Addison’s Half-Birthday!

Addison is 6 months old! I realize how much I sound like a broken record when I talk about how I can’t believe how fast my kids are going up, but it’s true. She’s halfway to her first birthday and it blows my mind. Six months doesn’t sound like that big of a deal or that old, but when you see how less like an infant and more like a functioning human they are, it’s insane! I’m halfway to not having any babies in the house and only toddlers!

Addison did a great job at the doctor! She is 16 pounds 8 ounces and 25 3/4 inches long! At this same age, Owen was 16 pounds and 26 1/2 inches long so they’re really neck-in-neck in terms of size! She got a couple shots but did well considering…they’re shots and I know they hurt. Because she can sit up better now, I sat her on the little bench/table to see what she thought and she immediately started grabbing at the paper and tearing it apart which cracked me up because that was Owen’s favorite thing to do at the doctor as he grew up so it’s funny to see her doing the same thing.

We tried back with the baby food and she is doing a great job with it! She’s devouring the food and I think we’re about to start doing the 2nd Step Gerber (we’ve been doing 1st Step) which has more food in a single container and starts to combine foods. The only thing is that she’s still trying to figure out how to eat off the spoon so she’s somewhat sucking the food off the spoon which is creating some gas in her tummy, I think. She’s also been sitting in high chairs at restaurants and doing a great job in them!

She cracks me up in her crib. She has started turning herself around in the crib and she’s continued to pull her blanket over her head as soon as I put it on her. I told Greg that if we have any more kids, we’re clearly going to have to continue the fleece blanket pattern because Owen and Addison LOVE theirs!

We’ve moved Addison from her baby bathtub to taking a bath sitting up in the sink! The first time she was really confused and was staring and touching the bubbles in the sink. Now, she’s kicking her legs to splash and she’ll pick up the bubbles and try to grab the faucet. She’s definitely enjoying this bath view and positioning much better!

Man. My girl is strong! We’ve said this from the beginning, but she just is! We got her her own Bumbo multi-seat because Owen still uses his as a booster seat at the table so there was no passing down with that! I’ll sit in on the floor and let her chill or feed her lunch while Owen continues to play with his train table! She’s also continuing to be better at tummy time although still not real interest in crawling. But that’s OK! I am in NO rush for her to be mobile! Ha!

This girl’s signature look is the big, open-mouth smile with her tongue sticking out and it cracks me up! I love it! She’s just overall such a happy baby. There has to be something seriously wrong for her to be upset – hungry (and man, this girl can get HANGRY), tired, or teething are main ones. Still no teeth to be seen, but I know they’re coming!

Addison’s becoming SO interactive with everything around her. If I’m holding her in one arm and then holding something in the other hand, she’ll try and grab it. She’s also become really interactive with the toys on her bouncer and the ones on her car seat. It’s like one day she was all of a sudden aware that there are toys around her and started playing with them!

Since the last Addison monthly update, Owen turned 2! To read about his birthday party and more detailed updates on him, read his 2-year-old update! Here are some major updates and ones since his birthday. He’s seriously learning new words and phrases every single day. He’s absorbing everything around him and taking everything in. I often don’t give him enough credit for what he knows and understands simply because he doesn’t always have the words for what he wants or thinks, but then he goes and puts together a puzzle by himself without any issues and I’m blown away! The kid is smart!

He loved to read and since we got his train table for his birthday (which he LOVES), I rearranged the living room and made a reading and puzzle corner away from the toys. He loves to go over and sit on the rug and read or do his puzzles. We also got him a little table and chairs and he loves to color his coloring books! This kid is a mess but we love him so much!

As a birthday celebration for Greg and one of his brothers, we went up with Greg’s family to an entertainment complex in Atlanta where there was a ninja warrior gym and some other activities. Addison got some grandparent love and Owen loved going all around the net play area. He even tried his hand at some kid’s rock climbing and he’s got some great instincts with it!

