Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Daniel Quarterly

Daniel is growing up into such a wonderful little man. He is very observant and is learning so much- from letters and numbers and colors and animals, to correct speech patterns, to sharing and cooperating with others. He is pretty normal for a 2.5-year-old and has his tantrums and doesn't always remember to use his words, but he is learning to calm down when he gets upset. From other 2yo fits I've witnessed, I think he is still a very mild 2yo. He is such a sweet and loving boy and everyone says he's the best snuggler. At church and PWOC we is usually being held by someone and he just loves people. He is an instigater in our family and will sometimes purposefully play in ways to annoy his brother, but that comes with the territory of "little brother" and also having an older brother who is very, very particular. He is such a happy little boy and he makes my heart swell. He loves his big brother and he loves his baby brother and I am so thankful he is my middle mister.

*10/13 first haircut from someone other than Mumma ever! I went to a lady's, Michele, house who was recommended to me by a PWOC friend. She has her own little hair studio set up in her house. Daniel did so much better than I expected! He wiggled some and he would put his hands up under the drape to try to pull his hair while she was cutting, but he didn't scream or cry like he does with me. It's a little shorter than I have ever gone and I love the sides, but I think I will keep it longer in the front.
*he always ends up next to me in bed. I usually don't even remember him joining me. I'll wake up to feed the baby and he's snuggled against me. Sometimes he just crawl in on his own quietly, but I found out that about 1/3 the time Matt brings him in when Daniel is crying.
*10/15 we had our family photo shoot with Hayley Stell. Daniel was doing fine and we were walking through some tall grass to the next location. A couple grasshoppers and other bugs were jumping around and he would try to hide behind me if one startled him. Then suddenly he screamed, ran away, and was crying about a "scary monster bite me!" He ran to Matt who was walking with Jackson a little bit behind us. Matt carried him and it took a couple minutes for Daniel to stop crying. When he did stop crying he didn't want to be put down and he ran to Hayley and said "hup!" and just gave her big hugs when she picked him up. He did give us a couple more good shots thankfully.
*going through a major Word Party phase. It is a Jim Henson cartoon only for Netflix. There's only one short season and we've watched lathe episodes multiple times. He likes the animals (panda, cheetah, wallaby, and elephant) and sings and dances with them.
*very afraid of the wind and crunchy leaves. Every time a gust hits him he screams, cries, runs to the door shaking, and won't stop until we let him inside. Then he refuses to come back inside. When there's a leaf in his path he will stand in his tip toes and whine until we pick him up. He won't even walk around the lead if we're holding hands!
*when it's time for bed Daniel will say "Mumma hup", which is normally what he says when he wants me to hold him (up), but he means he wants me to lie down next to him. Specifically without the baby. If the baby starts crying in the other room Daniel will tighten his arms around me and say "no baby Chase. Mumma hup".

*Halloween created a little monster! He constantly is asking for candy. His favorites are "suckers... shock-lit (chocolate)... and smarties." We make him wait until after lunch and dinner or for a special treat if we need to do something (like clip his nails). 
*he'll often say things and end it with "k?" in an adorable little voice. He is such a great communicator.
*loves "sticky sticky bubblegum" song
*knows all about spankings now. I can threaten him with a spanking and it stops his misbehavior. If he does something naughty he runs away and says "no spanking!" We try to only spank when he does something dangerous or is being disrespectful and use time out when he does other naughty things. 
*11/26 first self prayer "dear Jesus. Thank you for this day. Thank you for brothers, Jackson, daddy, dory, and Mumma. Mumma. In Jesus name, amen." 
*Daddy has been praying with Jackson at bedtime and when they're done he comes over to kiss Daniel goodnight. Daniel hides against me and then says "no kissing!" One night Daddy started to just leave the room after praying with Jackson and Daniel's head popped up immediately like "what about me!" And when daddy came over he hid, said no kissing, and wipes his cheek, but was so happy.
*Daniel used to watch "gee gah" but now he calls it "pee pad". His little speech is developing.

