Friday, May 20, 2016

Will's Nursery!

It took us nearly 4 months into Will's life to do it, but we FINALLY finished Will's nursery! We had the furniture in there and assembled before Will arrived, but everything else was decorations, so they could wait. But by the time Will was 3 months old, he was fully sleeping at night in his room, so we felt like it was time to make the room his. 

For years I have known that my first babies nursery was somehow going to be Peter Pan themed. If we had a girl, it was going to be a Kensington Gardens (where JM Barrie wrote Peter Pan) theme with floral patterns and Peter Pan accents. But when I found I was having a boy, all I could picture in his nursery was Neverland! I didn't want it to be too heavily Disney, so I decided to add a lot of accents that gave reference to Peter Pan or favorite parts of the book!

On of my favorite parts of Will's room was all the natural light that his window allows. I also love that the window is low enough that I would be able to look out of it while I sat in the rocking chair with him during the day. I arranged the room so that his rocker was right next to the window.

When I was registering for his nursery, I wanted a lot of the furniture pieces to be versatile for every kids we might have, so I went with all white pieces and a neutral rocking chair. This crib is so simple and perfect!

Will's rocking chair was a Craigslist find and we got it for an incredible deal! It is seriously the most comfortable chair I have ever sat in and I adore getting to nurse and snuggle my baby in that chair!

When I started thinking about accents for the room, I stole a TON of ideas from Pinterest. This Neverland sign post was something I saw online and my in laws lovingly built and put together for me. Laurie arranged all the wood pieces and they used a post from the Chuppah Aaron and I got married under. Ashley did all the lettering and painting and it turned out PERFECT! Pat & Aaron screwed everything together and it is one of my favorite pieces of the room.

Will's changing table/dresser is a piece from IKEA that we found used on Craigslist. It was in great condition and we drove it through the rain across town to get it home! It is seriously the perfect changing table to so much storage. Aaron and I actually got the same piece in dark brown wood for our bedroom because we loved the storage it allowed.

The artwork above Will's changing table came together so beautifully! I painted a few of the pieces myself, including the feather painting in the middle. Another picture is actually a card from Will's shower. There are a couple of quotes from the Peter Pan book, the map of England was painted by Ashley and the top painting of the Pirate Ship sailing away from Neverland was actually painted by a dear friend Courtney and I am obsessed with it.

I think I had the most fun coming up with subtle homages to the Peter Pan story. Again, I didn't want pictures of Peter Pan everywhere or a huge Big Ben mural on the wall. I wanted to keep things subtle. I found the miniature pirate ship and the minature Big Ben on eBay. The Crocodile stuffed animal was a gift from Stacey Lynch for my shower. There is a jar of "pixie dust" on the top shelf and a canoe. There is also a stack of several editions of Peter Pan novels and picture books. On the bottom shelf next to the crocodile, is the ticking clock. There is also a stack of thimbles (or Kisses) and the set of blocks were made as decorations for my baby shower by Laurie from pictures taken from old disney's Peter Pan picture books. I LOVE these shelves.

Lastly there is a close up of the Neverland sign above Will's crib. This was a gift from Amy Wilt for my baby shower and I love it!

Overall I am in love with this room and love how dreamy it is to walk into. I can't wait till Will is old enough to read the story of Peter Pan and I can just imagine him playing lost boys hide out and sword fighting with his little siblings some day.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Will's Third Month! 4/11 - 5/10

I am 3 MONTHS OLD today! • I am starting to roll over
from front to back and can get about half way from back to front •
I am transitioning to sleeping in my crib at night •
I no longer like keeping my arms in my swaddle •
and as a result of those two changes, I am not as
good a sleeper as I use to be • smiling at my mom
and dad is my favorite • I love being in water
either at bath time or in a swi
mming pool •
my mom is struggling to find diapers that can hold all the poop I make •
I talk and make noises all the time • everyone tells
me I'm so expressive • I loved celebrating my mom
on Mother's Day because I love her so much •
my favorite food is still milk, but I also like chewing
and sucking on my hands a lot •
my favorite song is one my Pop Pop made up for uncle Tyler,
but mom and dad sing it to me now •
my favorite time of day is morning cause daddy and
I have boys time while mama sleeps an extra hour • I love being 3 months!

Oh my sweet boy, your 3rd month of life, like the previous two was full of fun and growth and further learning all the sweet things you bring to our lives!

Will started his third month with a round of shots. Oh my sweetest boy was NOT happy with his this process. He recovered so quickly in the doctors office and quickly just went to sleep after we left and had a great nap. However when he woke up, he was beside himself with achy legs and a mild fever. This was totally expected and the doctor warned us about this, but it was still so incredibly sad. I put ice on the site of his shot and we cuddled and I did everything I could to calm him down. It is heartbreaking to watch him in so much pain, but also incredibly sweet to have him so cuddly and in so much need of comfort. It was such a sweet reminder of what a blessing it is to be his mom.

