Baby Sullivan | Week Twenty Three

This week has been a good one. We are finally all feeling a lot better than we have been in the past. Marin has just a little cough that comes and goes. But, we are finally pretty healthy. I'm just praying it stays that way through Christmas. Growing up, my sister and I always seemed to be sick at Christmas and that is no fun. 

We've been doing lots of Christmas-y things around here. As my previous post mentioned, we met Santa Claus and traumatized Marin forever. I will cherish those photographs forever and just pray that she does better next year. She just keeps saying, "I was trying to be brave, but that Santa was kind of scary." Better luck next year. 

Saturday night we went with the Hollen clan to Spring Creek Gardens to see their light display. It was very cool. Tons and tons of lights, carolers, Santa Claus. There was no way we were standing in line to see Santa again though and I'm sure Marin was totally fine with that. We are getting a lot of use out of our double stroller these days and I'm very glad we found it when we did. 

Monday we went out to dinner in Loveland with my parents and the kiddos. Afterwards we went to a sculpture park with another light show there. We went and watched the ice skaters at the rink and Marin is totally enthralled with ice skating now. She thinks it's pretty cool. 

I'm certain Sully is nearing the 20lb mark and I can hardly carry him in his carseat anymore. That's going to have to change soon. I can't keep paying for the chiropractor because my kiddo is such a beast. But, he's adorable and we love him. There's just a lot of him to love. I've been having a lot of aches and pains lately and I'd really like for them to go away. 

He's been waking up at least once per night, anytime between 2:30am-4:30am. Mama is getting pretty tired. I think he just wakes up and thinks he needs little snack. I need to research night weaning. I don't think he needs to be fed at that point anymore but he also soaks a diaper at night and I think that wakes him up. I would like to get a little more sleep. Lately if it's close to 4am, I just get up. Granted, I get some uninterrupted mommy time after I feed him, but it's still freaking early. 

Week Twenty Three. 

Hollen Holidays 2017 | Visiting Santa Claus

I debated posting most of these photographs but here we are. I want to document this season of our lives and during this season, we have a chicken in our midst. 

This week, we went to see Santa Claus. I always go back and forth on where we stand with good ol' St. Nick but Marin's preschool offered a time to see him sans crowds at a local nursery in town. Some of the proceeds for photographs go to her preschool. 

I spent most of the week talking up the visit...."It's going to be so cool! You get to see Santa and tell him what you would like for Christmas. Also...his reindeer will be there!" It was going to be awesome. 

Marin spent the better part of the week talking about Santa Claus. She even made him a little Santa to give to him when we saw him. She was super stoked about the reindeer and kept asking if Rudolph and his infamous red nose would be present. 

Luckily, Grammy came with us. I pushed the stroller with Sully and my mom held Marin's hand. As we walked in, my mom mentioned that Marin was starting to squeeze her hand tighter and tighter. Sometimes Marin can be a bit of a chicken. New situations are hard for her sometimes. I always try to prepare her as much as possible. 

Sullivan did great with Santa Claus. He liked his beard and his big belt buckle. Needless to say, Marin was pretty traumatized, even to the point where I had to sit on his lap as well to get her to calm down. Sure Santa, let me awkwardly sit on your lap next to my freaked out kid. Lovely.  Luckily, most of her preschool class weren't there yet to see the situation. I am thankful for that. 

She did eventually tell him what she wanted for Christmas...a Barbie House. Do you know how pricey those puppies are!? Not cheap. She also gave him the little Santa she had made. 

I paid WAY too much money for a bunch of photos of my daughter crying but I'm sure someday I will be able to look back on these photos and laugh or use them for some sort of blackmail. Sorry kid.  I'm proud of her for trying it. Hopefully next year goes a bit better. Also...this was kind of a not so smiley St. Nick but I'm sure he has had his share of fun days and fun kiddos lately. 

But, we survived and I don't think Marin is scarred for life. 
See you next year, Santa Claus. 

Portrait Four

As part of my 32 Things Before 32 List, I am attempting to take one self-portrait per month. This one is for the month of November. Yet again, we are well into the next month and I am just now getting this posted, but here we are.

Someday I won't question whether or not this is it and if it's enough. Looking back, I will realize it was always more than enough and long for the things I missed or overlooked because I was too busy trying to be super mom and super human, all while having a clean, well kept house with fantastic vacuum lines in the carpet and the absence of sticky messes on the floor. 

Someday I know I will miss having these hangry humans intensely dependent upon me with their unwavering devotion and need for a parent, for a life giver, for a nurturer. Our home will one day be too quiet and I will long for the dishwasher that needs to be emptied and the little clothes that need be folded and put away in tiny drawers. I will miss the bath time at night where the kids plead to stay in for far too long and their fingers turn to little raisins. I will miss reading the same book over and over again at bedtime, a book that Marin can recite by memory alone, with the same rise and fall of our adult voices reflected in hers, just as we aim to bring each character from the page to life.  

In this season of life, I am woman finding her way once more, finding more solid footing. I am a wife, a mom, an employee. I am someone that at times tries to hold on to her past in fear of losing the creative aspects of my existence. I am someone that is working really hard to be present in the moment and not veer too far off course. I am trying really hard to find a life that is more than enough. 

Someday, dinner time will look different and I won't stand over a pot of boiling mac n' cheese, stirring it so it doesn't boil over. This is all for the picky preschooler that literally would eat the same thing every single night. I will miss making the chicken nuggets or coaxing her to eat just one more bite of vegetables all the while she absolutely refuses to eat carrots. 

All of this is it and it is more than enough. 

Portrait Four. 

Baby Sullivan | Week Twenty-Two

I feel like we are all finally slowly on the mend with all of the sickness that has been going around. Our coughs still remain a bit but we have actually been able to leave the house and go out in public without the fear of getting everyone around us sick as well. Both kiddos went to church on Sunday for the first time in weeks. Marin finally went back to school today. She has missed three classes now in the past two weeks. I'm feeling way better than I was a few days ago and I'm hoping we all stay well through the New Year. Fingers crossed and prayers lifted up. Having sick kids is no joke. Being sick while your kids are also sick is one of my least favorite things, especially when the kind of sick you are isn't enough to warrant you staying in bed all day but you just kind of walk around like a zombie, sniffling and coughing you way through the day. I also can't take super intense medicine to kick it to the curb because I'm still breastfeeding. 

On Sunday, Sully turned 5 months old! Sully is currently closing in on the 20 pound mark. He's going to outgrow his carseat any day now and we will have to figure out the next option. I'm thinking of using the convertible car seats that Marin sits in for him now and get her a little less expensive toddler convertible seat. None of them are cheap, at least the good ones. I'm going to miss having just the one carseat that just clips into the bases in our cars. Now we need multiple seats for multiple vehicles, including the grandparent's cars. I'm in the process of researching what our best options are. He will still be rear facing for a long time, but little dude isn't so little anymore. 

I went and got adjusted at the chiropractor last week because I've been having a lot of pain in my wrist, all the way up my arm, and to my back. I hadn't been in since right before I had Sullivan. Ouch.  Lugging around our huge baby is giving me great arm muscles but my body sure is taking a beating. I need to get in more often and really watch how I carry Sullivan around. He's just an adorable lug right now. 

I believe he also starting to teethe. As you will notice in most of these photos, the bibs have arrived. I get so sick and tired of changing his outfit every few hours because he drools all over himself. These bibs are super cute and stylish though and I love them. Now he can drool away in style. I have a feeling he will get teeth a lot earlier than Marin but we will see. Now we wait and I just pray that he isn't a biter.

The next few weeks are going to be filled with a lot of fun Christmas stuff with the kids and I am loving it. Experiencing this season through the eyes of a child is one of my very favorite things. This Friday, Marin's preschool gets to see Santa and his reindeer. Saturday evening, we are going to a Christmas light show at a local garden area. We are going to a light thing at a sculpture park next week. I plan on drinking lots of hot chocolate and bundling everyone up to see Santa and soak it all in. I also love that we get to do all of these things with our families. 

Week Twenty Two. 

Baby Sullivan | Week Twenty-One

Well, I am a tad behind in getting this blog posted, but here we are. I cannot quite believe that it has already been a week since Thanksgiving and good pie but it's already Thursday yet again. I usually try to get these posts written on Monday or Tuesday but this week has been a doozy. Most of our little family has been sick. I'm so over this sickness. It has been hanging around far too long and I'm very much ready for everyone to be healthy once more. I mean come on! It's been weeks. Once one of us starts feeling okay, the next one is sick. It's been a vicious cycle of germs for a while now. I'm ready to be done with it all. 

Marin has been sick yet again and I'm just waiting for her little immune system to catch up. I'm certain that being in preschool has added to the germ filled opportunities to catch something. She's had a cough and runny nose for a while now. It has gotten super fun lately because she coughs so hard and so much that she ends up throwing up. Poor kiddo. Throwing up in your bed is no fun either. I've washed a lot of bed sheets over the past few days. Once she falls asleep, she is alright but up until that point, she coughs and coughs. 

Friday night, Ryan and I were watching TV downstairs and both kiddos were in bed. All of a sudden in the baby monitor, I hear this barking sound coming from Sullivan's room. Little man has finally gotten sick with croup. We've never had a kid with croup, so that's been an interesting experience. Luckily, his case hasn't been as bad as some I've heard of where the baby can't hardly breathe and is rushed to the ER. His cough is loosening quite a bit over the last few days and he is in good spirits. 

In my opinion, there's nothing worse than feeling helpless as parent. There's only so much you can do for you kid when they are sick. You can only suck out their nose boogers and wipe their noses. You can't help them cough out all of the crud in their chests or blow their noses well.

I'm hoping we are at the tail end of all of this. We took them both to the doctor last night just to double check there wasn't anything else that we should be doing. Marin has a virus. Sully has croup. Here we are. Pray for healing, quick healing. I'm ready to go into the holidays healthy and whole. 

Hollen Holidays | Thanksgiving 2017

Around this time of year, I always try to take a morning and write down the things that I am thankful for. I wish I didn't always need it be around the Thanksgiving holiday to remember to take the time to do this, but this holiday is always a great reminder of how sweet life truly is. 

In this season of our lives, I am grateful and thankful for....

The sunrise peaking over the house across the street, slowly revealing glorious colors to welcome the new day. The heat that is moving through our little home. Our home....every room, every nook, every cranny. Every unpainted room and cat-scratched piece of furniture. Our overflowing fridge, freezer, and pantry. The new van in the driveway and the realization that I get to rock the mom mobile once more. My voice. My mind. My body even though I am still tired and getting over being sick. Even though my body hasn't bounced back hardly at all since having Sully. My C-Section pooch. My stretch marks, my tiger stripes. The early morning hours before my family starts to stir. The children warm and cozy, sleeping in their beds. Marin's spunk and imagination, that challenges me most days and makes me a better parent. Breastfeeding Sullivan in the early morning glow of his night light. nap times. Meals at the table. Trips to the library. The holidays. The fact that we can afford Christmas presents. The roof over our heads. The balance in our bank account. Our jobs. The flexibility of my job. Quiet time. My Bible and the warm cup of coffee beside me. The changing of seasons. Bath time for the kids. Taking a walk with the double stroller. Spending time with Ryan after a long day, decompressing. Lunch with the great grandparents. A Sunday off for New Years. Leading and playing worship music. Marin's preschool. Being able to pay all of our bills. Grandparents. Dishwashers and clothes dryers. Books that challenge me. Music that moves me and reminds of another time and place. Cooking a good meal. A glass of wine. Vintage City Church. 

I could go on and on....

We have a lot to be thankful for. 

Our Thanksgiving this year started with breakfast at home. I made cinnamon rolls and bacon. We drank a lot of coffee. 

The rest of the morning was spent picking up the house, feeding the baby, making green bean casserole. I tried a new recipe this was okay. I think I'll go back to the classic dish next year.

We went to the Hollen's house this year for our Thanksgiving meal. We usually trade off every other year. Next year will be my side of the family. 

Marin talked about eating turkey all week and that she would try it out. She was pretty impatient waiting for everything to cook and be ready. She kept sitting at the table a good hour before we actually ate, anticipating the meal. Go figure though, she didn't try a single bite of turkey. What a goober.

As part of the centerpiece for the meal, the Hollen's had a bring a book or two that we were grateful for. I had a hard time narrowing it down but I brought Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline and Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living. It was a cool way for us to discuss how books have shaped us. I can go back and talk about the seasons I was in when I read these books.

Obligatory Food Picture on Thanksgiving

Ryan brought The Hobbit, or There and Back Again and Marin brought Corduroy.

It was a wonderful day full of family and too much food. I am so thankful for our families and our full bellies. 

This morning I tried to convince Marin that we could have a special pie at ten in the morning and that we should watch Elf. But, she's crazy and didn't touch her pie and didn't want to watch Elf. Come on, kiddo. Jump on the day after Thanksgiving train! I just offered to let you eat dessert in the morning. Oh well....