Baby Amber: Eight Months

Our sweet girl is 8 months old. Below are facts about 8-month-old Amber.

  • Bouncing is her favorite form of entertainment. She loves being in her bouncer.
  • She has one tooth peeking through on the bottom. It seems to be slowly breaking through.
  • She loves to chew on things. Thankfully now she has the coordination to be able to hold a chew toy in her hand and bring it to her mouth.
  • “Stranger Danger” is real for her. She often cries if she’s held by people other than John or I.
  • She continues to have the biggest smiles. When she smiles real big, she tilts her head way back.

Baby Amber: 6 & 7 Month Updates

I’m a little behind with Amber’s monthly updates. Life is keeping me busy (in the best way) with four kiddos ages five and under. Even so, I still want to make sure I capture these little moments of her life that go by so quickly.

  • Amber continues to be a champion eater and sleeper.
  • She tried her first “solid food” (not sure why it’s called that, when it’s really pureed food) about a week after she turned 6 months – it was pumpkin. She seemed unsure at first about how to get the food off the spoon but now she loves it. I feed her “solid food” each day at lunchtime, and I think she looks forward to that meal. So far she’s had pureed pumpkin, butternut squash, peas, carrots, apple, sweet potato and green beans. One of the greens she did not seem to like at first. It was so cute to watch her face go sour after she ate it. But she’s warmed up to all of it now.
  • She is fairly content most of the time.
  • She enjoys napping and laying on her activity mat.
  • Like David, she seems to really enjoy her bouncer (both Brooke and Drew weren’t that into it).
  • She loves to stick her tongue out.
  • She still isn’t into using a pacifier, and at this point, I definitely don’t mind. My other kids would wake up when their pacifiers fell out, and since she doesn’t use one, that doesn’t happen to her.

Baby Amber: Five Months

Our sweet Amber is five months old. She really is a sweet, sweet baby. Here are facts about five-month-old Amber.

– She loves to suck on things. Surprisingly though, she still hasn’t mastered using a pacifier. She is my first child who hasn’t been able to figure that out. She stopped taking one when she was only a few weeks old. The nice thing about that is she never wakes up because her pacifier fell out. When Drew was this age, I’d still be getting up a couple times at night to stick his pacifier back in.

– She likes to grab at things. She especially likes her activity mat since she can lay on her back and grab at the toys that hang down above her.

– She’s starting to actually bounce when in the bouncer.

– She has the sweetest smiles, and she is either really smiley or has a total blank stare.

Baby Amber: 3 & 4 Month Updates

Tuesday morning is movie morning at our house. Each week the kids get to pick a movie to watch. Today David picked Tangled. Amber fell asleep in my arms, so I decided to pull out my phone and catch up on my blog while the older kids watch and she sleeps.

Amber recently hit the 4-month mark. She is a joy and a fairly low-key baby, which is a blessing since my days are busy keeping up with two toddlers and a pre-schooler. So, without further ado, here are Amber’s monthly updates.

Facts about Amber at 3 months:

– She sleeps solidly all night long. She goes to bed at 7 p.m. and gets up between 6 and 7 a.m. She’ll eat 3 ounces and then sleep until 10 a.m. She has been my sleepiest baby.

– She is a smiley baby, especially in the mornings.

– She’s pretty quiet overall. She only cries when she’s tired or hungry.

Facts about Amber at 4 months:

– Her first tooth is just barely poking through and can be seen from certain angles when she opens her mouth wide.

– She is a squealer, and her squeals can be quite loud. She tends to squeal the most when she gets tired.

– She loves to look you in the eye and then break out a big smile.

Amber’s Baby Blessing

Amber was given her special baby blessing at church by John on July 3 while my parents were in town. She was blessed in the same dress as my sister Melissa. Afterwards, we gathered at our house for lunch with family and friends who had come for the blessing.

The 4th of July marked seven years since John and I got engaged. I’m in love with the life we’ve created together. My family truly is my greatest joy.

