We had dinner at Eagle's Nest at the Hyatt downtown before dinner. It's a revolving restaurant at the very top of the hotel. The view was unbelievable...but I have to be honest, I did get a little dizzy if I thought too much about the fact that we were moving. I had a 10 oz. filet mignon, white truffle mashed potatoes, and baby vegatables. It was all so glorious! Ryan and Abigail both had lobster tail, and Ryan had a petit filet with his lobster, too. Devin ordered the same thing I did but got it stuffed with crab meat. The food was simply to die for! :)
All in all, it was a great way to celebrate Christmas with some of our best friends! Please go see The Lion King so we can talk about how wonderfully perfect it is. :) Merry Christmas!
Noah wearing his big boy jammies!
I haven't written lately because there just aren't too many things to report. Noah is still rolling around and moving around with his arms; however, he still hasn't figured out crawling. On the one hand, I'd love for him to be able to explore the world a little more through crawling...then on the other hand, I love that he isn't into everything! We started giving him fruit a couple weeks ago, and surprisingly, he hates it. I have never seen him gag and make such terrible faces before. I thought kids were supposed to love fruit?? I have given him bananas, applesauce (which he still won't eat), avocado (what was I thinking? he hated it), and pears. The bananas and pears have gone down the best so far, but it took several days to get him there. He just likes his veggies and milk still. He can be a little pokey at the table, too, which I know is paybacks for when I was a kid. I could sit at the table and eat dinner for 3 hours if you let me. This was mostly because I was super picky. I still don't eat broccoli, lima beans, or other gross green veggies. :)
For Christmas this year, we are trying to keep things reasonable for Noah. While it would be so easy to go spend a million dollars on him, the truth is...he doesn't need much! He is quite content with his bouncer and little toys that people have already gotten him. He doesn't have a clue what is going on with the gifts, though he does love to stare at the Christmas tree. We bought him two toys, a sit-to-stand and a car wash for the bath tub, which he won't even be able to use until he is a bit older. We also got Noah a toy box. I don't ever want him to get to the point where he is materialistic and focused on "things" rather than what is truly important. Wish us luck!
Merry Christmas from Noah the Elf!
We hope you have a very Merry Christmas this year! We are definitely looking forward to time with family and lots of delicious food. Ryan and I are going to see The Lion King tonight with Abigail and Devin, some good friends from Hanover. I can't wait!!!
My dad and Danette came down the day before Thanksgiving to spend some time with us. We had a nice visit going out to eat, playing a game (HOORAY!), and just talking. On Thanksgiving we went to Ryan's sister's house to celebrate with Ryan's family. The food was amazing...all your favorites: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, corn casserole, dressing, and rolls. Ryan's mom brought deviled eggs and peanut butter pie, and I made a pumpkin pie. Then, to keep up our tradition, we went Black Friday shopping at 4:30 a.m. the next day! I love it! I think we all got some pretty good deals, too. My brother and his wife came for a visit Friday afternoon, which was great. We hadn't seen them for a few months, so it was a much needed visit!
Ryan and I took all last week off, and it was so nice to just be home with Noah and to visit with family. One night, Noah was in an especially good mood. I was running down the stair, waving my arms, yelling, "Hi! Hi! Hi!" He was cracking up. Here's a video for your enjoyment.
Today is going to be a busy day for us. We have a baby shower in Anderson with one of Ryan's friends from high school. Then, a different friend from Carmel and his wife are coming to stay the night and to go to church with us. It will be a fun day! Because we're going to be all over the place, we decided to go ahead and give Noah his first serving of carrots. He did great! I was amazed at how much food there really is in one carrot ice cube. He ate almost all of it after already having his milk! That probably helps to explain the cheeks. :) Anyway, here is a video for you to enjoy.
Sorry about the "You did it! You did it!" I tend to get a little overly excited with the simple things in life these days. We were just so proud of him. Of course, now he wants to spend all of his time rolling from his stomach to his back, even though his poor little neck gets so tired. He can roll back onto his back sometimes, but other times he just gets stuck. We were all excited about his new milestone until we put him to bed. He started fussing and crying, so we turned on our TV (we have a video camera above his crib). We found him face down in his crib with his arm completely stuck between two of the bars. POOR GUY! Ryan went racing up the stairs to get him...scared us to pieces! Anyway, I'm worried about him doing this all throughout the night. If he gets stuck on his tummy, I don't know what else to do but go fix him. Any advice from people who've been there before?
