Wednesday, December 18, 2013

27 weeks

We had our 6 month doctor's visit yesterday, and here are HG's stats:
Weight: 14 lbs. 10 oz.
Length: 25 inches
Head: 17 1/4 inches

Poor thing got round three of her vaccines, and the flu shot as well.  She only cried for a second, and then was fine.  She is such a trooper! 
 She has discovered the tree more this week.  She loves playing on her blanket by the tree.  She forgets about the tree being there, and then will all of a sudden roll to be able to see it and start laughing and smiling at the lights.
 We started solids this week.  She is still in a learning stage for sure, and I don't think she is actually eating much of anything.  We are starting with avocado, so all the bibs now are a lovely shade of green.  Hopefully she will get the hang of eating off a spoon soon.
 We have been doing a lot of baking around here, and HG enjoys watching the stand mixer and hearing all the noises.  She has just started to push herself around a little in the walker.  
 HG has started to love her feet and grabs them all the time!  She can even put her feet in her mouth.  She also is rolling a ton.  It is her way of moving at the moment.  The best part is she only rolls one direction, so when she reaches a couch or wall she just lies there defeated.

We are so looking forward to celebrating Christmas with HG even though she won't really understand anything this year.  


Thursday, December 12, 2013

6 months

Our sweet girl is halfway done her first year.  She must have been sick last week, because she is back to her normal happy self.  We have been thoroughly enjoying HG at this stage.  Everyday she seems to do something new.

She still does not enjoy being on her tummy, yet has started to roll over multiple times to get her toys.  She grabs for anything and everything, and it immediately goes into her mouth.  She now even puts her feet and socks into her mouth.  Very lady-like :) She still tumbles over after a few short seconds of sitting up on her own, but the bobby pillow is helping her learn to sit up.  HG is in no rush to be mobile, and is content to lying down looking at the tree and listen to Christmas tunes.  


HG has become more affectionate towards us recently.  She is starting to love on her Daddy more, and snuggles into his shoulder when he holds her.  After nursing, HG likes to reach up to my mouth and expects a kiss on her hand.  She gives me a huge smile after I kiss her hand.  She is a little social butterfly, and loves when my small group girls come over.  I happened to be at church today when the students were going into chapel, and HG gave everyone big smiles as they came to talk to her.

This month brought lots of changes in her schedule, everyday and week is a little different.  This week, she has taken two good long naps, and dropped the third.  Sometimes, she will take 3 shorter naps, and is on more of a 3 hour schedule.  I think she will settle into a more consistent 4 hour routine once we introduce solid foods for good which will be any day now.  She is still consistently going to bed at 7, and will start waking around 6.  She will talk and coo and stir until I go in at 7.  This is the sweet smile I'm greeted with every single morning.
 Dear Hatley- Grace,

You are growing into such a sweet spirited little girl.  You are noticing the world around you, and learning from every new experience.  You love to look at the white lights on our Christmas tree and you have noticed the squirrels playing in the tree outside of your window.  You can hear the school bus and the trash truck and want to watch them drive by.  You still love fans, and twist and turn your body in any direction to see them.  You do not like the computer, and cry when it comes on and I scroll through the page.  Maybe it's too bright and fast moving, I guess this is the result of no cable TV.

It doesn't take much to make you grin from ear to ear.  A cashier at Publix or a teenager at church can make you giggle with delight by just saying hello.  You have never met a stranger!  
I am looking forward to sharing our first Christmas together soon.  I bet you will like the wrapping paper the best.  We will have lots of family in town again, and I know you will love visiting with them most of all!

I'm excited to watch you try new foods this month, and start changing from an infant into a strong, mobile baby.  Sometimes I get nervous about each new thing you are doing and trying, and I want you to know I am trying my best to learn about how to be a good Mama to you.  I am learning right along side of you, which is the fun part of being the first born baby.

Hatley-Grace, you are so very loved!  The Lord has blessed us richly with you.

