Friday, December 18, 2015

Landon | Four Years Old

How in the world is he FOUR already.  Four going on fourteen is more appropriate when referring to Landon Cole. He is smart, and funny, and hard headed, and curious and he makes me laugh daily. This age is such a special one. This morning on the way to preschool I asked him a few questions to remember his favorites at this age.

Favorite color : "Blue!" I knew that one... :)

Favorite Toy: "Ummm my Paw Patroller." Which he's owned less than 24 hours. It was an early birthday present from Gam and Pop and he is obsessed- he's asked for it for over six months and may or may not have slept with it in his bed last night. If you have or know a four year old boy you know how big that sucker is- so its pretty funny having it in bed with him. 

Favorite Book: "My Paw Patrol books" I asked him if he loved his construction book and he said "yea!" to that also. We currently are reading a lot of Paw Patrol, Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site, The Little Engine That Could, and any Christmas book given the time of year that his birthday falls. 

Favorite TV show: "Paw Patrol!!" Do you notice a theme here? 

Favorite Movie: Polar Express

Favorite Paw Patrol Pup: "Marshall, Chase, and Rubble." (But Marshall wins every time.)

Best Friend: "Sam" His cousin who is three weeks younger than him. He usually responds with Sam, but on a nightly basis tells me daddy and Avery are his best friends also.

Favorite Food: "Macaroni and Cheese" He also loves yogurt, spaghetti, steak (or any beef dish), white chicken chili, fruit snacks, pineapple (which he calls apple-pie), apples, and mandarin oranges.

Favorite Animal: "Jofus" which is his grandfather's donkey. His name is Joseph but Landon could never pronouce it, so now everyone calls him Jofus.

Favorite Drink: "Lemonade" He really isn't juice drinker. Mostly water or milk, and lemonade for a special treat.

Favorite Place to Eat: "Subway" So true. what a strange child. He likes ham and cheese with mayo. He also loves to go anywhere he can get a cheeseburger, or chick-fil a. 

Favorite Thing to Do: "work with Daddy" So true, anything John is doing he's right behind him working too. From yard work, to washing cars, to random other household things- Landon works right with him and always has. 

If I had to describe Landon at four years old...his favorites are Paw Patrol (obviously), anything with trains and the Polar Express, and any show with construction equipment. He loves watching shows with his dad like Gold Rush that have excavators and "ma-quipment" as he calls it. He loves being outdoors and has recently taken interest in "playing ball" which usually means baseball, but he also likes basketball. He loves going fishing on the pond with his walkie-talkie to tell me how many fish he caught with his daddy and playing in sand or dirt piles outside. He loves to help us cook and bake in the kitchen and has become a really good egg cracker.

He has transitioned into being a big brother beautifully and absolutely loves Avery to death. He wakes up every morning asking where she is and if she's awake yet and he smothers her with kisses. I am so proud of how well he has transitioned with her. I hope he always loves and looks after her the same way he does now.

He loves preschool and after a few rough months of getting used to a new teacher and new class- he bounces in there with no problems and comes home talking about his day. I love hearing him learn and ask questions. He is so curious about the world around him and is always, always, asking questions. His little mind is always turning and always processing things. He also has taken an interest in reading. And he's learned to write his name!

He can usually be found being his daddy's shadow and doing every thing John does. He loves to work outside with John and tag along for any manly errands, like trips to Lowe's or to work on the tractor at Boppa's house.

Landon at four is sweet, and stubborn at the same time. He's strong willed and independent. He has the softest heart and sweetest little voice. And the absolute best laugh in the world. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Tree 2015

Last Saturday we made our annual trip up to the mountains to find our perfect Christmas tree. With this being our first year in our new house, we were super excited to get a bigger tree than before. Apparently my husband and I have differing views on exactly how much larger we were going to go- because we came home with the Clark Griswold of Christmas trees. I wish I was joking.  :) After initial "holy cow our tree is too big and is embarrassing" thoughts, I've come to embrace 'the beast' in my living room. If anything, Santa won't miss the Perdue house because of the massive spot light we have from all the Christmas lights. Maybe next year we can host a Christmas tree lighting event, like the Rockefeller center- because I'm pretty sure our tree is just as big. :) And lets not forget Miss Avery! She was a trooper headed up the mountain and back. She slept on the way there, and then after I fed her she fell asleep in her Solly Wrap. (Which is a lifesaver, y'all.). It was her first trip and she did great!

