Thursday, January 30, 2014

Baptism Sunday

This past Sunday, we were able to make our promises to both God and to Ruby as she was baptized in front of our church family.
After Pastor Mike presented Ruby for baptism, and asked us to profess our faith and declare our promises, Brad took the stage with his little girl to wash her with the precious water of our Lord.
As an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament, Brad has had the honor of baptizing both of our boys, and now our sweet little angel.  Please hear how incredibly special this is.  Prior to this moment, I’ve seen Brad get choked up twice in the near 14 years I’ve known him.  And it wasn’t when we got married, or when any of our children were born.  So the guy is pretty solid in his emotions.  But holding our baby girl, declaring God’s love for her…he got a little sentimental.
“Ruby Kay, for you Jesus came into the world; for you He died and conquered death; all this He did for you, little one, though you know nothing of it as yet. We love because God first loved us.  
"Ruby Kay, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.
"Ruby Kay, child of the covenant, in baptism, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit, marked as God’s own forever, and called to follow Christ in mission.  Amen.”
Praying for his girl.
Another remarkable day for our little crew.
About her dress… I found it on the clearance rack at Younkers.  I fell in love with it - very vintage inspired, classic, beautiful - so I brought it home for her special day.  
My beautiful, beautiful girl. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Lucky #7

Today, we celebrated seven years of this guy.
Feeling so blessed that we’ve been given the privilege of being his parents, and feeling so blessed that God thought enough of me to allow me to be his mom.
These seven years have both gone by in an instant and have passed as they should - day by day by day.  When I look into those bright blue eyes of his, I still see the my first born when we brought him home from the hospital, so much in love and in so much disbelief that he was mine.  I see the chubby-cheeked toddler who loved puzzles and the shy preschooler who cried and cried and cried on his first day of school.  I see the kindergartener who grew to love books, and the new seven-year-old who loves his sister fiercely.
I see all that was, and I see all that is yet to be.
Still so much a little boy, yet growing (and struggling and pushing and pulling) towards becoming a young man.
I see him.  I see my heart.
There was much to celebrate today, as Drew was kind enough to be willing to share his birthday with Ruby’s baptism.  So after celebrating Ruby at church this morning, we headed to Culver’s for Drew’s choice birthday lunch.
Cheeseburgers and custard, all around! {Grandma and Grandpa were here to celebrate with us, as they start out on their drive down to Florida for the month of February.}
Back home for gift opening…
…and then spent the afternoon breaking those gifts in.
We saved the singing and the cake for after dinner.
Happy, happy birthday, my man.  So, so proud of you.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Two Months Old

I can honestly say that these days are not passing by way too quickly…meaning, I still have no negative feelings about time flying by and Ruby growing up too fast.  Because it isn’t.  And she’s not.  We are genuinely enjoying each and every day we’ve been given with Ruby, and with our new family of five, that each day that comes and goes is just another way to celebrate all the good that God has given us.
In just the last couple days, Ruby started moving up to four ounces per feeding.  I am balancing her bottles between three and four ounces, depending on the time of day and when she last ate.  It’s kind of nice that, because we’re bottle feeding, I can manipulate her feedings to suit our activity schedule and our bedtime.  She’ll go three hours on a four ounce bottle, but only two to two and a half hours with three ounces.  I’m more sure now that she does have a moderate case of reflux.  She continues to sporadically spit up a little to a lot after eating, and while it doesn’t seem to bother her most of the time, there are moments when it’s obvious she doesn’t care for it a whole heck of a lot.  She’ll have crying fits every now and again (maybe 2-3 times a week, in the early evening) and it’s pretty obvious she’s uncomfortable.  Thankfully, things are not as significant as they were with Reed, and we have our fingers crossed that they never get that bad!
Ruby sleeps well, although she has yet to give me another 8 hours of sleep.  For a while, she was like a robot, eating at 11pm, then waking at 5am on the nose (no joke…exactly 5:00) to eat again.  But after her full night of sleep last Thursday, her schedule’s been off.  After a late bottle, she’ll wake between 2:00-4:00, eat, and then fall back asleep until early morning.  I am fairly certain that the reason why she slept 8 hours last week was because she was on her tummy.  Reed would wake up numerous times throughout the night until, at some point, we flipped him to his tummy and he began sleeping the night through.  I think the pressure on the belly helps with reflux, hence why Ruby slept so well.  I have yet to flip her to her tummy at night…she’s still a little small for me to feel comfortable doing so.
I do, however, let her sleep on her belly during the day, when I’m awake and can check on her.  And she naps great!  Sometime around noon she’ll go down for a good three-hour nap, which isawesome, considering last month she thought she had to be held in order to nap.  In the morning and evening she’ll cat nap several times, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
All of that to say, her awake times are lengthening…although her entertainment needs are minimal.  She prefers lounging on our legs and talking with us over laying underneath her play gym and engaging with rattles. She’s not content in the bouncy seat or the swing for any more than five minutes, but if you perch her up on some pillows so she can see and hear, she’s good for at least 15.  
Milestones this month include her first Christmas, first road trip, and her first giggle.  She smiles big and smiles a lot, and every once in a while she’ll squeak as she’s smiling.
And I’m fairly certain Brad is her favorite.  As it should be, I suppose. 

