindset for my attitude to change. I was so focused on how different the two were and how this time is more challenging in ways and it kept me from sleeping and would make me irritable and at my wit’s end. One day I just sat and thought about it and made the decision to focus on who Addison is rather than fall into the comparison game. This has brought so much more joy. By no means is anything any easier. She’s still not sleeping without us and still wants to be held constantly; the difference is that I’m choosing to find joy in holding her because I know she won’t want this forever and I’ll miss it.

Owen does an amazing job with Addison. He’s such a good big brother! When we first brought her home, he was a mixture of uncertain and indifferent – not in a bad way, just not really phased by the change in our house. We tried to be really intentional about including him in anything we did with her and making sure he still got our attention. For example, when I feed Addison, I would go into her room, but I kept the door open so he could wander in and out so it was never shutting him out or that Addison was taking Mama away from him. He’s LOVED that! He’ll come into the room and bring toys or play with toys in her room and wander around. Poor girl has not gotten the quiet, peaceful feedings that her brother got, but our house is neither quiet nor peaceful anymore so this is life. Ha! As time has gone on, he has really become fond of her! He’ll give her a kiss or put her blanket on her and is just so sweet with her. I can’t wait to watch their relationship grow!

The hardest part about having both of them is when Owen wants my full attention or wants to be held while I’m holding Addison. It absolutely breaks my heart and there were plenty of guilty feelings in the beginning. Something that has completely saved me this go around is our baby carrier. We had it with Owen, but hardly used it. It’s a completely different story this time. I use the carrier everyday to hold Addison so I can still play and interact with Owen. The bonus is that she falls asleep in it!

Speaking of Owen, he is doing great! He’s had another ear infection since his 18 month appointment, but we took care of that with medication. He loves to explore, loves Lucy, and loves to help me with pretty much anything. If there’s something I want him to do, I just word it as “helping Mama” do something and he’s all about it! In fact, Owen gets mad if he finds out a chore has been done without him! He cracks me up. 🙂 My Nana is a hairdresser and she gave him his first haircut! It was getting rather long in the back so she trimmed it and also shaped up around his face and he looks like such a big boy now! No more baby!

As a whole, everyone is doing well! I didn’t struggle with any sort of postpartum depression or anything with Owen, but I got close this go around. It really all came down to the amount of sleep I got the night before. Once I figured out that I need to just be flexible with Addison’s schedule instead of focusing on what I did with Owen, it all changed and I became much calmer and more peaceful – even though the circumstances didn’t change. The entire time I’ve been thankful to have Addison in our lives, but in the midst of really difficult and tiring days, it’s hard to see the positive, but it’s there. I just have to adjust my focus.

I mentioned in the last post that Greg and I have decided to leave Wesley Foundation and enter into the local church pastor life. Since then, our Board of Directors have been conducting a job search and Greg and I have been patiently awaiting a phone call to find out where we’re going! Honestly, I’m at complete peace about this, even while waiting blindly. I feel confident this is where God is having us go at this stage of life and I’m excited to see what the details of that calling are! Here we go!

SO many updates!

I’ve realized that I’m not so great at keeping up with a blog if I’m not super intentional about it. The last time I wrote an entry was for Owen’s first birthday, which was 6 months ago – and A LOT has happened since then! So here goes!

Owen is now 18 months old which blows my mind. How on earth is he getting so big and how is this going by so quickly?! He had his 15 month check-up in October and was 31″ in height and was 25 pounds 4 ounces. Last week, we went for his 18 month check up and he was 33″ in height and 27 pounds 13 ounces, just shy of 28 pounds! This kid is getting to be a monster.

He still loves to eat basically anything and isn’t too terribly picky in general – only in the sense that sometimes he’s not consistent with what he wants. He could devour a bowl full of strawberries one day and then not want to touch them the next day. We have started Cinnamon Roll Saturday at our house where we, obviously, have cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Saturdays! Owen is DEFINITELY a fan and will inhale some cinnamon rolls. He’s gotten to where he likes to hold his own food so this is ideal breakfast of champs for this kid. At the same time, he will chow down on an entire bowl of salad! I guess he’s got the whole “balanced diet” thing down more than we do. Ha!

