Renly Mae | 5 Months

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Height: 23 5/8″

Weight: 11#

Head: 15 5/8″

Clothes: 0-3 Months

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You are such a happy girl. You bring so much joy to our house ❤

Eating:

You are still nursing great and I am so thankful. You started going every 3 hours now which is nice. You also nurse way faster which is also very nice ;). At night you usually wake up around 5 in the morning to eat then go back to sleep so around 10 hours at night.

Sleeping:

You are still pretty random with your naps. Sometimes you take a half hour nap and are so happy, and other times you take a 2 hour nap. And then sometimes you wake up fighting mad at around 30-45 min and I let you cry awhile to see if you go back to sleep. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. You have been taking about 2 good naps a day then a cat nap in the evening. Bed time is 7 and you wake up around 7-7:30 for the day. Kina goes to bed at 7 so I was really hoping you would do the same. I kept wondering when I could push bedtime to 7, but you kind of decided yourself. You get really mad around 6:30-7 and just want to eat and go to sleep, so that’s what we do. We get ready for bed then eat right around 7 and go to sleep! It works perfect for our family.

Developmental:

You have really changed this month. You went from just being content to hang out to now wanting anything and everything you can get your hands on. If you can’t get it you get a little upset. It is fun seeing the change from playing to really intentionally playing and reaching for things. When we are grocery shopping you reach for everything I put in the cart. You are very into watching us eat and trying to reach for our food. Daddy may have teased you a bit with an Oreo. You tried to hard to grab for it but alas, he ate it in front of you :0. You also have a major attraction to my drink or Kina’s drink. You want to drink it so bad! You love love love watching your big sister. It is so sweet, when she talks to you, you just light up and screech and chatter. You still really could care less to roll over. You will hold my finger and roll over, but don’t really attempt to on your own! You like to sit just holding onto my fingers.

Things you are loving:

-Toys, you love chewing on them and shaking them

-Blankets and burp rags, again you love chewing on them

-Watching big sister

-Smiling at everyone

You are such a sweet bright spot in our lives and we love you so much!

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Kina 5 Month Post

 

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Guided Prayer Journal Release and Giveaway

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I am so excited to share my latest creation, the Hello Jesus Prayer Journal. For a few years I have used a prayer journal to record my prayers. Writing down my prayers has helped me tremendously. It was so easy for me to fall into a rut of saying the same prayer over and over. I knew prayer was so important, yet it was hard for me to focus and actually say really meaningful prayers. When I started recording my prayers on paper, it totally transformed my view on prayer and my relationship with Christ. It helped me be intentional and reminded me to pray for things I might have otherwise forgotten. It also has strengthened my faith to look back and see how God has worked. It is so amazing to look back on where my heart was at a certain time and see how God worked in it since then. It has also been a huge blessing to see a record of answered prayers. As much as I loved using prayer journals, I couldn’t find one to meet my specific needs. There was always something I wished was different when I sat down to use it. They worked, but didn’t work the best for me.

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After awhile of wishing things were different about the journals I was using, God laid it on my heart to create my own. I was honestly at the point in my life where I was completely content to be a mom and wife, so I kept brushing it off. Over the years I have battled with feeling like I need to do something more than solely be a homemaker. I was finally at a point where I was totally at peace doing solely that. But God kept nudging me and directing me to make this journal. After much discussion with Loren we decided to go ahead and make them. It’s been such a good experience because I can without a doubt see God’s hand in it. In all honesty I struggled with feeling like I have done so many things in the past people will probably think oh my just another thing from her. I have learned to trust God and not worry about what other people think on yet another one of my creations. (; It is for His glory not mine. I really feel like this is totally God’s project and I am very excited to be able to bless others with it. Maybe this will be a one time printing and nothing else will come of it, maybe not. Whatever God wants me to do with these journals is totally fine with me!

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After many hours of prayer this journal came to life. I was able to design it myself then have it locally printed and bound. Here are the details of the journal:

A 5″x7″, 200 page, book style journal that includes 7 different sections:

Section 1:
30 pages for Daily prayers

Section 2:
15 pages for Long Term prayers

Section 3:
15 pages for Answered Prayers

Section 4:
10 pages for Prayer Requests and Answered Prayer Requests. (For all the prayers when people ask us to pray for them but we often forget).

Section 5:
25 Pages for the “ACTS” prayer method.

