Monday, January 30, 2012

My My, how time flies

Does anybody else feel like they just graduated high school, like, two years ago?
  Very often I feel like I'm still a teenager. Not in the irresponsible, immature way, but in the young way, you know? If that doesn't make any sense, then clearly, you don't know.
I say this because as of yesterday, I am 24 years old. Still early 20's, but a year older than I was. I'm not upset about it. That will most likely come later, around my 29th birthday or so. It's just, I don't know, surreal, I guess. 24 years old, married with 2 kids, I'm living my dream!
 
 Speaking of birthdays, mine was awesome! On Saturday, Stephan and I left our young'uns with Bebe and Papa and we went on a super fun date. I tell you what, friends, it was almost like we were dating again. Dinner was full of laughing and talking, just like when Stephan and I first met and were in that infatuation stage that kicks off every good romance. After eating delicious food, Stephan took me to look at wedding bands! (long story short- I never got one, so since this year is our 5-year anniversary, Stephan's buying me one!) We topped off the night with frozen yogurt from Toppings. (*Warning!* putting skittles on frozen yogurt is a bad idea and a hazard! It's like biting into tiny jawbreakers.)
  Then on Sunday, my actual day of birth, Stephan took me to see Beauty and the Beast in 3d, where we snuck in Whataburger for lunch. That night, we enjoyed a yummy home-cooked meal by my momma and ate cake. It was a good weekend, friends!
  Oh yeah, I got some gifts.
   Stephan bought me some beautiful flowers.
 Mommy got me a new scentsy with a lovely new fragrance to go with.
 and the Tracys got me this!! It's the greatest movie musical of  all time. If you claim you love musicals, and you have not seen/ do not like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, then you are a liar, and the truth is not in you. My sister surprised me by driving in for my birthday, so today, if she's not sickly, she's going to come over and we are watching this bad boy!
  I composed this whole post one-handed. Be impressed!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cabin Fever!

 Click here to catch a glimpse of how I feel.

Fellow stay at home mothers, you can probably sympathize.
This past week, for some reason or another, I have felt more and more stir-crazy. Now don't misjudge me, please; I love my house and my boys and my husband and I thank God that I get to stay at home with my brood and nurture them as their primary care giver. It's just that, with the weather alternating between warm and wonderful and cold and dismal, along with my wishy-washy hormones throwing tantrums in my system, I have felt more cooped up than usual. As a result of that, I'm more irritable than usual. Also as a result of spending most of our days indoors, Noah has been more...hmmm, how to say this rightly,... underfoot than usual? It could be that I'm being hyper-sensitive, but it does seem like Noah is trying to push my buttons sometimes.
  The great news is that Witten has started to fall nicely into the eat-play-sleep cycle that I've been gently encouraging. Though I have been more lax on enforcing the Baby Wise method on Witten than I was with Noah, I am definitely still sticking to it. And so far, it's working great! Witten probably would sleep trough the night from his 10:00 p.m. feeding til his 7:00 am feeding if I let him. Just to be safe, though, I'm still waking him around 3 in the morning to ensure he doesn't go longer than 5 hours without eating. (Dr.'s orders). That probably wont last much longer, though. Those super early morning feedings are getting harder and harder. Besides that, Witten is eating every three hours throughout the day and he is becoming more and more alert as the days go by. Once again, I watch and cheer as he shows signs of growing, yet I am already saddened by it, too. Sure, no one ever said that motherhood would be easy, but they never told me it would often be sad!
   Now, friends, in an effort to cheer myself up, I'm going to get dress and maybe do my hair and put on makeup. Tonight, in honor of my birthday tomorrow, my hunky hubby is treating me to a romantic date (YAY!) for which I get to dress up and look pretty! Not only that, but my momma's gonna do my hair all fancy this afternoon. Hurry on by, morning, so that I can enjoy my afternoon!
   God bless you, dear readers. He is good indeed!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Runny Noses and Roast beef

Today, I am making French dip sandwiches. last time I made them, they turned out pretty nice. I'm hoping for a repeat.
  Noah and Witten both still have runny noses. I'm not complaining, I'm just stating facts. We have had two great nights in a row in which Noah slept straight through, per usual, and Witten woke up to eat then went right back to sleep. Hence, why I am not complaining. A strange things has been going on lately. For the past three or so mornings, Noah has woken up crying as though in a panic or in pain. He calms down once snuggled or fed, but it's still concerns me.
  Now, some pictures:
Noah sitting at the table in his booster seat like a big boy

cousin Julia meets Witten.