Speaking of comfort, Will discovered his favorite position to fall asleep in and that was in the cradle hold, but with his face buried in my armpit. He would wiggle and wiggle until he found that position and then would settle right in and fall asleep. He only did this with me.

As the weather grew hot outside, Will and I tried as long as we could to maintain our mornings on the patio, but as we entered into May, it wasn't easy for us to stand the heat. I am such wimp when it
comes to the AZ summer and now that I had a tiny little boy attached to me, the sweat was
unbearable. Plus just the thought of my baby feeling the hot sun on his precious skin was too hard for me to endure, so we began to hibernate.

We decided to visit Daddy downtown for lunch as much as we could before it got hot and we loved showing Will off around Aaron's office to all his co workers. It became apparent as we started bringing Will into the office more, that morale raised a ton! Aaron works with several new and seasoned moms at the city, so a baby in the office was so fun for all of them. A couple of the ladies had been so generous with us in giving us hand me down toys and clothes. Oh I am so thankful for people's used toys and clothes! It saves us so much money and allowed me to not feel so stressed about whether I was wasting my money on something he wouldn't touch!

Jonah and Nathan turned 4 years old on 4/21 and we got to celebrate them with a superhero party! Nicole had gifted Will with a little Superman Onesie and I was so stoked to get to have him wear it for the party! I love that Will is only a few years younger than these little boys! Along with celebrating them at the birthday party, Aaron and I also took the boys out for a day date to spend time with them. We took them to donuts for breakfast and then to the mall for a chance to pick out a gift and play in the epic play land at Scottsdale Fashion Square. We got to the play land and I got Will out of his carseat to cuddle, only to be surprised by poop all over my hands! He had blown out his diaper without me knowing it and it was now oozed all up his back nearly to his hairline. I yelled for Aaron to help. It was definitely an all hands on deck type of diaper change! We got him cleaned up (thank GOD there was a bathroom next to the play land) and also that the boys were quite content to keep themselves occupied while we cleaned and changed Will. He was hungry after all the pooping and so I found a corner to nurse him while Aaron chased the boys around and while Will was eating, he nearly blew out another diaper! I had to stop him mid feed to make sure that I caught the diaper in time. This was a notable story because it was his only time having a public blowout and what a doozy it was. We quickly realized we needed to up his diaper size if we were going to contain all he created!

Will's personality began to blossom more and more as he grew. He developed preferences and patterns and opinions. We had a routine established for our day, for the most part with Will waking up in the morning and being able to stay awake about 1.5-2 hours at a time before taking a nap. The pattern continued throughout the day, until bedtime. However around 3 months Will fell into a sleep regression. Our once perfect sleeper started waking up more and more. This sleep struggle was compounded by the switch to his crib from the glorious rock n play and the fact that he started being able to roll over and therefore wasn't able to be swaddled any more, which as our sleep secret weapon. With all these changes, gone were the days of sleeping uninterrupted and we had a normal baby again who woke up every 3 hours. I have to admit, while I told myself I would get use to the sleeping through the night set up we had, I of course did get use to it and loathed having to get up and down all night. We quickly learned that Will wanted only momma in the middle of the night and while Aaron tried to help when he could, it was no
use. Will would only settle down once I went in for him. We said it was just a phase and probably a growth spurt, or bad gas, or whatever, but it quickly became just the norm. We tried everything as new parents do to figure it out. We would have a decent night of just waking up once or twice and we would agonize to make sure we did everything exactly the same as we did the night before only for him to have a terrible night. I seriously thing you can go mad trying to figure out the pattern of an infant. One of our life savers during this sleep deprived time was the glow in the dark pacifiers that Emolyn, my 8 year old niece, picked out for Will. When I got them at my baby shower I laughed at how these seemed clever and that we'd see if they came in handy... oh how little I knew! The fact that I could shuffle into his room in the middle of the night bleery eyed and be able to spot his pacifier glowing in the crib or under the crib was a GIFT FROM GOD! One of my top recommendations for new parents!
To make up for the lack of sleep, Aaron started waking up with Will in the early morning and let me sleep an extra hour. Best daddy!

We had another notable introduction this month when Will finally met his Great Grandma Thompson! Mamaw's health is quickly fading, so I was excited for him to meet her. What a sweet meeting it was.  Watching them gaze at each other was so cool. The oldest family member in our Thompson clan holding the tiny newest member of the family. Gosh I love this woman so much and so thankful that my little boy gets to know her.

Next up, we celebrated Laurie's birthday! Her actual birthday is March 29th, but she was sick on her birthday and then life was busy, so we finally decided to celebrate her a month later. I would like to say I remember what we got her for her birthday, but no gift will ever compare to cuddles from her grandson, so she was a happy camper no matter what. Will is truly the life and focus of every party from here on out.