Section 6:
70 pages for specific prayer Topics. These 70 pages are divided into 6 sections for 6 different topics.

Section 7:
20 pages for Personal Development. This includes sections to write out goals, reading list, and favorite scripture and quotes.

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I absolutely love the way this journal came together, all glory to God. My prayer is that it blesses many! These would make great Christmas gifts for you, your family and friends, or even grab gifts! To purchase one check out my Etsy Shop.

Today (Friday November 3) on my Instagram account @hellojesusco I am having a giveaway! The giveaway is designed to be the perfect quiet time bundle and includes a coffee mug, a lined notebook for journaling, a pen, and of course a Hello Jesus prayer journal. To enter head over to that account!

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Renly Mae | 4 Months

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Height:

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Clothes: 0-3 Months

Renly Mae,

You are truly a content happy little lady. You bring such a joy into our home and I can’t believe you are already 4 months old! These four months really have flown. I am really soaking in all the baby cuddles this time around. Time goes way too fast to not enjoy every single moment.

Eating: At the beginning of the month you were eating about every 2-3 hours. Now you are more consistently going around every 3 hours, sometimes a bit longer. At night you sleep anywhere between 10 and 12 hours. It varies every night if you eat around 5 or 6 or sleep until 7:30-8. I am so very very thankful for this eating schedule. You still breastfeed like a champ and for that I am so very grateful! I wanted to breastfeed Kina so bad and it didn’t work out. I was fully expecting to have problems this time around and didn’t. It makes me so much more grateful that it is working out since the first time didn’t!

Sleeping: I am so grateful for how well you sleep little girl! During the day your naps are a little hit and miss. Somedays you take two good naps about 1-2 hours each then a cat nap in the evening. Somedays you sleep about 30-40 min each nap and that is it. At night however, you do very well. You normally eat around 7:30 and then go to bed right after. You will then sleep until 5-7:30. You did hit a “wonder week” (developmental milestone) earlier this month and I could tell! You went from sleeping soundly every night to waking up frequently. Sometimes it would be around 9-10 then again at 3-4. Sometimes it would be only around 3 or four but you would keep us up 40min to an hour. Sometimes I just kept messing with you (putting paci in, shushing, etc) and sometimes I ended up having to feed you or rock you to sleep. But I really tried hard to stick to only feeding you at 5 or after. I didn’t want to establish bad habits, but also wanted to nurture you since you were going through the wonder week. This lasted about a week and a half to two weeks, and you are now consistently sleeping through the night again. We recently got back from visiting my family in Indiana and I was worried that would throw you off even more. Nothing to worry about there, actually in the middle of the trip you ended up sleeping all night again. You are very resilient and go with the flow which I really do love! Its probably partly your personality, but also partly because I am more flexible this time around as well. I am also very thankful that I simply lay you down and you fall asleep on your own about 90% of the time. The other times are usually because we are out of our schedule (church, Mondays, and sometimes the evening nap.)

Developmental: Since reading the book The Wonder Weeks, it is crazy how accurate it is! You went through a really fussy period around 15 weeks and after you got through that you were a totally different baby! You have become so much more intentional about things and actually play with your toys now! You also make connections now, like oh that is my hand in front of my face, not a random object. You haven’t rolled over yet, but man you try so hard. You can’t quite figure out what to do with your arm. That coupled with how chill you are, you tend to not care after awhile of trying. You are very strong now, you can sit in your bumbo and totally do a superman when put on your belly. You have done some giggles and I can’t wait until you do a full blown laugh! You absolutely love watching your big sister Kina even though sometimes you get squished, bonked, or poked! Like I said, you are very chill!

Things you love:

-Talking, smiling, and giggling

-Being outside, and riding in the carrier I wear

-Baths

-Being naked!

-Laying under your toy matt and batting at/eating the toys

-Eating your hand/sucking on your thumb

Things you aren’t fond of:

-You are such a chill baby you are pretty content so there isn’t much.

-Being left alone in a room, you like to be a part of the action

-Hearing others cry. When Kina cries you tend to make a frowny face or start crying as well. You are a sympathetic cryer like your sister.

You are such a blessing to our home and we couldn’t imagine life without you!

Kina’s four month post

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Renly Mae | 3 Months

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Our sweet Renly-

It is crazy to think that you are three months old. You are such a blessing to our family and constantly shower us with smiles upon smiles. I love your small baby cuddles and am actually sad you aren’t a newborn anymore. Now I feel like I actually need to crack down on how much I hold you to go to sleep. Where as a newborn they say you can’t spoil. I took full advantage of that :).

