Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A family vacation

We had our first family vacation a few weeks ago (and I'm just now writing about it, so I'll probably have forgotten most of it). We took a quick drive to Avery Island to spend some extra time together. Our first evening we went to the Rip Van Winkle gardens, which is just a little bed and breakfast on this pretty lake. It was really pretty, but I'll let the pictures speak.


We had our first night as a family of 4 in a hotel together. It actually went okay. Jonah slept well, Gracie woke up and woke me up like normal but at least she didn't wake Jonah up! The next morning the boys had the cutest pillow fight. Jonah had a blast!


We went to Avery Island, which is where they make Tobasco. Ted has been wanting to make this trip for a long time, so he was really excited. We got to see how they bottle Tobasco and then Ted went wild in the Tobasco store.


Monday, October 14, 2013

5 months

5 months old

50% for height and weight (25 inches 14lb 13 oz)

75% for head circumference

Rolls, laughs, smiles, babbles

Thinks her brother is the coolest

Sleeps okay (for now) waking me up once or twice a night. I can handle it.

Has the BEST hair

Has bilateral ear infections. Couldn't care less.

Loves to stand up in her excersaucer or on your lap

Has the best gummy smile


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Jackpot

This girl in her cherries makes me feel like I won the jackpot.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Amazing Grace

This time a year ago I found out I was pregnant for the second time. It was right after the first Saints game, I came home and passed out on the couch from exhaustion. Very not like not-pregnant Kim, Very like pregnant Kim. As soon as I woke up I thought, "That was weird. I better find a pregancy test." A lot of people had prayed for this baby for a long time, and we were so excited.

Fast-forward to the day after Christmas, when we had our 20 week ultrasound and discovered that Charlotte Grace had an umbilical cord anomoly. She was diagnosed with a single umbilical artery, or a two-vessel cord. The doctor explained everything really well to my medical brain: that it wouldn't necessarily cause problems but it could be an indicator of another genetic condition and organ defects, and it could cause growth restriction. Even though he assured us it was probably nothing, I have never been so worried or stressed out. I think I cried every day for weeks. It was the slowest month of my life until we went back for a follow-up ultrasound and it seemed that everything was still developing well (though the umbilical cord anomoly was still present and we still monitored it throughout the pregnancy).

I recently read a story about another baby Grace who was born around the same time as my Gracie. She was diagnosed during pregancy with trisomy 18 (a genetic condition that my Gracie was at increased risk for because of her diagnosis.) The baby didn't live past birth. Of course, all I could think was how that could have been us so easily, and for some reason it wasn't. For some reason God chose to show his grace to us through a healthy, beautiful, precious little girl. Though I am beyond grateful for that, I feel terrible and guilty that there is another mom out there who had very different circumstances.

One of the children's catechism questions that we teach Jonah is "Q: Why did God make you and all things? A: For his own glory." When I wonder why my story was so similar yet so different from this other mom's story, the only thing I can come back to is this answer: For God's glory. I have no idea why I was the one who brought home a healthy baby girl, and this other mom is mourning her baby, but I have to come back to the same place. For His glory. And if I'm created with enough sense to ask the question, I have to believe that is the answer for both of us.

When Jonah and Grace were born, I chose a hymn that I played while I was in the hospital room to keep me calm and focused. It was a song I chose for each of them, a wish I had for them. For Jonah I chose "Be Though my Vision" and now whenever I hear it I tell him, "I was singing this when you were born." For Gracie, though it was a little obvious, I had to choose "Amazing Grace." Yesterday at her baptism, I couldn't help but think it was a good pick. There was a time when I thought we wouldn't get to that day, when I thought I would never even bring her home. But yesterday she sat in church with our family who drove all over the Southeast to be there. She wore the little dress my mom made for her, and I carried her to the front of the sanctuary where my sweet church welcomed her into our family. I got to see the faces of my church members who just looked excited to undertake the responsibility of teaching and loving her, and I am so blessed to have them. We brought her home and we celebrated the undeserved gift she is to us, as well as the undeserved gift of God's grace given to her. What a road to get us to that awesome day.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Carpe Summer!

