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Friday, February 28, 2014

Love in Liberty

Ford, Mimi and I just got home from a wonderful trip to Liberty, MO! My mom's parents live there and we spent a few days showing off our sweet little boy, visiting with family, eating, thrifting, and relaxing. To say Ford is loved is an understatement. He sure does know how to put on a show and was such a happy boy, despite a little stranger danger when he first saw my gramma and cried for 20 minutes :). We were thinking Ford was going to see his first snow but besides the dirty snow piled up in parking lots, there was nothing. It was such a nice week and a great visit, I loved having extra hands to help with Ford for 4 whole days! 

Reading Charlie Brown with Gramma Great

His sleepy noise (this is how he puts himself to sleep for naps)

My sweet happy boy

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Books for the Believing Parent

Before we had Ford dedicated to our church (The Austin Stone), we had to take class where we studied Deuteronomy 6:4-7 and wrote rhythms and goals for our family. They gave us a list of recommended reading to be helpful as we seek to lead and shepherd our children. I know it is tough to make time to read a book as a mama but I know how important it is to fill yourself up before you can take on the never ending demands you have. I mean, thank God for Kindles and the Kindle app for iPhone!  The Jesus Storybook Bible is our favorite and is such a child friendly yet true depiction of the bible.I'd love to know if you've read any of these books, your thoughts on them, or if you have any more suggestions for me.

Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Give Them Grace by Elise Fitzpatrick & Jessica Thompson
*I had the honor of listening to Jess speak last year at The Influence Conference last year and started this book this week!

Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel

Come Ye Children by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Age of Opportunity by Paul David Tripp

The Missional Mom by Helen Lee

A Praying Life by Paul Miller

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Finish This v 7

I've missed a few weeks but I'm back and linking up with up with  (Nicole {Three 31Lisa {The Coastal Chicster}and Becky {The Java Mama} Jen {The Arizona Russums}). 

1. I plan on buying...I asked Jon what he thought I should put for this one and he said a 68 fast back Mustang. That's more of his plan but hey we share money and I think Ford looks pretty darn cute in a classic car.

2. I give FOSSIL  5 stars because...I own the same watch in two colors and noticed a few stones missing. I went into the store and they told me it would be $40 per watch to replace some tiny stones despite the lifetime warranty their watches have. I tweeted to Fossil, we had some communications, and y'all... I am pretty sure they sent me two brand new watches for free. I mailed mine in to "get worked on" and they looked flawless when they were sent back to me. Thanks for your rockstar customer service Fossil!

3. I felt courageous when...I attempted to labor without an epidural on a very high dose of Pitocin for 8 hours. You can read my 2-in-100-women-experience-this-during-labor birth story here. How I did it? I still don't know but I lived to tell the tale!

4. I feel about swimsuit shopping like I do... when I am excited about something new?? I've accepted the fact that thanks to my giant belly (don't tell me I wasn't huge y'all, people assumed I was having twins) and chunkamonk baby, bikinis are no longer in my summer wardrobe. Thank God that one pieces and cute tankinis are in and stylish these days because I'm actually having fun picking out a few new suits (I usually got a new suit every other year pre baby) and let me tell you...having your belly covered when you are at an all inclusive stuffing your face with guacamole and fried deliciousness is just amazing. No need to suck in or worry about that inevitable pooch when you sit down. Now who's to say I won't bust out my bikinis for my next pregnancy. Man I loved the looks from people who assumed I would go into labor at any moment at the pool.

Now it's your turn, finish the sentences above!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Will you be my Valentine?

Our little Hart breaker was one stud of a model for his photo session with the fabulous Laura Morsman a few weeks ago. I can't sing Laura's praises enough. For a steal of a deal we grabbed a 20 minute mini session and got some of the most beautiful pictures of Ford I have ever seen (although I may be biased, I am his mama). She had the most beautiful backdrop setup, cupcakes and goodie bags for the littles, and tons of fun antique and vintage photo props. Basically Laura is the bomb.

So if you like what you see and you happen to live in Austin, today is your lucky day!!!

April 12th and 13th Laura Morsman Photography is hosting a weekend of spring mini sessions! $40, 20 minutes, 10 beautifully edited photos. You don't want to miss this folks!!!!! Time slots are filling fast so be sure to visit her Facebook page to RSVP. 

