Saturday, January 24, 2015

Gil at 4 Months

Baby Gil is 4 months old!

And this post is late.  But, the pictures were taken the 15th, only 1 day late...not too shabby for a sleep deprived mom.

Gil is still a little guy.  He weighs 13 lbs, 12.5 oz (15%).  His height is 25 1/2 inches (64%).  And his head is 40.1 cm (10%).  So a little guy.  He's actually dropped so much that I will be bringing him in for another weight check at 5 months.  

I know this is his month update, but here's a little side note to talk about that.  I have no idea what to do!    I am making tons of milk--he just doesn't want to nurse.  I'll offer him a bottle instead, but he's not interested.  He is really easily distracted, and he will drink just enough to sate his hunger.  Anyone else had a baby like that?

Alright, back to the update.  He wears 3 to 6 month clothes still, although some are almost too short.  He is definitely going to outgrow clothes length wise before weight wise.  He is in size two diapers.

Sleep...what is that?  Seriously, this 4 month sleep regression is no joke!  He has nights where he wakes up every hour from 1 or 2 until 5 or 6.  He's not hungry (I tried nursing at first).  He just wakes up fussing.  Starting last night, I am feeding him every three hours and just letting him fuss himself back to sleep the other hours.  But let me just tell you, I am exhausted!  Something has got to give and SOON!  

We are also fully into cry it out mode.  We did cry it out with Jack, but he barely cried.  It was so easy that I don't think it should even count!  But Gil isn't messing around.  And if you hate cry it out, I don't want to hear it.  Unless you want to live at my house and be my free personal nanny.  And let me nap all of the time.  Then you can do whatever you want.

But, in spite of his sleep and weight issues, Gil is one sweet little guy.  He is such a cuddle bunny and he loves to people watch.  He gives the sweetest little smiles and laughs! 

He has started playing with toys which is fun.  He is already a big fan of his Sophie the giraffe.  He loves to play on his playmat.  He's not a fan of tummy time.  He has rolled over just once, but I keep hoping he'll do it again.  But I do think we are close to sitting up!

Likes: people watching, being held, playing with toys, baths

Dislikes: eating, sleeping

Happy 4 months, sweet Baby Gil!  We love you!

Friday, January 23, 2015

5 on Friday

O     N     E

I finally updated my blog!  Now you can tell that we have 2 kids...poor Gil was getting the shaft.

I made the header and the about me using picmonkey and tutorials from Through Clouded Glass.  It's super easy to do!

T     W     O

I blogged last week about the 4 month sleep regression.  

Well we have been in hardcore sleep training around here.  I was totally slow on actually working with Gil on this.  It was just easier to rock him to sleep.  But we have been doing lots of cry it out and it's working!  He is learning how to self soothe and put himself to sleep (and back to sleep).  Last night I fed him three times (I'm not going to work on cutting that out anytime soon because he is little and does his best nursing at night) and then went in one other time to check on him because he was crying.  I patted his head and let him cry a little more and he was asleep in a couple of minutes!

Of course, the first couple nights were not that easy, but I really do think he is getting there!  And I feel like a different person once I got a little more sleep (imagine what a full night will feel like!).

I read some chapters from this book, and they really helped.  

T     H     R     E     E

An update on Weight Watchers.  After the second weeks weigh in, I had lost a total of 4 1/2 pounds.  Not bad!

These are my current favorite dessert.  They are tiny little ice creams that are 2 points each...perfect!

I am also still loving all of the new recipes from my SkinnyTaste cookbook.

F     O     U     R

We got some snow this week!  It snowed a little earlier this week and then off and on all day Wednesday.  

Which means outside looks like this!  Beautiful, right?

I just checked out the weather app, and it looks like we are due for some more snow this weekend.  Jack absolutely loves playing in the snow (and Bech is a sweet daddy who plays with him!).  I think we will have a fun weekend, with lots of playing outside and hot cocoa inside!

F     I     V     E

I finally started reading Bread and Wine and it is every bit as amazing as I thought it would be.  It's been on my kindle for a while (my family shares an account), but I didn't read it.  It just seemed like the sort of book I would want to own and hold in my hands.  And I was completely right.

I am sure I will end up writing a whole post on my love for this book, but for now, just know that it is such a good book.  I am loving every page of it (and I can't wait to try some of the recipes!).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A post in which I am somewhat serious...

...because I usually am not.

Bech and I spent a LOT of time in the car over Christmas break, driving back and forth to Jackson and Brookhaven, with a short trip up to Tupelo and Oxford.  That is always nice because we get lots of quality conversation in.  Plus a few fights.  We have always done our best fighting in the car.

Anyway, we started talking and dreaming about creating a manifesto of sorts for our little family.  Something, I guess, that would remind us and point us in the direction we want to go.

We had a coffee date the other morning after we dropped Jack off at school and we started talking about what we wanted to put in our "manifesto."  And we immediately were reminded of one of the struggles we have with food.