Eating:

You eat every 2-3 hours during the day and at around 4:00am in the night. You do great both breastfeeding and taking a bottle when I am gone. It is pretty nice. Eating has been smooth sailing with you, and for that I am very thankful.

Sleeping:

You haven’t been the greatest at napping. You would nap about 30 min and wake up and not go back to sleep. Sometimes you were happy, sometimes you were grumpy. I normally feed you soon after you wake up and found you would fall asleep while eating. I started waiting a bit after you woke up to feed you and if you still fell asleep I would make you sit up awhile then try to feed you again. After I cracked down on you sleeping when nursing your naps started going better. I also stopped rocking you to sleep. Instead I now sing you one song and tell you it’s time for a nappy. I then lay you down and give you you paci. Sometimes you would fall asleep and sometimes you would cry for a bit before I give you your paci again. So far that seems to be working. You now take about an hour nap each time. At night you normally eat around 4 but sleep pretty much from 8-7 or 8:30. You will randomly have nights you wake up around 2 and need us to give you your paci. I think tonight we are going to try and move you to your own room. We will see how that goes!

Development:

You love talking and smiling. I think you got even louder this month if that is possible! You are constantly putting your hands in your mouth and like chomping on things. You love talking to people and love watching your sister. You are trying to hard to roll over but haven’t made it yet. You love sitting up. You will sit up on our lap, or propped in the boppy pillow with a another pillow behind it. You just love checking everything out!

A few things you love:

-Your changing pad and being naked!

-Your bath

-Sitting up, even when you are sitting up on our lap, you try and sit up straighter by holding onto our hands.

-Smiling

-Holding our hand

-Chomping on your hands

A few things you don’t like:

-Being out of the loop, you love being with everyone and get annoyed when left alone somewhere in the room.

You are such a smiley happy girl and we love you to pieces!

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Why Motherhood Matters {A Book Review}

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Since having Renly I have been reading books left and right. Spending so much time on the couch nursing requires lots of reading ;). I am not complaining. Actually now that she is nursing quicker I am a little sad I don’t have as much time to read!

Along with having Renly, I have also felt very inadequate at this mother thing. Balancing two kiddo’s needs has been a bit of a challenge for me. Having two kids has been a much easier transition than having the first one, but with that being said, I am so worried I am not doing good enough for them. This fear leads me to wonder what the point is in motherhood. Maybe it would be easier to send them somewhere else and work full time…It is a thought that has occurred to me when I am feeling overwhelmed and worried I am ruining them. Or when my dreams of doing something big, and following my entrepreneurial heart overtake me desires. It is in these moments I wonder if being a stay at home mom matters. I begin to believe the lie that there is bigger things for me to do, or that I am not good enough as a mom so someone else should watch my kids while I work.

When I saw the Why Motherhood Matters book by September McCarthy I knew I needed to read it. It was very good and I would highly recommend it to all moms. Each page is laced in grace and instruction to be the best mom you can be. She beautifully writes about our purpose as mothers and encourages us to keep going through the hard stuff. The book is broken into four parts:

Part one: Why you are not alone

Part two: Why we cannot live motherhood by the seat of our pants

Part three:Why you will lead them in ways they should go

Part four: Why giving your children a reason to change makes all the difference

She talks about topics like why you don’t have to be overwhelmed, loving your children uniquely, yelling, mom guilt, praying for our children, teaching our children to serve, teaching responsibility, and of course why motherhood matters and finding your vision and purpose.

At the end of each chapter is a section for taking the steps (taking action on what we just learned), my parenting principle (a paragraph on the principle we learned from the chapter), and a prayer at the very end that covers the chapters topic. I loved this set up as we not only learned in the chapter, but were able to apply it as well!

My biggest takeaway was at the end of the book. I pretty much highlighted all of the last few pages. A few of my favorite quotes:

“Small moments are where the hidden gifts are waiting. You will need to focus on discovering why God gave you your gifts, your calling, your future before your children can understand  their own foundation.”

“When we let God have our lives, He gives us a focus for every moment. Our future becomes a story in the making–one that we could not have directed or planned so well if we had tried. I realized that my focus would become my children’s future. Though the stripping away of my own selfish desires was painful and growing out of my childish ways was a process, I can see how those very ordinary days have turned into my legacy.”

