Beautiful Things

I wanted to share one of the best gifts I received this Christmas. It was from my sister, Krista. She created a video of Kinsie’s birth day, the greatest day of our lives. I had asked Krista and my mom to be in the delivery room when Kinsie was born, and I wanted my sister to capture Kinsie’s first breath on camera. She took it a step further and made this amazing video. I still cry every time I watch it! 

For those of you who are pregnant now, or will be someday, this video also shows how peaceful and non-dramatic my birth  experience was…with the help of an epidural! Don’t get me wrong, I praise those women who go natural, but I will be the first to admit that I couldn’t handle it! It was my preference to have an epidural, and I was very happy with my decision because I was able to enjoy the experience and REST, which was essential considering I went into labor around 11pm and never went to bed that night. 

Although this is a birth video, don’t worry, it is completely “G” rated! 🙂 Enjoy!

 

Thank you, my beautiful sister for this wonderful gift. I will cherish it for the rest of my life!

Baby’s First Christmas

As a child, Christmas is one of the most exciting times of the year. You can’t wait until Christmas morning to see if Santa came, and what he brought you. This was the first year that I got to celebrate Christmas as a parent, and it is just as exciting in a completely different way. Even though Kinsie is only 3 months old, we had a blast playing with her and watching her react to all her new toys that she got for Christmas. She has become so much more responsive and interactive lately, so she actually enjoyed her new toys and visiting all of her relatives.

Ryan and I are always busy during holidays with both of our families and we always try to make our rounds to spend quality time with each family. A few days before Christmas, we got together with my mom’s side of the family which is always a blast. My aunts and cousins always love spending time with Briggs and the babies. On Christmas Eve, Ryan, Kinsie and I went to Ryan’s parents house for breakfast and to open gifts. Kinsie got some awesome gifts, including some blocks that her Aunt Megan made with letters, bible verses, and pictures of all the people in Kinsie’s life. She will have a blast playing with those and recognizing everyone as she gets older! After gifts, we went to the Christmas Eve service at Traders Point. It was an amazing service! At one point, they invited all the kids on stage to dance around with glowsticks singing Little Drummer Boy. It was awesome and very powerful! Right from church we went straight to Ryan’s aunt’s house (his dad’s side) for dinner and gifts. Finally from there, we went to my parents’ house to eat dinner and exchange gifts with Ryan Robinson’s family. Busy, but wonderful day with family!

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Kinsie enjoying her time opening gifts with Ryan’s family

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The Matthews family on Christmas Eve

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Fun cousin time

On Christmas morning, I was so excited to be Santa Claus! I woke up before Ryan and Kinsie to set everything up. Like I said before, it was almost as exciting as it was when I was a kid! Our little family opened our gifts, then we ventured back to my parents’ to exchange gifts with them and Krista, Ryan and the kids. We all ate breakfast while Kinsie and Kerigan took a Christmas morning nap in their car seats on the dining room table together. The best part about opening gifts was watching Briggs’ face when he received a train set from his Bapa and Yaya (his name for my parents). His key phrase for the day was “Open it!” As a kid, you think there is nothing better than getting gifts on Christmas, but watching the children you love open their gifts comes pretty darn close!

iphone nov_57We got to hang a special new stocking this year!

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Kinsie opening her gifts from Santa, mommy and daddy

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Me and my sweet girl

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Hanging out with dad watching her cousin Briggs open his gifts

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The boys checking out Briggs’ new train set

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Kerigan was worn out after opening gifts!

Finally in the afternoon on Christmas day, we went to another one of Ryan’s aunts house (his mom’s side) to celebrate Christmas with them. Kinsie got to meet her new cousin, Emery and they just so happened to be wearing the same outfit! Kinsie had a lot of fun playing with her aunts and cousins, then took a nice little nap in mommy’s arms. What a life!

