2015 in Pictures

This year has been the best yet and I am so excited to see what 2016 has in store for the Crowder’s!

I’ll be updating more about what’s been going on with us this next week but for now, here’s a look back at our year in pictures!

Happy New Year!

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Be Still and Know…

*Brace Yourself –This is a long one and it’s probably filled with much more detailed information than you’d care for but it’s my blog and I’ll write if I want to… Or something like that.

A year and a half ago, when I got my Real Estate license and began going into the office a few days a week , my Aunt came over to watch Jack for me one day a week. Since having Olivia, I have stopped going into the office but my Aunt still likes to come and pick up Jack once a week for a few hours so they can have their special time together. I have loved it because they have such a sweet relationship and it allows me to run to Wal-Mart with just Olivia and I’m able to focus on what I have to do, not keep a 2 year old happy in a cart! But for about the last month, Aunt has been saying “Ok, after Thanksgiving, I want to come over and watch BOTH kids for you to go have some time to yourself.”

This past Friday was the first day we were able to coordinate for my Aunt to come over to watch both kids. I hadn’t really put too much thought into what I was going to do but I figured I’d probably run to Target and end up at Barnes and Noble with a good book and a coffee.

This month has been CRAZY for us! Tim and I talked about a month ago about how we wanted December to be low key and just be able to enjoy all the Christmas traditions we were looking forward to doing with Jack and Olivia. But as it does for everyone I’m sure, things just kept piling on. Both Tim and I are over-committers (is that a word?) and love saying YES. So this past week we have really felt the strain of ALL THE THINGS TO DO. On top of normal Christmas craziness like what are we buying that person? and who’s bringing what to where? and you watch that child while I go here with the other child! That coupled with the fact that Tim got sick this past week, we’ve been in survival mode and we’ve both felt it the last few days.

I had a rough night on Thursday night. I left a meeting at church (and I had taken Olivia with me) and a lady in a small SUV stopped me in the parking lot as I was pulling out and asked if I had money for gas. I told her I didn’t have cash but if she would follow me to the gas station next door I’d put a little bit of gas in her tank. It’s a long story but the lady kept asking for different things and Olivia was crying and I had a really bad attitude. I was angry that I put Olivia in danger by stopping for a stranger. I was mad that I felt the need to give to her because I was leaving my church and what kind of witness would I be for Christ if I ignored her or worse, brushed her off if she really was in need? So many conflicting emotions that by the time I got home, I just got in the bed and cried. I was tired and just felt given out and drained. As I thought about the next day and my free time to myself, I began to plan to really be intentional with my time. I didn’t want to waste it away roaming the aisles of Target. So I decided to grab my devotional books and a few others I’m reading and wrote down a quick prayer in my journal for the Lord to just go before me and quiet my spirit when I’m tempted to fill my mind with useless information (i.e. FACEBOOK, lol).

Aunt showed up on Friday and I was more than ready to run out the door! I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet so I decided to treat myself to an omelette at Early Bird Diner before hitting up Barnes and Noble. When I drove up to Early Bird though, it was packed and I didn’t feel like waiting or being around so many people while by myself. So I kept driving and ended up on James Island at Bagel Nation. It was great! I sat outside and listened to a podcast while eating and texting a friend. When I finished I had about 2 hours left before I needed to get home so I decided to drive to the beach. I got to the beach and it was deserted except for an occasional dog walker and then this girl who showed up to do yoga few hundred feet from me. It was so beautiful and I cranked up my Pandora worship stations excited to dive into my first book.

The longer I sat there watching the ocean, the less I wanted to read. I felt the Lord just telling me to “be still.” If you know anything about me, I’m usually doing 35 things at once so being still doesn’t come very easy to me. So I sat there and just told the Lord that I was open to whatever he wanted to show me. I sang along with the music and prayed over some circumstances that are going on around me. Finally I just felt God tell me to go closer down to the edge of the water. I continued singing and praying and meditating on the phrase “Be still and Know.” (based on Psalm 46:10) In fact, I used my finger to trace “Be still and Know” in the sand and just stared at it thinking about how I could incorporate being still into my daily life. A few minutes later I heard this song come on Pandora that I’d never heard before so I clicked on it to see what it was. Sure enough, the song was “Be Still and Know” by Steven Curtis Chapman. I was amazed at the gift that God had given me – just showing me clearly that that was the lesson he was wanting to reveal to me.

