Thursday, June 28, 2018

Claire is 10 months old!

Our precious Claire Lucille is 10 months old! Well, now she is 10 and half months. I wasn't sure if this month's post would happen, but I'm so glad I'm finding a few moments to concentrate and reflect. 

Claire is moving around more and more these days. She can pull herself up anywhere is starting to attempt climbing and standing on her own a bit as well. She loves to play in her sister's room and is interested in dolls quite a bit. She loves to beat on boxes, tables, her high chair, anywhere where she can make noise. She also loves to bounce and dance when she hears music on! So much fun to watch her enjoy sound and music. 

With Kate I wondered why the makers of baby gear put so many straps on everything. With Claire I now understand! 

She has an adventurous spirit, if she falls down or bumps her head she pulls herself right back up. She loves her momma and is quite attached to me these days. I don't mind, she's my squishy little baby after all! I don't remember what new foods we tried this month, but there are several combos I make for her on a regular basis that she likes:
Butternut Squash and Apple
Bosc Pears, Blueberries, and Spinach 
Sweet Potato and White Bean
Carrots, Zucchini, and Summer Squash
Green beans, Cauliflower, and Zucchini 

She also occasionally munches on different fruits in a baby teether that we have. No meats, grains, or finger food yet, but we'll get there! :) 

We took a trip to Atwood to see Blake's family there. Claire got to meet her great-grandma, and that was pretty special. For those of you who don't know, Blake's grandma has Alzheimer's. She hasn't been doing very well lately, but she was so happy to see Claire. She cried happy tears and her bright smile stayed through our whole visit. 
We had beautiful weather and enjoyed seeing the farm and visiting with family. It was our first long car trip with Claire, and it went well! 

Of course, we also celebrated Father's Day. We were all recovering from an uncomfortable cold and missed church, but I still had them put on their dresses for a picture! 

More and more I am reminded that my little babe is on her way to toddlerhood. It's bittersweet. I truly do love the baby months, but I know the toddler years have their joys as well. It is so much fun to watch her learn new things, I suppose that joy will never end for me as her mom. 

We are about to move from our current house and buy our own home. It is an exciting time. What beautiful memories we have made in this home in Yukon, Oklahoma in the short time we dwelled in it. I'm grateful for this adventure called life, and I'm so excited to make new memories and plant roots in our own home in Edmond. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Claire is 9 months old!

Our Claire Lucille is 9 months old! Weighing in at 20 pounds and 5 ounces and measuring 26.5 inches long, she is a bit short and stout, a true Lehman. Ha! She is so sweet and we love her sweet smile and babbles. As long as momma is near she's usually a pretty happy babe. 

This month brought a lot! She is crawling all over the house, pulling up and walking alongside whatever she can, and trying to balance herself. She loves to MOVE! Her bottom left tooth has broke in and she's eating more foods! This month we tried, sweet potato, pears, blueberries, zucchini, yellow potato, banana, watermelon, and corn. Sweet potato and butternut squash seem to be her favorite right now and she hasn't taken to banana yet. 

She still wakes up to nurse once or twice between 7pm and 7am. Her napping is a little more sporadic though- I blame myself since it's harder to keep a regular nap routine with a big sister around. ;) 

She loves to be in the baby carrier while we are out and about, and I have to say that I really enjoy it too! Kate didn't like being worn when she was little so that made it uncomfortable for me. Claire snuggles up and is content so I enjoy it. Makes errands and trips to the park a lot easier! 

She enjoys being outside. As a family we went strawberry picking and had our first zoo trip of the year. Claire also had her very first (and second!) swim this month at our friend's pool. She loves flowing in the baby float! Thankful for all of this gorgeous Oklahoma sunshine we've had! 

We took a drive to Texas to see my grandparents in Burleson and my parents met us there. She did pretty good on the drive for a baby. :) Momma did have to jump back and sit between two carseats though so I'm thankful for our very spacious van! Woo hoo! 

Claire also got to meet her Aunt Heather!