Cousin Ashton meets Witten
And a video for your enjoyment. I give you: Noah getting tickled
video

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sweat is gross

So, the part of my plan to jog my way to health that I knew would happen and that I was dreading has happened. I now remember why I hate jogging folks: it's because I hate jogging. There is no reason beyond that. I wish I eagerly looked forward to me, my running shoes and the road, but honestly, I have to pray myself up to the task now. (Praying works better than trying to talk myself into it, I have found.)
  Sadly, though part of me is wildly overjoyed (the lazy part of me), I have been advised by my doctor to hold off on jogging and abdominal exercises until my 6 week check up. She said go walking and do keigels. Kiegles? Keigles? Apparently, I and my computer don't know how to spell that. Anyways, I shall now be walking briskly in attempt to train up to a 10k in less than 10 weeks. That is a little bit worrisome for me. Oh well, I'll live.

   Anywho, I have to shower. The tricky part is, finding a time that I can take a shower without leaving one or both boys unattended. Good news, though! Stephan fixed the fridge. Now we don't have to buy a new one! Gosh, that guy is handy.

    Peace and joy to you, my brethren.

Monday, January 23, 2012

When the going gets tough

Friends, I see that more often than not, my blog updates are brief descriptions of how my life is blessed, good, sweet, and rosy. For those of you who don't actually know me, you might think that my life is nothing but sunshine and daisies, no matter what situation I'm in. Well, folks, today I'll share a secret with you: I am human.
 *gasp!*

No, seriously, I am not perfect and neither is my life. I am not being deceptive, though, when I update my blog with good news and happy tidings, because I am truly blessed. I can honestly say that, even if my life was a wreck, because of God's love for me and my salvation through the gift of His Son, I am blessed, blessed, blessed! And because my God who loves me has been so good to me, my husband, and our family, I gladly report of His work in our lives in order to give Him glory.
     But friends, I am so far from perfect. Aside from the serious things like my sinful human nature that I have to battle daily, I am one lazy, undisciplined bump when it comes to caring for my person. And by "person", I mean health. I'm as vain as the next chic when it comes to looks. I will spend hours making sure my hair and makeup are as close to flawless as possible. But when it comes to fitness, I have long considered it a pipe dream that would be a wonderful, yet impossible achievement for me. There has been one time in my life when I felt close to what I think being in shape feels like. My fitness buddy Aubrey and I worked hard to look our best for the beach a few years back. And then I got pregnant and lost that. Then I got pregnant again, and my goal weight scooted even farther down the scale from where I stand. 
  I tell you all this, readers, not to coerce pity from you, but to share a side of me that I don't brag about on my blog. Yesterday, Aubrey and I went jogging. It was day one of week two of our "couch to 10k" fitness plan, and I was stoked. Not only did I have new shoes, (thanks mom and Melissa), but the weather was warm and I had already completed one week of jogging/walking a mile, so I was certain that two miles would be completely do-able, if not easy. Sad to say, I was wrong. After a 5-minutes warm up walk and three laps of jogging around the track, even with a walking break included in the exercise, I almost threw up, called it quits and went home early, leaving my devoted accountability buddy to finish the jog by herself. I could start listing reason why I wasn't able to finish; The wind was blowing against me, I gave birth three weeks ago, I have a sore throat and I think I'm coming down with something, and so on, but even to my own ears, those sound like excuses. 
    As I told Noah yesterday after returning from my failed run, yesterday was a bad day for Mommy. Besides my miserable jogging experience, Witten was having terrible gas pains (which I have deduced stemmed from my consumption of super cheesy soup the night before) and was being uncommonly fussy, and Noah was also showing signs of an oncoming cold. Add those factors to my feelings of discouragement and disappointment in myself, and I was one glum mom. Those feelings led me to crave cookie dough, a sappy movie, and a warm blanket. I was even nursing the fledgling idea to throw in the towel on the whole thing. If I can't complete two miles, how on earth am I going to do six? 
 I prayed yesterday. The Bible says I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. While I do not doubt that, after failures like yesterday, it's hard for me to believe it. But I'm not going to give up. Today, I'm gonna lace up my new running shoes and try again. Tomorrow, even if I fail again today, I'll do it all again. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? God help me, I really want to be healthy. I have children to live for. I have a husband to look good for. I have a goal to reach. Lord, help my claim Your promises. Give me strength, give me perseverance, give me endurance. Please help me, 'cause, as usual, I am helpless without You. 
    And that, friends, is a candid peek into the imperfect side of life that I often choose not to blog about. You're welcome.    