*we've been having a bit of a rough stretch. Daniel is very hot and cold with little in between. He fusses, whines, and cries much more often than he used to. He constantly wants to be held but also tells us to "go away now". He is definitely growing in independence, so that is good, but the autonomous streak comes with some disrespectful behavior. We're working on teaching him to be respectful and to have self control when he gets frustrated or angry. BUT when he is happy he is just the cutest, sweetest thing! He loves being snuggled and he is so playful and imaginative.
*Daniel loves candy. He asks for candy constantly. We're at Grammy and Papa's for Christmas and there's candy everywhere and he is becoming a little monster! Throwing fits for candy and stealing candy. We're going to rid our house of candy when we get home to try to break him of his bad habit. 
*12/24 so patient for opening presents! He loved getting his pile of presents at the Bonnell Christmas but he sat there with some on his lap waiting to be told he could open them. He was very independent with opening them and didn't want any help "no! Daniel do it!"
*one of my favorite Daniel-isms is "Daniel do it too well" instead of "as well". He mixes "too" and "as well" and it is just adorable.
*1/1 at dinner we said we were going to pray and Daniel started praying on his own. I think he said "thank you for this food amen", but he said it quickly so I didn't catch it. But we told him it was a very nice prayer.
*1/3 started potty training! Daniel has been going on the potty for almost a year, but I wasn't pushing underwear or going full time. Now that Chase is playing more I can follow Daniel and try to catch accidents before there's too big of a mess. Here's hoping he catches on quickly! We're trying going naked on bottom today with the promise of a gummy bear if he goes on the potty. I set a phone alarm so we go regularly to sit on the potty.
*Daniel screams loudly when he plays. We remind him not to scream often. He ran by me screaming as Jackson chased him. He sat next to me and I told him not to scream. He got a very sheepish look on his face, held his hands in his lap, shrugged his shoulders, and said matter-of-factly "it scared me." He looked SO cute! I wish I could have that moment on tape so I could remember it.

Chase Month 5

Again, playing catch up here. It was so much fun getting to introduce Chase to most of his aunts, uncles, and cousins (except Uncle Josh) on the Iveson and Bonnell sides. He is the only baby so he got plenty of attention from all of his family.

18 weeks
*12/2 sat in high chair for the first time! Loved sitting up and watching all of us eat.
*taking longer naps on his own. I put him in his rock n play or on the bed squished between pillows. Definitely nice having the extra time instead of being stuck under him. He is still super snuggly so I don't feel like I'm missing out.
*12/5 started sucking his thumb consistently. He had been taking a paci but hasn't been able to figure out how to put it in his mouth recently. 
*12/6 sat in stroller (pockit) for PWOC. He liked sitting and watching everyone until he got startled by loud singing. Then he wanted to be held.

19 weeks
*12/14 first time with a babysitter! Mumma and Daddy had a military ball to go to so we left Chase in the capable hands of Janae Nibbelink (from PWOC). Since Chase doesn't take a bottle we were a little nervous he would freak out, but she was prepared for him to cry a lot. They did great together! He did cry, but he would fall asleep. When we got back home it had been about 4.5 hours apart and he was so happy to see Mumma! He smiled at me and was just so happy to be held by me before he even thought about eating. His face wasn't splotchy and red, so I knew he hadn't completely freaked out. Hopefully we can continue to leave him with sitters for date nights in the future.
*gets chatty in the evening. Says a lot of "goo" "blarg" and "ahhh" sounds. Still loves blowing raspberries too.

20 weeks
*12/19 first road trip to MI! The car ride lasted 9.5 hours and Chase is a champ, just like his brothers! He cried a couple times but would calm himself down and fall asleep. He ate when we stopped for lunch and then we stopped once more a couple hours later for potty breaks and for him to eat again. Otherwise he was happy in his car seat or sleeping! What a major blessing since that drive isn't all that enjoyable and if he had been crying the entire way it would have made us less likely to come back soon.
*Chase just loves people and I am so thankful for that. He has no problem being held by others except when he wants to eat. He smiles at everyone and is a very social baby. 
*12/20 met Aunt CC, Ethan, Calvin, and Uncle Mark 
*12/21 met the Bonnell side of the family at the Big Bonnell Christmas party. Did so well letting anyone hold him and was so smiley at everyone.

21 weeks
*12/22 finally likes being lightly tossed in the air! He would giggle and giggle with the slightest toss!
*12/24 reached out purposefully and grabbed a teether toy from me! 
*12/24 met Aunt Rebecca 
*Had a great first Christmas. He didn't really notice the opening part of the presents, but he got so many fun new toys for the coming months as he gets more interested in toys. 

Chase Month 4

I'm majorly backtracking because the blogger app hasn't been updated to keep up with the current iPhone IOS. So every time I try to write a blog it closes the app out when I start to type. Kinda annoying. Time to update your app, google! 

Anyways, here are Chase's weekly facts.