It's been quiet on the blogging front because we have been so busy this summer. We have been playing every day and slowly crossing things off our summer bucket list. It is my last week of maternity leave, so we are living it up. It feels like when we were in school and it was my last week of summer, and I guess in some ways it is.

In the past few weeks, we have been to the cool zoo

Been to storytime at the library. Jonah LOVED this storytime-they had a trumpet player who even let Jonah hold his trumpet!


Had our very first Hansen's snoball. Worth the wait!


Gone to the Hollygrove market to see the garden, chickens, and rabbits.


Been to the beach

Made homemade ice cream with our milk and cream from the market.


Been swimming many times!


Even Gracie got to go in the pool a little bit.

Since being home this summer, I have decided that stay at home moms everywhere deserve a medal. I'm pretty sure that would make me crazy, if it hasnt already. Since being home, I have felt a lot of pressure to keep my house clean and be the perfect stay-at-home mom. (This was not my husband's fault and he in no way made me feel pressured to do this. It was something I put on myself.) Over time, I effectively became the maid of the Cothran house. I felt bad asking Ted to help clean up, and he rarely takes initiative to clean things mostly because I'm pretty sure he doesn't even see the mess. So I had been stressing about cleaning up after everyone else, and that is a full time job that never ends. After I spent the whole morning cleaning the floors and dusting, it was so disheartening when my 3 year old spilled crumbs on the floor. And if you have small children, you know that is a losing battle.

Can I just reinforce how CRAZY this was? I just grew and birthed a HUMAN CHILD and I am on MEDICAL LEAVE where my only responsibility should be taking care of myself and making sure I keep these two little people ALIVE. And I'm stressing out about keeping my house spotless, putting away all the laundry, and preparing healthy, delicious, creative meals. I am all kinds of crazy.

And then our dog passed away. It was very unexpected. One night she was fine, and the next morning she was sick. We were shocked and sad and I cried for days. And if you think being this sad over a dog is crazy, I am with you. I was unprepared for my grief over losing her. And I just kept thinking about how upset I would get whenever she got stains on my carpet. And how I should have taken her for walks and pet her instead of vacuuming her hair off the couch again. It brought to mind a lyric from a Caedmon's Call song:

"My cup runneth over, and I worry about the stain."

Wow, that lyric has never resonated with me so much. We had a GREAT dog. I have an amazing husband, beautiful children, and a house in a great city that I love. My cup runneth over, and the last thing I should be worried about is the mess it makes.

Now, I'm not saying I'm going to let it go and live in squalor, which is what this house would become pretty darn quick if I didn't lay down the law. But I'm putting a time limit on crazy. I clean for 20 minutes in the morning (with a timer and everything). And in the evening we all participate in a 20 minute "quick clean". We turn on the timer and clean everything we can as fast as we can in 20 minutes. We are seriously running around the house cleaning stuff. And when the timer goes off, we are finished. No more thinking about cleaning, no more worrying about it. Spill crumbs all you want and we will get it tomorrow.

Instead, we are going to color and read and ride our bikes and go swimming. We are going to jump on the bed and blow bubbles in the house. I am going to feed my family frozen shrimp every week and not feel guilty about it because it is healthy and takes 5 minutes to cook and they love it. I'm going to wear shorts and a t-shirt and put my hair in a ponytail and my husband better think I'm beautiful anyway. I'm going to play kickball instead of work out on the elliptical machine even though it's 100 degrees outside. And I'm not going to worry so much about the growing pile of crumbs that is now accumulating under our dining room table. I'm not going to worry if other people think our house is a mess, because I have two small children and they won't always have their legos all over my floor. I'm going to do important things like talk to my kids and listen to them even though they Never. Stop. Talking. (Even the three month old is incapable of being quiet. Honestly.) And I'm going to stop wasting time trying to figure out a creative way to end this blog post because right now, we have to go play in the sprinkler.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Happy Birthday

