Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Birthday Girl

In some ways, this year seems to have flown by and I can't believe my baby is already 1.  In other ways, this year dragged on.  I have to admit that going from 1 to 2 children was far harder for me than from going from 0 to 1.  But, I think that had a lot to do with the milk protein allergy and the 9.5 month sleep deprivation.  Those topics deserve a whole blog post in and of themselves, so I won't go into that here.

BUT we have made it!  The first year is over and we are loving the stage that Lyla is in right now.  We are into the rapid learning phase.  She is active and curious and daring, yet still loves momma and cuddling.  She will venture off and play by herself for a few minutes and then she will come right back to momma and want me to hold her for 5 seconds and then she will go off again.  She wants to be independent sometimes, but isn't quite there yet :)

Here is a little bit about our girl:
-Smiley and flirty.  She likes to act shy, burying her face into my shoulder when people give her attention.  But truly, she loves attention :)
-Petite... she is still long and skinny and has a little head.  I sometimes get comments about how she must be an early walker, but I think it's because she is bald and little, so she looks younger.
-She could walk from me to you at 10.5 mos, but it wasn't until 11 mos that she walked more than she crawled.
-7 teeth.
-She says: dada (first word), mama, bubba, dog, bye-bye, book, elephant noise (with action), and dog noise.  But I think she may be less of a talker than brother was.  She won't speak on command (unlike Emerson) and you have to listen closely to hear her say her words.  Even though she has a good set of lungs on her, I think her personality might be less talkative... we'll see.
-Her favorite activities are... being carried by mommy everywhere, BOOKS, playing outside, sliding, cuddling, building towers.  I think she is mostly into gross motor activities right now.
-Oh, and she loves meat, eggs, and fruit.  The girl is a bottomless pit ever since we got back from Colorado.
-She still nurses 3 times a day.  I think we will drop the daytime one in the next week, so I'm thinking she will be fully weaned around 13 mos, which is when Emerson was also.
-She is silly sometimes and I actually think she has a pretty good sense of humor, and even thinks some things are funny that adults actually think are funny, too.  I like it :)

A Ham.
While we have had some rough patches this last year, we have also had some really high highs.  I love you with all that I am and I am so grateful that God gave us you.  I pray that you grow to become the lady that God designed you to be.  And that you will be a joy, blessing, and light of Christ for the world around you.  I pray that you see others through His eyes and love and serve others the way Christ did.  You are a special girl and my heart swells with love for you.

First time in the mountains with kids!

Our latest attempt at a girl cousin pic... one day it will get easier :)

Meeting one of her future besties :)

Sweet tooth.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Emerson says...

Hey, ya'll!  Life has been pretty good in the Gutshall home!  Lyla started sleeping through the night a little over a month ago and I am a new woman.  I am getting 8 straight hours of sleep at night and it is glorious.  I am actually energized enough to do things like clean, cook, and not nap and I am generally pleasant to be around!  In all seriousness, though, 2013 was just a hard year.  With foster care and transitioning into have two kids, one of which is a baby with a milk protein allergy and terrible sleep habits, the entire year was just. hard.  As Lyla has hit 10 months old, she is just getting easier and bigger and really fun.  I am amazed that next month I will have a 1 and 3 year old.  I can't even wrap my mind around it.  I have to say that having another baby is not even on the radar yet, because we are JUST getting past the hard stage and I am loving my "big kids" and our little family.  We had such a fun night tonight just rough housing and wrestling and Lyla totally joins in on the fun now.  I am totally savoring this fun stage.  Ok, so here are some funny recent Emerson quotes...

1.  While face timing with my parents...
Emerson: I have water in my ears from my bath!
Nana: Oh no!  You're going to have to shake that out!
Emerson: No, I'll just use those little sticks with the fuzzies on the end to get it out!
(AKA Q-tips).