Friday, January 17, 2014


Guess who slept 8+ hours last night???
This girl did!
And she went 10 hours between feedings.  Whoa!
It should be added that it was a bit unconventional.  We were at a school event last night that really must have tuckered her out.  We got home around 8:00 and it was close to 8:30 by the time I got the boys into bed (Brad was at a meeting).  So it was sometime between then and 9pm that Ruby fell asleep.  In anticipation that she would be waking within the hour to eat again (she last had a bottle at 7:00), I laid her on the ottoman in the living room (instead of in her crib).  {I cautiously admit that she naps on her stomach.  Please don’t call the authorities.}  So she was on her tummy, asleep on the ottoman, and I waited for her to wake.  And waited and waited and waited and then decided at some point I might as well curl up and snooze a bit while I wait.  {Of note, the ottoman was pushed up against the couch and I had my hand resting on her so I could feel her if she moved.  Again, please do not call the authorities.  My mama alert system was in full force as I was awake at least every half hour checking to make sure she was still breathing.}
At 5am, she finally stirred.
I’ll order up more nights like these, please! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

What He's Reading

Our Drew has become quite the bookworm.  He loves to read.  Absolutely loves it.  Even though he may occasionally say that he doesn’t love it, he so totally does.  At the beginning of this school year, we banned TV watching in the morning, so as an alternative, Drew began reading.  And reading and reading and reading.  He isn’t allowed to come out of his bedroom until 7:00, so if he’s awake before then, he’ll plop himself down on the floor to read by the glow of the night light.  {He makes sure his book is on his nightstand before he falls asleep just to be sure it’s there when he wakes.}  If it’s after 7:00, he’ll make himself comfortable on the couch and read there.  And he picks up his books at various times during the day, reading several chapters at a time.  I’m fairly certain it took him all of two days to get through that Winne-the-Pooh book.  
Drew also has the habit of reading more than one book at a time.  It’s not as if he’s bored with one book and picks up another; I think he’s just that excited to begin the next one.  Or, in the case of Christmas, he’ll receive a new book as a gift, and regardless of how many others he’s reading, he’ll want to start the new one right away.
So here’s a peek into what he’s reading right now…
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder — Drew’s teacher has been reading theLittle House books to his class, and Drew decided he wanted to read them himself along with his teacher.  So he first checked out Little House in the Big Woods from his school library, followed byLittle House on the Prairie, and then went back and read the Big Woods over again.  Grammy then brought Drew her box set of the series so he could read them whenever he liked.  His teacher is currently reading Plum Creek, so Drew decided to start that one, too.  
Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers by Dav Pilkey — This is the 10th book in the Captain Underpants series.  I picked up the first eight books at a garage sale last summer, and we read them together.  We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to get our hands on the 9th and 10th books, and Drew finally received them from Grammy and Papa as a gift for Christmas.  He dug in right away, finishing the 9th book before we even got home from Minnesota!
Magic Tree House #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne — Drew brought this one home from the school library last week.  I was pretty {pleasantly} surprised with his selection; we’ve found it’s hard for him to pick out a new book or new series.  For some reason he hesitates to try a new book he hasn’t heard of before or isn’t somehow familiar with.  I asked if someone had recommended this one to him, and he said no.  I’m just encouraged to see him try something new!
George Brown, Class Clown by Nancy Krulik — We gave the first two books in this series to Drew for Christmas, and he wasn’t impressed.  Evidence of the doesn’t-want-to-read-what-he-isn’t-familiar-with syndrome.  He isn’t currently reading these, but I have a hunch that if we start reading one to him, shortly after, he’ll begin reading them on his own.
The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis — Brad began reading The Chronicles of Narnia series to the boys at the end of the summer, and after having read through the first two books, Drew wanted to read them himself.  Obviously, these books are way advanced for Drew’s current reading level, so I’m unsure exactly how many words he’s skipping over because he doesn’t know them, nor do I know exactly how much he’s comprehending with both the verbage and the story content, but he’s opening the book and giving it a shot.  And that’s awesome.
So love that he loves words and books and reading.  So love that he often times prefers to read over doing other things.  So love seeing his little nose buried deep within the pages.  So love this little man.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Her New Numbers

