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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Months Fly By

At this point, if you don't follow me on social media, you may think I didn't survive my vacation with the kids at the beginning of the summer. It's been a while. 

The truth is that we had a great trip, and it truly built my confidence as a mom to two now. It's still hard to believe I have a baby some days. I'm so very blessed. 

This little baby will be 5 months old tomorrow. He is such a joy and bright spot in our family. It's hard to believe one so little could enhance our family so much. He is amazing. 

Not only did I survive that first vacation this summer, but we also ventured on two more over the summer. We spent 5 days away at my parents' house for a family camp out in July. Then we went away as a family for 9 days in August. All great trips, and I think it's much easier to travel with Jonah now while he's little & easy to tote. 

I've learned that we really don't need that much baby gear. Sure it's handy to have the swing, bouncy chair and Bumbo at home, but we can easily survive a week without it. Jonah sleeps great even away from home. He likes to be near me and we use baby carriers (maya sling, Moby wrap, mei tai) a lot. 

Now it's back to school time. Zachariah will be a 2nd grader on Tuesday. Jonah and I will be lost without him at home. He's truly a big help. Jonah thinks he's the greatest thing ever, as a younger brother should. 

Sorry for neglecting this blog. I'm actually contemplating starting a new one, basically combine my two. I think it may help me have a place that meets all my blog needs without feeling like I'm neglecting one or the other. For now I'm limited on time to blog, because I cracked my laptop screen and it is out for repair now. I don't know how long before I'll get it back. I'm very thankful for my smart phone, so I have at least some ways to stay connected. However blogging from a phone isn't as easy as you'd think. 

I will try to keep you all up to date. And when I do switch blogs, I'll be sure to get you the link. I hope that you've all had a great summer too!!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Traveling with a Newborn

Can I still call this little guy a newborn? He just turned 2 months old! He's still just the sweetest little thing. I had fun with an impromptu photoshoot with my boys and got a few decent images the other day. Even if I'm not shelling out money for a professional photographer, at least I have a few images to document their changes and cute faces.

I have blog in my head, and I just haven't gotten them all out yet. I'd like to keep better track of things that Jonah is doing, my feelings as a new mom *again*, the second child, this age gap, Jonah's stats and things that I will want to look back on, and about Zachariah too. Some days I miss blogging. Some days I think it's too much to keep up with one more thing. But how can I not share these pictures of my adorable little guys with my internet friends?!!

So on to the topic I really wanted to write about. I'm going to be traveling this weekend. By myself. With both boys. One of whom is a little baby. This little baby is not to keen of riding in the car. He's been known to cry just because he doesn't like it. However, I will say that he's getting better. After Matt & I went away for 2 days with him, he seems better. We were in and out of the car stopping different places a lot then. And he finally let the ride lull him to sleep. Since then he's been a bit better. Still he cried for the last 20 minutes of the trip up to my parents' house last weekend.

When he cries, there really is nothing that helps. Jiggle his seat? Nope. Talk to him in a soothing voice? Nope. Give him a pacifier (which he's still only so/so about)? Nope. Have his big brother hold his hand or touch his face? Nope. None of that helps. When he's really mad, even if you stop and get him out, you can't put him back in his seat or he'll just start crying again. So we do let him cry for a little bit. I don't think it's ever been more than 15-20 minutes, and he cries off and on during that time. But sometimes you just have to drive and pretend you don't hear it. I hate it, but what else can I do? I'm very thankful it's getting better.

Knowing all of that, I'm still taking the chance and driving a 5 hour trip alone with both boys.

My parents invited us to go on vacation with them. We have one planned ourselves for later in the summer, and Matt didn't want to take this week off work now. But it worked out that I could go if I wanted. At first I didn't want to do it alone. I knew I'd have to drive by myself. It's not the driving part that bugs me, just the crying baby that does. And how do I manage stops if one is crying & needs fed and the other has to go potty? Well, I've talked myself into it. It helps that Zachariah is big enough to use the restroom by himself. And he knows to stay near me when I tell him. Jonah will likely just want fed right away, and I can handle that too.

