December 2018 Recap

I know…it’s the middle of January, but in a few years if I look back at 2018 and have monthly recaps, I will be so annoyed with myself for not having a December recap!

December was so good to us until the very last week. Then it was ROUGH. But the first few weeks were so special, full of advent and paternity leave and sweet baby cuddles. All the baby cuddles.

We started out our month by FINALLY attending a Home Depot workshop for kids. It’s on the first Saturday of every month and it’s FREE! It’s also best suited for kids who are older than mine. Lol. Basically, Theo created the projects while the kids watched.

Ezra also had his first bath! Yes, he was born in November and he didn’t have a bath until December. #thirdchildproblems

I mean…just look at that CHUNK!

I’m not a huge fan of the crazy hustle and bustle of Christmas time. I have a hard time with the materialism and buying more and more stuff. But this right here? This cozy, warm scene? I LOVE it.

Me and my girl. She quit napping long ago. Four has been the hardest year yet, but it’s also so fun to see her personality bloom!

So many baby snuggles. And I’m not mad about it.

Ezra’s 2 week check up. 90%. 89%. 97%.

Our sweet Heavenly and her foster Mama came over for a visit!!! She was in heaven! We miss this girl something fierce, but I cry so many tears of gratitude to see the place she is now in.

We kicked off advent with a candlelit dinner! Tera LOVED it. LOVED IT. She has been asking for candlelit dinners almost every night since. Theo hated it. HATED IT. hahahahaha.

The baby gift from my in-laws was this glider! We’ve already clocked lots of hours nursing and snuggling. Obviously, Ezra was not into the photo opp. He just wanted to eat already!

We baked cookies. I let the kids decorate them…

It was VERY, VERY hard to relinquish control and let it go.

The older kids have been mostly not interested in Ezra. But every once in awhile, they really want to hold him or kiss him or love on him. It’s my favorite.

When Daddy dresses the baby…

We made some handprint cards to send to the great-grandparents. I am NOT a crafty Mom, but the kids had fun.

We soaked up Theo’s paternity leave…

And began adjusting to life with three. This picture sums it up. Tera and Kiah are thick as thieves, and Ezra is just chilling.

Brothers. I have the feeling it won’t be too long before they are wearing the same size clothes!

Kiah ADORES Ezra. He has had zero problems with transitioning to being the middle child and not the baby.

Tera has always been an excellent big sister. She is getting so grown up. I can’t believe she was the tiny baby just 4.5 years ago.

I’m constantly SO IMPRESSED with how Theo is as a Father. Not that I didn’t expect him to be a great Dad. But, man…he is a fabulous Dad.

My friend Christine and I had our baby boys just two days apart! And although Ezra was an impressive 9lb3oz, Adam had him beat at 10pds3oz!! (and, yes…I am aware that a piece of my carrier is missing. Trust me…getting out of the house with three kids and church stuff is impressive enough, without having to remember extra pieces of a baby carrier).

Probably one of my favorite pictures!!!

But I didn’t get it without lots of pictures that look like this…

The kids were starting to go a little stir crazy and we were running out of ideas on how to entertain them…enter science experiments!

The December weather was decent enough to take a few walks to the park! I still haven’t figured out how to get all three kids to the park by myself. I will have to find just the right combo of baby wearing/pushing/pulling and letting my kids be independent!

We read some Christmas books by the fire…

And Theo made me this! I love seeing how our family has changed over the years.

I also got out on a Mom’s night out with some ladies from the Dayton Mom’s Blog!

Tera and I did some super laid back preschool during December. She loved this day that we made the nativity out of play dough.

Did I mention that we had lots of baby snuggles? Because we did.

We wrapped some presents! Tera of course wanted to help. Which was, again…hard for me to relinquish control. But it was worth it to see her joy in helping me wrap up presents!

I even had her write most of the labels. This is for my brother Dan. The sweetest!!!

After Kiah goes down for a nap, Tera and I do a read-aloud where I read a chapter book to her. Ezra has started to join us. I’m not sure which Tera loves more…the book or the baby!

Cuddles. So many sweet cuddles.

Babies and Christmas. It’s such a sweet time.

My cousin and his family were passing through Dayton and we were the perfect place to stop for the night! They also have two kids that are about the same ages as Kiah and Ezra. It was so fun connecting with them and chatting about their plans for mission work!

Ezra turned one month old!

These three have my heart.

We headed to Northern Michigan for an early Christmas celebration with the Hines family. I will write a separate post on that soon!

We drove back to Ohio just in time to celebrate Christmas Day at home. All three kids were starting to feel under the weather so we just stayed home and tried to recover from the Hines Christmas celebration and get back into a routine.