Last time I wrote in here at his one year update, Owen wasn’t walking completely on his own yet. That ended up happening around the 13/14-month-old mark and now he’s off running as soon as you put him down. It’s like he went from nothing to running all at once. In fact, he STILL never crawled until after he walked. No kidding. So he crawls really oddly because it’s like a crawl/walk zombie thing.

Owen is full of personality in his own way. He’s pretty reserved and likes to observe a room or situation before interacting with it. He’s a pretty cautious kid and he loves to “help” me do things around the house like load the washer/dryer, throw things away, or wipe off the table or high chair. It’s pretty funny, actually. He legitimately gets mad at me if he sees me put clothes in the washer without his help!

Owen can say a few “words” and some are somewhat discernible: “uh oh” (that’s a big one), “trucks,” “shoes,” “socks,” “whoa,” and “ball” are some of those words. He babbles constantly – we just struggle to figure out what he’s saying most of the time, but he’s definitely communicating with us! He has also started saying “no” which is not so wonderful, but the hilarious part is the way he says it: almost like “naaaahhh.” It’s pretty sweet and polite! Ha!

He still loves being outside and loves animals! One of our most popular activities is to go on walks around the park or outdoor mall with him in the stroller. He also got an outdoor climbing/slide structure and he loves doing that! He has incredible hearing and attention to detail too – anytime he hears or sees a bird, he gets excited and he’ll point to the stars or moon at night!

Owen has had lots of new adventures these past few months! For Halloween, he was Captain America and went to his first trunk or treat! He didn’t really get the concept, but he seemed to have fun and he looked adorable in his costume! He’s also been to Six Flags several times because my parents got Greg and me 2017 season passes, which at that point in the year included the rest of the 2016 season as well! So we took several day/afternoon trips to Six Flags. There were actually quite a few rides that don’t have a height requirement as long as an adult is accompanying so Owen got to ride different things! He absolute favorite is the Rockin’ Tugboat that is actually pretty close to a “roller coaster” for kids in that it moves all around! He LOVES it! During the ride, he’ll say “whoaaaa” and then smile and clap! Owen also got his first taste of Chuck E Cheese with my parents and according to the pictures, seemed to have a great time!

One major update since last blog post is that we’re expecting baby #2 in about 4 and a half weeks at this point! The due date is February 19 and we found out that we’re having a girl! Her name will be Addison Lain (but we’ll call her Addison) and we are so excited for her arrival! Overall this pregnancy has been almost identical to the one with Owen. The only differences have been cravings (Owen was cheeseburgers and Addison was apple pie) and the amount of movement. I first felt both Owen and Addison move at their 18 week mark, but it seems as though Addison went from nothing to fighting her way out, while Owen was much more gradual. This could just be because Addison is the second kid and I know more what to expect, but she’s been fighting me like crazy! I’m also in a lot more discomfort and pain this go around, but that could be because when I was pregnant with Owen, I didn’t already have a toddler to chase around and play with!

Unfortunately, my blood platelets have become an issue yet again and the debate of whether or not I get an epidural has resurfaced. With Owen, the doctor on call and the anesthesiologist on call both agreed that I could have an epidural. I’m seriously praying for whoever is on call that they would allow me to have one because I really don’t want to go without. I realize that it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but it would not be my preferred method of delivery. Ha!

