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12.19.2013

And so it begins.

11:39 am- I set Jack in his jumper so I could make my lunch in the kitchen.
11:44 am- I'm reheating last night's leftovers when I hear Jack doing a weird cough I haven't heard before.
11:44 and 30 seconds-I walk over to Jack as he continues to cough. Awww baby, are you ok?  I pick Jack up.

He immediately stops coughing, looks at me, and smiles.

12.12.2013

4 Months: Lessons Learned

*really need to weigh him/smiling and laughing all the time/finally tolerating tummy time in small doses/rolling from stomach to back/loves jumping in his jumper/loves anything that makes him feel strong...including taking steps while Ben holds his arms/getting better at hand-eye coordination*
 
  • Projectile 'spit-up' is the craziest thing I have ever witnessed. In my entire life. He opened his mouth and it literally shot across the room. In a constant steady stream that lasted at least 3 mississippi's. The strangest part of it all was that he wasn't even phased by it! Side note: I'm sorry to start off my 'lessons learned' with that one, I completely understand if you can't even continue reading. But I seriously couldn't think of anything else until I got that one out on 'paper'. Honestly though, that experience tops anything I've ever seen in a sci-fi movie.
  • Having Ben give Jack his nighttime bottle has been the only wise one of the wisest decisions we have made. Every night around 6:30 I kiss my boys and they head upstairs. Ben gives Jack his bottle and puts him to sleep. And I sit. Or clean. Or cook. Or facebook. Or just stare at the wall. It's ahhhmazing. I sometimes still will go upstairs and steal another kiss.
  • Transitioning a sleeping baby from the car to the house is impossible. At least for Jack it is. So if you come over and the car is parked but no one is answering the door-I'm probably sitting in the driver's seat while Jack is snoozing in his car seat. This has also led me to start yelling like a madman or singing opera style to try and keep Jack awake while we're driving home.
  • I know I'm supposed to say You're fine when Jack starts to cry if somebody else holds him...but all I really want to say is, Sorry, he only loves me. Now give me my baby. Juuust kidding. And I know this has happened to a lot of people this past month, so really, I'm kidding. ... .......
  • Being a mom wasn't something I grew up dreaming of. In fact, I continuously said I wanted to wait until my thirties to even start thinking about babies. I felt uncomfortable, awkward, and intimidated anytime someone called me a 'mom' while I was pregnant. Now, I thank God every morning and every night and countless times throughout the day that He has blessed me beyond measure and given us this sweet boy. Trust in Him, friends, and I promise you, you will not be let down. I promise. His path will satisfy your search for happiness and will bring you joy and peace you've never experienced before. My path was a self-serving, self-seeking, world pleasing, I-deserve-it, what's-in-it-for-me, momentary false sense of happiness path. Every now and then do I find myself back on that path? More than I'd like to admit. Am I thankful that God used my path to get me to where I'm at today? Absolutely. Wouldn't change it if I could. But thank goodness I don't have to continue on it. Thank. You. God.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
 


12.10.2013

I'm Sorry Ben!!

Look at my baby. Isn't he the cutest?!

I should start off by saying I love my husband. I really do.
I feel a little bad that while Ben is upstairs snoozing away, little does he know that I am downstairs blogging on my new domain-www.nicolelynnshea.com. Feel soooo bad about taking his name out of the blog address! But I swear, I can explain!!

A few months back, I kept getting emails from blogger that my domain was up for renewal at the end of October, and I kept ignoring those emails. You know how you ignore those things that you know you have to do but you aren't sure how to do them? Yea. That's what I did. Oops. So my domain expired, but I was sure there was some way I could re-activate it. I'm not the most tech savvy person there is, but I try. For some reason though, I could not figure it out on blogger's website for the life of me-and I don't know how many of you have ever tried to find a customer service phone # for blogger, but I swear it doesn't exist!!
I never felt the pressure to get this issue resolved, because for some strange reason, I was still able to blog, post, and access my site. Until a couple of days ago. Things got weird. Real weird. I could access my blog through blogger, but anytime I typed in my old address "benandnicoleshea.com", it brought me to an error page with advertisements for godaddy.com, a host website.
They had a nice and bright "24/7 customer support" number on the ad, so I figured I would call, since at least someone wanted to help me! And you guys, I promise this isn't a paid ad for godaddy or anything like that, but seriously their customer support was awesome and they informed me that somebody bought my 'benandnicoleshea.com' on December 5th!!! What the heck?! Apparently there are people out there who wait for domains to expire so they can buy them and hope that the original author will pay lots of money to get it back.
Well not this girl, you crazy person whoever you are!! I just decided to kick my hubby off the blog name (sorry Ben!) and now I'm back up and running.