Another fun thing is Noah getting his first two bottom teeth! Yep, they popped up just the other day and are razor sharp. Luckily, he hasn't bitten me yet. I was expecting way more slobber, crying, a fever, diaper rash, etc. when they started to pop up, but no...he was just fine. Same ol' same ol'.
The only other story I haven't written about happened a couple weeks ago. Noah hadn't poo'd in TEN DAYS! Can you even imagine?? We were seriously scared, but Noah didn't seem upset at all. He poo'd on a Saturday, and by Wednesday, our sitter was like, "Watch out. Noah's gas has been really bad today, and I think he's going to poop soon." She told us that she checkd his diaper 3 or 4 times before he stunk so bad that she thought he had pooped. No such luck! Well, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday went by without any poop. I was really starting to worry! Finally, on Tuesday morning, Noah was playing in his jumperoo when I smelled it. I laid him down on his back, pumped his legs a few times to make sure he got it all out, and ran to get a plastic sack to throw away the diaper...knowing it would be HUGE. Well, huge isn't even the right word to describe it! I seriously had to get out the scissors and CUT Noah's oneside off his body. There was poop EVERYWHERE, and I know that if I tried to pull it off over his head, he would be covered with it even more. Twenty wipes later, I got him cleaned up. I gave him a quick bath, and put him down for a nap. He slept for TWO HOURS. He was one tired puppy!!! He may stink sometimes, but he is the cutest little guy ever!
We've hit a huge milestone...time for Noah to start eating solids! :) I got a lot of direction for introducing foods into Noah's diet from Babywise (the second book). We decided to go ahead and give him organic rice cereal once a day for a week...and then three times a day the following week before beginning veggies on November 15th, when Noah is 6 months old. We had gotten family portraits taken with Ryan's family on Saturday and afterward went back to Ryan's parents' house to celebrate his dad's birthday. It was the perfect time to give Noah his first bites of cereal! He did a really good job, too...no choking, spitting, or the like!
Today I made the first batch of Noah's veggies. After two weeks of having only cereal, he is going to get to try 4 different "orange/yellow" vegetables over the course of two weeks. I bought 2 lbs. of organic carrots, 3 sweet potatoes, a butternut squash, and 2 pumpkins. I spent about $10 total, so you can just imagine how much money we're going to save making his food. A friend of mine said that just with the first batch of food she made, she saved about $150. Isn't that incredible?? I know people worry about not having enough time to make the food, but it really only took about 3 hours total (including some breaks to play with Noah). It was SUPER easy, too! I tasted all of it, and it made me all the more excited for Noah to eat it soon. Here is the process for making carrots:
Peel and chop carrots
I put them into my bamboo steamer ($15) over some boiling water in the wok. There are two levels to this steamer, so you can work with a lot of food! I steamed each veggie for 20 minutes.
Put carrots in the blender and add water from the wok until desired consistency
Spoon into ice cube trays and freeze. Once they are frozen, I will put the cubes into freezer bags with the date. We'll have three months to use the food I prepared today.
Noah all bundled up to take Kya on a walk on a chilly Fall day!
Guess who I look like?
One happy family!
Watching the parade
Noah had some big changes, and they seemed to happen overnight. The biggest one is the change in his feeding schedule. He went from eating every 2 to 2 1/2 hours to eating every 3-4 hours. It is GLORIOUS! It's amazing how much easier things seem to be already. Not only is Noah eating less often, but he awake longer and sleeping longer, too. The day just flows so much easier! He'll eat, stay awake for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, and then sleep for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Plus, his bedtime is the earliest it's ever been. His last feeding is falling around 8:30 or 9 p.m. usually, which is giving him about 11 hours of sleep each night. Again, it's GLORIOUS! He is such a good baby...we are very spoiled! It will be interesting to see if our next baby sleeps that well. Until then, I will always wonder how much the unmedicated childbirth, Babywise scheduling and strategies, and swaddle blankets played a part in his behavior. I guess time will tell!