With this new addition, we’ve had to do some work over the past few months to prepare for Addison’s arrival! Greg and I decided that Owen would move into what was the guest room (and, let’s me honest, storage room from when we moved this past summer) and Addison would take Owen’s room. That would mean that Owen would go from a crib to a twin bed so Addison could have Owen’s crib. We knew that moving him at only 18 months old would be a risk and could possibly end badly, but we wanted to try it. My parents came and spent a couple days with us helping us move furniture around and clear out the guest bedroom for him then I spent a few days decorating and getting the room just right so that he would be excited for the room. I used his Thomas birthday party decorations for the room and he got a Mickey twin bed set for Christmas. We moved him into the new room the second week of January and now it’s been a week and a half with very few issues! Owen’s sleep has not changed whatsoever – both overnight and nap times – and we’ve only had two incidents where he was out of his bed (only one of these was actually falling out of the bed). So far so good! He actually seems to like this new set up better (and loves the amount of space a twin bed has versus a crib) and when we say we’re going to his room, he’ll walk to the new door!

I’ve finally finished putting Addison’s room together! We decided to go with a Powerpuff Girls theme and I think it turned out pretty well! I couldn’t really do much of anything until we got Owen out of his room so the past week and a half have been spent working on getting her decorations finished and hung, moving furniture in, and unloading clothes that she got from her baby shower this past Sunday! Overall, we’re ready for her arrival!

greg-and-me

This past December, Greg and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary! We really wanted to go on some sort of trip/adventure so we spent a few days in Savannah while my parents kept Owen! It was SO nice to get away just the two of us to explore and rest. We pretty much planned the entire vacation around eating at the local food joints and then saw a couple movies (IN A REAL MOVIE THEATER…GASP) and explored Savannah in between meals. I’m so thankful for Greg and for all the support and encouragement he is to me and how much he loves our little guy!

Final update: Greg and I have decided to put our (his) name into the UMC appointment process to move to a local church this June, meaning we will not be returning to Wesley Foundation in the fall. It was a really difficult decision because the Wesley students and the ministry mean SO much to us. We are products of this Wesley and have worked in the ministry in a variety of ways over the past 8-9 years, but we feel confident that it’s time for us to move on to our next adventure in ministry. The great thing about the timing is that our Board of Directors has plenty of time to find a really fantastic replacement for us so the job search will hopefully begin by the end of the month! We’re praying not only for our new appointment come June, but for the new Campus Minister at Wesley. Our students are really really fantastic and we have full confidence in the Wesley community – that it is exactly that: the WESLEY community; not the GREG & ALAINA community that relies on our presence. The Holy Spirit has really been active throughout Wesley over the past few years and we have seen that both in growth (numbers-wise) and community (depth- and relationship-wise). These students have a heart for God, for one another, and for Wesley and that’s what’s going to keep Wesley going after a big transition like this.

Here’s hoping I am better about updates after today so I don’t have to write a novel each time. Ha! I guess my next post should be in about 4.5 weeks when Addison arrives! 🙂

ONE YEAR! ONE YEAR!

Baby Owen is a year old! And I guess that makes him no longer a baby. 😦 It’s so very bittersweet. He’s growing up to be such a healthy little guy and I love watching him grow and discover all sorts of things. At his one-year-old check-up, he weighed 21 pounds 10 ounces and was 30 1/4 inches long!

This kid sure does have a personality. He makes the funniest faces and keeps Greg and me laughing CONSTANTLY! He has 6 teeth total – two on top and four on bottom! The two on top have definitely broken through his gums, but haven’t grown in entirely yet. The bottom four are just about all the way through! I’m trying to stretch out the use of his 9 month clothing because they still just barely fit. You can tell they are getting too short and the 12 month clothing definitely fits well, but I want to get my money’s worth. 🙂

Owen has had a cold for the past week and it’s been terrible. Awful. No good. Not fun. His nose has been runny and stuffy at the same time (somehow), his cough is filled with gross-ness, and he’s had a fever on and off. The unfortunate thing is that there’s not a whole lot we can do to help him except give him some pain reliever, incline his mattress, run a humidifier, and use the baby nasal spray on his nose. He’s finally getting his appetite back now. In fact, we were surprised he hadn’t lost more weight when we went to the doctor on Friday because of how little he was eating! He slept nearly all day and just wanted to cuddle when he was awake. I would never turn down sweet cuddles from baby boy, but I hate the reason for them. If that wasn’t enough, when we went to the doctor for his check-up, the doctor discovered that Owen had an ear infection in his left ear! Ugh! Poor baby boy has had a rough birthday week, but he’s been doing much better recently so hopefully we’re at the end of this mess!