See, we both have gotten to where we feel (varying levels of) conviction about the food we buy--is it organic?  How was the meat raised?  Etc.  But we also have seen the negative of living with those standards.  We have seen friends and acquaintances refuse to eat food at someone's house because of their convictions.  And we don't want to be so bound up in an ideal that community falls to the wayside.

I am a legalist by nature.  Laws aren't hard for me; it's grace that is.  If we made a hard and fast list of "rules" for our family, I would probably flourish (for a while) under them.  But, it would become a god for me.  And Bech would hate them.  And we couldn't make laws to deal with every situation, like the food one.

While I was puzzling over this conundrum, I thought about the constitution.  I'm not one of those die hard America fans.  I mean, I love my country, don't get me wrong.  But at the end of the day, I am a part of Christ's kingdom.  And Christ most definitely did not come to redeem America.

But those founding farmers were very wise in their planning.  The Constitution is a broad and living document.  And it's up to the three branches to determine what the aims of the Constitution are and how those aims should determine new laws.

I realised that that is what Bech and I need--a constitution!  Something that deals with the heart of the matter and then we can go from there.  For example, it should somehow include our love for community and relationships as well as our desire to be good stewards.  That way, I'm not rudely turning down your hot dogs (actually, that's not going to happen because I secretly LOVE hot dogs) because, "Our family doesn't eat processed meat, thankyouverymuch."  But when you eat at our house, we can serve you some grass fed beef (or more likely, a vegetarian meal because we are cheap like that).

So that's where we are in the process.  We are going to start working on a constitution of sorts for the Evans, defining what is important to us.

If you read through all of my above convoluted thoughts, well done.  Do any of y'all have a similar goal in your families?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five on Friday

It feels good to be back to (or least trying to be back to!) regularly blogging!  And of course, my favorite post is this one, in which I get to put five randoms together and call it a post!

O     N     E

I know I've talked on here about how hard it has been to get Gil to take a bottle.  Right before we left in December, we were starting to get some success with the Tommee Tippee bottles.  But then Gil got sick and he went back to no bottles.

I had to leave Gil with a babysitter while we were down South (for a rehearsal dinner and a wedding).  So I was desperate to find a bottle he would take!  My dad and I went to Babies R Us one night and found this bottle:

This is the Munchkin Latch bottle.

Y'all.  This bottle is amazing!  I don't know why I really haven't read much about it (maybe it's new?).   But it is a great bottle.  Gil loves it.  If you are struggling with getting your baby to take a bottle, try this one out.  I think you can only buy it in a two pack on Amazon, but Babies R Us sells it individually.

T     W     O

I don't know if I've ever talked about this before, but I love Weight Watchers.  I used it after we got back from Malawi (to lose some of my "I just got married and now I can eat whatever I want" weight). Then I used it when Jack was 8 or 9 months old to lose the rest of the baby weight.  

I am back on it again.  I love WW because it has flexibility.  I can chose to use all of my points on candy (and then be starving the rest of the day!).  Or I can find lots of filling, low point foods.  And I get extra points each week, so I can still go out and get drinks with friends or splurge on a Starbucks drink.

Anyway, this is not meant to be an ad for WW, but just letting y'all know I am doing it again.  I figure this will give me some accountability!  I did great the first week and lost 3 pounds.  I know every week won't be that great, but it's a good start!

T     H     R     E     E

One thing that is helping with my diet is my new cookbook:

I've been reading the Skinnytaste blog for a couple of years now and I've made several of her recipes before.  They have all been really good.

This cookbook is amazing!  I've made about 10 recipes from this cookbook in the last two weeks, and every single one of them was a hit!  I love that the book has a really wide range.  It includes breakfast, soups, sides, sandwiches, desserts, appetizers, meat dishes, and vegetarian dishes.  Also, there is a good range of skill levels.  I made a carrot farrotto which was a little more time intensive.  And then I made some sandwiches which were pretty basic and easy.

I also love that these recipes don't seem like your typical low calorie recipes.  She makes these meals really filling by packing in lots of veggies and lots of herbs and spices. Seriously, everyone should get this cookbook!

Another good way to see Skinnytaste recipes is to follow her on pinterest.  I've been doing that for about a year now, and it makes finding new recipes super easy!

F     O     U     R

Are there any Flavia de Luce fans out there?

Flavia is a character written by Alan Bradley.  She's an 11 year old girl who lives in the English countryside in the early 1950's.  She is a brilliant chemist and she solves mysteries.  And she is hilarious!

I love to read mysteries but I really struggle to find new mysteries to read.  My favorite mystery writer is  Agatha Christie.  She's brilliant, and her books are pretty clean--no gore, no sex, very minimal language.  But most current day mysteries are full of things I have no desire to read about.  Alan Bradley's books are really clean and really clever.

