Thursday, June 28, 2012

6 months- Part 2

pretty big difference from this 3 month picture- sitting up so much better and starting to look like a boy!! (not to mention how much I LOVE my new 50mm lens!  Can you pick up the difference between my old lens and the 50?  I'll have to do a post on that soon!)
I think the following picture is my favorite of the whole shoot :)

 This stuffed animal was my puppy when I was little:

 and there is always at least one good outtake in baby photography:

Monday, June 25, 2012

JR is 6 months old!

This past month you went swimming for the first time (and several more times) and you LOVE the water.  You love when we move your float like there are waves and you love to kick your feet (surprise!) as hard as you can in the water.  You also started eating food this month!
At 6 months, you have tried and liked the following: rice cereal, yellow squash, carrots, apples, butternut squash, oatmeal cereal, and blueberries.  Up next, Broccoli :)  
 You are so precious when you wake up... just talking to yourself in your crib and then giving us a big toothless grin when we walk into your room.  You love cuddling in the morning, especially rolling around in mommy & daddy's bed as you slowly wake up. 
 A friend let us borrow this exersaucer and boy do you love it!! I love it too because it gives my arms a break from your constant jumping :)  Sometimes I think you might just pop right out.  At your six month Dr checkup you weighed 17 lbs and measured 29 inches in length.  He said your weight is exactly average and your length is off the charts!  You love to eat, so it must be all that jumping that is keeping your weight down :)
 You and your daddy sure do have fun together.  You have started mimicking his animal noises and even his sneezes, laughing all the while!  Everything you find goes straight in your mouth... even your toes!  I always keep one of your animal pacis in the freezer because you love the feel on your gums.  You sure have all the teething symptoms, but no teeth yet.  Your toothless grin sure is adorable and I'm sure little teeth will be just as sweet... lets just hope there is no biting :)
 You get so excited when the dogs walk into the room.  You squeal and jump towards them- hands stretched out ready to grab some fur.  When they are asleep across the living room, you try so hard to get to them and usually after lots of rolls, grunts, and scoots you arrive... just in time for them to hop up and relocate! 
 You are doing so great playing and holding your toys.  It is so neat to watch you learn each day- figuring out how to use your hands, reach for toys, and ultimately eat everything in sight.  You are getting better at sitting on your own.  Sometimes you catch yourself as you start to lean or tip over and then other times you just fall over and go straight into rolling. 
 You still love cuddling up with something when you fall asleep.  I used to give you little blankies to hold, but one day I grabbed this puppy instead and it has been your bedtime buddy ever since.  You either rub the puppy ears or wrap your arms around the whole thing while chewing on your animal paci.  You don't really take a paci exactly.  Since your Wub-a-Nub has the little animal attached, you prefer a monkey tail or puppy foot to chew on.  Mommy sure does like your Wub-a-Nub because it can't fall through your crib slats... You have a good arm and it's pretty funny to watch the video monitor to see you throw your puppy or paci across the bed in frustration.  You are such a happy and flexible baby, but you don't have a problem telling us when you don't like something.  Your personality is really starting to show :)  I can already imagine the friendly, yet bold leader that you will be. 
 We all know how you love to jump and kick, but just a few days ago you learned a new trick!  Our car broke down outside of Trader Joe's (opposite side of FW from where we live!) and we had an impromptu picnic with our TJ treats :)  You were playing and rolling on the blanket when all of a sudden... you pulled your knees up like you were going to crawl and started rocking forward and back!  You smiled so big and proud.  Now you try so hard to get those legs and arms moving correctly, but after rocking with no progress you resort to throwing your body forward.  It still gets you where you want to go, but it won't be long before you find out there is a faster way.  Yikes!  Watch out Reagan!
John Ryman, you have grown up so much in the past month!  It is hard to believe that you are six months already.  Your smiles and giggles fill each day with joy.  I'm so thankful to be your mommy.  Your daddy and I sure do love you.  We pray each day that as you grow in body and mind, you would also grow to know the great love of Jesus and learn to have a heart like His.  Happy 6 months sweet boy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hospitality vs. Entertainment

I have started my summer reading- a huge stack of books covering a wide array of topics & subjects.  The second on my list is called High Call, High Privilege by Gail MacDonald.  My Nana Stone had passed on this book awhile ago and I am so thankful she did!  Even though it was written over 30 years ago, I have gone crazy underlining and Patrick is probably sick of me rereading paragraphs to him. 
"From the perspective of a pastor's wife, Gail MacDonald explores all four roles (Woman, Wife, Mother, Leader) and shares the spiritual and personal growth she has found within five key relationships: knowing God, having self-awareness & self-worth, understanding and working with her husband, nurturing her family, and reaching out to the community and church family."
While I could share countless lessons I have learned from her advice, life experience and study of God's word... For now, I'll just share the following quote from Dr. Carlberg that she shares helped her differentiate between entertaining and hospitality.
Hospitality is a safe place; entertainment is a show place.  Hospitality focuses on people; entertainment focuses on things.  Hospitality creates an open atmosphere; entertainment can be neat and closed.  Hospitality exudes a warm attitude; entertainment can degenerate to being cool and calculated.  Hospitality puts on at ease; entertainment implies competition.  Hospitality is a harborous disposition; entertainment sets up a win or lose attitude in which one is closed off to dust, dirt, and people.  Hospitality involves making people feel good in God's world.  God created a hospitable world; sin made the world inhospitable.  By our supportive action, we can dispel the sinful atmosphere.
-Dr. Carlberg quote from High Call, High Privilege by Gail MacDonald

