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.

9 months in!

Owen 9 month

Big guy is 9-months-old! I feel like I say this every month, but I really cannot believe how fast this time is going. I have officially put his first birthday on my calendar so that family can keep it blocked off. Each month, he learns more things and interacts in different ways and it is a complete joy to watch him make more discoveries. He has so much personality and is constantly surprising me and making me laugh.

He had his 9-month check-up and is a healthy guy! He was 19 pounds 8 ounces and is 28 inches long, both of which makes him fall close to the 50th percentile. So it’s looking like he may be built like his daddy! It’s crazy to think that the next time he is at the doctor for a check-up (unless he’s sick at some point) is for his 1-year check-up! The crazy thing is that even with his weight and length, he still comfortably fits in 6 month sized onesies! We haven’t even started the 9 month size because I want to stretch out the use of the clothes we already have! Ha!

I had to fill out a questionnaire before the visit about Owen’s growth and whatnot and one of the questions said something like “Does your child place toys down on the ground without dropping it?” When I read this to Greg, we laughed and commented that no, he doesn’t gently place things on the ground – he throws them across the room.

Owen went to his first Easter egg hunt with our church this year! He did a great job and seemed to enjoy himself! There was an egg hunt specifically for kids under 2 years old so we went and sat on a corner of that section of grass and let him play with an egg! Then he went on his first hay ride and loved it! This kid loves being outside more than anything. Also, he’s the cutest kid with sunglasses ever.

Sleeping through the night and napping for his normal time has gotten inconsistent. Some nights he goes 12 hours – from 8pm to 8am. Some nights he goes from 8pm to around 5am. The good(ish) thing about when he wakes up at 5am or 6am is that I can feed him and put him back down to sleep and he’ll sleep till around 8:30-9am. Naps can also be unpredictable. Most times they’re right at 2 hours each, but sometimes he makes it just at an hour long. But when he sleeps, he sleeps hard! He often wakes up with some CRAZY hair!

One of his favorite things about the doctor’s office is the paper on the benches. He grabs it, tears it up, tries to eat it, everything. When we leave, it’s a disaster. He’s also been putting his feet in his mouth more and more and he’ll even suck on his toes. Weirdo.

He still only has his bottom two front teeth. Teething is killer. I swear he feels teething pain for months before teeth finally come through. The doctor did say he can tell that he’s about to get some teeth on the top! So maybe that means the poor guy will get some relief. We have learned that he likes to munch on pickle spears and use his teeth to tear off pieces. We’ve also discovered that he likes to bite and suck on Daddy’s popsicles! So they have their popsicle time whenever he’s in teething pain.

Our new morning tradition is for me to make a few scrambled eggs and put some of them on one of Owen’s plates and we eat our scrambled eggs together! He LOVES it!

Spending time with this guy is my absolute favorite. There are times that I wonder if I’m doing the right thing for him developmentally by staying at home with him instead of him being with other kids in a child care. I personally would never trade a moment of my day with him, but I just wonder sometimes if he would be learning to do things quicker if he had more interaction than just me. He still refuses to crawl – when we put him on his stomach, he just flips himself over and laughs. 🙂 There’s certainly nothing to be concerned with in terms of his development – the doctor even said he wouldn’t be surprised if Owen just skipped crawling because it seems like more and more babies do that. And I will say that Owen likes standing up and the walking motion. I just can’t help but wonder sometimes if he’d be doing more himself. But then he reaches for me and “talks” to me and I know I’m where I’m supposed to be.

He’s even started giving “kisses” to me in a way and it makes my heart melt. He also insists on holding my finger while I feed him his baby food. Separation anxiety has geared back up for real. Even if Greg is holding him and I walked by, Owen loses his mind until I come back and get him. It’s insane. I have to admit that a part of me beams at it.

It was our first Easter with our little man! He was as cute as can be and I’m glad we got to celebrate Easter with him. Our church family is so amazing and we are so thankful for the love that they show to us and to Owen. They put up with the separation anxiety in the nursery and love him even in those hard moments.

