Wednesday, February 10, 2016

February, You Snuck Up On Us

Suddenly February was upon us and it's like we didn't even see it coming.  January was excellent as well! 

We celebrated my 27th birthday with sushi with two of our best friends, Ali and Daniel.  Ryan learned that he loves sushi, much to his wife's happiness.  It was a truly fun birthday eating raw fish and cackling our heads off with these two wild friends!

 January/February we also spent inordinate amounts of time smooching on our sweet boy and watched him grow like a dang weed every day.  And we lived life.  And it's been good.

It's been really good so we are thankful!

Giddy Lou and I have the best days together.  Minus when he's teething.  He has TWO teeth coming in; a top and a bottom.  I can't wait until he looks like a little dracula.  Minus when I have to nurse him.

I've heard it said you don't know fear until you stick your nip into the mouth of a teething baby...soooooo....

 ...scratch that...I can hold off on him getting teeth *chomp*

Um, and are Jay and Gideon not the CUTEST little things you've ever laid your eyes on.  I legit pulled out my phone to show a stranger their pics the other day.  She swooned over them which made me feel like less of a crazy mom/aunt.

These girls!  I have known Bre and Ali since FRESHMEN YEAR of high school.  That is about 13-14ish years.  I've known them longer than I haven't known them.  We had a girl's night the other weekend and literally stayed up past midnight talking and then we all immediately regretted our lives the next morning since we have little ones that arise at unholy hours.

All that to say, wine, chocolate and laughing was worth it.

Remember that time that The Broncos had enough of Cam Newton's horsecrappery and shut him down?!  Well we witnessed it all first hand.  We are not even real football fans, but when the Broncos to to the Super Bowl...we cheer!!

 Gideon even timed his bedtime so I could watch the halftime show!  We pretty much NEVER have the TV on so Gideon was pretty mesmerized by it.  

Then I think he was overwhelmed by the constant noise and stimulation.   So we took a bath and put him to bed.

Also, see Exhibit A (right) we call this the Grandpa Speciality.  Both of Gideon's grandpa/gramps wear their white socks pulled up high and we tried to duplicate the look.  His are up to his thighs which I can't say the old timers do but still...HA!

STAHP.  Remember that time that Gideon started eating solids?  He is so dang big!!

Well that is just a dandy little update on the first two months of 2016!  Can't wait to see what the rest of February brings with my new job and other life adventures.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Matthew 24:35

Monday, February 8, 2016

It's OFFICIAL--I Have A Badge!

Alright, it's official!  They made me a badge, I filled out tax forms, and started orientation.  

I am honored to say I am truly and officially a Pediatric RN!!

 My first job is dedicated to work with a Level III acuity patient, meaning the most critical or  most intense medical needs taken on by the agency.  This is exactly what I asked for in my interview and is something I feel simultaneously challenged by and also prepared for.

 I'm working for a home health organization that has given me incredible flexibility with my schedule.  I am working short-ish night shifts which is truly perfect for our family.  So grateful for that stressor to be gone.

So far in this journey I've taken a trach/vent class, attended several orientations and now begin job shadowing a similar case until the patient is discharged from the hospital.  

It's a true privilege and serious business to be trusted with another's most precious and loved person in the whole world...their child.  And a sick one at that.  I take my job very seriously and want to show up to work 101% every single day.

The journey to becoming a real live RN has been so wonderful.  I found immense love for the medical field by being a CNA, nursing school was spectacular and demanding, working at Children's gave me incredible credibility in my RN interviews, and all my clinical placements prepared me enormously.  The only part I didn't like was the 48 hour wait to find out if I passed the NCLEX haha

But now it's all been worth it and I am so looking forward to signing my first chart: Carly Decker, RN, BSN

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you

2 Thessalonians 3:3

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gideon: 5 Month Update

These two pictures sum up 5 months SO well-moving, looking, talking, just being a ray of sunshine

Age: 5 big amazing months!  So far I think we have seen the most change between months 4 and 5 in terms of what skills Gideon is showing and how he's morphing into a big kid.  He is wiggly, talkative, independent, curious, bright, has lots of preferences, is brave, patient, and so loving.

Weight: 22 big yummy pounds as of this morning!!!!  He went through an enormous growth spurt about 2 or 3 weeks ago.  He slept 19 hours straight and did that for about 3 days in a row.  I thought he was sick at first but NOPE, just growing growing.  He really isn't as "rolly" anymore because he also gained a lot of height.  His cheeks are round and he has a few leg rolls but mostly he's just sturdy more than he is actually porky.

