Chasen – Three Months

At three months Chasen was 11 lbs, 12 ounces. Yay weight gain! By three months I had stopped nursing and was doing bottles with expressed milk and formula supplementation to bring his weight up. MawMaw came to visit during her February break and we took her and Chasen to the aquarium for the first time. Chasen started sitting up in the Bumbo by himself, chewing on his hands, sleeping without being held (sometimes), and smiling – a lot!

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Mommy Guilt

I’ve always been a bit of a perfectionist and planner. I struggle to let other people do things when I think I can do them better. I struggle when things do not go according to plan. I struggle when I’m not able to be the mom that I think I need to be, that the world thinks I need to be. I struggle with “mommy guilt.”

Before Chasen arrived I knew exactly the kind of birth I would have and the kind of mom I would be.

Birth would be all natural – my mom had done it that way, so I could too. And then I was in labor for a week, Chasen was stuck, and despite every natural technique, he wouldn’t budge. So I gave up. I got pitocin. I got an epidural. And I felt guilty.

I was going to breastfeed. I read all the blogs and books and knew it was best. And then Chasen wouldn’t latch and fell off the growth charts. I guilted myself into trying for two months to make it work, hating every minute. So I gave up. And I felt guilty.

I was not going to let Chasen sleep too much in my arms. I knew it would start bad habits. But then he wouldn’t sleep unless he was in my arms. So I gave up. And I felt guilty.

I feel guilty when I let Chasen cry it out for an hour. I feel guilty when the house is a wreck when Micah gets home. I feel guilty when dinner is leftovers or frozen pizza…again.

Chasen is only 7 months old and I’ve already learned that everywhere I turn society and social media can make me feel guilty for not having it all together. BUT! Because of Christ I am free from guilt. I’ve been reading Christ in the Chaos and a recent chapter addressed this mommy guilt. Romans 5:17 says, “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” Christ wiped my slate clean, not so I can start over because I would just mess it up again. I would be jealous of others. I would be prideful. I would have a bad attitude. I would (and do) sin, again and again. Instead, Christ wiped my slate clean so it can now display the perfect record of my Savior! As a mom I can be confident in the truth that my identity doesn’t rest in the kind of labor I had, whether I breastfed, whether I let Chasen cry it out but instead my identity rests in Christ. That’s what is important and that’s what I want to teach Chasen. I want him to know that I mess up and he will too, but our identity and salvation comes through Christ alone – not in the wordly things we accomplish.

Chasen – Two Months

The majority of Chasen’s second month of life was spent traveling. We left for vacation the day after his one month birthday and made it to Pennsylvani before stopping for the night. Chasen was a great traveler! I picked Micah up from work around 2, fed Chasen in the parking lot, and then we hit the road. Thankfully he slept for five hours and allowed us to make it through some really bad weather in Connecticut.

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We made it to South Carolina on Wednesday the 18th (happy anniversary to us!) and began vacation! It was so nice to be home with family and have a little help with Chasen. There were plenty of aunts, uncles, and grandparents that wanted snuggles.

The Saturday after we arrived we made a day trip to Columbia to see my dad’s family so Chasen could meet his great grand-daddy!

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Micah, Grandaddy, Chasen, and me

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Cousins meeting for the first time.

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We were back in Laurens until Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve we went to Greenville to the see the Roper Mountain Lights and Chasen got to meet the Tiger for the first time. He of course could have cared less, but I was very excited!

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We spent Christmas morning with Micah’s family and then headed to Woodstock to be with mine. I couldn’t resist the cute Christmas outfit I found at Kohls. The hat from Target just finished the look off. I wish he was still little enough to wear it. :)

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I went out to get the mail one day and laughed at the sight of all the cars. My mom’s, my grandmothers, my brother’s personal car, work car,  and our car. Not picture….my sister-in-laws van and my dad’s car. Plus the camper. Ha. We were a sight for sure.