“If there were only one thing I could leave them as a legacy, it would be a focus on eternity and the value of living a life fully surrendered to God.”

And one final favorite quote:

“Surrender is giving back what we’ve been given. The pull of the world can be stronger than the decision to allow our efforts to bee unseen for a time. Motherhood’s return has a kingdom value, and the rewards are your children’s focus and future.”

This book helped take me from the head knowledge that raising kids is very important and bigger than any dream of mine, to my heart where as Proverbs  4:23 tells us that everything flows from. This book helped give me the feelings in my heart and strength to know that all the little mundane things of motherhood are so very important. It gave me the focus to be patient and Christ-like each day because I want to point my children to eternity. I am raising girls and my desire and hope for them is to follow Jesus and do God’s will. Taking the time to be patient and lead them well is pointing them on that path. Taking the time to teach my kiddo’s something instead of worrying about the house being cleaned is important. I often feel like teaching my children and spending time with them is unproductive. It feels that way because we can’t see the immediate results, but it is so important. My kids are watching my every move, I want them to see Jesus in me. That is the purpose of motherhood and that is why it matters so much.

If you are feeling like you are in need of a little comfort and purpose in motherhood, I would highly recommend picking up a copy of Why Motherhood Matters. You won’t be sorry!

Letter to Kina- 3 Years

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My sweet girl, you are three years old today. Three years ago you made me a mommy. You changed my heart and made me a better person. You bring joy to my heart everyday. So much joy I worry I am not a good enough mom to nurture your sweet heart. As I watch you grow, I think I couldn’t love you anymore, yet each day I do. You have such a sweet, kind compassionate heart and truly care for others around you. You have a quite spirit and each day you light up our world with your joyful outlook on life. You are also very strong willed and like to push your limits. At the same time, you know when to give up and know mom and dad are standing their ground. You hold your feelings inside and struggle talking about them with us. I know, I know, you are only three, but you avoid talking about if you feel sad, etc, by saying things like, oh there is a butter fly. I wouldn’t think much about it, except your daddy is pretty much the same way ;). I started telling you when you get sad or frustrated, you come to mommy. Which normally you refuse to do because you want to be independent. So I tell you then you need to ask Jesus for help to calm your feelings and give you peace. The other night you were just having a rough one. You kept crying and whining and I finally sat you in time out for awhile. Daddy got home and you ran to him. He talked to you a bit and you told him, I need Jesus daddy. ❤ Moments like that, despite all the previous whining and crying, make my mama’s heart soar. You are a total daddy’s girl and love him to pieces. I love seeing how excited you get when he comes home in the evenings. You love being like mommy and try to copy me in many things I am doing. I truly believe that more is caught than taught!

Sleeping:

No naps for you. You started fighting them at 2 and were completely done with them by 2  1/2. You go to bed at 7 and sleep from anywhere between 6-8 in the morning. Since having a baby sister, you have been waking up in the middle of the night randomly and crying for us. It’s mostly things like “shut my closet door”, etc. We do do quiet time for about 1 hour each day.

Development: You learned all your ABC’s shortly after you turned two. You have always been so interested in letters, it was something you initiated and we figured we better teach you if you want to learn. After you learned your ABC’s you began asking us to spell things for you. You knew how to spell your name around July, and if we wrote out your name, mommy, and daddy, you could read them. We have been working on what letters say and what words start with what letter. And you obsessively want me to spell many different things.

You have such an imagination and absolutely love mermaids and fairy’s right now. One evening you asked daddy are you Prince Eric? Because I am a mermaid. Oh the things you say that totally melt our hearts. One time as I was doing my morning prayers, you told me “Mommy, you are praying to God. And we will go to heaven one day and play with Jesus and we will be fairies.” You love playing with your Barbies and polly pockets. You recently got a stereo in your room and love listening to your music and singing.

You have been potty trained since shortly after your second birthday, but right before baby sister, and randomly after you have had accidents. You tell me they are on purpose, {sigh}. We also took away your paci the beginning of May. I thought it would be a big fight, but it actually wasn’t that bad. Of course when you saw baby sister with one, you decided you needed yours back. No such luck ;).

You are such a beautiful girl and your heart is made of gold. We couldn’t love you more and we are thankful each and everyday for you my dear. My prayer is you will always keep your tender loving heart and always love Jesus.

