Thursday, November 10, 2016

Bring On The Season

We have started off cold and flu season with a bang!

This past Thursday I was brought down by a terrible stomach bug. The worst of it lasted about 24 hours and it took a couple of days for me to feel normal again. As I was recovering and Dave taking charge of childcare, Lydia came down with a cold. We fired up the humidifier and didn't think too much of it.

On Sunday I wiped Lydia's mouth with a baby wipe and her chin broke out in a really bad rash. Anna had the cold now too.

Monday is our community day for Sarah's homeschool group. Sarah woke up with a bit of a sore throat, but we forged ahead in good spirits. (This turned out to be basically the worst decision of the week. Maybe the month. Possibly will go down as worst decision of the year.) Around dinner time Josiah started to slow down. He went out to look at the moon and got a chill her couldn't seem to shake. Then he asked to go to bed early. I took a peek at his throat before bed and saw spots- the next day was more than likely going to start with a trip to the doctor.

Sure enough, he was still feeling down Tuesday morning. Sarah also woke up with a fever. So we loaded up and went to town for our pediatrician's walk-in sick clinic. I signed Josiah and Lydia up for appointments since he was clearly sick and Lydia's chin wasn't getting better. (It seems greedy to sign all four up!) Once we were in the exam room, the friendly nurse kept glancing at Sarah and said she thought we should add Sarah to the appointment. When the doctor arrived she started with Josiah because he was the one who looked like he didn't feel good. I was expecting a hand foot mouth diagnosis, so was surprised to hear that she was confident he had strep. Before she did the strep test she looked at Sarah's throat and said she wanted to swab both. Then she moved on to Lydia and quickly gave her the hand foot mouth diagnosis that I was expecting. With high contagious HFM and strep in the family, the doctor asked if she could check Anna too. Gladly! Turned out Anna had an ear infection. Strep swabs both came back positive.

At this point we were a circus, albeit a mostly happy circus, of files, papers, prescriptions, questions, incubation periods, and instructions. The appointment ended with "do you have any other children?" I assured her she had seen the whole team and we would stay away from all other humans for the foreseeable future.

In the days since, Josiah also developed HFM and we have gone through a box of kleenex. It turns out that giving medicine to a baby who doesn't like bottles or a paci is really challenging. Altogether spirits are high. The weather has been beautiful and our isolation period is coming to an end! Dave brought me mums, hand sanitizer, and vitamins- true love at its finest!

Sarah read to him on Monday night. She said,"how about I choose two, you choose two." He said, "how about I choose zero and you choose them all." I knew he wasn't feeling good!
Stickers make everyone happy.

As do diggers. We watched some construction while we waited for prescriptions to be filled. It didn't hurt that they are working next to the Starbucks with the drive-through :)

I asked the doctor if Anna was going to have trouble with her ears since she got an infection so young. She said that the only trouble was that Anna was the fourth child during cold season and to expect that she would get sick more than the others.

Not an easy business.

We might just get pharmacy status at this rate :)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Happy 4 months, Anna!

My dear Anna Caroline, you are growing up entirely too fast. And we are loving and savoring every minute of it! You are such a calm baby. Your eyes stay wide watching all the activity unfold around you. We are thankful for your wonder at the world. Your simple satisfaction is refreshing. You are dearly loved!

Weight: 19lbs 12.5oz (100%)
Length: 26in (97%)
Head: 42cm (87%)
Diaper: size 3
Clothing: 6 and 9 months

Likes: baths, rolling on the play mat, snuggles
Dislikes: being pulled on, shots

Eating: She still doesn't like her bottle, but is getting better with the paci. Anna continues to be a great nurser.

Sleep: Anna generally wakes up once at night, usually around 5:30am. We are all tired! She falls to sleep easily though, and for that we are thankful.

Schedule: A normal day would look something like this . . .

7:30 First feeding of the day
8:45 Nap
11:00 Wake and nurse
12:15 Nap
2:30 Wake and nurse
3:45 Nap (usually a shorter one)
6:30 Nurse
7:00 Down for bed (often ends up in her bouncy seat)
9:00-10:00 Nurse and back to bed for the night

Physically: Anna is blowing bubbles and doing a lot more "talking" to us. She has a lot of chunk to her and we love every roll. We have to work for her smiles. She is normally wears an observant expression and it makes the smiles so much sweeter when we get one. She started rolling over from her back to her belly three days before her four-monthiversary. This necessitated the dropping of her swaddle, which hasn't been seamless but it is super cute to see all the different ways she has found to sleep. Since she can't roll from her tummy to her back, she has become a tummy sleeper. Anna's eyes remain a nice navy blue and she has a patch of hair that sticks straight up in the back!

