Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Introducing Solid Foods

This post is a long time in coming, but on July 15, we introduced little Mazy to rice cereal! She turned 4 months that Friday, but decided that she was hungry enough to want it, and growing enough to need it. We are hoping this fills her up a bit more, and so far, it has. Plus, we were eager to start her on solids because that was just one more thing to look forward to in raising a child. By all means, we don't wish away her baby stage, but the joy of parenting is seeing your children grow. That we have not been missed out on one bit. She brings so much joy to our lives!

Mazy loved rice cereal from first sight to first taste!

Sitting in her big girl chair, getting ready for the first bite. Can you sense her excitement?
 Here it comes!
 Already wanting to hang onto utensils!
 She could not get enough of it...
 As you can see!

Since introducing her to cereal, we feed it to her once or twice a day (depending on our schedule), and have also introduced oatmeal as well, which again, she LOVES! She is my kind of girl, in loving food! I can't get the next bite into her mouth fast enough!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Still Living The Simple Life Dream

This may go against every grain in my Dutch culture, but I actually enjoy change.

I often wondered how having a child would change our life. The change has been absolutely beautiful, even though the change hasn't always been easy. But one thing that I have realized that has not changed, is how we LIVE our life.

One thing that I didn't to change was the simplicity of our life. That can easily change when faced with so many decisions already having to be made with regards to having a child. For example, how much furniture to have, toys, clothes, things to do, etc. Decisions that required a lot of thinking because they would set the precedence for later on in life. Decisions that would reflect a simple or not so simple life.

Thanks to my parents, who taught me what simple living looks like. Thanks to the way we were raised, that taught us that joy can't be found in "things" but in who we live for (Christ) and what we live for.

So let me ask, who are YOU living for and for what are you living for?

I have had to ask myself those questions numerous times since having Mazy. For each person, the answers depend on what you value and what you hold as priorities in your life. As for me, I first and foremost, live for my Savior. Without Him, I am nothing and what I have, He has given to me to be a steward over. Because He has blessed me more than I could imagine, I feel it is only right to hold onto the things that I know I can be a good steward over. If I have too much, I am only becoming ungrateful for the things I do have and can't keep up on caring for all I have. That is why for me, a simple life dream means realizing who created me and that simplicity with fewer things, an organized life with less, is the best way I can be a good steward over what He has given me.

For each person the "amount" of what they own looks different. I do not like owning things that I never use. I find it to be pointless, a waste of space, and typically someone else can find a better use for it than I can. That is why I wanted to do the 100 Things Challenge. I find that it is way too easy to let stuff overtake our homes. I can see that happening now, after having Mazy. Kids require a lot it seems, but they do not have to require too much. It's what we allow through the doors of our homes, that either says we value what we own, or we are willing to accumulate whatever we can, without putting much thought into what it is doing to our lives and our home.

How about you? Are you overwhelmed by the clutter in your home? Do you desire to live the simple life dream? Dan and I enjoy spending our money on making memories, not necessarily on possessions. Memories are something we can always take with us. That is just one way we try and practice living a simple life.

What are you doing to live the life you want to live? What do you find satisfying?

Monday, July 20, 2015

4 Months Old!

Mazy turned 4 MONTHS OLD on Friday!
What a sweetheart this girl is. She never ceases to make us laugh and cause us to kiss her chubby little cheeks. These pictures explain why:

Stats: Mazy is 25 1/2 inches tall (97th percentile), is 15 lbs. 1 oz. (70th percentile) and is in the 90th percentile for head size.

Food: Mazy eats every 3-4 hours and is drinking about 4-6 ounces each time. She eats at about 3:00 or 4:00am, 8:00, 11:00, 2:00, 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00ish each day. She is struggling to stay asleep at night because I think she gets hungry! We just introduced her to rice cereal a few days ago and she enjoyed it! Hopefully this will help fill her up a bit more. She doesn't need her acid reflux meds regularly anymore! I think she is growing out of it, which is wonderful!

Size: Mazy is mainly in 6 month clothes. She wears some 3-6, some 6-9, and I think all of her sleepers are 9 months. If it wasn't for her legs, she would be in most 3-6 month clothes, but those legs are just something else! She is in size 2 diapers, but size 3 for at night (otherwise she leaks through them - thanks to my sister for giving me that idea!). I find that Target brand really works, and they are cheaper than Huggies and Pampers.

Routine: This is maybe where there is a bit of a struggle. Mazy is consistent on the 3 hour schedule during the day, but it's the naps and nighttime that she really struggles with. Some nights, she wakes up almost every hour and we let her cry it out for some, other hours she will fall back asleep pretty quickly, and the others, I feed her. No, I am not that mom who rescues her daughter every time she cries, but at that 3 or 4 o'clock wakeup, she can drink a full 5 ounce bottle, so I know she is hungry.

