Thursday, January 5, 2017

Jaiden Elijah

It's been a long time since I've posted last, and with good reason!  Our family has grown again - which most of you may know already!  But with that new addition comes lots and lots of things to do, and honestly, updating our family blog hasn't been a priority (obviously!).  But now that I'm into a good groove with things, I feel like it's time to fill you in on the past year of our lives!

Well, last year when I last posted, we had Jonas at 4 1/2, Joelle had just turned 3, and Jaina had turned 1, and we had just announced our 4th pregnancy!

Our most exciting news of the past year is the arrival of our second son (and 4th baby!) Jaiden Elijah.  He was born on June 12, 2016 at 3:29 am.  He weighed 6 pounds and 15 ounces and was 20 inches long.  He was the most beautiful, adorable, quiet little baby!  He quickly found his lungs, and hasn't been quiet since!

 He stole our hearts in an instant, and we haven't been the same since!  Our sweet little guy is nearing 7 months already, and I can hardly believe how fast time has gone by.

His First month was full of lots of sleeping, cuddling, and eating.  His big sisters were constantly by his side during the few hours a day he was awake, and Big brother continued to wonder when he would be big enough to play with him!

Month 2 was more challenging, as we began to find out that Jaiden had a pretty severe case of reflux.  After weeks of trying to figure things out, we finally were able to find some relief for him, with some dietary restrictions on me and some medication for Jaiden.  

Month 3 was much more enjoyable!  By the time we had everything figured out in my diet and Jaiden on some reflux meds, he began to show his true personality - calm, and pretty chill for the most part!  

Month 4 was full of baby giggles, smiles, and lots of fun, as Jaiden began rolling over and engaging more with his Brother and Sisters (and us, too!).  He learned to grasp a toy, and chew on his hands, and the ever-present pacifier because a need-to-survive part of our day.

Month 5, we noticed Jaiden beginning to learn to blow raspberries, starting to hold on to his toys more often, and the exciting world of Baby food was introduced to him!  Let's just say that food is definitely a favorite thing of his!

Month 6 has become a bit more challenging again, as Jaiden is teething pretty badly right now, but it seems to only be in spurts, and he is really a champ through it all.  It's more of me that's having a hard time with it!  I've been wearing Jaiden around in the baby carrier much more this month, because he seems to just want to be held - probably from the teething pain.  Poor little guy!  I hate to see him in pain!  But those little teeth are so close to popping through, so the light is at the end of the tunnel!

 In Non-Jaiden news, we had a few milestone birthdays recently!

Jonas turned 5 in August!  We celebrated with a few of his close friends and their family, at a Star Wars Themed Birthday!  He was even old enough this year to get to watch (some of) the Star Wars movies!  Since then, our days include many lightsaber battles and Darth Vader references!  Jonas really wanted to go to school this past year, but we decided to keep him home one more year, to help him be better prepared.  I was a little unsure of this decision at first, but now, I am so glad we are waiting an extra year!  It's been crazy having all 4 kids at home every day, but it's been a blessing to have extra time with Jonas before he heads off to school in the fall.  He is growing up much too fast, and is maturing, and changing before our eyes!

Joelle will celebrate her 4th birthday next week!  She is such a sweet little girl, and has so much love and patience for Jaiden.  She has a kiss for him nearly every time that she walks into the room.  To say that she adores her little brother is definitely an understatement!  She and Jaina have enjoyed playing together, too, and Joelle and Jonas still have a close brother/sister bond.  Joelle has discovered her artsy side, and for the mos part, she is a care-free, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kinda girl.  She loves anything princess, or fairies, or ballerinas - basically all of your classic girly things.  She would live in "pretty dresses" if I let her!  But she HATES to have her hair done.  Once in a while, I can convince her to let me braid her hair.  

Jaina celebrated her 2nd birthday just two days after Christmas!  She is our tough little spit-fire of a child.  In the past year, we have confirmed her Egg and Dairy allergy, completely eliminated both from her diet, and seen great improvements in her overall demeanor.  She is speaking much more clearly, and is learning to express herself more too!  He favorite thing to do, though, is to follow Joelle around and mimic and copy everything she does and says.  So far, Joelle doesn't mind!  Growing up with 3 sisters of my own, I know that the day will come when Joelle isn't so thrilled with her little sister following her around or doing what she does, or wearing what she wears!  So, for now, I'll enjoy the cute little matching outfits and hair bows, and see how long it lasts!  

Jaina has been stubborn lately when I pull my camera out to take pictures, so the only nice pics of her that I have are cell phone shots! Silly girl :)

Steve and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary last May, and we are nearing our 8th this year!  Being so far into my pregnancy around our anniversary, we decided to not take a trip this year.  It was a fun evening in watching a movie.  It's been too long for me to remember what movie though!  