Three years ago Jonah woke me up in the middle of the night so we could head to the hospital. 12 hours later we had our hands full of this sweet, smart, goofy, wildman. So In copycat fashion of my sweet friend Julie over at Happy Home Fairy I am making my list of things I love about Jonah's two-year-old year in hopes that we will look back and laugh at his crazy self for years to come:

Dear Jonah,
The past three years have changed us so much that it is amazing to us that you will barely remember them. Two was a great year, and it is bittersweet to see it end. You are a crazy, willful, sweet, funny, two year old and we love having you around.


I love that you are such a sweet big brother. You always want to comfort your sister when she is fussing and you are the official "paci patrol".

I love how you wake up and ask for pancakes every morning. 

I love that your sense of humor is starting to come out and you love to make corny jokes. 

I love that every night you want to pray for Jonah, Gracie, Mommy, Daddy, Don, Nina, Darcy, and Hope in that order. 

I love that you always try to make Gracie smile and give her kisses. 

I love that you tried to make me a waffle for breakfast the other day, even though you dropped it on the floor before you got it to me. 

I love that you are all about Pirates and Superheroes right now. It makes having a little boy really fun.

 

I love that you are so enthusiastic about helping me clean stuff. 

I love that you are so smart! You know all your letters and are already learning some numbers and letter sounds.

I love that when you count, you always skip "14, 15, 16, 17". Maybe you will skip those teenage years as well.  

I love that I can instantly get your attention by saying Swimming, Bounce house, or Chocolate. 



I love that anything remotely long and skinny shaped immediately becomes a sword in your hand.

I love that we have to shop at Winn Dixie because they are the only grocery store with car buggies and lollipops at the checkout.

I love your crazy hair that does whatever it wants no matter what I do. Especially on Sunday mornings before church.

I love that you will go to great manipulation to get your Daddy to get in the bathtub with you.

I love how you ask if random strangers are bad guys or good guys. Very loudly so they can hear you.

I love how you think you can fight all manner of evil with your plastic baseball bat.

I love that you like catching bugs with your daddy, even when we accidentally leave them out in the rain and they drown.


I love your thirst for knowledge and how you ask "Why?" approximately 567,325 times a day.

I love that you like to get your stool and help me cook.

I love how you draw dinosaurs on everything.

I love how you get out of bed 7 times a night to squeeze out a drop of pee.

I love how you love to listen to Jon in the car, and that you wore out the CD before it was even officially released.

I love how your heart is instantly won over by anyone who will play with you on your level.

I love when you get really frustrated when dogs do things completely innate to them, like taking a tennis ball you were playing with.

I love when you want to play guitar with your daddy.

I love finding you in your room reading to yourself.

I love when you try to sing the ABCs in Spanish.

I love that your favorite bible story is about David hitting that giant with a rock.




I love how you hear everything we say even when we think you're not listening.

I love how you somehow know its a weekend and wake up extra early.

I love your bad boy face.

I love getting to watch you experience things for the first time and seeing your excitement, like when we went hiking, decorated the Christmas tree, and played with fireworks.

I loved seeing you hold your baby sister for the first time.


I love seeing your sweet, kind, loving spirit grow stronger every day. I'm looking forward to seeing all the fun things coming for you as a three year old.

Happy Birthday little goofball. I think you hung the moon every day.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

The best summer ever

This summer is unique for me because I'm on maternity leave so I get to spend the whole summer with my kiddos! My first thought was "Awesome! I get to spend every day having summer fun with the kids!"

My second thought was "Oh my word, what am I going to do with these kids all summer?!"

So the first thing I did was run right out and sign Jonah up for day camp 3 mornings a week. That takes a little pressure off but I still have 2 full days and 3 half days a week to fill with summer fun for the next 2 months.

I am creating a list of things we can do to make this The Best Summer Ever! Some we have done already:

Go pick blueberries


Play water gun bubble hunt. This is our new favorite game! We blow bubbles and then shoot them with water guns. It doesn't get old.


