Category: Uncategorized

Technically my fourth pregnancy.  I know I haven’t written about anything in forever, much less the fact that we are expecting another little baby bundle in approximately 71 days, give or take a couple weeks.  So to recap, we found out on April 24, 2016 that I was pregnant again.  I was in definite disbelief, as I have been with the others, and elated, of course!  This one was definitely a bit more of a surprise because March and April were crazy months.  In March the boys and I went to Pennsylvania with my mom for a weekend to visit our Aunt Irene and then things at home just seemed a bit busy so trying to have another baby wasn’t exactly on the forefront, accompanied with the fact that I had run out of ovulation strips and didn’t feel like buying more for that cycle.  We actually talked about it and said we would continue to “try” that month but we weren’t too concerned because then we would have a Christmas baby.  Who got the last laugh there?!  Ha!  My due date is January 6, 2017 but I am somewhat expecting this baby to come at least a little early, based on when I had the boys.  I’m hoping for anywhere after 37 weeks and before 42 weeks of course.  Since I wasn’t exactly sure of when we conceived I did go to a center for an early pregnancy ultrasound and found I was 5 weeks and 6 days at that appointment.  It was of course wonderful to see the baby in the uterus and to see the heart flickering away.  I contacted Brenda about being our midwife again and got the process started with my prenatal labs.  This time around I am taking Baby & Me whole food vitamins, 365 brand Calcium and Magnesium 2:1 ratio, D3+K2, and Nordic Naturals prenatal DHA.  At this point in my pregnancy I am also drinking my NORA tea mostly daily, as well as have just started on some liquid chlorophyll to help boost my iron levels a bit.  I started enjoying crunching on ice a few weeks ago and knew something was up.  As well as I did my gestational diabetes testing with my glucometer for a few weeks and everything was good there.

We had our 20 week ultrasound back at the end of July and everything looked great from what they could tell, so we are praising God for that!  We are not finding out the gender again this time around, although for me I feel like it has been a bit more challenging not knowing.  Not because I want to plan anything but because Doug really wants a girl, and I would like a girl too, although of course we will be more than thrilled with whomever God adds to our family!  I am allowing myself to dream just a bit of having a little girl, while I still have the mystery of time before he or she arrives.  As for the boys, Ryne first said he wanted a “girl Benny”, then he said he wanted another “Benny”, and now he just doesn’t want another baby at all.  Benjamin of course “knows” there is a baby in my belly and he likes when he sees other babies but obviously he has NO real clue of what is to come!

This pregnancy as a whole has been pretty uneventful and smooth.  There are a few slight differences:

  • placenta is anterior rather than posterior like with both the boys.
  • a bit more hormonal type acne on my face here and there throughout the pregnancy
  • more fatigued in the first trimester, but I’m also chasing two little ones around this time
  • got my first gray hair a couple weeks ago…may not be pregnancy related, but still
  • less pubic symphysis discomfort, although there is still some present
  • and of course, NO cyst this time around!!  Praise God!
  • I did have a day where I woke up to a bit of red blood in the toilet around 8 weeks and then light brown spotting for a few days afterward, but everything is fine

The pregnancy really is going by a bit quick and despite not setting up a nursery or buying much of anything this time around, here is a list of things I thought of that I would like to accomplish before baby arrives:

  • make birth affirmations banner
  • complete hypnobabies and be consistent about listening to my tracks daily
  • order birth kit
  • order Rhogam shot
  • order vitamin K
  • strip cloth diapers
  • accomplish Benjamin’s birthday and Thanksgiving
  • get some newborn baby clothes out of the storage bins
  • clean and organize the laundry room
  • clean the boys’ and playroom closets
  • clean and organize our closet
  • purge stuff from the house in general
  • prep freezer meals

So here’s the standard update I will TRY my hardest to do each week until this little one is born!  Don’t hold me to that, though!! 🙂  I am praying with this little one that he or she will stay comfortable until at least December 16, which is 37 weeks exactly.  Of course a bit longer would be preferred, but NO earlier!  I’m doing all I can to stay healthy and encourage my body in the ways I know how!

How Far Along?  30 Weeks tomorrow, October 28, 2016!