My $4 find at a garage sale
Funny story about pumping at work. Now that Noah only eats twice at the sitter, I only pump twice. In the morning, I got 7 ounces, and later that afternoon, I only got 5 ounces. I had two 7 1/2 oz. bottles for the sitter to give Noah that day. When I asked her how he did with just two bottles, he ate exactly 7 ounces that morning and another 5 ounces that afternoon. How wild is that? Even though there was more milk in his bottle, he still only ate what my body making. Not only is that strange, but I swear our bodies are in sync. My milk tends to let down while I'm working within the same 15 minutes that he eats at the sitter. Again, it blows my mind! I'm sorry if these stories about nursing and milk are getting annoying. I guess it's something that I'm always thinking about, so I'm staying true to telling stories about my journey through motherhood. :)
Noah in the JumperooAnother new thing that Noah is doing now is rolling to his side. He can already roll from his belly to his back, but rolling to his side is new. Noah lifts his legs staight up in the air, and then rolls to the side. He can't quite roll onto his belly yet, but he can roll off a couch. Yep! You read correctly. He rolled off the couch for the first time. I got a call at work from one of our sitters, saying that Noah rolled off her couch. She had left him for a second to warm his bottle back up (he is really particular I guess...hehe), and he rolled right onto the floor. Apparently, he was completely fine...laughing and smiling soon after. I know she felt really bad, but he is just starting to roll, and she didn't realize it. I wasn't upset at all b/c although you never want your kid to get hurt, it's going to happen. He didn't have any bruises/bumps...and was completely himself. It'll be the first of many injuries to come, I'm sure!
Other than those changes, everything else is pretty much the same. I go back and forth between wanting to work and wanting to stay home. I still don't know what to do. I feel really torn and am hoping that we can figure it out soon. I have been pretty lazy this week around the house, and I have two great books to blame (as well as my sister-in-law)! She got me started on the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. Wow! They are good! I think I read about 400 pages in two days...seriously. In fact, I'm going to go now so I can read a bit more before Noah wakes up.
"Don't go to work, Mommy...."
Noah sporting his baby legs (Thanks Amanda!)
So we bought Noah's Halloween costume about a month ago...a size 0-6 months. Well, I decided to surprise Ryan the other night and put Noah in it for a good laugh. It barely fit him! I'm going to have to go back to the store and get the next size. It's crazy! He's wearing 6-9 month clothes already and is probably about 16 pounds now. Anyway, Ryan really wanted Noah to be a dragon for Halloween...where his head would come out of the mouth and have spikes down his back. I found this at Target...the best store ever (minus the return policy)...and it is perfect! What do you think?
The power adapter in my laptop broke, so I haven't had much opportunity to write lately, but I have lots to catch you up on in the life of the Abell family. I had some fun pictures and video to post on the blog, too, which was another reason to put off writing until now. As we speak, Ryan is upstairs putting Noah down for Nap #5...yep, Noah still takes a nap after a meal and some play time. He is just growing and growing and growing. It's hard to believe that he'll never look like a newborn again. I honestly feel like we just brought him home!
Everyone told us that the smiles are great...but that the laughs are absolutely the best, and they were right! Here is a great video of Noah laughing with Ryan.
Everybook I read says that babies can start eating solids between 4-6 months. So, at Noah's 4 month check up, I asked Dr. Gloyeske what his opinion was on the matter. He said that although he used to be part of the 4 month camp, he is seeing so many children with food allergies. He went on to say that he hasn't seen any real data to support that eating solids at an earlier time is causing the allergies but that it makes him wonder. He told me that as long as Noah is still sleeping through the night (he is sleeping 9-10 hours usually), and he isn't seeming hungry after meals that we might as well just wait until we see changes in his behavior (e.g., wanting to eat in the middle of the night). I am going to make all of Noah's baby food, and I am SUPER excited about it! First of all, there is just something about giving him fresh food rather than jarred baby food that has enough preservative to make it last for a couple years. Second, it's going to save us LOTS of money. Third, it's going to be much healthier for him. My parents made my food, and I'm excited to pass on the tradition. My friend Beckie helped me in my first efforts to make Noah's food. She taught me how to can applesauce. A really nice couple at church gave her a couple boxes of apples from their own apple trees, so she let me make applesauce out of one of the boxes. Here is the fruit of my labor...pun intended! That's right...I made ELEVEN jars of applesauce for Noah. It's very yummy!
