Sunday, February 9, 2014
Well, it’s official. Ella finally knows about this blog. I’m not sure how we made it 6 ½ years before she found out, but we did. We didn’t purposefully keep it from her, it just never seemed to come up. I usually post when she’s in school or sleeping (like right now). And as far as I’m aware, no one who reads the blog has ever mentioned it to her. But now she knows…she knows that her entire life from birth until now has been on display for the world to see.
There’s a PBS show called Arthur. Ella was watching the other day and a girl on the show, Muffy, decided to start a blog. She blogged about everything, including disagreements with friends. In the end, blogging turned out not to be a great outlet for airing grievances.
During the show Ella asked the obvious question, “What’s a blog?” I explained it to her, then mentioned, “You have a blog.” You can imagine Ella’s surprise. She kept saying, “I do?” I then went on to explain that we’ve had this since she was a baby and we just tell people what’s going on in our lives and show pictures.
Her response was funny. She asked a lot of questions, but didn’t want to see it. She does, however, plan to write a personal message to you all in the near future. She said, “I want to wait until something exciting happens.” Unfortunately, Ella’s definition of exciting is very different than my definition of exciting. For example, I thought yesterday was very exciting…Ella had a great time, but she didn’t think it was exciting, she just thought it was fun.
So…since Ella doesn’t feel like there’s anything exciting to post about, I’ll go ahead and fill you in on the boring, mundane life of the Murray’s.
First and most noteworthy, for the first time since 2 weeks before AJ was born, I actually cooked a meal! In fact, I cooked 2!!! I felt like this was a huge accomplishment as the mom of 2 kids. Both dinners were healthy and delicious. This is big news, people…big news!
In other significant news, the Olympics have begun. I love watching the Olympics, both summer and winter. I have never known anyone who participated in the Olympics, but I can’t help but tear up every time I watch them. All I can think about is how hard the athletes have worked and how much they have sacrificed to get where they are. It’s an amazing accomplishment, whether you leave with a medal or not.
And finally, yesterday Ella and I had the opportunity to attend the GA Mother Daughter Tea. I was a GA, which means that I love GA’s and I especially love the fact that Ella is a GA. The GA Mother Daughter Tea is something I’ve been looking forward to since Ella was born…of course she just learned about it a few weeks ago. It was a great time with friends from church! We’re both looking forward to going back next year.
Today is the Children’s Valentine Party at church. Each child is allowed to bring one parent as a special guest. Ella had asked me to go with her. Unfortunately I woke up in the middle of the night feeling pretty terrible with a runny nose and cough, so this morning I decided it was best for AJ and me to stay home while Joe was Ella’s date for the party. I’m sad to be missing out, but I know he and Ella will have a great time and I can’t wait to hear all about it.
I feel so blessed to be a part of a church that invests so much in their children. It is wonderful to attend a place where you know that they aren’t just happy to see the adults, they are just as happy to see the kids. We are equally as blessed that Ella enjoys attending the activities and looks forward to them each week.
That about sums up the excitement in the Murray life. AJ wasn’t mentioned in this post, but he continues to do well. Eating, sleeping and pooping, just like a baby is supposed to do. Sabrina is doing much better. Now that she realizes that we aren’t going to completely neglect her, she is coming around to accepting this new creature. In fact, if AJ is in his bouncy seat she always goes over to check on him. And if he’s crying she always comes to make sure he’s ok. She’s such a sweet dog.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
So I’ve just had a few things occupying my time over the past several weeks. As you know, AJ entered the world, so I’ll pick up after that.
2 days before Christmas 3 out of 4 Murray’s came down with strep throat. Talk about miserable! Thank heavens for antibiotics! We were feeling better by Christmas and ready to tackle the day. Christmas day was a great time with GiGi and PawPaw celebrating with us.
On Christmas day my brother and his family (The Burbs) headed to Virginia to spend a week with us. It was great having them here! I think all 4 were completely smitten with AJ, but probably the most smitten of all was Nate. Wherever AJ was he wanted to be. If AJ was sleeping in his pack-n-play, then Nate was standing next to him making sure he was ok. If AJ was in his bouncy seat, Nate was hovered over him watching him and playing with him. Probably the greatest activity of all was when all 3 big kids (Ella and her 2 cousins) got to give AJ a bath. They each had a wash cloth and gently washed his skin to make sure he was all clean. It was absolutely precious to watch. AJ was the perfect baby and the kids were the greatest helpers.