Total Weight Gain?  Okay, so as similar with my previous pregnancies, I am putting on a good bit of weight, despite efforts to exercise and eat right.  I will admit my eating has probably been a bit worse this time throughout, but Doug and I both want to do all we can to be as healthy as possible these last weeks before baby arrives.  Up to this point I believe I have gained about 31 pounds.  This next line is a quote from my 27 week blog with Benjamin’s pregnancy: “Yes, I know, that sounds insane probably, considering that it is recommended for most women to gain 25-35 during their entire pregnancy and here I am at the end of my second trimester having already reached that mark…BUT I gained about 40 pounds with Ryne and started off both that pregnancy and this one underweight for my height.  The weight gain both pregnancies has been normal, steady, and perfectly fine for my body.” I told myself at the beginning of this pregnancy that I wanted to gain less weight and be healthier and more in shape, BUT with the scorching summer months keeping us from our daily walks most days and with the overall fatigue and busy-ness of having two little ones, it just hasn’t panned out the way I hoped.  That being said, I am still pretty active and have been going to the gym here and there to do some weights and swimming laps.  We are also doing our daily walks again most days with the cooler weather, and I am going on hikes with the boys weekly.  I need and want to cut out sugar again.  Am planning to do another sugar detox in November!  That honestly should help level out some of the weight gain as well.

Maternity Clothes? Of course I’ve been in maternity clothes since basically the beginning!  I dread the cold weather a bit, even though I want it to be here, because as with both other pregnancies, I do not like pants or waistbands pressing on my lower belly at all.  Probably because I carry my pregnant belly so low and I just can’t stand it.  So I got a couple pair of leggings that are comfortable enough for now, but I haven’t really been able to get comfortable in any jeans or other pants this time around.  I am mostly wearing a couple skirts I’ve got along with some dresses.

Stretch Marks? Another quote from my 27 week post from Benjamin’s pregnancy: “I got so many stretch marks with Ryne that I haven’t even been concerned this time around about going to the trouble to put anything on my belly to attempt to prevent or lessen them.  I’m not really a lotion kind of girl so this extra step is just silly for me.  I honestly don’t have a clue that I’ll even notice new stretch marks if and when they arrive.  It’s all good.”

Sleep?  Oh, glorious sleep.  How I truly, truly, truly miss you!!! My boys just aren’t wonderful sleepers.  I only have myself to blame.  We co-slept for so long because with nursing through the night until almost age 2 with both boys, it was just easier and we all got better sleep.  But now we are just trying to transition both of them to their room, which isn’t going bad at all, they just both still like to wake up and crawl into bed with us, and I usually am too lazy to get up in the middle of the night to put them back so we all just snuggle, which I love to do anyway.  That being said, Benjamin had a terrible night last night because he threw up several times through the night.  He is doing just fine and eating well today but I am BEAT from only a few hours of not the best sleep.  Moving forward the goal is that both boys are in their room all night so dad and I can get ample sleep before this new one arrives.  When I do sleep, I will say it is a bit uncomfortable, and has been.  My hips are starting to get achy after lying on one side for too long and my low back is a bit achy as well.  But when I CAN sleep, I do sleep and I sleep hard.  And it is wonderful.  I am counting down until naptime today so I can nap with the boys.

Best Moment This Week?  As with the previous pregnancies, I love feeling this little one move.  And he or she is pretty active.  The other week, the best moment was when Ryne went to feel my tummy with his hand and then he rested his chin on my belly and baby kicked him right in the chin!  It was so funny for all of us.  Although does this mean they’re already picking at each other?!

Miss Anything? What do I miss this time around?  First to quote my Benny pregnancy: “…don’t take this the wrong way, I am NOT a big drinker AT ALL, BUT with fall approaching and all of the fall stuff out in stores I will say I miss being able to take a taste of some Angry Orchard Hard Apple Cider or some of the seasonal Blue Moon brews that are out there.  Again, I wouldn’t be drinking much of them anyway, but it sure does make me want to put my football jersey on with a good pair of jeans and sit down with one to watch a ballgame with my hubby!  With the windows open and the fall breeze coming in…sigh…I just love fall!” I don’t really miss too much else, other than rolling over in bed and not being so tired constantly.  I do miss being able to pick Benjamin up in a baby carrier to wear him, especially on hikes!  He’s such a “big boy” though that he wants to walk most of the time anyway, but he does still need some help now and then, and he does NOT want to be wrapped on my back unfortunately!

Movement?  With the anterior placenta this time around, I don’t know if I’m feeling things more or differently or what.  I did start feeling this baby’s flutters around maybe 16-18 weeks, and I don’t recall feeling the others very well until after 20 weeks.

Food Cravings?  Currently, I am craving ICE.  And very specifically the kind of soft ice you find at Costco, Zaxby’s, some Chick-fil-a locations, hospitals, and Sonic.  And also sugar, because again, I need to do the detox and get it out of my life for a bit!

Queasy or Sick?  Nope, thankfully haven’t had any of this the entire time, just like with the other two pregnancies.  Hoping very much that it stays that way!!

Showing?  Silly question, yes.

Gender?  To be revealed upon baby’s birthday! 🙂

Labor Signs?  No, and I would like them to stay away for quite a while!

