A New Kind of January

January was a very odd month. It seemed really long…maybe because we experienced both winter and spring in one month. January started out pretty cold for Arkansas. The lowest it got down to was around 15 degrees…which is pretty rare for the south (meanwhile in Indiana, it was below zero…so 15 degrees didn’t seem so bad). Just a couple weeks later, it was sunny and in the 50’s and 60’s! Ryan and I keep wondering, so…was that it? Is winter over? I guess we’ll see what February is like!

Here is a recap of our month…

“Snow” Day

We heard from several people that if it snows even a little bit in Arkansas, the entire city practically shuts down. All the schools and most businesses are closed. Mainly because they don’t have the necessary equipment available here because it doesn’t happen often. Ryan and I were really hoping it would happen, just so we could see the madness. Guys…this is no joke. It snowed MAYBE half of an inch…not even enough to cover the grass (see picture below). All of the schools did indeed close, Ryan was supposed to have a meeting and it got cancelled, my Bible study was cancelled, and so on. We had a “snow” day…although I’m not sure if you can really call it that when you could still see the grass! Even so, I was very grateful that Ryan didn’t have to work that day, so we all spent the day in our pajamas building with Legos, drinking hot chocolate and watching movies. We would have played outside with the kids, but again…there was barely anything on the ground!! By the time Brax woke up from his nap, most of the snow was already gone. And the saddest part is that the schools were closed the next day too! We definitely are not in Kansas (Indiana) anymore!

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THIS is how much snow we got…craziness!

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Getting our energy out

Even though most of our month wasn’t too bad…it was still overall too chilly to spend much time outside, so we had to entertain ourselves inside most of the time. We spent a lot of time at home because the kids are great about entertaining themselves with all their toys. Kinsie built a fort almost daily and threw all of her toys, pillows and stuffed animals in it with her, we read lots of books, made pretend cupcakes, and spent lots of great time with daddy (this last rotation has been GREAT…like a normal job with weekends off!) Every once in a while we would venture out to Chik-fil-A or indoor playgrounds in the area. Kinsie is so excited that Brax is big enough to climb up into the bigger areas of the playgrounds with her now!

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Lots of fun at home

 

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My Chik-fil-A dates

 

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Is it spring already?

Probably no more than a week after our so called “snow” day, we started experiencing spring-like weather. Sunshine and temps in the 50’s and 60’s. We have been jumping at the opportunities to take walks and play in the yard. One of Ryan’s days off we took a full family walk…dogs and all…around our favorite park and to the kids’ favorite playground. Again, Kinsie LOVED having Brax climb all the way up to the top and slide down the big slide with her. When Kinsie is at school, Brax and I have been taking strolls through the park and pushing trucks around outside. It’s been perfect not-too-hot playing outside weather and we’ve been loving it!

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Visit from family

Ryan’s parents, his sister Megan and her husband Tim (and their pup Ali) came to visit us during MLK Jr. weekend. I know I’ve said this before that we LOVE when we get visitors. It was actually pretty cold that weekend, but we still found ways to explore the city. We visited the nature center, Bass Pro Shops, and had a bonfire with s’mores. The kids seriously love it when family comes to visit, and they were both pretty sad when they had to leave. We aren’t able to come home to Indiana for a few more months, so we are hoping for more family visits soon…especially since the weather here is on the upswing.

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We had a great January…not sure if I’ve ever said that before! We were totally spoiled having Ryan around so much. To end my post, I want to share my new obsession…an app called 1 Second Everyday where you add one or two “snippets” (one second videos) and the app mashes them all together to give you a video collage of your month. Enjoy!

March is here!!

You guys…it’s finally March! This is such a big deal for me in many ways…I always LOVE when February is over and March begins. It means that the majority of winter is over, and spring is almost here! I also love March Madness, and 2 weeks off for spring break…and this March is especially important for our family. We find out in about 2 weeks where Ryan will get matched for residency! If you were to ask me a year ago how I felt about the possibility of moving to another state, I would have had a panic attack right there on the spot. I’ve prayed every single day about this to help me adjust to this idea and be excited for whatever adventure God brings us. I have come a LONG way, and now I truly am excited to find out what our future will look like…even if it means uprooting from my home in Indiana.