Since it's only a 5 hour drive, I'm hoping we won't need too many stops. We'll need to stop for lunch, so a fast food place will be easy enough to handle. I can take Zachariah to use the restroom them feed the baby while he's eating. And I'm hoping maybe one more break for Jonah will be all that's needed. But I'm not under any time constraints, so if it takes us 8 hours to get there so be it. I'm not going to worry about that. I will keep in touch with my family (who is taking a different route because of where they are starting from) along the way and Matt too.

I just want to have a great week with my family. And in a way, I think this little trip with just me and the boys will be a bonding experience. And if it's terrible, then I can have help on the way back since I'm going back to my parents' house for one night afterwards.

Wish me luck and a sleepy baby who will be content in the car. If you follow on Twitter, I'm sure I'll keep up there. (It might be entertaining. We'll see.)

Monday, May 6, 2013



So many people, while talking to me, will ask how Zachariah is adjusting to being a big brother. I usually say he's doing well. And well, he was. Then this week we starting having problems.

Zachariah has been a really great big brother. He loves to dote on Jonah. He likes to hold him and take care of him when he can. So far that only involves holding the baby and giving him a bottle. Bit he's happy to help. Zachariah really hasn't acted jealous at all. 

Then in the last week I started getting a bad attitude from Zachariah. It happens usually when Matt isn't around. It's talking back, disobeying, defiance and a general argumentiveness. 

After one particularly bad night, I lost my cool.  There was some yelling on my party, then throwing of toys (he was supposed to be picking up) on his. That bought him a go straight to bed card. Matt was tired of hearing of the bad behavior towards me, so he had a talk with Zachariah the next morning. He was banned to his room the next day after school other than dinner. He was only allowed to read on his bed or think about why he was in trouble. He did sincerely apologize to me when he came out for supper. And that seemed to put an end to the trouble. That and the threat for more things to be taken away if the bad behavior continues (like his field trip next week). 

For now I think we're past this. I knew a time would come when Zachariah tested me. I just don't put up with it. I sure hope he doesn't try it again. There are only 2 full weeks (after this) of school left. Trouble like that might make for a long summer. I'm thankful for Matt's support. And I know that Zachariah is a good kid. I just want to see that side of him only. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

That Was Fast

So after writing earlier this week about looking for a minivan, I didn't expect that we'd buy one so soon. I was still wishy-washy about wanting to purchase a new vehicle at that point. And that's why I hashed out all my thoughts on my blog.

Last night, this was delivered to my house:

Our friend had a great deal on it at his dealership. Plus he made us an even better deal. We already had a down payment and got a good trade-in for my old car. It fit a need that our family has and we are in a good place to afford it financially, so it was the right choice. I have no doubts.

Our new van is a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country Touring. It only had 56,000 miles on it. It's in really good shape, and we found out the back seats have never been used. In fact they've never seen daylight practically. This is a stow and go van, and the 70 year old previous (and only) owners kept the seats down all the time in the back. They had a scooter that was stored back there, so the back seats weren't used. There are a few minor dings and dents, but otherwise it's in great shape.

Most of us are happy and enjoying the extra space. As you can see in the picture, Zachariah was sad that we were getting a new vehicle. He was sad the car had to go and says he'll miss it. It was a good, old car, and I'll miss it too, but the van is so much more practical for us now.

One Month

Hard to believe, but my baby is one month old already. I'm sure I'll be saying this a lot...where did the time go?

At Jonah's check-up he weighed 8 lbs 11 oz and is 21 3/4 inches long. (That's an almost 2 pound gain in 3 1/2 weeks!) He's pretty much outgrown his newborn clothing at this point and fits nicely into some of the 0-3 month things.