Belly Button In or Out?  That thing has been out since about 13 weeks!  I don’t know that I’ll ever have a true “innie” again after these pregnancies.  I don’t think it ever completely went back after Ryne.

Wedding Ring On or Off?  On…with Ryne I didn’t end up taking it off until the very very end…like the last week or two of that pregnancy, which again, for me was around weeks 35 and 36. 

Mood?  I’ve had my moments. Definitely feeling hormonal.

That is A TON for now so I’ll see ya later! 🙂


To Those I Will Serve

I have always loved writing, journaling, blogging, vlogging, whatever you want to call documenting life’s happenings and either keeping it private or sharing it with the world.  I was in on the blogging thing when it first got started and I had a massive blog that I kept up very well and was very consistent, but it wasn’t for anyone in particular, it was for me.  My journals and blogs have always really been for me but there have been a few times when I have been more active and connected in the blogging world where I have crossed paths with some really cool folks and I’ve loved the connection.  You know, when that other person just seems to “get” you, without having to explain yourself?

The social world we live in today is FULL of people searching for something or someone just like them, for something they can belong to, turn to for advice, guidance, or ideas.  I’ve been there too.  And for me, it has been truly life changing.  Not in a light sense either.  My connections literally changed my life, my ideas, expanded my ways of thinking, and exposed me to more encouragement and support than I ever could have imagined.  The internet has a funny way of breaking down barriers when you are willing to be vulnerable.  There are support groups, niche groups, and secret groups.  My turning point began when I was walking through one of the lowest times I’ve ever experienced, processing through my miscarriage and battling full force with infertility on the way to conceiving again.  I stumbled across a community that got me.  That had been on the same path I was walking.  They could relate to my feelings and desires when seemingly no one around me in my “real world” could.  I want to provide something of solace, insight, fun, quirkiness, and faith to those who may stumble across my little space in the internet world.

I am long-winded, both in person and in type.  I feel passionately.  I get so caught up when talking about my passions that everyone else in the room seems to vanish, just like it was yesterday when I found my passion to serve families as they journey to become parents.  My goal for this blog is to cover a variety of topics, simply to do what I call “real-life blogging”.  Many others do this through vlogs and whatnot and maybe one day I’ll start to settle in to maybe one or two very specific niches for myself, but mainly I see this as a springboard to helping others through sharing our life.  What we love, what we’re going through, our thoughts on the products and services we use every day, and how we are applying God’s Word in our lives.  My dream is to create a space of positivity and faith always, woven through the threads of this space so that there is never any question of my character or of the God I serve, who guides me, and whom I am diligently, and faithfully following hard after.

My goal is to be vulnerable and to reach those who are women, moms, sisters, and friends who could just use a dose of authenticity in a world that is telling everyone to be different from who they are.  I certainly don’t have this nailed down.  I’m far from it but I’m hoping we can come alongside each other even for just a little while and share life together, encourage one another, and leave knowing a little bit more about who we are and WHOSE we are.

So to sum up Day 1 of the Feel Good Blogging Challenge:

My tribe consists of mostly women, probably younger mothers who are a little overwhelmed and trying to find their place in their new role.  These women are those who want to come together and celebrate the little joys of the every day.  To live in the moment, connect with our Creator on a daily basis, and to share in and be lifted up by my real struggles and triumphs and I candidly share our walk as a family.  These women definitely want to see pictures of my little boys because that is something I do best! 🙂

I want to share my story with women because we need each other.  Period.  We do.  As the stereotype can portray, and as we have probably all experienced a time or too, women can be difficult to understand or get along with.  We love each other but we also love to judge each other or envy one another, and instead, my desire is to just be real.  To share the struggles and triumphs so that I can hopefully just reach one woman who needs to hear the inner ramblings of my head.  To learn something from my blogs about my doula work and my passion for childbirth education and lactation consulting.  I’m taking a leap here by trusting God when I feel He has been urging me to start my blog again and to really hone my focus.  I’m trying to muddle through at the moment and figure out what that looks like but I’m trusting Him that there must be some reason He has given me to write and that there will someday be someone out there who needs to hear something I’ve written.

I’m going to be honest.  I’m still trying to figure out why someone would want to read something I’ve written.  Ultimately it isn’t about me, it is about Him.  And it is about them, you, the women I am hoping to serve.  My goal is to ultimately point my life toward Him so that others can seek and find Him and accept them into their hearts as well.  I have no clue what this looks like.  I’ve seen countless blogs before that are all packaged up so nicely and here I am, Simple Susie, having no real template or styling or any of that.  I hope to gain the knowledge and tools to do that but NOT so I can boast about my awesomeness in designing a blog but so I can create a space where others will want to come to be encouraged and have someone they can relate to because I’ve been there and I’m not perfect but I can share what I’ve learned along the way!

