Sunday, May 31, 2015

Brennan: Seven Months

May 2, 2015

  • You are still wearing 6-9 month clothing.
  • At your 6 month doctor's appointment, you weighed 18 lbs. and 5 ounces. This is only 8 ounces less than Emerson weighed at her 6 month appointment, which amazes me. The similarities between the development of you two is fascinating.
  • Your hair is getting blonder and blonder, and noticeably longer, too! 
  • You are finally sleeping in your own bed at nighttime! You're ready for bed between 7:30-8:00 p.m., and after nursing in the chair in your room, you fall asleep quite quickly in your bed. You wake up to eat late in the evening and then after that meal, you're back to sleep for a few hours. 
  • Napping in your crib in getting much easier, too. You never sleep for hours on end, but you're more willing to be placed in your crib for snoozes during the day. You still have to be asleep first, though. 
  • You've been taking baths with Emerson and you are both enjoying that time considerably! 
  • You are so strong! From lifting your chest to grabbing at sunglasses to holding onto've got some muscles!
  • Making forward motion is so close for you! You are scooting all over the place, and can usually get where you want to go, sooner or later. 
  • You are primarily self-feeding yourself, as you aren't particularly interested in taking food from a spoon. More fun to do it yourself, it seems! I'd forgotten how messy this stage is...and goodness, it really is. Avocados and bananas are by far your favorite foods...probably in large part due to your ability to eat them without help.
  • Your vocalizing has increased, too. Lots of shrieks and loud squeals to get in on the conversation, and it seems you have a new sound to master daily.
  • You "cluck" with your tongue often! It's hard to say if you like the way that it feels or sounds, or both, but you click and cluck often and are pleased when we notice!
  • We put your infant bathtub in the tub so you could share bath time with Emerson, which you both seem delighted in. She enjoys playing with you, and you're happy to have more water to splash. You love any chance to feel like a big girl!
  • You seem so very aware of everything going on around you. You are watchful and very "present", interacting and participating in your world! Now that you can move a bit more, you are truly content to sit and play and move in your space, and it's nice to have you enjoying your time just "being" with us.
  • You have two bottom teeth! They both surfaced simultaneously, with fairly little disturbance to your usual patterns. You drooled a bit more and seemed a bit fussy for a couple of days...but otherwise, you handled it like a champ. And, you look quite adorable with them there.
  • We are taking lots of afternoon walks through the neighborhood, and you and Emerson are both quite happy to be in the double-stroller together. You enjoy relaxing as we walk, and seem to enjoy being outside. We play on the blanket in the backyard, too, and it's fun to see you begin to move around and explore the yard around you.
  • You are really trying to get Royal's attention on a regular basis. I'm sorry to say that he usually doesn't give you much attention in return, but you are fascinated in him and so enjoy when he does let you pet him or tug on his fur.
  • You notice when Daddy comes home and greet him with a smile when he walks in the door at the end of the day. It's special welcome that makes us all smile right back.

Each day with you is a gift; YOU are a gift. 
I hope you always find such joy in learning about your world, delighting in the fun around you.
You certainly do make our lives full of wonder & happiness, 
and I'm overwhelmed by my ever-growing love for you.
You are so very treasured, precious Brennan.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Brennan: Six Months