The Burbs did get to do some minor sightseeing around DC by going to the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History, but mostly we just hung around our house and played Chess, Words with Friends and ate. The snack table was a big hit and I think that’s where Curby and I spent a majority of our time.
The Burbs and Paw Paw left on New Years Day. We were sad to see them go, but were thankful for all of the time we had together. GiGi stuck around for another week to continue helping me out around the house.
My cousin Lindy and her daughter, Kit, came to visit us on Saturday January 4th and meet AJ. We always love getting together with their family! Unfortunately the visit was too short, but it was so nice to see them and have them meet our new little guy.
Ella went back to school on Thursday January 2. However, school was short lived at ended up being canceled on Friday due to extremely cold weather. She was able to go back Monday, just in time for me to start getting ready to handle things on my own.
On Sunday January 5 AJ attended church for the first time. He did great in that he was awake for all of the singing and slept through the entire sermon. I’m sure he was sleeping because he was really meditating on what our pastor was saying.
January 5 was also Ella’s church choir Christmas concert. Yes, it’s after Christmas, but the concert was originally supposed to be on December 8th, but snow, ice and cold weather canceled the performance, so they postponed it. Ella, of course, did a fabulous job and sang loud and clear. She looked so beautiful in her Christmas dress and I couldn’t have been more proud of her.
GiGi left on Wednesday January 8 (insert tears). It was great having her here for so long to help around the house and with Ella. We still miss having her, but I know she’s having a good time with Paw Paw.
Ever since then I’ve been trying to get in my groove. Our house is a complete disaster, but I’m slowly working on that. I finally caught up on laundry, and fortunately we’re eating well thanks to generous families at church who bring dinner by.
AJ is doing great. He’s growing well and sleeping like a champ! The kid goes to sleep around 10 pm every night and doesn’t wake up for 5 whole hours! Do you know what 5 hours of sleep does for parents? It’s awesome! He then wakes up to eat, and then goes back to sleep for another 3 hours. This is definitely a sleeping schedule I can live with.
Ella is the awesome big sister you all expected her to be. She helps me pick out his clothes and will throw away his diapers…but not the poopy ones. She loves to sit next to AJ when he’s in his bouncy seat and will bounce it for him and talk or sing to him. She loves to sit on the bed and have him come cuddle next to her.
That said, Joe and I are really trying to make an effort to do special things with just Ella. Yesterday Ella and I went out to lunch just the two of us, then she helped me go grocery shopping. Joe has been good about doing activities with just her so that she knows she isn’t pushed aside.
The family member who is not handling AJ’s arrival so well is sweet Sabrina. She is the neglected middle child. She has started acting out, not listening and chewing up things. We’re trying to nip it in the bud and give her some extra attention as well, and so far we’ve seen some improvement. We took her for a walk and to the dog park yesterday (even though it was freezing) and I think that did some good. She’ll come around eventually, she just needs a little extra TLC.
All that said, we’re doing well as a family of 4. Everything feels right and just the way it should be.
Monday, December 16, 2013
On Monday December 9, 2013 at exactly 3:00 in the afternoon, Abraham Joseph “AJ” Murray entered the world.
He weighed in at a hefty 8 pounds 6 ounces and reached a whopping 20 inches long.
We are thrilled beyond measure to welcome this sweet baby into our family.
2 years ago Ella attended a birthday party for one of her friends. While there she was admiring a newborn baby. She stood by his carseat for several minutes just looking at him and talking to him. A woman came up and asked Ella, “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” Ella replied with complete confidence, “Not yet, but I will soon.” Joe and I were shocked by her statement. She had been praying for a little brother or sister, but had God given her an answer?
Well now here we are, a family of 4. Things are going great so far! Ella is completely smitten with her baby brother and kisses him and cuddles with him as much as possible. Joe is thrilled, I am thrilled, the grandparents are thrilled, and even Sabrina seems to be accepting this new little creature. This is going to be a great Christmas!
Ella holding her brother for the first time.
It was love at first sight!
Our first picture as a family of 4.
GiGi holding AJ for the first time.
Paw Paw holding AJ for the first time.
Daddy and AJ. This is the norm around here. Daddy always falls asleep with the kids.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Ella wrote a letter to Santa this weekend.
