Monday, January 28, 2013

Greyden - 6 Month Picture and an Update (Finally)!

Yes, that's right.  My itty bitty boy is now six months old.  Halfway to his first birthday.  Craziness!!

Dearest Greyden,

The last time I wrote a blog update on your life, you were 12 weeks old.  12.  You are now...get ready for it...26 weeks.  Yes, 26.  That means your momma here has done HORRIBLY at documenting your life for the last 3 1/2 months.  Downright horrible.  Fortunately, I've been keeping little notes typed up on my phone, so I can still remember important dates.

So here is the update:

Mid November (~3 1/2 months old), you started really gnawing on your hands.  On Sunday, November 25th (almost 4 months old), you started pulling toys into your mouth for the first time while laying on your playmat.  Now, at six months old, anything that touches your fingers lands in your mouth.  In fact, you even paused for a moment while nursing today to grab my phone out of my hand and see if it was any tastier than your milk.

You are a very grabby baby (although I think most babies are).  Anything that's within reach, you reach for it.  You especially like my plates of food.  And your bib while I'm feeding you.  And my hair.  (Chopping it off helped with this.)

The first week of December (4 months old) you started rolling onto your right side all the time.  We also got out the jumperoo that week (Dec 9th) and discovered that you really enjoyed it.  However, you still have yet to actually bounce in the jumperoo.  You just like looking at the toys.  And regarding rolling onto your side...that's still as far as you've gone.  That's right, are six months old and you have yet to roll over.  I don't know what to do with you.  Boy do I try to get you to roll over.  I've gotten physical therapy advice through a friend and followed all the suggestions.  I've let you cry through many bouts of tummy time. I roll you back and forth, back and forth, trying to teach you the motion.  I try to entice you with toys.  Nothing works.  You are not a smidgen interested.

You can sit up though.  Crazy child.  You can sit for like ten minutes by yourself, unsupported, chewing on a toy (although I still put pillows behind you).  You sat by yourself for the first time on January 5th (just over 5 months old).  It was for about three seconds, but boy did it make me excited.  Since then your sitting skills have been getting better and better, and now you're pretty good at it.  But that rolling over stuff?  Psh, forget it.  That's for 4-month-olds, and you're beyond that now. (Sigh.)

I still can't tell what color your eyes will be.  They're still a dark gray, with a tan color in the middle.  Perhaps they'll be a bluish-hazel like your daddy's?  Your hair looks like it will likely be a light brown, at least at first.  We'll see what happens when the sun hits it.  I've seen quite a few toddlers who had light brown hair as infants end up with blonde locks.  I'll like it either way. :)

I started feeding you solid foods at 4 1/2 months old, because you started waking up once or twice a night to eat and I really couldn't handle it.  Especially not on work nights.  Once I started you on solids, you slept through the night again.  Until the last couple of weeks, when you started waking again.  I upped your solid intake to three times a day, and then you slept through the night again.  Until last night.  And now I really don't know what to do.  More than three times a day seems a bit extreme.  Guess I'll be asking the doc about it at your six-month checkup on Friday.  I started you out on baby rice cereal, and since then you've eaten quite the variety of fruits and veggies.  You've eaten every one of them, although you were gagging a bit on carrots the other day and I had to cover them up with applesauce.  So I may not be buying carrots again for a while.

Speaking of your six-month checkup, I'm anxious to see how big you are this Friday.  At your four-month checkup, you were 16 lbs 14.5 oz (86th percentile), 26.75 inches long (95th percentile), and your head was 16 3/4 inches around (59th percentile).   Right now you're wearing size 2 shoes, size 3 diapers (size 4 to sleep), and mostly 9-12 month clothes.  You're bigger than your brother was at this age, and that combined with you two being born in opposite seasons means that I've actually had to buy quite a few pieces of clothing for you.  I wasn't expecting this...for some reason I always thought you'd be able to use all of his clothes.  But that hasn't really been the case.  Can't say I always mind...I've loved having an excuse to buy some cute outfits for you.

You are still the opposite body shape of your brother as an infant.  All of his chubbiness always went to his belly.  Yours all goes to your arms and legs.  Child, the chub on your arms and legs is INSANE.  When wearing a onesie, your thigh fat bulges out sideways from the leg holes.  And the fat on your ankles rolls over on your socks.  Meanwhile, you've got barely any fat on your midsection.  It cracks me up.  And I love it.  Your daddy's favorite part of your chubbiness is your knuckles.  He thinks it's absolutely adorable how you have deep indents in place of your knuckles.  He's right, it is pretty cute.