Find Laura Morsman Photography...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ford 6 months

I think I will say this every month but this month has been really fun when it comes to milestones, etc. It has also been very exhausting with teething, Wonder Weeks leaps, and lots of traveling but our happy little guy is so worth it. Ford's hair is growing like crazy and we are thinking we'll have to get a trim soon. He no longer looks like a baby to us but a little big boy who loves eating, talking, and can independently entertain himself. The fact that our son is closer to a year than his birth just baffles me (and makes me cry). I am so in love with this little man, it's been a joy to spend half a year with him!

Weight: 19lb 8oz (84th percentile)

Height: 26.75in (55th percentile)

Head Circumference: 46 cm (98th percentile)

Doctor Appointments: Fortunately Ford has been healthy this past month and the only doctor visit has been his 6 month well check yesterday morning. We absolutely love our sweet doctor who always tells us how perfect Ford is! He's hitting all the 6 month milestones and his growth chart looked great. He cried for about 15 seconds during his 3 shots and was easily soothed when I nursed him. We don't go back until 9 months for another well check, crazy!

Nicknames: Mister, Milkie, Milka, Talky, Cutest, Doodle boy

Clothing: mostly 6-9 month and 9 month clothes depending on the brand. He's such a hot natured baby that even if it is in the 30's outside, he will be drenched in sweat if he is in long sleeves. Forget all those cute sweaters I bought for him! I've also come to realize that one pieces work really well for him. Between his big belly and cloth diapered booty they are just easier. 

Diapers: still cloth diapering and loving it! I am having to use 1 regular and 2 newborn inserts at night for our super soaker and we've made some adjustments to our one size diapers for our growing boy. We used disposables on our trip (size 3) that he kept leaking out of. I was ready to get back to cloth. 

Eating (milk): Ford sure does love nursing. We tried one last attempt with the bottle using the Medela Calma bottle and he still refused. Now that he is 6 months I see it futile to try to force a bottle when we plan on weaning at a year. I feel very blessed that I am able to nurse him exclusively and that it works great for us. Now that he’s on solids, he goes about 4 hours between nursing, sometimes more, sometimes less, and can empty my breast in about 5 minutes (when he’s focused). He is quite the distracted nurser when people are around or stuff is going on and he hates the cover. 

Eating (solids): Ford was more than ready for solid food and had his first bite of oatmeal on January 17th 2014! He opened right up but didn’t so much like the taste. Almost a month later and he is eating 3 solid meals a day… usually oatmeal with cinnamon and banana or pear in the morning, avocado with garlic for lunch, and sweet potato mixed with green bean for dinner. I’m making all of his food and have butternut squash that we are going to try this week. He ate lots of guacamole last week in Mexico, yum yum. He also loves munching on mum mums, cucumbers, bell peppers, and slices of apple, pear, and cantaloupe.

Sleeping (night): well this month definitely rocked me in terms of sleep and emotions. Between teething and an intense Wonder Weeks Leap, there were nights I had to hold Ford for 2 hours for him to sleep. It was ROUGH but we made it out alive. He’s been doing really well since finishing his leap. We start bathtime at 6:45p and by 7p he is rubbing his eyes and looking sleepy. I nurse him, read books, and put him down between 7:15-7:30p. Some of his best nights he has made it to 530/630, quick nurse, then go back to sleep for 2 hours but he usually nurses around 430a for 5-10 minutes then back to sleep until 730a. Some people qualify 8 hours of sleep as sleeping through the night but in my books sleeping through the night means I don't have to get up! Last night he went 7:30-6a, nursed, then slept til 8:30a (he got shots yesterday so I think he was extra sleepy). He cried out a few times between 10:30-11:30p and Jon was able to soothe him using minimal CIO....5 min, 7 min, 9 min of crying. I think we will be STTN very soon, or this optimistic mama keeps telling herself that!

Sleeping (naps): dare I say we are getting on a napping schedule? Coming from the newborn who used to stay up for 5 hours at a time, I am shocked that after 2-3 hours of awake time, Ford is ready for a nap. I try to be home for 2 naps a day in his crib and the other on the go. Morning 1-1.5 hour, early afternoon 1.5 hour, and late afternoon 1 hour. Last week on vacation he took a few 2 and 3 hour naps, it was amazing! I think because he is such an active and busy boy, he wears himself out.