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

5 months! (late again)

John Ryman just turned 5 months!  In the past month, we have made more trips to the park.  He is starting to really look around on walks and watch the ducks and people walking by.
 He grew his first mustache and went to his first fiesta on Cinco de Mayo!
 His toes seem to be pretty tasty.  John Ryman is getting more flexible and can actually reach his toes to his mouth- kinda gross and cute at the same time!
 His facial expressions continue to develop... he knows when he does something funny or makes us laugh because he starts to laugh back!
 He is really enjoying his cereal and will probably be starting food really soon. This boy sure loves to eat!
 This puppy is JR's new friend.  We usually keep him in the crib, so when he is falling asleep he wraps his arms around the puppy.  So precious!
 John Ryman took another trip to Louisville and was there when he turned 5 months!  He went to his first baseball game to watch his Uncle Sam.  He had lots of girls passing him around and is already such a flirt ;)
 He continues to love being outdoors, especially playing outside at Mimi & Pops house.
 John Ryman also went strawberry picking for the first time.  He wanted to eat them so bad!  Next time, he will be running down these rows covered in juicy strawberries.
John Ryman- Every day you are growing and learning so much.  Your little legs won't stop jumping and your smile and squeals light up a room.  When you see your bottle you squeal and reach out towards it.  You love talking when you wake up in the morning and then you get an even bigger burst of energy right before you fall asleep.  Usually you take two good naps, but sometimes you need a little cat nap in the car or in the evening to make it to your bedtime.  Your giggling is getting louder and so cute!  You enjoy rolling all around and are starting to get pretty good at it... except sometimes you get stuck in the corner of your crib :)  We love you and your joyful personality- Happy 5 months!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy First Father's Day

My daddy is funny.  He makes silly faces and then weird noises that sound like a bird.  He tells me jokes and I laugh and squeal back at him.
My daddy is caring.  He looks after me... changing diapers, feeding me and checking on me in my bed before he leaves for work.  He provides.  He protects me when I roll or when I jump too much.  My daddy loves me and mommy (and Reagan & Vali too!)  He even gives mommy special afternoons out, so just us boys can play!

I love you Daddy-  Happy First Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Homemade Baby Food

I'm so thankful that last year I had the opportunity to nanny for a sweet little girl and practice so many things before John Ryman arrived.  I had never thought of making my own baby food until I started nannying.  The mom had received several baby cookbooks as gifts and as I read through them, I realized not only did it look really simple, but delicious!  I would make tons of food for her during naptime and freeze little cubes...servings that would last over the next few weeks.  Not only is it healthier for your baby, but it also made me try new vegetables and fruit and start eating healthier myself.  So far, John Ryman has had carrots and yellow squash.  I plan on doing apples and sweet potatoes next.  By 4 months, JR was already wanting something more than a bottle and his Dr said it was okay to start him on a little cereal (Earth's Best Organic- Whole Grain Rice Cereal).  He LOVED it and ate so well from the spoon.   After a month of cereal, I went ahead and picked up some carrots to try some real food! (If you buy regular carrots, peel of a little of the skin because it can taste bitter, but if you buy the little carrots, they should be sweet enough)
All you do is peel (if necessary), chop up the vegetable/fruit, steam until soft and place in blender to puree.  I have found that my blender purees the best for now, but when he is able to eat a thicker mixture I can start using the food processor/ baby bullet.
Start Fresh is my favorite cookbook- not just for baby food, but there are some awesome recipes towards the end that Patrick and I have already tried!  For right now, I am just storing JR's food for the week in the fridge in small containers, but once he starts eating more I can make larger batches and freeze in ice cube trays, making it easy to pop out and warm up for each feeding.
JR sure loves the new tastes and fresh vegetables he has had so far :)  Patrick and I love it too!  I try to take out some for us before pureeing- after a little seasoning it's so fresh and delicious!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Grapevine Engagement Session: Nik & Jessi

Jessi & Nik were so much fun to photograph!  
They both have such sweet smiles and their love for each other really shines.  
We started at Grapevine Lake and then headed over to the Botanical Gardens... 
all the while trying to stay in the shade because it was over 100 degrees.  
They still looked amazing even with the heat & tons of mosquitoes at the garden!  
Congratulations Jessi & Nik- I am so happy for you both.