In this crazy season, it’s so easy to over commit and GO GO GO. I am so thankful for the reminder to slow down and BE STILL.

 

Thanksgiving 2015

I recently participated in a Bible study and one of the best pieces of advice the leader gave us at the beginning was that if we got behind, to just pick up right where you were supposed to be instead of trying to catch up. That way you won’t get discouraged and when you have extra time, you can always go back and finish what you need to.

That’s the motto I’m using for this post. I have about 5 other blog posts I want to write but if I keep going back, I’ll always be trying to catch up!

So Thanksgiving 2015 was pretty wonderful. We woke up on Thursday morning and just slowly got ready. I was bummed that I couldn’t watch the parade since we don’t have cable but the Pandora Christmas station made it a little better!

This year we celebrated at my Aunt’s house with my mom’s side of the family. There was so much good food and true to Aunt’s style, everyone had Thanksgiving-themed questions wrapped around our silverware to discuss with the people we sat with.

Then everyone just sat around talking while the kids played. My mom bought a tablecloth for the little kids to color on which was a fun surprise. Jack and Brynn played all afternoon which was GREAT!

After Thanksgiving at my Aunt’s house we drove to my Papa’s house to visit with him and Mimi. Jack talks about “MimiPapa” (they’re one word in his mind)  ALL THE TIME. So it was great for him to play and spend time with them for a few minutes!

All in all, it was a great day! We were so exhausted by the time it was over so it was early bedtimes for everyone!

Thanksgiving is turning into one of my favorite holidays! Happy Thanksgiving from the Crowder’s!

Olivia is 3 months!

On Tuesday, Olivia celebrated 3 months with us! Her moods are the funniest things ever. Sometimes when she’s having a fit the poem, “There Was a Little Girl” comes to mind. My mom used to say it to us when we were little and it really fits her! HA!!!

There was a little girl, who had a little curl,

Right in the middle of her forehead.

And when she was good, she was very, very good;

But when she was bad, she was horrid.”

When Olivia is happy, she is SO, SO happy – Her face lights up, she smiles and coos; but when she is mad, she is MAD. She can scream with the best of them and has no problem making herself known, no matter who’s around!

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This month, Olivia:

  • weighs around 11 pounds.
  • drinks around 5 ounces every 3-4 hours.
  • wakes up at least once a night.
  • sleeps in the Rock-N-Play beside our bed still.
  • naps in her crib for the most part
  • hates riding in the car
  • is starting to make more sounds
  • loves to kick
  • wants to be with the crowd – if she’s in the swing in the living room, and we’re all in the kitchen eating, she cries until we pull her in there with us.

I think she’s going to be our social butterfly. She definitely keeps us on our toes!

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And because I love these comparisons, here is both Jack and Olivia at 3 months. Looking back at Jack’s picture, I can definitely tell that he had better control of his head at 3 months than she does right now.

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And here they are together now!

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Jack is 2!

On August 26th, Jack turned two years old! I can’t believe it! He is the sweetest 2 year old and we are so blessed to have him in our lives!

On his actual birthday, Tim brought home fried chicken and sides for lunch and a small cake! HE LOVED IT! My Dad taught him how to bang his fists on his tray and shout, “Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!” so that was fun! Way to go, Poppy!

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We let him open his presents after lunch which included a slide, magnetic fishing set, and a grabber. He practiced going down his slide a few times which was so funny. He’s used to playground slides where he’s able to stand on a platform and then sit down, but it was a little tricky for him to climb to the top and then sit down and stick his legs out without falling. A week later, he’s totally mastered it but that first day was a little shaky.

Once he woke up from his nap, Tim and I took him to the beach! Mom and Dad came over and watched Olivia so we were able to get some one on one time with him. It was so fun to be with him by himself. He’s still so little but he seemed so big that night. He understands what we’re saying and he was SO EXCITED to go to the “Wa Wa.” (Water)

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After about an hour and a half, he was pooped!