Finally after months of planning, Owen’s first birthday party had arrived! The pavilion at the church was transformed into the Island of Sodor from the Thomas and Friends series and I think everyone had fun! My incredibly talented friend made his birthday cake, smash cake, cupcakes, and cookies as party favors and they were a huge hit! If there had been a swing in the middle of the pavilion, Owen would have been in heaven. He could live in a baby swing! Instead, he rotated from the swings to the pavilion to inside the church to cool off…and repeat. There was a full house for the party, which may seem overkill for a first birthday party, but to me, it is representative of the village that is raising Owen. Greg and I could not do this on our own so it is only appropriate for those who help us and support us to be there to celebrate Owen.

We’ve completely stopped buying baby food for Owen because after giving him table food in addition to his baby food, he realized that he didn’t want the mess we had been giving him and that he only wants the real thing. Ha! Besides the past week and a half of him being sick, he is a fantastic eater and isn’t too terribly picky. He eats just about anything so far! Two of his favorites are chicken nuggets (mostly from Chick-fil-A and Zaxby’s) and yogurt (specifically GoGurt because it’s easier for him to eat). Owen gets SO excited when he sees us pull a tube of GoGurt out of the fridge and he downs it! Greg and I are pretty sure that the yogurt is the only way he didn’t lose weight while being sick.

Mobility is still not really a thing yet. Still refuses to crawl, but he really likes to walk while holding our hands! I really think it will just be a matter of time before he’s walking without us. His balance needs some work and I think he’s a little afraid of doing it without our hands, but I think he’ll get there soon. The hinderance is that he thinks falling into us is hilarious. If he’s trying to take some steps toward us, he’ll then dive into us and laugh. So…that could end up being a problem. Ha! 🙂

As far as words, Owen doesn’t have any recognizable words yet. He is still very intentional when he talks to us – just not actual words. He will tilt his head and look straight at you when he says “Ah,” but we’re still trying to figure out what that is… 🙂

Owen might not be moving around completely on his own, but this kid loves to be in or on anything that can move! We’ve visited the pool next door to Greg’s parents and he loved being in the kiddie float and kicking around! Another thing he loved was riding around the golf cart. He could sit in your lap while you drive around alllll day long. He would occasionally hold his arm up as if playing with the wind. He got a Thomas car thing for his birthday from Greg and me and he loves it. The main idea is for him to sit on it and push himself with his feet, but his legs aren’t long enough for that yet so he reaches for the car to be put on it and we’ll push him around the house! The kid has pretty incredible balance to sit steady on it with his feet hanging! My parents got him this 4-stage tricycle kind of thing for his birthday that’s a tricycle with extra attachments to make it a stroller for now and as he gets older you remove attachments until it eventually becomes a fully functioning tricycle! He reaches for it every time he sees it and wants to be pushed around. He’s started grabbing the handlebars of the tricycle which makes pushing him pretty difficult. Ha!

Greg has become absorbed in the Pokemon Go craze and Owen’s not opposed to it. It’s bright and colorful and plays music so every now and then we’ll let Owen hold the phone to play around with it. We got him this Thomas the Train tent for his birthday and he thinks it’s hilarious to get inside. What’s especially funny is when he’s inside, we’ll say “Where’s Owen??” and he’ll pull back the flap, look around the corner, and smile. Little goober. 🙂

Earlier this month, we went to visit my sisters at the camp they’re working at so Owen got to visit the beach for the first time and he was definitely a fan! We were at the beach just to take family pictures so he wasn’t dressed in his swimsuit/swim diaper to sit and play with the sand or the water, but he really liked standing in the water especially when a wave would come and get his legs wet. We would hold his hands and lift him up over the waves and he would have a huge grin on his face!

