"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Monday, June 28, 2010

I almost didn't share...

Since she's all naked, but its too cute not to!
Doesn't it just look like she dancing an Irish jig??? There's just something so perfect about a chubby baby... her rolls are just divine. :)
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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Visit From Cookie! And Aunt Shawna! And Aiden! And Kendall!

Last week was a whole lotta fun, with a whole lotta visitors at the Wann house. It was a bit chaotic to be honest. Isla got a visit from her Cookie and Aunt Shawna, who brought along her little cousins, Aiden and Kendall! They just can't seem to keep themselves away from this little princess... my sister did not come to visit us ONE time the whole 2 1/2 years we lived in Louisiana before Isla was born and this is already her second trip. She spent a week with us right after Isla was born, and then last week, and she is already talking about coming in August again!
This angel is hard to give up once you get a taste of her.
And Isla loves her Aunt Shawna too. Very few people can get this kind of a reaction from her at the age she is at! This is a video that I will always cherish.
All in all it was a very momentous visit. We finally made it to the nearby game preserve called Global Wildlife. Its filled with a ton of cute, cute little animals, all herbivores, and we all had a blast. Isn't this a good/funny lookin' family? Yes, that was the best picture we could get of all of us.
I do love the picture of Cookie with Kendall and Aiden though.
Here are the kids all getting ready for the trip to Global Wildlife, and Isla got to wear her cool shades.
Doesn't it look like Kendall just adores her little cousin? I know Aiden does, but sometimes I wonder about little miss Kendall. I thought she would be so excited to come and see us in Louisiana when Cookie told her (But I already saw them!). I think she does love her cousin, except maybe when Isla cries (It annoys me when she cries!) or when Isla spits up (Ahhhhh, get her off me, get her off me!) Haha. All in all, though watching the three of them interact is pretty delightful.

Isla didn't mind Global Wildlife much, but I think she much preferred sleeping. Cookie managed to pry her out of my arms by claiming it was too hot for her to be in her Baby Bjorn. Cookie and Shawna spent half of the visit plotting ways to GET Isla from me and then KEEP her, ha! I am very generous with letting people hold her though... I promise.
Kendall and Aiden had a blast, but they gave out all of their food a little too quickly, so they had run out by the time we came to the last stop. They were not able to entice their favorite animal of the day over to them for very long... a giant Longhorn cow.
Treacherous children! They just said his tongue felt neat. Whatever. At least Isla knows the proper reaction when faced with a Longhorn. That's my little Aggie princess :).
Aiden finally got a hair cut... it was so cute and much needed! The final straw for his mom was when a little boy down the street mistook him for a girl. Its kind of Aiden's own fault... he kept stealing Kendall's bike - its purple and had streamers, so he could ride one with training wheels. His bike didn't have training wheels. I'll say this for Aiden though, it takes real confidence to ride an obviously girl's bike and not care what anyone says or thinks! I did not get a picture of him on it though, drat, no blackmail for his later years :).

There were of course many Cookie photo shoots with her grandchildren. Sometimes the children were willing models... sometimes.
And of course, hanging with Uncle Nick. He's a favorite of theirs. I knew he would be a wonderful, hands-on father because he is a wonderful, hands-on uncle! Kendall and Aiden were mesmerized by his guitar.
Cookie, Shawna, Kendall and Aiden also got to go on a Swamp Tour. I thought about taking Isla and getting a photo of us, a-la-Steve Irwin, but I changed my mind. She had a Doctors visit with SHOTS that afternoon so I wanted to make sure she had a restful morning. I love this picture of Kendall and Aiden, don't they look like little scientists on an expedition with those serious expressions?
It was a great visit and I can't wait for everyone to come back in August, even if I am still catching up on the house cleaning from this visit a week later :). My house was not made to hold soooo many people!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Trip to the Pool!

Here are Isla and her Daddy getting all ready for Isla's first trip to the pool!