And lastly, I think you should know by reading this far that I hope women will take away the knowledge of and a love for our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I love Him.  I am still learning Him, who He is and how I can be more like Him.  My ultimate goal for this blog would not be for personal gain, but to point others toward Him.

“But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken!” Jeremiah 9:24

Okay, so I mentioned these in yesterday’s post and I’m in love with them so here are a few of them:


rynelegThis one melts my heart…oh, my sweet little love.

rynelaughI just love this photo of him smiling at the belly!


usMy beautiful, sweet family.  I adore them!

I am so incredibly grateful for my beautiful, sweet friend who captured these sweet moments for us.  Please do yourself a huge favor and check her out!! You can also visit her facebook page for latest and greatest sneak peeks!

It sure has been a busy few days for us which is why I haven’t written until now!  I have also been a little slack on completing my daily yoga although I do notice that I’m implementing more of the Spinning Babies daily essentials activities into my normal routine of sitting more on my sitz bones, stretches, pelvic rocks, and trying to maintain and be aware of how I am holding my body in balance with symmetry.  I’ve noticed I tend to naturally sit with my right leg tucked underneath my bottom which definitely tilts my uterus to the right side.  I’ve been making a conscious effort to change that and sit more balanced.  I’ve still been getting a decent amount of walking in as well.

This weekend we went to a consignment sale that I had a credit for and I was able to pick up some 24 mo clothes for Ryne for winter and also some train conductor hats for his party this weekend.  They were a random but perfect find because I had thought about doing favors but really didn’t want to spend the money so this way it works out.  After the sale we went to see Ryne’s buddies at their house where they got to play in the blow up water park, eat lunch, and then do some painting together!  It was a really fun afternoon.  We then took the kiddos to their respective homes and let them take naps before taking them out again to a local BBQ festival nearby.  The festival was fun and I was really wanting some BBQ and Peaches so it worked out great for me!  The boys also got balloon “animals” made for them.  Jonah got a really wild hat, Will got an airplane with a bear riding on top of it and Ryne and Nolan got the cutest little fishing poles.  I’ll have to post some pictures but Ryne LOVED his and was dancing and swinging it around having the best time with it.  Until it popped…twice…of course.

Overall we had a busy but fun weekend and the busy-ness isn’t going to stop any time soon!  With Ryne’s birthday, the wedding, and my “Mother’s Blessing” coming up over the next few weekends we are busy until the end of September…slow down a bit, time, let me catch my breath!!

This is from an email I sent this morning to the girls in my small group and I feel like every time I write them a lengthy email it may as well be a blog.  So why not?

Okay, so I’ve been meaning to write you guys anyway and been meaning to update my blog…and been meaning to, meaning to, meaning to…my life has been a lot of that lately with the time just flying on by.  I just wanted to take a minute though to share with you not so much of what I am currently stressing over but to focus on a praise and recognition of such a direct answer to prayer that was just revealed to me in a neat way.  Well, as you all know, I have a blog that I’m terrible at updating but I do from time to time.  Well I wrote a blog this year on February 10, 2014 and here’s an excerpt of what part of it said:

“My heart aches for an easy time conceiving, but I know God has a plan and He has a sense of humor. I pray that we will conceive naturally this time around. And of course that it would be sooner rather than later. But I trust God’s plan for us. And I am so grateful for His provisions for our family thus far and I know His timing is perfect. God is working in me to teach me to know Him and to believe Him (Isaiah 43:10) in my life. He wants to show me His power and to have me trust Him fully. He is my all in all. And for now, I will “let all the other names fade away” and focus only on Him and allow Him to take His place in my life, rather than allowing infertility to creep back up, along with the names of my future children whom I haven’t met yet, Jesus is my comfort, my peace, my everything. And through Him I will be sustained in all things(Psalm 54:4).”

That was February 10, 2014 and we found out we were pregnant on March 16, 2014 after an easy time conceiving, even with my testing for ovulation and having a longer cycle length still.  God so directly answered my prayer to get to conceive “like everyone else” without much trouble or to-do about it.  He answered our prayer about conceiving naturally this time around.  And He answered our prayer about it being sooner rather than later.  Wow.  To me, those are not one, not two, but three big answers to prayer.  And quick answers at that.  May not seem big to anyone else but God cares about our desires no matter what they are and if they will ultimately be for our good and His glory, He loves to bless Him children through those direct answers I think.