2.  While face timing with my parents later...
Nana: You are going to be so smart just like your daddy! (I still can't figure out why she didn't say mommy, but that's beside the point)
Emerson:  No... I don't have moles on my head like daddy does.  Maybe I'll grow some when I get older! (Apparently moles make you smart, folks!  That must be Caleb's secret!)

3.  Caleb's grandpa passed away about a month ago and while trying to explain this to Emerson, the conversation went like this (Emerson hasn't really been exposed to the idea that people die)...
Caleb: Do you remember who great grandpa is?  Where did we see great grandpa last?
Emerson: At the doctor.  (true statement)
Caleb: Well, grandpa didn't get better.  He died and he went to be in heaven with God.
Emerson: (without skipping a beat) Is Goliath with God?
Caleb:  ......... I'm not sure.

4.  One day, Emerson pointed out to me that girls have hair like mommy (long) and boys have hair like him (short).  So, in an effort to prevent awkward public comments (ie: is that a boy or girl? etc.), I told him that sometimes you will see women with short hair or men with long hair.  And I listed some people like that, that he knows.  Later, as I was laying him down for his nap, Emerson says... "Some boys have long hair, some boys have funny hair, and some boys have smoke detectors."

??? This was one of those moments that I laughed out loud in that moment.  SO random.

5.  He has a hard time keeping the words "strong" and "heavy" straight.  Therefore we get lots of comments like, "Mommy, you are so heavy!" when he means "strong".  lol.  It just makes me laugh when he says that.

6.  Emerson is into telling secrets these days, but it is always the same secret.  Thankfully, it is a very good secret that melts a momma's heart.  He comes over to me...
Emerson:  Mommy!  I have to tell you a secret!
(He moves my hair out of the way so he can find my ear and whispers...) I love you, mommy.

That secret sure never gets old!

About 6 months ago, I wrote a "funny quotes" post and it had some good ones on it.  It is just pretty fun when they say crazy things.  We love that boy!

Emerson has a few good buddies that I hope he stays friends with for years to come.  Great boys.  Graham and Emerson know each other from play group and have been friends since they were babies.

This is Little Caleb (my husband is Big Caleb) and they have been friends since the womb days.  They have loads of fun together.

Emerson got bronchiolitis and had to do breathing treatments :(  I was very grateful that Lyla didn't get it because it would have been much more serious in a baby.

Flowers for mommy!  Training him to be a gentleman early :)

Loving the snow days.  This boy will always have momma's heart.

My little race car drivers.

E's first goatee.

That's all folks!  Happy early Valentine's Day!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sweet Pea, Apple of my Eye

Lyla girl is 10 months old now!  I can't believe she's this old, but I'm also a little relieved to be past the little baby stage and into the fun, learning stage.  We are loving this spunky girl.  I still think she is going to have quite a sense of humor and fun-loving personality.  It's so fun seeing her personality unfold, trying to figure her out.  Here are a few stats about her:

-At her 9 month appt, she was 75% for height, 30% for weight, and 50% for head.  She currently wears 6-9 month and 12 month clothing.  Size 2 shoes.
-She surprised us at Christmas by walking her little push toy.  We didn't know she could do that.
-She is so active.  She is a very fast crawler and sometimes she reminds me of a little spider.  She cruises all around furniture and basically gets around.  She loves to be in the action too.
-Praise God, she started sleeping through the night, only like a week ago.  But I already feel much more rested.  Consequently, her eating has improved too.  When she was still doing night feedings, she was not so interested in nursing or solids during the day.  Now she loves both.
-She has taken 2 steps at a time, but doesn't go further than that.  So, I think we will have an official "walker" in a few weeks.
-I can eat dairy now, but I had ice cream last night and she was pretty fussy today, so I think more creamy dairy like that still affects her a little.  But I'm very glad she seems to be outgrowing this.  Caffeine still affects her.
-She is into toilets, trashcans, and diaper pails these days.  Sigh.
-She is starting to obey "no, no" sometimes.  She has finally given up on the dog food.
-She really loves mama right now, especially if she gets hurt or is fussy.  However, she gets very excited to see Caleb when he gets home from work.  It's pretty darn cute.
-She also says "mama" now and I love it, because Emerson didn't say mama til he was 1.  And she definitely associates it with me.  I got a massage today (thanks, hubby!) and while I was gone, Caleb said she kept asking for me saying "mama" repeatedly.  "Dada" was her first word, however.  She has possibly said "dog" and "bubba", but I'm not totally convinced.
-She can point out some objects in books.  She loves to point in general :)
-She is not one for kissing lately, but some mornings, after I get her out of bed and feed her, she'll give me a great, big kiss and I soak it up!!
-She recently got both top front teeth, so she now has 4.  I think she is working on the ones beside her top front two, though.
-She hates taking medicine.  Loathes it.
-She is very mischievous.  Pesters brother.  Determined to get into the toilet.  And get this... the other day, after I sucked her nose (she's been sick since Thanksgiving), I picked her up to comfort her and she deliberately grabbed my hair and pulled it!  And when I moved my hair, she started looking for my earrings to pull!! She knows those are both "no, no's" so she was purposely trying to get even with me!  I didn't know whether to laugh or worry about how full our hands will be with this girl!  Oh, dear.
-She is still a mini-me.  I can't tell you how many times I have heard these exact words: "She looks JUST like you!!"

Ok, I think this is a long enough list.  We are having lots of fun with our two littles these days.  We do have the sharing disputes and picking on each other issues, but we are also enjoying having an older baby and the freedoms that come along with it.  My heart bursts with love for my babies and I can't believe they are growing right before my eyes.  Am I really about to have a 1 and 3 year old?  I'm baffled.  I'm blessed.  Here are some pics!

Lyla's First Snow... She didn't quite know what to think.
 The following picture was one of my most favorite moments.. both kids had just woken from their naps and were very cuddly.  My arms and heart just felt SO full.  Please notice how Emerson and Lyla are looking at each other.  And how Emerson is touching Lyla.  Be still my heart!

Big girl!

Look at me, mom!

The dog crate is always a favorite among kids this age :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Blog

Hey friends!  So, if you are a regular-ish follower you may have noticed that I've been slightly absent from the blog lately.  To be honest, initially I chose to take a little break to kind of examine my motives behind having a blog and also ask myself what the purpose of my blog is.  When I first began my blog, I was pregnant with Emerson and wanted to start a blog to just document our family life.  But as time went on, it became very easy to fall into the blog world, caring too much about page views and comments and comparing myself to other bloggers, even though this is just a little old family blog!  Silly, I know.

So, after considering it, I have decided to continue blogging semi-regularly and to mainly keep it about our family.  I know this is not a topic that gets big time page views, but that is not the purpose of my blog.  I want to document our family life just so I have it to look back on one day when my little ones are not so little anymore.  And, who knows, maybe they would like to look at it too one day.  So, I'm sorry I won't be blogging about popular topics.  I will probably only blog about other things if I really feel led by the Lord to do so.  Maybe one day when the kids are in school and I have more time, I will devote more time to the blog.  But for now, it will be about the fam.

Along with the new year, many desires spring up within me to do better at things.  There are so many things I could do better at  right now... cleaning, eating, exercising, home projects, blogging, to name a few, which are mostly worldly things in my opinion.  Since it is not very realistic for me to devote lots of time to those things right now, I feel led to make a few things my priorities.  One, spiritual growth.  I want to write His Word on my heart.  I want regular Spirit empowered prayer.  I want to be used by Him, however he wants to use me.  And I want to be all here, with my family.  Caleb and I are challenging ourselves to put away our phones.  I'm tired of carrying that thing with me everywhere I go.  I don't want to be glued to it anymore.

So, yeah.  That's what's going on here I guess :)  I will try to write a Lyla update this week!  Enjoy the beautiful winter wonderland and stay warm!