Off to the pediatrician today for Ruby’s “one month” well-baby check-up (she’s officially seven weeks old today, but who’s counting???).
She weighs in at 10 pounds (75th percentile) and measures 22 inches (90th percentile).  She is following suit with her brothers, falling into the 98th percentile for her head circumference.  Big brains, these babies have.
Overall, she looks great and is doing really, really well.
My only concern at this appointment was in regards to Ruby’s post-bottle spit up.  She has always burped really well, with no to minimal spit up.  For the past week, however, she’s been spitting up what could be considered significant amounts.  Not consistently, thankfully, and she doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable as a result, but it has put me on high alert.  It was at six weeks that Reed began showing signs of reflux, and we know what a nightmare that was!  Our pediatrician noted that as long as it doesn’t seem to bother her, it’s probably not significant.  But we’ll be keeping tabs on it and noting any changes in her mood or sleep and eating habits.  Fingers crossed it doesn’t progress into anything beyond spittle!
In brief, she’s pretty much perfect.
But we already knew that.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Scenes from a Snow Day

Make that snow days.
Along with the rest of the midwest, Michigan was hit with legit winter weather — several inches of snow and record low temps and wind chills.  And with perfect timing as the cancellation of school extended Christmas break to 19 days.  (There was also a snow day on what would have been the last day of school before Christmas break.)  Needless to say, we’ve had a lot of together time!
When the snow started Sunday night (we ended up with only six inches) and I predicted a Monday snow day, I declared that it would be a TV day.  It is what it is, folks.  I’m not proud, but good heavens if the TV doesn’t make for a great distraction for both kids and parents alike!  Both boys were occupied while I tended to a somewhat clingy Ruby and attempted to catch my breath from our holiday travels.  When the wind chills kept the boys home again yesterday, I knew I shouldn’t rely on the electronic babysitter all day and with Ruby taking one good nap and one very good nap, both in her crib, our day was both enjoyable and very productive.
Here’s what it looked like around here…
School resumed today, which is good for all of us.  The boys need their regular routine, and some time apart, and I need a little time and space to start clearing my brain, begin making “to do” lists, and maybe, just maybe, catch up on some sleep.  
And a little bit of girl time is a nice bonus, too. ;)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


The addition of Ruby to our family definitely evened out the guy to girl ratio in our home…and it also made it clear that it isn’t a Boys World around here anymore!  Her arrival, and a handful of other reasons, prompted the decision to begin anew here, with a new blog name and blog host.  (Although it occurred to me after this was designed that simply crossing off “Boys” and writing in “Ruby’s” would have been quite accurate, because, as my own brothers will agree, the world does revolve around the little sister!)
Why “A Happy Place”?  Because that’s what I hope my children find here, within the walls of our home and within the arms of each other.  I hope they find love and laughter and joy and comfort and all happy things as we raise them and teach them and hold them and love them.  Are things always rosy?  Uh, no.  Are we always in the mood to smile?  Certainly no.  But do we love each other deeply and search for joy and fun and happiness in everyday?  You bet.  As I continue to share our lives here on the blog with all of you, I hope to translate to you that while things are definitely not perfect, we are, indeed, in a very happy place.
{Shout-out to my brother, Justin, who whipped together my blog header in a matter of minutes.  Yep, he’s awesome.}
So welcome!  Welcome to “A Happy Place”, our new home here in the ol’ blogosphere.  I am learning to navigate through this new template for blogging, so bear with me as I learn the ropes and experiment with the site.  And It’s a Boys World isn’t going anywhere…it will stay “live” for quite some time as I have no less than 10 posts to finish (dating back to summer!) to finish off 2013 before I can work to publish it in our yearly Blurb book.  I’ll be sure to direct you back to those posts as I complete them.
Happy reading!