Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Month 8: The holidays

Well, we're fully moved into our new house. After coming home from our latest travels we walked into the house and I thought "man, is this really ours?" I guess you can say it still hasn't quite set in, but it also feels oddly normal. I don't really understand how both of those can exist, but they do. Ellie is changing so much. My sweet girl seems to have changed the most these past few weeks and even past few days. She is such a delight.

Her favorite thing to sag is bah bah bah In a high pitched voice. She really exentuates the mouth movements, puckering her upper lip and opening her mouth really wide. 

She learned to blow pretend bubbles after watching her nana chew her gum. 

She gives me beautifully sloppy open mouth kisses on my cheeks and greets me with wonderful hugs if I have been gone for a while.  

She laughs and squeals when rand and I smooch. I think he's the most thrilled about that one ;)

She treats her baby walker like a bumper car. She is such a hoot in it, motoring around everywhere, chasing Kia, and charging  at people. Watch out!

She is learning to walk and fall. I've noticed this has been the scariest development for me so far. Letting her learn to fall is so hard, I really want to encase her in bubble wrap so she never feels pain. So slowly I have been able to let her experience the joys of independence. Rand suggested we try a helmet. I said, what about her face. Then he suggested a face mask. Ha. 

She can say Momma! It's so incredibly sweet to have that name fall from her lips!

She recently got a pair of crocs so we both match. Hers are a lot purple and mine are purple. 

She really has taken an interest in reading books and enjoys flipping the pages.

We have been teaching her to sign but she hasn't really caught on. When she is full she moves her head to one side and won't open her mouth back up. 

We're teaching her to high five and she is staring to catch on! 

She loves holding your hand and speed walking to different parts of the room. 

She is starting to be able to focus on things and tasks for longer periods of time. She enjoys playing with her close pins and blocks, dumping them out of containers and putting them back in.

Her favorite foods are avacados and bananas, 

She enjoyed her first ice skating experience with us. We were in skates and she was in a sled and then... She fell asleep, staring up at the sky!

The holidays were wholesome. We enjoyed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Grandma and grandpa seay, uncle Bryn, and auntie Alys. Such sweet memories. games, food dipping, a fondue night, yummy food, communion, toasts, Christmas light watching, monsters university, and skating were just a few of the fun things we did. Our dear friends Whit and Kyle visited us for a short and very wholesome weekend too. 

A trip to my parents house in the twin cities capped everything off. We enjoyed shopping trips to ikea, trader joes, the mall of America, yummy meals prepared by my mom and our our favorite Chinese takeout and punch on New Year's Eve. such a sweet time with family. Especially my younger sister. What a sweet lady she is. My favorite part of the weekend was a quick escape one morning to dun bros where I spent some time journaling and reading.

It felt like a whirlwind of a holiday season. Moving, Christmas, friends, and family. I find myself still processing these past 4 weeks. My heart feels heavy grief over the time being over and return to normal life. Goodbyes are hard especially with those we love and I find my heart feeling heavy over the departures experienced this past month. I would never take any of the sweet memories of this past month back. There is such beauty with my heart coming alive to that grief. I finally get to taste the sweetness of true relationship with others. To be loved and to love. That is the source of this love sweet Jesus. 

 So I have allowed myself to sit in the pain of that grief today and letting the tears fall as they will.

 And I would do it again and again. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Month 7. Teeth & Moving Day Around the Corner

I love this nugget more and more each day. Seriously, she blows me away.

Her bottom two teeth are coming in! No crazy stories to go along with it either.  They just sort of popped through.

She doesn't seem to like to be touched as often. She despises putting on clothes. She has started pushing your hand away if you try and touch her tummy or hair.

She fights sleep. Most days she takes two twenty minute naps. Sometime three, but honestly, I don't know how she's not more exhausted during the day!

Her new favorite food is a rice cake. She goes crazy over them. I started pureeing my own foods this month too and it has been fun.  Squash, pumpkin, banana, are just a few. 

She is learning to play differently with her toys. She's able to interact with them more purposefully. It's so exciting to watch this part of her change.

She hasn't quite figured out how to roll around and crawl, but she is starting to figure it out. Her world is getting bigger. 

Daddy likes to sing his good morning song to her when she wakes up. It goes:
"Good morning, Lou, how are you? I hope your doing well. We hope you slept real good and your ready for the day 'cause its morn-ing time!" 

Shes been waking up again more in the night. It will be refreshing to let her cry it out more often when her bedrooms neighboring  wall isn't the neighbors.

She likes to talk to herself more while she is playing. Sometimes it seems like she is saying hi or all done.