Two of our best friends installed a pool at their house so we’ve been over there to swim during our weekly dinners and the kids LOVED it! Addison chilled in her floatie almost the entire time and Owen played and laughed a ton!

I absolutely adore these two kids. Their love for each other (at least right now…ha!) is so evident! They make each other laugh and smile constantly. Owen always wants to take care of Addison and gets mad at me if I go get Addison from her room without him! I think he’s finally connected that he makes her laugh so sometimes he’ll be a little silly to make her laugh and I love it!

When I look at them, I start wondering what they will be when they grow up. Because Owen is old enough where we see his interests and what he’s good at or likes to do, we can kind of make some guesses. Those guesses range from park ranger to engineer. Ha! He loves being outside and loves animals! But he also really enjoys taking things apart and then putting them back together and he does have an eye for order! When I look at Addison, I wonder if she’ll be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher. And I wonder if they will be fortunate enough to have kids, if they want. I want SO much for them and I can’t wait to see where the Lord leads them! My prayer is that I remain supportive and excited for them, no matter what that may mean!

One of our good friends from college, Lorin, offered to take family photos for us and we were so excited for it! We got some photos at Easter, but other than that, the only photos we have of all four of us are selfies so to get some good quality photos of the kids and all four of us was wonderful. And actually overall the kids cooperated! I am thankful that Lorin was flexible in taking candid photos as well as staged ones because our kids do not cooperate with staged photos. Nearly all of my favorites are ones that she snapped while we were playing or making a kid laugh or something and I think it really showcased the personalities of our family perfectly! Now to get them printed and hang them around the house!

Greg and I have had a really great month of “just us” time. We celebrated his birthday by going out to dinner at one of his favorite local places that’s on the lake so after we ate, we sat on the deck for a while just relaxing. His parents watched the kids so we were able to just enjoy! Then last weekend, we co-officiated the wedding for two of our previous college students and that was a blast! The wedding was in the Florida Keys so it somewhat doubled as a weekend getaway for us! I convinced Greg to get a pedicure with me and he really enjoyed it! His feet had some crazy callouses and she managed to make them completely smooth. He even remarked that he could actually feel the carpet through his feet. Ha!

Overall, the family is good! We are getting more and more settled. The church life is amazing. Our Wesley church family is so so very welcoming and loving and have made us feel like we’ve always been a part of the family. We’ve been revisioning along with them and preparing to launch a new worship service style in place of our current one. Our first preview service went really well and we’re getting ready for our second one – which is also the final preview before the relaunch! We love this church. Owen literally gets upset if we drive past the church without going inside. Our nursery workers are incredible and patient and loving. Our congregation is gracious as we try to learn the ropes of being local church pastors and they are enthusiastic about the future. We are loving this new phase in our life right now!

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Owen is 2 years old!

Our baby boy has turned 2!! It’s insane to even try to comprehend. Here’s a little bit about our smart, handsome, 2-year-old!

Owen LOVES animals so his birthday party was jungle safari themed! One of my good friends and one of my sisters helped me decorate the house for the party which was a HUGE help and I think everything went well! We just had it at our new house because that seemed to be an easy solution and it was! Owen had a great time and it seemed like everyone else enjoyed too! When we started singing to Owen before blowing out the cake candles, he got really confused and furrowed his eyebrows. Ha!

For Owen’s actual birthday a few days later, we continued some family traditions and possibly started some new ones! In my family growing up, the birthday person gets woken up on their birthday with everyone coming in singing Happy Birthday and bringing in their cake and presents. My parents came up that morning and we continued that tradition! Then for lunch we all went to Chuck E Cheese, which I think it going to be a new tradition! Owen LOVED it and got so excited when he saw Chuck E Cheese in person. He even danced with him when he came out! When we got home, his train table from us had arrived in the mail so I put it together while he napped for him to find when he woke up and he was so excited! He plays with it all day long! For dinner, we met up with Greg’s parents at Chick-fil-A. Owen had a rather full and loved day 🙂

He had his two-year-old check up the next day and did really well overall! He had to get his finger pricked 😦 and we went through two band-aids because he kept pulling them off so we gave up. This was his first time getting measured and weighed like a big kid and he did really well! He is 29.5 pounds and 34 inches tall! He did have to get a shot so that was no fun, but he recovered well.

