The Navigator has Arrived!

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Our wonderful miracle, our little Navigator, made his arrival on April 22. He was 7 lb 8 oz and 21 inches long. Labor was fast and intense but we were thrilled when he finally arrived.

The past two weeks have been nothing less than a blur, but the little guy is fitting perfectly into our family. The Wingman absolutely adores him and he frequently calls him “Brother.” He loves to hold Brother and take care of him.

The Pilot of course is an incredible Daddy and we were able to figure out a good tag-team system for the first couple weeks. He is back at work this week and I am excited to figure out our groove and see what our new life will look like!

When I hold the Navigator close and feel his little body breathing next to mine, it still almost doesn’t feel real. I am so so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be his mom.

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Tips for Traveling with a One Year Old

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Travel

I recently was flying by myself with the Wingman.  Traveling with children can be pretty unpredictable.  I was pretty nervous about it, and could just see us being “those people” who make the flight miserable for everyone.

I did my best not to worry about it, though I will say that I stuffed my backpack full of anything and everything that the Wingman might enjoy.

  • Snacks.  I had an old Puffs container with Cheerios and the Wingman loves taking the lid on and off.  He enjoys that more than he enjoys eating the Cheerios, so it was a two-for-one…snack and a game! 😉  Fishy crackers in a Munchkin snack catcher (again, two-for-one as he loves eating them and also spent a lot of time trying to reach in and get them out).
  • Dollar Store.  I went to the Dollar Tree and scoured the aisles for things that might be interesting to him.  I ended up with a pair of sunglasses, measuring cups, and duct tape.  The first two were huge hits and the duct tape was enjoyable but not quite as mesmerizing.  I would take pieces of the tape and stick them on the tray in front of us.  He had fun pulling it off and sticking it back on.
  • Anything in our house.  I found an old wallet, a dinosaur toy he was given for his birthday, this Fisher Price flashlight (also a birthday present), two birthday cards that played music, etc.
  • And as a last resort, I downloaded some apps on my tablet.  His two favorites were Baby Toy (especially the screen with all the animals) and Ballon Popping (Yes, the balloon is misspelled…no idea if that’s on purpose. lol).
  • Books.  I packed a lift-the-flap book, a touch and feel book, and several “regular” books.
  • Change of clothes.  Wingman pretty much never needs a change of clothes during the day, so I didn’t think that we would need it.  But…..I am sure glad that I packed it because we did end up needing a change in the airport!
  • Gate check.  It is so simple to gate check items.  I kept our stroller with us in the airport and took it right to the gate with us.  Then when we got off the plane it was immediately ready for us.
  • And of course diapers and wipes.  Way more than I thought I would need.
  • When the steward/ess comes to take a drink order, ask for an empty cup.  This can provide some much-needed entertainment!

And I kept thinking that if all else fails, my tricks go out the window, and the baby doesn’t like anything I brought….it would only be for a few hours.  It will only be a few hours out of our trip.

He ended up doing really well!  We didn’t end up being “those people” although I’m not quite sure how considering the fact that Wingman was so exhausted and of course he wouldn’t fall asleep until 5 minutes before we began the descent.  But somehow we made it!

What are your tips for traveling with young children?

-Bonnie

Baby toys – The Necessities

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There are so. many. options. for things to purchase for your baby.  So many ideas on what is appropriate and necessary for baby to play with.  So the question is….what do you REALLY need for baby?

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During the first year of the Wingmans life, we did buy him some toys.  He had a couple stuffed animals, a couple toys that had the big rings for babies just learning to grip, some books, etc.  He had an exersaucer and when he was 10 months old I won a wooden block set in an online giveaway.  A friend gave us this fun dinosaur toy hand-me-down that has different slots to put some balls, which then bounce down stairs, swing a pendulum, or roll down a slide.  It’s pretty fun and I am very thankful it was gifted to us, because it sells for $80 brand new!

But his favorite toys were not toys at all.  His favorite toys have been…

  • Water.  He loves to touch and splash in water, whether it’s in the kiddie pool, the bath, or a bowl I fill for him.
  • Water bottles.  He loves to crinkle them and shake the water around.
  • A spatula.  I don’t know why this is so fascinating, but he loves it.
  • A shaker.  A friend got a small clear medicine bottle, filled it maybe a quarter of the way with beads, and glued the lid shut.  Wingman loves it!!!
  • An envelope.  You know those envelopes that come with the clear window to see the address through?  Wingman had so much fun with this, crinkling it and turning it.  It doesn’t even need the clear, crinkly window….he likes to play in general with the mail.  We often give him the junk mail to play with.
  • Anything outdoors.  He loves grass, wood chips, rocks, etc.  Just be careful of course with what goes in the mouth.
  • Tissue boxes.  If we let him, he would pull tissues out all day.  This only happened once though. 😉  I have plans to make him a tugging box like this one.
  • A bottle brush and nipple brush.  He loves the textures on it.

It really is true that sometimes the best toys aren’t even toys.  Personally, I think that not only does it save money, but it can develop the child’s imagination and cognitive skills better than a lot of marketed toys.  I have been really surprised to see how so many non-toys hold his interest a lot more than some of the developmental toys we have bought him.

Of course there have been manufactured toys that have helped him in reaching milestones or working on hand-eye coordination.  This stacking train, for instance, and this Sit-to-Stand Walker.  So I definitely give manufactured toys their place, too!