I contacted a local photographer to do a photoshoot for Owen turning one and we got some family shots as well! She did a fantastic job and I can’t wait to get them printed and hang them around the house! On that note, we are all moved in to the new house! Not all unpacked…but moved in. All the rooms that we use on a regular basis are unpacked – now to just finish the entire house. I told Greg this morning that I’m making it my goal to be completely settled in with little to no boxes by the end of the month. Unfortunately, that’s only two weeks away…BUT we’ll be home the entire two weeks so hopefully it can happen! One push to get it done by August is the fact that Wesley will be getting up and running before we realize it! We’re just a little over a month away from school starting which means we’ll be hitting the ground running. The fall semester is insanely crazy and busy so we have to get settled and rest when we can before it starts!

I guess this is the end of my monthly updates of baby Owen! He has another check-up at the 15-month mark so I’ll probably write one then with how he’s doing and his stats! His legs are so strong that we’re pretty sure he’ll be kicking around his baby soccer ball in no time. 🙂

11 months!

This kid is 11 months old!! I know that this is redundant, but I truly cannot believe that next time I give an update about Owen will be his FIRST BIRTHDAY! Ahh! I love watching him figure out new things, mentally and physically. He is SO curious about everything. It’s insane how much he looks like a little boy instead of a baby!

I’ve been planning his first birthday party for a few months now. It will be Thomas the Tank Engine themed and I’ve made some painted banners to decorate. But no previews for you before the party. 🙂 I will show you that I chose a Thomas fabric to “make” Owen a birthday shirt. I took Owen to Hobby Lobby with me to waste some time before needing to head home for bed and when I found the fabric and showed it to him, he got SO excited! He would talk to Thomas, play with the fabric, and grab it constantly. I think he’s feeling it. 🙂

Remember how I said he’s figuring out new things and curious about everything? Yeah. Here it is. Owen has figured out that there are movies on the bottom shelf of the entertainment center and his new favorite activity is pulling out all the movies. Another random thing he has started doing is picking up his puff snacks and just staring at it and “studying” it before throwing it on the ground. It pretty hilarious! Also, he LOVES playing with remotes. I don’t know what it is, but he loves them. We’ll take the batteries out (so he doesn’t accidentally open it and try to eat them AND to keep him from changing the channel) and give him the remote and he is completely content. It’s the weirdest thing ever. Ha! Lastly, he’s always been super flexible – as I’m sure most babies are. But really recently, he has started doing what we’re calling Baby Owen Yoga when Greg’s holding him. Ha! It’s the cutest thing int he world and cracks us up!

I may have said this in previous posts, but this kid LOVES apple juice. He has the 360 sippy cup that is basically a spill-proof normal cup – no straw or anything like that. He has figured out how to hold it himself and he downs it. Loves it. This month, we started bathing Owen in the actual bathtub instead of the sink and he’s loving it! Greg has really taken charge of bathtime now and they seem to really really enjoy that play time together. He can splash all he wants and with him in the laundry basket, the toys stay in arm’s reach!

Owen wants to crawl so bad. I guess I should say he wants so badly to be mobile. When he is sitting up and wants to get to something, he tries to shift his weight forward to get on his hands and knees. Still not quite there. When he’s holding our hands, he can walk pretty well, minus the balance part.

OWEN HAS A THIRD TOOTH! PRAAAAISE! Poor guy has been having teething pain since he was 3 months old and with only 2 teeth to show for it – these teeth showed up at 6 months. So this 8 months has been a struggle. But a third one has finally come through!! Yes!!!

I don’t remember if it was this month or last, but he moved up to the 9 month clothing. At 10ish months. Ha! He’s just SO lean that these clothes are lasting forever which is fantastic and money-saving. Now. With that said, the 9 month clothing may not last too much longer. They’re getting harder to snap at the bottom and when they do, they slightly turn into v-necks because they’re struggling to be long enough. So I’ve been buying 12 month clothing somewhat for now but definitely for future.