Length: 27 inches.  He's a tall one this kid.  We put him in his bouncer everyday and may I just say this kid has pretty astonishing feet coordination.  He bounces back and forth and does this little "jig" but he is in such control of those long feet!  We have an athlete on our hands, I am so positive about that!

Sizes (diapers, onesies):  Size 3 diapers and he is in 9 month clothing but a ton of 12 month pieces also.  His large noggin also fits into a 2T beanie I bought him.  BIG KID!

Eyes:  He still has his amazing baby blues.  When he wears blue or gray they practically pop out of his head with their stunning amazingness!  I literally have to hold back all the lady babies in his life so they don't schwoon too much for him! 

Hair: Just like blue and gray make his eyes stand out, orange and red shirts really make this kid's hair pop!  I love that.  He has red hair in the back and super light strawberry blonde on top.  It's the softest stuff in all the land.

Sleeping: If Gideon were to ever get a medal as a 5 month old, it would be in the sleep department.  Hallelujah and praise the baby Jesus that this kid sleep so well!  He goes to bed between 6:00-6:30 pm, does a dream feed at 10:00 pm, and doesn't usually get me up again until 5:00 a.m. for breakfast.  After I feed him at 5:00 he goes back to sleep for 1-1.5 hours.  His morning nap starts around 8:30 a.m. and is usually 40 minutes long.  He goes down again at lunch time and this is where he SHINES!  He gives me a 2 hour stretch from 11:00-1:00 and that is just a miraculous gift everyday.  His last catnap is from about 3:30-4:00 and then he's up for the evening until he goes down at 6:00 pm.  

What a stud right?!  He has recently hit the "5 month sleep regression" I've heard and read about but it's not bad.  He is waking up at 2:00 a.m. just to say hello and nurse for a few minutes but I don't mind.  I won't be sad when he just sleeps straight through that period again but for now he needs me in the wee morning hours and I'm cool with it.

Eating: We are still exclusively breastfeeding at this point.  While I am not a big rice cereal advocate I did actually cave and buy some to mix with lots of breastmilk.  We MIGHT try that as I hopefully start work soon.  Since he despises loathes detests wants to destroy refuses his bottle we need a good way to get some calories and hydration into him.  Anyway, Giddy Lou is really interesting in the eating department lately.  While he loves to nurse and obviously eats well enough to keep growing like a flippin weed, he also fights me pretty intensely sometimes when he's hungry.  Maybe reflux?  Maybe an independent streak? 

I'm not sure.  But he'll be giving me every single cue that he's hungry and then I look at the clock and lo and behold it's been 2-3ish hours.  So I go to nurse him and he latches, breaks his latch, cries, yells, arches, screams, re-latches, repeat etc.  Yikes!!  Eventually he latches and eats like a champion but not without 5 minutes of theatrics.  He does his best eating when we are at home in his nursery and his worse nursing is um...anywhere else (*ahem*).  We are working through it.

Also, I had VIDEO PROOF PEOPLE of my kid latching and drinking from a bottle.  He chugged 3 oz in 5 minutes the other day.  And now?  He refuses the bottle yet again with a newfound fury and vengeance.  I think he would flip off the bottle if he could; he hates it so much.  We keep exposing him to it everyday and offering pacifiers in-between feeds to just help him get used to the plastic nipple but nope.  No go the last few days.  BAH!

Milestones:  Rolling, rolling, and then rolling some more! He likes to go front to back to front to back.  He loves to grab things within his reach and I am saying it now: He is a leftie like his Daddy.  He always grabs with his left hand and only will use his right if the left one is occupied. 

 Pretty cute :)

Gideon knows his name,  grabs and holds toys, likes to sit up supported, somehow moves himself all around the floor on his tummy (not a crawl though), has a tremendous amount of arm strength, watches his hands move in front of his face, likes to stand as much as possible, and "talks" so everyone knows he's there.  

Memorable outings:  We drove up to Eaton to meet new baby Chloe and our friend Amanda on Monday.  We carpooled with Ashley and her 2.5 month old, Penny.  It was baby heaven!  We went to Casa Bonita a few weeks ago with our friends The Clarks and had so much fun there!  The lights and sounds kept Gideon happy and occupied way past his bedtime.  

For now, we really aren't venturing out much past going to grandparent's houses, the library, errands, and playdates with friends.  What small outings we do have are plenty of excitement though!