April 2, 2015

  • You are wearing 6-9 month clothing.
  • You seem to be quite ready for food! It's obvious that you're watching while we eat, curiously eyeing what's on our plates. The general consensus among the family is that you'll eat solid food readily! We shall see! Daddy is out of town this week, but when he gets home, we'll give you that first taste.
  • You are having more awake time during the day. Which could be due to your sleeping so well at nighttime...on account of our togetherness. You and Mommy have been sleeping together on the couch at nighttime for weeks.... It makes nursing when you awaken so very easy, and it lets Daddy get a solid night of sleep. We definitely have some sleep-training work ahead of us, but between Mommy's sleep needs and knowing that any hard crying will wake up your big sister, there's just not been a lot of motivation to make it happen. But, it's been a long pattern of overnighting on the couch together and it has to stop sometime. 
  • You are rolling over quite easily, and it's so much fun to see you move! You spin in circles on the ground, positioning yourself to see what's going on around you. There's no sitting still for you!
  • You are beginning to lift your chest off of the ground, and even starting to pull up a knee occasionally. You are bound and determined to keep up with the action around here, and seem to be so ready to be able to move!
  • You sit with confidence, and have begun to rock forward when you're willing to do whatever it takes to have forward motion!
  • When you are unhappy (and it is becoming quite clear when you are!), you have a seriously high-pitched shriek. It certainly gets our attention...which is most definitely your intention. 
  • You have a rash all over your tummy and neck, likely eczema. It doesn't seem to bother you, though it does look so dry. Interestingly, it showed up at just the same time that Emerson's did when she was your age.
  • You are certainly recognizing (and not recognizing) people these days. You smile when Daddy comes home from work, and often greet Grandpa and Grandma with a knowing look, too. Likewise, you know when Mommy is close by or not, and typically show your displeasure when we're apart. (And if I'm being totally honest, I don't mind that a bit.)
  • You have been quite anti-church nursery, however, and that's been a bit of a challenge. We'll figure it out, though. Rocking you in the cry room and bouncing in the church hallways has been a joy; we're worshipping together.
  • You don't have any teeth yet, but I'm watching for them. Could be anytime!
  • Watching Royal around the house is one of your favorite activities. He makes you smile!
  • Your babbles have noticeably increased, and it feels more and more as though you're really trying to "talk" with us. You want to be heard! (And we are so happy to listen!)
  • You reach for toys that you're interested in, and easily pass them back and forth between your hands. You do love to play!
Brennan, I delight in you, and I'm in awe as I watch you discover & embrace your world. 
You are such a joy, and I'm thankful you're mine.
Six months have gone by so quickly.... 
Happy half-birthday, little one. 
I love you more than words can say.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Worth Repeating / 03



"I want to have a new baby!!"


Mommy: "Is Royal a horse?"

Emerson: "No, he not a horse. ... He's a donkey. ... Now he's a dog."

(After attending a baby shower)
"There's a baby in my tummy. See my belly button? That's the baby. It will get bigger, and grow. ... First me have to be married."


"And Gawwww-dddd is 'da Lowwww-errrrrd."

"Goli-aff wanted to hurt God's people."


(Just waking up in bed)

"I love my mommy and my daddy."

(After Mommy and Daddy helped Emerson sit up in bed)

"Thank you, Mommy and Daddy. You're a great team. You're on the same team."


Emerson: "What's that on your face?"

Mommy: "Lotion. It helps my skin."
Emerson: "Holy moly."


(Emerson settling into our bed at 4:11 a.m.)

"Turn dat way so I don't feel your face breathing."

Emerson: "I smile at those pictures."
Mommy: "When I look at pictures of you, it makes me smile, too!"
Emerson: "Aww. That's sweet of you."

(Saying goodnight to Brennan)
Mommy: "Merry first Christmas!"
Emerson: "Happy New Year, Brennan."

Emerson: "Do you have that...little...bracelet I gave you?"
Mommy: "Always. It's my favorite gift. That was so special."
Emerson: (Smiling) "Okay."


Emerson: "Mommy! Daddy!"

Mommy: "Yes, Emerson?"
Emerson: "...What did you say, Mommy?"

"Daddy, I love you. And I love playing with you! But right now, I have to play with my rock collection."



(Brennan distracted from her nursing by Emerson)

"I don't think she wants to eat. I think she wants to look at me."


Mommy: "Do you hear Brennan? She was happy when you were in there with her and now she wonders 'where did my big sister go?'"
Emerson: "I'm coming, Brennan!"

"I love you, Mommy. Even when I like you. That will never change."

(Banging on window to scare squirrels)
Emerson: "They're not leaving. Hmmm. Why are they not cooperating? Why they not obeyin'? Maybe they just want to keep eating."


Mommy: "Look, Brennan, we're doing the potty dance!"

Emerson: "Brennan say, 'I don't know about this!'"


Mommy: "Emerson, hand me the napkin so we can wipe your face."

