Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Happy Baby Boy Birth Announcement
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nursery Fun!

So I wanted to post a little bit of the progress of the nursery!

We got the furniture May 9 and the dresser came as one piece undamaged, but the crib headboard was damaged. :-(
Giant boxes!
Damaged :-( (had chunks missing like this on both ends)

They sent us a replacement crib, which came May 20, and we switched out the headboard for an undamaged one, yay!! We put the crib together and are just waiting for a mattress (thank you Mom & Dad Klein!) :-) A special "thank you" to a family whose children I've cared for that bought the crib and dresser for us!!
We finished it!
Getting out the replacement headboard!

This weekend I also was able to find just the right bookshelf to use for storage & to put a rod next to for a makeshift closet, since there is not one in the baby room. I got some additional baskets for the storage and a changing pad & cover so our dresser/changing table looks more complete!

We also ordered the rocker on Friday, and it came Monday (thank you Mom & Dad Russell!!). When I woke up from my nap, Josh had put the chair together for me! Yay!

So we've gotten lots done and I'm excited to do more! Josh is even enjoying the preparation for baby, though I'm wearing him out with having lots of projects and doing lots at once :-) But it's making the fact that we're having a baby even more real and making us even more excited for his arrival!!

Some more fun photos :-)

All the trash and recycling from the dresser & crib :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This is the stuff...

I love to think about and share stuff that drives me crazy and the stuff that makes me smile. Life is full of both - and we have to find ways to deal with both! (If you haven't heard This is The Stuff by Francesca Battistelli, you should go listen to it now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqqdA8LHN7I).

Having babies and lacking sleep go hand-in-hand, right? If you didn't know that already, now you do... I bring it up because it is something that people decide to remind Josh or myself of at least once a week. Although I appreciate the desire to relate to us and share from their experience, it is becoming something that drives me crazy! We definitely, 100% know that we are going to get less sleep when our son arrives, and as much as we appreciate the reminder and know people with caring hearts just don't want us to be surprised, I have much appreciated and enjoy much more people that share more positive aspects of having children with us! Two great sources: the 2 moms whose children I care for. Both of them have taken special note to share with me that having a child brings such joy. Yes, we've talked about lacking sleep, but more-so I have been told (and get to experience some now) the joy of the firsts, the cute baby things, the cute baby looks, playing, and of course, smiles (which I've mentioned before, I love!!). I have also been told about the joy that can be found in poopy diapers, messy feedings, and added laundry - knowing that the sweet child you created is doing what he/she was created to!! How awesome!
Anyway, as Josh and I try to wrap our minds around the changes that are going to come with our son's arrival, I love having some positives as mentioned above to focus on. Yes, we will be tired, but we will lose sleep because we get to care for our son. :-)

Something that's driving me crazy in a different way is thinking about the labor and eventual delivery of our baby. We definitely are praying daily and would love your prayers as we prepare for this. We are taking classes with the Bradley Method (http://www.parenting-journals.com/21/the-101-on-the-bradley-vs-lamaze-childbirth-techniques/ provides a good overview if you're interested!) and are learning a lot and feeling more prepared now than we did before, yet also less prepared as we find out how much there is that we don't know... But we're learning about those things and how to handle them as they come. I love experiencing these classes with Josh and as he initiates discussions about different things I am encouraged by his interest in our son's entrance into this world. I also am glad he is the coach and not me, as he remembers things much better than I do!

I also have some stories and pictures to share from experiences that certainly have made me smile with the boys lately. It is inevitable that I end up worn out taking care of two under two while pregnant, and it is overwhelming at times, but again, I am working to focus on the positives and the things that make me smile. Two Fridays ago we had our first outting to eat lunch with Josh at our house. We made it through, and now I know we can do it! Also, Justin was reintroduced to Josh after not having seen him since summer - he was totally afraid of him, but more aware of him :-)
This last week we were going to venture out again, for lunch with my parents and Josh, but to avoid some hassle and make things more simple, they came to join us at the house for lunch instead! To prepare Justin a little better this time, I showed him pictures of my parents and of Josh for a couple days and taught him their names. Sometime I must record Justin saying "Duane" and "Barb," it is SOO cute! He loves to say Duane the most ;). Justin was much more comfortable with Josh by the end of his time with us, as evidenced by the picture of them playing together. We also enjoyed reading some new books my parents bought, filled with different animals to name and make sounds for. He was comfortable enough to give my parents hugs "nigh-night" before heading up for his nap. Yay!
We also got out to enjoy a couple walks in the double stroller on the nice-weather days. Justin absolutely loves going out for walks, and Miles seems to really enjoy them too - I am so glad! It was definitely adorable this week when Justin interrupted his early morning play time right after Miles finished his bottle to grab his & Miles' jackets and ask to walk, moving the door and saying stroller.