Greg’s dad’s birthday was earlier this month and for his birthday, he wanted to take Owen to Wild Adventures to see all the animals and Owen had a BLAST! He LOVED walking around and seeing all the animals. When we were doing the walking tour, he wanted to walk himself instead of being carried and was pointing at everything. He was passed out asleep in the car on the way home before we even got on the interstate!

I’ve said this before in Addison’s updates, but it’s worth repeating for Owen’s: Owen LOVES Addison. He’ll walk up to her and get right in her face (lovingly) and say “hey!” He wants to wipe her mouth with her rag and put her paci back in her mouth when it falls out. He really likes to take pictures with her now and wants to sit next to her. If he’s awake while she’s sleeping, he wants to have the monitor hanging on his shorts pocket to listen out for her and when he hears her, he says “Addison!” The feeling is mutual too. Addison laughs and smiles at Owen anytime he comes near and even when he’s (lovingly) all in her face.

Owen amazes me constantly and I am so proud of who he is. He is so kind and has a huge heart. He is sensitive to other’s feelings and gets upset if someone else is upset – especially Addison or Lucy. He is a determined child and can be stubborn – he certainly knows what he wants! Owen is very particular about certain things. He likes to clean up and if something is out of place, he says “uh oh!” and fixes it. For example, we’ve been using coasters at this new house to make sure to protect the parsonage furniture. Owen has picked up on this and insists that his cups go on coasters. He’s REALLLLLY into Barney these days so the Clean Up song has come in handy if I need him to clean up something. It doesn’t take much coaxing (in fact, if he sees something messy, he says “mess!”), but it sure makes it more fun and he sings along!

Speaking of singing along, this kid has quite the vocabulary now! There are still some things that more so have a sound effect than an actual word and it’s not necessarily full sentences, but we usually know what he’s trying to say most of the time which is fantastic!! He repeats everything. Everything.

He still does his crazy fake laugh/chuckle thing and it kills me every time! This kid is just hilarious! I finally put away all of his clothes that are under size 2T which was hard, but needed to happen. He looks like such a little boy!

Owen has become a HUGE Mama’s boy lately. I’m not sure exactly what it is or why, but it’s intense. To the point where even his beloved grandparents aren’t allowed to put him down for a nap or bedtime. Only I can. On one hand it’s sweet and cute. But sometimes it’s just exhausting because even when I have help at home with getting both kids to bed, if he’s just going to scream if it’s not me, then I might as well do both. I do love the Mama-Owen cuddles though.

I am so thankful to have friends who have kids the same ages as our kids! It’s already been fun watching them grow together and I can’t wait to watch it continue! It used to be that Grayson and Owen played peacefully together – but separately, if that makes sense. They would basically coexist in the same room playing but not really interact with or play with one another. Now they actually do! They are six months apart in age, but they sure do enjoy each other! I’m excited for when Emerson and Addison get to that stage!

Here’s another hilarious Owen-ism. When people come over to our house, one of those people will become The Chosen One by Owen. This means that only this person can play with Owen, get his juice, or really anything. Owen becomes glued to this person for the entirety of their time at our house. There’s not normally a rhyme or reason, although if there are guys present, it will most likely be a guy over a girl.

Family

Two years has gone by OH SO FAST! Man. We’ve loved watching this kid grow and I’m excited to see the person he continues to become! My prayer is that I am able to be a patient and loving figure in his life, who points him to Jesus with every action. I am so far from perfect and I fail constantly. But I pray that Jesus picks up my slack and that Owen grows to know Jesus despite of my shortcomings and because of the love of Jesus through me!

Addison’s 4 & 5 month updates!