On a typical day, she will wake up between 3 and 4 to eat (like I said), then 6, and then sleep til 8 or 9. After that feeding, we will soon head out for a long walk, which she continues to love! She usually falls asleep on the walk, and stays asleep til her next bottle. The rest of the naps, she struggles with, if we don't go for a walk or if we are not in the car. Really, naps would go great if I could go on a walk or drive everytime! She loves any type of movement to fall asleep. I do try and let her cry it out - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but we just take each day at a time. Mazy has never been a great napper, so we are used to it. We just feel sorry for her though, when she is so tired, but just can't fall asleep (she doesn't realize how good it will feel after she does take a nap!). Though, she just loves to play and loves life, so we can't blame her. Throughout the rest of the day, we will play in the kiddy pool we have, read books, walk around outside, go on more walks, play with toys, and she is now starting to enjoy her activity center and playmat. Nighttime, we try and give her a bath if we have a chance, and start her last bottle around 8:30 or so. She usually finishes it by 9:00 or 9:15 and soon after, we lay her in her crib and she usually falls asleep on her own.

Milestones and Activities:  Mazy can hold her head up! It is so cute how she just gazes into your eyes, as you see her trying to hold her head up for long periods of time. She is showing signs of wanting to sit up on her own - if she is laying on a lap, she will lift her head up, like doing a crunch, which is her signal that she wants to sit up. We often sit her up on our couch so she can play with her toys. She also still LOVES looking at books with just pictures (like her First 100 Animals book). She enjoys touching the animals and holding the book. Her pink OBall is a new favorite toy, but she still likes her taggie blankets and her Lamaze doll. She is QUITE the talker! She will "converse" back and forth with anyone who is willing to talk to her! Swimming in the tub never gets old for her!

Other Things To Remember:
  • Mazy is not a fan of laying on her tummy, so she still has yet to roll over consistently. She has rolled over a few times on her own, but it's not something she always does.
  • She had her first giggle, well actually belly laugh on Saturday, June 27, when her cousin Natalie was playing peek-a-boo. She was laughing SO hard! We haven't been able to make her laugh like that since!
  • She went on her first vacation to Michigan on June 19, for a week! She did absolutely AMAZING on the drive (both ways). 
  • Blonde hair is growing up top, but she still has her brown hair mullet in the back.
  • She tried rice cereal for the first time, 2 days before you turned 4 months. You LOVED it!
  • Mazy enjoys standing on the counter in front of the mirror in the bathroom. She could be entertained for a half hour doing that!
  • She likes her carseat - well, mainly the toys that we have hanging from the handle - she just jabbers to them the whole ride to the store
  • Mazy continues to amaze us in what she learns each day, her smile captivates us, and her personality makes us laugh. Can't wait to see what she learns in the next month!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Day In The Life Of...

Some pics of our honey! Talk about Mazy-picture-overload, but I just can't help it! Trying to soak in every bit of her, since she is almost 4 months!

Practicing standing - she is so proud!
What a life!
Ready to go to church!
Always a fun day when we take her clothes off - she gets so excited!
Our baby girl swimming!

Can never get enough snuggles from her!
Her shirt says it all!
It's hard work holding up that head! Thanks Pastor Jeff for lending a hand!
Look at my muscles!
Finally some 4th of July pics! She just gazed at the fireworks!
Hanging out as a family
How do you like my outfit? My sleeper is a bit short, so I have pink socks on too, to keep me warm!!
Introducing her to her jumperoo
 She sure loves her Lamaze doll!
 Maybe the life jacket is a bit restrictive, but she still LOVES swimming!

Sure love that girl!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

100 Things Challenge

"Mazy, look out, mommy's purging again!" (Dan's comment to Mazy the other day).

Bless Dan's dear heart! He is married to a woman who just can't stay away from purging! Now Mazy is getting in on it too!

The other day, I was going through my clothes. Pregnancy lended a hand at helping me get rid of the things I no longer wear or no longer need. I have to say that I do not have an insane amount of clothes, but I do realize that I am hanging on to things for no reason. After having Mazy, my body has changed a bit, so I am realizing that it is just time to move on with certain clothes. It is time to purge yet again.

I have had to buy a few clothing items because the previous no longer fit, but that has given me even MORE reason to get rid of excess!

As I was going through my closet, I saw that even our cupboards had things that I no longer used or haven't used in AGES. Like since-we-moved ages. That is when I came up with the idea to get rid of


Trust me. When the idea of 100 things came into my head, I right away thought "whoa Kristin, that is way too ambitious!" Though as I started to walk through our home, and I started a small pile, that how quickly 10 things becomes 20, and then 20 becomes 30, and so on. Even though some things may be hard to get rid of, having less of everything, is more worth it to me.

Now you are probably wondering how in the world we still have things to get rid of, after spending the past few years of trying to live an organized life with less! I sometimes wonder the same thing! But that just goes to show, how much we are really live without. How much excess we really have.

It's sometimes nice to open up the cupboard and wonder what food storage container to use this time. But really, do I need that many options? So out goes more food storage containers. Same with cutting boards. Do I really need 4? Nope! Different size curling irons? I only ever use one. Vases? I had vases coming out of my ears. I maybe need 2 or 3. Not 5 or 6. You get the idea.

