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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Landon: 1 Month

Where did this month go?!? We sure have enjoyed the last few weeks of sweet snuggles and sleepy smiles, but boy, has it gone by quickly!

Landon, you have already brought so much joy to our home in your short month of life. We think you were just the perfect addition to our family! Here's what you're up to:
  • You're a big boy! At your two week appointment you weighed 11 lb 11 oz (>95%), were 23" long (95%), and had a head circumference of 15.5" (90%).
  • It's no wonder you're so big; you're a breastfeeding champ! I was really nervous because Avery did not do well in this area. You eat about every two-three hours, and you've even taken a pumped bottle a few times when I needed to go out (and once at the Rangers game). Yay!
  • You sleep pretty well, even at night. You sleep most of the night in your Fisher Price Rock 'N Play or in your Pack 'n Play bassinet. Usually you'll have your last feeding around 11pm and then sleep about 4-5 hours before you're hungry again. (One night you slept for 6 hours!) Most nights you go back to sleep right after you eat, so I'm getting more rest than anticipated. Thanks for that. :) I also love when you fall asleep on my chest (or on Daddy) because you just look so peaceful and sweet.
  • You're already filling out 0-3 month clothes (you wore NB sizes for all of one week), so I'm changing your attire multiple times a day so you we can get some use out of all of these cute clothes! Thank goodness for Carter's long onesies; you actually still have some room to grow in those! 
  • You seem to have a pretty chill personality so far. You don't cry much unless you're hungry or needing a diaper change (or if I eat barbeque sauce, dangit). You've become much more alert, and we love seeing those gorgeous eyes when you're wide awake! You also make the cutest little old man/turtle face when you stretch out. Oh, and those cheeks! I just want to squish them! :) 
  • We're getting used to being a family of four. It just takes us a little more time to get out the door these days! While we miss the double-team, it is nice that Daddy and I can still implement a man-to-man defense. Avery loves you, too; she will come right up to your face and either say, "Hi, Landon, hi" and run away or she gives you the sweetest hugs and kisses on the cheek. I think y'all are going to be pals (you know, once you do more than just eat, sleep, and poop). 
  • We know you're going to grow up way faster than you should, so we're trying to take everything one day at a time and enjoy all of the fun (and the not-so-fun!) that comes along with having a newborn in the house. So feel free to be your snuggly self as long as you want because all too soon you'll be telling me not to kiss your sweet face when I drop you off at school.
We love you, sweet boy!

Mommy and Daddy

p.s. Just for fun, here's Avery's one month picture.

Hometown Nazareth

Oh, VBS. I hate you. But I kinda love you, too.

I tend to try to steer away from tradition, especially when things are done simply because they've always been done. This also holds true in regards to children's ministry; I dreaded putting on Vacation Bible School because I feel like it's such a gimmick. My ideal summer children's outreach is to host a free soccer camp for community kids, sharing the Gospel through the best sport in the world. Since I knew I'd be having a baby this summer, I wasn't quite ready to reinvent the wheel, so I decided to stick with a traditional VBS.

But then I started looking at curriculum. Ugh. So many of them were so me-centered and completely obsessed with a theme that it was hard to pick the Gospel out of them. I didn't want the kids to come to VBS for a week and only remember that it was about a panda (*no offense to any churches who chose that curriculum); I wanted them to see a true picture of who God is. I was thrilled to find the Holy Land Adventure, which this year took us to Nazareth when Jesus was a kid. The whole week was totally God-focused, and I loved that the format wasn't so typical.

I like to do things on my own (or as Avery would say, "by my own self") because I'm such a perfectionist that delegation is not in my vocabulary. God kinda threw the whole dependence thing in my face though. Dependence on Him, utilizing others' gifts, etc. And I'm so glad He did because there is absolutely no way I could've pulled it off on my own.

It was a great week. God was glorified. I'm glad it's over. :) Here are some pictures, and the thank yous are at the end.

We had SO many volunteers during the week, but I'm especially thankful for:
  • Adrienne, who was my right hand through the entire process. She doesn't even think she did anything, but she kept me sane through the planning while I bounced ideas off her. And during the week of VBS, she practically ran everything while I was hiding away nursing Landon in my office. And she was our resident photographer for the week!
  • Jennifer, who planned, coordinated, and executed feeding 70+ volunteers every night. I didn't even have to think about food because I knew she had it all under control.
  • Matt, who organized the band and led the Celebration time every night. I love his heart for worship and serving. 
  • Mom, who took care of Landon while I ran around like a crazy woman and took Avery home to get her ready for bed while we were closing up shop each night.
  • Kendra, who coordinated all the decorating with her brilliant theater mind and then played the part of Mary each night. 
  • Sandra, who publicized the event so well and got the word out into the community (not that numbers really mean that much, but we had double the amount of kids this year from last year, and about half of them weren't from our church).
  • Every tribe leader, kitchen crew member, tech team member, marketplace shopkeeper, Celebration team member, games helper, nursery worker, registration worker, and everyone else who played a part in making the week happen. I can't say thank you enough!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Swagger Wagon

Never say never.

