Thursday, December 30

Stats for Jack

We took Jackson to the doctor this morning for his six-month checkup, and the stats aren't what you think! He's 18 lbs 10 oz and 27 inches, which means his growth has slowed down quite a bit! He's in the 68th percentile for height and weight. He seems to have eczema on his back, it's really red and patchy but it doesn't seem to bother him. I have a few baby food items to start feeding him, but first I need to pump some milk to mix in with his wheat cereal, so maybe we'll start on Saturday?

The Zoo

Here are some photos from our visit to the zoo on Tuesday, as part of Beth's birthday present. It was a chilly day but not too cold to be outside! Beth toted around her new doll "Lily" or "Lucy" that she got for Christmas (which I just realized I haven't blogged about yet!). We were there for a few hours, and of course everyone (including mommy!) fell asleep in the car on the way home! What a great day!

Wednesday, December 29

4 year old birthday party

What a fun day! We celebrated Beth's birthday on Monday afternoon by having Grandma and Grandpa come over, and Jenny and Nick (her "serious" boyfriend, lol) were here too. Beth really had a fun afternoon with everyone, playing, dancing, and reading (she insisted on wearing this dress!). Aunt Jenny gave Beth a princess crown, Grandma and Grandpa gave her a shopping card and some play food, MawMaw and PawPaw gave her a magnetic dress-up doll, and Mommy and Daddy gave her a new leotard and tights for ballet and a trip to the zoo! But that's for another post! We served Beth's favorite dinner- hard tacos with beans and rice- and had a chocolate birthday cake decorated with a rainbow of M&Ms.

Monday, December 27


Oh my Bethie G! Four years old today!

I love your silly-mouth smile,
your pretty golden hair,
the way you smile with your eyes,
and the kisses you willingly share.

Drawing is something that you love,
writing letters is so much fun,
We think you're so talented already,
and we're amazed at how fast you can run!

Daddy and I always smile
when you start to sing,
you make up amazing songs
and more joy to us you bring.

You grow a little bit
each and every day.
Your health, your mind, your soul...
perfect in every way.

Bless Him! Praise Him! Alleluia!
on this late December morn,
Thank Him most of all this day
for precious Bethany Grace, our firstborn!

Saturday, December 25

Thursday, December 23

6 months old

Ahhhh, six months old! Already!

Jack has been my "Oh really?" baby. Every time I think I know it all about parenting, he says, "Oh really?" and does the complete opposite of what I expect! Every time I think I've got this parenting thing down, he teaches me something new. He's been my first easy and quick labor, my first big baby, my first baby who slept perfectly from day 1 (only to stop sleeping perfectly at month 4), my first early teether, my first biter (maybe those two go hand-in-hand?), and the first time I haven't wanted my baby to grow up.

He's already taught me so much about humility! About not judging other moms or other babies...Because really, apparently after 3 kids, I don't know it all.

At 6 months, Mr. Jackson is:
-rolling both ways
-sitting up
-showing preference to mommy
-not sleeping well. sleeping very poorly, in fact, waking up a million times a night and usually waking up to hang out with mommy and daddy from 8-10 pm!
-experiencing his first cold- he's currently congested and hoarse!
-enjoying watching Beth and Luke play
-nursing a lot, no solids yet
-napping 2-3 times a day
-sporting 1 tooth!

It seems this six months has flown by waaaay faster than I remember with Beth and Luke. I know with them I was looking forward to the next milestone, waiting for them to sit up, crawl, walk... This time, I just want him to stay a baby! I don't want to start feeding him solids, I can't believe it's time to start The Bedtime Routine (famous at our house), and I can tell he's ready to grow up. He's ready to jump right in and play with Beth and Luke (we've seen him try to push up and crawl, and try to pull up to stand already!), he grabs everything I'm holding, eyeballs my food like he wants a big bite, and loves taking baths.

Some days I truly feel like he might be my last baby, and that's why I'm reluctant to let him grow up. But I can't hold him back either! He's had a slightly different babyhood than Beth and Luke had already (like not having his own room yet, by this age we'd been putting Beth and Luke to sleep in their own cribs and bringing them to our rooms in the middle of the night), but it's been better in some ways and worse in other ways. I love cosleeping with Jack, I just wish he's actually sleep!

I'm anxious to see what the next six months bring, but I hope they go by slowly!