Aunt Ashley and little Wills

With the weather getting warmer, the cold and flu season passed and I was able to start introducing Will to other little kiddos. We met lots of new friends this month and enjoyed the process of learning to socialize. The big into of the month was our sweet friend Caleb! Caleb's mom Jen and I shared the same due date and while we had known of each other for a few years, we had never really talked. But when we discovered we were both pregnant, we decided it was time to become friends. What an incredibly huge blessing Jen is to me! I have someone who is going through the exact same thing as me at the exact same time. We share all sorts of mom stories and questions and compare milestones and developmental things. After a while our friendship grew beyond just pregnancy and mom stories... Jen has become one of my very dearest

friends! I cannot say how incredibly blessed I am by her and our friendship. When we finally got our boys together after feeling quarantined in our homes afraid of our boys getting sick and sharing illness, it was so emotional and overwhelming! What sweet little guys! They hardly took notice of each other, of course, and were way more entertained by Jen and my smiles and coos and squeals of delight in their cuteness! Caleb kept swatting at Will's face and Will was just chill as can be. Oh how we dreamed of the friends they might become as they get bigger! I have lifelong friends that I met when I was months old and I pray that Will would have sweet relationships like that. These little boys are gonna create a lot of mischief together, I can tell.

When Will was nearly 3 months old, I celebrated my first Mother's Day. Oh how I had longed to be able to be celebrated on this day. I know I was a new mom, but I felt like a little bit of a super hero in these first 3 months and I was so excited to get to be celebrated as a mom! I told Aaron exactly how I wanted to spend the day - laying out by a pool relaxing with my boys! Aaron also gave me a lovely necklace with a branch and tiny bird charm hanging from it with a "W" on it. I can add charms to the necklace as I have more kids in the future. He also gave me a frame with the first picture of just Will and I in the hospital room. It was glorious.

One of my favorite things that my church does is that we do baby dedications on mother's day! I was dedicated at Open Door Fellowship 32 years before and many of the same people who prayed with my parents over me, were also there for this Mother's Day dedication of my son. Such a surreal moment to know what a beautiful, strong, and dynamic community Will has surrounding him. I thought of the people who would one day be is Sunday School teachers and camp counselors and high school leaders. I thought of the people who we hadn't met yet, who would mold and shape Will's life in the years and decades to come. It was a powerful moment to commit to this community my desire to raise Will knowing God's love for him and to say that I need all of their help to instill that truth in Will's life.

Then after church, Aaron and I headed to the Biltmore Resort for an afternoon by the pool! It is hot, but we found perfect spots in the shade and Will loved just hanging out and with daddy and I in the water! I absolutely love Will's swim hat. We joke that he looks like the Gorton's Fisherman.

I was so emotional all day basking in the reality that everything I had hoped and prayed for from the time I was a little girl was finally all a reality. I have an amazing husband who I love and adore and makes me feel so beautiful and honored and I am finally a mom! I kept staring at Will's face all day and wanted to celebrate him. Because this day was as much about him as it was for me. It was as much about Aaron as it was for me. Aaron allows me to be the mom I want to be. I get to stay home and snuggle and care for and play and cherish my baby all day long. He works so hard for our family so that the dreams and plans we have for Will get to become a reality. And my sweet baby boy made me a mom! He is the reason I am living my deepest hearts desire! I wrote his post below on Mother's Day and it pretty much captures all the beauty of being a mom in these first 3 months.
You, little man, are the reason I cry at Disney movies
from start to finish, the reason I never have to set
an alarm anymore. You're the reason I talk about poop
and toots all day every day and the reason I have
developed a taste for coffee. You are the reason I smile bigger,
ache in the deepest parts of my heart cause I love you so much.
You are the reason why I have over 1,000 pictures on my pho
just since February. You're the reason I stare at a baby
video monitor just to watch you sleep, laugh all day
because you delight me more than I could have imagined.
You are the reason I praise God more deeply, marvel at
the journey He laid out for me. You are the reason I love your dad
 in a deeper and more overwhelming way. You are the reason
I get to stay home and love you and play all day.
You're the reason I have become obsessed with things like pacifier clips,
diaper brands, tiny shoes, and websites about baby
developmental milestones. You are the reason I went
through 17 hours of labor and 1 major surgery.
You are the reason I was made, not just physically,
but because being your mom leads me to praise God and
lean into His strength more fully than ever. You are my most precious gift.
You are the reason I get presents today and get to be pampered.
You are the reason I am living out the deepest desire for my life.
You, William James Randy Mertz are the reason I am a mom!
Mother's Day closed out your third month of being completely awesome! What a sweet month it was. You developed so much and gain more personality all the time. I love watching you learn and grow and blossom my sweet son!

meeting Ridge!