We had fun watching the rain this week too, especially when we couldn't go out for walks. We went out and felt the rain, touched some small puddles to feel the water, and watched the rain on the window. Justin was very content to sit in the windowsill and watch the rain (and the birds).

I must also mention that one of my favorite parts of having these fun stories to tell is that as I tell them to Josh, he is noticeably more interested and actually enjoys my stories much more now than he used to. It makes my excitement for our coming child that much greater as I experience the beginning of Josh's transition from "just" husband to father! I've always enjoyed watching him with children, but he's much more interested in them now, and that's even more fun :-).

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Love. Joy. Children.

To start off, I must include a tidbit I typed up a couple Fridays ago, after my first few days with just me taking care of Justin [20 months] & Miles [2 months] (with Kameron popping in and out, of course, as his office is in the basement :-)).
Well the great news this week is that I am more than surviving nannying both boys with mama Heather back at work after maternity leave! It has gone very well! I am certainly more tired, but we are getting into the swing of things and I feel confident in caring for both boys by myself - yay!! It's also quite the workout... bonus? ;-)

Reading back through those four sentences, I have to say things continue in the same manner... except I would include a few more words such as love, joy, and smiles. Many times throughout the day, despite sometimes feeling tired... okay, exhausted... I still get to experience such great love, joy, and I smile. A lot. I could go on with many more words than you feel like sitting and reading right now with stories that would make you smile and laugh, but I'll just choose a few highlights!
Hard to tell, but me, Justin & Miles snuggling together in the rocker - putting Miles to sleep and reading to Justin :-) {I took a picture of us on the video monitor}

Some of the simple things that bring me such great joy definitely include working on learning new words and how to do new things with Justin. My favorite word right now? Definitely my name! Justin's way of mixing "Yee" and "Lee" into one word to get my attention or point to and define something as mine is SOO fun to hear! I also really love how much Justin uses "please." And how, if he's using a very whiny tone of voice, you can ask him to use a nice tone of voice and his tone changes completely (so glad his mom started that when the whiny voice was getting a little overwhelming during the beginning weeks of caring for both boys!) I also find great joy in holding the phone up to his ear to say "hi" or "buh bye" to Josh - and Josh likes it too :-)

I also find joy in Justin's love for trucks, cars, and the "vroom" sound. He can "vroom" his toys around for a long time, and it's a great reminder to me to find joy in the simple things in life - to not overlook being entertained with simplicity as children are.

Lastly, I find joy and absolutely love seeing Justin and Miles smile. I love doing things that make Justin smile, and I love when he does something, then looks toward me with that smile that says, "Look what I did! Awesome!" Often followed by his childlike, "Wow!" :-) Justin's hugs and kisses are not far behind, either!!

Okay, I was going through pictures and must include one specific thing this week that brought me great joy. Justin watches me tuck Miles into the swing daily, and yesterday Justin got my attention in the kitchen and was pointing and saying "Mi, Mi..." Since Miles was upstairs sleeping, I was wondering what item of Miles' he was referring to. But, instead, I walked in the dining room and there was Justin's bear, tucked into the swing just the way I do it, and he walked over and turned on the swing and music for his "Mi." He was so proud of himself, and I was so proud of him. So precious.

Justin has really upped his level and success in imitating lately, and it's awesome to teach him new things! It's also a great reminder of the "sponge" minds of children and how I need to be conscious of my actions because he will imitate them. Smell a lesson? Me too - even when I'm not with impressionable children, I must be conscious of my actions, living in a way for Christ that others will want to imitate... and not trying to proclaim Christ yet not follow with action.

Josh opening his gift :)
Okay, last thoughts for tonight... Josh's birthday was this week, and I successfully surprised him with his gift of NFL Training Camp for the Wii. I LOVE when I successfully surprise him! I also am loving the playfulness and joy that seems to be growing between us as we grow closer as we expect our first child. We are experiencing new discussions and new fears as we take our Labor and Delivery class. But, we are growing as a couple, as husband and wife, as soon-to-be mommy and daddy. I am so glad that we are doing things to grow closer, I feel that's important at any time during a marriage, but especially as the marriage experiences new trials! More on that in another post :-)

Josh's cake from the youth group leaders
Time for bed - just got back home a little bit ago as I took brownies and mini muffins to the church as it was Josh's week to provide snack for choir practice!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Word of the Week: Choices

We never go through a day without making a choice, in fact many choices, but I am not always thinking, "Okay, what choice am I going to make here?" This week, though, I thought a lot about the word itself and what it means to make good choices in many different capacities.