Now on to how our February was…it was busy! From ear infections to random beautiful weather, to a weekend trip to Arkansas…here is the breakdown of our past month.

Sick kiddos

Early in the month, Kinsie had a double ear infection. Poor girl missed a whole week of school, and eventually went to the doctor and was put on antibiotics. It was like having a newborn at night again…she would be up every few hours crying from ear pain. As soon as she started feeling better, Brax caught the bug too. Finally we got everyone healthy again for about two weeks, and then it came back around to Kinsie again! She is currently on a second round of antibiotics and we are praying that Brax doesn’t get it again too!

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Valentines Day

Kinsie and I made homemade valentines this year for her class. She loved sitting down with me and putting together her ladybug valentines! On Valentines Day, Kinsie made heart cookies with Aunt Renata while Brax just enjoyed being a studly “eligible bachelor!”

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Wagon Rides and Kisses

We had a few days of random beautiful weather in February…so we jumped at the opportunity to take the kids outside for some fresh air. Brax got to experience his first wagon ride. He loved the ride and Kinsie loved having a buddy.

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Visiting Abuelita

My sweet grandma has been in an assisted living for a couple months now, and I finally got the chance to go visit her with my dad. I decided to keep the kids at home with Ryan so I could just have some quality relaxing time with my dad and grandma. We took her out for ice cream and she loved it! It was a great day seeing one of my favorite people in the world!

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Arkansas

Out of all of Ryan’s interviews that he went on, Arkansas was one of his favorite places. He loved the program, and the area. Since he knew he wanted to rank it pretty high on his list, he wanted me to get a chance to see it too. We took a weekend trip just the two of us. We loved exploring the beautiful city and imagining it being our future home. Grandma Bev watched the kids for us, and they had a blast too!

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Other Random Indoor Fun

Like I’ve mentioned before, when it’s winter and you have a small house with limited playing space…you have to be creative with your kids to keep them entertained. We made a clubhouse out of a cardboard box, had laundry basket rides, played “Troll Trouble,” took trips to the store to ride the horse, and lots more. Kinsie has been obsessed lately with learning how to write her letters, as well as drawing things like dinosaurs. Tic-tac-toe is one of her new faves too. And as always, the kids love it anytime they get to have cousin playdates!

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I am SO excited that it is finally March! We have a lot happening this month that I can’t wait to find out more about and share it with you! Happy (almost) Spring!

Good Riddance, January!

January is FINALLY over. This is my least favorite month of the year for many reasons, mainly because of the dreadful weather. Don’t get me wrong, we had some good times in January, but I do have to say that I’m glad it’s over…and it seemed to last FOREVER. Honestly, the weather wasn’t as horrible as previous Januarys we’ve had, but…it’s still winter. It still kept me cooped up inside the house with two crazy kids who need ways of getting their energy out. (Not to mention, I work every day with 10 and 11 year olds who also feel unmotivated and stir crazy when stuck inside due to the weather.) Ryan was on his busiest rotation of his 4th year, where he averaged 60+ hours a week, working weekends and overnights often. I feel like I’ve somewhat reached my stride to life with 2 kids, so it’s not that I needed him for the help as much…but I missed him, and the kids did too…and it’s a lot easier to make dinner, do laundry or even go to the bathroom when there is another adult present! When Ryan has had busy rotations in the past, it was at least summer or fall, so we were able to get outside, go swimming, or take walks and wagon rides. But not in January. We had to find creative ways of having fun and allowing our hyperactive kids’ to burn their energy! Here are the highlights of this month…

New Year’s Eve

I know that technically, the majority of this evening occurred in December…so don’t judge! New Year’s Eve is very different once you have children. Ever since Kinsie was born, we usually just stayed at home, put her to bed at her normal time, had movie marathons and tried to pry our eyes open long enough to watch the ball drop. Since Kinsie is 3 now, and, let’s face it, has more energy than both me and Ryan combined, we figured it would be a good year to let her stay up until midnight for the first time. We went to my sister’s house for the evening, but first had to trick Kinsie into taking a nap. We loaded her up in the car and drove around for a while until she fell asleep, and then parked in the driveway and just let her nap away. Once we were at Krista’s house, we ate dinner, played lots of board games, had a few dance parties, played XBox Kinect, watched YouTube videos…you name it (keeping toddlers entertained until midnight was exhausting!) Kinsie started losing steam around 10:30pm, but then got a second wind once the ball dropped. We had champagne and the kids had juice boxes and we all rang in 2017 as a family. It was a great night with great memories!