Love,
Mama


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

25 Weeks

This week has been a difficult week.  As I reflect on this week, starting with Thanksgiving day, puts some of the parenting struggles we have faced into perspective.

Hatley-Grace is growing and changing, her schedule this week was just out of sorts.  She was having trouble falling asleep for every nap and bedtime.  We have been letting her cry it out since she was very young, yet this was just persistent crying/painful screaming.  I'm still not entirely sure of the cause.

Friday, we decided that maybe she was hungry and ready for solids.  So, I researched everything about starting solids.  Marty ran to Walmart to get some avocados and Munchkin soft tipped infant spoons, and we gave HG her first taste of food on Saturday morning.




She tolerated it, and probably only swallowed a 1/2 tsp.  It was so fun having her at the table for her breakfast, and watching her experience something totally new!

The next couple days, HG continued skipping naps, only wanting to be held, and only sleeping in our arms.

Sunday night she was up until 1am, screaming.  This was our first experience with her acting like this.  Even as an infant, she always went to sleep easily.  She was also very congested and was coughing.  Next thought was that she was sick and/ or teething.  So we got all sorts of things to help with both of these.  I stopped feeding her solids after Sunday because of the congestion and I didn't want her to associate eating solids with feeling bad.
 We propped up her mattress to help with the congestion, and she slid down and rotated all the way to the side and slept with her head jammed against the bumper...we laughed a lot about this :)
Overall, I think our little girl is on the mend.  Today has been a much better day, even though last night she didn't go to sleep until about 9.  Maybe she is starting to finally have some opinions of her own, and she doesn't want to sleep and miss out on the fun.  Maybe she had a cold.  Maybe she is teething. Maybe it is a little combination of it all.  
I am continuing to learn that I am not in control.  I am not defined by whether my baby is on a perfect schedule, and always pleasant to be around.  My identity is only in Christ, and not in my parenting skills.  HG will always continue to grow and change, and each new thing feels so scary and unfamiliar to me.  I definitely had to slow down and just "be" this week with HG, and I treasure all the cuddles and snuggles that we were able to share as a result.   
After a 3 hour nap in her bunny a few days ago.  The only nap of the day, but it was a good one. 

How could you not want to cuddle these sweet cheeks all day long :)

Thanksgiving

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving!  We had a very cold Thanksgiving day here in Florida.  So cold, in fact, that we had our very first fire in our fireplace.  I love having a fireplace in our new house, and I am hoping it will meet all of our heating needs for the winter.  I have a sweet spot in my heart for this "give thanks" sign.  It was the first craft project I did once we moved into our new home.  With boxes unpacked, empty rooms, peeling linoleum flooring, and dusty dirty bathrooms, I needed to make this sign for our mantle.  It is so unsettling to move for me, and hanging this up on the fireplace made our new place, filled with projects and unfinished spaces, feel a little more like our home.  I am excited put this up year after year and remember this time of transition.  Not only a time of transition into our first home, but to living in a new county/state, into motherhood and parenthood together, into a new job as a full time stay at home mom, and a family in full time ministry.  Whew, we have had a lot of change.

Yes, our baby does have a knit hat on inside.  It was cold!
We spent the day with at the Jones family's home and some of their family and church staff.  Hattie-Grace loved her time with Miss Sara!

Here is a list of what we brought to dinner (click on everything except the rolls to see the recipe if you are interested):
- Marty's Grandmothers tea biscuit rolls
bacon braised green beans
- roasted carrots (these were a hit!)
- peanut butter pie
- spiced apple cake with brown sugar buttercream icing

The spiced apple cake and carrots are the new recipes I tried.  The carrots were a hit, so much so that we made them again for our life group last night.  The cake turned out well yet I don't think it will make it on the "make every Thanksgiving" list, like all the rest have.

I hope y'all enjoyed your Thanksgiving with family and/or friends.  We are so very blessed and thankful this year.  We have yet to make the official list of things the Lord has blessed us with this year, yet I know it is a long one!


Friday, November 29, 2013

24 weeks


Oh my sweet Hatley-Grace!