Vacation Bible School. What a fun week!


Go on a bug hunt. I saw this bug catcher kit at the dollar store and knew Jonah would love it! I thought this was a great idea, but once he needed me to help him pick up bugs I realized I'm not really cut out for this. I did help him catch a few and he spent the rest of the afternoon just looking at them in the bucket. Our best catch so far has been a grasshopper!


Play in the sprinkler


Learn to swim (working on it)

Jump in puddles (Why is this the most fun thing in the world for little boys? I do not get the appeal, but he would have done this all day.)


Go to Mommy and Me at Chick fil a. Our Chick fil a has this on Wednesday morning. You can go do a special activity, meet the cow, and there are other toddler age kids to play with in the play-place. And they gave me a free yogurt parfait...yum! It was a really relaxing morning.

Go to the Library. Our library has a lot of special activities during the summer to make it extra special.

Some more fun summer things we want to do:
Go to the beach
Go camping in the backyard
Plant a garden
Get ready for pre-k 3 by getting a jump start on learning numbers 1-10, some lowercase letters, and some letter sounds
Go hiking
Feed the giraffes at the zoo (we go to the zoo all the time, but this will take a special trip because it usually happens at nap time)
Bake stuff
Take Jonah to a movie theater movie for the first time
Make ice cream
Storytime at Barnes and Noble








Friday, May 31, 2013

Married with Children

Trying to keep the romance alive when you have young kids is not easy, am I right? The sleep deprivation and round the clock care are enough to make anyone crazy.

Add that to the fact that I constantly smell like sour milk and I can't get through a shower without the newborn crying or the two year old needing something, and let me tell you, I am clearly not the picture of romance to my husband right now.

But last night when we were getting in bed and I'm sitting up nursing Gracie, and my sweet husband rolls over and falls asleep without even saying "good night" much less a kiss, it was a little too much. So as any good wife (whose husband is clearly not as sleep deprived as she is) would do, I poked him in the side and said, "What are you doing? Are you falling asleep?!"

To which he replies, "Ummm, yes."

Now I will give the guy credit. He was up with the vomiting 2 year old the other night, and still got up at 5 am to go to the gym before putting in a full work day. I know he is tired, too. So my rebuttel is, "Oh, okay. 'Night." The ball's in your court, buddy.

Now he could have rolled right over and ignored me. He could have gotten mad and started a fight. But instead, Ted sits up and asks me sincerely, "What? What do you need?"

And instead of my normal response, Nothing I'm just fine, I get brilliant and actually respond honestly by telling him, "I need some quality time."

My poor husband, right? Now he has to come up with some way to romance me while we juggle a baby and a toddler (and don't forget the whole showering problem I'm having). No problem, I married a smart one. He invites me to go on a lunch date with him the next day. And instead of being my normal logical self and thinking, No I don't want to spend the money, No we don't need another unhealthy meal, No that's not really a DATE because we would have a BABY with us, I respond with, "Yeah, it might be our last chance for a lunch date anyway since it's Jonah's last day of school."

So today we went out to lunch. We had sandwiches. We had a (miraculously) sleeping newborn in tow. We talked about local events, food, and our budget. There were no flowers, wine, or romantic music.

There was just a husband who cared enough to find out his wife's needs and a wife who got smart enough to tell him. And that sure felt like a win.

(Well, there was a present too, because my husband goes above and beyond :) )

Time Out

Can I just tell you that if there was an award for Worst Temper Tantrum Ever, Jonah would be all over that. I mean, we wouldn't have that many of them, but when he is in the ring there is no competition. It usually begins with something really small and turns into a screaming, vomiting toddler whose head almost pops off and spins around exorcism-style. And all because of one thing:

THE TIME OUT

The temper tantrum that follows after being sentenced to time out is way worse than whatever he went to time out for. Two days ago he actually got a spanking and lost EVERY SINGLE toy in his room because he wouldn't sit in time out. He will run away screaming, "I don't want to!" for an hour rather than sit in time out for 3 minutes. His room looked like a jail cell- there was NOTHING in there. The child would rather be beaten than have to sit in time out. (**To clarify, I do not actually beat my child. Mostly because it wouldn't work anyway. Just kidding. Kind of.)



