TWELVE Months | Happy Birthday Poppy!

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Poppy,

I thought maybe if I didn’t write this letter you wouldn’t really be ONE….but alas, here we are two weeks later and you continue to grow and bloom before our eyes. You are the cherry on top to each day, sweet girl. Your smile continues to make my heart go pitter patter as you soak in all of the “new” things in life. You are a HUGE people person (although you are currently Mama’s biggest fan!) and love smiling at everyone you meet. We have been praying from the day we held you in our arms that you would love BIG like Jesus. Your name sake, my aunt Lane, had the biggest heart and we pray you continue to as well! 

You have made the twelve month transition beautifully. You are still loving your sleep with two solid naps a day. This month we worked on weaning from nursing as well as dropping the bottle all together in favor of a sippy cup. You were drinking formula during the day so we simply started mixing it with whole milk until whole milk won out. And since you were nursing only morning and night we dropped the morning first and then the night of your first birthday was my last time to savor our bedtime routine. I’m not sure whether to be happy or sad that you didn’t struggle at all the next day when I didn’t nurse you before bed, but I am thankful for your independence. Plus, I think you like being a part of the whole family’s nighttime routine of bible stories, prayers, and singing. 

12 months

You are still a pretty great eater, although you seem to be on a bit of a berry strike…oh, and you amuse yourself by throwing food on the floor. Mama is not amused although thankful that eventually it all makes it into your tummy. You love peaches, sweet potatoes, banana muffins and Chickfila nuggets (who doesn’t!). You are feeding yourself all finger foods and pretty good and monitoring your bites when you eat bigger things. 

As I mentioned before you LOVE playing with your brother and sister and it warms our hearts when we see all three of you playing together. Yall giggling and pretending is the best. You even join in by pretending to eat food they make in the play kitchen or wiggling during a dance party! However, you are also content crawling around and discovering every nook and cranny of our house. You started cruising the furniture and pushing your walker this month. EVERYONE was so excited and they love cheering “Go, Poppy, go!” 

You are still waving at everyone have continued to babble more and more. We feel like we have heard you say daddy, mama, hi, bye, and thank you but none of them super consistently. I’m still rooting for Mama to be your first word but I’m not sure it’s going to happen. Another thing you are doing a lot of this month is mimicking. Whether it’s double eye blinking, blowing kisses, raspberries or sticking our your tongue you are really in a “monkey see, monkey do” phase.

Twelve Months

With it finally being summer, you have been around water A LOT and you are a fan! We now give you a bath with the big kids. You also love playing in the neighborhood pool or the water table in our backyard. However, I think your favorite water activity to date has to be the slip ‘n’ slide. We have one for the backyard and you would crawl all over that thing for hours if we would let you! 

You have a couple more teeth coming through that are giving you a little trouble, but I think we are all going to make it! At your 12 month appointment you were 19 lbs and 28.5 inches, so a little peanut (about 25 percentile) but you are mighty. I can’t wait to see how God uses you for his kingdom and pray for the day you choose to live your life for him. For now we will continue to write his words on your heart so that you might one day truly understand how to Love like Jesus! We celebrated your birthday simply here at home with just family and as always you were a joy to celebrate. We’ll share more about that day soon! Love you sweet girl and Happy Birthday!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (for nursing mamas)

Lactation Cookies

A chapter in my life is possibly coming to an end…and I am honestly a little sad about it. Poppy is turning ONE in a less than two weeks and our nursing days are coming to a close. She is way more interested in playing with her brother and sister or eating at the table with the crew than she is in snuggling with me. I know everyone has different thoughts and feeling on weaning little ones, for us it’s always happened around a year and that works for us! We all do what we know is best for our babies, and a fed baby (however that may be) is a happy baby! I’ve had a few hiccups along the way where I needed to boost my supply and these lactation oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (along with A LOT of water) seem to do the trick. 

**And as an added bonus, you can make these without the brewer’s yeast and they are perfectly WONDERFUL cookies. Everyone in our house enjoys them! 