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Kinsie with her new cousin, Emery in their matching outfits

Overall, we had a wonderful Christmas. Ryan and I are so blessed to have so many people to share the holidays with. I can’t wait to watch Kinsie grow each year and teach her the true meaning of Christmas. When I was growing up, my family and I had a Christmas Eve tradition of reading the Christmas story in the Bible before going to bed. It was a great reminder of why we celebrate Christmas and to remember how lucky we are to have a God that loves us so much that He had his son be born of a woman, placed in a manger, go through life as a child, an adolescent, and then a man, just to be killed on a cross to pay for our sins. I would love to carry on this tradition with my children so they don’t get too wrapped up in the hype of Santa Claus and presents, and they remember the reason for the season!

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Merry Christmas from the Matthews family!

Zoo Baby

A few days before Christmas, Krista and her Ryan wanted to take Briggs to Christmas at the zoo. My parents were going to come too and invited us to come along. I figured, “Sure, why not?” Kinsie likes Christmas lights so maybe she’ll like it. It was a perfect night to go since it wasn’t too cold and it was one of the first days in a week when it wasn’t raining. When we got there, we browsed around for a while and Kinsie enjoyed her stroller ride while looking at Christmas lights. Then a random man came up to us and said that he had extra tickets to the dolphin show that his family wasn’t going to use, so we went to the show. As we were waiting for it to start, Kinsie started getting fussy. I started to get nervous because I knew she might be getting hungry soon and I didn’t want to have to leave the show and travel all the way back to the car to feed her. Ryan took her out of her car seat so she could look around and hopefully she’d stay distracted enough until we were done with the show. As soon as Kinsie saw the dolphins and all the lights, she was completely mesmerized! She sat on Ryan’s lap and watched the entire show! I couldn’t believe it, because like most 3 month olds, her attention span isn’t very long, but she could have watched those dolphins all day long!

After the show, we went to the area with all the aquariums. Again, we took her out of her carseat and let her look around. She was in love! She watched sting rays, fish, penguins, sharks and more. I had never seen her so enthralled! It made me so happy that my baby was so happy. I knew she liked fish because we have an aquarium at home for our goldfish, but I had no idea the extent to which she liked fish. Ryan and I plan to have a bigger aquarium someday (and name all the fish after Harry Potter characters…we know we’re cool), and when we do, Kinsie will probably want to watch it all day long!

Every day, I learn more and more about my little girl and the personality that she is developing. That night, I learned about my daughter’s love for animals, just like her dad. I also learned that we will definitely need to invest in zoo passes in the near future for our little zoo baby! On the way home, my heart was so happy and my love tank was full. I got to spend an awesome night with my family and watch my daughter explore the world around her with a look of wonder in her eyes. God is so good!

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Enjoying all of the Christmas lights with cousin Briggs

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Mesmerized at the dolphin show

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Loving the sting rays!

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One Small Step for Baby…One Giant Step for her Mama

It seriously seems like Kinsie has made some huge milestones lately, some of which I have been thrilled about, but some that have not been so easy on me as her mother. I know that it is all part of raising children, but it is hard to watch your baby grow this fast right before your eyes! At least it is good to know that it is harder on me than it is on Kinsie. With all of the big steps we’ve taken lately, I have to admit that I would not have been able to accomplish them without Ryan’s support. He knows that I typically worry too much and he helps balance me out. I thank God every day for blessing me with such a wonderful husband.

Milestone #1: Kinsie is now sleeping in her own room. It is very convenient to have your baby sleep in your room for the first couple of months while they are still waking up several times throughout the night to eat. Kinsie is also notorious for waking up in the middle of the night from losing her pacifier, so it was always easy to just reach over and give it back to her and she would drift back to sleep. There is just something calming about having your baby sleep next to your bed and knowing that you can just look over at any moment and see her and hear her every breath. My original plan was to have her start sleeping in her room when she started consistently sleeping through the night (about 6 hours), which happened when she was about 2 months old. However, it seemed like every time I thought about trying it, something would stop me. She would have napped horribly that day and it took hours to get her to sleep at night, or she started having really bad acid reflux, or she had a cold, or something else always came up. I also wanted Ryan home when I first tried it for moral support. So finally, a month after my original plan, I finally worked up the courage to do it. That night when we went to bed and she wasn’t in our room, I missed her! But it was also nice to be able to talk to Ryan without whispering, or watch TV again since Kinsie was always overstimulated by the light from the TV. The hardest part about it now is that she still loses her pacifier at night, so Ryan and I take turns going in and giving it back to her. We’re hoping we can break her of this habit eventually. My favorite part about this now is that when she wakes up and I go to her room to get her, she has the biggest smile on her face! I guess she misses me too!

photoI may or may not stalk her on the monitor from time to time!

