Bundle of Babies

Wednesday morning on the way to school I realized it was time for Ryder's second haircut.  I texted Maghen and told her I needed to make an appointment for Napolean Dynomite.

Wednesday night we all got together to visit with the Larkins, - Shelly, Matt, Mac and Miller who were in town from Seattle.  Pizza party at Kristen's!

The Larkin boys

Ryder, Mandy, Charlotte and Taylor

Devin and Porter

Ashlea and Sofie, who will be moving to South Carolina soon.  So sad they are moving.  But so excited for a potential road trip!

Megan and Lila

Maghen and Lindsey

Courtney, Kristen and Tate

Swayze and Ryder having a movie date

Ryder was super stressed holding all these babies.  Holding on for dear life to Porter and Charlotte.

Bundle of babies from left: Mac, Sofie, Tate, Lila, Swayze, Miller, Porter, Ryder and Charlotte. Rhodes and Levi stayed home and Noah was just a tad too small to sit on the couch at almost 4 weeks old.

Maghen to the rescue.  After my text that morning she brought her scissors that night and gave Ryder and Mac a trim.

After a few fights, these three finally settled on a show.

I recently purchased a sit and stand stroller and thought it was high time to give it a spin.

It was just a little windy so I got Rhodes a hat.

So Ryder wanted one too.  I didn't feel like going back inside so I looked in my car and found one of Rhodes' for him to wear.

Thursday night was a long night.  Something very similar to our first night home from the hospital.  JM and I took turns staying up with Rhodes as he cried and wouldn't sleep.  He was wheezing and just didn't feel good all together.  It was his first time to be sick.  Friday morning I took him to the doctor.  She tested him for RSV but that was negative, she called it bronchiolitis (bronchitis for babies).  We are just doing breathing treatments.  When the nurse hooked the machine up and then left, it was brutal.  Rhodes didn't like it much.

When we did it from home it was a little better.
Then when I started singing to him and showing him his face on my phone, he was cool as a cucumber.
Well you know Ryder was "sick" too.
(After I uploaded this picture I saw that it needed to be cropped at the bottom.  He hopped on our bed right after bath and apparently before we put his underwear on him...)  Speaking of, we have retired the night time pull-up and are strictly on underwear through the night.

After breathing treatments were had by all, Ryder got ahold of my phone and went to work.  Here are two different screen shots of my cameral roll.  Can someone tell me how to delete lots of photos at once?  I have about 75 I need to delete.

 Please help.



Big Brotha

As you read on my last blog, I will officially start my new job as stay at home mom on February 1.  Literally the day I decided to be a SAHM, I decided I needed to do something on the side.  Something I could do without having the chillins in childcare. It's in my bones, I've been working since I was 16, all through high school and college - by choice - and I had a one week break after college graduation before I was employed again.  I'm just a working type of girl.

With that said...
A couple of years ago I met a sweet girl though our mutual friend, Mandy.  She told me that she taught TOT classes.  I knew about TOT (Teams of Tomorrow) because it was offered at Ryder's school, but he wasn't old enough to sign up just yet.  From what she told me about her job, it sounded like something I would be interested in if I ever stayed at home eventually, something to do on the side.  It's been two years since that conversation with her, but it has always been in the back of my mind.

Fast forward to Ryder's 3 year old checkup which was 4 months ago, (in September).  As we were wrapping up the appointment, Ryder's doctor asked me if I had him enrolled in any extra curricular activities at school such as TOT, soccer, etc.  I was on maternity leave at that time and had not been taking and picking up Ryder from school as frequently, so I had been missing his fliers that were in his cubby.  I had noticed a TOT flier a couple times, and wanted to sign him up, but never paid attention to the deadline.  After that appointment I called John Michael and told him we needed to put Ryder in TOT.  For those who don't know, TOT teaches kids use basketballs to work on their motor skills.  They learn things like bounce and catch, dribble, bounce the ball, turn a full circle, and then catch the ball, etc.  When Ryder gets home from school on Thursdays I always look forward to him showing me what he has learned.   Anyway - I asked JM if he could call the director since we had missed the deadline because he knows her through work, and she said absolutely we could still get him in.