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I found the recipe on Genius Kitchen and modified it a little bit based on what I had in the pantry and trying to keep the sugar in check. It’s a perfect activity for “Make it Monday!” around here. We always bake on Mondays after naptime to pass the hardest two hours of the day waiting on daddy to come home. You can check out the recipe below. I hope they work for you too and carry you a little further in your nursing journey.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 40
Delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies for nursing mamas, when they need a boost!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 sticks of softened butter (one cup)
  2. 1/2 cup of sugar
  3. 1 cup of brown sugar firmly packed
  4. 4 tbsp water
  5. 2 tbsp of flax seed meal
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 3 cups of whole wheat flour
  9. 1 tsp baking soda
  10. 1 tsp salt
  11. 3 cups of old fashion oats
  12. 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chips)
  13. 4 tbsp brewer's yeast
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small bowl pour water and flax seed and allow to sit for about 5 minutes
  3. In another bowl beat softened butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy
  4. Add in eggs and mix well
  5. Then add flaxseed mix and vanilla until well combined
  6. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking soda, salt and brewer's yeast
  7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time until well combined
  8. Fold in oats and chocolate chips
  9. Using a 1 inch cookie scoop, spoon and place onto a baking sheet about 1-2 inches apart.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  11. Allow to cool on a cooling rack before eating
  12. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You could also add nuts for a little extra crunch!
  2. To make these "lactation free," simply leave out the brewer's yeast.
Adapted from Genius Kitchen
Adapted from Genius Kitchen
A Step In The Journey http://astepinthejourney.com/
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

As I mentioned III and the big kids loved these cookies so it was a win-win for us all. He thought at first they were healthy since they were for boosting my supply, but once I listed off the ingredient…he realized not so much! But they are delicious! The flax seed, brewer’s yeast, and oats are all great for boosting your supply! Happy nursing mamas.

Nine, Ten & Eleven Months with POPPY

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Sweet Girl!

Where has the time gone? In just a few short weeks, we will be celebrating your FIRST birthday! You light up our world baby girl I truly can’t imagine our life without your giggles. I haven’t stayed on top of your monthly post, but I have been keeping up with all of your growth over the last few months. Instead of saying “third child problems,” let’s say we’ve been too busy soaking you up!

|| NINE MONTHS ||

NINE Months

Our biggest news is that you started crawling this month (March 20). I forget how that changes EVERYTHING. You are all over the place and chasing down Chickadee and Sprout so that you can join in their fun! You also are able to go from crawling to sitting to crawling again. You love waving and giving high 5 making you very social with all those that you meet. Two more teeth came in (one on the top and one on the bottom) which gives you 8 teeth. A mouthful for sure. I think we’ll move into almost all finger foods and kiss purees goodbye.  I think this month brought our first real hiccup! You started waking up at night again. However, I enjoyed the snuggles and quiet time and you were back to sleeping through the night after a few weeks. At your 9 month appointment you were 17 pounds and 27.5 inches long, right at the 50% in both. You are wearing 9 month clothes and size 3 diapers. You are also still nursing 4x a day along with a small breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

We celebrated your first Easter this month and you tagged along to a couple of Easter egg hunts and read lots of stories about our RISEN Savior. Bebe, Pop, Aunt Rachel and Uncle Zac came to celebrate with us and you enjoyed the extra love and snuggles. We also traveled to Alabama and you slept through your first 5K. We went to support Gertrude (your Ugandan sister!) and Sozo Children. 

|| TEN MONTHS ||

TEN Months

10 months. I think you are a fan of this milestone. You are one HAPPY baby who always welcomes everyone with a smile. Every night after saying your prayers we pray that you will love other like Jesus and although you are still a tiny little nugget, your love radiates from your smile and shine through your eyes. I pray this is always the case. Your JOY is contagious. 

Speaking of nighttime, you love your bedtime routine. For both naptime and bedtime we turn on the white noise, turn off the light and begin to sing to you. You always rest on our shoulder for just a second before reaching toward your crib where you roll over to your tummy immediately and snuggle in to go to sleep. You don’t make a peep and in a few minutes are out like a light. You are starting to pull up to your knees while in your crib and we definitely need to make lowering your mattress a priority! 