(Hands Mommy napkin; Mommy wipes Brennan's face.)
Emerson: "My face, or Brennan's face...?"


Emerson: "He meant hot chocolate, right?"

Mommy: "Yes, did Daddy say cocoa?"
Emerson: "Yes. Hot chocolate is hot cocoa. Cocoa IS chocolate!"


"Somebody colored in this book. Maybe a boy, or a girl, or Emeteh did...."


(Fishing for alphabet letters in the bathtub)

"What a fun day to catch fish.... I wish I was a real fisherman."


(Taking care of doll)

Emerson: "Say, 'can I hold your baby?'"
Mommy: "Can I hold your baby?"
Emerson: "No. She's crying, and I'm da mommy."

(Swiffering kitchen floor)
"Look mama, I'm cleaning this. Say, 'oh I'm so glad you're cleaning that'.'"


"I just woke up this morning and I said to myself 'hmm, maybe I can help'."

"Mommy, this is not a big problem, it's just a lil pob-lem."


Mommy: "It's going to get cold again."

Emerson: "Oh yeah? Why do you tell me...?"


Emerson: "When I'm bigger, I'll ride a bussss."

Mommy: "And where will the bus take you?"
Emerson: "To, a, a gool. And I will ask my fwenns, 'can I draw wiff you?' And day will say 'hmm, maybe you can draw wiff us!' And then we will go to the nuseum, and then I will come home, when I need to come home."


"Daddy, she doesn't need to be roughed up! Gentle, daddy. She's just a baby! Have to be fragile. She might break!"



Emerson: "You make a good supper mommy!"

Mommy: "Thanks, baby girl. I love making food for you."
Emerson: "You're a cooker!"


Mommy: "Did you get Jell-O?"

Emerson: "Yeah because you couldn't hear me!"


Mommy: "You tinkled in the potty? And you pulled your pants up? What a big girl!"

Emerson: "I didn't wipe, mommy. I didn't wipe. I just wiped on my dress."


"The ice was hitting the window last night and that was beary scary. But now, it turned to snow! That isn't scary!"

(Looking out the window at the snow that fell overnight)
"Ooh! Let's go out there!"
"Can we go out now?"
"I just want to get dressed for the day."
"Awww. Can I go out there??"


(6:48 a.m.) "Mommy, can I go outside?" 

(Playing in the snowy yard)
Mommy: "Are you alright?"
Emerson: "No! I'm not alright."
Mommy: "Why are you not alright?"
Emerson: "Because I'm cold!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


A forgotten post, drafted last fall...but a pertinent personal reminder, always.

The family excursion to Lowe's had not gone well. I had needed a Saturday be out of the house for a feel productive. 

And, the errand did--not--go--well. Despite our best parenting efforts...the children won. 

I came home tired and grumpy...silent, but visibly frustrated by our discouraging and very non-productive experience out of the house with two small children. I walked from room to room, picking up this & that and tidying here & there. I saw messes that I had no idea when I'd be able to address. My annoyance with the clutter and with the day grew.

I bent down to pick up a few stray alphabet refrigerator magnets, that I knew had been lying on the kitchen floor for days. 

I'd better get these, I thought. No one else will. 
Does anyone else even see the mess? What's the point? Why do I bother? 

My attitude was poor; my spirit was weary.

"Thank you, Mommy."

What did she just say? Surely she can't have noticed. There's no way she's thanking me for this.

"Thank you for what, Emerson?"

"Thank you, for picking up my magnets off the floor.... You're having a rough day, huh?"

She noticed. My efforts, my mood.... Oh, wow. ... Wow.

And then, the tears began. She had seen, and genuinely affirmed me in the most precious way.

By her comment, through the innocent eyes of a child, the Lord was speaking.

I see you. I notice. And your work matters. 

I heard Him. 

I realized that it most certainly did matter. That my work is noticed and appreciated and valued, even when it doesn't feel that way. And that, as much as I value serving my family, I am ultimately working for the Lord.

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,   24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. 
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3: 23-24

My attitude changed. I stopped tidying. I tearfully went to her & hugged her & held her. Tightly. 

"I love you, Emerson."

"I love you more, Mommy."