Next appointment: Thursday, December 29, 2016 at 9:30am

It was "surgery morning" for the doctors.

The morning she hit the 4 month mark we went for a chilly early morning walk and she wore a hat for the first time. Super cute :)

Matchy matchy girlies on a Sunday morning.

Sleeping on her play mat.

Meeting Haley!

Daddy snuggles did the trick!

Anna had such a love/hate relationship with her swaddle :)

Lydia tucked Lambie in to keep Anna company.

Funny faces!

Sleepy shopping trip.

I'm not sure she wanted to take a picture with us :)

Anna likes have her hands behind her head. She does not like mom's flash!

Rough life!

I just love her little crossed hand arms rolls!

After her first roll!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Happy 3 months, Anna!

Our baby is growing up! These first three months have passed so fast and we have seen such a change in our little beauty. Not only has she doubled in size, but she is also getting a little personality. Anna is a precious baby and we look forward to the month ahead.

Diaper: size 2
Clothing: 3 and 6 months

Likes: baths, being on her back on the play mat, being swaddled, bouncing on a knee
Dislikes: gas, being squished

Eating: Anna continues to be a great nurser . . . and a terrible bottle taker. But we are working on it!

Sleep: Anna usually wakes once at night and has even slept through the night a few times. She is a great sleeper! I can tell she is ready for longer wake times during the day as she becomes more interested in her (chaotic) surroundings.

Schedule: Routine is so good for us and seems to work well for Anna too. We are out and about several days a week, but a normal day at home would look somethings like this:

7:30 First feeding of the day
8:30 Nap
11:00 Wake and nurse
12:00 Nap
2:30 Wake and nurse
3:30 Nap
5:30-6:30 Wake and nurse
7:00ish Nap (she doesn't nap regularly during this time of the day, but thankfully it doesn't tend to be a fussy wakefulness)
9:00-10:00 Nurse and back to bed for the night

Physically: Anna has earned a bald spot on the back of her head. Otherwise, she has a nice head of hair! She hasn't rolled over, but has thrown her head back like she she knows the motion. She smiles more now and I love the way her cheeks lift up when she gets tickled. We've also gotten to know a really cute frown when that bottom lip comes out. Anna has found her voice and uses it mostly to protest (as opposed to a real cry) when something isn't going her way.

Next appointment: Friday, October 28, 2016 at 10:00am

Her first time keeping the paci in. It didn't last long :)

Sarah dressed for the occasion when we all went to Anna's two month well visit. 

When the doctor is called away, the Cooks play!

Josiah left a picture he made for Anna :)

Making the most of an early morning.

Sweet cheeks!

Anna was not impressed with my resale find.
I guess we will have to stick to putting diapers in the diaper bag :)

Sweet sleeping girl.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Our Dear Anna Caroline

This is the letter we penned for Anna on the day of her birth, reminding her of the reason behind her name. 

Our Dear Anna Caroline,

Welcome to a family of singers. We don't always sound so good, but we are always singing. And soon you'll get to join us when we dance around our living room strumming Daddy's "ba-tahg," singing, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow," and "I love you in joy, I love you in sorrow; you can always come home to me." From what I've heard of your little lungs so far, you'll fit in quite well.

Our story is mostly a happy one, but our carols remind me of someone who had to wait a long time for a happy ending. Losing her husband after only seven years, just as long as your mom and I have had each other, Anna spent most of her life waiting. For years and years she waited in the house of God, worshiping with fasting and prayer day and night. It wasn't until she was eighty-four that the redemption and consolation of Israel finally came. Anna was one of the first people to see Him.

Her name, which means "grace," is now yours too. As you spend your first day in our arms, we pray you'll know that same grace and be as full of His song as she was. And, though your story will probably be very different, we pray it will end the same way hers did, your eyes adoring the face of Jesus Christ.

That face is the reason we sing in our house. He is the reason we'll sing quietly when we change your diaper in the middle of the night and the reason we'll sing loudly on Sundays. Nothing quite frees the tongue like knowing grace. Neither can anything else can sustain a song through all seasons of life.