There’s a newly renovated park near our house where we like to take Owen and Lucy and they both love it! Lucy’s always excited to get to go on adventures and explore and since Owen loves being outside, it’s good for the whole family! Greg has cut out sweets/sugar from his diet since January of last year and I’ve decided to join him. It’s been quite difficult, but I’m surviving. Ha! Here’s to another month!

Lent Reflections

My grace is sufficient for you.
2 Corinthians 12:9

The past six weeks have been fantastic in terms of self-reflection, which is the point of Lent I suppose. It has been an eye opening, convicting, and positive experience. I intentionally removed small (but important) aspects and added even more important practices. God has also been speaking to my heart about love and grace.

As silly as it sounds, I deleted the Facebook app on my phone. In college, I would eliminate all social media for the six weeks of Lent, but working on staff at a college ministry makes that nearly impossible because Facebook is the primary mode of communication with the students, both directly and with announcements. I was bummed about this because I felt like it was something I needed to do. I was expressing this during the Lent Bible study I was leading and one of my Wesley girls mentioned that there are separate apps for Facebook Groups and Facebook Pages, in addition to Facebook Messages. This was perfect! I could directly message certain individuals as well as keep up with announcements on the Wesley Group and Page.

I didn’t realize how much of a difference I would see. It was sobering, in fact. The first few days I found myself picking up my phone without even thinking about it! I have spent so much of my time mindlessly scrolling through Facebook for absolutely no reason. There was nothing edifying about it. Eventually I stopped picking up my phone for no reason and I was able to really see what was around me. I have been more aware and more positive. The only thing that stinks about not having the app on my phone is being able to upload pictures more regularly, especially pictures of Owen for his needy grandparents. 😉

In addition to removing the Facebook app on my phone, I have been incredibly intentional about adding a morning and night time of devotion and study. I added the app d365 which is a fantastic app that includes meditation, Scripture, devotion, prayer, and challenge. I read it while I’m nursing Owen in the mornings, my one time of quiet in the morning. 🙂 At night, I’ve been reading a chapter a night of Judah Smith’s Life Is _____. Forty Day Experience. I’ve loved it! And I’ve realized that a book chapter a night is the perfect devotion time for me. I thought that quick, one-paragraph devotions were best for me, but it seems like that wasn’t holding my attention enough or challenging me enough. So starting tonight, I’ll be starting a new book, Judah Smith’s Love Like Jesus and I’m pretty excited about it!

Besides these changes, I’ve come to realize that grace is a huge part and foundation of my theology and understanding of God. I have been a perfectionist my entire life and have strived for perfection and success in everything I do. It drives my motivation and failure has always been a strong fear of mine. I had pretty much always gotten what I worked for until I didn’t receive the major scholarship for grad school. It tore me apart, but ended up being great preparation for the not so fantastic grades I got in my three years of seminary. It has taught me to work hard, but that perfect is not always at the end of hard work. That success looks differently each time and in each situation.

Perfectionism has been controlling me my whole life, but I am growing more and more to know that God’s grace abounds much farther than that. I cannot be perfect. I just can’t. I can try as hard as I can in every task and responsibility that I have, but I won’t be perfect. I love Greg and Owen more than anything, but I will disappoint them, I will lose my temper, and I will fail. But grace covers my imperfections. Grace will ALWAYS cover my failures. Now this doesn’t mean that I can slack off or not work hard. But that if I don’t see the results that I hope for, it’s OK. And I’m finally OK with that.

Our 8-month-old!

Baby Owen is 8 months old! Someone once asked us when he will no longer be “Baby Owen” and what we would call him then and we have no idea how to answer that. Ha! When we measured him at home, we estimated that he weighs between 19-20 pounds and is about 28 inches long. We went to the doctor yesterday (we thought he may have an ear infection but he was clear! Yay!) and sure enough, he was 19 pounds 11 ounces. He doesn’t look that heavy, but let me tell you…this guy is getting heavy!

We call Owen our little hippie boy, because he LOVES trees. He’s always loved being outside, but recently he has developed an obsession with the trees in our backyard! No lie – he will talk to the trees and reach out to go see them. We’re pretty sure he may be a park ranger or something like that. Definitely a boy scout, like his Daddy.