"Not possible, Little One.... Not possible."

Monday, April 20, 2015

All In

There are days when stay-at-home-motherhood just 'clicks'; I'm engaged in our activities and have the energy and enthusiasm to make it fun. I'm "all in". Last Thursday was one of those days.

(It is worth noting that these days are often directly-related to my having had a solid night of sleep...or close enough to one...and there being a decent amount of sunshine. Go figure!)

On Thursday, the girls and I went to the zoo, and it was so wonderful to get out of the house just for fun. Not running errands with any sense of purpose, not even meeting friends for a play date. Those are good things; outings that I crave and so enjoy. But, the times that the girls and I go out "just for fun", just for us, are rare. Although they will, no doubt, increase as the days become warmer and it gets increasingly easier to be out and about with Brennan. I hope that's the case!

But, on that day, I got to just be with my daughters.
Really be with them.
Focusing on them.
Enjoying them.

The three of us are together a lot. But, there are distractions at home...things to do, things to think about: the load loads of laundry needing to be done, the photos I should be editing, what dinner prep I can do during lunchtime, even wondering where I last placed my coffee cup, because goodness knows I'm going to need to finish that off.... There is a monotony to being here daily, and as unbelievably wonderful as it is to stay home with my children day in and day out, there's a danger in taking this privilege for granted. I realized again last week that, for being with the girls so much, I'm not always intentional about being fully-present with them and focused on my time with Emerson and Brennan.

I want to be.

And, they deserve for me to be. 

Motherhood is a calling. It certainly is mine, and I've never questioned if I'm making the right choice to stay home with my girls. But, some days are long & hard and feel every bit like the very real work that it is. But, then there are days like Thursday, that remind me just how much I can delight in this job of mine...just how much I should...and just how precious it is when I truly do.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brennan: Five Months

March 2, 2015

  • You are wearing 6 month clothes...though these days are numbered. You're a growing girl!
  • You are rolling over quite easily these days, though never front to back. From your back, you can roll over to your tummy with no trouble, but then you decide that you're "stuck" and get frustrated quickly by your inability to turn over again.
  • The frequency of your eating has definitely declined. You nurse a few times each day, but you're usually able to stretch to a few hours at a time between feedings, and you're definitely not spitting-up as much as you were.
  • You seem to need a late-afternoon snooze to get you through the evening. After that 30-45 minute nap around 4:00 p.m., you're usually able to make it through the activity of the evening until bedtime prep begins around 7:30 p.m.
  • You've begun noticing toys, really playing with a few favorites these days. Sophie the Giraffe is  one of those favorites, and you enjoy the little stuffed tiger, too, and sucking on his nose.
  • The "Jenny Jump-Up" has been a lot of fun for you! You so enjoy being upright, and really move around quite a bit! We've all noticed that it seems that you get more enjoyment out of it than Emerson did. You really get going!
  • You've started to notice Royal walking around, and have made a few attempts at grabbing his tail. You certainly watch him closely when he's in the vicinity.
  • You're starting to seem to need Mommy to be close-by. Often, if I walk away, you'll fuss. Interestingly enough, though, if Emerson is close-by, having her around satisfies you, too. She's a comfort for you, that big sister of yours! 
  • Your hair is definitely continuing to lighten. It appears you'll be another blonde beauty. 
  • You've begun trying to sit on your own a few times. You enjoy the effort, and only need minimal assistance to keep you from falling backwards.
  • I think you look like Daddy, and see the resemblance multiple times a day. I'm curious to see how that resemblance changes (grows? weakens?) over time.
  • You are babbling nonstop, enjoying the new sounds of your own voice. You want to talk just like the rest of us do! 
  • Chewing on Mommy's chin and nose is a precious habit of yours that I just love. It's as though you're giving kisses, showing affection as you are able. Other times it seems that you're trying to tell me that you're hungry...either way, it's cute.
  • Your eyes seem so bright these days...lit with such happiness and joy at the world and the people around you!
  • You are definitely watching us eat our food lately, showing interest in this "food" we all enjoy so much. You are getting so close to eating it yourself! 
  • Emerson can make you belly laugh like no one else can. It's the most precious sound, and truly, no one else makes you laugh so hard. You both get such pleasure out of playing together. She loves to make you laugh, and is so anxious to play with you in other ways. 
  • You're looking longer lately...probably a growth spurt!