Luckily, Landon was all about hanging some ornaments on our tree. Mainly because it allowed him to climb up and down the ladder four thousand times. He loves any excuse to use a ladder. The only unfortunate thing about your four year old hanging ornaments and using the same ladder? Well...we ended up with 15 or so hung on the same branch, and magically all the same height. :) He was a great helper though and loved the excitement of all the ornaments and lights and he really did a great job decorating. We just had to help him rearrange some of his clusters.

Avery | One Month Old

I might be curled up in a ball all day crying because she's one month old. I literally feel like she should be maybe two weeks old. Time seems to be going even faster with this second baby. We are still undecided about a third child at some point in our future- so sometimes it hits me- what if she's our last little baby in this house? What if these are the last little newborn toes that I get to kiss on or the last nights that I wake up to nurse her every three hours or so. I'm trying so hard to soak it in, and hold on to every ounce of her while she is still so little. Yet here we are, already at the one month mark.

So here's the run down on Avery at one month old.

We go to the doctor next week so I'm not sure how much she weighs or how long she is. We feel like she's a little bigger than Landon was at this point, so it will be interesting to see how they compare.

*Update* At her one month well visit Avery weighed 9 pounds 15 ounces and was 23 inches long. She's gained two pounds and two inches in four weeks time! Growing girl!

She's wearing 0-3 mo clothes. The clothes are a little big, the sleepers fit well. She wore newborn sleepers for a little over a week and then she was just too long for them. Just like Landon, she's long and skinny.

Size 1 Diapers- we never used the newborn size, just started with size 1 from the beginning.

Nursing every 2-3 hours with sometimes a four hour stretch in the middle of the night. She's nursed like champ from day one, which is such a blessing since it was more difficult with Landon.

Sleeping- we don't have a bedtime routine for her yet because her nursing schedule changes day to day- but she goes to bed with us sometime around 10 or 11 at her last feeding and then is up around 2, 5, and then whatever time we are up for the day- normally 7:30 or 8. Sometimes we get a four hour stretch between 2am and 6am, but its definitely not consistent. She nurses quickly, but I have a hard time getting her to go back to sleep, so we are usually up for 45 min to an hour each time. Sleeping in 2 hour intervals is wearing on me- so I'm trying to take advantage of Landon's nap time and rest/nap myself if she's sleeping then also.

She does well riding in the car and usually will fall asleep within a few minutes of riding.

She hated bath time, until last night. Last night was the first bath she didn't cry through! We're making progress, people. :)

Landon is obsessed with her and constantly is checking on her and talking to her in the sweetest, funniest high pitched voice ever. He typically gets right in her face and says "heeeyyyy sweet guurrrlll." I hope they always love each other like that. The older I get the more I realize how special siblings are, and how there really is no other relationship like it in the world. John and I are both super close with our siblings, so I just pray these two stay close forever and realize that they're the best friends each other could every wish for.

She has the sweetest little grin, and pretty blue-ish eyes and the most perfect little nose- we are completely over the moon with our baby girl. I still can't believe I have a daughter!

We love you, Avery. You are such a blessing and an answered prayer to us. Our lives are infinitely better because you're a part of them. Happy one month, baby girl!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Life With Two

I had every intention of posting this a week or so ago, and it just didn't happen. I guess that speaks volumes to life with two babies at this point.

We are one month into our life with our two little ones in our home and on this fourth week I finally feel like I'm somewhat hitting my stride and feeling like I'm getting back into the groove of life in general. The first two-ish weeks were hard, newborns aren't easy. An energetic four year old isn't easy. I think the hardest part of having two kids or any number of kids for that matter- is that constant being needed. Finding a balance of tending to their needs and being there for them, while still managing to take care of yourself and find a few moments of peace in the day without a baby crying or a four year old whining- thats the hard part.

So far, my two maternity leaves are polar opposites. With Landon, I felt like I had no energy what so every and I think all we did was nurse and nap those first six weeks he was here. I took that whole "sleep when baby sleeps" thing to heart, and thats exactly what we did. My energy level was in the gutter and I couldn't ever seem to get myself together. I even remember going into my OB's office and telling her there just HAD to be something wrong with me because of the level of fatigue I was experiencing. They drew labs and my diagnosis was that I was a new mom, and my body just wasn't used to sleeping in intervals and still maintaining life when the sun came up.