Sadly, she was not that impressed with it. We thought she would love it since she is such a huge fan of bath time, and since pools in Louisiana are about the same temperature as her bathwater! She didn't hate it though...
Here she is chillin'... the water did seem to wear her out!
Her favorite part... cuddling in a towel when we were done. That's usually my favorite part too!

I can't wait for swim lessons next year!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Review: Bringing Up Girls

My Rating: 4/5 Stars!

The Review:
I love Pastor Dobson, and being a very conservative person, I found a lot to like about this book! Dobson is considered very controversial in some (ie secular, feminist, ivory tower intellectual circles), and he has been called a lot of very bad things. Yes, he is very traditional, he thinks that Mothers should stay home with their children, he thinks that families should have a Mother AND a Father, he thinks that sex should be reserved for inside of a marriage... you get my drift! So before I go any further into this review, I want to say this for people who would disregard his opinions: I find that he is not the overbearing monster that he is made out to be in the media. He approaches every single topic from single motherhood to homosexuality with sensitivity and a sincere care for the individual in whatever their situation.

The Downside:
When Isla was born, I believed 100% that God created her for a purpose. I am not sure what that purpose is, but I can tell you what it is NOT. God did not create Isla so that I could live my life in fear! Having a child comes with a lot of worry, and I was worrying and worrying about everything with her. You worry about SIDs and other illnesses, you worry about her growing up... what if she is out of our eye sight for a second and someone snatches her and kills her or worse? I don't need to go into further detail, but all of these things have run through my mind at one point or another. For a few weeks, all that I could think about was everything that could go wrong! And then I meditated on the Bible and I remembered that Gods most frequent command to me was to "Fear Not!" And I know this applies to my life as a parent. So, I made the decision right then and there that He was sovereign and that he was raising her. I'm just here to help him out!

Then I read this book! The worse thing about Pastor Dobson is that he has seen a lot. He has counseled victims of sexual abuse, drug addicts - you name it! He told one story of sitting on a Congressional Counsel on child abuse in the 80's where someone had videotaped a little boy being killed. He is more aware of anyone of the dangers that are out there for your kids and he wants to make sure that you are informed. I know he comes from a place of love, but it made me afraid to every leave Isla with anyone! Even people who I had been left with as a child, just in case in the mean time they had turned into a sexual predator.

Then I prayed again, and God told me the same thing "Fear Not!" I'm glad its in the book, I just think that you need to have a healthy perspective that there is still a lot of good in the world and people that can be trusted before you read it.

The Upside:
There were many wonderful things in this book!!! My favorite parts were on Fathers, how they influence their daughters in all areas, including emotional fitness and physical development. An engaged and caring father is absolutely essential to the development of a girls self image and self esteem. It was also interesting to note that studies have found that in households where fathers were involved in their daughters lives and were appropriately affectionate that the start of a girls menses was also delayed well passed the age of her peers. Very interesting stuff!!! He also discussed the importance of Mothers and how a mother who respects herself and expects the men around her to respect her will always influence her daughter to expect the same.

The things that Dobson is saying are Biblical truths and standards, but he also has sound research and evidence from many, many studies and experiments to back up what he is saying. Some of what he is saying should be self explanatory, but in the relativistic world we live in, people don't tend to believe anything unless you have scientific evidence. Well study after study has shown that children in married, biological two parent (mother/father) households do better in all aspects of development!

Dobson acknowledges that not every can achieve the ideal married, two parent model, and he offers advice and examples on how to be able to fill in the gaps. Dobson himself was raised by his single mother and then his step father, and he gives a lot of advice to single mothers on dating and raising your children without a father present in the home. As I said, he is very careful to uphold the standard while being sensitive to the needs of people who can't achieve it. This is not about insulting people, it is about helping raise the next generation of emotionally fit children.