Favorite toys/activities:  Gideon seems to really prefer this stuffed duck that someone gave him, his Sophie giraffe, his teething necklace and a set of plastic keys I attached to his carseat.  He would bounce all day in his bouncer if I let him.  He plays with wooden toys at dinner time while Daddy and Mommy eat and will happily watch and eat his own hands too.  

He seems to continue enjoying going to the rock climbing gym with us, mostly because he gets a lot of attention there and because he watches us both climb up so high!  He likes his stroller, reading, rolling, and any type of music.  We sing everyday while we do chores or are just in his room hanging out.  Daddy and Giddy have been known to play the guitar for 30 minutes straight and make up silly songs.  He perks up when the radio is on and enjoys Pandora on when he takes a bath.  Music makes him a smiley boy.

Words/sounds:  He has so many sounds..."coo", "goo", "da", "ah", "ooooooo" etc.  What do they mean?  Nobody knows!  But he's really finding his voice and learning that his volume can go quite loud.  

Nicknames:  The only new one I can think of is Little Love.  I call him this because I call Ryan "Love" so Gideon is my littler love ;)
Giddy Con Queso (from daddy), Giddy Lou Who (from Aunt Linny), Giddy Puff (from Aunt Linny), Giddy Face (from Maggie), Giddy Pantz (from Maggie)
The usuals...Giddy Bear, Giddy Up, Gid, Giddy, Itty Giddy Titty Monster with the tiny hiney, G (from Uncle Clint), Mister, Man Cub

Funny moments:  Yesterday we were with Grandma Decker and she was showing us some funny pictures on her phone.  One came up of cousin Xander eating ice cream with a big grin on his face.  I turned the phone to show Gideon and he just burst into a fit of giggles!!  It was so sweet. 

Looking forward to:  We are looking foward to introducing Gid to solids next month at his 6 month birthday.  I think he will have a lot of fun with food as he is very tactile and observant of us during meal times.  I am looking foward to him scooting and crawling, hearing more of his voice, watching him discover his own abilities, and seeing him grow bigger and healthier each week.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gideon: 1 Bottle: 0

That title should read a bit more like Gideon: 4328 Bottle: 0

I thought I had cracked his code the other day by distracting him with cartoons on my phone (and proud of it!!) but apparently that was a one time deal only and the deal expired according to Gideon.

We're really pushing the bottle issue hard because I want to work a few hours each week soon and I have two opportunities that are too good to pass up.  The time has come kid... 

*dun dun dun*

Dang, he sure is cute so I guess I can't be too sad at his bottle-hating choices!

It's been a real rough go with the bottle for this little guy.  Two things that I want to remember to do differently with future babies:

#1 Start a bottle and pacifier at 2-3 weeks (nipple confusion be damned--my kid has REVERSE nipple confusion!!)
(we did first offer a bottle at 9 weeks with no success and then after several weeks of pain and suffering offering, we sort of just didn't mess with it.  Big mistake!)

#2 Be persistent and offer a bottle once a day every.single. day. no matter how dead tired I am with a newborn

Literally this battle is insane!!  We have tried Tommee Tippee bottles, Tommee Tippee early learner sippy cup (has at least taken a few ounces from this one) Medela, Nuk, Nuby, Gerber, and Dr. Brown's.  We've tried every flow that each has to offer. Not to mention we have offered 3 different kinds of pacifiers to no avail. We have tried a medicine dropper, plastic plunger/syringe, having him drink from a cup, and drinking from a spoon.


Various family members have offered a bottle or sippy cup, different times of day, when he's hungry, when he's not hungry, when I'm in the room, when I'm not in the room, in a carseat, swaddled, in the normal breastfeeding position, in his rocker, dark room, light room, watching cartoons, noise maker on, facing away from the bottle giver, facing towards them, etc etc etc

This is my first really big "mom challenge".  It's the first thing that hasn't resolved itself fairly quickly and we can't find a good solution to.  I have to say that while I'm totally frazzled on the inside I think Gideon would be hard pressed to sense or see my strain.  I try to kiss his fat little head and tell him he's doing a good job even when he's screaming his head off as I burp him for the 10th time.  I don't believe in forcing a bottle or jamming it into his chubby mouth, but dang it I am persistent!   

If at the end of the day, I can say I was gentle, kind, and cherishing of him--well, then I did my job as a mom. Whether he took it or not. 

I know I'll look back on this post in a year or two or in a baby or two and laugh.  But right now it is SO not funny and the bottle battle is real.  I want to say that we will crack the code and while I believe God's grace is sufficient for literally every single circumstance, this kid is giving us a run for our money.