So why do I still hesitate to trust Him and turn to Him?  Why do I struggle to commune with Him daily the way my heart aches to?  I think I’m bad about subconsciously personifying God into being like my earthly fathers and the relationships I have with each of them that I keep God at arm’s length.  Not too close, God.  Yet He is lovingly there for me and desiring me to pursue Him moment after moment, patiently, always there.  And then I realize I’m being a spoiled brat.  I just wanted to share that snippet with you all to share and celebrate some of the answers I’ve received that I’ve neglected to use for His glory.  I’ve had a difficult time connecting to this pregnancy due to the cyst and since it did happen so quickly for us that I really believe I’ve been a bit in denial…not that I’m not over the moon and excited about it all of course, it just took me by surprise.  But I want to revel in it the way I should and proclaim His good works in us and in our family by recognizing His provisions.  A lot of times I still manage to feel guilty and that I don’t deserve God’s love and His provisions, but in Christ, I was set free and made clean and the new me CAN openly accept all that God has and wants to give me.  He wants us to delight in what He gives us.  He loves to see His children happy.

My devotion this morning speaks to this very point.  “Learn to enjoy life more.  Relax, remembering that I am God with you.  I crafted you with enormous capacity to know Me and enjoy My PResence.  When My people wear sour faces and walk through their lives with resigned rigidity, I am displeased.  When you walk through a day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, you proclaim your trust in Me, your ever-present Shepherd.  The more you focus on My Presence with you, the more fully you can enjoy life.  Glorify Me through your pleasure in Me.  Thus you proclaim My Presence to the watching world.”

Amen, sisters…”The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel” (which means “God with us”) Matthew 1:23

“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full!” John 10:10

I know we are all going through different things right now and have gone through things this summer.  I certainly need prayer for a few things coming up that I will share with you later, but I would love to hear a couple of praises from everyone that we can just lift up in thanksgiving and proclaim His presence among us!  I know I have so many more praises I could share as well.  What a mighty, giving, and gentle King we have the privilege to walk in communion with each and every moment of every day.

11 months old!

Sweet baby Ryne,

How are you already 11 months old?  Stop it!  Stop growing up too quickly before my very eyes!  Although in saying that I hope and pray that you continue to grow strong and healthy and smart.  You are so special, smart, creative, loving, snuggly, handsome, talented, and happy.  I have been mostly enjoying spending some time getting stuff ready for your first birthday party, but I must admit I am trying to center my focus appropriately so that I don’t get too caught up in the silly little stuff of it and instead focus on celebrating a whole year of YOU!

Size: You are still currently wearing most 18 month clothes, still some 12 month stuff but they’re getting mighty tight on that long torso of yours!  I haven’t weighed you lately so I would guess you are still about 25-26 pounds and dad did kind of measure your height the other day and it is right around 30 inches tall.

Mobility: Still moving and getting good and fast at it.  You’ve started standing on your own this month and you’ll stand and shake/wave your arms like you do…I’ll have to insert a video of that!  We sure are going to miss it when you outgrow it!  Just a couple of days ago you crawled up the whole flight of stairs, with mommy “spotting” you from behind of course but you sure looked like you had already done it a hundred times!

Fine Motor: You are still clapping and feeding yourself.  If we cut the food up into smaller pieces you still manage to get a fair amount in your lap and on your bib but you do get food into your mouth when you really want to.  Oh!  And when we read books together some of your books have little flaps inside that reveal another picture underneath and I’ve been so impressed that when reading you get so excited and know when to reach for the flaps to open and close them.

Communication:  We weren’t very good on our signing this month but we haven’t given up on it yet by any means!  I’m pretty sure you tried to replicate saying “thank you” to me after we brushed your teeth the other day.  You are babbling up a storm still and I think you’re trying to vocalize some of what you want but overall still no real words yet.

Sleep: You’ve had some rough nights these past few nights for some reason.  We all suffered from a slight cold the past couple weeks though and you’ve been pulling on your ears like you may be teething too so it’s anyone’s guess.  You’ve become very particular about nursing to sleep at night and I think I may be seeing some separation anxiety since as soon as I get home you don’t want to let me out of your sight.  It breaks my heart so much but I am grateful you get to be in your home environment all day with your dad and I’m working on ways to make that the best environment possible for you to learn, grow, and play.  You are still going to bed in your crib pretty consistently around 8:00-8:30pm.  Our nighttime routine consists of dimming the lights and noise around 7:30pm and brushing your teeth, reading two books, and then nursing and rocking in the glider.  It’s been variable lately as to how long you’ll stay sleeping in your crib and when we have to come help you fall back to sleep.  In the mornings you’ve been taking your nap right around 9:40am for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more and your afternoon nap is still the longer nap.

