Welcome Baby Drew!

Earlier this month, we welcomed our third child into our family. Drew Louis Longenecker made a very speedy entrance into this world. His first name is a derivative of the name Andrew, which runs in my family line. His middle name is the first name of one of his paternal great-grandfathers. 

He was born early in the morning on a Tuesday. The Saturday prior to his arrival, I woke up in the night feeling contractions that were about 3 minutes apart. So I woke up John, and we headed to the hospital, which is about 45 minutes from our home. The contractions weren’t super strong, but my contractions generally don’t get too intense until right before it’s time to push. When I went into labor with Brooke, I was already 7 centimeters when we arrived at the hospital, and the nurses were quite surprised since my contractions weren’t registering very strongly.

Well, as we drove to the hospital on Saturday night, the contractions didn’t seem to progress. If anything, they seemed to feel less strong the closer we got to the hospital. Once we arrived, I told John that I wanted to wait in the car to see if the contractions picked up. The contractions started getting further apart, so we headed home without ever stepping foot in the hospital.

Fast forward to Monday night – or really very, very early Tuesday morning. I woke up to Brooke singing in her room. When I woke up, my stomach hurt a little bit, and I figured my stomach was just upset. After a few minutes, I began to think that maybe my stomach pains were actually labor pains. I started timing the pains, and they were a minute and a half apart. Once again, I woke up John, and we headed to the hospital. There is a hospital only 15 minutes from our house, but it doesn’t have a maternity ward. Because of how close together my contractions were and because they were intensifying quickly, I told John I thought we should go to the emergency room at the closer hospital.

We arrived at the hospital by our house and my contractions quickly intensified. However, we could tell the ER doctor really did not want to deliver a baby. So he called for an ambulance to take us to the hospital with the labor and delivery facilities. It took the ambulance 20 minutes to arrive (not sure what took them so long). When we left in the ambulance, I felt like I could have the baby any minute, but I knew we were still a 20+ minute drive away from the second hospital. As we left, John overheard the ER doctor say to the hospital we were being sent to that they needed to be prepared to deliver our baby as soon as we arrived. And sure enough, within 10 minutes of us entering the doors at the second hospital, Drew was born.

It was a bit of a traumatic experience because I had zero pain medicine, and I could tell my body was ready to deliver our little guy while in the ambulance. Only an hour and half lapsed between when I woke up to Brooke’s singing and Drew’s birth, and it was probably the most intense hour and a half of my life.

When Drew was born and the nurse laid him on me, I didn’t even have the energy to look down at him. I couldn’t believe the pain was done and he was born. While his entrance into this world felt dramatic, he has proved to be a very low drama baby. He’s a great eater and a great sleeper. He cries only when he needs something (which is generally to eat). 

I was nervous about entering the newborn world again. The sleep deprivation aspect of newborn life is hard for me. I feel like it affects all aspects of my life in not the most positive way. A few weeks before Drew was born, I had the thought that God is the one who made babies to need to eat every few hours in the beginning of their lives. I know God is a loving God, and he didn’t make babies this way just to play a joke on new moms. It occurred to me that there must be something of value for me to learn or gain from the experience of having a newborn. There must be a God-given gift that comes from having a newborn and needing to wake every few hours to feed the baby. So when things have felt tough, I’ve reminded myself to look for the gift and to cherish this experience. I make sure I find time each day to do what I call “conscious cuddling,” meaning I take the time to cuddle Drew “just because” and soak in these moments that I know are fleeting. My heart is so full. I love Drew, and David, and Brooke, and John so much. I’m grateful for my family. They are my world, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Baby #3

We learned a couple months ago that our family will grow right after the new year. It’s so interesting how each pregnancy feels different. I was more tired during the first trimester this time than I recall being while I was pregnant with David or Brooke. I took a power nap 6 days a week. Part of the tiredness could also be attributed to taking care of an active two-year-old and one-year-old. Thankfully now that I’m out of the first trimester, the extreme fatigue has seemed to subside. We will learn the gender of the new baby at the end of August.

Baby Brooke Turns One Year Old!


Our spirited little girl turned one in February! We had fun celebrating with family. On the Sunday before her birthday, we had a joint birthday party for Brooke and my sister Melissa. Their birthdays are three days apart (and a *few* years haha). My mom and aunt Diana were in town. The Wagners (my aunt, uncle, and cousins) and Keri also joined in for the celebration.