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Things I don’t want to forget {the circus}

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People have been asking me how it has been going with two kids. I can genuinely say it has been going really good. I think having one kid was more of an adjustment for me that having two. With that being said, does life pretty much turn into a circus with the addition of a kiddo for everyone else or just us? It’s kind of funny, people start noticing you more when you are lugging a car seat on one arm and holding the hand of an urgently dancing toddler that has to pee with the other. They offer to watch your baby. While I am not comfortable leaving my baby in the hands of a stranger, its flattering.  Everyday I do this whole two kid thing and it can be crazy but it is doable! We also get more comments from older people as well like “I enjoyed watching your family.” Translation, I enjoyed watching your circus ;).

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This weekend was an eventful weekend. Saturday I was trying to get some sewing done, and Loren was making salsa. Kina was very nicely playing in her room. I brought up some more toys for her that were stored in her old potty box. She saw the picture on the box and got it in her head that she needed her little potty back again. I told her no, you are big and don’t need the little potty anymore. After many times of telling her no proceeded by much whining, she finally got quiet again. I figured she was back playing again. A little later in the day I walked by the bathroom to find her little potty sitting in there. I asked Loren, did you go get her potty for her? No. Hmmm, well she apparently took it upon herself to go get the potty out of storage herself. There was toilet paper stuffed in there but I didn’t think much about it. Later I went to wash my hands and as I was reaching for the hand towel I noticed a brown streak on the towel. Hmm, looks a lot like poop to me. I eyed the little potty. Sure enough, as I dumped out the toilet paper out fell some poop as well. Not only did she retrieve her potty she pooped in it and attempted to wipe herself which was an utter fail. I called oh Kina come here….I made her clean it all up and put the potty away while explaining with a very disappointed demeanor why we don’t disobey mommy and do whatever we want. As she was downstairs putting it away Loren and I laughed and said, oh my we can either get mad or laugh because one day we will look back at this and think is is completely hilarious.

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After Saturday’s shenanigans, I decided we should all go shoe shopping and out to eat. Kina is in need of some winter boots, so I thought it would be fun to go as a family. Any other mom’s out there laughing at this brilliant idea?! After I fed Renly we were off. Kina was in no mood to shop which is odd for her so we zoomed in and out of stores. Then we arrived at the restaurant. Not long after getting there Renly filled her pants and of course it was a blow out that got all over her clothes and car seat. I got her all changed and settled and our food came. Of course Renly was hungry so I got out my cover and tried to feed her. It wasn’t working out too well so I downed my food and headed to the van. Apparently when we were getting Renly’s stuff together Kina managed to take off her shirt and proceed to cram corn bread in her mouth like a savage. Loren turns around to find her shirtless in public. Win #1. After awhile Kina decided she needed to sit in the high chair Renly’s seat was sitting on. She proceeded to get stuck and have a major meltdown while Loren tried to free her. People were staring and the waiter came running. Yes win #2. There is never a dull moment with kiddo’s is there?

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As we were leaving I told Loren sorry for the utter fail of an outing attempt. But in all reality it was pretty funny. We looked at each other and said it’s part of parenting and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Sure it is hard to lug two kiddos around and not create a scene, and sometimes I wonder why bother at all. Maybe it is to give some older couples a chuckle, or maybe it is to give ourselves a chuckle. Either way, we can choose to get annoyed at the kids and vow to never try again, or we can laugh at it and cherish these small years because one day we will be the older couple watching the younger couple with a circus of their own. As hard as parenting is, I don’t want that day to come as soon as they say it does. So I will choose to laugh and cherish these hard but funny moments.

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Is it always easy? Not at all. There are many days I wake up and I am mad that the baby won’t let me sleep all night. I am mad that the toddler is whining. I am just mad and impatient. I try to overcome it with gratitude. I tell myself I am so thankful and BLESSED to be able to nurture these two tiny hearts. God picked me for these beautiful kiddos. Many times it does lighten my mood, but there are the days I fail and yell and mess up. But God gives us moms grace and strength to make it through. He forgives us and I need to forgive and extend grace to my kiddos. When I mess up I remind myself, I am trying so hard and working toward being a better mom. We will never arrive at perfection, but if we keep moving forward everyday, our mistakes won’t hold us back. Parenting is so hard, but so beautiful all at once. My dear friends who are in the thick of it, keep your chin up, you are doing great!