This week, HG has been moving and wiggling, twisting and turning like never before.  She still does not like to play on her tummy, but has rolled over onto her tummy to reach for toys this week...and quickly rolls right back :)  

She has been very social this week.  I had my small group over to make some Christmas presents, and HG loved hanging out with all the girls.  She loves being around other people, and hates to nap while she is around others and fears she will miss out on all the fun!

I'm just loving these pajamas that my Grandmother brought her.  They are from a clothing company called Hatley, and have their logo on the back.  Just like it was monogrammed just for her :)

HG is getting better at sitting up on her own.  She is loving her jumperoo and enjoys reaching for the hanging toys.  
We are in the midst of week 25, and oh boy HG's schedule has been crazy.  I'm not exactly sure what all the causes are, yet we are starting solids tomorrow morning to help correct some of these sleeping issues.  Pray for us please :)




Wednesday, November 20, 2013

23 Weeks


HG is giggling and talking lots right now.  She is all smiles when we dance, sing, or just say her name.  HG has discovered her bottom lip and enjoys sucking on it.  She has started saying the "m" sound all the time to "talk" to us, along with just babbling and cooing.  Everything is in her mouth, especially her hands. 
 HG is settling into a 3 1/2-4 hour routine pretty well now in the morning, and afternoon is still a mystery.  We have been at home without visitors this week and she is a napping queen.  Two long naps (about 2 hours each on a good day), and if its a good day, one short one in the late afternoon.
 I got this jumperoo off of Craigslist on Monday.  On Tuesday morning she played with it for the first time.  Her feet barely touch the ground, and she does quiet understand "jumping", but I can tell this is going to be a favorite pretty soon.  It is really nice to have while I'm cooking breakfast in the morning for some morning exercise for HG.
We had a cold day last week (highs in the low 70s), and here is HG in her "winter" clothes.  We had lots of snuggle time and good long naps since the sun wasn't shining too brightly into her room.  Have no fear, we are back in the 80s tomorrow, but it was fun to enjoy some slow cooker chili last week :)

I subbed for the first time this week, and Marty stayed home with HG.  It was only a 1/2 day position, so just 4 hours of separation, but it was fun for me to get back in the classroom with some preschoolers.  HG did fine with Daddy, yet did not take a bottle for him.  I guess I will only be subbing 1/2 days for a while.  

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

5 Months

Hatley-Grace has grown and developed so much this past month.  She is much more of a baby than an infant now, and though I loved the early baby stage, this age is so much fun! 

 I can see Hatley-Grace learning and taking in the world around her.  We just hung lots of decorations in her nursery, and she will notice them and smile and each new thing she discovers.  She gets a kick out of all the ceiling fans in our house, whether they are on or not, she will smile and giggle at them.  She is such a wiggler too!  While she is nursing, playing, or being held, she will wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, kick her legs and arch her back to look around.  She giggles when we give her kisses and bounce her up and down.  She is getting more comfortable on her tummy, and will roll from her tummy to her back.  At times she will still get stuck on her tummy, give up and cry out for help :) 

Hatley-Grace used to be my predictable, scheduled child...then something happened.  Maybe it was the move, or family visitors in and out throughout this month, or a feeding change, yet she is much more unpredictable during the day than the first 4 months.  She has continued to be a champ at sleeping through the night, which is most important to me :), yet her naps have fluctuated a ton.  Right now she usually wakes around 6:30/7, has about an 1 1/2-2 hour awake time then naps from about 9-10:30/11.  The she will nurse, and be awake until about 12/1 then nap for an hour or so, sometimes way more sometimes less.  She will nurse around 2 and then maybe catnap sometime in between 3-5 but does not want to nap in her crib.  Then she nurses around 5 and is awake until bedtime at 6:30/7.  From 5-7 she is tired, and is getting ready for bed, so we try to do bath time and read books and such until 6:30/7 when she nurses a little more and then goes to bed for the night.  This makes going out in the evenings more difficult for youth group night, small group night, and social outings.  
All tuckered out from a morning at church

She is loving bath time so much right now.  She kicks and splashes and plays with her VT cup.
This week, we started putting her in her high chair seat if she is awake at a meal time.  I'm trying to expose her to us eating, and table routines before starting solids.  She is so interested in what we are eating and drinking, will lick her lips and drool.  It is precious seeing her learn about eating at the table and explore sitting up in her chair.  


