Well, I feel like I started writing this post when Zoe turned 6 months, but obviously didn't get finished. And now she's 7 months old as of last Friday! Whew, slow down with this growing up little babies! 6 months was a huge turning point/growth spurt for Zoe, much like 3 months was. From 4-6 months she remained just happy to be held or touched, or loved on. The girls and I developed quite the rhythm of getting out and about and having fun, especially because our town lends itself to lots of walking, parks, and storytimes. I always get Zoe out first, put her in my Pikkolo carrier, then get Selah so I can hold her hand. And Zoe was happy to just hang out with me, no matter what we were doing. She is still that way mostly. She used to easily fall asleep while being worn. But in the last couple weeks she has refused to miss out on the action. And just a couple days ago she started sitting next to Selah during storytime, and wanting to be out and about and on the move when we're somewhere. I remember this time with Selah too...it's such a shift from sleepy bitty baby to excited about life older baby! This past month has had so many new things for baby Zoe...TWO bottom teeth, sitting up on her own, crawling on her knees, dumping the dog bowl, not falling asleep in the baby carrier, wanting to be with her sister and participate during outings, and napping at the same time as her sister - yay for mommy!!
These two could not love each other more!
And even big sister can't resist those squishy cheeks :)
Oh how I adore these two. And trust me, they both have the cutest dose of silly as part of their personalities! This will be so fun to keep watching within our family dynamics. Now that Selah is talking all the time she is cracking us up. I have no doubt Zoe will be much the same!
This is a signature Zoe face. She can curl the best lip,
and sometimes it's just to be silly!
It's so funny because both Kevin and I thought that the first 6 months were pretty similar for Zoe...the same squishy, snuggly baby who has an old soul and notices everything. Kevin said once, "I don't feel like she's changed at all." Which isn't true, but she did really hold steady with her personality and preferences. Even the cashier at Trader Joe's the other day said she seems so much older just by the way she looks at you. It's funny. I have always said about Zoe that she has never preferred being a baby, and is in a bit of a rush to grow out of it! That said, Zoe seems to have two moods...super duper happy, or super duper not. ;) As I mentioned before, baby girl cried so much those first few months. And she was not a long napper. She really seemed to thrive on movement and closeness. She was literally like this from day one too. It has definitely been so sweet to get to know her more and more. I think I'll make a list to commemorate this little 7 months old of mine. Maybe 7 things about my littlest baby girl.
ONE: My sweet girl needs her mama. She's always been one who wants to be close and where I am. Two days ago she went from her army crawling that she's been doing for a month and a half, to full on crawling on her knees!! What is happening around here?! It's adorable though, and she is THRILLED to be so mobile. One thing that's made it easier to embrace her "growing up" is we've always known the more she can control her position the happier she'll be! She's also sitting up great, and though I hate to admit it...she pulled herself up today. Boo hoo, baby's growing up! It really is crazy, the first baby you kind of expect to get bigger, and wait to see what's next. The next baby you say, "Slow down little one, no need to rush out of this stage to the next!" But anyone who has kids or loves kids knows that the next new thing they learn just adds to the fun and wonder of childhood and getting to be a parent. She has always loved to reach out and hold on to something. When I'm feeding her she grabs my chin, mouth, or nose. If I wear her she holds my shirt or the carrier. She has quite the grip and it's always been a part of who she is!
Zoe crawled over to the stack of books we just brought
home from the library and sat right down on one of them.
So far both my girls are sweet little readers, after their mommy and daddy's hearts!
TWO: Zoe is CUTE. She has the roundest little head, she's always loved to have it rubbed, and she has the sweetest, squishiest little cheeks. I think she also has such beautiful hands. She's always moved them so sweet and delicately. Everywhere she goes she's told she's a beautiful baby, and she just gives that big grin in return. God definitely gave this girl a sparkle and a joy to share with the world! She also seems to be a little more compact like her mama. Which I think is sweet. She also has the most adorable rolls and always has. Another way she's so different than her sister. From day one my two sweet girls have each shown they are their own unique little gals. I'm excited to see how their similarities and differences will come to life more and more in our family and through their friendship.
THREE: Baby girl LOVES TO MOVE. She is my little wiggle worm. I will never forget one morning leading Bible study at church last winter and saying, "I think my baby girl wants to come out!" She was always leaping and lurching and kicking when she was in my belly. It was crazy sometimes. One day I was in Trader Joe's and thought people might be looking at me funny because my belly was moving out of control. Ha. Well, the same little lady is quite the gymnast outside the womb. It's hilarious the way she eats. It's not this peaceful, stare into my baby's eyes experience. She twists and turns her body the whole time. And she eats quick - 5 to 7 min. max. Crazy compared to last time! It's actually hilarious how used to it I am. I LOVE how God prepares and equips us to be mamas to such unique and different children. Though it can take some work and lots of prayer, it's such a fun adventure to the parenting journey for sure. Zoe's been rocking the super fast army crawl for about a month, but just this past week she discovered the ability to go from room to room. As much as she loves to be where we are, she has developed a new drive to explore every corner. Time to close the doors and put up the gates! :) This baby girl makes a beeline for the water bowl every time. And if anyone is on the floor she wants to crawl all over them. It's hilarious, and if Selah doesn't want her to get into something she'll say, "Yo-ee (Zoe) Mommy hold."