YES! If you have girls, go get it! And if you have boys, get Bringing Up Boys, also by Dobson. I've read that one too. There is a lot of wonderful advice in this books, just make sure to take a few minutes to remember that we live in a Wannderful world before you dive into it... sorry, it's just been a while since I've done a Wann-pun, and I get a little itch after a while. :)

Next on my Parenting reading list, I have a decidedly secular book. However, it was sent to me by my friend Lacey, who is a wonderful, Godly woman who is raising her little boy to be a man of God, so I know that there are a lot of good things in it. Plus, hopefully it will counteract any remaining worry from Bringing Up Girls!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

NOLA Nights (and Days)!

Last week we went to downtown New Orleans TWO times. The second time was extra awesome because we went for a conference for Nick and we got to stay at a very nice hotel in the French Quarter for TWO nights. Can I just say it was heaven? I never appreciated hotel living until I owned my home and now its the best! It was really weird getting a hotel to stay in a place because it was far away (according to Nick's boss) that I used to drive to every single day! I am so glad that I am not making that commute anymore.

It was also an opportunity to put Isla's suitcase to good use! For some reason, I had been dying to buy her her own suitcase... don't ask me why I was so fixated on it. I almost didn't get her one because I thought it was not a necessity, and I even mentioned it to Nick... who sure enough said that it was the silliest thing he had ever heard... getting a baby her own suitcase, PLEASE! I agreed and thought that I was being impractical until we actually went to Texas with her over Memorial Day weekend and that little girl needed more luggage space than the two of us combined! So I used the $100 that my precious Mother-In-Law, Isla's Boo, sent me to spend on something fun for her, and I got her this adorable, personalized suitcase!
Here we are in Jackson Square! I did not get any pictures with her on Bourbon street. Both times I almost did, but then I changed my mind. I'm not sure if it was the stench that kept us moving or not wanting to have documented evidence that I stood in front of the Hustler Hollywood club with my 7 week old, but I think I made the right choice! By the way, I am holding her in the Maya Wrap my sister-in-law bought us, and I highly recommend it. They are awesome, and it is the new present that I am going to get all of my pregnant friends.
Here she is being held by Nick in Cafe Du Monde. We really need to work on her getting her face in the shots!

Where do you eat when you are staying in a town with some of the best restaurants in the world? Why Arby's of course! This is what Dave Ramsey calls having too much month at the end of your money :). We had to eat cheap, which I didn't mind. It's worth it to stay home with my Angel. By the way, as we were walking her up and down Canal Street some guy stopped us and asked us "How much for that baby?" Evidently this is what passes for humor in downtown NOLA, which reminded me yet again why we rarely make it to the Southshore!
Little Miss Isla likes hotel living too! She slept over 7 hours both nights and took deep naps. I could NOT get her up from this nap. Gosh I love this little angel...
We also met with my coworkers for lunch, but I forgot to get pictures...

2 Month Check Up Update!

Remember this outfit??? Well I took it back and got a 6 month outfit and its a good thing I did because my little Princess is only 2 months old and we decided to get it out and try it on her. It first perfectly... she was not long for the 3 month size. Also, when I went back to return it, I noticed that it had a little matching bow. You know I cannot resist the matching bows, and if I hadn't gone back... she would have had to wear this bowless!!! Oh no! Couldn't you just eat her with a spoon? I spend about half the day nibbling on her little chunky rolls.

She had her 2 month check up on Friday and I'm sad to say that Isla Frances is no longer making As, as she's no longer in the 90th percentile for weight! Of course I told her I was very disappointed in her. :) (You know I'm joking, right?) Her weight gain has slowed down some and she is currently 12 lbs 6 oz, which puts her in the 80th percentile. Her length is 23 inches and in the 80th percentile and her head circumference is 16 inches and in the 75th percentile.

I'm so blessed to have such a beautiful and healthy girl!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Isla Frances is 2 Months Old!

Isla Frances is two months old today!