I absolutely love when you pull and sit on your knees, it’s the absolute cutest. You are eating mostly finger foods now and LOVE meat. We often call you our little carnivore. You will seriously bypass the strawberries and go for the shredded chicken. Needless to say you are a fan of Chick-fil-a like the rest of us! You still love the occasional pouch, and the Choo-mee pouch tops are awesome because you can eat the pouches by yourself without making any spills. 

We headed north this month to Chattanooga to take your brother to ride Thomas the train. You were such a trooper, napping in the stroller and in the car as we carted you all over the city. We made one stop at a playground and you confirmed your love for swinging. You also rode a carousel, strolled across the pedestrian bridge, tried your first little bit of ice cream, stayed in an AirB&B, and of course took a ride on Thomas the train. I think we’ll head to Chattanooga again, it was so much fun!

||ELEVEN MONTHS||

ELEVEN Months

 I can’t believe this is our last monthly post before you are ONE! How can that even be??? It is definitely bittersweet. The baby stage is such a sweet time and you made it so easy and enjoyable! But we look forward to watching you continue to grow and meet milestones as you take toddlerhood by storm!

You are still in size 3 diapers and wearing 9 and 12 month clothes. You sleep through the night like a champ and nap around 9:00 and 1:00 each day. You are crawling and have begun pulling up on everything. You are solidly in the stage though that once you pull up you struggle to sit back down and so just scream until someone helps you! You are eating everything we put in front of you, which means I am happy to be down to just cooking one meal for everyone. You still prefer meat, but you seriously don’t turn anything down. You love snacks in your snack cup and often stuff too much in your mouth. You also have started drinking (or maybe guzzling) from a 360 cup. I’ve started supplementing you a little here and there with formula and you took it like a champ. 

You continue to babble, scream, and coo constantly. Your sounds often sound like mama, daddy, bye bye, and hi….but they are not consistent enough for me to give you credit :) Your waving makes you a friend to everyone and you’ve started giving kisses and mimicking raspberries too.

We were on the go this month again. We started with your first trip to the beach over Mother’s Day. You weren’t the biggest fan of the sand or the ocean on day one, but by the second day you had warmed up to it a little bit and would at least sit in the sand and let the last little bit of the breaking waves come over you. We attended a lot of events for Chickadee and Sprout as they wrapped up preschool. And then we rocked VBS at Peachtree where you were an absolute champ with my crazy schedule and holding it all together as you spent a lot of time in the nursery. Ms. Deborah loved on you and helped you make the sweetest VBS crafts reminding you that God gives you everything you need! 

And now we are down to one month. 31 short days until you are ONE. God blew us away by giving us you to love and care for. It is hard to imagine life before you came along, us as a family of 5 just seems right right now. Thank you for loving us so well sweet girl. We pray your heart is always open to love freely and that God’s love is evident in your every action. We love you big girl!

2018 Bucket List for Kids

Bucket List for Kids 2018

I’m soooooooo far behind in blogging. I think I have 8-10 folders of recipes and projects that I need to edit and then blog about. I need to update yall on Poppy, she’s ALMOST ONE! But MAY. Yall, it has knocked me out this year, and being on the VBS committee at my church is no joke either and it is coming the first week of June. We are treading water over here…just trying to make it until June 8th and then SUMMER! I feel like as a stay-at-home mom we think we have all this time and then we say yes to so many groups and committees, and all good helpful things, but our time goes poof. Anyways, I’ll be back. I know I’m always saying that, but I will be. For today I wanted to share our Summer Bucket List.

Chickadee will be going to two weeks of VBS, both at our church and at her preschool. Sprout will go to VBS at our church, but other than that and a beach trip our summer is wide open until preschool starts again in mid August, and I am so excited. I said no to camps and yes to lazy summer days with all three of these little bundles who both drive me crazy and bring me more joy that I ever thought possible. Excited to soak these kiddos in along with the sunshine, pool water, time with friends and family, and lots of popsicles! The kids have already kicked summer off by sleeping until 7:45/8 every day and this mama is thankful. 