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Birthday Parties

We had a lot of birthdays to celebrate in January. First was our good family friends, Jake and Drew, who turned 13. We’ve known them their whole lives, and they are like family. The kids had a great time running (or crawling) around with their cousins. Next, we went to dinner for my brother-in-law Ryan’s birthday at Rick’s Boatyard. The weekend after was my nephew Briggs’ birthday. On his actual birthday, we went out to dinner at one of the kids’ favorite hangouts, Chick-fil-A, then the next evening was his party at the Well Community Center. This was an awesome place to have a party! It had tunnels, slides, and tons of toys (even baby toys for Brax). The kids had a blast and Kinsie became obsessed with all the songs on the CD that Briggs gave out as party favors. Finally, Kinsie’s cousin, Hazel had her birthday party the next day at the Jump-n-Play…another one of her favorite places.

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All-day Pajama Parties

Let’s face it, when it is cold outside, don’t you just want to stay in your jammies all day? Well, we did that pretty much every weekend. Since Ryan was working so much, me and the kids didn’t venture out a whole lot on the weekends. It was too cold (and too exhausting) to get everyone ready and dressed and bundled to go anywhere, so we stayed home a lot. The kids didn’t mind, they enjoy being home and with their own toys. We played a lot of dress-up, built things with Tinker Toys, read hundreds of books, watched countless movies (inclduing Kinsie’s new favorite…Trolls), and had more dance parties than I can count. Brax is a man on the move these days, so he crawled laps around the house daily. Kinsie has loved learning all her letters at school, so now her newest interest is learning how to write each letter. We also recently bought her some beginner Math books, so she loves doing those workbooks. She always says how much she loves to learn, and how she wants to be a teacher when she grows up like mommy. I hope she continues her love for learning…it’s definitely in her genes!

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January is over…on to February! To be honest, February isn’t my fave either (again…this is mainly motivated by the weather). Although I am already looking forward to spring, I will continue to soak in as many indoor snuggles and pajama parties as I can while they last.

6 Month Update

Tomorrow marks 24 weeks, or about 6 months of pregnancy. As cliche as it sounds, it has been flying by! With my first pregnancy, I was able to savor every moment and sit around and blissfully dream about the little life inside my womb. Now, I don’t have much time for dreaming! While I still try to savor this pregnancy, I spend most of my “spare” time chasing a toddler around. However, May will be here before we know it!

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How I’m feeling:

I’m honestly feeling pretty good. So far, I have been blessed with great pregnancies. My fatigue went away when I entered the second trimester, but then it came back in full force when I started school back up after Christmas break. Kinsie is pretty good at letting me “rest” when I get home from work…but we are in the midst of potty training, so I have to be on call at all times to run her to the potty. Ryan’s hours this rotation aren’t too bad, so when he gets home from work between 5 and 6, he helps in any way he can. It is nice teaching 5th grade, because they can be very self-sufficient. I try to sit at my desk a lot while they are working independently, and if they have a question, I make them come to me! This time during my first pregnancy was when I started having severe back pain because of the sideways position that Kinsie was in. Knock on wood, but no back pain with this one so far! I did have one spell of Braxton Hicks contractions one day that were uncomfortable on my back, but that has been all so far.

The most difficult thing at this point in the pregnancy is that I am becoming much less mobile. I am on the floor with Kinsie all the time, and standing back up takes some serious skill and effort. Other little things like picking something up off the floor, and even putting on shoes or socks is a difficult task. I am usually very independent and don’t like relying on other people to help me with things, but now I don’t have much of a choice. My diminishing mobility makes it difficult to be as good of a teacher and mother as I want to be, which can be very frustrating. However, I don’t let that get me too down because I constantly remind myself how blessed I am to even be pregnant.