The first set of major choices came with thinking through registries and deciding on brand choices for some of the more major purchases for our son. Sometimes I wish I could take choices like this a little more lightly as I have spent SOOO much time researching and deciding already, and we're not done yet. But, I feel comfortable and confident with the fact that I am doing it not just for my peace of mind (because that's part of it, of course) but because I want to make the wisest choice for any big purchase, especially when it concerns our child. With all the options available for every type of product today, I feel it is important to be wise in choosing products.

That brings me to the next major choice on my mind this week: food. When it comes to our family's diet... well, we're not the most healthy. And though I could come up with many excuses as to why not, it really comes down to lack of knowledge on my part. Although I was much aware of this before, I am much more aware of it now as I have more choices to make when it comes to choosing food for Justin when I'm nannying during the week. When I cared for him this summer, I had some choices to make, but my choices were always supplemented by some baby food as well. Now he does not need to be eating such simple baby food all the time and so I need to make the best choice for him nutritionally. I know that learning this now will benefit us in the future as Josh and I seek to become healthier people, and of course, want to raise healthy children. I love the positive inspiration I have in this area as my family have become very healthy eaters and the family I nanny for are very healthy eaters as well.
An email from my brother at the beginning of last month said, " Our culture has inundated us with super-sized and fast-food meals and most kids today don't know the first thing about healthy eating.  I know this probably sounds preachy, but my true hope is that you will all raise your kids differently and teach them, while leading by example, about nutritional eating and living a healthy and active lifestyle.  Knowledge is power.  Just like you can't expect to live a very good Christian lifestyle if you never read the Bible, you can't expect to live a healthy and nutritious lifestyle if you never spend any time learning about it." Exactly. So my current goal is to not be overwhelmed by gaining knowledge about healthy eating, but to make the wisest choice to work to gain knowledge slowly but surely. My hope: Eventually making wise choices for our health may come naturally!

More major choices on my mind this week? Yep. Two more. The first came with working together with Josh to formulate a lesson plan for his college course on 2 Cor. 5:16- 6:2. Basically he sought to teach about the dire importance of making the choice to have a sense of urgency in ministry. Of knowing that the choices we make each day in how we live, how we minister, have an affect on the people around us and we can be the difference between someone "seeing" Jesus and having a positive view of Christianity or not. A lot of times we choose to live as Christians, but not as a Christ-follower. The difference? Our active faith and the way we understand the urgency of letting those around us know about Christ. As Paul put it in this passage in 2 Corinthians, "Today is the day of salvation." Don't overlook the important choice of literally choosing to live for Christ each moment of each day.

The last choice brings me back to children. I am learning so much about making wise choices for our children and teaching them to make wise choices as I nanny for Kameron and Heather. This week they got me the book Parenting with Love and Logic to read, so that we can all be on the same page when it comes to caring for their 2 sons. I definitely desire to be on this same page, and am excited to learn more. Already from reading the beginning of the book and spending some time in prayer, I know that teaching children to make wise choices when they are young will prepare them for "real life" when they will encounter many opportunities to make choices for themselves. They'll encounter these situations no matter what, and training them to make wise choices is very important!

So. Having all these thoughts in my mind, I wanted to share. I just pray that these thoughts on choices will get you thinking about the choices you make as it has for me. We are praying that we make the wisest choices in every area of life, which definitely stems from being a person of wisdom, which of course comes from getting to know our Heavenly Father. Maybe that's what my mind is bringing this down to - being a person of wisdom in order to make wise choices comes from not just spending time researching to find the "best" answer based on peoples' research and experience, but spending time researching God's Word to become a person of Godly wisdom.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's a Boy!

We had our third ultrasound on Friday, at 21 weeks 5 days, and found out we are expecting a boy!! Now the real fun begins - we can work on finishing registries and finalizing baby showers :-).

We are so excited to be having a boy, and with our son spending regular time each day kicking me and a name picked out (99% sure), it is becoming much more real that we are having a baby! The awesome 3-D pictures of his face make us well up with awe and love as well - amazing!

As I spend time nannying for a family that welcomed their second son on February second, I praise the Lord for the ways this experience will prepare me to be a mom. Between wisdom from Heather and observing her care for her son, I am already learning a lot. I also have family and friends who have much wisdom to share and I am just so thankful for the ways God is using them to help prepare me for mommyhood.

As I dive into the adventure of regular, long-term nannying, as well as as we prepare to become parents, I can't wait for the adventures and lessons in store - much joy will be experienced, I know!!