Thursday, December 6, 2012

December Beginnings

December has begun and the majority of our days here in Grand Rapids have been warmer than colder.  Actually, I believe that there were some record temperature highs on Monday of this week!  Such a strange experience it is to not have snow yet on the ground and already a week of December is over.  We did have one snowfall at the end of November, however, it was not substantial enough to stick around for more than a few hours.  I'm sure if you asked Steve, he would say there is nothing wrong with the weather we are experiencing and that I shouldn't hope for snow too early!  I guess I am one of those people who anticipate the first (good) snowfall of the year.  Even more, I hope for a 'White Christmas'.  With 19 days until Christmas, I shouldn't be worrying, though!  I am sure that once we have had snow on the ground for a while, I will be very ready for the warm months to arrive once more here in Grand Rapids!

Waiting for Christmas is a lot like waiting for our little Joelle to arrive.  This past Monday marked the beginning of our 32nd week of pregnancy.  There are 19 days until Christmas and 53 days until our Due Date (January 28th).  We are definitely to that point in the pregnancy where it is getting very difficult to wait for her arrival!  With all of the kicks and flips that I feel throughout the day (and night), sometimes I just want to have the baby right away, but I know that it is best for her to stay inside for a bit longer until she is bigger. According to my OB GYN, Joelle is somewhere around the 4 lb mark and probably over 16 inches long!  These next few weeks of development for Joelle are very important and she will continue to grow in length and weight as well as internal development of the lungs, brain, and lots of other organs!  Even though I am anxious to meet our little girl, I know it is best for her to stay put for a few more weeks!

While waiting for our baby to come, we are staying very busy with Jonas.  He is about 15 1/2 months old now and is running around like he owns the place!  He has such an imaginative personality!  Jonas loves to eat pretend food, push pretend buttons (sound effects included!), and he is just starting to read books aloud!  Every day he is learning to say new words.  Most of what he says is still hard for anyone, except Steve and I, to understand.  Some of his new words are 'bubble, hot dog, cracker, milk, yes, watch, pretty, bath, up please, open' and lots more!  We still hear a lot of  babbling, but I knot that he knows exactly what he is trying to say.  As you can imagine, Jonas sometimes gets very frustrated when we don't understand what he is trying to tell us.  We are doing our best to teach Jonas patience, and in turn, it is taking much patience on our part!  

Here are some updated photos of Jonas.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Time Flies!!!

Wow!  I can' hardly believe that we are quickly approaching the holidays!  We are busy preparing for visits with family and celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas in the following few weeks.  It will be an exciting Holiday season this year!  I can't wait to see the excitement in Jonas's eyes as he experiences Christmas and winter time!

The past few months have been busy with lots of little things around out house!  We have spent some time visiting with great friends, visited the zoo with Jonas, and our biggest project was reclaiming the messy spare room.  Over the past two and a half years that Steve and I have lived in our home, our third bedroom has gradually grown more and more messy and cluttered.  Unfortunately, I have heard that this happens even more once you have children!

With our little three bedroom home, we have our room, the nursery, which will be Joelle's room, and now we have transformed the spare room into Jonas's room!  I won't be sharing a 'before' picture, as it is quite embarrassing how it looked before!  Here are a few photos of how his room looks now!  I still hope to put up some more pictures on the walls and get some curtains to cover the windows, but you get the general idea of what it will look like!

Jonas is not yet sleeping in his toddler bed, as he is only 14 1/2 months old.  We set up his room so that he will get used to everything and start to attach to this room more than his 'baby' room where he is still sleeping.  We only have one crib, so we intend to switch Jonas over just after Joelle is born.  I found an inexpensive bassinet in the past few months that will work wonderfully for Joelle for her first few months.  So far, his transition into his 'big-boy room' has gone very well!  Every morning when I get Jonas out of his crib, he wiggles out of my arms and runs into his new room to play!  

On Monday, I will have reached my 30th week of pregnancy.  I can hardly believe how quick this pregnancy has gone by!  It seems like it was just yesterday that Steve and I were praying for the possibility of a second child, and here we are nearly 10 weeks from welcoming our daughter into the world.  The pregnancy is going very smoothly, and there are no medical complications to be concerned with.  I am amazed, though, how much more tired I am this time around!  I think that chasing a toddler around has added to my tired-ness!

Here are some photos of Jonas these past few months.  He is growing up so fast!  

Please continue to keep us in your prayers over the next 10 weeks as we continue to prepare for Joelle's arrival.  There is still a lot that needs to be done before she gets here and I am hoping to finish the major things this month!  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It's a Girl!!!

