Sunday, December 10, 2017

month one

^^ Some really poorly taken and poorly edited iPhone pictures. Even still, he's pretty dang cute! ^^

Size: Judah is wearing size 1 diapers and some newborn but mostly 0-3 month clothes. Four days after his arrival he was just a couple ounces shy of his birth weight and at one week, he was 8 pounds, 5 ounces. His doctor asked several times at both appointments, "this is all breast milk?!" At almost five weeks he was 10 pounds, 2 ounces and 22.75 inches long - 47%tile for weight and 90%tile for height. 

Eat: Exclusively breastfed and nursing like a champ. It took us awhile to find a good rhythm, especially on my right side, for whatever reason I'm not sure. But I think we've got it figured out now. It's no longer painful and his latch feels really good and relieving. He nurses about every 2 hours during the day, with one longer gap during his long nap in the afternoon, and every 3-5 hours at night, typically with a cluster feed an hour apart before bed. I haven't tried too hard to get him on a set schedule, I tend to just feed him whenever he seems hungry, but I'm pleased that he has regulated himself - makes planning my day and activities (with three kiddos!) a lot easier when I can predict things like that. 

Sleep: Judah's a pretty great sleeper! His bedtime isn't consistent, he'll go down for the night anywhere from 8-11, but he consistently does a five hour stretch and then wakes to eat every three hours after that. So, depending on when he goes down, he wakes just once or twice a night. Uriah and Ezra wake up at 7, and typically, that is Judah's second or third feeding, so we're all up for the day at the same time. He has a good hour or two of awake time in the morning as we're all getting up, fed, playing and getting ready for the day. After that long stint, he tends to sleep for an hour, be awake for less than an hour and so on until his long nap around 1-4. He has another long stint of awake time in the evening around or after dinner time. 
He is, however, a pretty loud sleeper. After that first five hour stretch at night we have to listen to a lot of grunting, moaning and straining. He's not fully awake and he never cries out, he just makes noise! It's not always followed by a bowel movement so I'm not entirely sure what causes it but Ezra was the same way and grew out of it around two months so we're just crossing our fingers he follows in the same footsteps. He can be quieted down with a binki or by rocking his rock and play (that he's currently sleeping in because it seems to lessen the straining compared to sleeping in his crib). So he's getting good sleep, I'm just not ;) 

Milestones: Well, he still mostly just eats, sleeps and poops. But I wouldn't trade this stage for anything! I love the newborn stage! When it was just Uriah and I, I felt like it was so hard but now? It's so easy! ...And wonderful! He has given us a few smiles and I can tell he's on the verge of doing it more often and much more deliberately. As if he wasn't cute enough...! ;) He's also starting to track with his eyes, focusing on items or people's faces and watching as they disappear from view, trying to follow their path. 

Likes: He seems to love being outside and definitely loves being worn in the Solly or ring sling (and I love wearing him!) He quite often quiets down when looking at Uriah and can hear his voice talking sweetly to him - I think Uriah will be the source of his first genuine smiles! He likes laying in the water from the bath and getting it poured on his belly, even his head. He likes his bum being patted while held and will fall asleep in my arms so easy, and he's definitely a binki baby! 

Dislikes: He isn't a huge fan of sleeping on a flat surface and doesn't particularly care one way or the other for his car seat. He likes the warm water of the bath but not the getting washed up part. He'll occasionally protest to getting his diaper changed but only if he's hungry and having to wait. Honestly, he's been super easy going and content and I'm so thankful! 

Things I want to remember: His "turtle face" that reminds me so much of baby Uriah - his puckered lips, stretched out neck and little forehead wrinkles. His blonde, blonde hair...! I can't believe he's my first born blonde baby - I love it! Especially after his bath when he's so fuzzy... I love rubbing my cheek against his soft head. His sweet, sweet profile - watching him nurse is my favorite view. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


 Judah's arrival on November 2nd has delayed several blog updates, but I'm not complaining about the new distraction :) OCTOBER and all of it's happenings seems forever ago now but better late than never, here you have it! Such a wonderful season with great friends here in beautiful California!