Social: what a ham he’s been this month! He loves when people look and talk to him when we are out and about and often gives them a smile show. About 90% of the people we encountered on our vacation commented on how beautiful and happy he is, the resort workers loved him too! We call him “Talky” because he is Mr. Chatty pants all the time. He loves to hear his own voice and loves to shriek. Even at his crabbiest of times he will still give us sweet smiles.

Likes: eating solid food, playing with his spoon, jumping, Sophie, his jumper, Ernie, kicking in the bath, feeling textures (Ernie’s fur, daddy’s beard), singing and dancing, being tickled

Dislikes: being hot, watching other people eat when he’s hungry, getting his messy face wiped

New this month:
  • He’s officially a roly poly rolling from front to back and back to front very quickly and seamlessly. We will set him on one side of the room and in no time he's on the other side
  • 2 words: fake coughing
  • Getting better at sitting up unassisted (not balancing on his hands) but gets excited and moves around and falls over
  • He’s discovered how to make fart noises with his mouth and does it ALL.THE.TIME. It’s pretty hilarious to watch him in the monitor in the mornings making them.
  • Ford is getting really good with his hands and using  his fine motor skills to grab things that I put in front of him and hold onto them.
  • Taking off his shoes and socks (and very into his feet)
  • SHIEKING! See video below

Fun things we did:
  • Ford got his first stamp in his passport this month when we took a family trip to Cabo San Lucas! He had so much fun playing in the sand, going whale watching on a boat, and swimming.
  • Ford’s great grandparents (my papa is his namesake) came to visit and loved getting to play with our bouncing boy. Ford had cousin time with Embry, made a few trips to Costco and went to 3 of his uncle’s basketball games
  • Lots of playdates with church friends, neighborhood friends, and more baby friends. Ford is starting to interact with other babies so these playdates aren’t just for mama! It was so cute yesterday Ford and his baby friend Ethan (who is only 8 days older than Ford) were sitting next to each other in Bumbos and had their hands all over each other, reaching, talking, interacting. Then later Ford's other baby friend Ezra just had him cracking up! I love seeing him have fun. 
  • Ford swung in a park swing for the first time and had fun! We also put up a Fisher Price swing in our backyard but have only gotten to use it once because of crappy weather. He loved it!

Mama: a very big mama thing for me this month… I’ve stopped pumping and it is SO freeing! I’ve donated over 200oz of frozen breastmilk I had stored up and since we have no use for milk now, it felt good to pack my pump away. I was only pumping once a day or every other day and using it for his oatmeal but he gets enough breastmilk from the tap so we use water now. I had been really emotional about the bottle strike the past few months but we are accepting it and moving on, feels good! Today I am going back to the gym for the first time since June!!! I am really looking forward to that “me” time and getting myself back into shape. I’ve been able to do some at home workouts here and there but I really do miss the social aspect of the gym and taking fun classes. We plan on using the gym daycare but since it's still flu season we are going to wait a while and my mom will watch him while I'm there. I’ve also accepted the fact that my body is no longer made for a bikini and had fun picking out a new tankini and one piece for our trip. You guys saw my belly while pregnant, there no way my body would be left un-marked! Once again, another month of God teaching me grace and showing me new mercy every morning. Motherhood is tough, sleepless nights, fussy babies, no breaks, but it is incredible and I love almost every part of it, ha. 

Daddy: Jon is having a blast with Ford these days. He can make him belly laugh so easily and I love watching the two of them bond. Jon is SO helpful and hands on with Ford and I can't imagine it any other way but I am so grateful for it. Without question he gets up with Ford in the night, feeds him so I can get a break, and wants to spend alone time with him so I can have me time. Being on vacation was also awesome because we tag teamed baby duties and things were just easier. I love seeing Jon grow into his role as a father, I know it was what God intended for his life. Oh and Ford's new thing is shrieking when he hears Jon whistle, it's almost as if he is singing along.