Steve and I are so excited to announce that our baby due January 28, 2013 is a little Girl!  We are so thrilled for Jonas to have a baby sister and feel so blessed by this little one already!  The Ultrasound went really well.  All of the information still needs to be confirmed by the OB GYN, however, the Ultrasound Tech who performed the exam said that everything looked great!  The baby's heart beat was strong and has been consistently at 150 beats/minute over my past exams.  Her heart looks healthy and she is measuring almost exactly at my due date!

We have picked out a name for our little one also!  We will be naming our daughter Joelle Rose.  Joelle is pronounced "Jo-ehl".  We are excited to use this name for our little one!  Steve's middle name is Joel, so she is named after him!  We chose "Rose" as a middle name because we really just like the name!

Our little girl is very active these past few weeks and I have enjoyed feeling her move around.  She is positioned very similar to how Jonas was during most of my pregnancy with him; her back is down the left side of my belly with her feet kicking toward my right rib cage.  So far, I have been thinking that she is less active than Jonas was, but I am only really remembering those last few weeks of my pregnancy with Jonas to compare to!  I guess it isn't a good comparison!  The Ultrasound Tech said that she was quite active today.  While trying to get a nice profile view of her head and torso, she did a few flips around!  It is so incredible to see them moving around at this stage!

Here are a few pictures of baby Joelle from today's Ultrasound.  We are eagerly anticipating her arrival and hope you are all as excited as we are!  Thanks for checking in!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Joy of Children

As many of you already know, my husband and I are expecting our second child this winter, and we are eagerly anticipating his/her arrival.  Throughout all of the Joy of being pregnant again and all of the excitement as we start to think of how things will be changing, we have been taken back by how many people react when they hear our great news.  Some of my conversations have gone like this: 

Random stranger: "Oh, wow, your pregnant..... congratulations!" 
Me: "Yes, we are so excited!"
Random stranger: While glancing from my belly to my now 1 year old son "So, this is your second?"
Me: "Yes, Jonas is going to be a big brother in January!"
Random stranger: "Oh, well, aren't they going to be really close in age?"
Me: "I guess so, they will be about 17 months apart or so, depending on when I deliver"
Random stranger: "Oh, gosh, that must have been an oops baby, then right?"
Me: "No, we planned it this way.  We want our children to grow up with brothers and sisters close to their age"
Random stranger: "Oh........"  

Yes, sadly, this is a conversation that I have had.  Usually a conversation like this one comes up in the check-out line of the grocery store.  Whenever I have conversations like this with people, it makes me sad that people are not as excited as we are about this new life growing inside me.  It surprises me that more and more, people are concerned with how close in age our children will be.  Why is this so important to people? Some families choose to have children 9 months apart while others choose to wait for their kids to be 3 years apart in age.  Neither way is right or wrong; they are just different.  Just like when some families choose to only have 1 or 2 children, and others choose to have 7 or 8 (or even more!).  There is nothing in the Bible that says that you should only have 3 children, with at least 2 years in between each,  so that you can give them the best of everything that they could possibly ever want.  What the Bible does say is that Children are a Blessing!  Check out this verse: 

Psalm 127:3-53 - Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. 4 - Like arrows in the hands of a warriorare children born in one's youth. 5 - Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shamewhen they contend with their opponents in court. 

With this being said, why is it that we are so judgmental of when a family has children, or how many children they decide to have?  Why do we choose to make our opinion of what is right and what is wrong (regarding children) known to everyone?  

I really hope that I am not offending anyone who is reading this post.  This is not meant to make anyone feel bad.  The reason that I am posting this is so that we can think about both sides of a situation before we share our personal opinions.  I hope, rather, that anyone who is reading this is encouraged by what I am saying!  

Thank you to all of our friends and family who have rejoiced with us these past few weeks without any judgment about the timing of our second child.  We appreciate your support more than you know!  We are eagerly anticipating the arrival of our son/daughter in January, and we are so grateful that you share our excitement!  

May God bless you all!  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Year has Passed...

A Year has passed and my little one is no longer a baby!  I can hardly believe that Jonas is already a Year old!  It seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital, and here we are, a year later!  Our Jonas has really grown into a little boy and with each day that passes, he looks less and less like a baby and more and more like a toddler.  It is sad, is so many ways to see him grow up, but it is also one of the best experiences of my life!  I love that he is little and dependent on me as his mother, but yet, I still encourage him to do new things and to grow up!

We had a wonderful celebration this past weekend for Jonas's birthday.  Both Steve's family and my family were able to come to our home to celebrate our little man turning one!  It was wonderful  to have everyone together;  I think the last time all of our family (mom's, dad's, brothers, sisters, etc) was our wedding!  Here are some photos from Jonas's birthday party. 