Pray for us. And fast. And probably throw some ashes on your head or something because this crap is tough.

Look at that innocent face, you would never know that under all that chub lies the strong-willed heart of a battle trained warrior!!

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Saturday, January 9, 2016

January Happenings

How exactly did it come to be 2016 and we have a 4.5 month old on our hands?!  Dang that is awesome!

Mostly this month we are leaning into a slower pace of winter life,;I'm soaking up being a stay-at-home mama and really enjoying making our home a healthy, restful place.  Most days we read, pray for our friends/family, visit the amazing community we are surrounded by, make a big pot of soup, walk outside and talk about different things we see, and embrace what adventure each day brings.

I am so tremendously blessed to spend my days with Gideon Decker!

Ryan is busy at work taking on so many roles; leading, organizing, communicating, planning, and more.  I love seeing him take on more as Program Director and gain skills and confidence he wouldn't have had outside of this role.  He also gets our butts to the gym several times a week to climb which is good for our minds and our bods! He is the best climber and health-pursuer!

Gideon is changing every single dang day.  Each morning I swear he has a new skill and grew an inch overnight!  Just today he pretty smoothly popped his fat little thumb right into his mouth and figured out how to spin this little toy on his bouncer (aka his throne that he loves more than anything).  He is the absolute joy of our lives.

Giddy Lou smiling in his bouncer.  And to the left showing off his rolls to his pediatrician Dr. Stein

Matt and Katie were back in the country last week (they moved to Rwanda with JIBU) and they stayed with us for 5 days.  It was so fun to have them here.  We climbed, talked, drank coffee, played games, and enjoyed their friendship.
They loved on our boy who we were so happy to introduce to them for the first time!  The last time we saw them I was just a few months preggo.  But they saw my belly grow over Skype and it was fun to have a real life little guy to show off now.

Myself and Katie getting ready to climb

Gideon is his GoPod.  LOVE this contraption.  He happily sits in here while we climb or workout.  It's collapsable and condenses down into this easy carrying bag.  We'll use it a lot this summer when we camp too

These three guys have been friends since college!  They are so funny to eavesdrop on...  "Man, I've got so many kids!" and "I love you, man."  Also, "Please, I taught Matt how to belay"  HAHA oh these guys

Also this is just a random picture of Gideon holding a spatula.  I was making some banana bread and I like to have him participate as much as he can.  So I'll hand him different items and explain the texture or material or the use.  I think the cold, weird-o metal of this one really had him confused ;)

We hope you are enjoying January as much as we are.  This cold, snowy weather with the short days and long nights really feels like the best kind of invitation to make a fire, read some books, invite people over for a meal, and snuggle down to rest.  What a cozy season!

Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.
Amos 5:14-15

Friday, January 8, 2016

Christmas 2015

Oh look it's 2016 and I'm just blogging about Christmas!  We had a full, sweet Christmas-tiring-but good.  It's way more fun to do holidays with kiddos as we see them taking it all in and experiencing the "firsts".  

I look forward even more to Gideon really getting to understand Jesus' birthday, the meaning behind exchanging presents, time with family, and other fun traditions that are in place.  

We were intentional about reading Christmas library books, talking about the nativity story every day, and Grandma Decker bought a little toy nativity set that we played with and discussed too.  It's really important to us that Christmas isn't totally hijacked by Santa and commercialism.  Next year we want to visit a nearby farm and see a stable so we can picture exactly what it was like where Jesus was born!  

Anyway, I will say that we were all EXHAUSTED by the time we got home Christmas night.  Gideon is an amazing kiddo but he was super overwhelmed by Christmas evening and just needed to nurse non stop for like 2 hours while we were with Ryan's family.  #momlife

Gideon got some very nice presents from his grandparents specifically.  A high chair, clothes, teething toys, cloth diapers, and more!  What generous grandparents he has :)

One thing that isn't pictured here (because the pics are on our external hard drive now) was the birthday party we had for Jesus on the 23rd.  It was our only real evening fully at home as a family.  Ryan grew up with the tradition of giving Jesus a gift at Christmas which I LOVE since it was his birthday after all haha  

So we each gave a present to Jesus.  My present was a family dinner and birthday cake, Ryan's was a song on the guitar, and Gideon's was being well behaved and patient through dinner ha!  It was a fun evening-we lit candles, ate fancy dinner, and celebrated the best gift we have ever received...Jesus!