What we’re looking forward to: Next week Ford, Mimi and I are going to spend a few days with Cori and Embry and are so excited for that follow along on Instagram using #embryandford hashtag). Then we are flying in a few weeks to visit his great grandparents. He is quite the traveler! We’re also looking forward to warmer weather and getting to be outside. We had wood floors put in the downstairs of our house a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to put Ford in the walker I am borrowing from my sister. He’ll be zooming around in no time.



Monday, February 10, 2014

Take me back to Cabo

We took our baby to Mexico and survived! The week leading up to our vacation was a rough mom week for me and after little sleep, I was weary of how the trip would go. My worries were cast aside because we had such a fabulous time as a family of 3 and really enjoyed out getaway! If you can remember a while back me posting about Jon qualifying for his company’s club trip and us going to Costa Rica in February. Well fast forward to right after Christmas and us freaking out about Ford not taking a bottle. The plan was to leave him with my parents while we took an all expenses paid, luxurious trip to the Four Seasons in Costa Rica. God had a different plan. People always joke that if a baby is hungry enough they will eat a bottle. Yeah those people never had bottle strike babies! There was no way we could leave him so after much prayer and discussion, we expedited a passport for our little guy and booked a family trip to Cabo. It couldn’t have worked out better…we would be taking Ford to the city we honeymooned and celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary there!

Jon and I joked that the trip was exhausting yet very relaxing. Ford slept great but a few mornings graced us with his presence at 5:30am thanks to the time change. Taking a baby on a vacation is actually a great idea because when the baby naps, mom and dad nap too! Being away allowed us to spend quality time together as a family not focusing on our phones, TV, work stress, etc. We had long 2 hour dinners and strolled along the beach at night. Jon and I had some incredible conversations and spent so much time reflecting on the blessings the Lord has bestowed on us this year. A couple of months ago we had listened to a sermon (I think it was Matt Chandler, but maybe Marc Driscoll), where the topic of vacations came up. Sometimes Christians feel guilty for taking vacations and wonder if their money is better spent being donated to charities or their time being used to go out on mission. But God wants us to enjoy his wonderful creations, travel the world, and vacation with our family….as long as we are giving Him the glory. This really helped us set the precedence for our trip and with each new morning we praying in thanksgiving for the beautiful mountains, delicious food, hospitable service, INCREDIBLE whale sightings on our whale watching tours, empty flights that allowed us to have a row to ourselves, and so much more. We so easy forget that the luxury and beauty of vacations has been created by His hand and meant to be used for His own glory. 

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Cor 10:31

We stayed at Villa La Estancia and did the all inclusive package and are basically ready to book our next trip there! Vacations for us are a lot about the food and Jon did extensive research to find the perfect place for us to stay (we stayed at Hacienda Encantada when we honeymooned but it was booked). There were 3 Villa resorts right in a row and we were able to eat at those restaurants as well as the ones in our hotel. The food was All inclusives are pretty hit or miss but we enjoyed gormeut, fresh, organic, delicious steaks, sandwiches, drinks, and of course desserts. Breakfasts overlooking the arc and candlelight dinners outside by the fire were enjoyed everyday and Ford was a great 3rd wheel. The waitstaff (and pretty much everyone at the resort) told us how beautiful and happy he was. And he is! Even in his crabbiest of moments he flashes his dimpled smile. 

Ford swam for the first time but the pool was a tad chilly so we only swam once but he was hilarious kicking around. Oh and he looked so stinkin' cute in his swim trunks and shirt. 
He also got his first sand experience and LOVED it. He always had a fistful of sand and surprisingly it never went into his mouth. 

One major highlight of our trip was going on a whale watching boat tour. We went on 2 while we honeymooned and loved it, so knew we wanted to go back. You have a limited selection of excursions with a baby so whale watching it was. We took a big boat out early one morning with about 15 other people and witnessed some of the most amazing whale encounters ever. Seriously once in a lifetime. We would have been excited about blow holes and humps showing but we saw blue and gray whales breeching, playing, showing off their flukes, and diving into the water. These pictures won't do it justice...we only had my non zoom 50mm lens and an iPhone. We just couldn't stop saying how cool God is? Seriously! These giant creatures he created for us to stand in awe of. 

Ford loved the wind in his face but then fell asleep for most of the tour :)

Thank you for another great trip Cabo, we will be back. 

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