Turns out I’m even worse at keeping up with a monthly blog than I thought! I’ll just blame it on the fact that now there are two kids instead of one. At this point, Addison is about 5 and a half months old and I never did a 4 month blog or a 5 month blog! Man. I’m slacking. SO I’m going to do one blog that covers both and try my best to keep the two months separate in terms of milestones, events, etc. I know the distinctions don’t really matter to you reading this, but it’s been cool and helpful to go back and read Owen’s monthly blogs to know when he did certain things so I have an idea of what to expect with Addison! So if a Harrison #3 came along in the future, I’ll have two kids monthly blogs to look at! The problem is now I can’t remember anything…
Because I’m combining Addison’s two months into one update and because Owen just had his second birthday, I’m going to save all Owen updates for his own blog post and keep this one just Addison! Here we go!

— 4 months: June 6, 2017 —

Addison turned 4 months in June! At her 4 month check up, she was 15.5 pounds (75th percentile) and 25.5 inches long (90th percentile). For comparison, Owen was 13.5 pounds and 26.5 inches long at four months.

At this point, she was still OK with being held by other people! But for sure when she’s being held by Mama, all is right in the world. You can tell by these pictures that she’s definitely got the head control down by now – even though I think you could say she’s had that figured out for a while!

I’ve said this every time, but man this girl is strong! Owen fought tummy time like crazy and he hated being on his stomach. Addison is much more resilient when it comes to trying to get her head up. Her legs are also super strong. She’s been able to “stand” herself up for a while now, but you can tell she continues to get stronger.

In addition, she doesn’t seem to be as big of a fan of the round pink pillow as she used to be and I think it’s because she’s wanting to sit up. When we do put her on the pillow, she cranes her neck to try to sit up and see everything going on. And even when she is in it, she doesn’t stay in it nearly as long as she used to. It used to be that she basically lived in that thing, but at this point it was not much at all.

Addison’s smile cracks me up. Owen had the same big, open mouth smile that Addison has, but a difference is that Addison will have her tongue out as well and it’s hilarious! She has so much personality and has truly been an easy going baby.

Addison spent her last days as a 3-month-old and her first couple as a 4-month-old at Jekyll Island! We had Annual Conference for the UMC there and the whole family went down! We shared a house with my parents (who also had to be there for conference) and it was fantastic. Last year, we stayed in a hotel with Owen and it was DREADFUL. This was much more enjoyable. We’re returning to Jekyll for conference again next year and we’ve already put in a request for the same house!

Leading up to this point, I was in a packing frenzy. We would be moving houses only 4 days after this 4-month mark so it was pretty much chaos at our house between trying to pack but then still needing to use things that were already packed.

I got to celebrate my first Mother’s Day with both kiddos this year! We went to visit my parents for the weekend since our Sundays together were numbered with us being appointed to a church. Once our first Sunday hit, we couldn’t have any more family gatherings on Sundays with my family so we tried to soak it up!

Owen has begun to show more and more affection toward Addison and it is precious. He has always clearly cared about her, but for the first time, he wanted her to sit by him and he let me take a picture of it! That hadn’t happened before so I was thrilled! 🙂

 

— 5 months: July 6, 2017 —

Baby girl turned 5 months in July! It’s really amazing the difference that occurs from one month to another. I’m not sure how much she weighed at this point because we didn’t do a home measuring, but I’ll tell you this much – she sure is healthy. Ha! There is no doubt about that!

An unfortunate thing is that teething began to kick in this month. Teething is pretty much the worst thing. They can’t tell you what’s wrong – they just cry. And then when you offer your finger or knuckle and they gnaw down hard, you realize it. I hate this part because you can tell they’re hurting, but there’s not a whole whole lot you can do except wait for the dang teeth to finally come through. And then wait for the next ones to start. I just hope she doesn’t have the ear infection problems that Owen did!

Sleeping-wise, she’s still doing great! She sleeps really well through the night – the only thing that wakes her up is if she loses her paci. I’ll walk in and put her paci in and then she’s back to sleep!