And Ben, if you're upset, just look at how cute this baby is. Makes everything better, right??

11.09.2013

3 months and already walking!

3 months and already walking!

Ok...well not quite...but my BIG guy is really making some serious strides!  So are Nicole and I.  Here's what we've learned...

- Parenting is tag-team...She pumps, I clean pump gear.  I change Jack, she makes him smile.  She washes diapers, I stuff diapers.  I try to get Jack down for a nap, she gets Jack down for a nap!  Without her, things like this happen...
- I'm soft...Before Jack was born it had been 12 years since I tasted my own tears...
- Proud takes on a new meaning...This feeling I get when Jack does even the most mundane thing is incredible.
- He's watching me...At 3 months he may not remember the example I set but it won't be long!
- Sometimes what worries us turns out to be a strength...I remember asking Nicole what about being a Mother worried her most.  Her answer: Patience and composure.  In 3 months, I'd say patience and composure are two of Nicole's greatest strengths.  Her calmness and devotion to Jack inspire me.
- We are builders...Every day we are building our family.  We are building up our baby boy and we are building up each other.  Happy 3 months Jack.


11.04.2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 4

Don't ask what happened to days 2 & 3...it was a crazy weekend.
Thankful for the most supportive, handsome, sincere, loving, thoughtful, humble, hardworking, faith driven husband. You guys, I didn't just try to think of a bunch of words that sound nice. No, these are all areas of life that Ben truly excels in. Especially the handsome one. He's really good at that.

11.01.2013

30 Days of Thankful: Day 1



Thankful for this very hungry caterpillar. His sweet chubby cheeks. And his big brown eyes. Also thankful for the way he sucks his bottom lip, how he loves to make spit bubbles, and the excitement in his face when he hears and sees us first thing in the morning.

10.28.2013

Full




We have had one of those weekends that leaves you feeling so full. Full of thankfulness. Full of laughter. Full of love. There was dinner with friends, a baby shower, multiple bonfires, s'mores, apple crisp, cuddling, way too many kisses, a convicting and reassuring sermon, a harvest festival, and big smiles from our boy. And almost every night this weekend, when the baby was sleeping, counters had been wiped down, lights were turned off, and my thoughts started to slow down, regardless of how hard I tried to stop it from creeping in and stealing even an ounce of joy, the feeling of uneasiness would start to wash over me. The reality of having to move is starting to become something I can't push out of my mind as easily anymore as we get closer to going wherever God and the Marine Corps want us.

You see, I prayed for this. Before we moved to Beaufort, I prayed for the kind of friends that we have now. Uplifting and encouraging. I prayed for our church. One where we would learn the Bible and be challenged. I prayed for our marriage. Full of grace and unconditional love. I prayed for our faith. Growing together and unwavering.

I prayed for all of this, and I didn't realize how God would fill every single prayer to the brim to the point of overflowing. I cannot count how many times I must have said to Ben this weekend, "It is going to be so hard to leave this place." Our first home. Our first baby. A place that will always hold very precious memories.

Matthew 7:7-11

7Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

10.15.2013

2 Months: Lessons Learned

*13 pounds/smiling all the time and it's amazing/almost laughing/cooing/loves being upright*


  • Having a vacuum on has helped Jack fall back asleep after the 30/45 minute intruder, but unfortunately we are still dealing with it.
  • The nursing room at church is like a safe haven.
  • A full night's rest of uninterrupted sleep should be worth a million bucks.
  • Always pack a back-up to the back-up diaper.
  • When all else fails, turn on the vacuum.


video

*Shout out to Jessica for the video idea!

1 month: Lessons Learned

10.09.2013

Jack Found a New Pillow


Jack turned two months yesterday!! TWO months! I cannot believe that I no longer have a newborn. Every time I pick him up from his crib I swear he has grown from the night before. You can expect a '2 month Lessons Learned' post hopefully this weekend!

He had so much fun with my sister being here for about a week. I, on the other hand, did not have so much fun when everyone we met kept asking who the older sister is. 
Receptionist at dentist: So, how much younger is she than you?
Me: Oh, actually I'm younger.

My sister: Haha, we get that all the time.
Me: We do?!?! Wait, what?? (eyes get really big)


Seriously people--4 years apart!!!  Karen-even the Terminix guy asked me who was younger right after you left!
I guess being a mom has aged me! Not gonna lie, I have started seeing the occasional wiry silver hair sprout up here and there. Ah!

Baby Jack loves his Aunt Karen

I'm so excited that the holiday seasons are coming up because that means we'll get to spend a lot of time with family very soon!!