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 We got back to Boston the first weekend in January and hit the ground running. I was back at staff meeting and Micah was back at work. On January 13th Chasen’s bud Colin was born! He wasn’t very excited when we went to meet him.

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And the most fun of all…he smiled for us!

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Chasen – One Month

I don’t know if I’ll ever get Chasen’s baby book made or anything scrapbooked for him but I want to be able to remember what life was like when he was little. It’s my goal to blog at least once a month if not once a week as he grows and changes.
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During our first week home I made sure to capture a few newborn shots of Chasen. This is one of my favorites of him resting in Micah’s hand.

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Because Chasen was born the week before Thanksgiving we were able to have a lot of family come in town to celebrate with us. This is him meeting Dude in the airport at two weeks old.

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Being the stubborn woman that I am, I wanted my family to do something fun while they were in Boston. We took everyone downtown to see the large Christmas tree at Fanenueil hall the Friday after Thanksgiving.

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Chasen’s first time at Redemption Hill, only a week old.

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Chasen loving his first bath! I can’t believe how much he has already grown.

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Chasen met my favorite 3.5 year olds! Excuse the bad picture, it’s hard to get them to sit still.

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Chasen took his first trip to Market Basket for Thanksgiving meal supplies.

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First trip out of the house was to Chick-fil-a, of course!

At one month old - 

Weight: 7 lbs 11 oz.
Heigh: 20.75 inches.
Nursing every 1.5 – 2 hours.
During the day he would only sleep in my arms.
Wearing newborn clothes and size 1 diapers.
Loved my JJ Cole wrap, especially when he wouldn’t let me put him down and just needed mama cuddles.
Firsts: Christmas with mom and dad, RHC Staff Meeting, and snow!
Likes: sleeping in mama’s arms, mobile over his bed, car rides, being rocked to sleep.
Dislikes: sleeping by himself, his swing.

I’m not going to lie, I’m thankful we are past the first month. I miss his newborn look, but the first month was hard. Thankful for the Lord’s grace during that month and how he sustained Micah and I both during late night feedings and crying that lasted hours.

Chasen Thomas

Chasen Thomas made his grand entrance into the world on November 16th, three days before his due date. It didn’t happen just as this mama had planned, but it was beautiful and special nonetheless.

During my pregnancy I read books and practiced labor positions preparing myself for a natural delivery. Chasen had an entirely different agenda. I began experiencing strong contractions a week before he came which warranted a trip to the hospital. We stayed for an hour or so, they monitored Chasen and my contractions, and then sent us home to wait it out. We, along with the midwives, expected to be back that night or early the next morning. They didn’t see us until a week later. All week long I had contractions in the evenings that would eventually taper off and I would be able to go to bed. It was a long, hard week. The Lord was certainly stretching my patience and trust. Nothing negative can be said about Micah though. He was a pillar of strength and patience and grace. I had a regular check-up on Thursday the 14th. My midwife was beyond puzzled that I was still pregnant. She did several things that she hoped would move things along. Finally, Thursday night the contractions came like they had been but stayed. I was able to labor at home almost all day Friday before we headed to the hospital that afternoon. After several false alarms I was not expecting to stay, and figured they would send me home. It felt like Christmas morning when they admitted me on Friday afternoon. We were going to meet our son.

Chasen continued to take his time making his way into the world. We were admitted into the hospital Friday afternoon around 3:30. I continued to labor without any medicine all through the night. Around 2am we thought I was making good progress and he would come soon, only to find out I had digressed. The midwives upped the amount of pitocin I was receiving and had me lie in different positions to get Chasen to turn around so he would be facing the right direction, but nothing was working. Eventually my exhaustion took over and I accepted an epidural around 9am Saturday morning. The epidural allowed me to get some rest, relieved the back labor, and most importantly encouraged Chasen to flip around! Around 2:00pm the midwife came to check on my progress. After being stuck at 4cm for almost 24 hours I had finally made it to 10! I started pushing at 2:30pm and Chasen arrived at 4:41pm – according to Micah. His birth certificate says 4:45pm, but Micah says the hospital is wrong. ;)

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 7 lbs 9 oz
21 inches long

 

Giving birth to Chasen was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but it was all worth it the moment they placed him on my chest. The son we had been praying for was in our arms. This beautiful baby boy was ours.