Feeding: We’ve been trying to be much better about offering you more solids on a consistent basis throughout the day.  For breakfast you usually have what we have, eggs, avocado, some fruit maybe, or when we make paleo pancakes we give you those as well without any syrup.  You’ve also had some of our paleo pizza and you seem to like it a lot.  Last night our dinner was grass-fed beef burgers, cauliflower and carrot “rice” and butternut squash chunks.  You’re still drinking about 6-7oz of breast milk during the day and we’ve been trying to introduce the cup to you and you seem to like playing with it a bit and mostly dumping it out all over yourself.

Personality: Besides being a little crabbier these past couple days you are so happy.  You love to be with mom and dad and do what we do and go where we go.  You love to be outside and you love to “talk”.  You are a very sociable little guy and usually smile at anyone who smiles at you.  You’re also inquisitive and like to study people and their faces as they are talking to mom and dad.

Loves: You love it when people wear ball caps so you can look at them and touch them!  You also love bath time.  You love splashing and playing in the water.  You love water a lot actually.  You enjoy going to the pool.  You enjoy reading and independent play where you can explore and crawl around everywhere.  You still love when we sing to you and you still love nursing and rocking to sleep, and I’m okay with that!

Dislikes: You do NOT like having your nose wiped, and there was a lot of that this past week!  You still don’t really like diaper changes either because you would rather be up and moving around.

Happy 11 Months, Ryne Andrew!


10 Months Old!

Ryno!  You are 10 months old…plus a week at the time I am writing this.  I can’t believe your first birthday is NEXT month!! 😦  It makes your mama just a little sad…I always look at your first few pictures and can’t believe how quickly the time has gone and how much you have grown and developed and changed!  (Thanks Amanda for this blog template that I’m stealing from you!)

Size: You are currently wearing most 18 month clothes; you are such a big boy, as everyone always exclaims when they see you…followed by the ever-popular “what are you feeding him?” question.  Since most people can’t believe you’re still primarily breastfed we have been telling them we feed you raw meat. 🙂  You are about 25-26 pounds (of pure muscle of course!) and are about 30 inches tall.  We haven’t been back for a checkup since you were 6 months old so these are my best guesses.  You are perfect!

Mobility: You sure are moving these days!  You are a great little crawler, crawling everywhere and getting into everything you’re not supposed to have: wires, dog bowls, trash cans, etc.  You LOVE crawling over to your puppy dogs and petting them and laughing at them.  You are pulling up on everything and walking with our assistance still.  You’ve balanced just a few times on your own for just a few seconds.  Your chunky little legs and feet make my heart smile 🙂  You love to stand in your crib and bounce a bit while holding on to the sides and laughing.

Fine Motor: Your pincer grip is pretty good.  As far as feeding yourself you do a decent job getting things into your mouth when you want to but you still get your fair share on your belly, in your hair, under your bottom in your seat, and you are so kind to share with the puppies by tossing your food on the floor.  Halo is your best friend because of this.  We are working on waving hello and goodbye and I swear you’ve tried to clap a couple of times.  When we clap and say “yay” you also wiggle your arms with your open mouth and make an “aaaayyyyy” sound.

Communication:  We are still working on signing a few basic things but dad and I aren’t too great at being consistent.  We sign “milk”, “more”, “eat”, “dog”, “book”, “rabbit/bunny”, and “bird”.  You are saying “mama” and “dada” but not directly to us.  You also say “bweh bweh”, “shshshsh”, “ggggaaa”, “kay,” and you’ve found it funny to suck your bottom lip in and out making noises.

Sleep: Well last night certainly wasn’t one we want to talk about…You were up and didn’t want to stop nursing.  I’ve been slowly trying to night-wean just a little bit because I think you can go without it and it’s more for comfort.  I’ve loved our night time snuggles so I’ve let it go for a while but I know you do just fine in your crib when daddy puts you back to sleep.  I think you’ve wanting to nurse a little more the past few days because you may be teething or growing or something.  We’ve been working at getting better with a bedtime routine and closely following your cues.  We know you get sleepy around 8:00pm so we’ve been doing some quiet play time, reading a few books, brushing your teeth, and then nursing and rocking.  You usually lie down to sleep in your crib after about 15 minutes of this nighttime routine so we’re hoping to keep it up!  You usually wake up around 6:45am or 7:00am.  You usually take a morning nap at about 9:00am and an afternoon nap around 3:00pm.  We try to get these naps to stretch for longer than an hour, sometimes we are successful with over 2 hours of sleep and sometimes we only get 30-45 minutes.