Babies can start trying out baby pureed food when they turn 4 months so we tried that this month, but it seemed to us like her stomach wasn’t quite ready for it yet. She liked the taste of bananas, but it seemed like it upset her tummy so we put it off for now. We started Owen at 4 months and he devoured them like a pro, but Addison just isn’t there yet so she’ll stick to breastmilk only for now. And let’s be honest. The girl isn’t starving. Ha!

I mentioned in the 4 month update that we don’t use the pink pillow as much because she wants to sit up and that’s still pretty much the case! We hardly use it at this point. we used to put her in the pillow during meals so she could be there and see us, but since she wants to sit up, we’ve started putting her in the high chair at meals even though she’s not eating baby food. She’s loved it! She can sit there and see everyone. She’ll talk her head off too. Ha!

Addison is super super chill. It’s crazy. She’s overall really content. But the separation anxiety has officially started. It’s still kind of small at this point. But easily if she’s crying while being held by someone else, she’ll stop immediately when I take her back.

I’ve always said she has a cute and big personality and it gets more specific as she gets older. She laughs now! Sometimes it sounds more like a cough and sometimes it sounds like a legit chuckle, but either way it’s adorable and wonderful!

In case you didn’t know (somehow), Greg is a HUGE soccer fan. Like obsessed kind of soccer fan. Atlanta got its own MLS (Major League Soccer) team this year and Greg has season tickets so he’ll go up for the home games and everything. Well, it’s necessary for the entire family to have Atlanta United gear so a couple months ago we made a trip to Atlanta to get some to wear on game days. Addison has her daddy wrapped around her little finger and when she’s in ATLUTD gear, she’s even more irresistible for him. Ha! She likes to try to work the Xbox controller too.

I will probably (unapologetically) say this every month, but I absolutely love watching Owen and Addison’s relationship grow. He wants to take care of her and be around her. And she LOVES him. Laughs and smiles at him anytime he talks (especially when it’s to her!). They are the absolute cutest thing. Also, check out those two in the double stroller – who is that big girl in the back?! Because I know it’s not my baby!!

We’re really really grateful to have amazing friends surrounding us. A really fun thing is to watch our kids grow with our friends’ kids – especially since they are all super close in age! Owen and Grayson are finally at the age where they want to play together (instead of just coexist in the same room while playing separately). I’m so excited for when Addison and Emerson are at that point!

Greg’s dad’s birthday is on the Fourth of July and for his birthday, he wanted to take us to Wild Adventures – specifically for Owen to see the animals! It was an amazing day and the kids had a blast – more details on that trip will be on Owen’s 2 year update since the trip was mainly about him! But Addison had fun too! She did a great job considering it was SUPER hot and she didn’t really get a good nap other than dozing off here and there in the stroller. I will say this though. Wild Adventures has an AMAZING Nursing Mother’s Room. I’m talking nice changing tables, a microwave to warm up a bottle, rocking chairs, toys and chairs for younger kids (siblings), and an A/C unit blasting. It was such a nice experience and a great surprise. I assumed I would go sit in the corner of a booth at lunch with my cover over us and hope that she ate. I just happened to be studying the map, wasting time while they were riding rides and Addison napped and I saw it! EVERY place should have something like that!

— Family Update —

Our family has had a lot of change over the past few months! Not only did we physically move houses (although only about 15 minutes across town) so there was the packing, moving, unpacking part. But we moved appointments from being Campus Ministers to being the Senior Pastor (Greg) and Associate Pastor (me) of a local church! It has been an adjustment, but one that we have welcomed gladly and been so excited about. The church has been fantastic. I mean seriously. I’m not sure we could have asked for a better welcome from a church family. We already feel at home here and we really do mean it when we tell the congregation that we are here for the long run, as long as the Lord and the congregation wants us here! Our new house has become our home and the church has been phenomenal. There are big changes coming on the horizon for our worship service, but we’ve been met with excitement and readiness from the people so here we go!

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! 🙂