 

Jehovah Jireh

It was surely not an accident that a month and half after I left my good paying job as a nanny to work for Redemption Hill and raise support Micah and I found out we were pregnant. We couldn’t have been any more excited. Littlest Lee was someone we had been praying for with great expectation from the Lord. Since finding out we were expecting the Lord has graciously blessed us and humbled us. As we anticipate Littlest’s arrival three months from now the Lord continues to remind me that He will provide.

He’ll cross my path with a great yard sale where I can buy several nice to have but not necessary things for a total of 20 dollars.

He’ll provide me with two bags full of maternity clothes when I get overwhelmed with having to buy a wardrobe for just a few months.

He’ll put people in our life that will graciously give us clothes, bedding, and furniture.

He’ll bless us with a friend who is training to be a doula so I can feel at peace with being 900 miles away from my mom.

He reminds me it isn’t about the decorations, the bedding, or the stuff, but it is about raising Littlest to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). That’s what motherhood and parenting is about and I pray that as November draws closer and we anxiously wait to hold Littlest in our arms I remember it isn’t about what I can do, but about what He can do.

 

5 month hiatus

Well it has been another five months since the last time I blogged. One of these days I will find some consistency to my blogging schedule. As per usual I am going to do another photo dump because I feel like that is the best way to go back in time quickly. So here we go…

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In February we had a blizzard. I think the final number for Medford was 2 feet! We had drifts closer to 4 feet in some spots (against my car being one of those spots). Unfortunately Micah was sick the weekend of the blizzard so my friend and upstairs neighbor, Jessica, helped me dig my car out. We started the first day before the snow plow had come down our street which was a huge mistake. I thought surely the plow would push the snow to the other side of the road (where there were NO cars), but no he dumped all the snow right back on my car. 

 

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See the black crate in the street? Yes, that was my spot. Before the snow melted (which took several weeks) people reserved their spots with crates, cones, chairs, garbage cans. Someone moved my crate and took my spot one day, I almost keyed their car. OK, not really but I was pretty annoyed. 

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Chick-fil-a and Cheesecake Factory was our Valentine’s Day date. It was delicious! (And cheap).

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Got to go skiing/snowboarding with several ladies in my community group. It was a great day on the mountain and I am continuing to improve!

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I started working for our church through Generation Link in February. I now work from home and as a result this is what my desk looks like on most days.

12 weeks

And the best news of all! In March we found out that we were expecting. Littlest Lee is due November 19th. We couldn’t be more thrilled and humbled the Lord has chosen us to be parents. I am also thrilled because I am starting to feel better. :) 

And with that you are pretty much caught up on our lives. Micah is still in school, a little over a year left. I am still working for the church and hoping to continue after the baby comes (possibly more part-time). The weather is slowly warming up and reminding me that yes, summer/spring does come to Boston. We are headed to Georgia/South Carolina in June for a week with family. I am counting down the days!

I’m not making any promises, but maybe Littlest Lee will get me to write more often.

Since October

Hi I’m Carrie and sometimes I blog here at this website. :) But seriously, I’m going to do better. I like to think I have grand excuses for not updating the blog but alas there are none; other than the fact that since October our lives haven’t been very interesting. I guess since Micah started school again (last August) we err on the side of boring.

Here are a few fun things we’ve done since last fall.

1. My mom visited in September and we took her to Bar Harbor, Maine.

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The most delicious breakfast I think I’ve ever had. 

