Louisa is 6 Months Old

February 24-March 8, 2019

Believe it or not, Little Miss is 6 months old! I took her to her checkup and the doctor said “Whoa! You’ve got your hands full with this one!” And when he was looking at her ears, he was like “She is STRONG!!!!” It was pretty validating. I feel like he sees enough kids to know when he sees a particularly feisty one. She’s now in the 98th percentile for height and close to 60th for weigh. She is GROWING and she has a TON of energy. She is trying so hard to crawl. She can push herself backwards but can’t quite figure out how to propel herself forward. She can’t quite get her legs to move independently yet. And she’s not quite all the way up on her knees. She is sitting up like a pro though! She is able to sit up and play as long as she has a pillow behind her to catch her just in case and someone sitting close by to keep her from faceplanting. She doesn’t do it a ton though- she can play for quite a while before she topples. She can stand now too, with only a little bit of help for balance. I think she may end up walking a little earlier than Baylor did because she loves standing and is so interested and motivated to stand and crawl.

She cut her first tooth the day she turned 6 months old and she is much crankier than usual as that starts to come through. We’re 6 months in and Louisa has still never slept through the night 2 nights in a row (1 night is a rare occurrence) and this teething business sure isn’t helping that goal get met any faster. She’s maybe slept through the night 10-12 times in her whole life. The last few weeks, she’s been waking several times before we even go to bed and then 2-4 times between midnight and 6:30AM. It’s very hard to string enough sleep together to be functional, let alone to have any time to sit down and just try to relax for a moment. I am REALLY starting to look forward to our cruise in May, just so I can have a couple of weeks of uninterrupted sleep (I never have to worry about Baylor waking up in the middle of the night.)

She can say “lalala” now which doesn’t really mean anything, but has been her favorite sound for us to make to her up until now, so she’s pretty proud of herself that she can say it back. She loves when we blow raspberries and tries to blow them at us so we’ll blow them back at her. She LOVES hanging upside down and being thrown in the air. She still cries any time Baylor cries, which is just the most adorable and most pitiful thing. She is SO ticklish under her chin and her little baby giggles just melt my heart. She loves being naked and playing with her toes. She loves pulling my hair and belly laughs when I say “ouch!” She is becoming so curious about everything and wants to explore anything we’re holding- especially remote controls and charging cables. She has discovered the “I’ve got a funny hat” game and thinks it’s hilarious. She is a squirmy little thing and very difficult to hold because she just wiggles the whole time you have her. You really have to hold her with both hands because she’s liable to just trust fall right out of your arms and you better be ready to catch! She’s still loving her bouncer and still saying “Umma Umma” (Mama) and “Bubba.” She’s working hard on saying “Dada” but hasn’t quite gotten that one yet.

Speaking of the cruise, we’ve told Baylor that there are “fancy dinners” and he asked for some bow ties to wear. So he and I went to the store and found some of the cutest fabrics to make him some bow ties out of. I can’t wait to see him in them. We got some with robots, states, numbers, science, and superheros. He’s going to be the cutest boy on the ship!

We had Baylor’s parent-teacher conference with Miss Rodriguez this week. She was so pleased with his progress this year! She said that there’s really nothing we need to be working on at this point- that’s he’s doing better than his peers academically and is on par socially and emotionally. She just said that she hopes he continues on this trajectory next year because he has had such a successful year. We brought up our concerns about his speech and she agreed. Turns out they are contracted with the Washington Township school system for therapy services. They are going to evaluate him and if he qualifies he’ll get speech services for free at school every week.

In other very exciting news, we have turned in several applications for Michael’s first “real” job and have already heard back from several places. Some sound promising and others we have been able to dismiss out of the gate- after talking to the recruiters, we were able to rule them out because they just didn’t match what we were looking for. It’s too early to tell if any of these is “the one” but we’ve certainly had a promising start and are scheduled to speak further with a few of them soon.

I got to cash in this weekend on my Christmas gift! Michael and I went out to a nice dinner and then went to see The King and I. It was a really fun evening and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to go. It was a show that I had really enjoyed as a kid and it was even better than I remembered! Unfortunately it seems we only managed to take one pictures (and it was only of me) but I guess we were in the moment too much to stop for pictures.