13 Weeks
*his startle reflex is calming down. He doesn't throw his arms up and stiffen his back much anymore.
*so so close to laughing! He's given me a couple single chuckles with big grins, but not belly laughs yet.
*loves skinnamirink a dink a dink and the motions.
* still hates bottles! Tried to send one to church but he got real mad when they tried to give it him.

14 Weeks
*he gets very upset if he sees me and then I go out of his line of vision. He has a very screechy cry when this happens.

15 Weeks
*11/14 first bath with big brother (Daniel). At first he loved looking at his brother and was smiling. Then I had to scootch him up on his bath mat and he felt unbalanced and cried the rest of bath time.
*his cheeks get chapped if he's outside in the wind. It doesn't seem to bother him but it takes a couple days of lotion around the clock to bring down the red, dryness. 
*drool monster! Drools all over his shirts and his shoulder straps on the car seat. He wants to nurse all the time too, so maybe early teething. 
*loves the mirror on the swing at church. He'll look straight up and stare at himself while swinging back and forth.

16 Weeks
*doing so well sitting in the bumbo. Likes watching me and his brothers moving around him. 
*mixing 0-3 and 3-6 month clothes. He's definitely growing! Some of his 0-3 month onesies are too short now.
*has such a strong grip. He'll hold onto my shirts or hair with a vengeance when I'm holding him on my hip.
*also, can support his own back and neck while he sits on my hip.
*tries to "blow blueberries" back at me. He makes a sound similar but can't figure out blowing his lips. He smacks his lips when I do it too. 
*11/24 Chase stayed in tummy time long enough to roll over onto his back! Since he's been so close to rolling from back to front I knew he could roll from front to back, but this is the first time he officially did it.

17 Weeks
*11/25 he did it! He rolled over from his back to his tummy! He was real mad that I wasn't holding him and got even more mad when he rolled over and was suddenly in tummy time, but he did it!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Poison Ivy

My terrible, horrible poison ivy experience. 

We are renting our house because as a military family we move every three or so years. The yards were in a horrible state when we moved in and we have mowed and raked leaves each year, but haven't done any landscaping because that stuff is expensive! But the front yard was getting embarrassing with the overgrown trees. So I went out and clipped a lot of the saplings and tore up the weeds. I came inside and my legs other slightly and I wondered if maybe I had come in contact with poison ivy. I showered and didn't itch much so didn't worry. 

Day 2-8: more rash appeared on my left leg, right leg, and left arm. It was very itchy but wasn't splotchy at all so I thought it may be chigger bites. I used Lavendar and tea tree essential oils for the itch and to keep it clean. I bought camomile spray to help the itching. Blisters appeared on the largest bumps and I determined it was poison ivy and not chiggers.
Day 9-10: left leg swelled on my calf and knee. I walked with a limp and had constant pain. I read swelling is normal for poison ivy so I still didn't worry. I iced the swollen areas and tried to keep my leg elevated. Blisters began to weep and I did not try to open them. I wore bandaids to catch the fluid and to keep myself from scratching.
Day 11: leg is so swollen I could not straighten it without significant pain. The blisters had grown and a large portion of my left leg was pink and warm to the touch. I went to the walk-in clinic and the NP immediately said it's really bad. I got a steroid shot at the office and she prescribed a steroid pack for 6 days, an anti-histamine for 7 days, an anti-biotic for 10 days, and a steroid cream. She thought it may have been wise for me to go to the ER for IV meds, but as I have an 8-week-old baby we held off on that so I could continue to breastfeed. I checked multiple online medical and lactation webpages to ensure all the meds I was using were safe while breastfeeding. That evening the pain in my leg lessened but I couldn't see much difference.

Day 12: the swelling lessened minimally but the pink area darkened. Blisters had grown. I spent most of the day with the leg elevated and iced. The ice helped with the pain, swelling, and itching. I also used aloe Vera gel on the leg in addition to the steroid cream. My left arm spots had grown and become very itchy. More minor spots appeared on the backs on my knees.
Day 13: swelling went down significantly, but not back to normal size. Left leg now had large dark purple area with several large blisters inside. The skin between the blisters was very bumpy and rough. It did not hurt to touch and the leg was not sensitive. Blisters became very full of fluid again. New spots appeared on my right leg. Spots appeared on both feet and right foot was swollen and very itchy. I drew a line around the purple area to ensure it was not growing. I sent pictures to my dad and the worries were sepsis or cellulitis, but I did not have a fever or dizziness. 