Steve just started a new job this past week at a company called MISO.  I'm going to butcher the explanation of what his company does, but i'll try anyways.  MISO is a not-profit that works to manage the electric grid.  Last year, Steve worked as a contractor at MISO, and at the beginning of the year, he hired in as a full time employee.  He is a Software Developer, otherwise called a Programmer.  If you are not familiar with either of those terms, he writes code that operates Computer Programs.  Lots of stuff that I like to think that I understand, but I most definitely don't!  So far, it's been a smooth transition for him, and we are excited to see his career develop at MISO!

We were in a pretty scary car accident in April, and Praise the Lord for his provision and the safety that He provided!  All 6 of us were in the van when a truck hit the side of our vehicle while we were in a round-a-bout.  The exact place that was impacted was the ONLY spot that a person was not currently sitting.  A foot forward, and he would have hit the door where I was sitting (and was nearly 8 months pregnant with Jaiden), and a foot backward and he would have hit the back where Jonas was sitting.  Just like always, we were in the Lord's hands, and He protected our family.  
Steve grew a pretty awesome (read:  scratchy and icky) beard this past No-Shave-November!  Let's just say that I like him more clean-shaven!  It wasn't too bad, but it definitely sent me back to my days of my Dad growing a beard and mustache!  

In 2017, I will be taking a break from Facebook, but I would love for you to follow our blog (here) or my Instagram (here).  

It's been an exciting year, and we have enjoyed it thoroughly!  We are excited to see the changes that 2017 will bring!  



Friday, January 29, 2016

Three Months of Change

When I realized that it had been over three months since my last post, I realized that a lot has changed in those three months!  In our day to day lives, three months just seem to fly by, but in reality there have been many changes!

Our little Jaina is no longer a baby.  We celebrated her first birthday just after Christmas!  It is just amazing how much a little one can change from one day old to one year old!

I just love watching her grow and change!  She is such a fun little girl.  Lately, Jaina has really enjoyed playing with the kid's new Toy Kitchen set.  She specifically enjoys banging pots and pans around and making tons of noise!  Jaina loves to eat just about anything that I put in front of her.  I had mentioned before that she was showing signs of some sort of dairy sensitivity.  In the past months, we have seen great improvements with that, and I am hoping that over the next few months or maybe even this year that she will fully grow out of the sensitivity!  A new favorite food of Jaina's is Goldfish!  Jaina still loves to be held, but is starting to come out of the Separation Anxiety phase that most babies tend to go through. She loves to babble lots of words and sounds, but mostly still, she just says "mama", "dada", and "nana".  She loves to climb and walk around furniture.  Just yesterday, she started to take her first steps!  The kids really enjoy watching her grow up, too!

We also celebrated Joelle's 3rd birthday, just two weeks after Jaina's.  For the past few months, Joelle would insist that when it was her birthday, she was going to be 5.  We were finally able to convince her that she was, in fact, only turning 3.  Now, her big brother has been reminding her that she get's another birthday next year!  The only problem is that Joelle thinks that she will be 3 again next year too!  Silly little girl!  Joelle has also changed so much in the past year.  Between 2 and 3, you really see your little toddler becoming a young child!


Over the past year, Joelle has learned so much!  Her speech has improved and she has learned hundreds of new words - they are not always used the right way or said the right way, but she is getting there!  She has grown much taller and bigger, she loves to sing and dance, and she loves to give hugs and kisses!  In fact, she gives so many hugs and kisses to her little sister, that often times, Jaina starts crawling in the other direction when Joelle comes in for a kiss!  It's too funny!

Even though it isn't Jonas's birthday, he has changed a lot too!  Our little guy is nearly 4 1/2 now, and that "1/2" really does mean so much in these years!  He continues to be one of the tallest kids in his age group.  This usually results in many people asking him why he isn't at school when we are out during the day!  Lately, we have been trying to make the difficult decision of whether or not to try to get him into Kindergarten for the 2016 school year.  In Indiana, the age cut-off is August 1st, and our boy turns 5 on the 21st.  It's close enough for us to apply for a special admittance into Kindergarten early, but we are trying to figure out if he is ready socially and emotionally to go to school.  He is a very intelligent young boy with an incredible memory, but I also don't want to start him too young if he isn't ready!  We will continue to pray about this decision, and if you feel led to do as well, we would appreciate your prayers too!

Even though it is a few months old, this is my favorite recent picture of the kids!  Needless to say, sometimes they have a hard time sitting still enough for me to snap a few photos of them!  I guess I got lucky with this one :)

With our children growing and changing over the past few months, we also have more change coming in 2016!  The kids are excited to share our news of a new little one joining us this summer!