Now, fast forward 4 months later (two weeks ago) I emailed the TOT director to tell her that Ryder's last day at his school would be January 31, and asked her if they offered TOT at FBC where he will be attending Mother's Day Out.  I wanted him to be able to finish out his year so he could do his big performance in May!  I also mentioned that I was going to be staying home now and knew a couple of people who worked for her and just told her that if she ever needed a sub or an assistant to help teach classes, that I would love to.  She emailed me back thanking me for my interest, but that at the moment, all classes had teachers.  She said she was so glad I contacted her about my interest in working for her though, because she is always looking for people to join her team and that she would love to involve me with TOT when possible.  I was excited to be on her list for future reference.  Then, four hours later she emailed me with the first line being, "You'll never believe it, God is so good!"  Within those 4 hours, one of the assistants dropped one of their classes so there was an opening on Wednesdays at 2:00.

Matthew 7:7: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

So, after some rearranging of my mom's schedule, we got it worked out where she could watch the boys on Wednesdays from about 1:30 until 4 while I am gone.  I am so thankful for her to help me out by doing this.  She's got so much going on but as always, she goes above and beyond to help her sweet daughter :)

TOT isn't scheduled during the summer, but hopefully when preschool starts back in the Fall, I will be able to pick up a couple of classes while Ryder is in school.  And if I can pick up enough classes to justify paying for Rhodes to go to Mother's Day Out two days a week, I will gladly do that.

So far I've worked two classes at St. Andrews and it was fun!  If I hadn't majored in PR in college, my second choice was elementary ed.  So, now I get my little teacher fix without having to be with those rascals all day.  It's perfect!

Ryder has TOT on Thursdays so I send Ryder to school in his TOT tshirt .  When I picked him up Wednesday wearing my TOT tshirt, Ryder got a big kick out of it.  He said, "Mom, your not a kid, why are you wearing a TOT shirt!"

Well - that's my scoop.   


How about a funny story from my 3 year old.  As we were driving home the other day there were 3 people walking in the median.  Leave it to Ryder:

Ryder:  Mom, just don't run over those people. 
Me: continuing to drive
Ryder: Did you run over them?
Me: No, I didn't run over them.
Ryder: (while turning his head around to see) Well let me just look and see if they are flat.

Friday night we had a fun dinner with the Fyke's at one of our new restaurants in town.  We're super excited we got Blue Rooster, it's yummo.

Proud Levi was showing Ryder his little brother, Noah (3 weeks)
I'm glad they are out and about with Noah.  We were the same way with Rhodes, after about 2 weeks we couldn't sit in the house any longer.   We've got to build those immune systems up early having big brothers at home!

Rhodes had his first try at a highchair thanks to our hand-me-down highchair cover, thanks Lindsey!

Rhodes is at a size where it's hard to cradle him to feed him a bottle because he's wanting to wiggle around and look around the room, so I found a good way that works for both of us.

Saturday morning we were pleasantly surprised at the progress made on our home.

Some friends who have a lot out there as well were out playing at theirs.  Ryder loves a good friend to play with.

I thought Ryder got this desk for homework, not you tube videos of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Lindsey also sent us home with her Johnny Jump Up, we've got a jumparoo, but we like to change things up sometimes.

Sunday morning we walked out to the car for church at about 8:45.  This is how we found my car.  Door wide open.  John Michael had been the last one out to my car at about 6:00 the night before.  Among the valuables were two carseats, 2 pair of ray bans, 2 strollers, a big Peter's Pottery bowl that has been in there since Christmas, just to name a few... and nothing was taken.  There are some nice people who live around us I guess.  However, they could've at least shut my door for me.

Of course after church John Michael's agenda included riding out to the house again.  Ryder had to go to the bathroom as soon as we got there, but we were talking to the construction guys so I told Ryder to just walk around the corner and go.  He pulled his pants down but he peed straight down on them.  Wet clothes do NOT fly with Ryder.  So he just removed his underwear and pants and kept on playing.  The construction guys were getting a kick out of it.  One kept repeating himself saying, "ooooh dat boy just a bangin' and a swangin' like he don't care."

We were off on Monday for MLK day and would you believe it?  We rode out to the lot again.  This time, on the way out there JM "needed" to purchase a chainsaw to cut down all the under brush.

Me and Rhodes stayed warm by the fire.

