Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Our New Normal

Our little peanut is growing leaps and bounds!  At birth, Joelle weighed 5 lb 15 oz; at two days old, she weighed 5 lb 6 oz; at four days old, she weighed 5 lb 9 oz; and at 11 days old, she weighed 6 lbs!  Praise God, she is growing, and at rapid speed!  Most babies lose weight in the first 48 hrs of life, but it is expected that they gain back the weight to reach their birth weight between the first and second weeks of life.  We are so happy that she has so far reached her weight goals.

Jonas is doing really well with his little sister.  He loves to give her lots of kisses and is starting to understand that he needs to be gentle around her.  He really is a sweet little boy, but like most little boys, he is rough.  Sometimes I have to defend Joelle's little head from his swinging arms.  He doesn't ever mean to be rough, he just doesn't understand yet!

This past Monday, Jonas turned 17 months old!  It is so amazing to watch him change from month to month. Five months ago, he was learning to walk, and now he is learning to talk.  I love to hear his voice babble in incoherent words and small sentences.  Every day he learns new words.  Some of the best moments of my days are trying to teach Jonas new words and new activities.  Last night, we ate enchiladas for dinner, and since 'enchilada' is a rather large, difficult words to say, we taught Jonas the word 'taco'.  During the entire meal, we heard 'datdo' repeated over and over!  Jonas is also learning how to catch a ball.  He loves to play with his big yellow ball and he thinks it is so neat when he catches it!  He especially likes to throw the ball while watching himself in the mirror!

Steve and I have been doing well adjusting to our new normal.  It has been difficult having a newborn - waking up during the night for feedings, but we feel so blessed to have Joelle, as well as Jonas, in our lives.  In the last week and a half, I have been reminded of God's love for us every time I look at my children.  Jonas is young and innocent and he loves Joelle so much.  We didn't have to tell him to love her, but he does, without reserve.  If I would let him, he would give her kisses all day long.  His actions toward Joelle remind me of the unconditional love that we receive from God.  Joelle hasn't done anything to deserve Jonas's kisses, but he gives them to her anyways because he wants to.  What a wonderful reminder of God's love for his children.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Joelle Rose

Steve and I are so excited to announce the arrival of our daughter Joelle Rose Yousef!  She was born on Thursday 1/10/13 at 5:33 pm.  She weighed a whopping 5 pounds 15 ounces and was 19 inches long!  Such a tiny little peanut!  Jonas is so excited to be a big brother and loves to give kisses to his baby sister.  

Looking back to last weekend, I had absolutely no idea that this weekend we would no longer be three, but four!  Joelle arrived a few weeks early, however, she is very healthy and happy!  We couldn't be more excited that she is finally here! Thursday was a whirlwind of a day from finding out that we would be having our little one that day to arranging for someone to watch Jonas for the afternoon.  It all seemed to go by so fast and before I knew it, the doctor was putting Joelle into my arms for the first time!  When Jonas was born, there were some minor medical concerns that prevented the doctors from letting me hold my little boy right away, so when they put Joelle into my arms, I was so very overwhelmed!  Just that morning I was holding Jonas and playing with blocks and less than 9 hours later, our little girl made her grand entrance into our family!

Jonas has been doing great with having a little sister.  Jonas's Grandma Yousef was wonderful in helping us out by watching Jonas for a few days.  He was able to come in to the hospital with Grandma on Friday morning.  He met his baby sister for the first time, and the first thing he said was 'Baby!'  Ever since, he has been very interested in what she is doing and where she is.  Occasionally, he will look at me and ask 'baby?' if he doesn't see her in my arms.  Usually she is either sleeping in her bassinet or being held by daddy or a visitor, but it is so sweet to see the concern in his eyes, wanting to know where baby sister is.  We have tried to encourage him to say Joelle instead of baby, but the 'J' sound is a very difficult one to say!  I think we will just stick with 'Baby' for a while!

I will continue to post new pictures of our little princess and her big brother as we take them and as I have a spare moment!  Thank you all for the congratulations that we have already received and the prayers as we settle into our new normal!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Adventuring into a New Year

Well, the Holidays are over and my home is starting to look normal again.  We love Christmas time, but our Holiday decorations are usually packed away shortly before the New Year begins.  This Christmas was especially fun, as Jonas was old enough to open his own presents and get really excited about his gifts!

We celebrated Christmas with the Yousef family at Mom and Dad Yousef's home.  It was wonderful to get the whole family together!  All of Jonas's Aunts and Uncles, especially his Grandma and Grandpa, were so wonderful and patient with our little ball of energy!  For those of you who have met Jonas, you know exactly what I mean!  Jonas's energy level is constantly at 110%!  My Family, the Zantello's, came over to our home to celebrate Christmas the day before Christmas Eve.  It was a blast!  Jonas's Aunts and his Mimi really enjoyed playing with him!  We have such wonderful family, and it was great to be able to spend time with both Steve's family as well as mine.

Christmas Day, we celebrated at home with our family, Steve, Jonas, and myself.  Jonas slept in that morning, which was wonderful for Steve and I!  Usually he is up right at 7am, so the extra hour was great.  Neither of us even woke up, as we are used to just getting up when we hear Jonas in the morning.  Little guy was so worn out after all of the celebrating the previous weekend.

This New Year's Eve was the first time since I was a teenager that I fell asleep before midnight.  Little Baby Girl has been stealing all of my energy lately, so I guess it is understandable why I fell asleep around 10:30!  2013 will be a very exciting year for us!  This month, we will welcome our little Girl into the world, In May, Steve and I will celebrate 4 years of marriage, and in August, Jonas will turn 2!  We are very excited for all that God will do in our lives this year and we pray that he will continue to grow us in our walk with Him.

Here are a few pictures of the past few months!  My next post will likely be about the arrival of our daughter!  Please pray for her safe delivery!