Saturday, January 21, 2012

update

I have kinda jogged a mile every day this past week. Monday through Friday, I and my accountability partner/bestest friend Aubrey, jogged/walked a mile on three different tracks. I realize that this may not be that big of a deal to all you healthy folks out there who run miles regularly, but to a cardio-hater such as myself, I see this as a fantastic beginning to a glorious path to healthiness and skinniness.
  Meanwhile, back at the house:
 If you keep an energetic toddler cooped up too long, they start doing weird things. Things like yoga poses under the dinning room table, or climbing on things that they have never climbed onto before. That is another reason why I'm glad I've committed to this fitness regiment I am doing: it gives me reason to get Noah out of the house to hopefully burn of some energy. I love my little nutter-butter.
    This next picture contains the three things I love most (that can be captured on camera).    
 That right there is my handsome husband and his two mini-me's. (I tell people that maybe someday I'll get to give birth to a child that looks at least a little bit like me). I'm glad to report that Noah has started to show signs of being completely adjusted to having a new baby in the house. His naps and bed time have returned to normal, meaning he gets in bed and goes to sleep without trying to come out of his room time after time, much to the annoyance of his parents; and his attitude towards his brother is so loving and full of concern that our only problem now is making sure he doesn't harm Witten in his efforts to snuggle him.
   Well, friends, I fear that I've boasted too much. I know I should be bragging on nothing but my weakness, as Paul said, especially since everything I have is a blessed gift from God and not at all the result of my doing. Therefore, I shall continue to give mad props where it is due: to my heavenly Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. Thank You, God, for all of it.
    Weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

how to wear out your toddler

 Step 1:
Initiate interaction with playful banter.
 Step 2:
Child will probably counter-act with feigned sleepiness. The proper response: enjoy a brief moment of snuggles.
 Step 3:
Making faces is a good way to entertain.
 Step 4:
 If all else fails, tickling will result in joyful laughter and plenty of squirming and wiggling. This will tire the child to a point of exhaustion, should you stick with the tickling long enough.
Step 5:
Congratulation! You have successfully worn out your child. Now finish browsing facebook in peace.












And Witten's all like, "Yeah, Whatever"

Monday, January 16, 2012

"Be gentle, Noah"

That has become a mantra here in the Du Toit household. Noah loves his brother so much that he could just squish him! Hence, the need to enforce gentleness.
 Not a lot to update you on, friends. Noah's still blowin' and goin' and loves to wake up bright and early. I'm just smitten with Witten and we're working on being awake during the day as opposed to sleeping throughout the day and staying awake at night. Mommy's still trying to find the perfect time to do everything. When can I clean when it wont take away from time spent with my sons or time that I could be catching up on much needed sleep? How am I supposed to shower without Stephan here to watch the babies? Why does Noah love the bouncy seat so much? Can I let Witten sleep until he wakes up hungry at night, or should I wait a bit longer? And most importantly, when can Stephan and I have meaningful couple-time besides right before bed; when both boys are asleep but mommy is tired and Daddy is wired? (He's decided that coffee right before bed might be a bad thing and that maybe he should cut back on it.)
     Well, I've spilled enough of my guts for now. Today, I'm gonna go to Walmart with the boys. I will let you know how that goes.