Poppy made a surprise visit out there and kept Ryder busy throwing sticks in the pond.

And the big boys cleaned up limbs for a bit.

Then another surprise visitor came out there after her dentist appointment.

Day four of framing the house, dang they work fast.
I know none of you read my blog to see progress of our home, but I plan to document the building process just for our sake.

My little 6 month old Rhodes is saying DA DA!  Obviously it's not directly at da da, but still precious nonetheless.
Ryder ran up and and said "Rhodes said Da Da!"  Then the next thing I know he runs over to him trying to get him to say "Big Brotha" (he uses baby talk when he talks to Rhodes, hence the "brotha."


Rhodes - 6 Months (and his special gift!)

6 months old - January 19, 2013

3 baby bandaids from 6 month shots

At 6 months old, Rhodes is up to the following:

  • Weighed 17 lb 4 oz at his 6 month checkup, that's 50%, 26.5 inches long, that's also 50%, head was 44 cm, 50% too.
  • Goes down for the night around 7 p.m., wakes up at 6:30 a.m. (on average)
  • Has breastmilk 5 times a day, whether in the form of breastfeeding or a 6 oz bottle.
  • I am still putting rice cereal in his bottles, this makes for better sleep through the night, I have discovered.
  • He has been eating 3 containers of stage 1 baby foods a day - carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas for the veggies and peaches, bananas, apples for the fruits.  I also put rice cereal in these.  Read below for updated food information.
  • Rolls from back to front mostly, but has rolled from front to back a few times.
  • At 5 1/2 months I discovered two bottom teeth.  They are barely in yet, I can just see and feel the ridges.
  • Can't sit up by himself for more than a few seconds, but I can tell he's getting close.
  • He's wearing 9 month pj's and 6-9 month clothing.
  • He loves the jumparoo and any flashing toys.  He is very interested in getting ahold of my phone.  He chews on everything and his favorite thing to chew on are his socks that he likes to remove while riding in the carseat.
  • He has a contagious laugh, the most precious sound.
  • He babbles all the time, and is recently putting his lips together to make the "mmmmm" sound and the "gggggg" sound.
  • His teachers have described him as "nosey"  They said he's always got that head turned around trying to hear and see everyone.  I've noticed it at home.  He's hard to feed if anyone is in the room talking, he gets so distracted.  Got a little baby ADD going on.
While we were at the checkup I showed the doctor his back.  She wrote me a prescription refill from a lotion that Ryder used that we got from the dermatologist when he was 7 months, so I will try that on Rhodes.

Getting measured. 
While he was getting his measurements the tech noticed his left arm was super relaxed and kind of limp (I guess most babies tense up during this and fight it by waving their arms around because they don't like it).   She even called the nurse in and the nurse started doing some techniques with him to see if he would reach out for anything with his arms.  He did immediately reach for it so they said he was fine.  I asked what they thought it was at first.  She said she was checking to see if he had what they call "nursemaid elbow."  They came to the conclusion he was just a chill baby.  Agreed.

Introducing the two bottom teeth.

She asked if Rhodes was sitting up unassisted yet.  I told her no, not quite, and showed her what I meant.

"I got this doctor!  Don't worry about me."

Here is Ryder at his 6 month checkup.  
They are almost identical in weight and height.  NOT head, however.

Big News...

Rhodes got a pretty awesome 6 month old birthday gift, he got a full-time mommy!

While on maternity leave, I decided that I would go back to work, but not for too much longer, eventually I would stay home.  I decided to give it until May since we would more than likely be in our house by then.  My plan was to let Ryder finish out his school year, then we would all have the summer off and Ryder would begin a 3 day preschool in the fall, and Rhodes would possibly go to Mother's Morning Out twice a week at the same place - or I might just keep him home with me full-time - all this will depend on another story I will share on another post.  But anyway, let's face it, two children in full time daycare while I'm on a part-time salary puts a major dent in the paycheck, it just doesn't add up.