We're teaching her signs for words like milk, all done, more and change. Rand had been teaching her more and we thought she had caught on some, but most of the time she doesn't seem to notice.

After her early morning feeding, she has been coming into our room to snuggle with us while we wake up. Probably my favorite part of the day.

A friend of mine was soothing her the other day by having her sway back and fourth standing and she seems to really enjoy that. Now she's starting to add little steps to it, which is fun. 

She started pooping solid! In some sense it's a plus because it's not as messy, but MAN does it smell.

Her hair is starting to get a lot longer and thicker.  Today it was tussled and going all sorts of directions.  Were not sure if she is going to have wavier hair like her dad or not. 

She went the the a YMCAs child are for the first time while mommy worked out the other day. It was really exciting for both her and I!

I sort of realized how my image is so import to me and I have felt my sin carry over unto Ellie, with more of a weight being put on how she looks to...well you reading this blog, the people at Target, or my instagram followers.
Little things like, headbands, cute baby clothes, the latest and greatest stuff, often come from a place of image management and making sure that I come across in a hipster mom sort of mom way.
So, basically, I have noticed that operating inside me.
 Cute baby stuff, nope, not wrong at all, but I have started to sense that energy behind my instagram pictures and latest purchases.
It typically is accompanied by a sort of panicky feeling or not feeling okay if ___.
The longing in my heart is for her to know she is treasured just as she is because she is.
So, as Jesus has started showing me this, it has been neat to watch him lead my heart into his confidence and security of who I really am and watch that overflow unto how I interact, and well, dress Ellie. So there is some heart stuff for you. 

Were closing our house TOMORROW!
By Sunday night, we will be out of our apartment and in our own home. It feels crazy. It's been incredible to reflect on the process, together, Rand and I. It feels really neat to have accomplished such a feat as a team, leaning together, alongside each other? Asking for help, when needed, but allowing ourselves to sit in the process of being first time homebuyers together has allowed a new strength and confidence to emerge in our marriage, It's been messy. We've felt, well a lot of things ranging from obscenities to tears of happiness, but it's nearly here at the doorstep and were overjoyed!

I recently joined a fitness center and have truly been loving my me time of exercising and burning off steam. A membership gets you access to both choice fitness and the YMCA, but I am noticing I favor the Y more. The atmosphere seems a lot more relaxed and less showy. AND. The child care is free. I am eager to continue to find classes that I enjoy and enjoy fulfilling the movement my body seems to crave by the end of the day. Going to new classes can feel intimidating, but I find my heart more ready to enter that anxious feeling. It's neat to see Jesus teaching my heart to trust him.

We spent Thanksgiving in the cities with my parents and savored some time with extended family, playing games, and eating lots of yummy carbs.  My sister got back from Italy on Thanksgiving day and it was incredibly special to get to spend a lot of time with her. Another highlight was gettting to go to Trader Joes. Seriously, if they were only in Grand Forks...Ellie is a pretty good traveler and the trip there and back were wonderful. Hopefully someday soon we will be making the commute in a killer van. But seriously, I really want a van. Sliding doors would be heaven.

First thing that is going up in our house is the Christmas Tree and hopefully the next thing is a kitty. OUR HOUSE! Eek. 

Daddy's warby parker try ons :)

Meat Pie Party.

This face.

Family Time in Stillwater.

Bubble Vest. 

First Halloween.

Grandpa Time at Thanksgiving. 

Auntie Time. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

6.5 Months: House!

We have a closing date on a house! I'm sure Ellie's cuteness is what sealed the deal ;) The story goes like this.  We were working with a realtor for about 2 months and really didn't find much.  One day, I went on craigslist and this house popped up.

4 bedroom/2 bath. 2000 square feet. large, fenced in yard, with a deck. In a prime spot near Starbucks... and an elementary school, park, and pool. And it was move-in ready, with all of our must-haves and a few bonus wish list items, like an attached garage, laundry shoot, and fireplace. Just a sturdy, solid little, home.  The kind you can imagine your kids growing up in for the first 10 years of their lives.

The lady and her husband have two young kids and wanted to find a cute young couple they could envision living in it. And, we just so happen to fit that bill and had the bonus of an adorable baby, with a poncho and sparkly shoes. In all honesty, they really are good, trustworthy people.  So they have accepted our offer and we're in the process of the other junk, like the appraisal and working on loan stuff. While there still are some contingencies, basically meaning things that could happen to make the contract no longer valid, we will hopefully be moving into a home before Christmas, on December 5th.

