Gwendolyn At Ten Months

Miss Gwen is 10 months old!  That last month seemed to go by really fast . . .

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Lots of exciting stuff this month:

-Gwen started to "cruise" along furniture a little bit.

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(Not along furniture, but she gets around the floor pretty good too!)

-Gwen started saying the word "hi".  I know it's intentional, because she only makes that noise when someone is looking at her, or in response to someone else saying "hi" to her.  It's adorable!  She still says "mama" and "dada" too, but I can really tell "hi" is intentional (I'm not always sure about the other two).

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-She is sleeping much better.  This is exciting to me!  She actually slept 9 hours the other night.  In a row.  It was magnificent.

-This is technically in her next month, but on the 28th, she got her first tooth!  It's so weird, because I checked her gums the day before and there was nothing, and then I checked them on the 28th, and there they were!  Actually both the bottom teeth came in at the exact same time.  After months, and months of chewing on things, crying for no reason, and random, mild teething fevers, her teeth are in!  I'll miss her gummy smile, but I also can't wait to see her little grin with two little teeth showing.

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I'm not sure if I put this in her 9 month update, so I'll put it here - Gwen is about 18 pounds now (47%), and 28 3/4 inches long (85%).  Long and skinny.  Head circumference is 17 1/2 inches (65%).  She is in size 3 diapers (still haven't gone back to cloth because of that horrible rash), 12 month clothes, and size 3 shoes.  

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We've been working on learning "no", and she's actually doing really well - I'll tell her no when she is about to touch something she shouldn't or crawl somewhere she shouldn't, and she'll usually stop.  Sometimes I have to intervene, but I think this is good practice.

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She and Wyatt still have a great relationship (except the occasional tension on sharing toys), and Gwen loves her big brother.  She is always watching him to see what he's doing, smiling at him, or climbing on him (which he thinks is funny).  He's always watching her too, and making sure we don't forget her when we go places.  He likes to make her laugh, and then he laughs too and asks "Is that funny Gwen?"  Gwen also copies things Wyatt does - she already knows how to play with cars.  The other day I even caught her driving Wyatt's truck and making a "rooooom" truck sound!  Poor child needs some girls to play with, but I love that she wants to copy her big brother.  It's adorable.

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(43/52 - Tent)


Peekaboo is still tons of fun, and she loves to give and receive kisses.  Anytime she gets attention she's happy.  Being held upside down is also one of her favorite things!  If you want to make her smile, just tip her upside down and she's all giggles!  

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The other week at the corn maze my dad was winking at Gwen, and she was trying so hard to wink back!  It ended up being more of a blink/eyelid flutter, and it was so cute!  Ever since then if she's really excited or happy about something she does that same blink/flutter.  I love it!

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She has disowned pureed baby foods, and really only wants finger foods now.  Green beans cut up into pieces are her favorite.  She ate a whole can of green beans in one day a couple weeks ago!  She also likes carrot pieces and toast torn up.  I've been too chicken to try dairy yet, but we may do little chunks of cheese in the next month or so.

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She loves bath time and gets upset when I take her out of the bathtub.  Our bedtime routine is really short - basically I give her a bottle, take her to her room and pray with her, attempt to sing her a song (she usually laughs at me or ignores me - she's just not a very musical baby, at least not right now), then I lay her down and give her a blanket.  She grabs onto the blanket with both fists, pulls it up under her chin, and sticks her thumb in her mouth with the blanket touching her face.  She won't go to sleep without it.  I think she might have picked up the blanket habit from Wyatt, and It's so cute!  By the middle of the night it's been discarded, but she'll go right down as long as she has her blanket.

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My Sweet Miss Gwen,

You are such a little doll!  I still can't get over aha t a gorgeous little baby you are.  Your hair has started to curl the longer it gets, and I love how it curls around your ears and neck.  You are so fun.  I think you would be thrilled if I could just sit and start at you and talk to you all day and I wish I could.  Your face lights up whenever we have some time with just you and me, and I love it.  I love seeing your little grin.  

I'll play with you by turning you upside down and kissing your cheeks and chin, and sometimes when I bring you right-side up again you grab my hair and give my a slobbery baby kiss back.  It's my favorite.

I still get up with you about once a night.  Usually I'll give you a bottle, change your diaper, and then just set you down on the floor and lay down and stare at you.  You stare right back at me while you are eating.  The other night when you decided you were done with your bottle you just set it aside, turned over toward me, stuck your thumb in your mouth, and you were instantly asleep.  I don't think you even woke up when I picked you up to put you back in your crib a few minutes later.  It sounds so simple to type it out, but I just fell in love with you a little more right then.  You were so relaxed and content to be right there next to me.  So peaceful.  

You melt my heart every single day, Sweet Baby.  I love you!

Always,
Mama

Tractor and Plane Books

Wyatt has two things he loves right now - anything related to transportation, and animals.  But he's been especially interested in tractors, trucks, trains, planes, and cars for the past several months.  Any mechanical thing that moves.