10.04.2013

Two Exciting Things



Two exciting things happened this week:
1. A picnic with a friend and a cutiepie.
2. My sister a.k.a. the baby whisperer arrived. Yes that is Jack passed out in her arms. He looooooves his Auntie Karen.
We have an exciting weekend planned (play with baby) and I am so excited that it's here!
Happy Friday!!

10.02.2013

Our Routine With Jack, and Sometimes


We are on more of a routine than a schedule at this point in Jack's young life. While preparing for his arrival, we read The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems by Tracy Hogg. Her method is E.A.S.Y. Eat, Activity, Sleep, Your Time.
We started that routine from the first day we brought Jack home. Feed him as soon as he wakes up, keep him awake for a little while, and put him in his crib while he is sleepy, but still a little awake. This method is supposed to help him not need to nurse himself to sleep, and it's also suppose to help him fall asleep on his own if he wakes up in the middle of the night. I think he's still too young to tell if we've accomplished either, but so far he's been great at sleeping in his crib, and I've watched him on the baby monitor fall asleep on his own after hearing him fuss in the middle of the night. Sometimes the fussing turns into crying, so then I assume he's hungry and I feed him.
The whole idea of keeping him awake after a feeding was much harder in his first few days of life. He was so sleepy, all the time. But now it is much easier. We usually get 45 minutes-1 hour of play time with him after his feeding before he starts to get very fussy and we let him nap.
But sometimes.
Sometimes he gets so sleepy after he eats and he buries his head in his hands or in my neck and falls asleep. His breathing slows down and I can feel every muscle in his little warm body relax.
I know Tracy Hogg would want me to wake him up. I know he might become reliant on nursing to fall asleep.
But in these 'sometimes' moments-I kiss his forehead and enjoy my sleeping baby.

10.01.2013

When I Say I'm Not Crafty...I Mean It

Can you tell how much he loves my kisses?!

You know those people who say things like:
  • "I did horrible on that test." But then they get an A+
  • "I really didn't train at all for this race. I'm going to run so slow." But then they run 6 minute miles.
  • "I don't really have many friends." But then they know every third person you pass on the street by name and even people driving by are honking and waving. (Colleen)
Ok, you get the point. Humble, modest, call it what you want, let's just say I'm not one of those people.
So when I say that I'm really not a 'crafty' person, you can believe me. It always takes me twice as long as it is supposed to, and it never really looks quite as nice as the picture. Last year, I attempted to make a fall wreath with a bestie who lives far away. I wanted it to look something like this...
Yarn and felt #Fall #Wreath. via Etsy
via Pinterest
Well hers turned out beautifully, and mine....mine stayed wrapped in brown yarn all fall (without any cute felt flowers) and wound up in the recycle bin by Christmas. And it took me a really long time to wrap that darn wreath with all that yarn. A really long time.
Well this past weekend, I went to a 'wreath making get together' at this super crafty new friend's house. Her house is absolutely beautiful-one of those homes that makes you want to get cozy on the couch and watch Christmas movies while sipping hot cocoa.
Anyways, I had such a great time meeting new friends and getting my craft on. She had yummy fall treats-maple oat scones, pumpkin yogurt parfait, and homemade pumpkin spice lattes.
I am pretty happy with how my wreath turned out-even with the few bare spots and the not so evenly distributed burlap.
I have to finish doing the chalk plaque that I will try to hang in the center, and then hopefully I'll be posting a picture sometime this week!

Ben and I also went to a friend's wedding celebration over the weekend. It was a beautiful evening and Jack was such a good boy all night. He stayed up way past his bedtime and we couldn't believe he didn't fuss at all-guess this boy is a partier!
He was even sweet when he went to bed and just kept smiling at me and Ben. That definitely doesn't happen all the time! Or ever!


9.27.2013

Burning Lungs, a Birthday, and Fun Weekends




  • Love those pictures of my boys. Ben sent me the second one while I was warming up Jack's nighttime bottle last night and they were getting fresh air on the porch. Love.
  • We have an action packed weekend ahead of us--a birthday party for a friend's 3 year old boy, and a wedding celebration! Can't wait to show off my little boy and see some friends.
  • We had an awesome weekend with Ben's family visiting. But oh my gosh are things crazy with a toddler and a baby! Jack definitely got 'toughened up' last weekend.
  • I ran 3 times in the last two weeks! Okay so 3 times in 2 weeks...not all that impressive, and they were only for 10 minutes each, but it felt so good to feel that burn in my lungs again. Yes. I felt a burn after 10 minutes.
  • Last but not least....HAPPY 18TH BIRTHDAY TO MY LITTLE BROTHER MATTHEW! You're ridiculously smart, fun, kind, patient (you put up with a lot of weeeeiiird stuff living with all girls) and you do the BEST impersonations out of anyone I know! Especially impersonations of mom--(sorry mom!), but really, you can easily bring me, John, Karen, or Mel to tears in seconds from laughing so hard. You have such a bright future ahead of you. I'm proud to be your big sis. Love you!