I have tried getting him a time-out stool, getting a timer so he knows how long he has to sit there, and just calmly putting him back a million times when he gets up. So far, not much progress. But I do feel that I need to get him to submit to discipline, unfortunately. My biggest concern is that he learn that he can't tell his mom and dad that he doesn't want to be disciplined. That doesn't seem to bode well for the teenage years. So the time out tantrums will probably continue for a while. Sigh.

Now that he is a big brother, Jonah has been called on to be a bit more Independent in his daily skills. The big one has been getting dressed. Now that our attention is divided among 2 kids, we can't always stop what we're doing to attend to him managing his clothes to go potty or get in the bathtub, or put his shoes on him so he can go outside. While Jonah has been great about having a sister and hasn't really shown much jealousy, having to be a little more independent in things he has always had help with has been a HUGE transition for him. Having to manage his clothes independently is what started the above mentioned screaming at daddy, time out sentence, and resulting Worst Temper Tantrum Ever 2 days ago.

So since then we have really been working on getting him independent with his dressing skills. Getting Dressed is a new chore on his chore list, and something he has to do in order to get back all the toys he lost. I'm an occupational therapist, I should be able to get him to do this in a few days, right?



So no words of wisdom over here. Just sharing some challenges of mothering a 2 year old. I know this wont last long and pretty soon he will be getting himself dressed, picking out his own clothes, and hating all the cute clothes I buy for him. Actually, he is making progress with the dressing, and it's fun to watch him remember the tips I gave him, and to see how proud he is of himself when he is able to do it.




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life with TWO

Grace is almost 3 weeks old, and time is flying by. She is such a sweet girl, I think it is a reward for living with wild man Jonah for the past 3 years. She is pretty consolable, although she does get kind of fussy in the evening but if you hold her and rock her she is fine. It works for me, because I need some cuddles in the evening too. She was already past her birth weight at her 1 week checkup, and her jaundice is finally starting to go away. She will be awake and play a little in the morning and a little in the evening, but just sleeps the rest of the time right now. She is eating great and sleeping 3-4 hour stretches at night, which I think is pretty good! She will also pick up her head really high during tummy time.

Jonah is such a sweet big brother! Whenever Grace is crying he screams, "IT'S OKAY BABY GRACIE!!!!!" At the top of his lungs. He likes to tell me, "She wants me to hold her! She wants her paci! She wants to eat! She wants to watch me jump on one foot!" etc. etc. He is super sweet, but kind of a super helper so we have to watch him. He would really love to pick her up and stuff her paci in her mouth if I wasn't there to stop him. Jonah is in his last week at daycare and then he starts summer camp at his new Pre-K. It will be a tough transition because he has gone to the same daycare since he was 3 months old, but I know he is ready for a big kid environment with more kids his age and more age-appropriate activities. I think he's really going to like it.

So far we are managing 2 okay. We both know how to manage 1, so we both just do that. It gets tricky when one of us has both kids, but that hasn't happened too much yet since we have had so much help from family. It is challenging but we have survived so far.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

She's Here!

Charlotte Grace took us by surprise and came 11 days early! We couldn't be happier to see her, so we are fine with her messing up all our weekend plans. Both of my babies are asleep in their beds, which is a freaking miracle, so I wanted to write down her birth story before I forget.