Last weekend, we went to Hope Lee’s first birthday party. Baby Hope has been a very big part of our lives since very soon after we moved here, before she was even born. Her Mama, Jean, has become one of my very good friends and hearing her story of fighting to get her miracle baby lifted me when we weren’t sure how easy it was going to be for us to have another one. It was so reassuring to have someone by my side during my pregnancy that understood all the anxiety of not knowing how things would turn out and helped me advocate for myself when my labor kept starting and stopping with Louisa. Her birthday was so fun- because she is of Korean descent, they had lots of customary first birthday activities and she looked just adorable in her little hanbok.

Beach February 2019

February 10-23, 2019

We made it to Sanibel in one piece, but unfortunately it didn’t take us long once we were here to fall apart. Both Baylor and Louisa got pretty sick- Baylor spiked a high fever and Louisa coughed so hard that Nona and I had to take shifts and stay up with her around the clock. It was a pretty intense and not at all relaxing first few days here, but everyone is on the mend and we’ve been able to have some fun during the second half of our stay. Baylor and I have gone on trips to the library, to get donuts (as per tradition), and to the playground. Baylor and Papa have made it down to the pool several times and Louisa and I even joined them once! She really liked the water- she just completely relaxed and went into this zen-like trance. It’s the calmest I think I’ve ever seen her! I thought she would want to splash around a bit, but she was content just to lounge. Baylor did his share of splashing though! He showed off his swimming skills to Papa, who helped him practice swimming farther and using “big arms” in the water. We haven’t gotten down to the beach a whole lot because of the kids being sick and just the general chaos of trying to wrangle everybody, but Baylor and I have gone on several walks. He enjoys finding shells for his collection and taking pictures of the sea life we find. We’ve made homemade pizzas, sat up on the sun deck, drank margaritas (or in Baylor’s case “margaritas”), and watched the sun set.

Papa and I even got to go on a walk by ourselves, which was nice so we could talk about our upcoming job hunt and the changes that (we hope) are in store for us over the next year or so. It’s a little bit of a nerve wracking time as Michael finishes training and we begin to look for a place to settle down and call home. There are lots of factors to consider- all the different variables that Michael is looking for in a job, my preference to be closer to my parents (and ideally in the South), and a school that fits what Baylor and Louisa need…. It’s a lot that needs to come together at once. We’re not even sure anything exists that meets all of the parameters we’re looking for, let alone that they’re even hiring or that Michael might be chosen for the job. It feels like a Very Big Deal to have been training for 11 years and to be feeling like… now what? Will it all have been worth it in the end? I certainly hope so. My dad has always been one of my favorite people to turn to at times like these. He gives practical advice with a side of empathy and compassion. It was just what I needed to really clarify what I am looking for out of all of this and help me gain some perspective. I’ve felt very conflicted about whether staying in Indianapolis was the right decision for our family- we love Baylor’s school and our church and we’ve made some wonderful friends there. I’ve felt selfish for wanting to go back to the South, despite that having been the plan since we were engaged, because I wasn’t sure if I would be punishing the rest of the family just to get what I wanted. And as we have settled in here, it seemed the logical decision to just stay. But in the end, I feel sure that pushing to go back South is the right decision for us. It IS extremely important to me that my kids grow up as Southerners- that they internalize the values and culture of the South, that they are close enough to Auburn to go if they want to, and that they are close enough to my family- both extended and immediate- that they identify as Reids just as much as they are Burks. They may not carry my name, but I want my family to be as close to my kids’ hearts as they are to mine. It is my dearest hope that we can make that happen. We’re soon going to begin the process of finding and applying to jobs- it’s going to be a long, anxiety-filled year as we see what opportunities present themselves. I pray that we can find just the right fit for our family somewhere and that Michael’s hard work is rewarded.

We ended our time at the beach by going out to eat at the new Doc Ford’s. It was quite fitting that it was Louisa’s first restaurant on the island- at just this time last year, I called Michael from that very deck to tell him that our baby was going to be a girl!!!! We were just over the moon excited and I’m still just so thankful every single day when I look at my kids and realize I get to be the mommy of a boy AND a girl. How lucky am I to get to experience the best of both worlds?! Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to have both a boy and a girl (really I wanted 2 of each!) and I feel so incredibly blessed that that dream came true for me.

It’s been so much fun to have Louisa at the beach and show her a few of our favorite things while we’re here. It’s so special to me that our kids have a “second home” that holds a lot of very fond memories. Michael and I joke that all of our important life decisions have been made walking on the beach here, and it isn’t far from the truth. My parents bought the condo in Sanibel when I was a sophomore in college- that was 12 years ago now. It has been the backdrop to a lot of important events in my adult life, and I’m so happy that my kids will grow up with this as the scene for many happy memories for years to come. It will be more than just a beach, but a home away from home. It feels like home to me even now, and I didn’t grow up with it. This will be a very sweet and nostalgic setting for them as they grow to be adults themselves. It’s a beautiful gift we’ve all been given and I feel so thankful for it.