When all my friends were being picked up from soccer practice in their parents' cool SUVs (or shoot, even their plain sedans), I dreaded being seen getting into the boxy white Astro minivan that my parents used to cart me and my three siblings all around the Metroplex. My 13-year-old self just knew that everyone was thinking less of me because of the vehicle I was riding in. Forget that I had two super supportive parents who sacrificed their time, money, and probably their sanity so I could participate in activities and sports that I loved.  No, I was concerned about their ride. And it was for that reason that I swore I'd never put my kids through the torture of the minivan.

Only my parents were kinda smart. (Gosh, I hate admitting that.) It turns out that if you need lots of passenger and cargo space with acceptable gas mileage for a decent price, a minivan is pretty much your best bet.

If you're one of the few people in the world who hasn't seen the Swagger Wagon commercial that Toyota put out awhile ago, here it is. You should watch it because it's pretty funny. And it makes me feel better.

I've had more and more friends jump on the minivan bandwagon, so maybe that's made it easier to accept my fate as a "soccer mom," but what really changed my mind was the fact that I could no longer ride as a passenger in our Scion xB without my knees touching the glove box. Two carseats take up a lot of room! (Side note: third row crossovers weren't an option because when we have more kids, that third row will need to be permanent and we'll need the extra storage in the back.)

We went to the small local dealership where we bought our Scion, and they had six minivans: five Toyota Siennas and one Honda Odyssey. When you're looking at used cars, you can't always be too picky. But then we found it.

A 2005 dark gray Sienna XLE with tons of sweet extras. It's a 7-passenger with leather seats (heated, although that's not too appealing at the moment), a sun roof, DVD system, a CD changer, built-in sun shades, automatic doors, and tons of other stuff. I love the color, and when I'm inside I forget that it's even a minivan. :)

The best part was that it has fewer miles than our 2008 Scion (75,000) and they gave us so much for the Scion that we were able to avoid getting a loan by borrowing money from our savings account. Hooray for no interest!

So now I'm that mom, and I'm surprisingly okay with it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Last Week in Review

Oh, there are so many things to catch up on in this post. We'll start where we left off last week (eek! a whole week between posts??)...

I got to go see my cousin Amy on Monday afternoon for a massage (she's a massage therapist and she's fantastic), and I left feeling human again! My back had been killing me, and I'm so thankful Matt had the idea for me to get it taken care of.

After dinner, Mom and Dad came over to see Avery and Landon before leaving Wednesday morning for their European extravaganza.

We went looking at minivans. We found one we loved. I'll have a separate post about embracing my inner soccer mom.

We stopped at Chick-fil-a afterward so we could feed Avery and Landon and avoid hungry meltdowns since we needed to go to the grocery store before heading home. We all survived.

Amy came over for the day to play with Avery and Landon. I was so thankful that she offered to do this because it gave me a chance to get a lot done around the house. And I don't think Amy minded all the baby snuggles one bit. :) 

Matt took my parents and our pastor and his wife (their traveling buddies) to the airport. They don't come back until July 8, and it's so weird not to be able to call my mom. I talk to her so stinkin' much during the day, so I think I'm going through withdrawals. Weird.

Ral, Sam, and Maddie came over for dinner and Wii competition on Wednesday night. We just love them! And Avery is still talking about playing with "Mr. Ral and Maddie and Sam."

I had a chance to run up to the church to get a couple things done, but the majority of my day was spent running errands while Matt had both kids at home. (I'm so thankful that Landon will take a bottle of pumped milk since it gives me a little more freedom for when I need to be gone longer than a couple hours.)

Tiff, Ross, and Macyn got here late Thursday night, right after Landon spit up threw up all. over. me.

After breakfast, we went to pick up our new minivan! It took a little longer to get out the door, and then we had to get a cashier's check at the bank, so by the time we finally had the keys and could leave, both kids were screaming because it was well past lunch time.

Naturally we all went to Chick-fil-a. It was super crowded though!

Avery refused to take a nap, so she played in demolished her room for two hours before we had to get her up to get ready to go to Landon's (and Macyn's!) first Rangers game!

We tried so hard to make it early to the game to see Dirk throw out the first pitch, but between 4 adults and 3 kids (all of whom fit into our new ride!!), we didn't make it to our seats until the end of the first inning. Landon slept most of the time, Avery had a major meltdown in the bathroom about halfway through the game, and it was miserably hot in our section since there wasn't any breeze, but we still had lots of fun. We left before the fireworks show, but we got to see them from our car. They're much louder outside the ballpark!

The Melancons left in the morning, and during our errands run, Avery fell fast asleep in the car. Not wanting to relive the previous day's naplessness, we didn't even wake her up to eat. The girl slept for two hours and would've slept longer if we hadn't woken her up because Sam was there to babysit.

We usually don't have to find babysitters because my parents live 10 minutes away and love to keep Avery when they can, but since they're in stinking Europe, Sam came over to hang out with Avery while we went to my friend Caty's wedding.