Its weird, I thought I would be more ecstatic.
Don't get me wrong,
but I found myself thinking the last few weeks, man, I sort of like our apartment. Who knew. So I'm really praying things go smoothly and work out with this home so we don't have to start all over, but Rand and I are feeling pretty at peace about it.  Also weird.

Ellie is doing just great. My favorite thing about her is that she loves fuzzy things, namely, cats.  She comes uncorked when she sees one. She likes to grab a big tuft of hair, if she is left unsupervised with one, but we can usually pry her hand off ;)  Our plan is to get her a cute little kitty for Christmas and I can't wait.

She is starting to stand up on, supporting herself on her own against things.

Her dad likes to call her snuggums and squirrel because she is such a good cuddler and because she squirms around so much.

Were finding out that she is really tall for her age.  We went to the doctor and a little one year old was sitting nearby and she was the same size as her.  She tops the chart over the 95% tile for both height and weight.

When she gets excited she opens up her mouth and kind of smiles and squeels.

If you catch her when she is getting sleepy, she is super cuddly. If you are holding her upright, sometimes she will squeeze you with her legs and arms and put her mouth on your shoulder, kissing you.  I basically melt.

She really does not like it when you with hold her ability to exert her will; which all and all means, that she doesn't like it when you get her dressed for the day or bedtime, diaper changes, or wiping the squash off her face.

Her preference is to sit in her car seat on walks over sitting in the stroller.  I think it's because she likes to see our faces.

She likes to eat Micah's car toys. I thought it was the metal for a while, but she likes any of them these days. It's pretty precious.

She is still primarily nursing, but we try to give her baby food at lunch and dinner.  She also has had her first bites of puff popcorn and halloween cookies.

For halloween she starred Wilson, the volleyball from Castaway and won us the prize money; $12 that will hopefully make it into her college or counseling fund ;)

On Sunday, without thinking I said something to the effect of "We need to take more pictures of Ellie, we don't have enough from the fall".  Rand sort of chucked and then I started laughing too. It would be rare that I wouldn't take a picture or video of her a day.

We hosted a few fall events over the past weekends, including a pumpkin decorating party and a halloween party. This last weekend we took a spontaneous trip to visit the twin cities.  By spontaneous I mean, like at 7pm, I threw out the idea and Rand, was in. So we packed a few things and took off. It was a sweet memory I will savor for a while. The spontaneity of it all allowed for limited expectations, making everything a treat. The leaves hadn't all changed yet, so we caught the tail end of their fall, took a little drive down to Stillwater, took the sweetest morning walk at sunrise, did some yoga, and got to visit our dear friends, the Onyshuk's, and catch up over the Vike's game.

It felt like Rand and I were able to process through the whirl wind of life that we have found ourselves caught in these past two and a half years.  Marriage. A kid. New jobs. A house. YOGA. ha.  Part of us has been waiting for a breather, but I'm not sure that's in the agenda.  A new peace is starting to fill us and I really am praising Jesus for the work he is doing.  He really is making us new creations. And experiencing it is instilling a new hope and trust in who He really says I am and who He says he is.

I am not taking on as much of my mess and he, gently, continues to uncover more and more layers of fear, control, and my brokeness.   It's scary-- seeing so much of your stuff; your control and desire to make sure your child is safe, emotionally, and physically, your fear in wanting to pursue your dreams and the things that make you light up.
But it's happening.
I'm seeing it. I'm confessing it. I'm not resisiting as much.  I'm honoring me heart in ways I never thought I would be big enough to.  I'm allowing myself to have a voice, in ways that I never thought I could and it's terrifyingly wonderful. My heart is softening to his love and truth. He is healing my wounded heart. I'm starting to believe he can handle me.
 He is good.

Friday, October 11, 2013

6 Months.

Ellie learned how to stand! It is super precious and I feel so proud of her. Her stance is similiar to a sumo wrestler. She has sort of skipped the stomach lying and turning over phases.

Shes starting to be able to play by herself and is content with some of her big blocks and wooden toys.
She loves tags, strings, and hair
She likes to grab your face.
She likes to smile and giggle
She likes to eat her feet.
She likes to chew on metal trucks.
She is a wiggle monster when we change her diapers. For some reason, this has lead us to a latest nickname of "squirrel". Maybe it's her cute cheeks, maybe its because her latest fall book has a picture of one, and maybe its those wiggles.

They play really well together. 
Her favorite blue block is in the background

First time standing!
My Dad during their visit last weekend.

Enjoying chewing on cars lately. 

I bought her a new hat.