Day 14: left arm was more inflamed, but did not itch as much as before. Left leg was back to normal size, color appeared to have lessened slightly to a dark red. Red area had not grown, but I scratched around the area and that increased pink patches around the red area. I began to use regular lotion on my legs and arm to heal the cracked, dry skin to help with the itch.
Day 15: red area had lightened in color slightly. The lower blisters on the left leg had almost entirely dried up and were scabbing over. The top blisters were about half dried up. The skin between the blisters was much more smooth as the rough bumps were going away. I think the regular lotion worked so much better than aloe to keep the skin hydrated. Left arm had pink splotches around all the bumps, but the bumps were scabbed over. The right leg had some red splotches around the most minor spots I had from the beginning. This area is very itchy still. 

Day 17: last day of steroid pill and anti-histamine pills. Entire left leg was still redder than right leg, but wasn't as bright. Scabs on left leg started to fall off- one blister on left knee still had a little fluid. Spots on both legs that appeared after 14 days were more red, but small- like a bug bite. Left arm was just dry, red skin with no blisters or scabs. Hardly any itch, but some 2-3x a day on ankles or feet or the backs of thighs.
Day 20: all the scabs had fallen off. Skin is still red and rough. 

Day 29 (below picture): skin felt super smooth but still looks discolored. The last scabbed areas to heal were extra dry. Hoping that the dark spots will lighten before next summer, but I may have scars. 

Around Day 42: mild rash appeared on legs and arm where previously affected. I know there was no re-contamination, but the rashes were itchy. There was no swelling or new blisters. Reading online, this happens often in severe reactions, but Dr.s say there cannot be new breakouts without touching the plant oil again. 

Day 57: all new rash has healed. Skin feel super smooth where the blisters had been. The skin that was not directly affected is very dry and lotion doesn't seem to help much. There are still dark patches of skin where the poison ivy was, but it appears to be slowly lightening. 

This has been the most annoying and uncomfortable physical malady of mine to date. It was scary when my leg was so swollen and it has looked terrible. I am so thankful it is over and I never want to touch poison ivy again! A little boy in my Cubbies class had poison ivy and I just started itching even though he couldn't spread it to me. 

I hope I remember what if looks like and how to treat it quickly if I do come I contact with the oil. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Chase 3 Months

It has already been a quarter of a year with baby Chase! I partly feel like I'm still getting used to having three kids around, but I also feel like everyday is very normal again. Even though it has been a year since we decided we wanted to have another biological child, it still seems like it all happened so fast! We decided to have another biological child one night when the previous night we had planned to wait to adopt. Then we got pregnant within two months without putting too much thought of effort into the process. Then the pregnancy was so smooth with very little symptoms so if didn't really seem like I was pregnant. Then Chase was born on a day that just felt weird since I went to a Dr. appt and just never went back home. It all happened so quickly and I don't know if my brain has even fully realized that I have three children. 

Chase is gaining so much more personality and interacting so much more with our entire family. He notices his brothers and smiles at them. He calms down when Daddy holds him a lot more than he used too. He is going longer between feedings too, so it helps that he isn't always hungry when he's crying. He recognizes my voice even when he can't see me and tries to find me. He is so so strong and has always been able to lift his head up. He is gaining core strength to hold himself up when I'm holding him upright. We put him in the bumbo for a little while and he did well for s few minutes before he just slumped. He is trying so hard to roll over from back to front, but he usually gets so worked up that he can't make the final turn of the roll. 

I never imagined having three boys. I never imagined loving three boys so much! But Chase has stolen my heart every bit as much as his brothers before him. I am so excited to watch him grow up since I know how great the other stages are! But for now, I am enjoying his baby-ness.

9 Weeks
*first round of shots 9/29. Extra fussy and spit up/pooped often- not necessarily more than normal, but the spit up was thicker.
*starting to wake up in the morning and after naps and want to play and not eat right away. On the mornings will go longer between feeding (2ish hours) but in the evenings he'll eat every hour, but smaller portions at a time.
*hates tummy time, but doesn't mind lying on his back on his playmat.

10 Weeks
*10/6 was sitting against Daddy's knees and Daddy was tickling his tummy. Normally he doesn't like tickles, but he smiled real big and let our one lone chuckle! It was adorable! We tried to get him to do it again but he just gave us big smiles.
*been very drooly this week. We've noticed little teeth mounds since he was born so have been expecting him to teeth early.
*loves to sit up against Mumma's knees. I began to clap his hands with mine (like patty cake) and he got the biggest grin I've seen yet! I kept doing it and he kept smiling!
*10/10-10/13 has his first cold. Has a lot of green gunk coming out of his eyes and is super stuffed up. I boogie bulbed him several times, which he hated, but afterwards when he could breath through his nose he was all smiles! He also had some thick drool and would spit up when he could cough. 

