Posts Tagged baby boy

To My Son, On His First Birthday

One year photo by Alyssa McNally

One year photo by Alyssa McNally

Dear Jaylen,

One year ago today you made me a mother and I discovered another part of my heart that I never knew existed. You hadn’t done anything, but I loved you. Those first few days, weeks, and months were rough. Even though I was exhausted, as I gazed at you during those middle-of-the-night nursing sessions and when I felt frustrated because you wouldn’t sleep and nothing I did would soothe you, I would hold you in my arms and be overwhelmed with love for you. I chose to continue to give up sleep for you (I still do–you’ve never slept through the night)–really, I’d do anything for you–simply because you’re my son. Becoming your mother has given me a deeper understanding of God’s unconditional love for us as His children. One day I hope you’ll understand God’s love for you in this way too. I never want to see you get hurt–physically or emotionally. I don’t want to see you make bad choices. I know I can’t protect you from everything (nor should I), but I want you to know that no matter what you do or don’t do, I will always love you. God’s love is the same way. He loves us just because we are His children, not because of anything we’ve done. I love you because you’re my son. Nothing will ever change that.

It’s amazing how you changed in 12 months from a needy little baby to an active, increasingly independent toddler. It’s hard to believe a year ago at this time you could barely hold your neck up and now you’re walking around,

Jaylen & Chloe - Photo by Alyssa McNally

Jaylen & Chloe – Photo by Alyssa McNally

understanding what we tell you, and playing with cars. I love watching you explore and discover the world for the first time–like when you first felt sand on the beach in Door County. You just couldn’t get enough of it! Or when you realized Chloe is another living thing that you can play with and who loves to eat your food. I love your baby giggles,

your adorable smile, and your social personality (much like your daddy here), and your awesome bouncing dance moves. Most of all, I love how your eyes light up when you see me and how you give me the biggest bear hugs. You don’t really do that for anyone else right now.

I know there will be days in the future when we’ll get on each others’ nerves. You may even tell me you hate me and it’ll break my heart. Even in those moments, I hope you’ll remember that I still love you. And those big bear hugs? I hope you’ll still hug me like that when you’re a teenager–or at least once you go off to college.

stroud (23 of 70)

Photo by Alyssa McNally

 

Happy Birthday, dear Jaylen! May you always remember that Daddy and I love you because you’re our son. No other explanation is needed.

Love,

Mommy

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Growing Baby

I haven’t been posting a lot of pregnancy pictures online, but for those who may be curious as to how Baby Stroud has been growing, he is definitely hitting a growth spurt.

First half of pregnancy

First half of pregnancy

belly2

2nd half of pregnancy

I started out taking photos every two weeks (except for the first two). I will note that on week 12, it looks like I have more of a belly, but judging by the photos after that, it wasn’t exactly baby belly showing at that time. 😉 Now that we’re only about two more months until Baby’s birthday, I’m taking pictures every week. I think this is when we’ll see the most growth anyway.

I’m still feeling pretty good. No back pain or other aches yet…unless I’m sitting in the same position for a while. Then I start to get uncomfortable. I’m tired, but I also need to work on getting to sleep earlier (5am alarms are tough). Gerald and I are getting excited to meet baby, but I know I’m also a little anxious! I don’t feel ready for baby yet (in terms of…we don’t really have anything for him!) We did set up the Pack ‘N’ Play in our room and I bought a stroller, which arrived last week. We finally also ordered the crib, which should get here Saturday. Maybe I’ll start to feel better once we start putting things in the nursery. Speaking of Saturday, we have an all-day childbirth preparation class that day so it should be interesting! Hopefully it won’t make me more nervous about labor and delivery. 🙂

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It’s a…

Last Monday we had our anatomy scan. Any time I get to see or hear baby is exciting and reassuring because then I know that it’s still alive and that everything’s okay. This ultrasound was also special because it’s the first one Gerald could come to and the first one since 10 weeks pregnant. Baby looked a lot more human and less like a bean! We were also hoping to find out the gender of the baby.

The scan went pretty well except for the fact that baby was curled up and made it more challenging for us to see his/her face. It also means I need to go back for another ultrasound in a couple weeks so they can get better pictures of the heart. We tried to get baby to stretch out by having me change positions, but no such luck. The ultrasound tech kept saying, “Baby’s hiding.” So maybe baby’s taking after mommy a little bit by being shy! Everything seems to look good though.

Profile view of Baby (it wouldn't let me rotate it)

Profile view of Baby (it wouldn’t let me rotate it to landscape, but the head is at the top)

Since baby was curled up, I was getting nervous by the end of the appointment that we wouldn’t be able to find out the gender. But I asked the tech about it before we left and she said she was able to tell. She even had a picture for us so she wrote it down on a piece of paper and put that with the pic in the envelope we brought. We sealed it and had to wait until our gender reveal party to find out!

On Sunday we had a small gender reveal party just for our families and one family from church (the husband and wife used to be my youth counselors). We passed the envelope with the gender to Susan, the wife, earlier in the week and I asked her to get helium balloons in pink or blue (depending on what the paper says) and told her to put them in a big box. Originally I was going to have my sister do this, but then I thought it would be more fun for all our family members to be surprised together.

Ready to open the box!

Ready to open the box!

So we all gathered at our new house after church (so it was sort of a house warming party too) for lunch and the big reveal. It also happened to be my mother-in-law’s birthday, but she was gracious to share the day with us because scheduling was so hard to do. My brother surprised us too by coming in for the party from Minnesota! We kept the party casual by doing a potluck and stressed we didn’t want people to bring gifts. Gerald grilled made-to-order burgers for everyone and the only game/activity we did was a quiz I found online about old wives tales that supposedly indicate the baby’s gender. We also had everyone vote on a tally board for whether they thought baby was a boy or a girl. Gerald voted boy and I put my vote on girl (even though a few months ago I dreamed we were having a boy). The boy had more votes.

The Votes

The Votes

After everyone ate, we gathered together to go over the quiz answers and then finally the big reveal, which you can watch for yourself (just scroll down if you don’t want to watch the video to find out what we’re having):

(keep scrolling…)

So we’re expecting a baby boy this December! 🙂 I got a little emotional once we opened the box, not because I was sad, but knowing the gender makes this pregnancy a little more real. Baby is a “he” and not just “it” or “baby” anymore. So although I probably won’t get a little equestrian out of my baby boy, I may be able to turn him into a runner. Gerald’s looking forward to fishing, basketball, and dressing our son in H&M Kids clothes. 😛

It was special to share this moment with our families by all finding out the baby’s gender together. I’m not sure if I’ll end up doing this with any other children God might bless us with, but I definitely prefer finding out in a more special way than just at the doctor’s office. I gave Hershey’s bars to all the people who voted for a boy as a prize. I was going to color the Hershey part with markers, but the ones I had wouldn’t stay on the wrapper. Oh well.

Blue cupcakes were brought out after the reveal!

Blue cupcakes were brought out after the reveal!

So enjoy a few more pictures from our party.

We're having a boy!

We’re having a boy!

Team Blue - the winners!

Team Blue – the winners!

Team Pink - the losers

Team Pink – the losers

Even the pugs are excited

Even the pugs are excited

22 weeks

22 weeks

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