Hmm...what else has been going on in our lives? Well, for one, Noah hasn't poo'd since Saturday night. It's a record...and I'm scared. Not scared as in worried for his health. I know he's ok or else he'd be screaming. I'm scared because I am worried about the clean up. It's going to be HUGE! If you count today, that means he hasn't poo'd for 5 whole days. YIKES! Stay tuned for that story...and pictures of course. :)
Ryan and I decided to go on envelope system. That's right...we read Dave Ramsey awhile back and have implemented a few of his main ideas. Now, we're giving the envelope system a shot. Ryan and I each have our personal money for the month, which is great because neither of us feel guilty about treating ourselves with this or that. We have X amount of money for groceries and house products and X amount of money for entertainment/restaurants. It will be fun to be more intentional with our money! God calls us to be good stewards of our money, so I think this is one way we can honor that. I have been on a coupon rage lately...scoring some great deals at Target and Kmart. I think I am all stocked up on diapers for Noah until after Christmas. How great is that?
Noah hanging out with Grandpa
On a final note, I am really confused about what I want in terms of staying at home versus working. I really thought this part time situation would be perfect for me...enough time at home...and enough time away. But I'm finding myself being sadder and sadder to leave Noah in the mornings. I thought it was supposed to get easier? Work is difficult right now due to lots of transition in our field and state laws, but even that seems to be getting easier and less stressful. Despite things calming down at work, I still feel this pull to be home more. I will definitely stick out the year because I made the commitment to do so, but we are really considering me staying home in the future. I am totally surprised to write that, but it's true. I can't figure out if I just love being at home so much because it's something new...exciting to do something different OR if it's because my heart is really at home now. I don't know.... I am really feeling a lot of joy and fulfillment taking care of things at home and working on projects that would otherwise never get done (e.g., refinishing a mirror, steam cleaning the carpets, canning applesauce). I guess time will tell. I just don't feel as happy as I used to at work, and I'm missing Noah more and more during the day. Again, I think I will be able to figure things out as the year goes on. I'm praying for God to help me figure things out, and I know He'll show me the way! I'm just so lucky that Ryan is supportive of both situations. Could I have it any better? Nope...I don't think so.
Sorry that it's taken me a couple weeks to write more in our blog. Sometimes I love writing and other times, I dread it. So today I thought I'd write something quickly and post some new pictures of Noah. Over the weekend, my friend Jessica came in from out of town to meet Noah. I didn't know it prior to her visit, but I was WAY OVERDUE for some girl time! I mean, I get to spend time with my girlfriends pretty often, but Noah is always with me. He's relatively easy to have around at this stage. It just makes it difficult to have a conversation when I have to be half paying attention to him, too. So, this past weekend was just what I needed! One of the best parts about Jess coming is something very exciting. When she walked up to my front door, I gave her a big hug and said, "Oh my gosh, Jess, I'm hugging all four of you!" Yes, I said "all four" because she is expecting TRIPLETS...spontaneous triplets nonetheless!! Can you even imagine? It's all so very exciting and crazy at the same time. The great thing is, she and her husband have been together since they were 14 and 15 years old. They have had the past 12 years to build an amazing foundation in their relationship, went to undergrad and grad school together, and have had a happy marriage for the past 2 1/2 years. They have all of the tools needed to have three little ones born all at the same time. Did I mention that I love these people?? Anyway, it was just so fun to talk about the future with her, as she is one of the most organized people I know. I truly believe that God brought she and her husband together 12 years ago, each with their own unique qualities, in order to prepare them for this very situation. I had a few things I wanted to accomplish during Jess' visit. First, now that her nausea is gone, I wanted to fill her belly with delicious food. Second, I wanted to pamper her, so I gave her some Burt's Bees Belly Butter, and we got pedicures! Third, I wanted to talk, talk, talk....and I think we easily accomplished that last one. :) Ryan's mom came down on Saturday and watched Noah for about 4 hours, and it was the perfect amount of time for Jess and I to have some time to ourselves (Thanks again, Gloria!). It was the first girl time that I've had without Noah since he's been born! I didn't even realize it until we were in the middle of our pedicures. I will have to do that more often now that he's a little older! All in all, it was a great visit. I am so thankful that I've experienced pregnancy and life with a newborn. I feel that much more prepared in helping Jess throughout her pregnancy and once her little ones arrive. I can't wait to meet the Moore triplets!
Noah is getting to be such a fun kid! He is showing more and more personality every single day. He just jabbers and jabbers to himself while he plays, and if you mimic him, he'll smile really big! Makes you wonder what he is saying, huh? He is belly laughing now, too, which is SO hysterical! I can't tell you how great it feels when your child smiles or laughs...it's the best! We tried to load the video onto my computer so that I could upload it to this blog, but for some reason, the audio doesn't work. If we ever figure it out, I'll make sure to post it.