On Brooke’s actual birthday, our little family headed WalMart to pick out some toys for Miss Brooke and then to Cracker Barrel for a celebratory dinner. They have great food options for toddlers and pre-toddlers. However, our food took forever to be brought out to our table and both our kids got tired of waiting (plus it was close to bedtime). So, truth be told, it was not the most fun experience. We didn’t even end up eating as a family. Brooke was screaming. So, John and I took turns eating while the other took Brooke outside.

Fun facts about Brooke at one-year-old:

  • She mimics lots of words we say and sounds we make.
  • She loves to say “hi, hi, hi” and “uh-oh” and “no, no, no.”
  • She very much enjoys bath time.
  • She’s quite social. She’ll wave and smile at anyone.
  • Her hair is beginning to get a little curl in the back.
  • She is a super speedy crawler.
  • When we start to sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” she claps her hands.
  • She still wakes up once a night. (We’re working hard to stop this!)
  • She loves to eat rolls and chew on sliced red apples.
  • She immediately pulls out any bow or headband I put on her head (almost always).
  • She refuses to hold her bottle so we switched her to a straw sippy cup with handles. I saw these sippy cups at Target and figured we’d give them a try. 

Baby Brooke: Eleven Months


Last month, Brooke hit her year mark! I never wrote a post about her at 11 months, so I’m playing catch-up. I’m hoping to have her one-year-old blog post up soon! Side note: Life has been a whirlwind for me the last few months between keeping our house in Charles Town in pristine condition while it was on the market (while living there with two kids under two), packing up our house, moving, unpacking at our new house, hosting company, two sick babies, a one-year-old who doesn’t sleep through the night, negotiating home sale contracts (the first one fell through…womp), and having it be my “busy season” for the part-time work I do at home. I’m hoping to do lots of blog catch-up here shortly.

Fun facts about Brooke at 11 months:

  • She crawls SO fast.
  • She has the cutest laugh.
  • She loves to play peek-a-boo. She especially loves to play it when we take her out of the bath and are putting on her pajamas. She loves to cover her eyes with the towel and pull it away quickly.
  • Her smile is adorable.
  • She loves to stand in the bath (which we discourage, but she doesn’t seem to care haha).
  • She knows how to hold her bottle, but refuses to do so.
  • She loves to wave and say “hi.” She often mimics the words we say.
  • She knows how to clap.
  • She still wakes up once a night for a few ounces.
  • She is still a picky eater and always takes her bib off when we feed her.
  • She loves to pull bows out of her hair.

Love those long eyelashes and this cute mid-blink picture 🙂

Baby Brooke: Ten Months


Miss Brooke turns 11 months in a few days. I wanted to make sure I got up her 10-month blog post before she turned 11 months. So, with a few days to spare, here it is! Below are facts about Brooke at 10 months.

  • She says “oh wow” (often in a whisper), “hi,” and “uh-oh.”
  • She is a master crawler.
  • She loves to move all around (which makes church super fun haha).
  • Her four upper teeth are all coming in at the same time.
  • She smiles at everyone. “Stranger danger” has not kicked in at all for her.
  • She wears her heart on her sleeve. We always know how Brooke is feeling.
  • She’s still a picky eater. She’s still not a fan of greens, but does seem to enjoy a pureed apple and kale mix.
  • She still wakes up once a night. She started consistently waking up once a night in mid-October (prior to that she was sleeping through the night). I hoped it was a phase, but she hasn’t grown out of it yet. She seems to want a little snack in the middle of the night. I give her two ounces of formula and thankfully she goes back to sleep.


Baby Brooke: Nine Months


Brooke’s personality is blooming, and we adore her! She’s becoming more interactive and it’s so cute. We especially love watching Brooke and David together at bath time. They both love to splash and giggle.

Facts about Brooke at 9 months:

  • She can push herself up to a seated position.
  • She’ll say “oh wow” if she hears someone else say it. It’s one of David’s favorite phrases, so she hears it a lot. She often whispers it.
  • She eats all types of pureed food but still doesn’t like green vegetables. She’ll eat them if they’re mixed with something else like applesauce.
  • She likes to eat Cheerios.
  • She started waking up once a night (between 1 and 3 a.m.). She’ll eat two ounces and go back to sleep. We’re trying to wean her of this, but no such luck yet. She used to sleep through the night.
  • When she’s done with her bottle, she pushes it away.
  • Her top two center teeth are starting to peak through.
  • She hasn’t quite learned to crawl, but she loves to roll to get from point A to point B.
  • She still loves to squeal, especially when we’re in quiet places like church haha.
  • She smiles more at other people (“stranger danger” has not kicked in).
  • She’s a great napper in the afternoon but seems to be getting away from taking a morning nap.