   "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jumbo Spaghetti and Meatballs

My hands are still itchy and dry.
 I know how badly you all want to see as much of Witten as possible, but the last few times I've experienced Kodak moments I've only had my cell phone handy which means that I have to text any pictures taken to Stephan who then e-mails them to me so I can download them to the computer so I can upload them to my blog. Yeah.
 Anyways, These are too sweet not to share, so here are a few pictures of how much Noah loves his baby brother Witten:
Lovin' on his bro. Sweet sibling hugs!

At first, he was biting his hand, but after a sharp warning from mommy, it turned to kisses.

He wanted to share his football.

Then Noah started to count fingers.
  Yes, friends, more and more am I seeing Noah not only acknowledge Witten's existence, but also show real affection for him. For instance: every time I change Witten, be it his diaper of his clothes, he cries. (He hates being any kind of naked). And every time Witten cries from his changing table, no matter where Noah is in the house, he stops what he's doing, runs into the nursery, climbs onto the side of the changing table and says "crying!" while trying to pat Witten reassuringly. It is adorable! 
   On the other hand, there has been some hints of regression:    
 No, not really. Noah just loves this old bouncy seat. So does Lydia and pretty much any other toddler that comes into our house. Besides Noah's love of baby toys, the only notable difference in his attitude and actions is that he now LOVES his daddy so much more than mommy. It's cute and yet sad.
 
  Friends, I'm excited. A sweet woman in my Sunday school group has sent out an email inviting anyone who wants to to join her in an upcoming 10K. As I have already pledged myself to running a 10K, I eagerly expressed my interest in signing up. I will keep you all informed in how that goes.
  On a related note, please pray for me. This is definitely going to take self-discipline, a character quality that I sadly lack.
   Be blessed, friends and readers!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Compare and Contrast

I'm not sure if it's wrong to compare your babies as long as it's not in a negative context. I just like to wonder at the differences, or more so, the similarities of baby Noah and baby Witten. For example:
Fresh out Noah

Fresh out Witten
 Noah and Witten both came pretty quietly into this world. Once the nurses and doctors were done processing them, they both stayed quietly bundled with their little caps on. (Thank You, Father God, that both your blessings of life to me are sweet, mild-mannered boys)
Noah a few hours old

Witten a few hours old
 Another similarity the boys share is how stinkin' much I love them. I honestly feared that once Witten was here in the flesh, my love for Noah would be split in two and shared between two brothers, though one would probably get a bigger half than the other. I could not have been more incorrect. My love for Noah has stayed the same and a new, identical love for my baby has manifested itself in my heart for Witten. Somehow, God has taken my heart, a heart that was already full of love for my Savior, my husband and my son, and easily and painlessly made room for more love to fit in.
  So far, a week and two days into being a mother of two, the only notable differences in my sweet children are their appearances (even there, both look astonishingly like their father. Someday I might have a baby that looks a little like me...).   
  So again, as I have often ended my blog posts, I say Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost! Amen!

Monday, January 9, 2012

my hands are so dry right now

I can't believe it has been a week already.
It's hard to believe that a week ago yesterday, I delivered a baby. I feel a lot better than I did a week after Noah was born. And Witten has already been with us for over a week now! SO crazy! The baby I carried in my womb for nine months has been here for 8 days. What's even weirder to think about it Witten is currently 6 lbs, 10 oz, which means that he was even heavier those last few days in my tummy. (He was born 7 lbs, 1oz.)
  It's very surreal. I'm dong better at treasuring the time, I think, but it's still flying by so very quickly.

Noah's making a mess and I have to get ready for BSF. (yay!) I'm sorry about the short post, friends. May it tide you over until the next lengthy, wordy one.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sweet Baby Mine

