Monday, June 23, 2014

4 months..When you love what you have, you have everything you need.

I can't even believe the 23rd of June is already here.  I also can't believe that Millie Willard is already 4 months old.  That's way too close to 6 months.. which is WAY too close to 12 months.  Can't even deal with all this!

The days between month 3 and 4 seemed like a haze!  Millie- you changed so stinkin' much the past two weeks.  You are a completely different kid.
Before I start listing all the ways you have changed and how completely brilliant you are let me tell you my absolute favorite thing that you have started doing.  First of all, I kiss your cheeks.. a lot.  Like an unhealthy amount of times a day.. Now, when I lean in to kiss you--you grab my cheeks and oh my gracious heavens it makes my heart do this little flutter/pitter patter and I smile instantly.
Also, your chunkiness seems to have quadrupled the past few days.  It's amazing.  I love it.  I love every single little roll and crevice.  You are a chunky ball of pure cuteness.

At 4 months:
-your sleep pattern is a little off-kilter  :/... it's okay.. really.  I mean I can function off of 3 hours of sleep (combined.. here and there... I'll take what I can get).  We have slowly started pushing your bed time back and you are going to sleep around 8:15 now.. instead of 7.. and you aren't a terror when it's time for bed like you used to be! WAY TO GO, SIS!  You typically wake up around 11 (eat.. a lot.. I started feeding you with a bottle at this time to see how much you were eating), then again around 1:30... then 3:30...then 6 :) ha.. yeah it's fun times.. but actually last night you slept from 8-3:30 (I'm thinking it's because of the fact that you literally spent hours at the pool. Maybe we should go to the pool every day?  Wouldn't bother this tanning addict of a mom you have!

-you LOVE taking a bath
-you are rolling from belly to back/and have almost mastered back to belly--that one arm just gets in your way and you're trying so hard to figure it out!
-you "talk".. A LOT!
-you kick alllll the time.. no matter where you are, what you're sitting in..
-your cheeks are major chunky (so presh)
-you LOVE your jumper
-you chew/gnaw on EVERYTHING!
-you DROOL like a rushing fountain
-sophie the giraffe is your bestie
-you love being in the pool
-you do this adorable huge (mouth wide open) smile when I walk over to get you out of your swing
(you still really love your swing)
-you love to sleep on your side.. but it scares mommy
-you love mommy & daddy's bed :/ (we only put you in our bed in the mornings)
-you love for daddy to carry you in the jeep carrier
-you love to have your hair brushed
-when we put your pacifier in your mouth and you rub your giraffe lovie across your face a few times you are usually asleep within like two minutes
-you still sleep with a sound machine
-you are starting to take a little interest in EmJay... :)
-you look around the room at things
-you HOLD YOUR OWN BOTTLE way too often
-you love for mommy to read to you
-you like TV.. a little too much ;/
-you reach for lots of things
-your hair is finally growing back on top (blonde) so hopefully your mullet won't be as noticable!!
-you are wearing 6 month clothes
-you weigh about 13.8 pounds
-you still can't wear shoes.. your feet are too long and skinny :) HATE being in the carseat too long... the trip to Florida should be interesting.. (ha really it's just hit or miss.. sometimes you are completely content.. others it's like King Kong is coming out in you and it terrifies me.. and usually makes me cry)

I'm sure you're wondering about the title of this post.  One of the best things about you being 4 months old is because this month brought something very new and scary.. yet very exciting for you, daddy, and mommy.  I decided to take the year off from the most amazing job I could ever ask for to stay home with you! YEP!!  Millie, this was one of the most difficult decisions I (and your dad) have ever had to make.  I am absolutely grateful for my job with every ounce of my being.  Jesus truly blessed me when he led me to the door of Williams Elementary with my resume and portfolio back in 2009.  Every morning that I turned the key to unlock the door of the school (I was usually one of the first people there ha), I knew it was right where I was supposed to be.  When I went to tell Mrs. Gardenhire (my principal) that your dad and I had made the decision for me to stay home with you, I could barely speak because of the tears.  However, it was hard for me to imagine a whole school year away from you.  All I could think about were all of your "firsts" that I would miss.  I am not saying that it is ever easy for anyone to leave their children to go to work.  What I'm saying is, just like Jesus blessed me with that amazing job, He is also blessing us by paving the way, leading us down this new path and making it (monetarily) possible for me to stay home with you!  And He IS paving the way.  That's where the title comes in.  With some inspiration from a dear friend, I decided to open a small online/social media "shop" called "Hot Glue and Paint, Too".  I've been selling paintings and hair accessories.  My friend Jordyn asked me to paint a sign that said, "When you love what you have, you have everything you need."  HOW TRUE.  For me to stay home with you, our lifestyles are going to have to change.  I had been titling it as "making sacrifices", but I don't think that's a fair term because nothing that we are "giving up" is worth  anything close to what I will be getting to experience with you, sweet girl.   I love everything about being home with you so far.  It is great to have small reminders throughout our day-to-day routine to remind us that a simple life is a happy life.  I LOVE WHAT I HAVE!  I love you, Millie Willard!!!

We took a mini family vacay to the lake this weekend.  YOU LOVED THE POOL.  it was so much fun to watch you and play with you!