One thing I've discovered about you is that you are not at all a cuddler.  You want to be held, but you're not a cuddler.  You always want to be up and alert, looking around.  The times you do lay your head on my shoulder are few and far between.  To get you to fall asleep in my arms, I have to practically pin you to my body, laying on your side, and then you resist quite a bit.  This part of your personality is quite different from your brother.  From what I remember, he was always happy to lay his head on anyone's shoulder.  Sometimes it's a little sad, but mostly it makes me appreciate the few cuddles I do get.

Oh, and you are a talker.  And a squealer.  You jabber, jabber, squeal.  Quite a lot.  Tonight I had to send you upstairs during my Bible study's prayer request time because you were being so loud that I could barely hear what others were saying.  And sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night and squeal and jabber for an hour or so.  Those nights are pretty hard on your mommy and daddy.  We don't want to turn the monitor off, because then we won't hear you when you cry, but then we have to lay in bed awake because we can't sleep through your squeals and chit chats with yourself.

One thing I've really loved watching develop is your relationship with your brother.  You think he is the coolest thing since sliced cheese.  Seriously, you could watch him all day.  Oftentimes, if you're in a crabby mood, I'll just sit you somewhere where you can see him.  And then the crabbiness will disappear because you love watching him so much.  He's actually starting to warm up to you, too, and show you some love.  I hope and pray that one day you two can be close as two peas in a pod and have all kinds of fun together.

Alrighty, I think that's about all for now.  To finish up, here is your six month picture.  (Wow, with the light hitting you the way it is in this picture and the way your face completely changes shape when you grin, you look like a completely different baby from the one pictured above.  Interesting, interesting indeed.  I guarantee, however, these are both pictures of you, taken only a week apart.)

1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months

And here are a few of the shots from your monthly photo shoot:

Love you sweet boy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Children are Time Suckers

When I decided to go down to two days of work per week, I immediately started imagining all that I would get done around the house on the days I was home.

Throughout the days, I would pick up clutter and put things away so that the house never got out of control.

I would have time to dust, even the blinds and baseboards.

I would start working out. I'd get back to my morning quiet time.

I'd have time to run errands - go to the bank, window shop through Target, drop off that pile of Goodwill donations that's been sitting in my closet for eons.

My sons and I would have tons of time to do crafts, work on Krew's letters and numbers, and play outside. We'd read books and sing songs and dance.

I'd get back to blogging regularly. I'd get my photos caught up and uploaded for family.

And of course lots of playdates with friends. And delicious meals cooked for my husband when he got home.

The thing I seemed to forget about through all this?

My children.

I mean, I didn't forget about them. Clearly, they are the main reason I wanted to be home more. Partially to spend more time with them, building our relationships and having more time to nurture them. Also partially so I could keep up with the chaos that comes with all their joy and love.

But what I forgot is this - how time consuming they are.

I mean, seriously?  They are SOOOOO time consuming!!

Leave it to say that I didn't shower until 1pm today.  It's 2:40pm, and although I did manage to unload the dishwasher, but I have yet to reload it or clean off the table.

Krew's toys are all over the place.

I haven't done one iota of housework.  No dusting, no sweeping or vacuuming, no cleaning of the master bathroom (which is on my housekeeping calendar for today).

I haven't uploaded pictures for family for at least three months.  Although I'm blogging, all you're going to get in terms of pictures is possibly an iPhone pic that I can quickly pull off my phone.

My hair is wet.  I have no makeup on.  I forgot to drink my coffee.

All I've eaten is a frozen gluten-free souffle that I could pop in the microwave and some chocolate chips.

Morning quiet time and working out?  HA. In your dreams.

And what have I achieved?

I have absolutely no idea.

Seriously, no idea.  I look around the house and I'm like, "Ummmmm...okay....."

And the crazy part is, sitting down to write this blog post is the first thing I've done for myself today.

Apparently all the rest of my time got sucked into the black hole of child care.

For real.

What HAVE I done all day??

No idea.

But I've been busy.  Busy, busy, busy.

So what I'm saying is, all you moms at home who can't keep up with the mess or seem to get anything done - I hear ya and I feel for ya.  It's a struggle.

