Monday, April 13, 2015

Eight and a half months

littler love at 34 weeks
littler love at 34 weeks
I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with baby boy. He's moving as fiercely as ever, which makes for a constantly undulating belly - a sweet, entertaining sight to behold. I started developing pelvic pain a few weeks ago, a new phenomenon because I don't remember nursing pelvic pressure with Serene. The sharp pains make walking, standing, or sitting for long periods particularly trying. I haven't seen my doctor since they've begun, but the Internet informs me that this symptom is common with subsequent pregnancies because my ligaments are loosening and shifting, and because the baby is burrowing deeper into that area in preparation for birth. Consequently, I'm trying not to walk with a grimace on my face these days. Nevertheless, the pelvic pain is a good reminder that it is still better than I deserve. These past couple of weeks have been a hullabaloo so I haven't been exercising intentionally. Hoping to get back to it now because I am nervous for impending labor and delivery. I don't know if it is easier the second time around, but memory of the first time around is enough to give me some jitters all the same.

Because we're getting closer to May, the nesting bug is prevalent in our little home. In the past couple of weeks, I've washed pump parts, the bassinet, the infant car seat, our new (to us) double stroller, and the like. So thankful I have a clearer idea of what we'll be using because I was so confused the first time around. We have about a month left to gather items we still need, and then we get to meet our son, Lord willing! I still can't believe we're having a son sometimes. We've been having to leave Serene with baby-sitters sporadically for various reasons these days, which is preparing us and her for when she won't be an only child anymore. We ordered her a gift that we'll give her when she meets her baby brother. I just need to make some accessories for it, but we're hoping she loves it and associates it fondly with him. We're praying our children grow to love the Lord and one another. What sweet grace to be able to experience and cultivate the love of family, which is but a glimpse of God's love for His Son and for us.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Loving love and felt floral crowns

felt floral crowns
felt floral crowns
white felt floral crown
These past few weeks have been a doozy, but in the best way possible. I've been crafting and prepping for a wedding of one of my dearest friends who is getting married tomorrow, and we have another wedding to attend on Saturday for a super sweet friend. I love love, and I love seeing God glorified in the covenant of marriage. What a blessing to be able to witness individuals come together in Christ in hopes that they would be used by Him for His glory. The groom for tomorrow's wedding penned it beautifully in this article. So honored to stand by Faye's side as she weds Marshall tomorrow, and for Serene Joy to make her debut as a flower girl. Hence, the finale of my crafty endeavors for Friday's wedding includes a white felt floral crown reminiscent of the one Serene wore on Easter Sunday. Have a loveliest of weekends, folks!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Because He is alive

easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
easter sunday 2015
What a blessed reminder of the glory of Christ's death and resurrection this past weekend. Though I am wretched and deserving of eternal wrath, God sent His beloved son to pay for my sin on the cross. Christ suffered on our behalf so that we would have access to an eternal relationship with the Father. What beautiful news, especially because He rose again on the third day, conquering death and sin on the cross! Though I continue to fail and sin up the wazoo, there is forgiveness and hope in the cross. We have such a gracious and merciful God.

We had a pretty packed weekend, but Resurrection Sunday was so special. It was a joyous celebration of the hope we have in our risen Lord and Savior. We dressed up a smidgen more than usual for the occasion. Alex wore his usual suit and tie. Serene wore a vintage hand-me-down dress and a mama-made felt floral crown that I made for her first birthday, which didn't fit until now. I tried to find a dress in the closet that accommodates a 33 week baby bulge. Sunday service with our church family was especially sweet. We had a baptismal celebration that afternoon, where we witnessed nine individuals declare that they are new creations in Christ. It was a beautiful testament to God's glorious work in the lives of sinners. There was also an egg hunt afterward for the kiddos. We spent the evening commemorating the resurrection with dear family in Christ who display toward us His sacrificial love time and time again. We feasted, egg hunted, and reflected on God's goodness to us in Jesus. Alex and I even got to practice gospel-centered reconciliation with one another because we got into a fiesty "sinfest" (as Alex would call it) right before we got to the party. Thankful that God does not leave us in our sin, and for brothers and sisters in Christ who point us toward Christ and the hope in the gospel!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Eighteen months