I went to the Dr on Monday morning, but they said there was no progress so we really thought I would make it through the weekend. We made all these plans and were even supposed to have my baby shower on Saturday and go out for our anniversary next week. However, Grace took us by complete surprise on Thursday morning. At about 4:30 am I woke up and my water had broken. We called up our friends who live down the street from Jonah's school and took Jonah over to their house for a few hours so they could take him to school when it opened. It really worked out perfectly since I knew he was going to be playing at school like he does every day and didn't have to worry about him at all! Then we went ahead and headed to the hospital. I still wasn't having contractions and we had no idea how long it would be, but I knew I had to do the antibiotics for the group B strep so we wanted to make sure I had time for that.

When I got into triage, the nurse who brought us in was the same nurse who delivered Jonah! We were so happy to see her (though she had no idea who we were of course) and we asked her to stay and deliver Jonah but she somehow got out of that one ;) They checked me and said I was at 7 cm! They were freaking out and thought I was about to have a baby, but I assured them this same progression happened with my first labor and I was sure we still had plenty of time. They admitted me of course, and I met my new nurse, Heather, who would turn out to be the best! I have been so lucky with my labor and delivery nurses, I want to buy those girls dinner.

They gave me the antibiotic for the group B strep, but I was actually lucky that I had a recent reaction to penicillin so they gave me another drug instead. This antibiotic just got pushed into my IV so I didn't have to sit on an IV for 4 hourse like I would have had to do with penicillin. It was a blessing in disguise (though it was REALLY nasty for the few minutes it was getting pushed in), because I did it really fast and then I was good to go for 8 hours! Much better situation for someone who is doing natural labor.

At about 10 am they checked me again, and I was only at 8 cm, then again at 12 noon still only at 8 cm. They were getting concerned that I wasn't progressing, although I could feel my contractions coming closer together and more regular. I tried to reassure the doctors again that my first labor was very similar and I knew things would start picking up with a little more time. They wanted me to start pitocin, but I told them I just wanted a little more time because I knew things were progressing. My nurse was awesome and really advocated for me to stick to my plan and not let them push me into pitocin yet. She never questioned my judgement or weather I would be able to labor and deliver naturally! She kept telling the doctors "She has done this before, she's prepared and she knows what is happening." She was so awesome to believe in me so much and fight those residents for me :)

Finally at about 1:30 my contractions started picking up and it was time to kick my dad out of the room so I could concentrate! He went and ran some errands for us and picked up Jonah at school. Nobody bothered me about pitocin after that because it was obvious things were starting to move along. I don't know time frames after that because I was really having to concentrate at this point, but at one point I had Ted go get the doctors because I really felt like I needed to push. They came in and said I was dilated, but she was still a little high up but they were going to start getting everything ready to push. It was still some time of waiting after that, which turned out to be good because I think it gave her a little more time to get lower. While it was REALLY tough, I think it was a little easier this time because I had been through it before. I knew when my contractions were at their worst and I just had to get through them for a while longer before we would be able to meet our girl! I guess I just had more perspective this time and it helped me through it.

Finally the doctors came back in and checked me and said, Ok let's get this stuff set up NOW! I pushed for maybe 5-10 minutes and then she was there! After I pushed 1 or 2 times, everybody said "I can see her head full of dark hair!" so I knew we were really close though I couldn't believe it happened so fast! When she was born they put her on my chest and she just screamed the whole time! She has some good lungs. They took her for a second and weighed her (7 lb 10 oz) and took her footprint, and then gave her right back. They took a while to stitch me up and the resident kept saying "almost finished" even though he wasn't. I finally told him he was a liar and just tell me when he was actually almost finished. I'm not sure those doctors knew what to think of me.

When they finally finished I got to feed her and she did pretty good for her first time! Now she is a champion eater. Then someone came in and told the medical team there was someone else ready to push so they all cleared out. I finally learned that person had to have an emergency c-section, so everyone was so busy they forgot about us for about 2 hours! We just got to hang out with Gracie the whole time. Finally I had to go to the bathroom, so Ted went and found a nurse to unhook me from my IV and help me up for the first time. When they came in they realized we still had the baby and no one had been in to move us to another room yet! We didn't really care because it was extra time we got to spend with her before they take her away for awhile! I was able to get up so easily as well, because I had been sitting there recovering for a couple of hours. They just wheeled both of us (Grace in my arms) down to our new room and took her to the nursery from there. She has passed all her tests with flying colors and is doing so well! We prayed for so long for the day we could say she is here and healthy, and are in awe of how God has delivered her to us. It was truly an amazing day, and has been an amazing experience being parents to these two little miracles so far.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Exhausted

You. GUYS! I am so beat. We have been going non-stop since Mardi Gras. It's been great fun, but very exhausting for this preggo girl.