Brennan, you are the perfect fit for our family...
and we love that you are a part of it.
It brings me such joy to be your mommy. And, I just love watching you grow. 
What will you do next?!
I love you, precious.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brennan: Four Months

February 2, 2015

  • You are wearing 6-9 month clothes. I remember Emerson being in so many of these outfits, which is such fun! 
  • Disposable diapers at nighttime continues to work well for you, with cloth diapers during the day. Unless I'm running behind on laundry, and then it's disposables during the day, too. These things happen.
  • At your four month (+ 2 days) doctor's appointment, you weighed 15 lbs, 9 oz. and were 2' 2" long. You are a healthy baby, growing right on track. When Dr. J walked into the room, he said "well, I've seen that face before!" Clearly, there is a fair amount of resemblance between you and your big sister! You got four shots again this time, but calmed remarkably quickly as soon as I picked you up afterwards. I love being able to comfort you. No fussiness or fever post-vaccines, either!
  • You continue to sleep through the night well, though you've woken up early a couple of times lately, at 5:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. You are usually able to nurse and go back to sleep on those occasions, but it's enough to throw us off. I still nurse you to sleep on the couch at bedtime, though have learned the hard way that, no matter deeply asleep you may appear, you wake up almost immediately when placed in your crib...if done so before 10:00 p.m. For whatever reason, you're not ready to be in your crib until 10:00 p.m. or later, so we stay up until (at least) then.
  • You love being with and around Emerson. You so obviously look for her in the room, and regularly perk up with a smile when she comes close. She makes you giggle more than anything else. I love watching your relationship develop, and I love that you're already friends. 
  • You are recognizing people these days. Daddy usually gets a big smile when you see him in the morning or after work, and you know Grandma and Grandpa, too. 
  • When I look over your crib in the morning, you are so happy to see me. You have fresh eyes and a wide smile that makes my heart burst. You are ready to enjoy the day, and I get to help you experience it. What a gift.
  • You have begun to find toys next to you on the mat, or reach over to grab one on the changing pad. It takes such effort to close your fist around one, and slowly bring it to your mouth. But, you're doing it!
  • Your favorite "toy" at this point, though, is our fingers. You love to gnaw on our knuckles, and will "chew" for as long as we'll allow it. It must provide some relief on potentially tender gums. Emerson got her first tooth just before turning five months, so we're on the lookout for teething symptoms from you, too. Other than the gnawing and slobbering, nothing yet. 
  • Laying down to nap in your crib is becoming a more regular thing. You still nurse to sleep, but are more willing to be placed in your crib afterward, where you'll sleep for anywhere from five minutes to thirty or so...usually dependent on the amount of noise and activity going on in the rest of the house. 
  • You so enjoy time on the changing table, and you really move your arms and legs constantly when you're up there. You "talk" and squirm and it seems like it's your "happy place".
  • You seem to really want to sit up, straining to lean forward when leaning back on a pillow or up against me. You're not quite there yet, but certainly gaining strength and confidence. You know that's the next step!
  • There is a definite ease to your time with Daddy. You enjoy being together and you are comfortable and trusting in his arms. 
  • There is a lot of "cooing" and blowing bubbles going on! You want to communicate and are certainly exploring ways to do that. I love hearing you!
  • You have the cutest bashful smile, especially for Daddy. You see him, smile, and then shyly turn away and nuzzle back toward Mommy. It's precious.
  • You seem quite easygoing, and relatively low-key. You want to be a part of things, and you let us know when you're discontent...usually when you aren't as much a part of things as you'd like to be. But, otherwise, you're happy to watch the action and just be around it all.
  • You giggle when Mommy nibbles and kisses on your neck. It's become "our thing" and your smiles and happy laugh make me feel so loved right back.
  • You have a somewhat high-shrieked voice when you're trying to get our attention...lots of cute little squeals!
  • You're really enjoying bath time lately, turning towards the mirror and smiling at yourself. I'd say being able to sit up a bit better in the tub has impacted that. You are patient as you're washed, quite tolerant of water dribbling in your face, and happy for the change of activity. But, when you're're done. All of a sudden, for whatever reason, you begin to fuss, and the fun is over. 
  • Finding your toes has been a fun source of entertainment recently, and you seem so proud of yourself. You quickly lift them to your mouth on the changing pad when your diaper is removed, and we have lots of "diaper-free" time on the floor so you can continue to explore. 