He is cooing now when we talk to him. He follows us really well with his eyes. And he intentionally (at least I think it was intentional...sure seemed like it) smiled at me once this week. We haven't seen the smile since, but there are times when it seems close. I know he'll be grinning soon. He knows Mommy's voice for sure, and will watch for me when someone else is holding him, making sure I'm close by. He responds to Daddy and Zachariah as well.

Some of his favorite things: being held; sleeping with Mommy, looking at lights, staring out the windows, and eating.

He's a sweetheart and we love him very much!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Week 4

So, in the midst of the new car excitement, I didn't post the 4 week post that I wanted.

Jonah turned 4 weeks old. He went to a wedding with us and cried in the car all the way there and back. Fortunately it was at our church and not too far away. He got passed around a bit, and I can tell that's just not his thing. Some babies are content to sleep in anyone's warm arms, but not this little guy. He will stay awake and fight sleep (which he does) when too many people are handling him. He really just wants Mommy. In a way it works out for me, because I would just rather hold him most of the time anyway. When he starts getting fussy people  will pass him back. Plus I know he'll relax with me.

I feel like I'm hitting my stride with Jonah already. I know his hungry cry and when he's tired. I know that the moment he wakes up, he's going to fuss and scream and demand to be fed. While I can't figure out all his problems immediately (and sometimes he's just being fussy), I think we're getting used to each other.

Zachariah loves talking to Jonah and helping out or holding him when he can. It's really sweet. Jonah definately knows his brothers voice & while listen to him with wide eyes.

It's been fun having a little, snuggly baby in the house again. It already makes me want another one (not too soon, but definitely want to do this again).

Monday, April 22, 2013

Time for a Minivan

Well, it's already happened. We've had 3 weeks of 2 children, and we're already thinking about buying a minivan.

Actually we've been looking at them for a little while now. I learned to drive with a minivan, passed my driver's test with one, and that was my first "car" until I totaled it in an accident. I always liked having the space in a bigger vehicle. I also like being up higher off the road. And I knew that our next vehicle would be a minivan.

I'm currently driving a little Ford Focus wagon. I bought it used in it's model year. It only had 6,000 miles on it when we bought it. It's a 2002 and it has around 90,000 miles now. That's great for an eleven year old car. It's still in pretty good shape too. We've done little repairs to it over the years but no major issues. We have had to replace tires a little more frequently than we'd like due to an issue. We recently replaced front brakes and it will need new rear ones sometime relatively soon. Otherwise it's a pretty decent car, and it's served us well so far.

The biggest thing that has us looking is just for the space. My car is small...really small. I like the wagon, because there is a little more storage space in the back. But the inside of the car is cramped. It was tight with one car seat in the back, and now that we have two the whole back seat is packed. I don't think you could squeeze another person back there if you tried. Two car seats and it's completely full.

So, we've been keeping an eye out for a nice used minivan. One of my issues is paying for a vehicle that's newer than mine but has more mileage. So many of the minivans we've seen have high mileage on them.

We've had all our debts paid off for a while now. All we have is a portion of our mortgage. It's been great. The car has been paid off for years, then we paid off our truck a year after that. We haven't made a car payment in a long time. While we have been saving towards a newer vehicle, we don't have enough to pay for one outright yet. That would be the most ideal situation. However, we do have enough for a decent down payment  And we will be able to get a reasonable trade-in on my car in it's condition.

I have hesitated in looking for a new vehicle until recently. My biggest hesitation is needing a car loan. It's been so long since we've had one, I just don't like the idea of paying on one again. But we are in a good place to be able to do so, and we will probably even pay it off plenty early. We'll also continue to save for another vehicle while we're doing it, because Matt's truck is older and we want to be prepared if we're forced to replace that before we want to.