Milestone #2: Kinsie can now roll from her tummy to her back. The average baby doesn’t do this until about 4 months, so our girl is ahead of the game! She must be an over-achiever like her parents! She has been really close to doing this for over a month now, and finally one night, she did it! Then she did it again and again, a total of 4 times that same night. She hasn’t done it since, but she hasn’t really tried again. She is such a wiggle monster though, I’m sure she will be doing it consistently very soon!

 

Milestone #3: Kinsie is now going to the church nursery. This was also a tough one for me. Kinsie has been coming to the sanctuary with us since she was born, and she is usually a perfect angel and sleeps the entire sermon. If she ever did wake up, she would just chill and watch the lights on the ceiling. Only once did Ryan have to walk out with her because she was making noise. Now, being three months old, her wake times are longer, she doesn’t nap very well if there is any stimulation, and if she is awake, she is usually cooing away and making all kinds of noise. It is like Russian roulette now on whether or not she’ll sleep, or be awake and want to play during church. My sister told me that she first took Briggs to the nursery when he was three months, so I thought this was a good time to try it out with Kinsie. Again, I had to swallow my anxiety and just do it. When we brought her for the first time, she was asleep so that made it easier on me to leave her. Of course, I had a difficult time focusing on the message because I was so worried that her number would flash up on the screen. It never did though, and she did awesome! When I picked her up, they were holding her and she seemed perfectly happy, so I was too! It definitely helps that Traders Point has such an awesome kids ministry, so I know that she is in good hands!

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Milestone #4: Kinsie is grabbing things and constantly interacting with her environment. This has been amazing to see her develop so quickly. It seems like one day, she would just sit there and wiggle, and now she wiggles, grabs, interacts and plays by herself. She received lots of new toys for Christmas, and it has been awesome to see how to responds to them and to watch her learn how to play with them. I feel like she is already so smart and loves to soak in everything in her environment. She rarely lets anyone just hold her and cuddle, she wants to play and be entertained all the time! There is no denying that she is our child and will be a lifelong learner just like us!

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Like I said before, milestones are a part of growing up, and it is so much fun watching your child accomplish them each day, but it can also be difficult to start letting go and letting your child grow into their own unique person. Right now it may only be having her leave me to sleep in her own room, but before I know it, she will be leaving me to go to college! That is why I need to soak in every second of time we have and enjoy each milestone as it comes. Not only is she growing every day, but we are as parents too.

Three Months Old!

I can’t believe that my sweet Kinsie is three months old. She has officially graduated from “newborn” status and has entered “infant” status. It is incredible how much she has grown physically and developmentally. Every single day she is developing more and more of her own little personality and I love every part of it! Ryan has been home with us for the past couple of weeks for Christmas break, and we have had so much fun watching the new things she does every day. I am trying to soak up every second of our time together because very soon, Ryan will be back in Muncie, and I will be back at work. Not quite ready to leave her yet, but I know it will be good for both of us!

Here are some new things we’ve learned about our little 3 month old:

  • She is really into grabbing things.
  • She can roll from her tummy to her back.
  • She is in constant motion.
  • She talks and coos all the time.
  • She doesn’t like to go to sleep and often fights taking naps.
  • She loves Christmas lights.
  • She likes to hug something when she sleeps (we usually roll up a burp cloth for her to hug).
  • She sleeps 7-8 hour stretches at night.
  • She loves sitting in her Bumbo seat.
  • She likes sucking on her hands.
  • She always tries to sneak watching TV even though  we don’t let her.
  • We’re pretty sure she’s in the early stages of teething.
  • She’s finally on somewhat of a routine.
  • She sleeps in her own room.
  • She loves fish and aquariums.
  • She loves looking around and observing everything around her.

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