Brennan, you make all of us smile...and smile...and smile. 
Watching you grow is nothing short of incredible.
I'm grateful for the gift of you, precious. 
I love you with all of my ever-growing heart.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Eleven Days

One week ago today, Bobby and I watched two of our best friends bury their eleven-day old son.

I am taken aback just writing that sentence. This is all so entirely surreal.

Eleven days.

Eleven days to hold him in their arms. Eleven days to memorize every one of his tiny fearfully and wonderfully made. Eleven days to sing lullabies, read Bible stories and whisper his name. Eleven days of fervent prayers, petitioning the Father to heal their son.

For nine months, they prepared and anticipated, full of excitement and joy. The pregnancy was as normal as could be. There was no reason to expect that the birth wouldn't be, too. For nine months, they waited as their baby boy was knit together.

And then, in a matter of a few short moments, their world was shattered as things went very, very wrong.

The story is theirs to tell; the sorrow is ours to share.

Eleven days.

I am heartbroken with and for them. I am angry. This isn't how it's supposed to work. This isn't what should have happened. They are enduring what no one should have to...certainly not them.

It is beyond comprehension, and although it is not for us to understand, the questions persist. The devastation continues.

This traumatic experience causes me to consider how I might handle the situation if it were me facing it. I can say with near certainty that I would not be responding as well as they seem to be. I am in awe of the faithfulness and trust in the Lord that these two are displaying. They are the epitome of grace, embodying what Christians are called to do in the face of trial. I am overwhelmed by the evidence of God's work in and through them throughout this experience.

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. 
Blessed be the name of the Lord."
Job 1:21

The journey, though, is just beginning. The reality of the grief is only now setting in.

Bobby and I pray for the Lord's perfect peace and continued presence in their lives, and for His guidance and wisdom as we seek to discern how to be the kind of friends they need in the coming months and years.

I struggle to know how to end this post. For a situation where there are really no words, anyway.... It seems appropriate, though, to conclude with a verse that I know our friends have found comfort in as they navigate their grief.

May we all hold to this truth so confidently, faithfully clinging to His assurances.

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 
and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts 
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Romans 5:3-5

