Sprout’s Birth Story

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Seeing as we are less than three weeks, maybe even only a few days, away from meeting our precious baby #3, Poppy, I thought now might be a good time to write up Sprout’s birth story. I’ve been thinking a lot about the birth of both Chickadee and Sprout and how God watched over us during their unexpected deliveries and those first few beautiful hours and days in the hospital as He grew our family. You can read about Chickadee’s birth story here. Adding Sprout was a little bit more crazy but just as wonderful!

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Sprout, was such an amazing surprise in so many ways. We found, a little unexpectedly, in September of 2014 when his sister was just 10 months old that his small life had begun. I was nursing and while I knew it was possible to become pregnant, I just didn’t think it was likely. It was exciting and overwhelming, but we knew God’s hand was on his life from the beginning. As if things were not already about to get crazy for us with two well under two years old, we also moved into our new house when I was 33 weeks pregnant.

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We knew I was at risk for preterm labor, but since your sister was born at 37.5 weeks, we thought we had some time to get settled. However, around 34.5 weeks I thought I was having contractions in my back. The doctors ran some non-stress tests and assured me from what they could tell all was well and he was still happy and baking. You surprised them too!

The next day, April 10th we went to bed praying my back pain would cease. I said to III that we needed to come up with a plan for Chickadee (we have no family in town) in case Sprout decided to come earlier than expected. He said we would figure it out the next day. Well….around 12:30am he decided he was ready & my water broke on the way back from the bathroom! This led to the most intense contractions that seemed to never stop. We called several friends and finally Katie, from our small group, picked up (it was the middle of the night :/). She headed over to sit at the house with Chickadee until aunt Rachel (she was the closest!) could get here from Alabama. III packed a bag of the most random things, luckily the camera made it, and as soon as Katie pulled in we headed to the hospital excited and nervous to meet our newest little one! Honestly the contractions were so intense that I was convinced I was going to give birth in the car on the way to the hospital, but thankfully we made it in plenty of time.

I continued to battle pretty bad contractions (med-free) until they were ready to begin the c-section (he was breech like his sister) around 4:30am. As they were prepping me for surgery, his heart rate dropped to 50bpm and everything became very urgent.

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The doctors began to move very quickly and Sprout was born within minutes at 5:06am. We were ecstatic to learn we had a healthy baby BOY! Sprout is named after his great grandfather, grandfather, & daddy. There were some concerns with baby boy being 5+ weeks early. However, we were at ease once we knew his lungs were strong & he was a good size for less than 35 weeks. He weighed in at 5lbs 13oz and was 19.5 inches long. He did have to make a precautionary trip to the NICU due to his earliness. I wasn’t able to see him for almost 12 hours and it was heart wrenching. Luckily, lots of family had made it to Atlanta and he was surrounded by his daddy, grandparents, and aunts & uncle getting lots of love.

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Later that night I was finally able to hold him in my arms, and sweet boy my heart grew even bigger. Sprout is such a gift and we are so thankful for how God watched over all of us that day. Our NICU stay was short as Sprout made great progress really quickly. The nurses were great, very encouraging, and loved on him when we couldn’t be there ourselves. He was able to come home a week to the day after he was born. We are so blessed by our little man, and we know that God has had his hand on him from the beginning.

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His is still so smiley, expressive, and loves to snuggle. God has worked in his life already and blessed us to the fullest these past two years! We pray that one day our Sprout will move mountains for the Lord. We love you baby boy!

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First Year of Preschool

Preschool before and after

If seeing her finish 2K is any indication, we are going to be a mess when she graduates kindergarten and goodness I can’t either fathom high school or college…

Chickadee wrapped up her first year of preschool this year. We debated a lot whether to go ahead and send her at 2 (almost 3) and I am so glad we did. She absolutely LOVED it. Jumped out of the car EVERYDAY ready to go! She made friends, gained even more independence, practiced being respectful to both her peers and teachers, and transformed from a toddler to a little girl.