As you walk through your own life, may you know God's unfathomable grace every step of the way. And may that grace make you faithful, and patient, and full of song.

Your loving parents,
David and Emily Cook
June 28, 2016

Monday, September 19, 2016

Happy 2 years, Lydia!

Lydia may be our most determined child yet. She is vocal and expressive and independent and funny. Her dramatic flair keeps us laughing! As Lydia's speech blossoms she is able to really play with the big kids as they have fun with legos, babies, and riding toys. They are really becoming a trio and I love the way Lydia fits into our family and life in KY.

Weight: 35 lbs 7 oz (99th%)
Height: 35.75 in (95th%) (according to our stats she grew 3 inches in the last 6 months!)
Head: 48 cm (65th%)

Diapers: size 5, undies
Clothing: some 2T, 3T is comfy (pants have to be even bigger unless they are stretchy)

Likes: singing, being tickled, reading (and turning pages), riding her "bike", eating, pouring water in the bath, playing catch, doing things herself ("I do it, I do it mommy!")

Dislikes: being strapped in the car seat, not getting her way (or to do it herself)

6:30-7am Awake for the day!
9:00-11am   In her room with a pile of books
1:00-3pm   Nap (the real deal)
7pm   Down for bed

Sleep: Lydia tends to go to bed easily, sleep through the night, and then wake up around 6am. The only downside to an otherwise smooth transition to the bunk beds is that Lydia doesn't just sing when she wakes up now. She is quite ready to play and follow Sarah to the bathroom. Thus far we have chosen not to fight this battle. We are just thankful she still takes a good afternoon nap and Sarah doesn't suffer too much with the early start to her day.

Physically: She has hair! Praise the Lord! Lydia is our "squishy baby" and has kept all her rolls. She has the cutest run and loves to be outside.

Food: As she has learned to say more she has started saying "sooooo hungry, mom, sooo hungry." Lydia likes to eat :) She loves watermelon, frozen peas, blue berries, peanut crackers, and cheese, but will eat almost anything. She still likes her afternoon milk.

Communication: She speaks! And she has lots to say. Right after Anna was born she went from a handful of words in her word bank to repeating anything she heard. Since then she has started forming sentences and expressing herself more and more specifically. This leads to some frustration when she thinks we should understand the meaning behind her words and we definitely don't, but on the whole is just such fun.

Potty training: Potty training went well. The last month before Anna was born she was doing great and telling us "I teetee" when she wanted us to take her to the potty. She did well at first after Anna came home, but when we tried dropping her first nap (and the diaper she wore during that time) she totally regressed. In the craziness of guests and new baby, we just did diapers for a while. But now that we are back to more normal life she is back to a normal routine of panties at home, diapers out and during naps. It is working for now! One exciting addition is that she is more willing to go on the big potty now :)

Fun things:
- Lydia has entered the world of pretend play. She makes a super cute mama to her babies :)
- She loves to hold Anna, but doesn't like Anna to touch her. As you might expect, this is tricky!
- When something doesn't go like she would like, she often yells OWWWW! You might come running expecting she is hurt. Nope, she just can't get her shoe off. Or get her blanket to cover her feet. Or (see above) Anna's feet are touching her.
- Lydia begs to go to church. "Go to church mom. Get goldfish!"
- She loves to brush her hair. I think she may be a girly girl- she is all about her hair, bows, and "shoeys".
- This has been a "cheese face" phase.

Birthday breakfast for our two year old!!!

Playing in the creek in TN.

Opening birthday gifts from her siblings. They had such fun shopping for her!

Last night as a one year old.

Josiah says, "Lydia, move your neck a little," in his most sweet and helpful voice :)

She came out from nap with one of Sarah's shirts around her waist under her dress and she KNEW she was funny.

Beware of a Lydia kiss!

She was so proud to clop down the hall in Sarah's heels.

We listened to Dad play with the summer camp band. It was very fun and very loud!


First night in the bunk bed!

She is so tiny in there!

She fell asleep reading :)

First time up the play place at Chick Fil A. There was no looking back.

Rice is another favorite food.

Lydia had a great time at cousin April's wedding.

CFA ice dream is good to the last drop.

Lunch with our friends Katye and Tommy!

She wasn't a fan of one of my podcast on the drive to MS.

The day we took possession of our house.

Lydia, you smile with your whole body! We love you in such a big way!