However, things happened alot quicker than I thought.  It all started the day I came back to work from the New Years holiday, which was a Wednesday.  As soon as I walked into work I just knew I needed to be home with my babies.  All that day and night I prayed that God would give me a sign, an obvious sign if home was where I needed to be.  Because while I felt it in my head and in my heart, I kept making excuses. I felt so guilty about leaving my job and I know that sounds crazy, but I just did. I will be there 6 years in March and I've met so many people and made so many connections through my job.  I knew they would be fine without me, but that was the only thing holding me back.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Sidenote:  I started typing this a few days ago.  This morning as I'm finishing up, I take a break for my Jesus Calling devotion for today.  The above verse was on today's reading, but I had already chosen and typed this verse days ago.  Confirmation!

Ryder adores his school, his friends and school and his teachers at school.  Of course he whines a little bit sometimes when it's time to go, but as soon as he gets there he runs into his room before I can even tell him goodbye.  He's never had a problem being away from me whether it's at grandparents houses, school or church childcare.  He's a social child.  So, after my night of prayer Wednesday night, Ryder went on to school the next day, Thursday.  When I picked him up that afternoon around 2:30, his teacher pulled me aside and said, "Ryder has been having a few sad days lately, and today he was really sad.  He would just sit in the corner and cry and say he wanted to be home with his mommy."

Hello God!  Thank you for answering that!   

So when we got home that afternoon I knew exactly what I needed to do.  It was time to tell my boss I needed to end my time there a little earlier than planned.  So the next morning I was dreading it.  I had this huge knot in my stomach and I was super nervous.  I really didn't want to bring it up - so again I turned to God.  I asked Him to please give me an opportunity for it to come up without me having to bring it up.  I knew it was pretty far fetched, but I also knew He was working with me on this.  So I prayed specifically that somehow, someway, this would come up during conversation at work.

Matthew 21:22
"And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

The next morning my boss and I were casually chatting and during out conversation she said, "I'm about to start working on the budget for the year and I know you are planning on leaving in May.  But just tell me when you really want to leave. "  I was both in shock and so happy all at the same time.  God came through for me again!  She asked if I would at least give her until Jan 31, and that was a-ok with me!

About 10 minutes later I kind of panicked.  Ryder is a busy-body, he is very interested in learning and he loves to play outside.  We have no yard where we are at the moment, it's freezing cold outside and how will I know what to teach him?  I immediately called one of our local churches to see if they had an opening for a couple days a week, they did have an opening in a 3 year old class, twice a week from 9-2.  Perfecto!  Rhodes is just going to kick it at home with me.  Now, this is going to be a major transition for us.  So if you are reading and you stay at home with your children, please comment or email me your daily schedule or ideas of what you do each day.  My email is brittgwilson@gmail.com and I welcome your advice and ideas!

I am also going to try my best to start living off a budget..  The first place I thought I could start is by making Rhodes' baby food.  I did the math and I spend about $50 a month on gerber babyfood.  So I did a little research and saw where lots of people said they were spending $15 a month or so by buying food and making it.  Simple stuff.  So I bought the following:

  • bag of organic carrots (I'll cut into small pieces and boil until tender)
  • bananas (mash and mix with either water, breast milk or formula)
  • organic sweet potatoes (boil until tender and mash)
  • frozen peas 
  • frozen peaches 
I was tempted to buy a baby bullet, but I figured my food processor would suffice.  So all the things I listed above, I will just put in my food processor to puree it.  Then I'll freeze it in ice cube trays and pop them out and store them in freezer bags per everyone I've asked.  I also bought a big jar of applesauce, no sugar added instead of using real apples.

This morning's batch was made with some assistance.

This is probably a weeks worth of peas and bananas.  Next time, I'll make more trays, but I wanted to do a little tester first.

The bananas smelled so much better, Rhodes tore them up.  He cried when they were gone, which he never does, so he got more. Mmmmm Mmmmm.

I will definitely have several gerber containers on hand for when we are on the road.  I just want to make what I can while we are at home.

So to wrap it up, this little guy is thrilled with the news!

His daddy is quite pleased too.  I think he thinks he no longer has to make the grocery runs, do chores, help with dinner, change diapers, or bathe children.  But that is not the case :)  Don't tell him that until February 1st though!

One of the things I look most forward to (besides more time with the boys) is taking part in my extra curricular activities without the guilt of leaving them at home.  I'll be able to enjoy my JA duties, church small group, going out to dinner with friends, even going grocery shopping - all without feeling bad for leaving my babies.  I'll actually be able to look forward to these things rather than feel bad for being gone all day and then all night too.