Baby on the Move:

I am still convinced that this little boy is going to be a wild child. He moves all. the. time. No complaining here…I LOVE feeling him move! As he gets bigger, I feel the movements even stronger and they are almost constant. This has been such a blessing because, like I said before, I haven’t been able to savor this pregnancy as much as I could the last one. However, baby boy makes sure that I acknowledge him throughout the day! Lately, he’s been nestling up towards my ribs. Maybe he’s cold?? Kinsie got to feel him the other day and she got all excited! She said, “My baby is moving! He’s a happy boy!”

Size:

Baby boy is apparently a little over 1 pound, and about the size of an ear of corn. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m thinking this boy is bigger than that. He was almost a pound at my 20 week ultrasound, so he’s probably far past the pound mark by now. I am still shocked by how much bigger I am during this pregnancy than with my first. I compared pictures with those of my first pregnancy, and I honestly feel that right now at 24 weeks, I look like I did at 30 weeks the first time around. I knew that it is common to show faster with the second, but I didn’t know that that idea maintained throughout the entire pregnancy. I’m hoping the speed in which he’s growing slows down just a bit soon so that I’m not a horribly uncomfortable whale by spring!

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(Left pic: 24 weeks with Kinsie, Right pic: 24 weeks with Baby #2)

Kinsie’s Thoughts:

The more time that passes, the more excited Kinsie seems to get. She talks about her baby brother all the time. She says she can’t wait to hold him and play with him. When we ask her what we should name the baby, she says “A boy.” Original I guess? I am praying that she transitions well and stays this positive throughout the whole experience, especially once he is here.

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What else we’ve been up to this month:

Well, it’s been January. Need I say more? We had our first big snow a few weeks ago, so we took Kinsie out for a while to play. Last year she didn’t really like it…it was too cold for her. This year she loved it! She was running around, making snow angels, and even eating the snow!

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We started potty training during Christmas break, in hopes that she’ll be pretty good to go by the time the baby comes. She’s actually been doing pretty well. The biggest obstacle for her is stopping her playtime to go potty. She hasn’t quite gotten that part yet because to her, playing is the most important thing in the world! When we’re home, she usually just doesn’t wear pants…just underwear or a pull-up, but she doesn’t seem to mind! Her stubbornness has become more apparent through this process, and she’s really testing my patience, which, let’s face it, is not super high these days anyway. But I’m proud of the progress she’s made so far and pray that she continues to get better at it.

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This is always the hardest time of year…with the cold weather, dark mornings and evenings, ISTEP prep at school, and now the lack of energy and mobility that I have. At least we have Ryan home now. Winter storms the last few years were the worst because he usually got snowed in while in Muncie. To get through this winter, I am resting when I can, enjoying baby boy wiggles in my belly, enjoying time with my girl, and soaking up her snuggles that she constantly wants to give me right now! We will all look forward to spring and warmer weather, and then soon, our sweet baby boy!

Waiting for Spring

As I type this, we are in the midst of yet another major snow storm. This winter has been absolutely brutal! If I didn’t have Kinsie to keep me occupied, I would probably be sinking into a black hole of seasonal depression right about now. It seems like this winter is crawling by. January seemed to be unbearably long and now we are just a few days into February. Spring is not quite in sight yet. It is this time of year where it is hard to get out of your warm bed in the morning  only to drive through the darkness and trudge through the snow while the cold wind bites you in the face. Can you tell I am not a fan of winter? This winter is especially difficult when you have a baby that you have to bundle up, load in and out of the carseat, try not to slip on the ice while carrying her, and avoid letting the wind blow open the carseat cover so her sweet little face doesn’t get exposed to the harsh weather!

Kinsie was born in the fall, so she hasn’t really gotten to experience nice weather yet. There were a few days after she was born that we took her on a little stroller ride around the neighborhood, but she was too little to look around and appreciate being outside. Right now, her personality is really blossoming and she is becoming so curious and interested in the world around her. With that said, I cannot wait for my little girl to experience spring and summer. I know that she will absolutely love playing outside and enjoying the sunshine. After all, she is my daughter and nobody appreciate the warm sun more than I do!

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Ready for some sunshine!