Where has the time gone??? We are loving every second with this little bundle of cute at the Wann household and it is going by so fast! She celebrated her birth by almost sleeping through the night. I woke up at 5:30 AM thinking... if she makes it to 6, I am calling it "sleeping through the night." Well she only made it to 5:49 AM, but that's ok... she is slowly getting there. She has already slept 7 to 7+ hours 4 times, regularly sleeps 6 hours, and always makes it to at least 5 hours. Even when she does wake up, she is super easy. She eats and then I put her in her bed and she either falls right back to sleep or she puts herself back to sleep. As her Cookie says "This is the kind of baby that could spoil a first time mom!"
She has been so smiley this past week. One day she was my little pensive baby who only smiled every now and then, and the all of a sudden last week she smiles all the time... and not just at her Daddy, at me too! She has also been laughing up a storm. Her Dad said that she has been laughing for two weeks now, but as the keeper of the baby book... it doesn't really happen until Mommy sees it! :)
She is also getting bigger and bigger! I measure her at 12.2 pounds and 23 inches. My scale isn't very accurate, so we'll see what the pediatrician says on Friday. She already pretty much too big for a lot of her 0 to 3 month clothes, and it makes me so, so sad! I can't wait for her to grow up, but I also don't want her to ever change. We do love our little chunky monkey though... as my sister says, "We are a fan of the chunk!"
She is holding her head up pretty much all on her own, and really enjoys time in the Bumbo chair. I think that she is going to be like her mommy in the athletic department. She does not seem to be at all interested in improving her hand/eye coordination as she has shown no interest in reaching for her toys; she spends most of her time smiling at them and talking to them. Maybe she'll be like me and hate sports but love yoga... she can already do a mean cobra pose! Here she is smiling and laughing at her Whoozit toy!
I have never had so much fun in my life!!! I love her so much. We are filled with such joy that its impossible to contain. I thank God every single day for this gift from him. She is just "on loan" to me for a little while and I plan to enjoy every single second. His timing is ALWAYS perfect! The two years that we waited and tried and prayed to get pregnant were so worth it to get this perfect little angel.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Parent Deliberately

I just had a sudden realization that when Isla was born, I didn't just become a Mom, I became a Parent... that is a scary prospect for me! Plus, I haven't really read any books on parenting since I found out I was pregnant... also a scary prospect. How can I ever do anything if it hasn't first been published with detailed instructions by someone? :)

Luckily for me, I am smart enough to know that I am NOT very wise, and I like to surround myself with friends that I look up to. For instance, my best friend Emily is always a model of patience, commitment - if she says she'll do something, she does it, and she always sees the best in people. Not be particularly virtuous in any of those areas, I'm glad that I have someone to model them to me.

When it comes to parenting, I have a friend Lacey, who I think is one of the best moms that I know. She gave me the best advice on being a parent. The first is to "Parent Deliberately", know what you are doing any why. Think through the messages you send to your kids with your actions. The second was this, "Set out your goals for your children, obviously you have to be flexible, but know what you want for them!"

What a concept! Set goals... I remember reading a few years back that just having a goal, whether it be about finances or personal achievement made people tend to be more successful in those areas even if they weren't actively trying to achieve those goals. Plus, this is right in line for me, since I tend to be very goal oriented. I plan to "Train up Isla in the way she should go..."

These are my goals for little Isla:
  1. I hope that when she is older that she loves the LORD, her God, with all her heart, soul, mind and strength. This means that I have to model this behavior to her. Am I good at modeling this behavior? Not really... but I have to be diligent about abiding in Him all day and every day, so that Isla sees that in me.
  2. I hope that Isla grows up to respect herself, and to not tolerate boys that do not respect her. My husband can model this by treating me and Isla respectfully, by being courteous and gentlemanly. Nick always opens my doors for me, even 5 years into our marriage, and I try to act like a Lady for him.
  3. I would like for Isla to marry a Godly man, and to not date until she is in college. I want her to marry a man that is worthy of her, who courts her and pursues her, and who treats her like the Princess that she is. I plan to share with her all of the stories of Nick and mines courtship. It was a magical time in my life, and I thank God for providing me with a husband who thought that I was worthy of his time and attention. Nick can reinforce this by going out of his way to spend time with her, to show her that she is worthy of his time and attention while she is in our home, and she should accept no less once she leaves it.
  4. I would like for Isla to have some idea of the direction she wants her life to take by 18, and to be self sufficient by the time she graduates college. I want her to go through life without debt, and Nick and I can help her with these things by providing her with a college education and a good start.
  5. I want Isla to know how beautiful she is! That she is "fearfully and wonderfully made". I want her to not judge her beauty by the images that she sees on TV. I will do my very best to not criticize my own looks or fret about my weight. I do not want her to model that behavior. From now on I will accept a complement with a "Thank you!" and not a self-deprecating response. Nick can also reinforce this by telling her how precious and beautiful she is to him and to Him each and every day.
Of course I have secondary goals that are just personal wishes... for example I would be delighted if she were politically conservative and also an engineer :), but those are what really matter! I love this little treasure from God and I am so thankful for her. She deserves nothing by my love and for me to bring my "A-Game" every second that I spend with her!