Jonas took his first steps this month!  It was so exciting to see him standing and walking on his own.  He gets very nervous when he realizes that he is standing on his own, so we are trying to make sure that he doesn't get too anxious about it.  We have been helping him practice walking, and I am sure that soon, he will overcome the fear and realize that his little body can hold him up all on his own!  Jonas has a toy that he loves to push around the house and yell "Bee-Bee" (Translation: 'beep-beep').  It is so cute to see him do this, and he absolutely love it!  Even though he probably uses this toy as a safety net, and it is most likely the reason he doesn't walk on his own all of the time, I would rather him take his time and get there on his own.  He enjoys the toy and it isn't hurting anything, well, except for the times that he runs over my toes!  Here is a picture of him with his walker toy! You can see the joy in his eyes!

I think I started writing this blog post on Jonas's actual birthday - August 21st, so I can't really remember if I was planning on mentioning anything else!  I guess that comes with being pregnant!  Some days I forget the simplest of words!  It is actually kind of funny, and Steve enjoys it too!  Continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers in these next few months!  only 22 more weeks until our due date! I will keep you all posted on Baby Y #2.  We have our ultrasound schedule in about 2 1/2 weeks, and we are eagerly anticipating finding out if it is a boy or a girl!  Thanks for reading our blog!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Our Big Announcement!

Hello Family and Friends!  Steve and I are so excited to announce that we are expecting our second baby!  We feel so blessed and are excited beyond words to welcome this little one into the world next year!  Our due date is set at January 28th and we can hardly believe that in less than 6 short months we will get to hold our little son or daughter in our arms!

We were blessed to be able to have an ultrasound at the end of June, around the 9 week mark.  It was so wonderful to see our little one so tiny and perfect!  I can hardly wait until our 20 week ultrasound!  Here are the photos that we have. 

So far, I have been feeling alright throughout the pregnancy.  I have not had as much energy as I did when I was pregnant with Jonas, but I am hoping that now that I have started the Second Trimester, a bit of my energy will start to come back! 

I am sure that if Jonas could understand that he was going to be a big brother, he would be so excited!  He is a bit young, though, to completely understand what is going on.  I think that once we bring the new baby home it will maybe make sense to him!  He does like to say "baby" though, and it is so sweet when he does! 

Please pray for us throughout these next few months as we prepare for this new little one to enter our family.  We are so excited, however having a second child will be a big adjustment!  I welcome any tips or thoughts about transitioning from one baby to two! 

I will keep you posted throughout the pregnancy on the health and progress of Baby Yousef #2.  Only 6 more weeks until we get to see Baby Y in another ultrasound!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer excitement

What a fun few months it has been here at home!  We have had such a wonderful summer so far, and we are very excited that Jonas will be turning ONE in a month! Wow, time has passed so quickly since our little Jonas was born.  I can hardly believe that is has been almost a year already!

In June we took a fantastic trip to Florida with my (Tara's) family.  We stayed on beautiful Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico just west of Fort Myers.  We had a cute little condo that we all stayed in and we were just a short walk to the beach!  This was Jonas's first trip on a plane, and it was quite memorable for me, but I am pretty sure that he won't remember it at all!  He did enjoy the beach and also loved riding the little trolley that transported the Resort guests to and from each side of the island.  Here are a few pictures from our trip to Florida. 

The rest of June just flew by after we got home from vacation.  I felt like every time I turned around there was more to put away after our trip!  It took me and Jonas a while to get back into the normal schedule, but we were all able to get back to normal life soon enough! 

Jonas turned 10 months old at the end of June, and has since been practicing his walking and standing alone skills! So far, he hasn't taken any steps on his own, but we think he will be there before we know it! He loves to be walked around while holding mommy or daddy's hands and he really enjoys kicking his big bouncy ball around the house! Here are some photos of Jonas around his 10 month mark.

 Now that July has rolled around, Jonas is already 11 months old!  He is really improving on standing on his own.  In fact, he can stand on his own, however, he likes to be a stinker about it and sometimes refuses to.  I think he just likes being mobile and isn't quite ready to learn something new.  I am confident, though, that he will be walking very soon!  Jonas loves to talk and most things right now are all "dada".  He just loves Dada so much, that he calls everything "dada".  Sometimes I can get him to call me "mama", but only occasionally! He loves to swing in the back yard, and plays with Dora, our dog, all the time.  Sometimes she plays too rough with him, but soon Jonas will be bigger than her and that won't matter any more! Jonas has learned how to dance, and sometimes he tries to sing!  He is very musical, and if you haven't already seen the video on Facebook of Jonas playing the drums, you should check it out!

Well, I am hoping that I will be better about posting on the blog, but you never know with a little one around!  Thanks for reading!