So we sat down and came up with all the fun things we can do together this summer. Both big events and small. From a trip to the beach to staying up late to catch lightening bugs. Some things we will do during the day and tell dad all about it at dinner (maybe a picnic outside!) and others we will save for the weekends and dad’s days off! 

So use our summer bucket list or create your own, but come up with FUN ideas and embrace these lazy summer days with your own family! 

 

Family Rules and Values

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Our kiddos are currently 4.5, 3, and 9 months old. They are an absolute JOY 90% of the time, but if I am being honest (and I think most of you would agree) that other 10% is tough! Parenting is hard yall. This post is a little wordy, but hopefully worth the read as we share our approach toward guiding our children and setting expectations for them.

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A quote I heard recently (passed along from a dear friend) says

     “If your eyes ever see, or your ears ever hear the sin, weakness, rebellion or failure of your children, it’s never an imposition. It’s never an interruption. It’s never a hassle. It’s always GRACE. God loves your children; he’s put them in a family of faith, and in relentless grace he will reveal their need to you again and again so that you can be his tool of awareness, conviction, repentance, faith and change. And because in these moments he asks you to forsake your agenda for his, this opportunity of grace isn’t just for your children, it’s for you as well.” – Paul David Tripp

Conviction, right? I often find myself parenting out of frustration, instead of grace (especially during the witching hour!). But this quote reminds me time and time again that in parenting, it should always be grace first. What a HUGE privilege God has given us to love, guide, and teach HIS children. Because the truth is, they are his. He has allowed us to love them and asks us that we first and foremost point them to HIM. Remember we are significant in their lives, but we are not sovereign. (“…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” -Phil 2:13) And hopefully, he has put you in a community of faith to help you along the way!

It is with this in mind that we try and parent our kiddos. Colossians 3:12 says “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” In our parenting we pray we are teaching our children compassion and kindness, humility and gentleness, and patience…among other things

A few things to keep in mind when you make your own rules or expectations:

  1. Let the kids be involved. This provides ownership.
  2. Keep the rules simple and make sure the kids understand them. Explain what it means to be respectful, obedient, etc.
  3. Your rules should be in line with your family values.
  4. Practice them. Role play goes a LONG way with kids.

When we created our family rules, we all sat together around the table and the kids were a part of making the list. We talked about what was important in how they treated us, each other, and friends. We talked about how Jesus calls us to behave in the bible. It was a group effort and I think that helps with ownership for them. Now, if they are sitting on the steps or on their bed for misbehaving, after discussing what happened we can talk about which rule was broken and give them a way to act/respond better next time. We also talk about the bible verse that corresponds to each verse and then ask for forgiveness, both from God and from whomever we’ve wronged. (And yes I said “we,” sometimes mom has to ask for forgiveness to when she is parenting out of frustration or jumps to conclusions!) 

Here are the verses I use, but you may find some that work better for your family.

  1. Obey your parents: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
  2. Be Kind: “Be kind and compassionate, forgiving each other in love, as your heavenly Father forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
  3. Be Respectful: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” Luke 6:31
  4. Share with Everyone: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
  5. Tell the Truth: “The Lord delights in those who tell the truth.” Proverbs 12:22

The second half of the printable are our family values. III and I came up with these a while ago. These 5 values are things we feel are most important to help guide our family and instill in our children. They are great to have around when big decisions are being made. We can refer to them and discuss how the decision we are trying to make impacts our family values…I highly suggest sitting down and coming up with your own set of values. Knowing what is important to your family is a key to success! 

Ours are:

  • Love Jesus
  • Love Others
  • Be Generous
  • Work Hard
  • Enjoy Life

Parenting is tough and the responsibility is a BIG one. I’m thankful for the bible’s guidance, the example we both have in our parents, and our community of faith and friends to support/help us along the way! We are raising the next generation and my prayer is that they exemplify Colossians 3:12.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”