serene joy at 18 months
serene joy at 18 months
serene joy at 18 months
Serene Joy is 18 months. A year and a half! I feel like she has grown so much since her 15 month update. She shot up in height - she's now 31 inches tall and weighs 22 lbs. She has six teeth (two upper front teeth, and four bottom teeth), and spent the last few weeks teething. We used an amber teething necklace when she was about 5 months old for a while, but gave it away before she turned a year old. We caved and got another one last week, which has alleviated her teething woes. Because of her teething, her sleep schedule has been off some days, but for the most part, she sleeps between 8:00-8:30pm for 11-12 hours at night. She takes two naps, one between 10:30am-11am for about an hour and a half, and another around 4:00pm for about an hour. She still wears size 3 diapers and is now wearing size 4 shoes. She wears mostly 6-12 month and 12-18 month clothing. She got promoted to a convertible car seat this week since we washed the infant car seat for her baby brother.

She jabbers nonstop; she knows more words than I can easily count now. She is full of life and giggles at everything. She says "hi" and "ba" (bye) to everyone we pass. She tugs at her diaper and informs us when she's going "peepee" or "poopoo." She asks for "mahk" (milk), "wawa" (water), and "ma" (more) food. She usually says "peas" (please). She has nearly mastered the use of a fork and spoon. She prefers to wipe her own hands and mouth. She has an affection for her "baba" (blanket), "mumu" (Mulan stuffie), "kih-dee" (Cosette the fox and Eponine the cat stuffies), and "pah-pee" (puppy purse). She enjoys bathtime with "da-dak" (rubber duck) and "bur" (bird bath toy). She thinks it's fun to help Mama clean with wipes. She plays "boo!" (peekaboo) with us around the house. She always asks to be read "bok" (books) to, pointing and exclaiming at illustrations of things she knows (mostly animals). She adores animals and spent the last few months learning the names of baby animals and the sounds they make. She can tell you what the cow/horsey/monkey/sheep/puppy/kitty/etc says, if you ask her. She is happiest when she is out and about, pointing at "jee" (trees), "bur" (birds), "baby" (other babies), and "shueh" (people's shoes). Ask her a question, and she will almost always reply with "yeah!" right away. She gets into everything, but is not opposed to putting things back where she found them when asked.

She still has separation anxiety, but thankfully, it is not as fierce as a few months ago. She prefers to have "mama" and "daddy" in sight at all times. Even though she is 18 months old, she still loves being worn in a carrier or sling, which we cherish because for those moments, she seems more a baby than a toddler. Alex and I are so in love with her, and we often reflect on how children are such a blessing from the Lord. She brings so much joy to our lives, and we can only imagine how our joy will multiply when we meet our littler love next month (!).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

On rugged terrain

arrowhead hike
arrowhead hike
arrowhead hike
arrowhead hike
arrowhead hike
arrowhead hike
arrowhead hike
arrowhead hike
arrowhead hike
arrowhead hike
My request while we were up in Arrowhead two weeks ago for our three-year anniversary trip was to go hiking. There is abounding natural splendor that we don't get to enjoy on a normal basis. We looked for the most kid-friendly trail in the area. We envisioned being able to push the stroller through the trail, but there was enough rugged terrain a stroller wouldn't be able to handle. Alex was huffing and puffing pushing the stroller up the steep incline and over rocks. He was such a good sport about it, but a baby carrier might have been handier at the moment. Nevertheless, we ended up hiking a portion of the trail, and paused at several spots so that Serene could play in the beauty of creation. It was a sweet way to wrap up our vacation.