While I was out the other day, I saw that James Dobson has released "Bringing Up Girls", which I promptly bought and I am reading it right now. Funny how since I had a baby it takes me so much longer to finish books? I'll write a quick review once its done...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Daddy's Girl!

Only Isla's Daddy get her to smile like this! She is such a Daddy's girl already :). My little girl is sweet as can be, but I have a feeling that she has a grave, serious little personality. She smiles some, but mostly she likes to observe everything. I think she's a thinker... but when her Daddy is home, she gets all silly! I LOVE IT.

And saving the BEST for last...
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mommies Group

During my pregnancy, I was lucky enough to have two of my dear friends, Elysha and Jessica, be pregnant with me at the same time. Nick and I also took a Lamaze class, where I met two other pregnant girls. I have been ruminating on the idea of getting everyone together to talk about being Mommies! The oldest baby was Avery at 4 months and Isla was the youngest baby at almost 8 weeks.

I finally got my act together and invited everyone over today. I had a lot of fun and hopefully so did everyone else. It was nice to talk about our babies, births and anything else we could think of... all baby related of course. My living room was covered in car seats, bouncy chairs, bumbo chairs... it was amazing that we could even fit so much baby gear in one small living room! I am really hoping that we can do it again, and maybe turn it into a regular Mother's Group. Its important to keep up friendships and have some adult time. I am thinking we can even schedule activities to do together as the kids get older. We are already talking about having a get together at our neighborhood swimming pool next time.

This is everyone sitting around gabbing.
Here is Elysha... trying to act naturally in front of the camera!
Here is her little fellow, Nathan. He really took a shine to Isla's swing. It is kind of an awesome swing... it seems like taking a nap there would be a little bit like sleeping in a cloud.
This is Bella with her little boy Vincent and Chiara with her little girl Maete Valentina. They are both so precious, and I can't get over how big Vincent is, and he's younger than both Avery and Nathan! I met Chiara and Bella at the Lamaze class and all three of us were so gung ho over having natural and/or vaginal births, and all three of us ended up with c-sections! Its pretty ironic.Jessica with little miss Avery! I am in love with her strawberry blonde hair... where did it come from?
And me with my girl... can you tell I am loving this?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Isla and Avery's Playdate!

Today Isla had a playdate with her BFF Avery! Here is the cutie pie girl herself :).

I think she is saying "I love being so pretty and having such pretty friends! Thank goodness our Mommies understand the importance of accessorizing." No, I'm only kidding... hopefully she is saying "I am so glad that our Mommies understand the importance of having wonderful sweet friends to share your life with!"

I certainly adore Avery's mommy and I know one she and Isla will be great friends, just like Jessica and I are!

Here is Jessica marveling at how small Isla is! Its so hard to believe how much bigger Avery is than her, and there is only a 9 week difference between them. Its scary how quickly they grow! I am enjoying each day with her, but I already miss my little new born.
I love this picture because Avery is totally checking out Isla.

Jessica with our girls!
I can't wait for them to get bigger (well I can); I am so looking forward to taking them to the park to play together!

Pure and Undefiled Religion

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