Turns out life was about to get a lot crazier before it got more routine. The last few days of December were spent by Ezra’s bedside as he battled a nasty bout of RSV. Farewell, 2018! Glad that is in the rearview!

 

December Reading List

I feel like my blog is stuck in 2018 and I just can’t move forward until I’ve done all the appropriate recaps. Yes, some of this might be the influences of social media and what everyone else is doing, but mostly I just need to do this for myself. For all of 2018, I’ve done monthly recaps of our activities and a round-up of all the books I’ve read. I couldn’t just leave December hanging and not complete the yearly recaps! In December I read 6 books. I’m actually surprised by this, because I feel like I haven’t done as much reading since Ezra was born. I guess all those nights that I’m up nursing and reading 3 pages really add up!

 

Magical Journey // 3 stars  

This book was an interesting memoir of a woman who finds herself an empty nester. She basically writes out the process of finding herself again. There was a lot of yoga and meditation, and she certainly didn’t have the same beliefs as me, but I really enjoyed reading this book. There is something so encouraging to me about hearing from those who are in a different stage of life, especially a stage of life that I will one day hit. She had a beautiful way of writing and sharing her feelings and I appreciated that.

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Ezra vs. RSV

I realize that this blog post is kind of…weird. If I was writing to gain followers or views or make money, this would be an odd post to publish. But because this is kind of my families online journal, I really wanted to record the events of Ezra’s sickness as a keepsake for myself. I cannot imagine looking back on this blog and not having mentioned the crazy journey we went on when our newborn got RSV. If it’s not your thing, that’s fine!

It all started on Sunday night when Ezra threw up.

No, I don’t mean spit up. I mean vomit. My newborn. In my arms.

While it was a bit distressing and quite weird, that was the only episode of vomiting he had so we figured it was a total fluke.

The next day we traveled from Michigan back to Ohio and every time he cried or made noise, he sounded like he had a horribly sore throat/hoarse voice. He slept the whole day, but we were driving in the car, so that wasn’t surprising at all.

The next day was Christmas Day and Ezra was back to his normal self. The other two kids started in with runny noses and coughs, but nothing too serious. And nothing unexpected after having spent the whole week crammed into a cabin with lots of cousins.

On the 26, Wednesday, Ezra started vomiting again. This time, it was almost after every feed. He would vomit and then be perfectly fine. Late that afternoon we noticed he was congested. Again, no big deal. I knew I just had to keep nursing him and try to get him through his first baby cold. The difficult thing was getting him to keep the food down.

On Thursday he was extremely congested and still throwing up his feeds. We finally figured out that the vomiting was from the snot and phlegm in his throat that he couldn’t clear. It would cause him to gag and throw up everything. Theo and I decided to get him into a pediatrician ASAP as we were quite concerned, both about the congestion and the potential for dehydration. We saw a pediatrician who said he looked great, and we just had to keep doing what we were doing and make sure he was eating enough to stay hydrated. I felt very encouraged and was ready to tackle the rest of this sickness.

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GOALS!

January 1st is absolutely no different from December 31st, so what is it about that turn of the calendar that brings us so much motivation and reset? I’m not sure, but I’m here for it. I love having a specific frame of time to focus on some goals, and I love thinking ahead to what will come. I will admit that for 2018, I set some awesome goals. That was before I knew that most of the year would be a challenge with Ezra’s pregnancy. I did not even come close to completing what I would have liked to complete for the year, but I did something far more important, and that was growing and creating life, and adding that sweet and precious life to our family. I’m very excited for what 2019 has in store, and this is one of my favorite posts of the year! I love to be able to look back and see what I was thinking and feeling and move forward with so much energy and anticipation.

So let’s see how I did on my 2018 Goals!

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2019 Word of the Year

Abundance.

I almost have to laugh as I type that.

Every year, I choose a word to represent the upcoming year. Something that I will be focusing on, something that represents the current events surrounding our lives. Every year around November I start thinking about where we are and what is coming up in our lives. I start to reflect and pray and really think about this specific word. I don’t think I ever shared my word of 2018 because it didn’t make any sense to me before the year rolled around. I truly believe that through the Holy Spirit, God whispered “sacrifice” to my heart. Well, I don’t know about you…but I didn’t want to have a year of sacrifice. That sounds downright terrible. I didn’t do much with that word throughout the year, because I was honestly running from it. But now that I look back, I realize how accurate it was. We disrupted our foster placement, we endured the 10 months of a very difficult pregnancy and we began to adjust to our children’s various needs/ages as well as the police lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong…2018 wasn’t all horrible. But it was a challenging year.

The day after Ezra was born, I felt the Lord whisper the next seasons word to me: Abundance.

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