Baby Amber: Two Months

Sweet Miss Amber is two months old. We adore her! Below are facts about two-month-old Amber.

– Loves to be held.

– Enjoys laying on her stomach.

– Just beginning to smile.

– Wakes up once a night to eat.

– Has strong legs and can briefly stand when you’re holding her waist.

– Takes very long naps (which I appreciate!).

I never created a one-month-old blog post for Amber like I did with my first three kids. There’s one word that best describes one-month-old Amber: asleep. She is my sleepiest baby. She slept pretty much the first eight weeks of life. We had grandparents visiting for six of those weeks so she got lots of snuggles, and when she’s snuggled, she falls asleep. She’s not even ten weeks old yet, so we’re just barely starting to see her more awake and alert for short periods of time throughout the day. The stickers I use for her monthly milestone pictures got lost in the mail so she’s actually more like six weeks old in the “one-month” picture below.

Simple Moments

My bedroom is dimly lit. The windows are open and the ceiling fan circulates the cool June breeze. It’s 4 a.m. and I’m listening to an audiobook while sitting on the big gray chair in my bedroom feeding Amber. I can see John peacefully asleep in our bed. My parents are asleep in the bedroom next door. They arrived late last night, and I know my kids will be eager to see them in the morning when they wake up. For right now, the house is totally still, and the kiddos are all sleeping peacefully.

While I’m going on nearly six weeks of interrupted-newborn-mom-sleep (and sometimes that’s really hard for me), I’m so grateful for these simple moments. I’m grateful I’m alive and physically able to care for my newborn baby. I’m grateful she’s alive and weaving herself deeper into our family tapestry as each day goes by. I’m grateful for our home and that’s there’s food in the pantry and refrigerator downstairs. I grateful for simple moments that I often take for granted, and I’m grateful this newborn-mom-life forces me to slow down and take in these quiet, simple moments that I know will pass quickly in retrospect.

Family of Six!

We recently welcomed baby #4 to our family. Baby Amber has evened the score – we now have two boys and two girls.

I developed high blood pressure during this pregnancy (something that had not happened in any of my prior pregnancies). This meant that I was induced at 37 weeks just in case the high blood pressure turned into something more severe.

Because of how quickly Drew was born, I was actually very thankful to be induced. My prayer this pregnancy had been that we’d make it to the hospital in time for the baby to be born. We live 45 minutes from the hospital and Drew had been born just minutes after we arrived. So, in an odd way, I was thankful for the high blood pressure since it provided an opportunity for an induction.

Because my previous labors had gone so quickly, I figured this one would too. But I was wrong. This little girl took her sweet time. The nurse put me on Pitocin around 9 a.m. John and I watched a movie and I finished a book I had been reading. The medical staff increased the Pitocin amount many times (all the way up to a 20) before I started feeling contractions. Once I started feeling some contractions, I asked for an epidural and life was good. I wasn’t in pain and the doctor decided around 4 p.m. to break my water to hopefully speed things up.

Shortly after breaking my water, Amber’s heart rate dropped. The nurses said sometimes a baby’s heart rate drops as they go down the birth canal. However, this was not the case with Amber. When the nurse came to check how far dilated I was, she realized that Amber had a prolapsed cord, which meant we needed to have an emergency c-section. I could tell the situation was not good because the senior nurse who had been so calm and relaxed all day was stuttering as she called out orders to the other nurses.

Poor John had gone to the restroom (which was in our labor and delivery room) right before the nurses came to check my status. When he came out of the restroom, I was being whisked away, and he was quickly briefed on the situation and then left alone not knowing exactly what was going on and if I or Amber were in danger.

Thankfully my epidural was still functioning, which meant they didn’t have to put me under fully for the surgery, and I was able to remain awake for Amber’s birth. John was permitted in the operating room, which wouldn’t have been the case if they put me fully under (I’m not sure why that’s the policy). Right as Amber was being pulled out, a nurse escorted John into the room. Thankfully, Amber let out a big wail of a cry when she was born and she was healthy. Amber was my tiniest baby, weighing 5 pounds 13 ounces.