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At their end of they year program they sang “This Little Light of Mine.” Chickadee didn’t move her mouth for a single word, but she did participate in the hand motions, so we will take what we can get! The teachers handed out diplomas and gave a short little speech about each child. I loved how personal it all was. They said Chickadee is the most detail oriented child they’d ever seen. She was always the last to finish art projects because she took her time and wanted it just right. The said she was always kind to everyone and loved playing with the other girls, but could keep up with the boys too. All words that warm a mama’s heart. It’s funny they said she was detailed oriented, not at all surprising. The same was said about me as a child. She has a crazy memory and it’s because she is so perceptive I think…sometimes I wish she was a little more forgetful :) More than anything though we loved hearing she is kind and caring and we pray that her heart for Jesus becomes even more prevalent as the years go by!

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We are thankful for her first year and how she was loved on by her teachers and supported by the church that houses the preschool.

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She is already looking forward to August and her new class as well as hearing about her old Bunny class from her little brother who follows her footsteps into 2K when preschool starts back in a few short months.

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For now we are soaking in these summer days, practicing the new skills she learned, and counting down the days until baby sister arrives!

 

We Planted a Garden

Gardening Success from a black thumb

We planted a garden. I must admit I’m not really the gardening type, probably because I have a black thumb. However, III grew up on 11 acres and has grown a pepper or two in his day. I knew the kids would be all over it, and so of course I was in. III used some 6×6’s leftover from the play set install that he used to create a garden bed of sorts. He tilled and weeded the dirt and added fertilizer. Then we headed to Home Depot to pick up some plants. We settled on tomatoes, okra, jalapenos, bell peppers, strawberries and some herbs (oregano & basil).

I found the cutest gardening tools in Target’s Dollar section and the kids were ready to go! 

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They helped III plant and they help me water every day.

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It is incredible how fast those plants are growing. There are lots of little green tomatoes taking shape and the peppers are starting to blooms along with the okra. Check out this bad boy…just waiting for him to turn yellow.

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The kids are obsessed with looking for new blooms and we all can’t wait to eat from the garden. The herbs are doing great and we’ve already used them several times with dinner.

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So whether you have a spot in your backyard or you want to grow a planter/pot garden on your porch, I’m here to tell you, you can do it! Give it a go! And even if it fails, your kids will have fun!

Sprout is TWO!

Happy Sprout

Sprout,

Our sweet sweet boy! I cannot believe you are two. It seems like just yesterday we were moving into our house and you decided to show up before we could get settled, 5.5 weeks early! It was a crazy but amazing time and every day with you since has brought us all so much JOY! 

You have grown leaps and bounds in the last year. For starters you are extremely verbal, you have been talking for a while now and a lot of it is in full sentences. My favorite is your dialogue with Chickadee. I love sending her in your room when yall are both awake after nap time and listening to you both chat back and forth on the monitor. 

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Speaking of Chickadee, you love her dearly. You have really become the best of friends and watching yall interact is the sweetest (most of the time)! You want to do anything she is doing and because of that have become quite brave on the playground, going down the big slides and climbing rock walls. You miss her so much when she is at preschool, and ask for “More Chickadee” as she gets out of the car. Yall read together, play trains, set up tea parties, play in the sand table, and love running down the sidewalk on our evening walks. We pray the two of you are always close, encourage one another, and point each other to Jesus!

We have been soaking up so much new information in the past 6 months. From colors and shapes to a few numbers and letters. But your current obsession is Thomas the Tank Engine. Nothing would make you happier than driving your trains around the tracks on the train table all morning and then reading about Thomas all afternoon! In your Easter basket you received a set of Thomas alphabet cards and in less than 2 days you knew EVERY engine’s name. It’s good to see if the interest is there you soak up that knowledge quickly! My new tactic (not that I’m in a huge rush) is teaching numbers by using the numbers on the engines and letters by spelling the engine names. Whatever works, right?