Maybe its that my body is finally used to the fact that sleeping through the night isn't going to happen until my kids go to college and finally move out of the house. Maybe its that I'm taking better care of myself this go round. I'm not sure what to credit it to, but this time my energy level is pretty much normal. I still have days that I'm more tired than usual, and my body is definitely still healing from the damage of birthing a child, but I feel pretty good for the most part. I've also committed to finding a semi- routine for myself. We still fly by the seat of our pants for the most part, but I've started showering at night to avoid the chaos of showering with two kids awake in the morning. I wake up, start the coffee, vacuum the floors, make the bed, and feel like I'm ready to start my day with a clean slate, and semi-clean house. Vacuuming might sound crazy to you- but we have hardwoods and a dog- so I vacuum every day, and starting my day with clean floors makes my stress level much lower. :)

Two mornings a week we get out to take Landon to preschool and then go pick him up around lunchtime, so I enjoy my morning just snuggling my little girl and soaking in just her for a few minutes. I have definitely felt the struggle to find balance between trucking on with life and making myself stop and truly savor these moments with her. It truly goes by so stinking fast (case and point- she's a month old this week). I don't want to forget these days with her, even thought they're hard and tiring- they are so precious. Sometimes all I need to do is stop and hold her as she sleeps and breath in that sweet baby smell and savor the moment.

With Landon, I'm trying to make time for just him- we bake, or play with puzzles, or just snuggle on the couch. I love that he loves to snuggle. At night when he gets sleepy it is not uncommon at all for him to ask to come curl up next to you under a blanket and I couldn't love it more. Do you think he'll still snuggle me when he's older? We can hope!

Life with two is hard, and messy, and tiring but my life is infinitely sweeter because of these two babies of mine. There are tears and there are giggles. There are moments where my patience has been pushed to the max and I find myself singing "I need Thee every hour" over and over and over again. But then there are those most beautiful moments where I see a tangible image of the love my Father has for me. That His grace knows no boundaries, that His mercies truly are new each morning. And I am so incredibly thankful that he picked me to be their mama.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Introducing Avery Kate

We welcomed our sweet Avery Kate into the world on November 10, 2015! She weighed 7 pounds 11 ounces and was 21 inches long.  We feel so blessed and so thankful that we have a healthy baby girl in our arms.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

halloween 2015 | part two!

I think I say this every year, but for me, Halloween as a parent is so much more fun than Halloween as a kid. This year was even better because it was really the first year Landon understood all the fun and what exactly "trick or treating" was. He was super excited to wear his costume and to have his party at preschool on Friday. Where as last year, he just didn't quite get all the excitement. Although he really enjoyed all the candy! He also loves any excuse to hang out with his cousins, so he was beyond happy to trick or treat with them.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween 2015

This post might look pretty similar to my post from last year at Halloween. Since early September, I've been asking Landon what he wanted to be for Halloween, and each and every time he told me the same thing. "I just wanna be a dragon!" Which is the same thing he was last year. Part of me was disappointed that he didn't want to wear a new costume, but at almost 39 weeks pregnant, I'm picking and choosing my battles, and its much easier in the long run if he just wears what is already made. So Dragon Part Two it is!

With our due date just three days after Halloween, I wasn't sure how I'd be feeling, and or if we'd have time to take pictures of Landon in his costume. So this weekend we made some time to take a few pictures and document the occasion. Surprisingly, he cooperated for about 10 minutes and I was able to get a couple decent shots- I was hoping for some of him smiling, but he was too busy "roaring" at the squirrels in the woods. Which was pretty funny :) I'm just thankful he wasn't whiney or crying over having to take some pictures. And the M&M's I brought along helped also.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pregnancy Update | 38 weeks

Technically, as I am writing this I am 38.5 weeks. And yes, I am counting. :)

Still here, still pregnant, still feeling fairly okay most days, and fairly uncomfortable other days.

Weight Gain: 30ish lbs.

Symptoms: Reflux, lots of lower back/hip pain and pressure. Up frequently at night going to the bathroom or trying to get comfortable in bed. I'm usually a back sleeper- so sleeping on my sides has been kind of a challenge for me and I'm not sleeping as soundly as I'd like. I joke that its just preparing me for the newborn days of being up every 3 hours and not sleeping soundly due to a little baby being in our room!