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This week Wyatt and I opened up some new books that Teresa from Barefoot Books was kind enough to send us!  

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One of the books was "I Wish I Were A Pilot", which was a book with a ton of vehicles in it - airplanes, cars, ships, submarines - you name it.  Wyatt loved looking at all the pictures and pointing out the things he knew, and there were a few things he didn't know!  It was so fun to hear him say "submarine".  I liked that it was a board book too, because he's less likely to tear the page when he "reads" by himself.

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The other book Teresa sent us was called "Driving My Tractor".  I thought this book was so fun, because not only were the pictures beautiful and the story perfect for a two year old, the book came with a music CD!

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The lyrics on the CD are the same as the words in the book.   Wyatt was too busy looking at the pictures in the book for us to listen to the CD the first time - we probably spent five minutes on each page.  He was so excited about the tractor and animals and was exclaiming over everything! But I love that it comes with a CD!  Wyatt also loves music, and I think it will be so fun to follow along with the song.

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Gwen got in on the book action too!

Teresa was also so thoughtful and sent along a worksheet/craft idea that goes along with the book!  I had no idea that Barefoot Books came along with activities!  The website has activities to go along with many of the books! I think this will be a great resource for some fun home pre-school projects this year, and in homeschooling years to come.  

The craft she sent me was a cut-out coloring sheet to make paper finger puppets, and she even sent along some popsicle sticks in case we didn't have any!  So Wyatt and I sat down and colored the pages together.  It was such a fun project for the two of us!

This one was a joint effort (see the green scribbles):

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So was this one:

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Ah, but this one was Wyatt's masterpiece!  I think he was really trying to stay inside the lines (up to now he hasn't cared):

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If you haven't checked out Barefoot Books, definitely visit their website - they have so many fun books.  I think some of them will be great for future homeschooling lessons, and they have a lot of books that are just for fun and perfect for gifts!  Be sure to order through Teresa Banner - I highly recommend working with her.  She's so knowledgable about all the books that are available, and she is very thoughtful!  Thanks again Teresa for the opportunity to review these great books!


Note: Teresa sent me these books for free in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion!

On The Age Gap (+Printable)

In case you haven't stopped to do the math, Gwendolyn and this new baby will be less than 16 months apart. I'm going to have three babies in 38 months!

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Thinking about the age difference has never bothered me or made me nervous.  Sure, things are going to be busy around here, but I think it will be happy, joyful chaos, and I love it.  I am so excited about this new baby!  I am so grateful for an easy conception.  I think it's perfect that my kids are all going to be so close together.

The only thing that bothered me at first was that I worried I was going to get negative reactions from some people.  The people who were going to ask "And how far are they going to be apart?" with an incredulous look on their faces.  The people who were going to shake their heads and tell me how crazy my life was going to get.  The people who were going to give me an odd look and say, "Wow, you're going to have your hands full".

When I thought about that in the beginning of my pregnancy, I didn't want those reactions, because I am thrilled about this baby.   The thought that other people might not share in my joy made me upset.

The first few times I told someone whose reaction I wasn't sure about, I tried to beat them to the punch so they couldn't say it first.  "It was a surprise!"  "They'll be pretty close, so it'll be a little crazy!"  With a smile on my face, trying to let them know that I was completely happy about this new blessing.

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Then I told one person who I was almost sure would have a negative reaction.  I was really nervous about it.  I said my line about it being a surprise, etc.  But she smiled and looked me right in the face and said "It's a blessing."  Immediately the pressure was off, and I grinned and said that it was and how happy we were.

I was so relieved that my announcement to her went well, but it got me thinking.  I do not have to explain this baby, as if he or she was an accident.  This baby is an absolute gift from God that He chose to give me at this precise time. 

I am so grateful and happy about this baby.  There is no reason for me to minimize that just because someone might give me snide words or a disapproving look.  If someone reacts that way, they are the ones who are wrong.  

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God creates life.  Those lives have a deep meaning and purpose, no matter how long or short they may be.  They are each precious and worthy of celebration.  There are no accidents.

I am no longer feeling the need to offer explanations for this baby before someone can react.  If they don't like it, they can take it up with God, but I am excited.  

I've also found the perfect response to the "Wow, you have your hands full" comment.  I saw a sign that said this shortly after I got pregnant, and I thought it was perfect.

(Click to enlarge and then save to your computer.)


My hands might be full, but my heart will be even more full.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

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P.S.  I am happy to report that no one who knows me has given me any weird reactions.  Every one of you who knows me in blogland, as well as my real life family and friends, has been so sweet and excited for me!  I'm so grateful to have such a wonderful support system in my life.  The only weird reactions I've gotten have been from strangers.

Little Critter Book Review

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When I was in grade school I loved reading Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer at the library.  We didn't have any at home, and I just thought the illustrations and stories were so fun!

I was excited to learn that Thomas Nelson has come out with some new Little Critter books that have a biblically based message!  They sent me "It's True" and "You Go First".