Rand got hired with the North Dakota University System as a web developer. Their office is located on UND's campus.  The position has fully paid health benefits. That means if we wanted to have 18 children, we could. He has two days left at his current job and will be starting this Monday. Our spare time has been filled with viewing houses. "We went to a lot of houses".  Anyone seen that clip? Anyway.
Hopefully we will be in a house before winter, or sooner.  I have an inkling we will, there is one particular house we are pretty found of right now and have decided to put on offer on!

Rand is free to pursue work on the side now and is working with a partner on a design and web development company. So far, they have enough business to keep them busy for a while. They will be forming an LLC soon, which is pretty exciting for them both. I'm sure there will be an unveiling of more details soon.

I don't know if I have any updates on life for me. It's oddly normal. Oh, we have a double stroller now. Thats probably the biggest life changer so far. I no longer strap a baby to me and push the single stroller. That season of life may have been the most exhausting thing;when your caring so much weight on you and pushing a child, it can be pretty harsh. The last time I was this strong surely was when I was playing soccer at UND. Mom shape is pretty intense. Walks seem to be a highlight of my day. I seem to have adjusted to life as a part-time mom to two. Micah, seems to mesh right in and I'm starting to learn what it looks like to love and care for a 1.5 year old; lots of apologizing and confessing my sin. I really am growing fond of him.

Oh, and lately I have taken to crock pot recipes and a roation of about 4 different favorite shirts and pants. It feels, well, nice.

Maybe it's the fall weather, but I'm getting into another cooking/baking kick this week. Who knows where it will take me. But being we now have a red, mini-food processor, I would imagine things to get cray cray up in here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

5 Months.

Spuni. Best prodect EVER. 
Homemade leg warmers and Vikings gear.

Note: improv double stroller does not work. 

Helping daddy write. 

Bear Hat from my dear friend.

Not a happy 5 month birthday. 

two words. Hood rats. 

This is typically how my heart feels and how the apartment looks. CHAOS. 
Figured out how to eat her toes this month..

Sitting up and playing!

Really, I find myself loving my daughter more each day. Sometimes at night I want to just sneak in a few more minutes of cuddling.

This month she learned to sit up all by herself! Rand and I were talking about who she is yesterday and it just seems to like people a lot.  We've noticed that when she wakes up from any sort of nap she is ready to go and start interacting, she quickly gets fussy when "left out" of whatever is going, and
she tends to light up when she is in large groups

Loves being with you engaged and playing.  She enjoys watching Micah and likes to laugh at him.

Has gotten a ton more hair. Pretty soon we will have enough of a tuff to put in a clip!

She is a super heavy wetter at night and we are still trying to figure out a strategy to keep her dry overnight. Almost always her morning "suprise" includes a blowout, not sure if its her pent up force from the nightime or what! Moms getting pretty good at taking at stains.

She likes to sit in her bumbo and hit her heels on the table.  We're not sure if she likes the noise or what, but Rand always thinks it sounds so painful

She likes to put everything in her mouth and things that krinkle, make noises, are tags, and that are cold.

Rand says "she's such a lady" and I say she is "just dainty"

She enjoys talking.

She likes to do this thing, especially after her dinnertime feeding, where she sucks air in noisilly through her mouth and kind of coos. Its always ironic because before she eats she seems just wiped, but afterward she has her second wind.

Seems to get into a trance on walks, mesmerized by life outside.

She can officially be in carts at the store. On our last Target trip I caught her sucking on the germ infested handle... Pretty sure she is now getting her first cold.

While I can definitely say I have gotten stronger, Ellie in her car seat makes for around 30 pounds. We have started leaving her car seat in the car and taking her out, which is a lot easier for us.

She has no interest in standing or her being on her belly and hey, I don't blame her ;)

Enjoys thursdays with Nana and Papa while Rand and I go on dates. Which usually consist of some sort of a drive with the windows down and dreaming.

For Rand and I this season of life has seemed a lot more challenging. Work has been a lot more stressful for Rand and for me having another child around has been an adjustment.  It is really easy to feel like a larger income, a house, a new vacuume, or a food processor will make things better.  We have found ourselves caught up in feeling those things and I can't blame us, but we are both recognizing that those things may distract us for a bit, but the feelings we have will come back. Were learning to feel the rawness of those things and just offer them up to God.

Some things that have filled the month for us have been

Loads of laundry. I cloth diaper and for a while I only had a few inserts, covers, and a baby that has pretty consistent explosions making for the perfect combo of many, many loads and quarters. So excited to have a washer and dryer one day.

This week we did get more cloth diapers. PRAISE THE LORD. I had started using disposables again for a few days because I was so incredibly burnt out.