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Blueberry Soda – We ate a lot of Blueberry

2. After our 10k in July we took a long hiatus and then tried to train again.

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And it didn’t go well.  

3. In October I visited my sister in Texas.

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 She was a docent for the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit. 

4. We had our first snow at the beginning of November.

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 It was a good one too!

5. I cooked all sorts of yummy goodness for Thanksgiving.

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The list!

6. My husband took me out for a wonderful evening. We saw a show, ate at a snazzy restaurant, got cupcakes from a cute dessert boutique, and then topped it off by staying in a fancy hotel downtown.

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My pumpkin cream cheese cupcake. 

7. We decorated for Christmas on Thanksgiving morning.

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This was a new addition this year. Tomato cage Christmas tree in my kitchen. It was lovely.

8. We made the long voyage down south to see family at Christmas again. Thankfully the drive went much faster than last year.

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Before we left I was determined to capture every state sign that we passed, and I succeeded. Not pictured: WV, VA, NC, SC, GA. (No worries, I do have them!)

9. And last but definitely not least. While we were home I got to spend an incredible week with my family and see this precious face every single day.

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I mean really, what’s not to love?

Davidson River

We are going to ignore the fact I haven’t blogged in MONTHS and pick up right where I left off.

During the first week of July Micah and I flew to SC to spend a week camping with both of our families. We went to Davidson River campground in Brevard, NC. My family visited this campground every summer while we lived in Asheville and a few summers after we moved. It is a favorite of ours, so I was excited to create new memories with Micah and his family.

The weather was unfortunately much hotter than normal, so we tried to stay busy indoors and in the river. (The campground doesn’t have power, so no A/C was available in our campers).

We took lots of tubing trips down the river.

We went to the Cradle of Forestry (historic walking museum about the first school of forestry).

We celebrated the fourth of July. On the morning of the 4th Micah, Philip, and I ran a 10k. Philip got first in his age division, Micah and I finished and both improved our times from the previous 10k. After our run we got BBQ and ice cream! That night we watched the Brevard County fireworks display.

On our last full day we hiked Looking Glass and drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

Annie Kate, Amanda, Mr. Lee, my parents, Micah and I all made the hike. It is only 6 miles, but the three going up are hard! The views at the top are truly breathtaking.

This is the view of Looking Glass that you can see from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It was a great week with family. Like always it was hard to leave, and doesn’t seem fair that we won’t see some of them until Christmas. Only two more months!

From the beach to the mountains

Sorry for the long delay in posts. Life has been busy the past few months.

1. At the beginning of May we went to Atlanta/Charleston for my cousin’s wedding. We were able to see Micah’s family briefly too. It was good to see family, and be home with my mama on Mother’s Day.

The happy couple getting pictures taken.

The beach. 

2. The weekend after we got back from Charleston we went camping in southwestern Massachusetts. We went to a campground about an hour away from Six Flags over NE, so we spent the day riding roller coasters on Friday. The campground was set on this beautiful lake that we took a hike around on Saturday before going home. It was a fun weekend!

Dishwasher. 


The beginning of my hot dog roasting fire. Delicious.

3. Micah and I ran our first 10k the weekend after camping. Despite the rain and chilly weather we had fun! I can now understand the addiction of running in official races. Micah and I both did better than we expected. I finished in exactly an hour, which was my goal, with a 9:40 mile pace throughout the six miles.

Ready for the race!

4. We took a second camping trip to the Berkshires and Savoy State Park. We hadn’t made it to western Massachusetts yet, so I was excited to see mountains that reminded me of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We tried to take a hiking trip on Friday, but the trail was not very well maintained so we couldn’t finish the hike.

Nothing like a good “Beat Xing” sing to make you feel safe. 

Reminds me of home. Love it!

Something about being in Florida, Mass made me laugh.

Shortly after our camping trip to the Berkshires we headed south for a week long vacation with family, a post on that coming soon!