11 Weeks
*drenching his onesies in drool! 

12 Weeks
*10/24 was lying on Daddy's lap with his head against Daddy's belly (facing out) and rolled himself to the side and onto his tummy! All on his own with no help from Daddy.

His 13 week birthday was yesterday, so no notes for that week. But I wanted to  include the picture for records sake. I'll include it in his four month post as well. 

He keeps looking bigger and older! I love watching him learn, but I also just want to keep him small for awhile longer! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Filled With the Spirit

The Spirit has been kicking my behind lately! Putting so many convictions on my heart and thankfully the previous year has been one of softening my heart so I am open to adjusting myself and obeying His lead. I am beginning to realize that I am not longer "a youth" (1 Tim. 4:12), both physically and spiritually. I cannot use that as an excuse, but I should not have been anyways. God has been wanting to use me and I have been hindering that work. I do not know what great things could have happened in and around my life if I had been open to His calling, but I want to be done being spiritually lazy.

Having received salvation at a young age and then attending Christian based schools K-Master's program in addition to church, I have a personal history with Christ and a heritage as I am at least a 4th generation Christian on both sides of my family. I have decent head knowledge, but have been so lazy in application. I have begun to realize that I may know lots of Scripture, but my understanding is scewed. I have taken for granted my relationship with Christ since it is all I've ever really known since life prior to my conversion was preschool life. 

I have been convicted of my complacency. I have decided to follow the Spirit's proddings and hopefully learning how to better obey God. Some specifics I want to work on:

*Scripture memory. Both word-for-word passages with references, but also general ideas of certain passages so I can find them quickly without using the concordance. 

*Basic overview and key points of every book of the Bible. This will take some time, but I want to know the Word. I want to be able to teach it generally and answer basic questions. I want to know where to look for deeper questions. This will put me in the Word.

*Continual prayer life. Prayer first. Prayer in my actions. Prayer as my answer and not as my fall back. 

*Being comfortable evangelizing. This is basic. This is the gospel. This is my purpose. And I am horrible at it! While evangelism is a Spiritual Gift and it is certainly not mine, it should be something all Christians can do. I don't want to hesitate and I don't want to be confused with what to say or do. I want to be confident in my God and my faith and know what needs to be said and the truth that needs to be spoken. 

I want to be filled with the Spirit so that there is no other option but for it to overflow into every area of my life. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

As the Boys Grow Older

Jackson will be entering Kindergarten next fall! Kindergarten! "Real" school. The weight of which is no small matter to me. We will be moving in March and choosing a school from a distance is difficult. We have always planned to send our kids to private school if possible and with current social climates, that decision is even more concrete. Bur the price tag is hefty and determining our budget is proving to be a stressor. There is the tuition cost, the application fee, the annual fees, the uniform cost. Plus Daniel will probably be ready for preschool, so we need to decide if that would be an investment or if we should wait for Pre-K.

I was reading through the student handbook of our best option tonight. I find myself worrying if Jackson will be successful in Kindergarten- I mean, that's a whole day away from me and what if he gets lost on the way to lunch? Seriously, silly thoughts like that race through my head. But also, he is exceptionally intelligent but socially is still catching up. He plays a little differently than other kids and sometimes that means he has to play alone to be happy. What if he doesn't make friends? What if he feels lonely? What if he doesn't learn self-control? All of which is unfounded because he does make friends and is learning more and more how fun it is to play with kids even if it's not exactly how he wants to play. If he does start to feel lonely then we can work on developing friendships and he will always have his brothers. He has been improving in self-control so much this past half year and I know he will only continue to grow and mature. 

I keep telling myself that everyone I know has gone to Kindergarten and been just fine. I remember walking the attendance down the hall to the office in Kindergarten. It's not like Jackson is a baby, he just seems that way to me. The teachers are well aware of how old the Kindergarteners are and what they are and are not capable of. I need to trust them. 

So many decisions about school. It will only get harder as the boys get older and I feel so unprepared. I mean, I'm just a baby myself, right? Wait, I'm almost 30, you say? How is that possible? Thirty seems like a mature age. By 30 a person should have their act together and know what to do or not do. A 30-year-old should understand enough about the world to not have to worry about sending their kid off to school. Right? 

Life is confusing sometimes. And that's ok. It is a wonderful privilege to figure out this parenting thing and watch my boys grow and mature. 

But Kindergarten, really? How did that happen? How is he old enough? Sigh.