Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Valentine Cutie

Our little Valentine LOVES the camera, that's for sure!

I set her on the window seat and she just started posing like she knew just what to do! What a little cutie! I love the one with her head down like she's so demure and shy...mmm hmmm...she can't fool anyone with that!

Oh, I sure do love this little girl!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Reflections on having a second child...

Here are my "reflections" to date about having a second child. I would love to hear any other advice/tips other moms have as well. Please feel free to comment.

- Two babies means I'm outnumbered and I'm pretty sure I could use a second set of arms. Why is it that both babies think they need to cry at the same time or they both need to be held at the same time? I agree with Mindi Greene when she told me one day that moms should be given additional arms when a new little one is born and they could just fall off at some point during their second year of life. But, I'm pretty sure Mindi needs about 10 arms with all her kiddos!

- All babies are certainly different. I remember when Taylor Joy was born coercing her to take the pacifier. She caught on pretty easily and enjoyed it. We enjoyed the silence. When other moms would talk about their baby not liking the pacifier I thought maybe they just hadn't been diligent enough with it. Not so. As diligent as I have been Beckett he still isn't a fan of the plug. He enjoys the funny-looking hospital one sometimes, but other times acts like he just tasted a sour pickle or like he's going to gag. Not just that, but many other things have reminded us that babies are certainly individuals.

- Child # 1 should have a good grasp on entertaining herself. When it comes time to feed the new baby this is key. If you are soon welcoming your second child into the world, you could encourage this by having playtime in her room at certain times in the day where she stays in there until you come get her. Taylor isn't horrible at this but I feel like we could have been way more prepared.

- Child # 1 will want to be your big helper, especially in regards to the new baby. Think of ways and create ways for her to help. It will make whatever you are doing take longer and the job may not get done perfectly, but she will feel like she has helped and begin to learn how things are done. After she has helped let her know what a blessing it is to you and how much you appreciate her. Some things Taylor helps with are: going to get diapers or wipes, putting the diaper away, putting things in the hamper or trashcan, getting a blanket or burp rag, helping to burp the baby, getting his pacifier, etc.

- I often have to remind myself that a clean house and gourmet dinner just aren't a possibility these days. I need to nap when they nap because most of the time I'm exhausted from having a broken up night of rest in addition to them wearing me out during the day. It makes me sad sometimes (because I absolutely LOVE it when my house is clean), but I know that this phase won't last forever. Soon Taylor Joy will be helping me cook and do things around the house and I have an amazing husband who endures (really, enjoys!) mac and cheese dinners and leftovers many nights.

- When both kiddos are crying and I'm doing what I can to the best of my ability it really helps to just start singing. Seriously. They at least both stop crying for a second and then it gives me a peaceful state of mind to deal with them. A favorite this week is "Holy Holy Holy", a wonderful hymn with powerful words.

Okay, I know this post is getting long. I'm proud of you if you made it this far. I'm sure if you made it this far you are either a mommy or a mommy-to-be! I know I did this when Taylor Joy was born, but I want to do it again now that I have more perspective with two children. Here are some products that I totally recommend. Some have changed from when Taylor Joy was born and some are definitely still my favorite. Moms feel free to comment on your favorites...I really want to hear and I know other do too!

Here they are in no particular order:

OxiClean Spray - to get out poop stains, spit up stains and breast milk stains. Gets the job done. This is probably the only product that is MUST have. The others go in the "really nice to have" category.

Ultimate Crib Sheet - we now have two and Taylor Joy still uses hers. I have it attached to her toddler bed even though it doesn't fit as perfectly as the crib. This is key for middle of the night leaks. I can't tell you how much time this has saved me.

Huggies Supreme diapers for the first few weeks- they have a little cutout for the umbilical cord. It's wonderful! Instead of having to fold it down or have it rub on the stump, you're good to go. How thoughtful. Thanks, Huggies.

Super Sling - I have to give props to Rachel who made my sling for me. Not only is it so hip, but Beckett loves it in there. When he is fussy and I've tried everything else, popping him in that sling does wonders. The baby Bjorn also has a similar effect, it's just not as hip.

Nursing cover - Rachel makes these too! I love mine and especially loved it when he was first born and we were having all sorts of family and visitors at our house. I didn't have to leave the room to nurse or feel ackward trying to cover myself with a little blanket. It worked wonderfully for that and if I ever leave the house and have to nurse it will be perfect.

Womb sounds bear - Beckett seems to love this thing. I'm sure it reminds him of the womb and of my heartbeat. It stays on for 30 minutes and then cuts off while he's already asleep. It's really soft too and has velcro to attach to the crib.

Miracle blanket - This is really cool. Taylor Joy always wiggled out of a swaddle but this is pretty much like a straight jacket. I would absolutely hate it, but babies seem to love it. Beckett does. It often calms him down when he's fussy and he sleeps on his back in it without startling himself and waking up.

Okay moms, jump in! What does it for your baby? What things can you not live without? I want some comments from those wise mommies out there!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

31 Years...

Whoa! 31 Years! Congrats, Mom and Dad! It's been a long time together and I am so proud of ya'll for the example that you've been for Allen and me and a watching world.

Mom, you told me on my wedding day that your love for Dad grows deeper every year you are together and that my love for Allen could only grow stronger. I have certainly found your statement to be true and can't imagine the love you have for Dad after all these years!

I hope ya'll have a wonderful day celebrating your love!

Happy 31st Anniversary!

We LOVE you!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I'm so bad...

Sorry guys. I've been such a bad blogger lately. I have plenty of reason, but still...forgive me?

I've been pretty busy these last few weeks, but nonetheless managed to take some pictures of the cuties.

Here are some pictures from Christmas: some pre-Beckett and of course some Beckett ones as well. Enjoy!

I hope to post more once this little guy moves to his own room and leaves ours (where the computer is!).

I actually have a minute now so I want to update on Taylor Joy, who is almost 20 months! Wow!

Taylor Joy is absolutely in LOVE and in AWE of her brother Beckett. I think her life goal is to be able to hold him, so we try to accommodate that every now and then by "helping" her to hold him. I am pretty convinced that even in her rough moments with him that her motives are pure. The main reasons she gets in trouble with him are when she kisses him too hard or tries to pick him up.

All in all she has done so wonderfully with him. Please continue to pray for her as it IS still a hard time for her. She's learning to play by herself and entertain herself. She's learning how to be gentle with Beckett. She's learning that life isn't all about her and we want her to succeed. Desperately.

Taylor Funnies:

One day Allen said "Taylor Joy!" and she replied, "DUTY!" The main reason it was so funny was that we never taught her that. I think I told her that once awhile ago but I'm thinking somebody else MUST have taught her that but we have no idea who! So anyways, she definitely knows her name and she is proud of it!

She is a total clean freak. Every time she's eating in her high chair she asks for a "nappin" (napkin) anytime any little thing gets on her hands, face or tray. She also shouts out "OH NO!" in the most dramatic little voice. It makes us laugh every time because it's absolutely as if the world must stop because a crumb fell.

When we tell Taylor Joy that she's the best sister or something is the best, she replies, "Best EVER!" We found this out by saying she was the best sister one day and later found out she learned it from Nanny who told her during tea parties that her tea was the "best EVER!"

Okay, that's it! Enjoy! I have to go now for real!

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