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Brennan: Three Months

January 2, 2015

  • You are wearing 6 month clothes almost exclusively, with the exception of a few 0-3 month outfits that I wasn't ready to give up. We could've used some of the smaller ones a little longer, as they weren't fitting terribly, but we have so many of the larger sizes from Emerson (and the bigger size does fit more comfortably), that it seemed as though we might as well go ahead and get them out. It was harder than I expected to pack the 0-3 month clothes away, though, and I already hope that we get to use them again...someday.
  • You are wearing primarily cloth diapers during the day, and disposables at nighttime. That habit started somewhat by accident, and although I didn't plan to use disposables at night, it's worked out that way. And, since I somewhat suspect that that's contributing to your incredible nighttime sleeping habits, I'm not going to test the theory by changing it up. I've been more lenient with the disposable diaper usage this time around, realizing that it doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" thing. It's quite freeing, actually!
  • Your naps don't follow any particular pattern, really. You fall asleep in my arms when you feel like it, then sleep for a little while after being placed on the couch (or wake-up practically immediately if placed in your crib), and you never sleep for terribly long because there's just too much going on around here.
  • You are losing some of your hair, which I've noticed only because of the little circle of dark hair in your crib, where your head lays each night, and the little bare patch at the back of your head. (Little things like that bring back such memories of Emerson's baby days. There are many similarities between you sisters!) Your hair is getting blonder, too, which I notice especially after you're freshly-bathed.
  • You are beginning to really delight in bath time, though it never lasts for long. You abruptly get sad just before we're almost done. Whether you know it's almost over and are disappointed or start to get cold, I'm not quite sure, but it is a rather sad way to end an otherwise pleasant and relaxing time. Daddy usually helps Emerson take her bath while you and I watch from the counter, unless she's helping with your bath, that is.
  • You are really interacting with us, and so enjoy being talked to. You know you're part of the family, and love to be a part of what we're doing.
  • You're starting to verbalize, exploring what sounds you can make, and "cooing" here and there.
  • You are sleeping all night long. Let me repeat that for emphasis. You are sleeping all night long. After our bedtime routine with Emerson, you come to the couch with Mommy and Daddy, and nurse yourself to sleep, around 8:30 p.m. After you're good and asleep, which usually happens around 10:00 p.m., Mommy puts you in your crib, and you sleep soundly until 7:30 a.m. or so. Amazing. I can only attribute this to a) wearing a Pampers disposable, b) your inability to get any particularly long stretches of sleep during the day due to the busyness around the house, c) being highly stimulated during the day from the aforementioned busyness, or d) a combination of some or all of the above. It doesn't matter, really. I'm just so grateful and quite impressed. Keep it up, little one!
  • We never did use the swaddle with you at nighttime. Since you were sleeping with me, it wasn't necessary. You've used the sleep sack ever since you've slept in your crib, and you seem perfectly comfortable with it.
  • You continue to nurse well, though sometimes it seems you're annoyed to eat. It does slow you down from watching the surrounding action, that's true. You don't eat quite so often anymore, though you do seem to still prefer the snacking approach.
  • Your tummy time strength is clearly improving. You seem to enjoy that change of perspective, too.
  • Sucking on your hands is one of your latest tricks, and you slobber all over them...a new toy!
  • You have such patience being left in a room, just laying on your back while Mommy does other things. You enjoy your big sister's company, and are remarkably content for relatively long stretches of time just to lay around. I do appreciate that!
  • When you cry, we know it's something serious, because it's only when you're good and mad that you do cry. You'll whimper and fuss only briefly when you're "complaining", but only if something's truly making you mad do you cry hard. You're generally just quite easy-going and content to be with us, studying all the action around you.

Brennan, you are a delight. 
There is so much to discover about you; watching you grow each day 
is such a sweet reminder for me about how quickly life goes by. 
I cherish this time with you, and I hope you will always know how deeply loved you are.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Till You Feel Better

January has been winning. Yesterday was hard. Two little ones, both ready for a change of scenery, tired of being stuck indoors, in need of fresh air. (Plus, their mommy...also in need of fresh air.) Because there are so many germs prevalent lately, we are under a self-imposed quarantine. Besides that, it's rarely worth the effort it takes to get us all out and about, especially in the cold, with no where we really have to go. It's just not worth it.

But, for the good health we've thus far enjoyed this winter, there's a mental health price to pay. And, pay it we are. (Yes, our solitude is largely of our own doing. In some ways, I have only myself to blame. Noted.)

Yesterday, though, as we began to color on the windows with markers...again...I decided to turn on the 'Sound of Music' soundtrack on Spotify, and introduce Brennan to "My Favorite Things"...because if Julie Andrews can't lift my spirits, what could?! We moved from "Edelweiss" to "That Thing You Do" (I know, I know....) and then from there it was a short leap to an album of James Brown's greatest hits.

And then we couldn't help but get moving! Emerson chased me around the sectional in the living room as we moved and grooved and I showed her my best dance moves (which are, not surprisingly, quite entertaining even to a toddler).

Not much feels blog-worthy in the middle of this long winter, with uneventful days that all look very much the same. But, I want to remember yesterday, if for no other reason than to have a reminder that in the midst of a bad mood, I am likely just a soundtrack and a dance party away from a swift attitude adjustment.

So, as James Brown says, "get up offa that thing", and you know, "dance till you feel better".

I did.
And, I do.

(And then, Bobby came home with sushi. And, my best friend sent an encouraging text that made me cry. And I was again reminded of just how great I have it...even on the dreariest of January days.)