Anyway, the reason I say all of that is that there is a new Flavia book out this month!  I did a two month Audible trial ($1 each month!) so I am going to use my Audible credit to get this book.  If you are looking for a new series to get into, I would suggest the Flavia books!

F     I     V     E

This little guy (isn't he cute?) is going through a major sleep regression.

Ohmylanta!  Wednesday night, he was up EVERY HOUR.  Last night he actually did pretty well (yay for a 5 1/2 hour stretch!), but I am a little worried it's only because he got shots yesterday.  

Plus, he's super sensitive to caffeine, so I can't even get a Diet Dr. Pepper to help me through the day!

He better be thankful that he's so cute.  That's all I have to say

Monday, January 12, 2015

Christmas 2014 and Gil's First Trip to Mississippi!

AKA, a post in which I put up a million pictures...

Well we are back from down South.  

Actually, we have been back for a week and a half now, but we have been unpacking, playing with new toys, and dealing with a baby sleep regression.  So I am just now getting around to posting these pictures and blogging about Christmas!

This is Jackie boy in the State College airport.  Can you tell that this little boy is so excited to go home to Mississippi?

Our flight was overbooked (as were all of the flights out of State College for that week!), so we almost got bumped.  They were going to taxi us to Harrisburg (1 1/2 away) early the next morning.  Um, do you want to spend 1 1/2 in a taxi with my kids at 3 a.m.?  Yeah, me neither!  Also, we were going to be the ones getting bumped because we were "the family"--how does that make sense?

Thankfully, they were able to squeeze us onto the flight.  Jack was a champ.  He played and watched movies during the first flight and fell asleep on the second!

And this little guy did pretty well too!  I am really thankful...I was worried he would cry both flights!

We had a busy two weeks in Mississippi.  Since we were missing a couple of days of school, we needed to do some educational trips.  We took Jack to the planetarium, the Ag museum, and the Mississippi Children's Museum.

The Ag museum was fun, but it was cold and rainy the day we went.  I would love to go back when he gets a little older, because I always loved the Ag museum growing up.

Also, his firefighter outfit is completely unintentional!  (The Ag museum just had a big fire a couple of months ago!)

Ansley has some better pics from the Children's museum, but I snapped this one.  If you live in Mississippi and have never been here, you NEED to go!  I love this museum!  It is so fun and there are so many different activities for kids to do.  I have been to tons of children's museums, and this one is definitely at the top of my list!

We also took a whirlwind trip to Oxford for a family friend's wedding with Bech's family.  Here is Jack's first picture with Faulker.  Yes, he is smoking his pipe.  I did not encourage that.  I blame Bech!

Gil got to meet some more of his Aunts and Uncles.  Here is my sister Ansley getting some snuggles in with Gilly boy.

Jack had the best time in Mississippi.  He had adoring fans every day and lots of different toys to play with.  He found his old Santa outfit (he wore it when he was 6 months old) and wouldn't take it off that whole day!

Finally, we are to Christmas morning.  Here is Gil, getting snuggles from Aunt ME.

We have kind of a crazy and busy Christmas schedule.  We eat dinner and go to church in Brookhaven with my family.  We hop in the car and head to Jackson.  We hang out a little with Bech's family then head to bed.  We do Christmas morning, presents, and brunch with Bech's family, then head back down to Brookhaven around 1.  Then we do presents with my family and finish it all up with Christmas dinner.  Busy but worth it!

Jack definitely figure out the whole opening presents this year.
And he was a big of any sort of dress up present.  He loves his new knight outfit!

Jack at Christmas brunch!

I love this picture.  In typical Braden fashion, Jack has on (mid opening) new clothes and is holding a new toy.  Also, he didn't take that hat/mask off for days!
Gil got some Bella snuggles.

Katy and Dave (my sister and brother-in-law) have luckily worked there schedule out so that it is similar to ours.

Jack LOVES the book Corduroy.  Bech and I were so excited to find a Corduroy bear at Square Books Jr. in Oxford.  Jack loves his new little bear!

My mom's beautiful dining room table.

This picture cracked me up.  Bech and his brothers loved Where's Waldo books growing up.  Bech's grandmother, Inger, gave Jack his first Waldo book when he was 2 and Jack now loves them too!  Bech bought Jack a new Waldo book for Christmas...but it looks like Bech and Josh are enjoying it even more!  Notice that Jack is not sitting anywhere near...

We ended up the holidays with some football watching...ouch!  This was not a good ending to Mississippi football!  But at least I have the cutest little fans.

This guy makes me laugh each and every day.

We spent New Year's Eve with my family, but only made it to 8:30 before we opened the champagne and started getting ready for bed!  

We flew home the next afternoon.  Again, the boys did a great job on the flights!  I am hoping to fly home alone with both of them sometime this spring, so I am glad this trip was a success.

We had a wonderful trip, but we are glad to be back in Pennsylvania.  Jack is back at school, and Bech starts his last semester of grad school today!