Our little Alianna is 3.5 years old. She has one foot in the intense and challenging world of 3-year-olds and one foot in the charming and sweet world of 4-year-olds. Some days we get all sweet, some days we get all sour, but most days are a mix of both. She’s really blossoming into a little girl—no longer a toddler. Ali is thoughtful and sensitive. She is very apologetic and clearly remorseful now when she makes mistakes, like breaking something or hurting someone by accident. She has the best helper-heart, and jumps to help whenever she sees a need. She got her first pair of work gloves (it took me 6 months to find her size!) and loves to help Daddy with yard work or Mommy with chicken chores.
Ali is just as social as ever and makes friends easily wherever we go. She is bold and confident, never hesitant to walk up to someone she’s never met and ask a question. She started soccer this month, her first organized sport. She enthusiastically listens to instructions and stays close to the coaches. Playing on a team and eight kids all fighting for one ball (no one is taking turns or sharing!) are new concepts but she’s getting the hang of it.
Alianna loves working on craft projects with Mommy: painting, cutting and gluing, coloring with crayons and markers, tracing letters and numbers. She also loves music and not only has a great memory for lyrics, she always wants to know who is singing and the name of the song. She loves to hear whatever projects Daddy is working on in the studio and always wants us to dance with her. With an artist and a musician as parents—and a home filled with both—I guess she was destined to love creative arts.
She’s super excited about her new role as big sister. She often asks me when I get home from work, “How is the baby today?” She pats, hugs and kisses my belly often. She’s planning on helping with feeding the baby and changing diapers—”But only the pee ones!” I pray that her baby brother has her confidence, easy-going nature and contagious joy. I also pray that they grow up as the best of friends. She’s a blessing and a treasure, my precious Ali-girl. Happy Half-Birthday sweetheart!
For my own records: 37.5″ tall and 30.5 lbs. at 3.5 years old. Our petite little lady.
Alianna Mae at Three Years Old
Alianna at 2.5 Years Old
Alianna Mae at Two Years Old
Alianna at 18 Months
Precious: Monthly Portrait 12
Precious: Monthly Portrait 6
I’m trying not to make all of my blog posts baby-related but I’m nesting so that’s where a lot of my creative energy is going these days. I’ve been doing more sewing; I’ll share more about that later. I got some new artwork for Baby Boy’s room. My favorite band, Needtobreathe, had an album out last year called Rivers in the Wasteland. It’s based on one of my favorite scriptures and the one I’m praying over this year, Isaiah 43:18-19. I looked for a poster based on their album cover art, which I also happen to love, and instead found this vinyl record.
While perusing Target.com’s clearance the other day, I found these baby boy swimming trunks. Between an extra sale on clearance items and my REDcard’s 5% off and free shipping, these cost $2.59. I couldn’t resist. They seem gigantic for a newborn but maybe by the end of summer he’ll be ready to take some dips in my parents’ heated pool.
I’ve really tried hard not to buy much for our son yet. We have a fair amount of baby supplies already and we got a lot of useful hand-me-downs from my sister (like that rainforest mobile attached to the crib above, play mats, a bumbo seat and a breast pump). One thing we’re lacking the most is clothing. I decided to pop into Goodwill the other day to look for some great deals. I walked away with 5 shirts and 2 pairs of pants for $10, all various sizes from 3m – 12m. This is the 7th child we’ve welcomed in our home but it’s the first time we’ve been able to plan ahead so far for a specific new addition. I love knowing that he’ll still be a part of our family when he’s 12 months old.
Pacifier Strap & Clip
I bought these mitten clasps last summer when we had little Firefly but I never got around to making him a pacifier strap before he left. This was very simple to make. I cut a strip of cotton fabric, folded it in half with right sides together, pressed open a seam allowance on one end, sewed the sides together and cut off the scrap close to my seam. The only difficult part was turning the little thing right side out. Once I did that, I pressed it flat with an iron. I sewed a small piece of elastic into the open end, closing it off. I folded and pressed the other end of the strap and sewed in around the mitten clasp.