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"It's True" is about Little Critter learning to tell the whole truth, because telling half-truths is the same as lying.  In the end he corrects his lie and all the other kids forgive him for lying to them.  

"You Go First" is a story about Little Criter always wanting to be the first to do everything, and he steps all over his friends to do it.  His teacher tells him that we are supposed to treat others as we want to be treated, but Little Critter ignores her and learns his lesson when he rushes ahead of his friends and gets lost in the woods.  He didn't exactly have a change of heart for the right reason in this book, but in the end he learned how to be a better friend, so I still liked it.

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Both of the stories were cute, and as always the illustrations were colorful and fun!  Wyatt loved looking at the pictures, and I like that these are good lesson books as well, and they will be good for training as he grows!

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Note:  I received this books for free from Thomas Nelson as part of their Tommy mommy program in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Discouragement


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(On the road to our home.)


Sometimes things in life do not go according to plan.

Right now I feel trapped by certain life circumstances. And it's upsetting, because all I really want to do is enjoy this pregnancy, the feeling of new life growing inside me for what could be the last time, but instead I have so many stresses and burdens to bear right now.

I have to believe that there is relief right around the corner, that God has a plan. But all I can see right now is the sameness. As Katherine says in the Anne of Avonlea movie, there is no bend in my road - I can see it stretching on to the skyline.

I don't like this road. I feel like its the wrong road and if I keep going I'm just going to get lost.

This is all very vague, and right now I'm afraid it has to be that way. Suffice it to say that I'm just struggling with a lot of discouragement this week.

I got so down the other night that no verses would even come to mind, so I actually sat down and googled "verses for discouragement". Yes, I did. I'm kind of embarrassed to even admit that, because I feel like God's word should just flow from those hiding places in my heart up to my mind at moments like that. Everything was cloudy though, and I couldn't think, so I googled and clicked on the first link that popped up.

I read through the verses, and by the fifth one I was tearing up. It is like water to my soul, and nothing anyone can say, none of the reassurances I can think up in my own head, compare to God's words. It is like He spoke them directly to me.

Trust in The Lord, Callie, and He will make your paths straight (sometimes straight roads can be good things too). (Psalm 3:5-6)

There will be trouble in your life, Callie, but He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)

You do not know how to pray as you should, but the Spirit intercedes for you with groaning too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)

The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.  (Joshua 1:9)

Be strong, take courage, Callie, while you wait on The Lord. (Psalm 31:24)

If God is for you, who can be against you?  (Romans 8:31)

Everything I needed to hear. Proof that He knows what I need, not just in a moment of discouragement, but in my life too. The waiting on The Lord is hard, but because He knows what we need (even when we don't) we can be strong. We can take courage. He'll guide us, He'll go with us, He speaks for us, He overcomes, and who (or what) can really be against us? GOD is for us.

You can't beat that.

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This post is part of a new Friday series I'm starting, in which I'm going to try to bring a little more of my "real life" back to the blog. Real life stories, real life happenings, real life struggles, real life lessons. Because these are the things my kids will want to read someday, and these are the things I will want to remember.

Fun Happenings


We've done a lot of fun things with the kids over the last month, so I'  doing a little catch-up post now!  I'm also catching up on my Project 52 photos of the kids.  

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(40/52 - Eyes)

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A couple weeks ago we went to the zoo!  My friend Danae has season pass, and she was sweet enough to invite us along.  We had a fun time, and Wyatt couldn't stop talking about the "El'phants and G'raffes".  Unfortunately by the time we got around to them he was so tired he didn't even noticed!  We still had a great time though, and it was a nice visit!


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Danae and her sweet daughter.

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Gwen's face!  She was in a grumpy mood, and her little friend just wanted to play with her!

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Grandma and Grandpa stopped by briefly the other night, and they played a round of "Grandpa Horse" with the kids.  Wyatt thought it was so fun!

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We took Wyatt to his first movie on October 6th!  We went to see "Planes".  I told Wyatt we were going to see an airplane movie, and so when a preview came on he bolted straight up in his chair and said "Oh no!  Airplane movie!"  We assured him it was just about to start!  I think he was a little worried there!  He did great, and loved the movie and popcorn - it was a fun memory, taking him to the movie theater for the first time.


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(41/52 - All Dressed Up)

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Every year our church rents out one of our local corn mazes.  They have a lot of food, and free drinks and kettle corn, and a lot of the kid's activities are free!  It's a really fun time, and we went with my family this year.  (My sister was there too, but some of the pictures turned out blurry - argh.)  As you can probably tell by the fact that we are all bundled up, it was pretty cold!  We had a fun time though.


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My dad and Wyatt sitting on the bouncy pillow.

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My mom and Gwen.

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Moi.

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My brother and his wife Olivia.  And I haven't mentioned it before, but Olivia is pregnant with their first baby!  We're really excited for another sweet niece!  Olivia is due about six weeks ahead of me.

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(42/52 - Cold Fall Day)

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