I've packed her hospital bag, and mine. John will probably wait until I'm in the car ready to go to the hospital to pack his (he likes to wait until the last minute for things...). We've washed the car seat and bases, but haven't installed them. And I've made all the arrangements for going out on maternity leave at work. Yay! This morning as I was putting on my scrubs It dawned on me that I only have a week or so more of wearing them- hallelujah! I've worn the same two pair of scrub pants and rotated between a black or navy maternity shirt for the past few months and I'm so ready to have a break from wearing  them. Not to mention all my other clothes- I can't wait to semi-fit into normal clothing again!

I feel like this time before delivery is such a strange mix of emotions- anxiety and excitement all rolled into one. It's just a waiting game, and as someone who's pretty impatient, its kind of a challenge. I've started having some anxiety about going into labor and the logistics of things- praying that John isn't in South Charlotte where he'd have to fight traffic to get to me, praying I don't go into labor at work and cause any drama there, and praying that we get to the hospital safely and everything goes smoothly. In the mean time, I'm also trying to use my time to get things done that I know I won't have time to do once our little girl arrives. Cleaning out the refrigerator, cleaning windows, house projects like hanging curtains, taking some fall pictures of Landon, etc.

I have such a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that we only have about two more weeks as a family of three- so this time is so precious to me even though we are so very excited to meet our little girl! Hopefully my next pregnancy related post will be introducing our baby girl!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Weekend Getaway | Asheville, NC

Here's the truth. John and I are not "date night" or "date weakend" people. This year I think we have had a total of 2 date nights, one being our anniversary dinner and one being this past weekend when we decided to take a quick overnight trip to Asheville, NC. We literally decided on Friday night that if we were going to have a date night or weekend trip before this little girl makes her arrival, then we needed to go right then. So we booked a hotel room, dropped Landon off with the grandparents, and spent 24 glorious hours just spending time together.

John and grand plans of scheduling a massage or something relaxing for us, but I vetoed that and decided that I wanted to be outdoors and take in the mountains while we were there. The leaves are just starting to change, and if you've never been to the NC mountains in the fall its a must do. It reminds me why I love this state so much and how thankful I am to live in a place where I get to experience the fun of a summer spent at the coast and the coziness of autumn in the mountains.

We made a stop at Linville Falls on the way to Asheville (its a little out of the way, but not far) and hiked a quick 1-2 mile trail. I say hike loosely, because really at 36 weeks pregnant it was take 10 steps and stop for a break. But I did it! It was cool and lightly raining and we had such great time seeing the falls. They're gorgeous, and its really a fairly easy hike to see them. Due to all the rain from the recent rain storms in the Carolinas, the falls were incredible.

After hiking for a couple hours, we got back into the car and drove 45 minutes to Asheville to check into our hotel. I was pretty worn out, so we laid down for a while and watched the ECU game on the computer before going to dinner.

We had the most amazing dinner at Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville. Seriously, if you're in Asheville, its a must.  And Sunday morning we had a great breakfast at Early Girl Eatery, again- if you're in Asheville, eat breakfast here!

John and I really just had a great weekend spending time together- not having to be parents, or do anything work related. It was so nice to get outside and enjoy the mountain air and also have some great meals together.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nags Head, NC | 2015

All of the sudden it seems fall has shown up around here. The temps are cooler, and perfect for having the windows open in the house. Football is normally what's on the television, mums are everywhere you look, and the leaves are just starting to change. This time of year is always somewhat bittersweet for me. Part of me is excited and I love all of our fall traditions like football games and pumpkin patches, but I'm sad to see summer end, and am not in any way ready for the bitter cold of winter that will soon follow.

Last weekend we had the chance to pack our bags and head to Nags Head to visit with my sister and brother in law for one last summer hurrah. The weather was perfect- 80s and lower humidity, and we had plenty of sunshine to enjoy the beach. Landon had been begging to go to the beach over the past couple months, and while John and I had planned to take a small "baby moon" together, we couldn't deny him the opportunity to run and play in the sand one more time this year.

We left Friday after work and got down there late. Saturday we spent the early part of the day on the beach and Landon learned how much fun a boogie board can be. The waves were too rough to go into the water, so he was pulled along in the surf by John and his Uncle Tommy. To say he is obsessed is an understatement, and I'm pretty sure we're going to have to acquire a new boogie board before our next beach trip.

Sunday we took Landon on a boat ride and then after lunch we went back on the beach for a few more minutes of fun before we packed our bags and made the drive home.

We were tired, and worn out, but had such a great weekend spending time with family and soaking in one last sweet weekend of summer.

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