Baby Brooke: Eight Months


Brooke hit her 8-month mark back in October (right around the time we made the decision to move). Consequently, I’m playing “catch up” here on the blog.

Facts about Brooke at 8 months:

  • She’s been sleeping through the night consistently until about a week before she hit 8 months. Around that time, she started to wake once a night and would want a couple ounces of milk.
  • When she is hungry, she let’s us know haha. She’s a somewhat picky eater. She is not a fan of green vegetables. She’s gotten better at eating a variety of pureed foods.
  • She hasn’t learned to scoot or crawl, but she does like to lay on her stomach and push up with her arms.
  • She laughs more than she used to.
  • She is a daddy’s girl and absolutely lights up when John enters the room.
  • She’s really good at pushing herself backwards and getting stuck under couches or chairs (she can’t move forward yet).
  • She can sit up without support when we spread her legs apart to keep her balanced.




Baby Brooke: Seven Months


Brooke just hit eight months, and today I realized that I never did a seven month blog post for her.

Fun facts about Brooke at seven months:

  • Her bottom center teeth started poking through.
  • She loves to smile but it’s hard for me to catch on camera.
  • She has an adorable giggle, but doesn’t laugh super often.
  • She is not very cuddly. When we hold her, she loves to bounce and arch her back.
  • She’s not loving pureed foods. She tends to gag when we serve her anything but rice cereal.
  • She’s a great napper.
  • Recently, she’s been waking up once a night but goes back to sleep when I put her pacifier in. She generally sleeps 7 to 7/7:30.




Baby Brooke: Six Months

Brooke hit the six-month mark right before we headed to Myrtle Beach to visit family. I tried to take some six-month pictures a couple of different times, but I couldn’t get Brooke to smile when I pulled out the big camera. She LOVES to smile, so the pictures I got are not a good representation of her. Below are facts about Brooke at six months.

  • Brooke continues to smile and squeal. She makes the cutest high-pitched squeals. Sometimes her squeals are so loud that we have to step out into the hallway during our sacrament service at church.
  • She has great head control and loves sitting in the bumbo.
  • She has such cute giggles.
  • She is becoming much more coordinated with her hands. She can pick things up and move them to her mouth.
  • She rolls over from her back to her stomach quite often. But she doesn’t roll the opposite way very often.
  • We started feeding Brooke solid (pureed) foods. Her first food was butternut squash. We’ve also tried peas, pumpkin, and apple sauce. She loved the butternut squash but hasn’t liked anything else. She gagged when she tried everything but butternut squash. I’m wondering if it’s a texture thing?? I stopped feeding her fruits and veggies and started serving her rice cereal once a day to get her used to the texture of pureed food. Next week, we’ll start adding fruits and veggies again.
  • Brooke recently started waking once a night. I switch her from her swaddler to her sleep sack, so I’m wondering if that’s why she’s waking up. While we were in Myrtle, I put her in her swaddler while she slept, and she slept through the night every night. Last night she was back to the sleep sack and woke up twice.
  • She is becoming a happier baby overall.

Baby Brooke: Five Months


Little Brooke is over five months now. We love watching her personality blossom. She is a girl that lets you know exactly how she’s feeling. When she’s hungry, we can tell. When she’s tired, we can tell. And when she’s content and happy, we can tell. Ha!

Facts about Brooke at five months…

  • She’s beginning to giggle, and it’s adorable.
  • She’s finally getting the hang of how to bounce in the bouncer.
  • She loves laying on her activity mat and reaching for the toys that hang down.
  • She’s becoming more coordinated with her hands.
  • She sleeps through the night from about 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. I feed her before I go to bed around 9:30/10 p.m.
  • She eats four times a day; about 6-8 ounces each time.
  • She likes to shriek when she’s tired or wants to change activities.
  • We haven’t given her solid food yet, but we plan to start with rice cereal next week.