Countdown to the Beach

Feb 1-9, 2019

It’s officially winter in Indiana and you know what that means… time to escape to the beach!! We’ve been counting down the days since we got home for Christmas and it’s finally here! This week we attended Eloise Strand’s (Isaac’s sister) birthday party at The Music Playhouse. We all had SO much fun, even Louisa, who I wasn’t even expecting to be able to participate. We had so much fun, we’re thinking that we may have Louisa’s birthday there when the time comes. We went to the library and got Baylor’s haircut, went to swimming lessons, done Kiwi Crates, gone swimsuit shopping, had lunch with Tressie, did a ton of laundry, and packed and packed and packed. And now we’re off! Goodbye, frozen tundra! Hello, tropical beach weather!

Late January 2019

January 16-31, 2019

Oh I’m just love, love, loving these ages. Louisa is just becoming the cutest little thing and Baylor cracks me up with the things he thinks of (like being a Baylor-corn). He is such a great big brother- he loves reading and singing to Louisa, making her laugh, and playing with her.

At school, Baylor is starting to really enjoy art, thanks to Mrs. Sweigart. They’ve been studying cave art lately, but he’s come home telling me about all sorts of artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock. He’s also really started to enjoy workbooks and especially mazes, dot-to-dots, and logic-type puzzles.

Last Friday, Baylor’s school had a really fun game night. He got to play with his friends in the gym for about an hour. They played basketball, hula hoops, and had a Just Dance dance party! Then they had board games set up, so he and I got to play several together.

The weather has been pretty dreary and yucky lately and it’s been hard to get out and play. The good news is that we have decided to take a cruise in May! We just put in our final payment and went to go get our passports so we’ll be all set when the day finally arrives. We’ll start our countdown soon! It seems like a long way away right now but it’ll be here before we know it (and we definitely need a vacation!) Louisa will be staying with my parents since there’s not much on a cruise that would be enjoyable for her, but Baylor is very excited for his first cruise. We’re starting swimming lessons back up to make sure that he’ll be comfortable in the water by the time we get there. We can’t wait!!!!

Back to the Grind

January 7-15, 2019

School is back in session, Daddy is back at work… We’re pretty much back to normal! Or at least, as normal as we get. The first weekend of January was unseasonably warm, so we bundled up and walked over to the play ground for what is probably our last trip for several months. We had a great time and met several kids to play with. Of course, the very next weekend there was a nice big snow. Fortunately, Daddy didn’t have to work so he and Baylor went out to play while Louisa and I fixed hot chocolate and watched them play. Louisa even went outside for just a few seconds to see what the snow was that she was watching come down.

Louisa had her 4 month doctor’s appointment and she’s growing like a weed! She is now 13 lb 6.5 oz (47th percentile) and 26 inches (92nd percentile). Her head is 42 cm (78th percentile). She’s hitting all of her milestones right on time or early, which we already knew. Most importantly, she is a happy girl.

Being back in school has its advantages for Mommy- I’ve been able to hang out with several friends and catch up since we haven’t gotten to see each other since before the holidays.

Baylor has started telling stories the past couple of weeks. They are very involved and include bringing us pretend costumes (nevermind that he got REAL dress up clothes for Christmas). We have to “put them on” and he has to be the one to “dress” Louisa. Fortunately, we can just put the pretend clothes on over our real ones, or that could get awkward quick. Then he makes up scripts that he tells us and then we have to repeat verbatim. Even Louisa has a part, although hers is generally silent. They all begin with “Once Upon a Time” and they NEVER END. I finally just have to say “Baylor, we’ve got to wrap it up, Bud” and he’ll say “and they lived happily ever after!” Usually these are stories about Mario, but we’ve been surprised before.

He’s had me in stitches lately. We were throwing an imaginary ball a few days ago and apparently I “missed.” Baylor said “Mommy, you need some ball lessons.” I said “Ok, what do I need to do?” He said “Aim it at me and then throw it on the right trajectory.” That’s solid advice.

Louisa is starting to really enjoy her toys- good thing she got some for Christmas! Her favorites are her owl that she loves to violently bop around, her gears toy, and her spinny alphabet toy. It’s so cool to see her really interacting with her environment and enjoying her playtime.