For those of you who can’t read first grade, phonetic handwriting, allow me to interpret:
For Christmas I would like a Junie B. Jones chapter book when she loses so many teeth and Santa please put something in our dog Sabrina’s stocking because it is her first Christmas!
First off, don’t everyone run out and buy Ella a Junie B. Jones book about losing her teeth. Santa has already taken care of that purchase!
I love this letter! It’s so cute and shows so much of Ella’s personality. Ella is a really hard kid to shop for at Christmas and for her birthday because she really doesn’t ask for a lot. I mean seriously, she only put down one item for herself, and it’s a book that costs about $5. She only asked for one other thing…clothes for her Build a Bear. Ella’s gift requests for Christmas total around $20. I realize that this won’t last long and that soon she’ll be asking for high priced items, but for now I’m happy she’s so easy to please.
I did ask her if she wanted to include her baby brother in the letter since it’s also going to be his first Christmas. She said no. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure Santa doesn’t forget about him.
Friday, November 29, 2013
Thanksgiving is one of my all time favorite holidays. I love that it’s the beginning of the craziness. I love that it’s all about being thankful for what you have. I love that there’s such a big emphasis on spending time with family.
Several years ago Joe and I decided that we were going to stop traveling at Thanksgiving and just spend the days off at home as a family. This has become one of the best times of year for us. No running around. No hustle and bustle. No packing. No traffic. No sleeping in a strange bed. Just us, at home, hanging out.
This year Joe took Monday and Tuesday off so we could finish up some last minute things for the baby. We were able to get the car seat installed and get my hospital bag packed. We put some things in the attic and brought some things down from the attic. All in all I feel good about where we are. His room isn’t perfect and still has a lot of work, but all of the baby items are in their place and have been washed. The bassinet is ready. The crib is ready (even though he won’t sleep in it for awhile). The pack-n-play is ready. The bouncy seat, swing and floor mat are ready. I’m ready. Joe’s ready. Ella’s ready. Sabrina…I don’t think she’s ready, but she’ll figure it out once he arrives. I can confidently say that this kid could be born today and we’d be fine.
Tuesday Joe and I headed over to the hospital for my weekly baby check. We got to sit in a room and listen to his heart beat, then go have another ultrasound. They didn’t tell us how big he’s measuring, but I’m not sure it really matters anyway. When it comes to measurements, he’s all over the map! One week I’ll go in and he’s in the 75% for his gestation. The next week I go in and he’s only gained 3 ounces and is now in the 40%. The following week I’ll go in and he’s gained 2 pounds and we’re now staring at the 90%. I’ve decided that I just don’t believe any of it. I’m taking both newborn and 0-3 month clothes to the hospital just to be prepared no matter what he comes out weighing.
Wednesday was Ella’s first day off school, so we were able to sleep in and spend the morning in our jammies just hanging out. The perfect activity for a cold, rainy day! In fact, I think I’m the only family member that actually got dressed on Wednesday. Fortunately it’s days like this that keep me caught up on laundry.
Thursday morning is Ella’s favorite family tradition of the year. I make a yummy breakfast (it’s the least I can do since I don’t cook Thanksgiving dinner) and we all go in the basement to watch the Macy’s parade. She sat completely glued to the TV and if one of us left the room and something exciting came on, she would yell for us to come back quick so we didn’t miss it. Ella’s life dream (at 6 years old) is to go see the parade in person. She asked to go this year, but in my current state we knew that it wasn’t possible. We’re crossing our fingers for next year. I know she would love it! And hopefully while we’re up there I can also take her to see the Rockettes Christmas show!
Thursday afternoon we have some wonderful friends who gladly invite us to invade on their family Thanksgiving every year. They are a family with 7 kids, not to mention spouses, significant others, grandkids and extended family, so it’s a little like spending Thanksgiving with Joe’s family. We always have a lot of fun! This year was no different. What’s funny is that Christy (our friend whose family this is) hadn’t told many of them that we’re expecting another baby. So when I arrived, in all my huge glory, they were completely shocked to see me. It was a wonderful meal with great company. In true Ella form, I changed her into her jammies before heading home and she was asleep in the car within minutes.
Today the plan is to go buy our Christmas tree and get the house decorating started. There’s a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it in! I almost have all of my Christmas shopping done and just need to get things wrapped. I’m feeling pretty good about where we are.
I could fill this blog with things I’m thankful for, but you’ve already heard most of them. God has given us so much.