And for all you moms who are working, partially or full time, I super duper feel for you too.

Children are time suckers.

But ya know what, I always keep in mind that the craziness and mess and dust and dirt and wet hair and makeupless face and to-do list ten miles long is totally worth it to have these two sweet boys in my life.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homekeeping Mission Statement

Now that I'm down to two days of work per week, I've been putting concentrated effort into getting our house in order, clutter-free and cleaned up.  A lot of my successes in this can be attributed to the blog Home Sanctuary (, where I am participating in Rachel Anne's daily "small things," which should slowly over time turn my home into a sanctuary.  (Hence the blog name. :) )
The small thing for today was to write a Homekeeping Mission Statement.  This was a bit of a struggle for me, first because I have a million things I want to achieve in my homekeeping efforts, and second because I tend to be overly wordy and have serious issues with succinctness.  

After a lot of typing, deleting, retyping, redeleting, and borrowing words from others (thanks, others!), this is what I arrived at:

I will work toward cleanliness, order, and simplicity but never perfection. My home will be a sanctuary for those who enter, a place where they can find grace, comfort, and calmness, and above all His love. This will be achieved through consistent daily efforts and routines, not by extreme overexertion or unnecessary demands of others. My house will never take priority over the people abiding within its walls.

I can't say I'm 100% happy with it, but I think it gets the point across. Basically, I want my house to be neat and tidy, but I never want to give the impression that I have unachievably high expectations such that visitors can't kick their shoes off or so that they're scared to invite me to their own less-than-perfect homes.  And of course I never want my family to feel overburdened, unloved, or less important than our house.

It's all about balance, balance, balance!

If you're itching to get your own home in order, maybe you should join in at Home Sanctuary.  Check it out. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Money Journal

I've tried at various times in the past to get a good understanding of our household finances.  Overall, Dave and I are pretty smart with our money.  We pay off our credit cards every month, and we rarely buy items that are not on sale.  We don't eat out a ton, we don't buy very expensive clothes.

At the same time, we are only three years into a new home mortgage and we have student loans out the wazoo.  We're still paying off a car.  We have two kids in daycare.  And I will readily admit that we each have our weak areas (ahem, Starbucks...stupid, stupid delicious emotionally comforting Starbucks...).  [Starbucks is me, not Dave.  He'd probably rather bury his money in the ground than spend it on a Starbucks latte.]

So with me recently going down to only two days of work, we are really cutting things close.  Thank goodness we have savings to fall back on if necessary.  I knew from the get-go that halving my work hours would mean a big cut in our spending money, but oh how it's worth it to be able to be part-time stay-at-home momma, which I've felt my heart craving more and more ever since Krew was born.

So the point of all this is that I've decided to start a money journal.  There's no pre-determined format for this journal.  Basically, every day I'm going to write down everything that happens that is money-related.  I may jot down income, purchases made that should have rebates, the amount of money we have in checking, cash that I pulled from our cash stash, etc.  I need to get a better understanding of where our money is coming from and where it's going.  I need to have a better grasp of how much money we have in different accounts and locations at any time.

Has anyone else ever done anything of this sort?
What are your methods of handling your money?

I'm hoping that over time I'll really start to get a good feel for our money, and then I'll be able to set up a more useful budget than the (barely existent ) one we have now.  I know overall how much money we have per month to spend on food, gas, etc., but it gets so confusing when we have so many different accounts and I'm buying some items with gift cards and other items come with mail-in rebates or store credit to use later and then I pay for something with a credit card and someone pays me back with cash...UGH it gets overwhelming.


(By the way, I'm SUPER grateful to my mom, who sat down with me a couple months ago and figured out our budget enough to determine if we could afford for me to only work two days.  Don't know what I would have done without her! Thanks Mom!!)

Alrighty off I go to money journal.  Anyone else want to join me?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Where to start? How about a 5-month pic of Greyden?

Gosh, I've been out of the blogging world so long that I don't even know where to start.  So much has happened.  The boys have grown so much, I've taken so many pictures, I've had so many thoughts I've wanted to share.

So I guess I just need to pick something and start.  How about a 5-month picture of Greyden to get things going again?

(A 5-month picture from two weeks ago.  Eeeek.)

Here's Grey's 5-month pic, taken two days late.  (He turned 5 months on December 28th, I took the picture on December 30th.)


1 week, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, and 5 months

Love this little guy!