My sweet Kinsie Kay…

Even in these dreadful winter months, you are such a ray of sunshine in my life. Your smile shines brighter than the sun on the warmest summer day. You’ve only had a glimpse of this world and yet you are already so curious and intrigued with what it has to offer…just like your daddy. Thank you for keeping my spirits up during this harsh winter and for constantly reminding me how beautiful life can be. I can’t wait for spring to come and for you to see more of God’s beautiful creation. There is so much beauty that you haven’t gotten to experience yet and I am so excited to see the wonder in your eyes as you continue to explore the world around you. I know you will love the warm weather, the sunshine, the flowers, the trees, and all of the new life that blossoms with the spring season. Just another month or two and we can put this winter behind us and move forward into a much more enjoyable time of year! Until then, we can snuggle up and keep each other warm all day long!

Snow Days

As most of you already know, I’ve been very nervous to go back to work and leave my baby every day. I’ve been on maternity leave since Kinsie was born and I was supposed to return to work on Monday, January 6 when Christmas break ended. However, God must have known that I wasn’t quite ready to leave Kinsie, so He gave us some snow. A LOT of snow! This was definitely the biggest snow storm I have ever witnessed. Not only did we receive approximately 12 inches of snow, but we reached record low temperatures of -15 degrees. The roads got so bad, almost the entire state was on a “red” travel restriction, meaning it was illegal to be driving on the roads except for emergencies. For those of you who know me well, you know that I am NOT a winter person! I would not be sad if I never saw snow again, and I fully plan on moving south once Ryan is finished with medical school. With that said, this storm was not exactly my cup of tea, but I was BEYOND grateful for this snow storm, because it allowed me, not 1, not 2, but 5 extra days with my baby!

Leading up to the storm, everyone acted like it was the Apocalypse and stocked up on milk and bread as if they’d be snowed in for weeks. We all knew it was coming though, and with it, hope that I might get a snow day or two. Ryan was supposed to start classes on Monday also, but there is always less of a chance of a college campus canceling classes than an elementary school, so we knew he probably needed to go back to Muncie before the storm got too bad just in case he would still have class. After 3 wonderful weeks of him being home with us, he had to leave on Sunday morning, right after church was cancelled due to the weather. It took him almost twice as long to get back, and of course, once he was back, he found out his classes were cancelled. So we were snow in away from each other. Luckily I still had Kinsie and the dogs to keep me company, but I was so jealous of all the people who were snowed in with their entire family, and angry at the people who were already complaining about their family driving them crazy after only a day of being stuck in the house together. I am the type of person who needs alone time, but not too much. I was getting very lonely without Ryan, and I know he really missed us being in Muncie alone without any cable or even any studying to do since his classes hadn’t started yet. I am SO thankful for my in-laws who ventured out in the trecherous weather to bring me dinner and to shovel a pathway for my dogs to go outside. Speaking of the dogs…it was so cold one morning, when I let them out to go potty, Addie ran right back in and pooped in the house! She was so embarrassed, and I honestly couldn’t blame her for not wanting to squat in a foot of snow and negative temperatures! Poor girl!

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 Because of the storm, our satellite went out for about 3 days, so I couldn’t watch TV. This wasn’t a huge deal for me because I don’t watch a ton of TV, but I still had to find things to do when Kinsie was napping. I ended up reading an entire book in just 3 days. (The book was called Bloom by Kelle Hampton…amazing book, I HIGHLY recommend it!) Anyway, Kinsie and I had to find things to do so we wouldn’t get bored (yes, even she was getting bored), so I used our time as an opportunity to play around with my camera and take pictures of my sweet girl.

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Making funny faces

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Watching the fish

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Lazy pups

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Baby snuggles and a good book…doesn’t get any better!

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Luckily on Tuesday, my dad decided to be a rebel and go against the travel restrictions to come pick me and Kinsie up to go to their house so we wouldn’t have to be alone anymore. I mean, being lonely and stir crazy is considered an emergency…right? Don’t answer that! Because school just kept getting cancelled, we got to spend the next few days with my family, which made being snowed in much more tolerable. We still really missed Ryan though!

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I couldn’t believe that we ended up getting 5 snow days in a row. God gave me 5 extra days with my baby and I couldn’t have been more grateful for that extra time with her. Unfortunately, reality starts on Monday!