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Friday, June 24, 2011

Elijah Neal {3 Months}

Dear Elijah,

Yesterday you turned 3 Months! It really seems like you have been with us longer than that though.  I can't imagine life without you now!

I wish that I could just box up that little smile and laugh of yours so that I will have it when you are big and grown and gone off on your own.  I have never seen a baby as easy to get to smile as you.  All we have to do is look at you and you grin from ear to ear. 

You do not take a pacifier but you discovered your thumb last week.  The only problem is that your thumb is so long that you gag yourself! Another dilemma that we encountered is your little ninja-self will not stay swaddled...And we are using the best of the best swaddles! You are just too strong for your own good.  You are also already trying to roll over.  And when we have you at a 45 degree position you push with your elbows and try to sit up.  This just isn't right.  You are suppose to be a little baby still. 

Your big brother is really starting to like you now.  He will come up to you out of the clear blue now and love on you.  I just know that y'all are going to be so close!

Eli, the one comment that everyone makes about you is that you have so many different facial expressions.  This is my favorite one:

You are still on your Eat/Activity/Sleep routine. We put you on this routine after I read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg.  This book was by far the most beneficial and accurate baby book that I have ever read.  Now that you are on this routine, you are so easy to predict.  There is no trying to guess why you are crying or whether you are hungry or sleepy or needing a change of scenery.  This is what your typical day looks like:

Nurse 7 am
Nap 8:15-9:15 am
Nurse 9:15 am
Nap 10:30-11:30 am
Nurse 11:30 am
Nap 1:00-2:15 pm
Nurse 2:15 pm
Nap 3:15-4:15 pm
Nurse 4:15 pm
Nap 5:30-6:30 pm
Nurse 6:30 pm
Bath Time 7:00 pm
Nurse 8:30 pm (nurse on both sides until you fall asleep)
Nurse 2 or 3 am
Nurse 5 am

*The actual times may vary a little bit from day to day but your routine stays the same.  For instance, your naps may be longer or shorter and you may go longer between feedings but you always nurse, play and nap in order.  The only thing that throws your routine off is when you have your growth spurts and tend to eat more and sleep less.

I snapped the pics below this past week in your Gammy and Bobpa's yard.  You are so very precious. I love you so much baby boy!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Almost two?

Bug Bug,

I cannot believe that you will be two years old in just two months. Two years? Really? That doesn't even seem right.  It seems like just yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital to our tiny, one-bedroom apartment in Webster, Texas.  It seems like you have become a little boy over-night.  I didn't realize that you weren't a baby anymore until we brought Eli home. All of a sudden everything about you seemed older.  It makes me sad and happy at the same time. 

You are like a ball of energy on the verge of exploding all day long.  You keep me and daddy on our toes for sure! Yesterday, you grabbed the Cheetos out of the pantry and threw them at my head while I was still in the bed.  It was only 7 a.m.  If only everyone in the house could wake up in the morning ready to go like you!

Josiah, you have brought so much joy to our lives.  Your smile is contagious and your laugh is hysterical...especially when you get really worked up. I seriously cannot imagine life without you.  We love you baby boy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day {2011}

When it comes to dads, I'm going to brag a little bit and say that mine is the best! I don't even know where to begin when it comes to describing this man.  And I know that nothing I say will do him justice, but I'll try anyway...My dad is.....well, he is just sweet! He is one of the meekest men I know. But don't try to hurt any of his loved ones or he will crush you! Seriously, he is a bear!

My dad has always been there for me...from highschool basketball games to the births of his grandsons.  My dad is a rock. He is firm and can carry the weight of the world on his shoulders without burdening those around him.

The greatest joy to me has been watching him be "Bobpa" to Josiah and Eli.  If ever there was a love between a grandfather and his grandson, that is what Bobpa and Josiah have.  If my dad is in the room then you better believe that he will have nothing to do with anyone besides his Bobpa. I'm sure it will be like this with Eli too.  So dad, if you are reading this, you might wanna get a bigger 4-wheeler! We love you.  Happy Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Momma said there'd be days like this...

You may read some of my blogs and say, "She just really has it all together." Though there are times when I feel like I have a good handle on things, there are just as many moments of doubting my abilities as a wife and mother. I can't tell you how many times I have felt the need to go into a sound-proof room and just scream. Being a mommy and a wife is not always easy. Neither is being in the ministry. Actually, it's hardly ever easy. I hope that I haven't given anyone that impression on my blog. The last thing I want to do is mislead anyone, especially young women who do not have a husband or children of their own yet. The truth is that this "ain't no walk in the park"! There will be days when the babies won't nap, you can't even go to the bathroom in privacy and you burn dinner. There will be days when you are pooped on, peed on and threw up on all in the span of 30 minutes. There will be days when your toddler gets into the fridge and throws raw eggs all over your house or stuffs blocks in your toilet. And if your husband is in the ministry, there will be days when he is gone all day and just when he sits down to enjoy the dinner that you spent all evening preparing, he gets called away on pastoral duties. And sometimes these duties aren't actually pastoral duties that have been outlined in scripture but rather duties that unspirtitual people in the church have deemed important. (I'm not even gonna touch that one with a ten foot pole right now...that's a blog for another time) Anyway, the point that I am trying to make is that being the woman that God has outlined in scripture for us to be is no piece of cake. In fact, apart from God, we as women fail miserably in this area. If I have had an especially bad day all I have to do is look back on it and see that the reason it was so bad was because I did not spend any time in prayer or in the Word. You see, the only way for us to succeed in this area is to immerse ourselves in God's teachings and apply His truths to our lives. For it is only then that we will have have this super-natural ability from above to exercise love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Take this for instance: Josiah stuffing his blocks in the toilet or his toys in the fireplace....normally, it's not what he has done that makes it a bad day.  It is how I react.  If I react patiently and with self-control then it is easier to look back on his actions and laugh about them. And by not reacting out of anger and frustration, I have in turn protected the rest of my day from being horrible because one outburst of emotion usually leads to another and another and another.  Plus, I have taught my child the right way to respond.

If you are reading this and you do not have children yet, I hope that the truth is not discouraging you from becoming a mother.  Yes, children are incredibly needy.  Yes, they are messy.  Yes, they destroy things (especially little boys). Yes, it can be so very frustrating.  But having children is a beautiful gift from God. Just think about it: the Lord has given you the opportunity to raise up and lead your children to Christ. I can think of no higher calling than to make disciples for Him. 

And for all the frustrating moments that occur, sweet moments like these definitely make it all worth it: