Friday, December 31, 2010

2010

I like to look back on the previous year and make a short list of all the big things that happened.
2009 was a huge year... full of changes with friends, church and our family...aka SJ's appearance.
As I look back on 2010 my list is very very short.
I feel like the main thing we did in 2010 was survive.
I don't mean that in a depressing way but in a realistic way. This time last year I was pretty much at my whit's end. Stella was overcoming the worst of her colic and I was grabbing desperately on to Christ to pull me out of sadness and anxiety that I couldn't handle on my own.
And He did!
The rest of the year was full of diaper changes and nursing and trying to get back into a new routine...and then another new routine with every change in our little girl's life. I have learned so much this year by the grace of God. I am no longer a leaf shaken by every small breeze. I know how to receive help and how to offer help.
For a while I felt like I just took and took and took as people provided meals and support and love to us as we transitioned into parenthood and I am so thankful the Lord then gave me eyes to turn it around once that season was over. I feel so much joy in being able to babysit or take a meal or sweep a floor... now having a much greater appreciation for what those things mean to another mommy.
I am thankful for continual healing in my sinus issues. They aren't gone but man are they better.
I grew in my understanding of friendship and natural food/cooking. I am so thankful for my friend Mandy, who led and walked along side me in both of those journeys.
As I look ahead at 2011, not too far ahead actually, I wonder what it will bring.
Will it bring other children with a different color or genetic code into our home? Will it bring a new job (please oh please)? Will it be full of mental and spiritual learning like this year or full of major events like the year before?
Whatever it brings, I just pray for the strength to walk through it all with grace and that this time next year I will be closer to my Lord and to my family and friends and glorifying God in more ways than I am now.
Grace and Peace this New Year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy Move In!



This picture is pretty much the perfect way to describe what is going on here.
First and foremost there is SJ and me. As usual, we are spending all day, every day together and wishing there was a little more daddy in the picture.
Stella is such a fun joy these days. She is walking and running all over the place. Some days she doesn't fall at all and some days she seems to have her head on crooked b/c she plops down all the time for no reason. Either way, she is happy and often a lot less messy due to her new walkin' skills! Stella has been doing really well taking two naps or at least two rest times and still sleeping 12-13 hours a night!! We only had a minor blip (four wake ups in one night... ahhhh) when we moved in to the new house this week but she seems to be catching on that this is her new home now. She still says "this" alllll the live long day but I try and identify as much as possible (even if she can't have it) so hopefully she'll learn some new words soon. I can't believe what a big girl she has become. She is really smart and understands more and more each day. I love being able to discover what is wrong with her when she is fussy and try and deal with the situation as best as possible... it has cut down on our tantrums tremendously!
My favorite this about SJ right now is that she has started to request to sit in my lap to "read" a book. It might only last a second or maybe several minutes but I relish it each and every time. I am really looking forward to her being around our extended family for Christmas b/c she is so much more interactive and outgoing than she has ever been around them and I'm hoping she'll start recognizing people as family since they have been around more and more.
This picture is also perfect because it shows the Christmas tree in the background. We are in full swing of Advent and love listening to Christmas music and looking at the tree and talking about our Salvation coming to earth! Even before we moved in, I set up our tree in the "new" house right in front of the front windows. I just love seeing the light and sparkle shining out of our house.
The final thing you will notice is all the stuff in the background! We just moved in this week and we are still living between two worlds a little. We got about 90% of our stuff here but haven't had the time or motivation (in the snow and ice) to finish up. Also, we are getting the upstairs carpeted (finishing tomorrow yay!) and so everything that will be up there is in the living room downstairs. Thankfully tomorrow Drew is taking the day off and the carpet will be installed and we can get things a little more settled before we celebrate with family.
Recap: Stella is big, Christmas is here and "here" is the new house!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Missing out!

** I wrote this post about a month or so ago and never got the time to post it... but now that we are at the new house, I have internet... hurray!





Well, you have been missing out... oh wait, that's my fault? Sorry about that. We don't have internet at the house any more and so when I do get to check the internet and things, it's usually brief and I only have time to check emails, do school work and get back to the mommy business!
Stella is one. This is crazy.
We had an awesome fall festival for her birthday and we had a great turnout and a great time. I have some pictures but they are somewhere...dunno. Stella wasn't the typical birthday girl who is shy about diving into her very own cupcake. Nope. She picked up that pink little sucker and stuck it straight in her mouth. A few bites later and it was gone and she was signing "more". Don't think so. She didn't seem surprised by the sweetness or overjoyed at the pinkness... just simply glad we were feeding her grown up food and she wanted more... she got more but not of anything sugary! She definitely didn't nap that afternoon after all that excitement and sugar. It was great having my entire family and some of Drew's in town for a long weekend. We were spoiled with a lot of Starbucks!
Stella is pulling up and standing on her own and has taken a step or two but mostly only walks with assistance. She isn't very excited about walking b/c she is so much faster at crawling. She is able to point and say "dis" (this) about things she wants you to either say or give her. Sometimes this leads to tantrums when we say "no" but I am still excited about a new level of communication with her. She can say mama but prefers to say dada. She loves to say hi and bye "ba". She knows how to sign more and all done and is learning "baby" and can wave hi, bye and night night. She also blows kisses, gives kisses and hugs on command! She is learning eyes, nose and mouth but still gets them confused. She is enjoying reading books more and more and every now and then will stay still long enough to get through one. Usually she prefers to just flip through the pages. She is the most energetic and vocal one year old I have ever met.
Her favorite food is cheese and she is eating all big girl meals these days and only nursing twice a day.
We are currently fixing up our new house and really hoping to be able to move in soon. It always takes longer than you expect and it's been really hard on Drew and I with him working so hard and then going straight to more work at the house. He doesn't get a break and neither do I and then we literally crash like dead people until the next day. We are so thankful for all of our wonderful friends who have recently been so great to watch SJ and help on house work and even give us a date or two!!
It's funny that I never blog these days because I am literally blogging in my head all the time. I've thought about telling you of the beauty of fall and the special fall smell that I adore. Drew says it smells like s'mores and there is definitely a sweetness to it... but it's indescribable to me. It's my very favorite smell in the world and it only comes in the fall. Something to do with crispy leaves and tree sap or something. I am blown away by the colors of fall each year and am continually amazed that these trees that completely die on the outside for the winter will come back to life with flowers and leaves again in the fall! God is truly a creative genius! Lately, especially today, it's been getting colder and wetter and I find myself dreading the winter months. It's a lot harder to get out in the cold with a wee one along and the gloomy clouds really put a damper on my spirits if I don't continually check myself.
My mom is coming in to town this week to love on SJ and go to a women's conference with me and then next month is Christmas with family and then after that is my sister's wedding reception. I am thankful for more opportunities to see family and for Stella to see them as well. She'll be spoiled completely rotten by spring I'm sure.
That's all I've got for now... hopefully I'll get to be more regular about pictures and updates once we are moved in to the new place (with internet...hurray!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

A lot to Say...

I have so many things that I have been planning to blog about but the fact that I haven't had any videos or pictures to upload with them has kept me from doing so and now I am overwhelmed with the catch up that needs to happen!
First of all, I think I have this disease when it comes to videoing my child. I start videoing to catch a certain scene and then if she is cooperating I think, why not try and get a video with all her tricks in one. So I proceed to ask her to do this or that and she doesn't and I keep trying and the video gets longer and more boring and longer and longer and I don't know how to edit them to be concise. So, with that disclaimer out there for all to read... I will post the following videos. Each one has a segment of action and the rest is boring pleas for action. haha. Enjoy!

The other night I was whistling while feeding Stella and this is what she started doing...

whistling from Lindsey Lewis on Vimeo.



Take II on the tricks

tricks from Lindsey Lewis on Vimeo.



Starting to walk... sort of

Walker from Lindsey Lewis on Vimeo.



As you can see, our little SJ is growing up quickly!! People comment all the time about how much she has grown just in the weeks that they haven't seen her. It's true. I notice on a regular basis that her hair is thicker, her face looks older and she is looking more and more like a toddler. At 11 months, Stella weighed 23lbs and I can't believe we have only two weeks until she is a year old. Up to this month I have been eagerly peeking ahead at that one year mark. At one year the allergies are not such an issue with foods. The nursing will taper and stop... but even if we are still nursing, there's no pressure b/c I know there are other things for her to eat. At a year I feel like there are so many fears that just melt away. However, now that I am staring that year smack in the face, I'm okay with walking slowly for the next two weeks and enjoying the baby in Stella Jane. I think she is enjoying the baby too b/c she has wanted to be held and started waking up at all hours of the morning lately for no real reason. I think it might be teething again or maybe those darn allergies that won't leave her be.
Stella is pulling up and cruising around the house on everything. Her favorite thing seems to be to get right under me while I am cooking or cleaning and hang on to my legs. It's not convenient but it sure is cute. She has figured out how to open cabinets and push chairs and boxes around the house. She is still taking two naps but usually one of them isn't that great, so I see what's coming.
Drew and I celebrated our Four Year Anniversary a couple of weeks ago! We didn't do much since we already took our vacation to Tahoe but we did close on our new house on our anniversary. A friend was keeping Stella during the signing b/c it was her nap time and Drew was so awesome and called her and asked her in advance if he could take me out to lunch afterwards. So we went to Macaroni Grill, which we never do, and gorged ourselves on bread and pasta. YUM! I was so excited about our lunch date I was okay with not having much more celebration. However, when I arrived to pick up Stella there was an edible arrangement on the table... for me! Drew had it sent to her house knowing I would be there. I have ALWAYS wanted one of these!!! It was so great. That night I made pizza and apple crisp (with blue bell!), which are two of his "favorites" (aka he likes them a lot but doesn't really have favorites). It was a really sweet day.
Since then we have been working on the house and we went on a road trip to southern TN for a wedding and Stella did amazing in the car. She took a nap on both of the long legs, which was unexpected and amazing! We got a great deal on a hotel and got a lot of unexpected friend hang out time while we were there... so it was a great weekend too! Then this week we went to a local farm and picked apples... a first for Stella. I made some amazing apple streusel muffins and have a few more apple tricks up my sleeve!
Now we are in high gear to get this house fixed up, have Stella's Fabulous Fall Festival birthday party and move in!
You can also be praying for me, I have some nose issues again and they are pretty severe it seems this time and I am trying a new natural remedy that I am really hoping works out! Thanks!!
Apple picking pictures to come!
Blessings

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Don't Feed the Wildlife...


He couldn't resist... and that little bird followed us around the rest of the trip beggin' for more... at least she is sooo cute!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Back Again!




This summer has been a whirlwind of travel for this family, especially SJ and myself. Drew and I were hoping to get away on a post-weaning trip just the two of us but the more we thought about it, the more we realized that the timing wasn't going to really work out and we might as well wait to go until after his vacation days renew in the winter. So, what to do with those set aside days? FAMILY VACATION!
I don't know what we were thinking but in a crazy instant we booked tickets to Lake Tahoe, NV. It was a whim and a lark and it turned into our first ever family vacation (at least first with just us three). Drew's bff and his lovely wife and son (same age as SJ) live on the lake and so we stayed with them for a week.
Vacation is a little different when you are traveling with a baby. I thought I had prepared my expectations but you can never be fully prepared for being woken up at 1am, 4am and 6am on a regular basis on your VACATION. Vacations are supposed to be restful! It took almost the entire week to get SJ to nap well and sleep through the night but that aside.. it was a flawless trip. SJ did amazingly well on our long flights and she was a trooper through out the trip.
Some of the highlights for me were (yes most of them involve food): roasting marshmallows for a breakfast appetizer, finding a bunch of Jamba Juice stores, In and Out Burger for the first and second time ever, hiking around the Emerald Bay area and putting the babes in the lake, kayaking on Lake Tahoe, dinner with the camp director and his wife (real tex mex for dinner too), talking about babies and laughing. Even though we didn't sleep a lot, we did get to rest a lot. It was chilly the first few days and so we just stayed indoors and chatted and then spend the last few days hiking, walking and hittin up the beach!
I might go into more detail later but for now, just enjoy the pictures.
Also... we are closing on the house this month! woo hoo!




Tuesday, August 24, 2010

THE House....


We had an inspection today on a new (to us) house... there were a few unexpected issues (read: huge leak coming out of the dining room fan when the water was turned on) but nothing that our handy plumber and handyman husband couldn't/can't handle!
The pictures are no longer posted online so I snapped a few to give you an idea.
We are planning to paint to door (color still in debate), paint the shutters black, paint all the walls a neutral shade (including the upstairs wood panelling) and do a deep clean in the bathrooms.
There's also a pic of SJ in her new big girl seat... she comes with the house too!

When you walk in the front door you are in the living room and can walk straight into the dining room and to the left of that is the kitchen. Off the immediate right are the stairs leading to the second floor.





Off the right side of the living room/dining room area there are two bedrooms and a full bathroom. They basically only need a good clean and some fresh paint




This is the upstairs... two rooms with wood panelling and a full bathroom. The rooms need paint but are really cute with large closets, attic space and built in drawers, shelves and desks.




This is the median/cul de sac and pictures of the back "yard"




1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.....10!!




We made it to 10 months! We are on the final dash to the one year marker.
This month has been so eventful. A trip to Duxbury, MA and a trip to Texas and a vacation to Lake Tahoe! Stella is truly one of the most traveling babies I have ever met. She does fairly well but with increased mobility comes increased agitation on plane rides, which is not much fun.
Before we went to Texas, SJ had some sort of cold/allergies and after a week they cleared up and all was well. The day after we got back from Texas she started up with it again. It's been over a week and the little babe is a cranky, snotty mess!! I'm not really sure what I should do at this point? If I go to the doctor I am pretty sure I will be wasting $20 for him to tell me to wait it out or he will give me some drug that I am not too keen on giving to my little one. I'm just hoping it will clear up soon. Because of the allergies and a very busy schedule naps have been more often a miss than a hit. I don't think that helps her cranky disposition one bit either!
Stella is SUPER mobile these days. She can reach the kitchen counter on her tip toes and the piano and highchair and just about anything else she really sets her mind on. She isn't afraid of falling or rolling (and has the bumps and bruises to prove it)... as long as mommy is near. Remove the mommy and remove all sanity. Same song, 10th verse.
Stella is getting lots of hair and in general assuming a much more big girl look. It's crazy to see her growing from day to day. She is so interested in having a conversation (with lots of hand motions) and looking into every little detail of every little thing. She is into everything!
Because she is still crawling and pulling up on anything she can, I don't have any pictures of her...I am constantly in motion with her and have no time to grab a camera and by the time I do, she is on to something else.
We are inspecting a new house today and so hopefully I'll bring you pictures of the babe and house soon!
Happy 10 Months SJ!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Miscellaneous

There is nothing much to note about SJ but I just felt like giving you a little update on our normal day to day...



This week has been a little bumpier than usual because SJ has had some sort of cold or allergies. I don't know which I would prefer. If it's a cold, it's sad because she is contagious and thus we have to stay pretty quarantined (which we mostly have). However, if it's allergies, it could last months and months or off and on for her entire life. I don't want her to have to go through what I have gone through.... isn't that the main point of nursing for a year and delaying this food and that etc etc...? Either way, it was just another test of my motherhood skills (which are still being refined to say the least). I always feel like this will last forever and then am ashamed of myself when it is over in a mere week or two. SJ stopped taking naps and started waking up earlier and earlier in the mornings and was the fussiest I have seen her in six months or more... I was becoming frazzled. Then today, she slept like normal and has taken two great naps! Oh mommy, when will you learn to chill out!
In a week or so we are traveling back to Texas to hang out with Drew's Gran and the rest of our families. We are hoping to go swimming a lot while we are there. SJ had her first dip in the ocean when we went to Duxbury recently and she liked it. It was so cold and thus we thought she would dislike it but she seemed really pleased the whole time. Can't wait to see her in the pool again.
Last week SJ started pulling up on everything and has become really sturdy on her feet. Today, for the first time, she even let go of what she was holding and stood on her own for a few seconds.
I can't believe that the summer is basically over. Seminary classes start online in a little over a week. I am still very excited but also a little sobered by the amount of work in the syllabus. It's never as bad as it seems right at first. I think I will miss seeing my favorite professor in person and hearing his asides but I'm thankful for the online option at this stage in our lives.
I'm also going to be a teacher's assistant for my good friend and mentor as she homeschools her four children. I am so excited to be able to help her out and also to be able to learn along side her as she teaches, disciplines and loves on her kiddos. I know SJ will also benefit from being around other children so often, especially as she develops more and more... and from being in a more structured play time several times a week. We are going to work with the little girls while the boys are getting more formal schooling. I can't wait.
Then before you know it, SJ will be ONE! I am already planning her party in my head and trying to learn all about this new stage that is fast approaching. I have no idea how to wean or what to feed a one year old or what to occupy her time with etc etc... it's going to be fun!
Here are some pictures from our day to day lately...

sitting on the a/c vent on our hottest day of the year so far... in fact I think the hottest day I've seen in four years here!


teething and standing up at the same time... what talent!



We had to say goodbye to some of our closest friends... Jane and SJ hanging out for lunch/tea one last time

Friday, July 30, 2010

9 Months...a little late



So SJ is blowin' straight through all these milestones... next up is ONE YEAR! I can't believe it. I think I've said that every time. We haven't taken SJ to the doctor yet for her check up (b/c we know she is fine and don't need to pay to have them tell us) but here are her stats...
Longer
Taller
Stella is measuring way above the average one year old in height and weight and last time I checked she was around 30 inches and 20lbs (about a month ago).
We are still nursing but have started to introduce more and more solids. Right now she gets at least one meal of solids a day and we are moving up to two. She LOVES avocado and cheese and takes just about everything else we have given her. The only thing she has ever rejected was a slice of yellow bell pepper. She wouldn't even tolerate it to be on her tray. This is so hilarious b/c neither Drew nor I appreciate bell peppers and it has only been in the recent months that I have been able to tolerate the red and yellow/orange variety. The green don't have a chance in this family. So it's funny that without any prompting she rejected this veg. Oh well. We'll try again some time soon.
At 9 months Stella had her two bottom middle teeth fully installed and just recently started cutting all four middle top teeth. Needless to say, she has not found that a pleasant experience. During her ninth month Stella had a trip to Texas for a wedding, a trip to Kansas for a wedding and a Lewis family trip to Duxbury, MA. She is quite the traveling baby. She has done well on all her flights and has flirted with all the other passengers.
Stella has learned how to wave, fake shyness and give a low five or high five. She loves to talk non stop and eat anything in reach. She still comes at life with the tongue first.
Just this week (9.2) Stella learned how to pull all the way up to standing and has had quite a few tumbles in the process. Pretty soon she will be cruisin' around the house and then we'll really be in trouble.
She is such a fun and happy baby to mother (yes, even in the midst of teething woes) and I am so thankful to the Lord that she came through the colic phase and is now so happy to be with me and wants me around all the time.
We love you SJ... and apparently she loves you too (see video)!

Want a Kiss? from Lindsey Lewis on Vimeo.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Because I love you...

and I love her
and, well, she loves herself....
I thought you should see this..

Kiss the Baby Take 2 from Lindsey Lewis on Vimeo.

Updates

This should brighten even the worst Monday!

SJ 7mo Laugh from Lindsey Lewis on Vimeo.


This video is proof that Stella is quite the camera ham. She will rarely continue to do any trick once she sees that camera. She will just stare at it and smile.

Little Puppy from Lindsey Lewis on Vimeo.


This video is a little dated but it is still one of her favorite spots to be. Instead of licking it, now she likes to pull up on it and grab at anything on top of it.
I haven't really be blogging lately because there doesn't seem to be much to blog about. After our trip to Texas and Kansas it took me a while to get back into the swing of things. First I rested a lot to catch up from all the busy activities we had been doing and then I had to restock the fridge and pantry and learn how to cook meals again. Then I had to clean the house and run errands and catch up with friends etc etc... I am just now feeling back to normal. And so is Stella... apparently... because she has gone back to shorter naps and less clingy days.
Lately Stella has mastered her crawling skills and can crawl across the whole house in a matter of minutes (usually to find me). She also likes to pull up on things onto her knees and has pulled up all the way to standing a couple of times on my leg. We think she is teething again or having a growth spurt b/c a couple of times in a row she woke up periodically in the night crying for no apparent reason and she has been a little cranky even in the day too.
We have started to give her solids on a more regular basis. For about the last two weeks we have given her a full feeding of solids before her last nursing because she was acting like she was still hungry at night. Avocado seems to be her favorite but she has enjoyed every fruit we have given her as well. This past week I gave her some raw milk, organic cheese and she LOVED IT. It is the only thing I have ever put in her mouth that at least some of it did not come out. I kept checking her clothes, diaper and high chair for dropped pieces but there were none! This week I am trying to add on another feeding of solids during the early afternoon to see if that helps her stay more comfortable during the 9 month growth spurt.
Stella loves to cluck her tongue and is learning how to clap and give a "high five". She has said mama, dada, nana, ga, ba, and a whole bunch of other gibberish sounds. She also can give a good raspberry.
In other news we have picked three zucchini from our garden and lots of broccoli and today we have a few huge tomatoes that look like they are ripe for the picking. Several cherry tomatoes are orange colored and there are several strawberries to be picked! WOO HOO! I am super pumped about our veggies! I'll post some pictures soon.
The babe is awake... so I'm off!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back!



It has been a CRAZY week! Tuesday I flew to Dallas with the little one and got to visit with the in-laws and Drew's Gran (Stella). SJ did really well on the flight with only a brief melt down at the end from being forbidden to eat the lady next to us' watch, magazine, coke bottle and hair. Poor kid. Then she took a great nap and we headed back to FW. She basically went straight back to bed.
We had so much fun the following days hanging out with my parents and sisters and other various friends and family along the way. My parents took so many pictures and video of her it was hilarious. I don't think there were many consecutive minutes where one of them didn't have an iphone or camera in her face. haha. She was a big mama's girl the whole time but did better about playing and laughing with other people as long as I was in the same room as her.
The wedding festivities began Thursday night and continued through Saturday night. It was so so much fun to hang out with my life long friends and also to meet some new sweet girls. I felt really blessed the entire week.
SJ slept great (minus some seriously early mornings) and ate great and really did great in general.
Sunday we left early for Kansas and Drew's brother's wedding. It was a little difficult to orchestrate with SJ needing naps and going to bed earlier than most people but we still managed to squeeze in some fun. Our new sister in law was absolutely stunning and more than anything else we are thankful to have her cemented into the family! Aunt KK woo hoo!
Monday we flew back to the ville and SJ finally had it with all the flying and missing naps and she just layed across our laps, stuck that cute thumb in her mouth and slept the whole flight. It was amazing. She has never slept in our arms since those early days of life and it was really too cute.
Today she seemed to be playing catch up from all the travel and teething and slept most of the day away (which was a nice treat for one tuckered out mama too).
That's the update.

Monday, June 21, 2010

8 Months!


Stella will be 8 months old tomorrow at 5pm... but since we'll be traveling all day, I thought it was okay to be a little early.
Stella has become such a big girl this past month. She is officially mobile and while she can crawl correctly, she usually either only uses her hands or her feet... she likes a challenge. She still sleeps through the night and has been hit or miss with the naps these days... we are just trying to roll with the punches. She has two bottom teeth and seems to be working on more. I feel like this month I have grown closer to her than ever. I feel like I can really diagnose and meet her needs and we laugh together all day long. She is super vocal saying mamama, dadada, nanana and bababa. Too bad no grandmother chose nana for her name because that is her favorite right now, I guess great nana wins the honor! She can also blow a raspberry and cluck her tongue. She likes anything dirty or metalic including floor vents, vacuums, chair legs, watches, rings, keys etc... Stella is a great shopping companion and likes to go out to eat also... she is always a big hit with other people and even gives them a smile sometimes. She has gone a few times to the church nursery successfully and has even let some close friends hold her with out crying! She has tried pieces of pear, avocado, nectarine, honey dew melon, apple, cantaloupe, sweet potato, pureed peas, carrots, strawberries, broccoli and banana with no allergies that I can tell. She is such a joy!
Stella decided to go BIG for her first Father's Day outside the womb and I am afraid she won't be able to top this gift for the rest of her life. She had one happy daddy! We also ate at Chili's (his choice) and got ice cream at Graeter's (strawberry chocolate chip for me and blackberry white chocolate chip for him) and yes we let SJ have a teensy taste. She liked the ice cream but seemed to go for the plastic spoon even more.



Here are some pics after some avocado... practicing with her spoon and blowing raspberries... see ya soon Texans!