Feeding: As I mentioned above in the size category, you are still primarily breastfed (well, bottle with breastmilk if I’m not around) along with foods that we eat.  We found out on our trip to see family this past week that you seem to really like lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.  You’ve also eaten grassfed ground beef, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, eggs, avocados, squash, watermelon, spicy chips mom made, macadamia nut waffles, and we just tried Plum Organics veggies and fruit pouches while we were on our trip because it was easier to feed you with those since we didn’t have your chair and tray with us.  You really like the Ella’s Kitchen Spinach and Rutabega one which dad and I thought was pretty unappealing!  You also liked the broccoli and apple, pumpkin and banana, peach and mango, and blueberry.  Your consumption of milk is definitely dwindling although you still like it a lot when you do have it.

Personality: You are such a good little boy.  Really!!  You love to be held by anyone, you are always smiling and laughing.  You love puppy dogs.  You aren’t afraid of any of them, even when they are barking.  I have the cutest video of you playing peek-a-boo with the dogs.  You were just laughing away.  I will say you do have your moments where you get frustrated and you clench your fists and tighten up for a few seconds but those are usually very short lived and you really only get fussy or upset when we don’t understand what it is you want.

Loves: You really enjoy going to the nursery at church and playing with your friends there, either adults or other kids.  You love to laugh and be tickled.  You love it when we play with you (peek-a-boo mostly) or read to you.  You love to walk with us holding your hands, you just smile and laugh and make noises while you walk.  You love your puppy dogs!  You also love water, either bathing or in the pool.

Dislikes: There really isn’t too much you don’t like these days…you used to really like diaper changes surprisingly enough, but now you can’t stand them because you don’t like us laying you on your back and you’d rather be wiggling around.

Happy 10 Months, Ryno!

I know there’s an end in sight.  There has to be.  Because if not I am just spinning my wheels.  Will it be when our debt is paid off?  I can’t wait quite that long.  Am I being selfish?  Yes, a little bit.  Do I have any clue what I would do or how the bills would get paid if I were to make the decision I want to make right now?  No.  Do I have some creative ideas?  Absolutely.  But is now the time?  Probably not.  So when, God?  How?  Why not now?

I find myself coming to God for answers and security and praises but do I ever just come to Him?  Do I ever just go sit at His feet and rest a while?  Honestly, no.  I am not happy to admit that but if I am being honest with you and myself the answer is no, I do not.  I don’t intentionally choose to take time out of my “oh so busy” days to just “be still” and know that He is all I need.  Instead I think I can handle it all, I manage ok sometimes but really I’m just a hot mess.  I try so hard.  I reach in every different direction, trying to be the best at everything when I don’t really want to be the best, I just want to be good at something.  The particular something of my life right now is being a mom.  I want to be an awesome mom.  Not from the outside but on the inside.  I don’t want to care if anyone else thinks I’m being a good mom, I want my sweet boy to know and not doubt that I am a great mom.

I want to be present for him and with him.  And not only for him, but for my husband too.  I want to do everything and I know I can’t do everything all at once.  I cannot reasonably be expected to work out of the home 45+ hours/week and still have my household look like I spend all day there being the maid.  I’m sad because I want to give my son a life full of experiences I didn’t have, but I’m learning that those experiences are ones I don’t want to be filled with debt and struggle and discomfort for him.  Does that mean I have to work outside the home 45+ hours a week?  No, it does not.  It means being smart and frugal and creative and I long to do and be those things.  Right now it is just trying to be patient and wait on God’s timing and not my own…which, by the way would have been 10 months ago.  But those are my plans.  I need to focus on my time with God first and foremost so I can be the mom I so long to be and the wife I long to be.  I am a better mom, wife, and person overall when I surrender myself to God daily, so why is it so difficult for me to do?  I allow other “things” to fill my mind and my plate instead of just being still and giving it to God.  I want to know Him and I want Him to know me.  Fully and completely.  And I want to model that for my son and for my husband.  I want to be the woman God made me to be for Him and for them.  I am praying that I can accomplish that alone and live my days for an audience of One, and not be consumed by the world.  Easier said than done.

I’m alive…

I have written this post so MANY times over the past year and a half.  To address our pregnancy, the trepidation I felt in those early days as well as the sheer joy of it all.  I hesitated for so long because I didn’t want to hurt or offend so many of my friends who were still battling with infertility.  However, I realize that was only so much time lost and selfishness on my part that I did the same thing that I got hurt from so many other people doing to me and that was I didn’t put it out there anyway and trust that you could handle it.  Part of it was because I didn’t need the infertility outlet anymore in quite the same way so I guess I felt I didn’t belong even on my own blog.  But I have thought about blogging just about every day and that’s no lie!  I wish I had done a better job blogging through my pregnancy and Ryne’s early days and that is my fault…although I did make several posts that I never published which you may see updated here as back-posted in the coming days.