One of the first days when Zoe started rocking on those knees at the beginning of this month.
FIVE: Baby girl is not a big fan of sleep. She has certainly gotten better, but this sweet gal could party all night and day long it seems. Her daddy just said the other day he thinks she might be one of those who doesn't need much. Uh, I would have to disagree...that is NOT in her genes. ;) The other 3 people in her family actually love a good snooze. But true to her 'life of the party' self she sure loves music. She even just started bouncing to it during our dance parties which is awesome! At first I wasn't really sure she was doing it, but today I tested it and it was so cute. Definitely need a video. She also loves to put everything in her mouth. She is a chewer for sure, and will keep me on my toes with the things she finds to gnaw on. I could have stopped with she will keep me on my toes.
SIX: Zoe LOVES HER SISTER. And she has a sister that absolutely ADORES her. I teach the girls that they are best friends and talk to them about how to treat each other in light of that. My prayer is constantly that they would be so blessed to share life together and be best friends the whole way. And neither one is as happy as they would be if the other is not there. Yet they both are happy to have their one on one time when they need it. It is so sweet how Selah gets upset if she hurts Zoe, whether on accident or on purpose. And if Selah starts crying then Zoe looks at her and thinks she should be crying. The drama is thick here you all. That is definitely in their genes, I have to say! Their daddy and I take all the responsibility for that.
Look at those sweet and squishy legs! And yes, for 10 days during the move
I used disposables...that was a GREAT decision for my sanity :)
Selah had her crib in the main room for awhile after we moved for various reasons, and would always say, "Baby in," after she woke up from her nap. So I would let them snuggle together in there, which they both always love.
She was not sitting on her. And no, I do not let her do this. But that's
not to say she doesn't try!
How hilarious is this?
Selah got a baby picture of mine and set it right in between them. Ha!
SEVEN: Zoe is a daughter I always dreamed of. She and her sister both. Oh how I could never have imagined how amazing these days would be. I cannot believe He is giving Kevin and I this amazing honor and privilege of loving two little girls, being filled with joy as we experience life with our daughters. God has taught me so much through Selah and Zoe, (and motherhood in general). One lesson I'm finally learning is to be gracious with my children and gracious with myself. Being a mom is hard work, but amazing work. It hits me all the time that I am living the answers to years and years of prayers when I longed to hold my own sweet babies in my arms. And every day when I'm juggling these two sweet girls, through constant diapers to change, meals to make, training to follow Jesus, obey mommy and daddy, and be kind...I am thankful. I don't always have a great attitude or get everything done that I think I "should." But I will tell you this....I do not take this life for granted. The Lord is so gracious to give us these days to make memories with these little ones. And wow, how I've learned so much more about his love for me. I am reading the book Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson and it is amazing. Rocking my world in the best way. God has shown me some of my faulty thinking while I have been reading it and saying, "Oh my goodness yes! This is exactly for me...this speaks straight to my heart." But at the same time thinking no one else must need that encouragement. Yet somehow it is growing quickly in popularity and I've heard others say it has been amazing to them as well. That alone gave me so much peace to know....I am not alone. I am not the only one who struggles with different aspects of motherhood even while I embrace my littles so completely. The enemy might attack me and want me to believe that I am alone and crazy and everyone else has it together. But my Father in heaven gently calms me and says, "Fix your eyes on me, not the world. I will give you rest and be all you need as you train up these sweet ones in righteousness. Know me...love me...seek me, and be graceful with others."
It is my desperate cry that we as mothers and even those who long to be mothers would be one another's greatest encouragers. That we wouldn't make it our place to judge or overly advise when listening and praying for is what is required. That we could embrace how uniquely the Lord has designed us all, and how each must follow the convictions the Spirit has placed in her own life. I think a lot of freedom will come from that. Shocking realization: There is not one way to raise these little people, not one way to parent. We all certainly have our preferences and opinions, but outside of what the Bible teaches, God leaves a lot left to need to come to him for in the way of wisdom and learning. Which is why we have to be asking Him to lead the way. We are raising kingdom workers, prayer warriors, and God's children. That is big time. We need each other and we sure need Jesus. There is rarely a day when I go to a story hour and don't meet someone new. And whenever I ask about them or hear a little bit of their story I see over and over women needing to be encouraged on this journey. If you go to any events like this throughout the week, I encourage you to always, always talk to someone you don't know. Show them some sort of kindness and learn their name. Smile, be sweet to their baby, let them go first. It is such an opportunity to be a light and show love to another mom who just needs to know she is noticed and she's doing a good job.
Well, I think that will wrap it up for now! I am excited to be "caught up" with some of these blogs I've been partially writing so that I can start writing as it happens now. I feel like there are so many details I'm always wanting to blog about, or heart stuff I want to share, but needed to catch myself up first.