 HG is wearing a combination of 3m 3-6m and 6m month clothes.  Basically if it is not a bubble romper it needs to be bigger because of her cloth diaper.  Pajamas are 6-12m now.  We moved her to the medium length of Flips still on 4 snaps in.  Hairbows are still present and stay in much better.  Her headband that was huge at birth fits snuggly now :)  She has yet to discover how to pull the bow off, and hopefully we won't reach that point any time soon.  Her hair is much lighter now, and sometimes looks strawberry.  Her eyes have stayed blue this far, and many people say she is starting to favor Marty more, especially her expressions.
 
 Dear Hatley-Grace,

You are growing up so quickly.  Pretty soon you will be running around this crazy big house and I will have to try to keep up with you.  I loved the infant stage with you, but I love watching you grow and learn.  Your big smiles and giggles show me God's beautiful grace daily!


I love our "normal" days together at home, running errands together shopping for groceries or new house stuff.  You love being in the baby carrier facing out while we are shopping and looking around.  You always bat your eyes and smile at strangers in the store who gush over you.  People continue to comment on how you are such a content and happy baby.   
 I love being your Mama, and pray that you continue to grow big and strong.  This month you were baptized.  Your Daddy and I took vows to teach you about Jesus' great love for you, and to help you grow to understand his grace and mercy.  I feel like the past month you have taught me much more about God's love and grace than I could ever teach you.  God has used your little spirit to reveal His great power and love to my heart each day.

 God has blessed us so richly with you our sweet girl!  You are so very loved!

Mama


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Baptism Weekend/ 21 weeks


Our sweet Hattie-Grace was baptized this past Sunday.  My mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, and Marty's parents came to visit for the weekend to celebrate with us.  We had a full house to say the least, but it was neat to see our new home bursting with loved ones!  

I wish I took more pictures from the weekend, but it is hard with a 4 month old to remember pictures :)  We got her a new Rosalina smocked dress for the occasion, and she wore a cute monogrammed diaper cover from Lil' Sweeties Designs, thanks Cameron!  



HG was baptized by Ray Cortese, and didn't seem to mind being sprinkled or kissed on :)


It was a true blessing to stand next to our sweet friends while baptizing our daughters together.

We had a big lunch at our home after church with family and some church staff.  I served white chicken chili, and Ashley's chicken tortilla soup.  We also had ham biscuits with country ham all the way from Virginia, a veggie platter, Two Peas in a Pod's chocolate chip cookie bars and pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.  We kept drinks simple with sweet tea, green tea and La Croix waters.    



 It was so special to have my Grandmother here to celebrate with us!  HG is named in honor of my Grandmother and this was the first time they were able to meet.  My Grandmother is a woman of character and grace, and the older I become the more I treasure the many lessons I have learned from her.  Her kind hearted spirit has been an example to me of how to love others well and how to practice hospitality.  She is full of grace and southern charm.  My Grandmother worked so hard this weekend to help us settle into our new home, ironing and cooking up a storm all in her pearls!  We were blessed by her presence this weekend and I loved watching HG interact with her.  I hope for many more memories of the two of these Hatley women together :)


My dear sister came all the way from New York City to spend the weekend with us.  HG loves her Auntie B and tells me she is her most favorite Auntie ever!  
All our family was so helpful this weekend.  It was so nice to have so many hands to help with cooking, cleaning, and caring for HG.  

It is always bittersweet to have family visit, because it reminds us of how far away we are.  The most special part of the luncheon on Sunday was watching our family interact with our church family here.  We are so encouraged and supported as we raise HG in the Lord's love and grace by the family around us here in Citrus County.