Sprout is TWO

 I mentioned you love reading about Thomas, but really you love books in general. I hear multiple times a day “Read this book, please.” Some of your favorite are Steam Train Dream Train, Franklin, Owl at Home, Little Blue Truck, Llama Llama, Where do Diggers Sleep at Night and Brown Bear Brown Bear. We pray you always have a love for reading, imagination, and learning. 

You are still sleeping in your crib, taking one nap a day for about 1.5-2 hours. At night you are in bed around 7:30 and wake up about 7:00am. You have really become a good sleeper after a rough start! You love to snuggle and and give kisses and hugs. You are SUPER friendly to everyone and seem to have your dad’s outgoing personality. Since finding out you were going to be a BIG brother this summer you have been my constant doctor buddy…and you’ve handled our weekly visits like a champ. Everyone at the office LOVES you and always ask where you are if for some reason you are not with me. 

At church you love going to see Dottie and Nina (Anita) and and talk about them all the way home. For a while when we would ask you “Who love you?” You would say “Jesus, so much! And Dottie and Nina). We are thankful for all of those who are pouring the love of Jesus into your heart.

A few “stats:” At your two year old appointment you weighed 27.5 pounds and were 34.5 inches tall which put you around the 50% percentile in both, so you are finally “evening” out. You were 24 months or 2T in tops, but still an 18m in pants/shorts (you can thank Daddy for your short legs!). The doctor mentioned potty training, but you are not interested and tell me you want to go in your diaper. You are still working on your last set of molars and will head to the dentist for the first time in the middle of May. Your favorite foods are spaghetti, meatballs, nachos, smoothies, fruit and ice cream, but for the most part there is very little you turn down. 

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We continue to pray over you each night that God will use you to move mountains for Him. And I believe he is beginning to do that with your contagious smile. We are looking forward to watching you become a big brother and give that endless love to both your sisters. You are our JOY sweet boy and we thank God for every moment we get to be your mama and daddy. We pray for the day you root Jesus deep in your heart and live for Him. We love you!

And if anyone wants to take a trip down memory lane to when Chickadee was TWO, check out this old post!

Our FAVORITE Books Right Now

Toddlers Favorite Books

April has been true to it’s form around here. Hopefully the showers will be bringing May flowers! With lots of rainy days inside we have been crafting, playing with EVERYTHING in the playroom, and reading tons and tons of books. We have been reading to our little ones since they were in the womb. We are both book lovers (although I haven’t made time for grownup books lately), and we have passed that love on to our children. I was fortunate to bring a pretty big children’s book library home from my classroom when I “retired” from teaching before Chickadee was born. And I’ve been adding to it ever since!

We read at night, in the car, waiting at the doctor’s office, rolling around the grocery store, and in the floor of the playroom. I’m convinced you can’t read enough to your children. It’s amazing how it builds their vocabulary, imagination, and attention span! 

Right now Chickadee is 3 1/2 and Sprout just turned 2. I thought I would share some of our favorite books right now with you in case you are looking to expand your home library! You can find them all on Amazon (aff links). But I also suggest saving some money and search for them at Goodwill or rent them from your local library!

Thomas & Friends: Railway Rhymes

Thomas

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night

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The Napping House

The Napping House

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Oh, The Places You'll Go

The Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible

Storybook Bible

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See

(This ins one of Chickadee’s Favorite because she can “read” it to Sprout)

Brown Bear Brown Bear

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Llama Llama Red Pajama

Any Look and Find Books

Look and Find Books

Owl at Home

Owl at Home

Pinkalicious

PInkalicious

My First Bible Stories – 12 Pack

 My First Bible Stories

Pete the Cat

Pete the Cat

This is just a short list, but I’m pretty sure most of these I can read from memory. I am sure as parents/care takers we get tired of reading the same books over and over, but the repetition is really great for you kids! What books would you put on a favorite’s list for your toddler?

Here are a few more MUST HAVES

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