I’ve missed blogging.  A part of me is gone when I don’t have this outlet, whether anyone reads it or not.  For me, it also serves as an act of worship to glorify God and to have communion with Him in one way…I feel like I’m pouring out my thoughts, struggles, joys, and prayers to Him here too…as silly as that might seem.  I’m not going to waste too much time catching you up on the past…that will come in some other posts…For now I want to pick up right where we left off, just like old friends and tell you what is going on in my life!

For starters, Doug and I are getting married tomorrow!  Wait, what?  Yes, it’s true…we are getting married again tomorrow.  We are choosing each other again in a special group vow renewal  ceremony at our church.  Becoming a mom has changed me in ways I could never even imagine before it happened.  I love Doug so much as my husband and he is also a phenomenal father, as if he wasn’t already great at everything before, let’s just add this to his list of specialties.  Seriously, I do have to spend some time praising him because he makes my life so much better.  Even when I am not worth it at all…and that’s been a lot lately.  Are we perfect?  Absolutely not.  Are we in love?  Absolutely.  Does that love look the same as it did 5 or 8 years ago when we started out together?  Not at all.  Nor would I expect it to.  It is richer now.  More robust.  It has been seasoned just slightly with the experiences we’ve been through together in the past few years.  I cannot wait or imagine what it will look like in 5-10 more years, much less 20-30 years.  I won’t lie, it does scare me a bit because I know we’ve got more to weather together but I have confidence in our relationship through anything because going into this renewal tomorrow, 5 months to the day before our 5 year wedding anniversary, we are further in our faith, still with lots of work to do, but I think we have a clearer picture of what the marriage relationship is supposed to look like than when we got married.  Have we defined ourselves in those roles yet?  Hardly.  It’s actually pretty pathetic how much farther we have to go to even begin to measure up to the roles laid out by God for the marriage relationship but I am grateful for new beginnings to continue to try.

I am excited for the future in that we are renewing our vows and becoming stronger in a time where it would be VERY easy to let our marriage slip through the cracks of new parenthood.  Excuses of sleep deprivation, nursing, washing bottles, work, cooking, family events, sleep deprivation, entertaining the baby, tutoring, doula work, meetings, etc could easily widen the gap between us but after noticing some of these things beginning to take their toll I have decided I will consciously fight for our marriage every single day.  Because some days it is a fight more so than others.  Some days the demands of life do become too much and they get in the way.  I am choosing to focus on what I am grateful for even when I don’t feel grateful.  I know I should be.  The reality is we are richly blessed in ways that we can’t even begin to understand.  Like running water.  Like how much we waste and take for granted each day.  Like our access to the Bible.  And how little we choose to access it for ourselves.  We have so much technology like being able to connect and blog but what does it do for us?  Sometimes instead of connecting us like it was supposedly designed to do, I feel it pulls us farther apart.

Anyway, I won’t go on and on.  I know this has been rambly like I usually am, but I’m glad to be back and I hope to be a much more frequent poster and not just cut out on you like before.  I hope you’ll forgive me and join me for the journey.  I am so happy to say that I am marrying my love tomorrow…again!

Happy 8 weeks baby boy!

Dear Ryne,
I’m sitting here up in our loft and you’re sleeping next to me in your carseat…you LOVE that thing…you’ll sleep in it for hours and since you were having a bad day today I’ll let you sleep where ever you’ll rest that sweet little head of yours…you are stirring awake right now as I write this.  You are so precious and every day I wonder how you can be so handsome and perfect.  You sure are a chunky little thing right now!  You’ve doubled your birth weight I’m pretty sure!  You’re a healthy boy who loves to eat.  We don’t let you cry much but in the past 2 days when you’ve cried your dad and I have noticed tears starting to come from those blue eyes.  They’re still blue at this point…I can’t wait to see how and if they change!  I hate to see or hear you crying.  It breaks my heart even if I know that you are perfectly fine (which you always are perfectly fine, but you fuss a little when you want a change of scenery, position, or when you’re really tired!).  You have the sweetest little pink lips.  They really are just perfect!  You also still have a head of hair that is so beautiful and everyone always comments on it.  You have the sweetest, softest cheeks (which are also cute and chubby!) and I love to just watch you sleep as you make the cutest faces at me.  You are finally starting to smile more and you love to follow your moo cow rattle with your eyes.  You are holding your head up so well and you have really been enjoying lying on your play mat kicking your arms and legs around.  You LOVE the outdoors.  And you love looking at lights…your dad and I call you bug because you’re like a little bug attracted to the lights.  We love you so incredibly much and are so so blessed to have you in our lives.  I had no idea I could love someone as much as I love you and want to be with you!