What did or do your babies play with?

-Bonnie

Guest Post: True meaning of a SAHM

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Today I have a guest post from my sister, Melinda.  She is an
amazing Mom of two.  I appreciate her sharing this and I

am sure many of us can relate.  I hope you are encouraged!

 

As I held my six-week-old son, I found myself frustrated. I was stuck holding a fussy baby while there was so much else I needed to do. Rather than holding him, I could have been busy reading, writing, working on business related projects, cleaning, or enjoying time to myself. Who knew how long I’d have to hold and rock this baby until he fell asleep? Who knew how long I would be distracted from other tasks while I comforted this little one?

In the first weeks of my son’s life, I found myself thinking similar thoughts countless times. Motherhood was distracting me from my real job. It kept me from working, and I would get stressed that I wouldn’t make business deadlines. Laundry piled up, and I felt like I would never be on top of it again. The apartment was in complete disarray. There was so much that I needed to take care of, but my son kept me from doing it.

Then one day when he was six-weeks-old, I caught myself as these rushed thoughts ran through my head.

He was my real job.

The laundry, the cleaning, the work—it could all wait. I am a stay-at-home mother, not a stay-at-home housecleaner or stay-at-home launderer. My primary job is to care for my children, and in this particular case, my primary job was to hold my son until he relaxed and fell asleep.

I find it so easy to get distracted. I want to be able to do it all. I want the laundry clean, folded and put away. I want the apartment spic and span. I want time to focus on me. But all those desires are distracting. My child needs me. He is the job I have chosen. He is the one that I must choose on a daily basis to dedicate my time to.

He is my real job.

When I think of motherhood as my primary job, my primary focus, I want to slow down. I want to enjoy the cuddles with a six-week-old baby, knowing that he won’t be this little for long. Yes, the laundry piles up, and the apartment could use some attention. But the laundry will always be waiting.

My son needs me.

Linking up to Titus 2sday

and

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Things To Do While Nursing

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Any Mamas out there who nurse their littles?  I don’t know about you, but I have spent hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and hours sitting on the couch nursing.  While I love the time with my son, it can get a little boring sitting there with nothing to do.  So…..what are some of the things you can do while nursing?

  • Watch movies.  Some of the ones I’ve enjoyed on Hulu are The Biggest Loser, Once Upon a Time, White Collar, and MasterChef Junior.  And on Netflix…Say Yes to the Dress, My Fair Wedding, The Next Great Baker, and Merlin.  (Typically I watch more TV shows than movies while nursing…but there are movie options obviously on Netflix as well.)  But of course, there are only so many Hulu and Netflix shows you can watch before you go bonkers, so you could also….
  • Read.  Read a book you’ve been meaning to check off your list.  Read (or listen to) the Bible.
  • Listen to sermons online.
  • Memorize Scripture
  • Pray
  • Rest.  Or better yet, sleep, if you can.

What do you do while nursing?

-Bonnie

4 Month Update

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Well, it’s been 4 months since I’ve been born.  Life is pretty strange this side of the womb.  There is so much to look at and see.  My parents like to make goofy faces and noises to try to make me smile or laugh.  It works.

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My favorite things are….

…bath time!  Sometimes when I’m grumpy I cheer up immediately in that water!
…wash cloths or towels!  These little things are so much fun to grab and play with!
…getting dressed!  It’s so funny when the onesie goes over my face!
…being cuddled!  Moby’s are probably my best friend!
…reading books!  Good Night Moon and The Nose Book are my favorite.  I love looking at pictures!
…being Super Baby!! I love it (usually) when Daddy or Mommy lifts me up in the air!

My tricks include…

…rolling over.  I can roll both ways now!  Last week I was on my back and rolled to my tummy.  When Mommy looked up and saw, she started clapping and cheering.  I think she was a little proud of my trick.
…grabbing my feet.  These things are awesome!  I can’t quite get them to my mouth though.
…sitting up (with help).  I don’t like just lying down.  It’s more fun to sit up and see the world!!
…putting anything and everything close by into my mouth.  Daddy’s hand, Mommy’s shirt, my bear, you name it.  It all goes in my mouth!

Until next time,

The Wingman

Update!

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Well…I have been a Mommy for almost 9 weeks now.  Being a Mom is already the craziest, most wonderful, most harrowing, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.  Only a few weeks into the Wingman’s life, I told my husband, “THIS is why we celebrate Mother’s Day….if for no other reason, it’s because of the first few weeks of life.”   🙂

I remember the day when I was looking down at our little son and I knew that I had found my calling.  This is where God wants me to be.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

There’s nothing like looking into your son’s eyes and having him look back up at you.  There’s nothing like the first time he smiles and it completely melts your heart, giving you butterflies and bringing tears to your eyes.  There’s nothing like hearing him giggle for the first time.  There’s nothing like watching the love of your life hold your son and pretend to wrestle with him.  There’s nothing like sitting next to him and having him just look at you until he slowly falls asleep, peeking every now and then as if to make sure you’re still there.  There’s nothing like little baby cuddles.  There’s nothing like listening to him “talk” to you.

I’m not biased…at all….but he is just the cutest little boy ever!!!

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2013-08-30 12.14.56Hopefully now that we have learned somewhat of a routine I can resume blogging!  🙂

-Bonnie