Baby boy loves being outside. He always has, but the more interactive he becomes, the more fun it is to watch him! We go to the park to swing (as well as our backyard), and he’s really enjoying playing with sports balls! A few weeks ago, we filled up the kiddie pool that we have and tried it out for the first time! Owen seemed to like it, although he was confused for a little while. It’s already quite hot outside so we’re going to have to monitor how much time we spend outside!

On a random note, we got a new couch! YES! It’s relevant because Owen loves it. It’s a sectional that curves around and Owen loves to sit in the corner where there’s lots of space and play with his toys there. Look how adorable this child is. 🙂

Owen LOVES his grandparents! The four of them are some of the few people that he will actually reach out to while being held by Greg or me. He has always gravitated toward guys over girls so he seems to favor our dads, but that’s not to say he doesn’t show some love for our moms! They are also some of the few people who he lets hang out with him with Greg and me walking away. The top collage is Owen with Greg’s dad and the bottom collage is Owen with my parents!

Last week was Annual Conference in the South Georgia Conference of the UMC. Basically, this is the time every year where pastors and lay delegates come together for a few days to talk about the business of the church. We had to stay in a hotel for it and it was our first time sharing a hotel with Owen. Oh man. Was that an adventure. We would be lying in bed at 8pm with all lights off, TV off, with our computers in our laps and headphones in – all so Owen could sleep. We communicated via text. That wasn’t really that bad. Conference makes me exhausted (plus they are early mornings) so I was ready to wind down by that point.

The downside to all this was that Owen did not do well in the nursery whatsoever. On Wednesday, he was in there from 1:30-5pm and apparently he cried for the first hour and a half and still never got actually happy. Then on Thursday, he was miserable basically all day. Both of these days, he hardly ate and never really slept. On Wednesday, he didn’t sleep at all from 11:30am to 8pm and on Thursday, he only took a 20 minute nap between 6:45am and 9:30pm. It was ROUGH. So we decided not to put him in the nursery on Friday (I had already planned on not using the nursery on Saturday). I’m sure some parents would say that I’m not helping Owen by not putting him in the nursery, but I don’t really care. Owen has trouble in new nurseries with new people. But I’m pretty sure most kids are like that. He does really well in our church’s nursery with our nursery workers, even for a few hours! Having the day on Friday really began to put him back to normal. He got to sleep in, take a morning nap, he ate a decent bit, and spent the afternoon with my parents. Then by Saturday, he was getting even closer to normal, even though he didn’t sleep well Friday night. It took a couple days after that for him to finally catch up on sleep! It was exhausting.

On a positive note dealing with Annual Conference, Greg got commissioned as a Provisional Elder in the UMC! It was such an exciting time and I am so very proud of him! He worked so hard on his paperwork and in the Board interviews and has grown so much since he went before the Board last year. Here’s to three years of not stressing about this again!

Ice

This one’s just hilarious. The two babies waiting for ice from Daddy!

I’m in the midst of trying to hardcore pack up the house for the move to the new house. It’s absolutely exhausting. There’s still a little under two weeks before the move, but there’s just so much to pack and I can’t physically and mentally pack nonstop all day. Greg’s doing awesome with helping to pack and helping with Owen. We’re looking forward to the move and to the new house. I just wish we could blink and be there. 🙂

I suppose the next time I update this, it will be for Owen’s one-year-old update! Craziness! Until then. 🙂

Owen is 10 months!

Owen is 10 months old! We’re getting so close to his first birthday! Ahh! He’s 21 pounds and still at least 28″ long. He’s getting quite heavy to carry around and it definitely doesn’t help that he never stops moving – especially while he’s being held in any way.

It’s pretty insane how quickly kids grow up. I never really understand that nostalgia until Owen. I also never understood the songs about kids growing up and songs written to the singer’s kid until now. Now I find myself choking up in my car because the song makes me fast forward in time and I want time to slow down!