Noah and Ryan before the first Colt's game.
Ryan and I are going on a date Saturday...and I am very much looking forward to it! We were given a really generous gift card to the Hyatt, so we're going to treat ourselves to a great dinner at Eagle's Nest and probably a movie. We thought about going to see Little Shop of Horrors, but I'm not sure I want to spend the money...even if dinner is free. :) We are due for a fun night out together! I think my mom is going to watch Noah overnight, so that will be fun, too.
My parents came for a quick visit on Sunday, and it was great to see them again. They haven't had an overnight stay at our house since Noah was born, so they are coming down in a couple weeks. It will be so nice to have an extended visit with them! Here are some pictures they took of Noah yesterday. Enjoy!
Last but not least, we had Noah's 3 month pictures taken a few weeks ago, and they turned out great! To check them out, follow these steps:
Go to http://detailsportraitart.com/ Click "Enter Site"
Enter password: nabell (case sensitive)
There is a slideshow of pictures! :)
Hope you like them!
Room and Board 2 days: $2,062.50
Delivery Room: $2,446.92
Laboratory Services: $405.11
Pharmacy Services: $176.60
TOTAL: $8,318.38 After Insurance: $1,060.84
Noah’s Hospital Charges:
Newborn care for 2 days at the hospital: $1,339.00
Operating Room: $331.52 (used for a short time for his circumcision)
Laboratory Services: $927.29
Pharmacy Services: $65.70
Therapy Services: $102.50
TOTAL: $2,766.01 After Insurance: $395.32
Newborn Exam at the hospital: $243.00 After Insurance: $38.58
Noah Circumcision: $400 After Insurance: $45.86
OB Care and Delivery: $2,300 After Insurance: $390.00
GRAND TOTAL: $14,028.39
AFTER INSURANCE, WE OWED: $1,930.60
SHORT TERM DISABILITY CHECK: $2,216.67 (Thank goodness we signed up for that policy!)
OUT OF POCKET EXPENSES: NONE (We actually pocketed $286.07).
Come to think of it, maybe I should get that money for...you know...pain and suffering. Yeah! That's a great idea! :) :) :)
Check out this picture, and you'll understand just why it has all been worth it...being pregnant, having gestational diabetes, giving birth, going through that difficult first month with a newborn. I have a better life than I could ever have imagined!!
At church two Sundays ago
On Saturday, Ryan, Tim, and Ryan Alvis took the kids down to the pond to go fishing. It was supposed to be stocked with fish to catch and release, but all they caught were two leeches and a tick...again...HILARIOUS! The pond also had a diving board, though Tim quickly learned that it didn't have much spring to it. The kids played on this mini-slide that went into the pond, too. Ryan tried the zip-line, though he only made it about half way across the pond before he was in the water. Tim got stung by a wasp, and then a hornet chased Ryan all the way to the cabin. I was feeding Noah inside when he flew in the front door. He was gasping for his breath and was halfway bent over. After taking a shower, Ryan...the poor guy...tossed his cookies! Of course, me being the paranoid, crazy person that I am, was convinced that the pond water made him sick and that everyone else was going to get sick, too. Needless to say, the rest of the clan was fine!
Noah did pretty well all weekend long...with the exception of getting some tummy aches a few times from me having a small amount of biscuits and gravy (sausage makes his belly hurt). Plus, after having some Cool Ranch Doritos today, I've also figured out that those make him sick, too. So, the list of foods I can't eat now includes milk, pepperoni, sausage, and Cool Ranch Doritos. Kya had a great time at the cabin, too! She was probably the happiest I've seen her in a long time. In a way, it makes me sad because I wonder if she misses Layla when we are at home because being away from the house, she just had this pep in her step. All day today, she's been moping around again. It breaks my heart, but we try to entertain her and love on her as much as we can. Last night, she was so tired at the end of the night that she went down into the basement where our bedroom was and just got into bed. It was so cute! I love that dog, and I would have loved to have taken Layla there, too. We miss her so much!
All in all, it was a great weekend. We played some games, my favorite pasttime, and Beckie holds the Bananagrams title. She also won Bohnanza, so we've really got to step it up next time around! It was just so nice to be together as a family, with our friends and their children, and have Kya there. I couldn't have asked for a better quick getaway. We really are so blessed!!!
My family...Aren't I the luckiest person in the world?