Right after Mardi Gras we started helping with the weddings of 2 people who are very dear to us. The first wedding was for my baby sister! We traveled to Pensacola a lot to help plan and to throw a shower. The wedding was a beautiful beach day, and Jonah was the cutest ring bearer ever. I was the chubbiest maid of honor ever, and Rachel was a beautiful bride.



After Rachel's wedding we started getting ready for my sweet friend Kimberly's wedding. We did a couples shower at our house that turned out to be really cute! It was a backyard picnic theme, and I can't take credit for the decorations but I do get credit for the cute backyard :)



We played this cute game where they sat back to back and answered questions about "Who is most likely to...in the marriage" And they had to raise the shoe of the person they thought most likely to hog the covers, want kids, do the dishes, etc... It was actually really funny, and I think the guys even thought so. Plus we gave them beer so they were good sports about shower games ;)



My new years resolution was to take more family pictures. This is one of the few pictures of the two of us that we have actually taken! I'm failing in my resolution.



They had a beautiful wedding a few weeks later, and I was in charge of the cookie table. The couple decided they didn't really want cake, they wanted cookies instead. So I was in charge of organizing 7 different varieties of cookies totaling about 350 cookies! I had a lot of help baking, don't worry! And I was able to get these super cute wedding cake shaped sugar cookies that were so beautiful and yummy. The cookie table turned out so cute.



We also went to the Easter picnic in Georgia for one last trip before this baby girl comes. We had a great time catching up with family and having an Easter egg hunt.



So did I get a break after all that? Nope! This past weekend we were in charge of our church crawfish boil. We started doing the boil quite a few years ago (this is probably the 5th year we have done it), and we started it up when our church wasn't quite so big. This year I have no idea how many people came and we boiled 240 pounds of crawfish and ate every one! Luckily we do have a good committee of people helping us and we have been doing it for so long we all sort of know our jobs and pull it together pretty easily. We didn't get any pictures of the boil since we were so busy!

In between all of that, we have gotten the baby's room together, thanks to help from my mom and Ted. I am now 36 weeks pregnant and ready for this girl to get here! I have been cleared by the high risk doctor, who says she is growing well and has no other problems! I will still be worried until she gets here of course, but it is great to have the all clear from him. Jonah is starting to understand what is going to happen. He knows she is in my tummy and she is coming to live at our house. He knows where her room is and her toys. I don't think he understands she is just going to be a little baby when she comes though. I asked him if he was going to hold her and he told me, "No, I'm going to play ball with her." I told him she won't know how to do that yet and he said, "I will teach her." Ok, no worries then!

Jonah is doing great, though he is a constant challenge. He talks so much and will tell you big stories about things that happened weeks ago. He has such a good memory. In some ways I'm glad he will be this age when we have a new baby because he is so much more independent and he can even help out around the house. He helps take care of the dog and I can tell him to go upstairs and get his shoes or go get in the car and he can do those things by himself, which is nice. However, he is also so willfull and if he decides he doesn't want to do those things there is nothing that I can do to make him do it now. At least he is smart enough that he can understand my logic and I can persuade him a lot of the time. I was reading an article about strong-willed children and it made me realize I don't really want him to change that part of himself because one day when his peers are telling him to do things he doesn't agree with I want him to be able to stand up for himself and not be swayed. Unfortunately, right now he is only 2 and not super discerning and doesn't always know what is best and just needs to obey his parents. That is the challenge!
Don't let this cute face fool you. He is trouble.