Friday, May 21, 2010

Noah - 6 Month Update

Noah turned 6 months old on the 16th of May. He has already been wearing 6-9 month clothing for a month and can now fit into some of his 12 month clothing too. He's a big boy, weighing in at 17 lbs and 14 oz. at his 6 month check-up last week.

He is on the verge of taking off as a crawler. He can get himself up on his hands and knees and rock like crazy. I've seen him move his hands a knees forwards a couple of times but mostly he will just lunge in the direction he wants to move and pull himself the rest of the way. If that doesn't work he can roll to anywhere he wants to go.

He can sit up with some help. Emma is more than willing to help him with that most of the time.

He loves to bounce and jump. I guess he takes after his big brother. :) When we arrive at the YMCA for mommy's morning work-outs, the ladies in the nursery usually already have the jumperoo out of the closet, cleaned up and waiting for Noah. They say he will jump until he is worn-out and then they pick him up and walk with him until he falls to sleep. I guess he's getting his morning exercise at the YMCA too.

He's already had his first haircut. The newborn hair on the sides and back had fallen out and started to grown in again but he still had the long full newborn hair on the top. It was starting to look like he was wearing a bad toupee so we decided to trim the top a little bit.

He's a very joyous baby smiling and laughing throughout the majority of the day.
Usually he's most happiest when his siblings talk to him. He loves to get their attention. Sometimes he gets a little apprehensive around Leah but that's only because Leah is still learning the "be gentle" concept.

He says "mama" when he cries. It could be an accident but I seriously doubt it. ;)

He already has music preferences. When he gets sleepy and starts to cry I will sing to him. He will continue to cry unless I sing one of just a few songs that he likes including "Beautiful One" and the lullaby from Dream Works' Prince of Egypt movie. Those two put him out like a light.

I truly can't believe he has been here for 6 months. Just think, in another 6 months we'll be celebrating his 1st birthday. This is REALLY hard for me to swallow.

I can't imagine life without you sweet baby boy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Beautiful Beginning

A couple of years ago, God asked us to make a leap of faith.

He asked us to move from a town that we loved, with family near, to a small community nestled in the mountains....with no Target or Starbucks! Talk about sacrifices! :) For the record, we adore our little community nestled in the mountains.

Although, I was pretty excited about the adventure God had placed before us, I couldn't help but be concerned about a few things. One of which was the questionable future of my second born.

At the time, Emma was in the middle of Kindergarten. The teacher she had, Mrs. C, was absolutely amazing. You know when someone asks you which teacher had the most profound impact on your life? This was her. Truly gifted and serving within her God-given calling.

Jackson, about 3 at the time, was all too quickly approaching school-age himself. He was a very energetic little boy. Still is. But, knowing how some people view hyperactivity as a behavior problem, I was greatly concerned about his initial experiences in school. Would he have a teacher that could channel his energy in a positive way? Or would we end up being called on a regular basis because he wasn't being good and sitting quietly in a chair like the other children?

I knew that if he was in Mrs. C's class, it wouldn't be a problem. She was exactly the kind of person that I wanted to guide him through his first year of school.

Imagine my concern about Jackson when we decided to make the move to a new church in a new town. We had to let go of the notion that Jackson would spend his first year of school under the instruction of the same wonderful teacher that Emma had. Not knowing now what kind of person Jackson's first teacher would be, the questions lingered in my mind.... Would Jackson's education end up being a sacrifice in order to answer this call?.... Would he end up hating school as a result of the move?... Are we doing the right thing by Jackson?

Today, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the father's love and answer to prayer.

Today, we attended Jackson's Pre-school awards day. I have kind of been an emotional wreck today. In a few quiet moments of reflection I have once again been awestruck by my Jesus. I can see now how God has taken care of our Jackson.

If you could have seen the pride on his face today as he sang with his classmates. He was loving school. If you could meet his Pre-K teacher and see that she, like Mrs. C, is one of those teachers that I'm sure Jackson will always remember. She, too, is definitely living out her calling. She has truly instilled a love of learning in Jackson and for that I am utterly grateful.

Thank you Lord, for peering deep into the heart of this mother and blessing both me and my children beyond that which we deserve. Thank you for answered prayers. May this child, and all my children grow to love you more each day.

Mrs. L: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We could never put into words how grateful we are for what you have done for our child (here I go crying again) We love you and we anticipate seeing the same little light in Leah's eyes next year!

Each child received a candy bar award. Jackson received the "Pop Rocks Award" because he is so "bouncy." :)

Emma also had her awards day last week. She received the " Pixie Stix" award for being "sweet and petite"

Monday, May 3, 2010

Real Life Motherhood

You may have noticed the stellar photographs of my family in the header and the sidebar. We recently had our family photographed by an amazing photographer friend, Bonnie. If you are in need of photography in the East Tennessee area you should totally check her out. She's great to work with and she has an amazing eye for the modern photography flair. Check out her photo blog here.

With the Mother's Day holiday coming up, I was challenged with the task of finding a photo that exemplified motherhood. I immediately thought of a set of shots that were taken toward the end of our family photo session. The kids were starting to get tired of the photographs, especially mister Noah (they all did awesome up to that point). Bonnie snapped a few more shots anyway and I am so glad she did. They are not the traditional "everyone's looking and smiling" kind of shots. But, as Bonnie said on her photo blog, "It is real life." Real life is not picture perfect (especially when you have four children age seven and under). I wouldn't have it any other way. What I love about the photograph is that it captures the love that we have for each other even in the middle of the unpredictability of life. And as you can see, I, the mama, am just trying to enjoy every second.

I hope to share some more of my favorites from our photo shoot soon so check back.