What a great birthday it was for him!!! That following Saturday we had a family party for him but I’ll save that post for another day!

Two Months!

I can’t believe we are already at 2 months with Olivia!

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She is SUCH a good baby! We have had our ups and downs with figuring out her acid reflux but all in all, she’s handled it so well. She is a GREAT sleeper which only reinforces the notion that every child is different because Jack was the complete opposite!

Just this week she’s upped her formula to 4 ounces every few hours. I pretty much feed her on demand which has worked out for us. Since she’s such a laid back baby, I don’t mind feeding her often if necessary.

At night her longer sleep stretch is about 10:30 – 4 or 10:30-5 which is AMAZING. I think God knew I needed the extra rest dealing with 2 kids under 2 so he threw me a bone with her sleep schedule!! HA!

We broke out the swing this month which she likes pretty well. She rotates between being held, the playmat, the swing, and the pack-n-play.

She LOVES having her diaper changed. Her face lights up as soon as we start the process – it’s hilarious!

She loves being worn by me which works out when I need to run an errand or when things get crazy around the house. I didn’t wear Jack at all but with keeping up with him, trying to do things around the house and accommodating any fussy times for her, it just makes sense!

I can’t wait to see her personality really start to come out in these next few months! We have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday where she’ll get shots (YAY FOR NURSERY TIME AT CHURCH! BOO FOR PAIN!) so I’ll have an update on her weight. I’m guessing she’s around 10 pounds. The last time we were at the doctor’s, he was a little concerned with her lack of weight gain and asked if Jack was always on the lower side of the spectrum when he was little. (We were at another practice until about 8 months ago) I told him yes, that Jack has always been on the lighter side for his age. The fact that Tim and I have children that have difficulty gaining weight and barely fit in their clothes baffles me.

Olivia Jean, we love you so much!

**Shout out to Ms. Gill Bagley (Cara’s mom) for Olivia’s pillow! She has made pillows for Miles, Kyleigh, Jack and now Olivia!**

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And for a comparison – here’s Olivia and Jack at 2 months!

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~Olivia is 1 Month old~

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A lot of people say that they can’t believe how fast time flies once they have a baby and I am now a FIRM BELIEVER in that! Time, please slow down. You’ve taken my small little infant and turned her into a growing little baby! Olivia, you are such a joy!

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Olivia, you are so different from your brother. The last few days you’ve been a little more high maintenance during the day, but hey, aren’t all girls high maintenance in some shape or form?

You have a pretty good routine going on. You follow the “eat, wake, sleep” schedule well and have only given me two rough nights in the entire month you’ve been home. During the night you only wake up every 3-4 hours. Normally during the day, as long as I keep you fed, you’re fine laying in your Pack-N-Play, in the crib on your play mat, or being held. You are eating 3 ounces every 3 hours mostly. At your 2 week check up, you weighed just 8 pounds and this morning when I weighed you, it said 8 lbs again. Are you going to be a scrawny little thing like your brother? Let’s put some rolls on you girl! They’re not cute at 30, so take advantage of it while you can!

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I am definitely more relaxed this go around compared to your brother, feeding/schedule wise. You have your own rhythm and sometimes scream your head off an hour after I’ve fed you so I’ll feed you more. This would freak me out with Jack and I’d worry about “keeping him on schedule.” HA. The biggest lesson I learned with your brother is that there is a season for everything and things that seem a big deal at the time quickly change. You are certainly reaping the benefits of that lesson because I’m so much more relaxed with you.

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You just go with the flow. Jack is OBSESSED with you. These last few weeks when we pick him up from Summer Fun, he always is happier to see you than me! When we get out of the car, he points to you to make sure I’m going to get you out too. You are the first person he wants to see in the morning when he gets out of his crib and has given you your fair share of bumps and kicks while trying to get as close to you as possible. I can’t wait to watch your friendship grow and hope you will be close as adults too!

Just for a comparison, here is Jack at 1 month and Olivia at 1 month. I can’t really tell if they look alike. Jack’s baldness is really throwing me off. He looked like a mini Mr. Magoo – yikes! HA.

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We love you Olivia! HAPPY 1 MONTH!!!