Happy 2016!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Fa la la la Fun!!!

This is a HUGE dump post!  So picture overload warning...

This December has been full of so much joy and activity for us!  We have seen lots of friends and family members, enjoyed several seasonal activities, and soaked up all that Christmas is offering us this year.

A typical day for us involves being home and spending the morning playing, reading, and doing chores.  Several times a week Gid and I meet daddy at the gym or for lunch, walk with a friend in Denver, meet up with friends for coffee, or have a babysitting day with Grammy and Gramps.

But our favorite is to play and learn at the same time!  We talked about colors and textures and animals with the blocks (pictured left) and we talked about the names of the major bones in our body, how the heart pumps blood, vaccines, and blood pressure with our medical kit (pictured right).  

Gid is a smartie!

Ryan and I always do a Christmas date (last year it was Melting Pot) and this year it was a wine tasting in Denver.  We both enjoyed it so much!  We tried 3 wine tasters, a full glass each, and then a chocolate port dessert wine. 

 I packed us a huge platter of food pairings for the wine that included salami, prosciutto, several cheeses, crackers, olives, apples, raspberries, chocolate, and almonds.  It was so nice to have my parents babysit so we could get out for a few hours and connect.  We laughed so much that night and had such a blast together.

After the wine tasting we walked downtown and found a German Christmas market so I bought a handmade glass ornament and Ryan bought a pastry.  It was truly the most perfect, relaxing evening to celebrate Christmas together.

Another way Ryan and I are figuring out how to stay connected as a couple and not just as parents is by meeting at the gym on his lunch hour to rock climb together.  My parents watch Giddy Lou so I can venture out.  Our house and Ryan's work are each 6 minutes from our gym so we meet and can get several routes in each if we get our gear on quickly.

It's a nice activity to do that doesn't revolve around Gid (as much we we love the little chub!), gives us both exercise and it's a fun hobby.

Gideon met Santa in person!  Gideon and Jay sat on Santa's lap last weekend and had a great time doing it.  Like my sister captioned it on Facebook, just 3 fat guys in matching hats!

Gideon must love Christmas as much as his mama because #1 I force him to listen to Christmas music all day long with me but also #2 He LOVES the Christmas tree.  If he's sad and I can't figure him out, I just plop him in front of the tree and 100% of the time he is a happy guy in no time at all.

I've learned as a mom that one of my favorite things to do with Gideon is just play.  He's still little so it takes some creativity to interact, but nothing makes me happier than getting a smile or laugh out of him.  My sister snapped both of these pictures.  On the left I was about to throw him in their air and he laughed and laughed.  In the picture on the right he thought getting strapped into the carseat was hilarious so that was a nice change!

Basically, it's important to me to be an interactive mama that has fun with her kiddos and is often down on the floor just exploring and playing with them.

My little heartthrob: Jay Thunell.  This kid is the absolute sweetest little thing!  I call him my coconut because he has such a nice round head haha!  I had the great honor and joy of babysitting him last week and unfortunately for him he didn't know it meant non stop kisses and loving.  I don't think he minded but he is just too yummy to set down.  

I was a little sad when he napped because I had way more kisses saved up for him so Gideon and I put him down for a nap and he rested up.  It's an enormous blessing that Gideon has so many cousins his same age.  In 2015 alone there were 3 cousins born!! Aebrynn in March, Jay in October, and Sam in December.  

It's baby heaven around here :)

The last important updates that I haven't covered in awhile...

Ryan's recovery post ostomy reversal is truly mind-blowing!  He has typically 2-3 bowel movements per day which is far less than the estimated 10-20 that many ex-ostomates will experience.  He can eat whatever he likes, has stamina and energy, his scars have really begun to heal up, and he has no issues with getting his fistula closed a few months ago.  Overall we are SO grateful we took the risk to reverse his ostomy.  It would have been such a burden and stressor for us having a new baby because the equipment changes and issues associated with his ostomy were so draining and time consuming.  

Thank you Lord for a smooth reversal and health for Ryan!

My nursing job is still up in the air.  I am looking to only work 1 day per week for very short shifts, like 4-6 hours.  I'm surprised how hard this is to come by but many families want a consistent nurse several times per week or to have only long shifts fulfilled. We are being patient to find the right fit but I am SO excited to start working and putting this BSN to good use.  Pray for a family or job to come along if you think about it!

That's all the stuff happening in December!  My heart just explodes from the goodness that overflows around us.  I am thankful.

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Luke 2:16-20


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