The days between month 3 and 4 also brought numerous tears.  I already get super emotional thinking about you growing and changing and all that comes with all of the whole "they don't stay little for long" thing, but mommy had some really dark days this month.  Our Nanny passed away.  My sweet Nanny that I sadly never got to take you to meet.  We were planning a trip to Nanny and Pappaw's the weekend after she passed away.  She passed away so quickly.  I thought I was on my way to Baptist Hospital in Little Rock to hear a not so good prognosis from her cancer doctor.  I was mentally preparing myself for hours the night before to "be strong" and not cry in front of her when I heard what the doctor would have to say.  We had watched her be so incredibly strong a few years ago when she was suffering through breast cancer.  On her hardest days she would constantly tell us "I'll be okay"  or "it's not that bad".. I had made it to Mayflower when i noticed the sun peaking through the clouds.  I even (i know i know..) took a picture of it while driving because I thought it was so beautiful.  A few seconds later, your dad called me (I could hear somewhat of a panic in his voice) and he asked how far I was from the hospital... when I told him about 15 minutes he said to be careful but that I may want to drive a little faster because (aunt) Wendi had called him and it didn't sound good.  I got to the hospital and she met me in the parking lot.  I knew as soon as I saw her.  I literally couldn't feel my legs or hands.. I had been so stiff (gripping the steering wheel)..I kept repeating "Lord please get me there quick enough".  It turns out right about the time I was snapping that "beautiful cloud pic" my Nanny was looking my mom in the eyes saying "I've got to do something different".  She was then meeting Jesus, hearing angels singing, entering her eternal home.  She was reuniting with so many of our family members that had already passed.  She was witnessing something we could never dream up.  She was not longer suffering, and she was at peace.
 I was not prepared for what I would see when I got to the hospital.  I was prepared (well, probably not really) to be that strong granddaughter who was going to look my Nanny in the face and give her a big hug and listen to her reassure me that it would all be okay.  I didn't get that.  Though she was no longer with us, I sat for what seemed like hours holding her cold, tan, hard-working hands.  I kept saying "oh sweet Nanny".  I remember thinking there had to be more powerful or more meaningful words, but every time I opened my mouth to speak that's all that came out.  There were many hard days to follow after that one.  The one thing I was certain of, though, was that God gave me you.  Thank you, Jesus for the joyful face that I have here with me to brighten my day when I could easily cry alone on the couch.  Your Nanny loved you more than you'll ever know, Millie. :)  We are pushing on, and we are all doing all we can to be strong because Nanny was strong, and she would never want us to spend a single day unhappy.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A 3 Month Old Drooling Machine!

So... a week and a half ago Millie turned 3 months old!  I guess I will be saying this the rest of her life now, but "WHERE IN THE WORLD DID THE TIME GO??!"..
SERIOUSLY.  How and when did this happen?
I don't even feel like she's the same child---other than the incredible amount of "adorableness" (is that a word? pretty sure not)...and her room-warming smile...
Her eyes are SO blue... her hair has fallen out.. other than a chunk/rat tail in the back that is brown.. the few hairs that have grown back on the top of her hair are light---which her daddy likes.
She is SO long...
At 3 months old Millie LOVES:
-her HANDS and FEET.. she eats her feet and likes to clasp her hands together and put them in her mouth..
-to drool
-to kick anything she can reach with her feet
-for us to sing to her (yeah, I'm sure that will change so soon once she realizes how awful our voices are)
-bath time (melts our hearts)
-to eat
-sleeping  (she mainly "sleeps through the night").. we put her down around 7/7:30, do a dream feed around 10/10:30, then she usually wakes up to eat around 3:30 but goes back to sleep until 6ish... I can live with it, and enjoy every moment I have with her..I LOVE the look on her face after she has just eaten as she is falling back to sleep, but of COURSE I would not be mad if she decided to skip that 3:30 feeding very soon :P
-her light up/music turtle
-her three giraffe toys... one is a lovie, one is a chew toy (no I'm not confusing her with the dog)/lovie, and the other is sophie... the whole giraffe thing wasn't on purpose
-to talk
-to giggle
-the booger snatcher :)
-being outside
-looking at other babies
-to be naked
-for us to make funny sounds with our mouths
-to be swaddled in her sleep sack.. she usually falls alseep as soon as we put her arms down in it
-having her picture taken.. she smiles instantly when we hold up the camera or our phone
-to be held standing up
-to sit up

When you first started trying to pull up to sit up I thought I was going to have a panic attack wondering how we got to that point!  I was, of course, so proud of you, but it was hard to think of all the changes that have taken place the past three months.  I know that before we're ready for it you will be crawling and talking like crazy!!
I am almost positive you are about to start cutting teeth .. AHHHH.. that makes this nursing mom a little scared.. haha.. you drool ALL over yourself- we usually change your clothes at least 3 times a day!
You sat up in your bumbo like a champ the first time (a few weeks ago)..
Aunt wendi & uncle britt gave us a jumper--we put you in it last night, but it wasn't your favorite thing just yet!

It has been such a joyous month watching you grow and getting to love on you, sweet Millie!  You have done A LOT of travelling in this third month of your life.  On May 4 we ventured to Little Rock for Saylor's shower.  You did so well on the way there, but got SUPER hot on the way home and the last hour was SO hard... so many tears (from us both, ha).
Two weeks ago, your sweet Nanny passed away.  You were SUCH a trooper (although we were very weary of travelling with you again) and slept most of the way there and back when we went to Marvell for the funeral.  Though it was such a difficult time, I was so thankful you got to meet all of your southeastern Arkansas family!!! While I'm talking about it, let me just say what a blessing it is to have such a joyful and beautiful baby girl (and her daddy) while mourning the loss of such a special lady in my life.  You bring us light on the darkest of days.
This past weekend was cousin Brennan's first birthday (how is that possible???) and we went to Jonesboro Friday- Sunday... again, you did so well in the car! :) WAY TO GO, MILLS!

I am so looking forward to a fun-filled summer of mommy/millie bonding time!!! I also can't wait for you to fall as deeply in love with being at the pool as I am.. YOU BETTER LOVE THE POOL :) haha

Here are a few of our favorite pictures from the past month!