What has convinced me I'm ready for the minivan is Jonah. He's a little sweetie, but he can be a but fussy at times. First of all it's tough getting a baby seat in and out of my tiny car. Then there's the fact of the tight space in mine. But last weekend we dealt with Jonah crying on the way to and from a wedding we went to. He just was not happy in the car. I could not turn around to help him, and even though Zachariah tried he couldn't make it better. If we had a minivan, we could put Zachariah in the back and I could sit in the middle with Jonah when he's like that. (Thankfully that's the only time he's cried in the car like that. He's normally really good for us in the car.)

I can definitely see myself enjoying a minivan. So we've been looking at different ones for sale in the area. And yesterday we talked to a good friend, who works at a used car dealership. He actually has a nice minivan on their lot right now. It's a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country. It has plenty of the extras that I would want. And the best thing is it has low mileage at just over 50,000 miles. The price might be just right for us too. We've been crunching numbers and checking on insurance first to make sure this won't make our budget too tight. And if all that works out (probably will) we will go check it out.

I don't know why I get so nervous about big purchases like this. (We're smart about our money, and it should work out just fine.) Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Week 3

I can't believe that Jonah is already 3 weeks old. It has gone fast already. And in the same way, I can't imagine our family without him. He just fits already. Funny how that happens.

Jonah was a little fussy last week. We're still not sure if there is something bothering him, or that's just how he is. I think he's just fussier than Zachariah was, but it doesn't bother me much. I've figured out how to help him most of the time. Part of it, we realized, was that he wasn't getting enough to eat. I was giving him a small amount of formula and was afraid to give more, because I wanted him to still nurse and get enough there. Well, he does still nurse at each feeding, but it doesn't take long for him to get the little that I have. Then he's still hungry, and being hungry makes him MAD. So I started giving him more formula after nursing each time. That seems to be helping a lot.

We had a busy weekend with outings. My grandfather was in the hospital ICU for almost two months. Then they moved him to a step-down facility. When he first went in we didn't know if he'd live a few days, but he made it well past that. He never wanted to be put in a nursing home, so my grandma's goal was to bring him home. Last week, they did just that. Grandpa Max came home. We figured he would need hospice care and it would only be a matter of time before he passes. So we decided to pack up the kids and head up to visit him. I hadn't seen him since a few days after he was first admitted in Toledo Hospital. Zachariah was not able to see him at all then since he was in ICU. I wanted Zachariah to have one last chance to see him. We were so surprised when we got to their house that Grandpa was talking, knew who we were, picking on us, and he'd requested lunch before we got there. (He hasn't eaten in those few months he's been sick.) It was great for Zachariah to talk to him, and we got to introduce Jonah to his only great-grandfather. Grandpa got a kick out of seeing our new guy, and he always loves visiting with Zachariah. (He seems to be the favored great-grandchild with him.)

Fortunately Jonah rides well in the car. He slept all the way up to our family and all the way back. While we were there it was a different story. My mom & sister were holding him at their house. But when we went to my grandparents' he was tired of being passed around, I think. My grandma did get to hold him for a bit, and 2 of my aunts stopped in and held him for a bit. But mostly he wanted mommy. I think his fussiness there was just being tired of being held by everyone. As soon as I insisted on taking him back from my sister, he curled up on me and fell right to sleep. Poor boy.

Sunday we took Jonah to church for the first time. I sat in the back with him & left him in his car seat. He work up once, so I fed him in the lobby. Then he slept the rest of the time. We even went to a surprise birthday party for a while in the afternoon for Matt's coworker/friend. Jonah slept the whole time there.  What a difference from the day before. I think the fact that we didn't let anyone else hold him helped a lot. Matt & I just kept him to ourselves and others just got to peek at him. He'll be easier to hold when he's a little older, though I know people just want to get there hands on him.

Since all that excitement, we haven't left the house. There really has been no need to, so I find it easier to stay home. I do need to get to the store eventually, though, because we're out of milk now. My goal is to make a quick grocery trip today. It's an adjustment having a baby and all his gear with me again when I get out. I'm a little out of practice.