Weddings are kinda awkward when you don't know anybody there. I mean, I obviously knew the bride (we used to teach together), and I knew one bridesmaid, but other than that? No one. The ceremony was gorgeous and I cried (yes, I am a huge sap, even more so now that I have kids). The reception was equally beautiful, but then came the awkward part. We got to the reception a little late because I had to feed Landon, so we just sat at a table by ourselves. No big deal. Until the popular table beside us was out of chairs and people kept coming to take them from ours. We were officially the loser table, and since we needed to get home anyway, we decided to jet after saying hello to the bride and groom. I made Matt walk with me over to the cake table so we could at least look at the cakes, and it just so happened to be cake time, so we stayed long enough to join another loser table (they didn't know anybody there either) and devour some chocolate cake. Yum. Anyway, besides feeling like a lame-o, we really did enjoy seeing this sweet couple tie the knot; I just love their story! So congrats, Caty! You were gorgeous and I can't wait to see what God has next for you two. :)

Matt had to be at church early, so I had my first test in getting two kids out the door by myself. I passed! I was just a little late. :) Avery slept in, so that gave me a chance to get Landon dressed and all of our stuff together. She woke up just as I was about to go get her, so after she was dressed, I fed Landon while she ate breakfast and we eventually made it out the door.

We usually don't make it to Sunday School because of our other church commitments, but we went to lunch at Sam's Pizza with our Sunday School class anyway.

Avery once again refused to nap. Lovely. I'm really hoping this is just a phase and she gets back to her normal napping self.

We went to the monthly prayer gathering at church that evening. Matt was leading worship and I didn't get anybody to cover childcare, so I decided to just go and do it myself. Our kids were the only ones there anyway, so Avery hung out and ate our dinner at church.

A napless day = a stressful bedtime. There was much screaming involved. Oh dear Jesus, please let this just be a phase!

And now. I woke up at a decent hour this morning and got quite a bit done around the house and even got to play with Avery while Landon napped with his daddy. Avery is still awake in her room. I'm still praying she naps.   It is so. very. hot this week. I don't even want to leave the house. Maybe I'll at least shower today. We'll probably go swimming at some point this week or something. Something. I think Avery's getting bored, so I really need to be more intentional about what we do at home during the day. Anyway, this catches up the week at least; now I just need to finish a few other posts (i.e. VBS, minivan, Avery's 2 year old post, etc.). Now about that shower...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Baby Yawns, Bachelorette, Swimming, Mood Swings, Massages and Minivans

I miss my Friday Five! It's kinda become my way of including lots of random thoughts into one catchall post. It's not Friday, but here is some miscellany for the week.

How cute are baby yawns?!?

It's no secret that I love The Bachelor/Bachelorette. I know it's heavily produced and far from the "reality" it claims to be, but I can't help myself. Especially this season I wonder if the contestants/participants/whatever feel really stupid when they watch the show after all is said and done. I mean, seriously, this Ashley chick is coming across as completely pathetic (and bipolar). She's probably a really nice girl or whatever, but ugh. And the guys are just as lame. Boring season. Moving on.

We've been taking Avery swimming quite a bit lately because my parents' neighbors (our church's former associate pastor and his family) are moving to Kansas (which I'm still bummed about!) and generously offered for us to use their pool whenever we wanted this summer until their house sells. Avery was pretty timid in the water at first, but now she begs to put on her Elmo "fwimsoup" and go kick in the water.

There have been some crazy mood swings in our house lately, and surprisingly enough, they're not even coming from me. Avery is totally Jekyll and Hyde these days. Well, minus the whole murder thing (except that she is murdering my sanity). She can be screaming her pretty little head off one minute, and then she'll be so sweet and happy the next. It's hard to pinpoint the reason since it's most likely just a combination of being almost two, having a new baby in the house, and being totally thrown out of her routine last week with VBS taking over our lives. Anyway, God is definitely teaching us patience and understanding, and hopefully this is all just a stage. Right??

Speaking of VBS, it's complete for 2011, and I'd definitely call it a success. I'll post more on that later, but for now I'll just say that I already feel tons better now that I've had a couple of days to just rest.

Another reason I feel like I've rejoined humanity is that I had an awesome massage today! My cousin Amy is a massage therapist, and Matt was so sweet to text her last night to see if she could fit me into her schedule today. I'm so thankful that she did, and I'm already looking forward to her coming over on Wednesday to hang out with us.

So tomorrow we're going to check out some minivans. What has my life come to?!? We've discovered that our little Scion xB will not fit two car seats and a front seat passenger comfortably. (Comfortably meaning without my legs touching the dash.) I always swore I'd never drive a minivan. Never say never.

I've whined about this a lot the last week or so, but our house looks like a nightmare right now. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect it to look perfect, but it's hard for us to relax or enjoy time together when there's chaos surrounding us. But now that I'm starting to feel semi-normal again, I'm hoping to get the house back in working order (while still taking time to snuggle and play with my kids). Plus, Tiff and her family are coming in town on Thursday, so there's some added motivation!

Okay, I'm off to vacuum. Wish me luck!