So, I am wondering if you are up for the challenge? Can you find 100 things to get rid of, save for a garage sale, or donate? If you wonder if you do, just start walking through your home and ask:

  • When is the last time I used this item?
  • Does it have a purpose? A USEful purpose?
  • Would someone else benefit from this item more?
  • Is the space it takes up, worth it?
  • Do you even like the item?

 I even asked my husband to go through his items as well, like his clothes, books, magazines, etc. It's not his most favorite thing to do, but he is great at amusing me by helping me get rid of the things we just no longer need.

Are you up for the challenge?

If you are, let me know how it goes! Take a pic of what you all find and send it to me! I'd love to see the progress you are making!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What Mazy's Been Up To!

We sure have a growing girl! I have had numerous people tell me that Mazy looks older than almost 4 months, but also has such long legs! Both are probably true, but all we know, is that we are just so in love with this little girl!

This week Mazy has really become active in grabbing toys. Her fingers are working overtime, to grab whatever she can and try and put it in her mouth. She can also hold her head up very well, so sitting up, looking in the mirror, and practicing standing, are things she loves. What a honey!

We did think she had an ear infection this week, but she was cleared. She was grabbing her ear, struggled to sleep at night, and was a bit more fussy, but thankfully she did not have one. We aren't sure why she is waking up so much at night (almost every hour, except 2 or 3 hours), but we know that everything in a baby phase, is a phase. She naps a bit better during the day then, but we just feel sorry for her, that she keeps waking up! Hopefully she sleeps harder soon, so that she can stay sound asleep!

This ball is now one of her favorite toys. Just look at the drool coming from her mouth!
 I will never get sick of those snuggles!
 There is just something about baby feet that I love!
 More snuggles...
 Those legs just go on forever!
Mazy loves her playmat now because she can grab the toys - it's so cute to watch her try so hard!
 One happy little girl!
 That smile gets me everytime!

 Mazy has also found a love for books over the past few weeks. Her face says it all!
 Hanging out with my girl!
 Her facial expressions are just hilarious! I think here she is "talking" but it sure takes a lot of energy!
 And bathtime? Yup, still LOVES it!

We are still so humbled by God's grace in our lives, with the gift of Mazy! Love. That. Girl.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

God Will Supply

Philippians 4:19 ~ And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Have you ever taken time to really think about this verse? I read it the other day as I was doing my devotions. Do I REALLY believe that God will supply all that I need? 

I think this applies to so many areas of life (actually to ALL areas), yet we fail to truly believe or humble ourselves enough to accept this promise.

Most recently, I found myself saying this "God will supply all that I need" after I was in tears, over Mazy being in tears,  because she couldn't fall asleep for her nap. We have a fighter on our hands and I say that actually in a positive sense (mostly). Sleep is not always on her priority list, which makes napping difficult for her, but at the same time, she just has too much fun playing, which I LOVE. She loves books, toys, animal sounds, being talked to, and just loves life! But there is a point in time when rest is needed, and this mother really struggles with helping her find her sleep (except at night - she goes down really well). With tears streaming down my face, at a loss of what to do next, I just uttered to God "You will supply all that I need." Even though that particular nap was tough, the next, I found her falling asleep in my arms, which is very rare. Tears of joy, splashed the ground. God knew I needed to feel that comforting love. That "it's okay, Kristin, I've got you" feeling that only God can really give. He truly will supply all that I need.

I think about our past and how that saying "God will supply all that I need" would've been such a helpful reminder, but that is beauty of the Christian life - you are never done learning. Never done growing. Never done seeking our heavenly Father! Not that I didn't believe that or know that to be true, but I didn't let it sink into my heart - sink into my problems and worries and wash them away. 

I think back when I thought we should have had kids. I didn't understand why God wasn't supplying what I needed in order to have kids - a healthy heart. Yet God was supplying what I needed - I needed my faith challenged and my trust to grow, so that when the trials did come, I could withstand them. God supplied.

I think about what my future holds. A possible open heart surgery. Or maybe another heart healing. Whatever the case may be, God will supply all that I need. No matter what the circumstance.

As for my health, I know my heart isn't where it should be, which at times I get very frustrated about. But truly, it's okay. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a daughter of my King. What more could I ask for? There are days when I just want to run again, but maybe that day will come. Having to walk the annual 4th of July race in town this year, was very difficult because it reminded of what I couldn't do, but it also reminded me of what I CAN do, and that is walk. Not everyone can say that and I don't want to take that ability for granted. I do still have to occasionally take my diuretic pill to pass excess fluids. The day I take it I feel fairly lethargic, but the day after, I feel so great because my body is functioning on the amount it should be. What a gift medicine really is! I am also more tired (though having a 3 1/2 month old also factors in) and I feel fatigued at times, but those are all symptoms of heart failure, which are things I am just learning to accept. We still look back on those days after I had Mazy and it is only by the grace of God that we got through them. I am so thankful that I am where I am today, able to care and love Mazy to the fullest. The most fulfilling experience I have ever had.

God has supplied. Always. God will continue to supply. Always. 

What a beautiful promise to hold on to.

What experiences have you had, that reminded you that God WILL ALWAYS supply what you need?