We have spent some time figuring out what we like and don't like in houses. We have an agent. That just sounds fun to say. A few weeks ago we spent the afternoon looking at 8 different houses and falling in love with one. Perfect neighborhood and beautiful home, but after going back to look again, didn't seem to be the right fit. So, were back on the prowl, and spend some time each week staying on top of what comes onto the market.

I started coaching a little boys soccer team. They are wild and fun. I enjoy the chaos, it ironically fills me up after a long day. We do all sorts of crazy things during games and practice. At a practice last week I was playing show and tell and having each of the boys show off a move and name it. One of the kids, who is about 3.5 feet tall and 40 pounds, showed off his move; you set the ball on the ground, put your hand down, and spin around the ball before kicking it. He named it the dinosaur 3-D 2000. I just about died and while watching the other kids act it out, told them the best time to try that one out during a game would be maybe if they fell down? The kid is just so full of energy.

I've made a few pairs of leg warmers for Eloise out of women's knee high socks. It is a lot easier to change diapers this way.

Rand and I started a new couple's biblestudy through church. Another one of the couples has a little boy who is 6 months name Henry. I know. Cutest name. And his mom cloth diapers! I think we might end up being friends.

I wrote a blog recently about some of the latest internal thoughts. Check it out if you would like.

Here's to a wild october.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

4.5 Months. Weeks 16-19.

This little lady is so precious to me! The past few weeks she has seemed to have changed so much. The biggest thing I have noticed is that she really enjoys being with people, she loves to move, and when she wakes up in the morning or from naps, she is just delighted... usually.  She is still waking up about 4 times a night either hungry or needing to be soothed, leaving me pretty tired in the mornings.

Some of the other latest.

When I first pick her up, she tends to squeeze my hips with her legs and grip my shoulder tightly. Our morning hug is one of my favorite parts of the day :)

On labor day, we had a BBQ with family and a few friends and she was in her zone. She giggled, squealed, and thoroughly enjoyed playing with everyone.  Usually she takes naps, but she was awake most of the day and was more interested in interacting and observing then eating.

When she is pooping or farting she likes to hold her breath and push ;)

She has an infatuation with water bottles and is always trying to drink from Rand and my Hydroflasks really.

She has been getting her first tastes of foods.  I let her suck on apples and grapes and have attempted feeding her some tastes of brown rice. Shes not a fan of the brown rice right now.

Her voice is getting much louder.  She loves to squeal, makes noises and giggle.

She likes to throw things. She has a pretty good arm.

I have noticed her get frustrated and angry. She tends to flail around and its kind of cute. She really can kick pretty hard though!

She likes to play kind of agressively. She enjoys airplane rides, sitting in her bumbo and hitting the sides, being shaken from side to side, being held upside down, playing Horsie with daddy, and being hugged tightly.
She loves to bounce!
Favorite Cloth Diaper. Beyonce Bootay

Trying Out her high chair from Grandpa Racine
Nana Laureen's Swing on their new deck

Still loves her pacifier

Lovin Her Bow.
First time in a swimsuit and at the waterpark

Loves glasses!
Time with Auntie Alys.

Enjoys being outside
Loves her daddy.

Welcome to meal time. 
Just tyring to eat milk jugs. 

Trying out Fruit. 
New Bib.

Likes to raise her hand. 

She attended a few of her first sporting games. She watched her first soccer game at Central cheering on her uncle while he coached ;)

Her first UND game was Women's Volleyball and she seemed to enjoy all the movement and noise. I'm super excited to have another fan by my side this fall.

While the month of July was full of travels, we stuck around Grand Forks and recharged for most of August. Rand's sister Alys was in town from Georgia (and the rest of the world), for a month and we enjoyed our time with her. I miss her already and savored our walks, talks, and time together. What a sweet woman she is!

UND sports have started and Rand, Ellie and I have had the pleasure of going to some volleyball and football games. Can't wait for the first home women's soccer game on Sept. 11!
I am going to start coaching a 1st and 2nd grade boys sunflake soccer team and I am incredibly excited to meet the little nuggets tonight.
Next week I am going to start watching a 1.5 year old little boy named Micah 3 days a week. I'm sure it will have its learning curve, but I am really excited for the adventure that will bring and another playmate for Ellie and I.
Rand recently redid his website and is enjoying learning more about web programming and design. You can check it out here: www.randseay.com
I recently started baking more and have found some creative, fun, and healthy recipes using a website I am in love with www.weelicious.com. This one is fun too, I learned how to can salsa!

We are enjoying the recent cool temps, excited for the upcoming weeks, and for our first fall with our little girl!