Because the weather has been so awesome, we’ve spent A LOT of time outside! One day, Greg sat Owen in the soft clover-covered grass and Owen loved it! He started pulling up the grass and throwing it (more on throwing things later). Every now and then, I’d have to pull some grass out of his little mouth because EVERYTHING goes in his mouth. I’ve also started putting him on the swing next to me instead of in my lap and he’s enjoyed it!

 

Poor kid has continued to teethe. He has his two bottom teeth already, but we’re pretty sure he’s about to get some more. He chews on our hands and fingers and pretty much anything else he can get his hands on, including his rubber ducky at bath time.

He has stayed really good about eating his baby food! He LOVES to eat. Man. He squeals if you are taking too long getting another bite to him. Definitely our child. He also enjoys eating the food off our plates. We’ve started ordering an extra chicken tender or chicken nuggets when we go to Zaxby’s or Chick-fil-A to shred to give to him! When he spends time with my parents, he eats the broccoli cheddar soup at Panera!

We enjoyed having sharing our Valentine’s Day with our littlest valentine! The night before Valentine’s Day, Owen went with me to our Wesley Women’s event where we went to Cheddar’s for dinner. I dressed him up nice and he acted like a perfect gentleman. On Valentine’s Day, the three of us went to Chili’s to celebrate and little guy wore his tuxedo bib because he’s classy.

Greg and I joke (somewhat) that Owen is never going to crawl. I’m telling you – this kid refuses. We will put him on his stomach and he will move his arms and legs, but can’t quite seem to get the hang of it and will just roll back over on his back. He loves to be on his back, but not his stomach. He seems to want to get the hang of walking though. He’s definitely not quite there to walk on his own, but he loves to stand and with one of us holding his hands, he has started putting one foot in front of the other to get to the other one of us.

Throwing things has become a favorite of Owen’s. I’m pretty sure he is only interested in picking things up just so he can throw them. He’s actually got a really good arm on him! He also does this strange thing where he holds his hands, raises them above his head, then “smashes” them down to his legs. We call this the “Owen SMASH!” Ha! He finds it hilarious. Owen has also started babbling more than he has before. He’s been squealing at us for a while, but now he’s started to almost say syllables. Obviously he has no idea what the sounds are, but he says little things! We can’t wait for him to start putting them together!

Owen’s crying with others has decreased dramatically! Whoohoo! Finally! He’ll still reach for Greg or me, but he’s fine in other people’s arms while we’re standing with him! He has gone 3 Sundays so far without crying in the nursery and has spent significant time with my parents and Greg’s parents. He even spent an entire weekend with my parents without us and did really well! He got spoiled even, but you can’t expect anything less with the first grandchild. 🙂


He’s also gotten to spend a few full days with Greg’s parents! They got to come one Saturday and spend half the days with us and it was great! We got to go out to lunch and dinner and walk around the outdoor mall. He let them hold him without Greg and I in sight which was a huge improvement! He also loved eating almost an entire pancake at IHOP!

Owen Daddy Board

Now for some parent updates. Greg went before the Board of Ordained Ministry this past week to seek approval to be a Provisional Elder in the UMC. And he passed! Praise the Lord! For real. It has been a long year since his deferral last March, but it has been a year of growth and I could not be more proud of him.

As part of my goal for this year, I want to be able to run a 5K. This sounds like no big deal to most people, but I am not an endurance runner so even 3.1 miles is a big deal to me. I registered for one that is actually this Saturday, but I cancelled the registration about a week or two ago. I simply haven’t had adequate time to prepare for it and I feel as though if I didn’t reach my goal of running the entire thing, I would be too discouraged to continue working toward a habit of running. I found that I was actually not disappointed in myself, which says a lot about my own personal growth. I will continue to work on running regularly, and once I think I’m ready, I’ll register for a race!

Lastly, my parents have given me a wonderful gift: Alaina Days. My mom told me to pick one day a month for the next few months for them to come keep Owen for the entire day while I have a completely free day. The only stipulation is that I use it completely selfishly, not running errands or doing house chores, but something for myself. My first one was a few weeks ago and I loved it: Chick-fil-A for lunch, eating a Double Doozie from Great American Cookie Company while reading at Barnes & Noble, getting a pedicure, and finishing with a dinner date with Greg! It is exactly what I’ve been needing and I am SO thankful.