Wednesday, December 22


Yesterday we played outside quite a bit (it was 81 degrees after all!) and the kids got into a pot of dirt. Luke was really into it, and Beth enjoyed herself but was a little more careful about where she put the dirt! She told me they made "soup pies" and buried some old pumpkin seeds.

Tuesday, December 21

Fire Station

Last Friday we made some Muddy Buddies (peanut butter and chocolate covered Chex) and brought them to our local fire station. We met a couple of our firefighters, Beth gave them a picture she'd drawn, and they offered to show the kids the trucks. Beth was shy but Luke hopped right in!

Another "first haircut"

Luke had his first haircut a few weeks ago, where I trimmed the top and sides a bit to keep him from looking like Bozo the Clown! Ryan and I couldn't bear to trim his "piggy curl" then, but the time has come. The weather is less humid now, so it's less of a curl and more straight, which means his haircut was looking more mullet than ever! So, away it went.

No huge change in my opinion. The big change for me was that very first haircut! It's a little sad that it's gone but I have a feeling it will be back, what little hair he has is pretty textured in the back!

Monday afternoon was Beth's last ballet class for the semester. After class was over her teachers gave all the girls in her class a goody bag full of homemade chocolate-covered pretzels. All the girls were so excited, but my heart sank- I wasn't ready for this. Beth proudly brought her bag to me and I excitedly took it and said how nice it was of her teachers, but that the pretzels weren't gluten free. She started to look a little worried but I quickly assured her that we could make chocolate-covered pretzels at our house with her special pretzels, and assured her we'd do that later that night. I asked her if she wanted to give her pretzels to a friend and she handed them right over, no questions asked. On the way out I started to cry a little because I was so proud of her. I can't believe how mature she is for such a little girl!

So that night, we made chocolate-covered pretzels. And they ate them, very happily. :-)

Sunday, December 19


On Friday, December 10th, I had an endovenous laser ablation procedure performed on my lower left leg. That's the fancy term for annihilating a vein!

If you remember, I had really bad issues with spider and then varicose veins during my pregnancies with Luke and Jack. So bad with Jack that I wore compression stockings during most of my pregnancy, which wasn't so fun during the hot summer months! But it wasn't really an option because compression stockings were the only things that provided me relief. My problem was my lower left leg, between my knee and my ankle, and for some reason the varicosities and swelling was limited to that area. One time during my pregnancy I was afraid I had a clot because a portion of my leg almost looked like a pecan sticking out! A quick trip to the doctor confirmed I was safe, but needless to say this was all a problem.

After having Jack, the varicose veins have mostly gone away, but the pain was still there. I decided that if we were going to consider having more children, there was no way I could enter pregnancy knowing that this was going to happen again! I saw a cardiac disease doctor who ordered an ultrasound on my legs, and the ultrasound showed insufficient flow in the vein that runs from my knee to my ankle. Well duh!

Because I'd already taken less invasive measures to try to treat my issues, insurance approved the endovenous laser ablation treatment. What happens is the doctor stuck a teeny tiny laser up my vein, then slowly pulled it out as the laser was on, and that closed down the vein so that the blood had to find a different way back to my heart. Yes, it's totally safe! What this does is shut off the main vein that flows into the smaller ones, where the blood sits and pools for whatever reason. At a later date, I'll most likely have injections into my leg to get rid of the veins that were varicose.

The surgery was easy, it took only about 15 minutes from start to finish! I was slightly drugged up and ordered to continue walking around instead of taking it easy on the couch all day. ;-) I've been wearing a super-tight compression stocking on my left leg since the surgery, and it's provided so much relief!

The recovery has been a little harder than I expected. My leg feels very sore and it hurts today just as much as it did last week! I was told that it would take a good two weeks to feel back to normal, so I'm hoping I don't feel so bad by Christmas! It feels very bruised but there are no visible bruises, but it's very tender to touch and it initially hurts when I stretch it out. I don't like taking pain medication unless I absolutely have to (since I'm breastfeeding), so I've avoided taking anything after that first day.

I'm holding out hope that this was all worth it!

Friday, December 17

Professional Pictures

We recently hired a talented photographer to come over and take some family pictures at our house! I really don't like studio pictures, the kids never do well and I'm never entirely happy with the photos. I'd rather have pictures at our house, where the kids are comfortable and having fun. Here are a few of my favorites!

We recently hired a talented photographer to come over and take some family pictures at our house! I really don't like studio pictures, the kids never do well and I'm never entirely happy with the photos. I'd rather have pictures at our house, where the kids are comfortable and having fun. Here are a few of my favorites!
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