She's also had to experience being apart from me a little more. Blake graduated with his masters from OC this month and so we had a sweet gal come to babysit during the graduation. So that was a first for Claire to not have family watching her! Another first was that we left both girls overnight with Blake's parents for an overnight anniversary date downtown. She survived!! Ha! Lots of firsts for this girl this month!!

Something else that's been new is that on Sundays instead of bringing a bottle, I'm nursing her in the nursing room and letting her nap as a rock her. I never really did this with Kate- y'all- it is the best. These sweet moments of holding my sleeping baby are so special. 

Motherhood continues to challenge me in new ways every day. The balancing act of caring for two children is still an adjustment, but we're figuring it out little by little. I'm savoring these baby days. I'm watching her grow into a toddler right before my eyes. It's an amazing process. I don't always get it right, but I'm thankful for God's grace. I'm humbled all the time on this journey. I'm grateful for all of the women who inspire me and encourage me to be a loving mother. :) 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Claire is 8 months old!

Claire is 8 months old! So much has happened in these last few weeks that it truly is unbelievable to me that she's only one month older. 

Warmer weather means more time outside. There is something so special about watching a baby discover the outdoors. While the windy days of Spring have kept us inside a bit, we enjoy the times when we get to go out and play. Claire had her first swing ride at the park this month! She loved it! 

Claire's first Easter was a full affair! A church egg hunt, plus plenty of fun at home and with family. She was able to wear Kate's first Easter dress, which of course, was special! 

Another fun event this month was her Great Aunt Janine's 70th Birthday party. While, in my haste I didn't get a picture with our birthday Aunt, I did manage to get pictures of her with Great Aunt Ann (visiting from Nebraska), and Great Aunt Mary (visiting from Texas), both of whom are my dad's sisters. 

Aunt Mary brought her special baby dress with her for Claire to try on. There are pictures of many of the girls in the family wearing this little dress. Absolutely precious. 

 Claire is continuing to discover more around her, and grow stronger. She loves to chew on toys. She is usually interested in whatever you put in front of her, but she has an exceptional interest in phones and remote controls. ;) She sits well on her own and we are starting to put up a lot of our baby gear! 

She's sitting up well in the bathtub too! She loves her bath time. 

She is an active girl! She loves to be standing up and walking (with help). She has almost got crawling down. She tries to crawl forward, but usually just ends up going backwards. This of course, frustrates her. She wants to be moving ALL the time, so I know she will be quite pleased with herself when she can move about independently. I'm not rushing it though!!! 

Her active nature is evident in her sleep as well. She moves all over her crib. She sleeps pretty well at night, waking up a couple of times to eat. No big changes in her sleep habits. Usually one long nap in the afternoon, with occasional cat naps at other times in the day. 

I had envisioned introducing her to lots of new foods this month, but all we got around to was green beans. So we have green beans and butternut squash- usually 2 ice cubes worth per day. Still nursing it small bits many times each day. If she drinks a bottle, she usually just has about 3 ounces, or she doesn't drink anything and just waits for me! Ha!  

She LOVES the Busy Town cube! It's one of her favorite things right now. Kate still likes it too... we are really getting our money out of it!

Update on her skin issues. Her eczema has been such a huge battle for us. I generally prefer to use natural treatments, because conventional treatments seem to only be a band-aid for things like this- not a solution, but we were in desperate need of a band-aid. So I reached out to her doctor for some help. 

She went on an oral steroid and a topical one, and meanwhile we found some natural methods to help us out at well. I will say the medications did heal her up, but as soon as she stopped taking them it started to come back. I'm thankful we've found some natural ways to help with maintenance. She is doing much much better now! If you're interested in what we are doing, you can read... if not... scroll to the bottom! 

One of the best solutions I came across was Apple Cider Vinegar baths! I know that these are helping because I've started taking them and they are helping the eczema I was dealing with after not being able to use my old lotion recipe. We are giving both the girls 1 ACV bath a week- warm water, 1 cup of Braggs ACV and 20 minutes of splashing and fun. They love it. 