This kid has gotten so cuddly over the past month. While I’m holding him, he will lay his head on my shoulder. It seriously makes me melt! It’s so sweet! Separation anxiety is definitely still there but I’m trying to fight against it. If he’s being held by someone else, I will purposely avoid eye contact with him to try to help. It sounds cruel, but I think it’s helping! Besides, he definitely still knows who his Mama is. 🙂

He has such a big personality and makes so many different facial expressions. Everywhere we go, people stop to talk to him and say how handsome he is. Similar to his mom, he doesn’t know how to react to strangers. Ha! I suppose I should be thankful that he is already wary about strangers. A few weeks ago he started smiling in a different way that shows his teeth and crinkles his eyes that is ADORABLE and has started making the Blue Steel look from Zoolander all the time which is HILARIOUS!

Physically, he still only has the two bottom teeth. Teething is absolutely killing all of us. He’s been in pain for months and months and still only two teeth to account for. Still refuses to crawl, but instead is rolling from back to front (still) and now sometimes from back to front. He’s really loving the walking motion and will walk from one place to another with us holding both his hands. He still has the balance to work on, but his legs are super strong.

Owen doesn’t say any words specifically, but he says “Ah!” and “Oh!” very intentionally. For example, if one of us is in the kitchen and he’s in his high chair, he will look at us and say “Ah!” until we turn around and look at him. Then he’ll smile. It’s so interesting! To him, he is clearly communicating with us. I’m excited for the day when those Ahs and Ohs turn into Mama and Dada!

Owen had three birthday parties this month which was really exciting! He had a great time as he devoured cupcakes, burgers, and hash brown casserole. He loved celebrating his friends Zoey (his girlfriend), Hank, and Arden!

This month, Owen got to watch his Daddy play soccer with Wesley intramurals! It was bright so he had to wear his baby sunglasses, of course. Greg will start playing in an adult soccer league this summer and I’m really excited about taking Owen with us! Greg has played in this league for two summers and I really enjoy watching. I think Owen will too! I think we’ll have to get him his own soccer ball to kick around!

One of our friends gave us two free tickets to Disney Frozen on Ice so we braved that, but it went much better than I expected! He liked all the movement, lights, and music! Our seats were really close to the ice so after intermission, we actually sat in the back in the midst of empty seats so Owen could talk and move all he wanted without us bothering anyone around us. We made it the whole time!

I’m in the planning for Owen’s first birthday, which is super crazy! It will be Thomas the Train themed. I’m pretty sure I’m way too excited about the decorations for the party considering Owen will never remember it. I don’t want to explain any of the decorations here so they’ll be a surprise for the guests on the day of the party. 🙂 Let’s just say I know WAY too much about Thomas and I forget that this is not common knowledge to the general public.

We celebrated my first Mother’s Day this year! Greg’s family joined us for church that morning and then we all went to Cracker Barrel together! Let me just tell you – Owen LOVES to eat. He ate two containers of food (8 oz. total), a biscuit, hash brown casserole, and probably some more that I’m forgetting. Then later that afternoon, we all went to the park to have a family walk, which is my favorite activity! In fact, it’s what I told Greg I wanted to do for Mother’s Day.

I’m so thankful for this family, including our “first-born” fur baby. Greg and I are super excited to continue working for Wesley Foundation and I’ll take a new role (still quarter-time) as Minister to Women, which more accurately reflects my role in the ministry. We’re excited to say that we will be moving houses this summer! Still staying in Macon and still with Wesley – just a different house! It’s a much newer house with a bigger back yard and (Greg’s favorite) a view of the lake from our back yard! I’m pretty sure I can confidently say that we’ll be spending some leisurely time on the water. Greg is already in the search of a boat. Ha! Long story short…everything is really good right now. Teething is dumb. But if that’s the worst of our issues right now, we’re doing pretty well.