 ^^ Wednesday post bible study playdates with our best friends! ^^
 ^^ Wrapping up our Obedience character trait in school with a Kings and Queens unit and ^ a castle study! Uriah has been accurately drawing and building castles ever since - he loved it! ^^
 ^^ Celebrated Nate's 5th birthday with all his best buds at a private pottery class to make ceramic snakes and a cave! So blessed by this group of boys and their mommas! ^^
 ^^ October means pumpkins! Annual trip to Webb Ranch! Walked away with FIVE pumpkins this year! (thinking our Judah would be an October baby...!) ^^
 ^^ There are (were!) SIX of us from our bible study pregnant at one time - two due in October, two in November and two in December. Must be something in the water...! ;) The rest of our friends showered us with a group baby shower where we got to enjoy each other's company, play silly games (in which I dominated... Just sayin' ;)) fill up on yummy foods and be spoiled with gifts of service. I truly feel so blessed to be apart of this incredible community and am so thankful to be doing life (and motherhood!) alongside these beautiful mommas and the ones behind the camera! ^^
 ^^ They alternate between mortal enemies and best friends but when they choose the latter... Oh how it melts my heart! ^^ 
 ^^ Accidental matching on a Sunday - all the heart eyes for my two sweet bigs! ^^
 ^^ Just call me Non...! This kid is always writing and drawing, taping, cutting and coloring... I love seeing what he comes up with - our doors are covered in his creations! I feel extra special when they are made with extra thought and love and gifted to me! ^^
 ^^ 37 weeks! And fully thought I'd be having an October baby! ^^
 ^^ Once Nana and Papa got to town when I hit 37 weeks pregnant, I got to steal away for a date with this handsome boy, the Flash! We grabbed some smoothies at Jamba Juice and spent a good hour reading books in Barnes and Noble together. He held my hand and gave me several smooches and reassured me of my safety (he was there to protect me!) and I felt like the luckiest girl in the world ^^
 ^^ Library date with this goon and her big brother! "Watch, I do a silly thing!" She is always cracking me up! ^^
 ^^ My handsome, handsome boys! Uriah was so excited to have a shirt like dads and match for church. I just can't get over how big he is...! ^^
 ^^ Stephen was able to spend a significant amount of time away from work in the last few weeks of pregnancy and I was super grateful for that. On this particular day, he was able to join me for a few hours in labor and delivery while I was being monitored for an odd and unpleasant pain, before we were able to sneak away for a last minute date night (thanks, mom and dad!) ^^
 ^^ More of Uriah's creations - this is him and Ezra in their house! Look at that 'z'...! I love him and his tender heart ^^
 ^^ Giving baby some love pats ^^
 ^^ Watching the magician at the Stanford house staff Halloween party. The kids love it every year and think "Mr. Horsefeathers" is a hoot! ^^
 ^^ Working on numbers, trying to get him to not get frustrated at counting by enticing him with Legos ;) ^^
 ^^ No one was sweeter to me in those final weeks of pregnancy than this guy. He would bring me my water bottle when he saw me sitting without it, rub my belly and tell me how much he loved the baby, help my push the stroller, carry my bag to and from the car, hold open doors for me, ask me how I was feeling... His thoughtfulness was not lost on someone whose love language is thoughtfulness...! He's so tender hearted and I was so honored to be the recipient of his love. Such a good boy taking care of his momma. And gosh he's just so cute! ^^
 ^^ Family park date! I'm so grateful my parents were around for the better half of October. They did our grocery shopping, cooked for us, watched our kids, kept me company, cleaned my house... I'm so happy their new life on the road allowed them to come stay for so long - I'm so appreciative of all their help! Plus, they're lots of fun! ^^
^^ Last but not least, Halloween! With our handsome Luke Skywalker and his faithful Ewok! It was such a fun night with friends walking the streets of one of Stanford's neighborhoods - the kids are still working their way through their candy haul! ^^

Monday, November 27, 2017

becoming big

I spent my entire pregnancy trying to picture the next stage of our lives - having three kids, moving for fellowship... due to our lack of knowing Judah's gender and the (still!) waiting game of matching for fellowship, I couldn't get very far with my imagination ;) From the very beginning, though, I could picture introducing Uriah to his new little sibling. He wanted a brother and had been guessing 'boy' from day one (and was even more set in his opinion when he saw Judah on ultrasound - he clearly had a "boy's hand") but said to me once, as he thoughtfully watched Ezra play across the room with loving eyes, "I think I would also like to have another little sister." So I knew, either way, this kid was going to fall just as in love as we planned to and I just couldn't wait...!
Older now than he was when Ezra was born he understood what was happening so much better. I knew he would transition well, offer me so much grace and be the biggest helper. He was able to express his excitement (and concerns! - "What if Ezra hits the baby?!" "How long until the baby can crawl and it starts wrecking all my things?") and as my due date became closer he would squeal with joy and tear up at the knowledge that he'd get to meet the baby soon. He was so ready to be a "big, big brother!" And I couldn't wait to make him one! 
Ezra, I knew, didn't quite know what was coming. She understood better than Uriah had when I was pregnant with her, but still... I knew there would be more of a transition period with her and while I was thrilled to be making her a big sister, I wasn't sure what it was going to look like. She's our baby girl and it was bound to rock her world a little bit. She expressed excitement all throughout my pregnancy and was guessing 'boy' by the end of it, but did she really know what was coming...? I figured her immediate reaction would mirror Uriah's and I was hoping it was her sweet and gentle side that came out and not her Iron Man/Ninja Turtle side... Not yet, at least ;) 
We had Facetimed the kids on Thursday night after Judah was born to tell them they had a brother ("I was right!" - They were both so excited!) and they came to the hospital with Nana and Papa to meet him the following morning, Uriah with a card for Judah - a picture of a castle/house with him, Ezra and Judah standing outside and the words, "I love you Judah" written across the top. I mean, come on...! It is currently hanging by his bedside, per his big brother's request. 

Uriah was equally worried about my bracelets and Band-Aids as he was excited to meet his baby brother - he's got the sweetest heart. He was quiet and calm and so tender and sweet. It melted my heart right into a puddle on the floor - I couldn't look at them without tearing up! Ezra was also very quiet, and true to my assumption, mirroring Uriah's reaction and excitement. They took several turns holding him and examining all his little features, Uriah so serious the whole time, always stopping to look up at me with his "I love you" eyes (as we call it!). Even though he seemed so reserved, you could tell he was happy! Ezra, though possibly a little confused by it all, proudly kept telling us, "I'm a big sister and a little sister!" Three weeks later and she's still proudly telling anyone who asks!
We traded him back and forth for awhile, answering all of Uriah's never ending questions, and I got in several snuggles with my bigs before I needed a nap and Stephen had to head to work. Uriah was hoping we'd be able to join Friday Pizza Movie Night, as it would be Judah's first one (!!) and neither of them liked saying goodbye to Judah or I.

I was so tired that day, I don't think it truly hit me until the kids woke up with us home on Saturday morning that I have three babies... We're a family of five... Oh and it gives me all the feels to think about it...!
And even though it's been three weeks now, it still surprises me to walk into a room with three little people in it. It takes us an hour to get ready to leave the house and we are habitually 30 minutes late every where we go, but man does it feel good to have Judah here and to be doing this life with this crew. Though we are still working out the kinks and maybe all doing a little big of adjusting still, the kids' love for their baby brother has not faded. And oh how mine has grown...!