Matt being patient while Karen and Mel act like zombies.

Hahahaha more zombie pics-they are going to kill me.


*Linking up with DarciNatashaChristina, & April again for 5 on Friday and Lauren for High Five for Friday!
THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

9.26.2013

Bedtime

"Wow-that boy is a fighter," Ben breathlessly confessed as he walked into the kitchen. I was getting dinner ready last night as Ben gave Jack his bedtime bottle and put him to sleep. As both boys were upstairs, I could hear Jack's grunts and whines through the baby monitor. That boy will fight off sleep with every ounce of energy he has until he is completely wiped out.

Within ten minutes of Ben being downstairs, we both heard Jack start to cry.
"Want me to try?" I asked Ben.

I went upstairs and walked into Jack's room. The room was dark, fan going, and the sound of waves crashing were coming from his sleep machine. As I bent and kissed his cheek, my sweet boy locked eyes with mine and smiled. I gave him his pacifier and brushed his hair back a few times.
He smiled wide, closed his eyes, and drifted off to sleep.
And my heart just about melted right out of my chest.

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.





9.25.2013

Cloth Diapers

Happy Wednesday ya'll!

Blogging over at Nerd and Healthnut today on my experience with cloth diapers so far.
Go check it out and let me know if you have any other questions about them!

9.24.2013

What I Like About This Town



Walking 10 minutes to meet friends for coffee.
Looking out at the water while catching up on life.
Watching their girls chase a ball in the grass.
Taking pictures of my boy as he fights to stay asleep.

Browsing the cutest shops on my way back.

These are some of my favorite things.


9.23.2013

Weirdest Search Keyword

You know how sometimes you really reeeallly want to share something hilarious and you don't know how to preface it so you just blurt it out and everyone looks at you strange?!
Well...

little boy pee pee in my brother's mouth

I couldn't even make that up if I tried. Someone seriously googled that phrase and made it to my blog-my blogger stats traffic sources said so!! And so I think I get the award for blogger who writes about the weirdest things ever. Actually, Ben gets that award because it must have been his post that brought that person here.

Dear concerned brother,

We need to be best friends. Like stat. I google some of the weirdest nonsense and you just made me feel like I'm not alone. So please, if you are reading this, email me and let's both finally take a deep breath and exhale because we just might be two peas in a pod. BF4L.

Sincerely,
Another weirdo
Hi my name is Nicole and I am really nice. And I love cats!

9.22.2013

What Do You Do When Your Baby Won't Wake Up?

Take pictures of him and blog about it. Duh.
I talked about in this post how we have been dealing with the 30 minute intruder. Jack sometimes makes up for his short naps during the day with 1 long nap. During the first hour of this long nap I am very productive and grateful to get things done. The second hour I start to get lazy and catch up on blogs, facebook, etc. By the third hour, I start talking on the phone really loud, putting clothes away in his room, accidentally slamming the door, etc.
At two hours and 50 minutes into his long nap today he started to stir and I thought this is it, I can finally play with my boy, so I ran upstairs, threw open his door along with the blinds, and yelled, "Baby Jack! I've been waiting for you to wake up for SO long!!!" (Yes-I call him 'baby Jack' 90% of the time.)
He grunted a few times, shot his legs in the air, and then they slowly lowered back down to the crib while his head fell to the side and he passed back out.

Come on!!!

9.20.2013

5 quick things

Siblings. Aww, remember when Jack was still in my belly?!

5 things I'm happy about on this beautiful fall Friday:
  • Ben is home! Whether it's a night's duty or a 6 month deployment, separation is for the birds. Jack and I missed Ben last night while he was on duty and are happy to have him back home.
  • We have family visiting this weekend and they haven't met Jack yet. It's so fun seeing the people we love meet the boy we adore.
  • My little brother and sister are going to homecoming this weekend! And my brother has a date!! It's his senior year and his first school dance-pretty big deal! Matthew-I know you are going to be a gentleman and make your sisters proud. Melanie-make sure those two are dancing an arm's width apart. And knock 'em dead in those new heals! But seriously, no twerking. Don't even think about it.
  • Jack and I conquered the grocery store this week. I had been avoiding it ever since Ben went back to work. So many things to fear during that first grocery store trip. Will the car seat fit in the grocery cart? What if the kid starts screaming while I'm in the check-out line? Where do I put the groceries if the car seat is in the cart? Turns out Jack is a great shopper-he slept the whole time! 
  • It's Friday and the temperatures are finally dropping here in the south. Hope ya'll have a fabulous weekend!