*ba da da*

Witten has smoothly and easily found his place in our home. As the new baby brother, he is perfect for helping big brother Noah review the anatomy of the face (eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, etc...), as little baby, he's perfect for snuggling and loving on. As he is less than a week old, he still sleeps a majority of the day. He has "awake" time twice a day at the most. I remember this with Noah. I remember being bored because newborns are so boring, and I also remember then feeling bad about feeling bored because that must have meant I was a bad mother for not cherishing every single moment spent with my baby.
Why hello there.
   Friends, that is one of the joys of being a second-time mother. Most, though certainly not all, of the worries and unknowns of having a newborn have diminished, if not gone away entirely. I can comfortably let Witten sleep undisturbed in his crib/bassinet/swing without feeling like I should be holding him or else I'm neglecting him. I don't jump up the second he starts to fuss a little in order to make sure that he's okay. Feeding is still a tad bothersome, but that's mainly because I want to make sure he's getting enough. (He'd sleep forever if I'd let him.) I look forward to the time when he starts to be more aware and responsive, but for sure I am not rushing it. I fear that with Noah I wished away his infancy, always eagerly awaiting the next stage when, surely, he would be easier to handle. This time, I can already tell it's different. I relish every moment I get to snuggle my sleeping baby. I love that he's so tiny. No hurry, Witten. You can take your time growing up.
Can I be any more blessed?
   Noah just said "all better" after his daddy kissed a boo-boo and said "all better". That was adorable!

Friday, January 6, 2012

My Cat.

My cat is fat.
He hates the world
He loves to hide
Like a sissy girl.

My cat is soft
because he's fat
a lovely thing
to squish and pat.

My cat, he sheds
his hair abounds
on pillows, chairs,
clothes and the ground.

My cat is good
at lest for us.
Now friendlier cats
seem treacherous.

My cat, he sits
upon my lap
I'll write about him,
then give him a pat.

I'm sorry, cat
for calling you fat
I love that you're fat.
I'll never mind that.


And a picture of Noah stuck in his drum:
This is part of what makes my days wonderful.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First few days as a Family of Four

Welcome to the world, my precious little son!
Witten Allen Du Toit hit the scene at 8:14 on Sunday morning. For all the hoopla he made in my tummy, he has been a near identical baby to my firstborn. In character, at least. Although very often, he does look a lot like Noah did.
  After a long night/morning of laboring, I pushed nine times, and Witten debuted with a small cry. Then, much to my surprise and delight, he settled right down and only cried when the mean old nurses pricked, poked, pulled, and pried at him. Just as with Noah, Stephan and I fell instantly in love with this tiny baby boy. He's so small! Even though he weighed in a full pound heavier than his big brother did at birth, he looks so tiny! And then my mom and dad got there with Noah and he looked even smaller! Or maybe it was that his tiny-ness makes Noah look massive! Either way, the size difference is astonishing, and since Noah started out even smaller than Witten did, Witten has very good chances of being a beast like his brother.
  As if the birth of our son wasn't enough excitement for Stephan and I, the hospital informed us that Witten was the first baby of the new year. Thanks to his order of birth, Witten landed us on three different news stations and in the Tyler Morning Telegraph. Needless to say, I am framing that front page article and hanging that in Witten's nursery.
Noah loves to hug and kiss Witten. Notice Stephan having to restrain his enthusiasm a bit.
  As for how big brother Noah is handling all this craziness, at first, he wasn't to sure of anything. He was even miffed at me for a while there. Then, after much encouragement from mommy and daddy, Noah warmed up to his baby brother. (We're trying to make sure Noah feels protective/possessive of his little sibling by emphasizing their brotherly relationship.) More than once has Noah hopped up to where Daddy was holding Witten and tried to snatch his baby brother into his own arms. He's so big, though, that we have to keep a very close eye on him to make sure that he is being gentle.
First slumber party! (They didn't actually sleep that way, but it was a cute photo op)
  As for how the parents are coping, I have noticed that life continues on much as it used to, only with a noticeable change. All my worries about not knowing what to do or being overwhelmed have thus far fallen flat. The way I see it, I do what I've always done with Noah throughout the day while at the same time, repeating what I did with baby Noah with Witten. So far, since being home, this system has worked very well. (Thank You, God! Praise You forever!) I don't want to sound overly self-confident and assume that life from here on out will be a cake-walk because I'm some super awesome parent. I know there will be trying times (and days) in the near future.  For now, I plan on taking each day one hour at a time and treasuring every moment I spend with my amazing husband, my crazy toddler, and my snuggly baby.
    Sorry, friends, but there may be a decrease in updates from now on. Come to find out, there is little down time when you are the mother of two. Take now, for example: my baby calls.

    Thank You, God, for Your astounding goodness to me!