Another life saver has been this Olive Oil Liquid Castile Soap from Country Rose Soaps.
Most castile soaps contain coconut and other nut oils, this seems to be a truly one-of-a-kind product. I can use it as a base for hand soaps, house cleaners, even detergents. We bought a bar soap version to use at bath time. It seems to be very gentle on her precious skin, and it's the very first soap that's been easy on her!  SO thankful for this find because literally everything has coconut in it. 

We've also found a laundry detergent by Grab Green Natural that seems to be working well. Laundry soap is another product that tends to have coconut (of some form) in it no matter what brand you are looking at. We were using a laundry ball instead of soap, but it wasn't getting out breast milk stains so I needed something else. We still do a double rinse on her clothes, but I feel good about this product. 

Lastly, I've FINALLY found us a lotion. I have to make it, but it works! That is what matters. Olive oil, beeswax, and water. That's all that's in it. It's working on me and my girls, and it's affordable to make. You can find the recipe for it here: Olive Oil Lotion 

I'm so thankful we've found a way to manage our little Claire's skin. We've come a long way this month with that and I'm so thankful. We have a follow up appointment with a dermatologist next week so I'm interested to hear what she'll have to say. We'll see! 

We are ending out the month with a cold- of course! Motherhood keeps me on my toes, but I'm so very thankful for my girls, and especially that I get to stay at home with them. The opportunity to spend each day with my girls, getting to know them, discover with them, love on them- that is truly the greatest venture I could ever take on. I'm thankful for this ride! 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Claire is 7 months!

Here we are at 7 months! Oh, the joys! Babies learn so much each month, it's hard to keep up. 

Claire is playing on the floor much more these days! She's gotten so much stronger this month. A few weeks ago she was depending on her boppy to help her, but she is much more balanced these days. This month she started to really enjoy rolling around. Here in this picture below, she began where the doll was! She isn't rolling around as much anymore though- she is scooting!!! Backwards, but still! She really wants to crawl, but goes back not forwards when she tries. 
She'll be crawling soon, I'm sure of it! 

She is also able to sit up in the stroller! See what I mean? Lots of change this month! 

Oh, my baby. Her sleeping has changed too this month. She no longer fits in her precious sleeping bags with sleeves. She is too long. We have some that are larger but they are sleeveless, I'm not sure why! She is also a committed stomach sleeper now. At the beginning of the month, when I took this picture, that was not the case! She is napping and sleeping in her crib to the sound of her white noise machine. We don't have a consistent nap schedule, but her bedtime is usually around 7-7, give or take. She wakes up a couple of times to eat and goes back to sleep. 

I pulled out more of the baby toys this month. She is loving the large chunky Melissa and Doug puzzles. Of course, she loves them because the puzzle pieces make a great chew toy. Her big sister loved to chew on those puzzle pieces too. 
She doesn't want her pacifier anymore, so we'll just go with it! Better than other things! 

I've introduced wheat, soy, and eggs back in my diet. I'm still trying to avoid soy and wheat I'm eating in limited amounts. Thats only for me though- she is fine! For Claire, I'm still off of anything containing milk, peanuts, tree nuts, or coconut. We went to the allergist again and he told me that when she is a year and a half we will test those again and see how she does. So that's our plan on that! Her GI issues seem fine, her skin is still in poor condition. I'm praying we will find a way to help her with that. The allergist said it is most likely due to something that comes directly in contact with her skin. We introduced her to her first food this month- homemade butternut squash! It was a hit! She knew what to do with it! 

This motherhood journey is so humbling. I constantly feel like I just don't deserve these girls. The truth is though, they aren't really mine. They have just been placed in my hands so that I might raise them to know God and to put His Word into practice in their lives. What a task. My shortcomings are great, and I know that in a few years Claire will start to notice them. I just pray that she will also see that even though I'm weak, I serve a God who is merciful. I pray she will see His grace lived out in the way I treat others and in the way I treat myself. This month, three different friends have lost a parent. It has caused me to really reflect on my role as a mother, and what sort of legacy I want to leave behind for my girls. It can all be summed up in one word: Grace