The doctors and nurses who helped with the c-section were all amazing. One nurse took our camera and snapped pictures of Amber after she was born. My anesthesiologist was so kind, calm, and engaging. He talked to me the whole time. One challenge I faced during surgery was feeling like I couldn’t take a deep breath. Apparently my epidural had been placed a bit high and created the sensation of feeling like I could not breathe easily, even though my oxygen levels were totally normal. This sensation was probably the hardest part physically of the c-section experience for me. The anesthesiologist talked me through it and I was so thankful for him.

For the first hour of Amber’s life, she bonded with John while I was in the operating room. It was such a welcomed sight to see them together when I was wheeled into recovery.

This experience was so different than my previous three deliveries. The hospital experience started out in a very boring fashion since it took hours for my contractions to kick in. And the day ended very dramatically with a distressed baby and emergency operation.

Even though things did not go as anticipated, I saw God’s hand in so many different ways that day (like being able to remain awake for Amber’s birth).

The recovery has been much longer and harder than any of my previous births. I just recently received the all clear to be able to pick up Drew. I was not supposed to pick up anything heavier than Amber as I recovered. Thankfully my mother-in-law stayed with us for over three weeks after Amber’s birth.

Life with four kids has been an adventure. This past week our whole family except Amber came down with a virus that wiped most of us out for days. Thankfully we’re all feeling much better.

So far Amber has been an angel baby. She sleeps and eats like a champ. She doesn’t cry very often and when she does, she is calmed fairly easily. We are all so grateful she’s here!

A Date with Drew

John decided to take the older two kids camping, so it was just me and Drew home tonight. I decided to take him to run a few errands because going into stores with one kid is way easier than going in with three kids. We had fun shopping together. He just sat in the cart and smiled and giggled at me. Drew is at such a cute, cute stage. He loves to put blankets over his head and play peek-a-boo, clap his hands, wave high, and bounce to music. It’s crazy to think that in a matter of weeks he won’t be the baby of our family. He still isn’t walking fully yet. He can walk, but he definitely prefers crawling. I’ve loved watching him learn to walk. At first, he would only take a few steps when no one was watching, but now he proudly walks and loves the attention he gets from all of us when he takes a few steps.

Drew Turns One!

Earlier this month, Drew hit the one-year mark. Even though Drew is my third, it’s still crazy to me how much a baby grows in their first year of life.

He went from this:

To this:

He’s been such a delightful, social, happy baby. My parents visited recently, and my dad commented that he didn’t hear Drew cry once. Drew’s typical demeanor is always happy. Teething has been the thing that’s caused him the most tears (generally in the middle of the night when he wakes up in pain).

We had two celebrations for Drew. The first was on his actual birthday with just our immediate family. His birthday fell on a week day and I was sick. So his actual birthday was pretty low key. I made him a lemon box cake because that was the only thing I had, and I didn’t want to run to the store because I wasn’t sure if I had COVID. Thankfully my COVID test came back negative the next day. The second celebration was this past Sunday with my sister, brother/sister-in-law (and their cute baby Will, Drew’s first cousin), our friend Keri, and John’s uncle David.

Below are facts about one-year-old Drew.

– He is the BEST eater. He is not picky at all. He eats anything I make. His food is generally loaded with vegetables and he eats them like a champ (while my others kids say “it’s yucky”).

– He loves being around people, especially his siblings. Sometimes he will cry at night when we put him down because he wants to keep hanging out.

– He is a speedy crawler.

– He likes to pull himself up and stand.

– He loves bath time. He likes to splash and chew on his bath toys.

– He has seven teeth. Four on top and three on the bottom.

– He likes to hear himself talk.

– He has a hearty laugh when he is tickled.

– He likes to tackle his siblings if they’re laying on the floor.

– He really likes his pacifier, which we’re in the process of weaning him from. He only uses it when he sleeps but the second we put him in his crib, he looks for his pacifier and plops it in his mouth.

We are so grateful for the joy and light he’s brought this past year into our lives!