Since it was such a pain to turn the strap right side out, I decided to make a second one using ribbon left over from the suspenders of his coming home outfit. This one was even faster but I think it would have been better with wider ribbon.
Pacifier Storage Bag (inspired by this)
I could have made a simply bag but I happened to have this cotton pouch saved from a recent purchase of a queen sheet set. It’s a bit bigger than needed for pacifiers and paci clips but that’s fine. All I did was make two equal lengths of brown ribbon and sewed it onto each side of the bag. Pacifiers will be easy to locate at rest times and when baby boy is bigger, he can reach into the bag himself if he needs one at night time.
Door Latch Silencer / Soft Close Cover (inspired by this)
I used hair elastics like the inspiration link above but I found them very difficult to sew through. Next time I think I’ll just use elastic.
Just a short update this week. I’m officially 6 months pregnant! Three more months to go. (26 weeks) Baby Boy has been very active with bigger movements (compared to the little kicks and pops of a few weeks ago). Now it feels like barrel rolls and attempts to crawl. Still a very cool feeling, and often I can see the movements too. I was pretty tired this weekend and had a UTI last week but in general still feeling great and happy. God is good.
When does a woman become a mother? Is it when she conceives for the first time? Is it when she becomes aware of her baby? Is it when she first holds her child in her arms?
I pondered those questions as I was decorating a nursery, taking infant CPR classes, buying car seats and driving a minivan. No baby was growing in my womb, known or unbeknownst to me. I had not see my first child’s face, breathed her name or held her in my arms.
Yet, I felt like a mother.
So, I asked God, “When does a woman become a mother?”
Read the rest of my blog post over at Dropping Anchors blog.
“Ali, you’re going to have a little brother just like Peppa Pig!”
That’s lot of words, huh? We had a Christmas baby-gender-reveal surprise baby shower. It was an unforgettable blessing organized by my friend Steph with a part of our foster mom support community from across the country. I had passed Steph the sealed envelope from the ultrasound tech because she offered to give us something more special than a piece of paper to open on Christmas day. (And she’s one of the most creative people I know!) She rallied the troops behind my back and they sent gifts to Steph to wrap and organize into a really unique gender reveal surprise for us. I am still so overwhelmed with gratitude that they would bless our family like this. Most of these women I’ve never even met in person, although we connect daily through social media to encourage, pray for, commiserate with and entertain each other.
The first present to open was this ornament that Steph made. It will be such a special keepsake on our Christmas tree every year.
(Please excuse my Christmas-morning-no-makeup-pajamas family.)
The first baby boy outfit we opened…
Ali got some special gifts, too.
These little knee pads made me swoon.
A teething necklace in one of my favorite colors.
A fellow chicken mama sent this one!
At some point while I was opening gifts and Jason was documenting it, Ali started taking photos with my DSLR.
These are her photos…
I am so thankful! What an amazing surprise for Christmas day, to find out we’re having a son and to be showered with so many thoughtful and adorable gifts for him.
Sunny S.U., Meringue, Custard, Poach, Frittata and Omlet are still doing well. They haven’t slowed down their laying too much, thanks to Nashville’s mild winters. Some days we still get 6 eggs but 4 or 5 is more common. They’ve been getting smart about escaping their enclosure (or dumb, depending on how you look at it and where they end up afterward), and are now spending most of their time in the coop and run until we can patch up some gaps under the fence, clip some wings and/or build a taller partition fence. (Anyone have any experience clipping chicken wing feathers?!) On Christmas day I gave them a little feast of cabbage, cucumbers and spinach.
My chicken chores are made more cheerful this winter thanks to the new boots Jason bought me for Christmas. My old rain boots were so worn out they were hardly repelling water. I love these new bright red ones. Might as well make a statement while you’re tromping around in chicken $&@#, right?