Gavin - Nine Months

Well, my sweet little love, you might start tipping the scale over from sweetest baby ever to craziest baby ever! This ninth month with you has been quite an entertaining little adventure, let me tell you. You sir, have no fear, no hesitation, and if you see it, you go for it. Where your brother has always been super thoughtful and cautious before trying anything out, you have an idea and are moving on it before I even realize what's happening. You're keeping me on my toes 24/7, that's for sure.

You are still incredibly sweet, but you are so super silly that it's becoming your dominating trait I think! You are a fake laugher, and it is hilarious. If you want someone's attention, you stare at them and fake laugh until they notice you. You get so excited about things, and if I'm holding you you always grab onto my shoulder and squeeze and then slide your hands around all frantically while laughing and squealing anytime anything exciting happens. You've starting "teasing" people, looking at them and then when they look at you, you look away and laugh, then look back real quick. So cute.

You love to chase and be chased, and "I'm gonna get Gavin!" always gets you crawling your crazy crawl as fast as you can while laughing your little head off. You LOVE wrestling with your brother, and if he's laying on the ground you will crawl all over him, bite him, scratch him, all while laughing hysterically. Poor guy can't fight back too much because you're still so small (and man, are you small!), so you just get to attack him and he has to take it for the most part - although he holds his own, don't get me wrong. I see so, so much wrestling, and so many injuries in our future. You both love it.

You love to dance to music, and you shake your little hips right in rhythm whenever you hear any kind of beat. You also are a big bouncer, meaning you bounce up and down whenever you are excited, which is A LOT of the time. You've injured your poor lips and chin this way I don't know how many times, because you're always holding on to a table when the bouncing begins. You are a climber, and nothing is too high or too challenging for you. I think it's time to nail every single thing in our home to the walls. You can't be stopped.

Even though you're wild and crazy, you're still a deep thinker when you allow yourself to be still. You get a super serious look on your face and take things in, and I just wish I knew what you were thinking. I know you're understanding a lot of what we say these days - especially no, because you hear it all the time and always hesitate, and sometimes stop what you're doing.

We have a lot of "nicknames" for you I guess you could say. Most of the time I call you Gav or Gav-Gav, but you get a lot of Monkey and Munchkin from your dad, and I call you my little spider monkey a lot because of that crazy bear crawl that you do. That is by far your most notable trait, and everyone that sees you crawl comments on how hilarious it is. I also call you my little puppy somewhat frequently, because you crawl around carrying things in your mouth like a dog a lot. Water bottles, socks, toys - basically anything that you find on the floor.

You are the world's fastest crawler I'm quite sure, and you've started standing up enough that I would assume walking is not too far away. You started standing up directly from a sitting position just a few days after you turned nine months, and you can stand for several seconds at this point before you slowly lower yourself down. You haven't attempted any steps at all, and to be honest I'm totally fine if we hold off on the walking thing for a bit...I feel like once you're walking you will be GONE. I already lose you several times around the house on a daily basis, pretty sure walking will only make that worse.

You are happy almost all the time. The only time you aren't is if I'm gone (I hear you aren't a perfect angel baby for everyone else, you had me fooled), if you're getting your diaper changed, or if you're being put to sleep. You don't even get angry if you're hungry, you just get clingy to me and won't let me put you down until I figure out what you're wanting. Speaking of that, you're still nursing every three or four hours throughout the day, and usually twice at night, although I think you're about to get MORE teeth (you have six already!), so you have been waking up nonstop to comfort nurse I guess. Exhausting for mommy, but that's what I'm here for. You're eating mainly jarred baby food, but you do like bites of our food whenever we're eating something you can have.

You are napping in your crib for all naps (unless we're out and about) and you go down in your crib at bedtime every night. Some nights you'll sleep in there all night, with me coming in two or three times to nurse you and rock you back to sleep which I do not exactly love, and some nights I end up bringing you in to our room somewhere between one and three if you just won't settle back to sleep. I can't do cry it out, I just don't have it in me, but we are LIGHTYEARS ahead of where we were with your brother at this age. He had literally never slept in his crib even once at night at this point, so I'll take this for sure.

Overall, the main thing I want to remember about you at this age is your happiness. You are full of joy, full of giggles, full of fun, and I ADORE you. You make me laugh all day long, and even your brother always talks about how cute you are (when he isn't mad at you for taking his toys and being "the worst!"). Watching your personality develop is so fun and hysterical, because I did not expect you to be quite so goofy. I feel like you are going to be a bit of a prankster, because you are ornery and love to make us laugh already. I just can't wait to see who you become and to watch you and your brother develop more of a bond. I feel like you may be the one always encouraging him to get into trouble - so far, he is all too happy to jump in and do whatever crazy thing he sees you doing.

Sweet Gavin, I couldn't love you more if I tried. You bring me so much joy every single day, and your sweet little voice and precious little laugh just melt me. I always sing you "You are my sunshine", and you truly are. I was so nervous about having two boys and having a special relationship with both of you, but it's amazing how natural it has been. You boys are night and day, and I love the unique love that I share with each of you. I'm so blessed to be your mama!

Overwhelmed in the Best Ways

You guys, I have been so freaking busy the past couple of months that I feel like my head is spinning on the reg. I really hate when people talk about how busy they are as a competition for who is somehow the coolest, but for realsies I am overwhelmed with busy. But in all the very best ways. And it's kind of hilarious and fun because I think it's that sneaky God guy again.

A few months ago, after God snatched me up and was like "Hey you! It's time!", I felt like I was constantly searching to figure out what He wanted for my life. I knew He had called me to something, or some things, but I didn't feel like I had any direction. I spoke to the girls in my bible study about it, talked with my mom and hubs, and started praying about it. My main issue is that my little brain is fullfullfull of ideas at all times (pretty sure I've shared that multiple times before), but I can't ever commit to any one thing. I have business ideas and ideas for groups and this and that, but nothing ever comes to pass because it's TOO MUCH. And it's also not THE THING. Like, I always knew there were certain things that I was meant to do, just wasn't sure how to get there.

Funnily enough, God seems to be the key to figuring it all out. Who knew? So after chatting with all these people about my conundrum, I decided to pray for all of my ideas to stop. Like, please God turn my brain off and just don't let me have any more ideas because I can't deal with the battle in my head of having the ideas and not having the answer for how to pursue them.

And this was probably the first time I have ever KNOWN that God answered a prayer, because I went from rattlerattlerattle with ideas all day long, to nothing. Like, silence. It was honestly like He just flipped a switch and the ideas were gone. And it was AWESOME. It was so relaxing and freeing and all the things I needed it to be. 

After enjoying that silence for maybe a week or two, I started praying a different prayer. I started praying for the right idea. The idea (or ideas) that God wanted me to pursue. And within no time at all I had a new idea that I'd never had before, that I wasn't even sure that I loved. But I talked to my mom and husband about it, and they both thought it was a great idea. I brought it up to my dad, and he said he thought it was really smart. And I was so surprised, because what a random idea? So I started pursuing it. And instead of pursuing it for a few days and getting frustrated and giving up, things just seemed easier and I kept at it. And before I knew it, it was a real thing that was actually happening.

And now we have Haven Gray Kids.

If you would have told me three or four months ago that my mom and I would have an online shop for boys clothing I would have thought that was kind of ridiculous. But also, if you would have told me like six months ago that I would be a crazy Jesus lady I would have laughed in your face. So basically, what do I know? Now I've got my shop and I've got Jesus and here we are. And I'm loving it.

So this gave me the "career" that I think I've been longing for since becoming a stay at home mom. Which I love that I have the opportunity to do, but man I am not cut out to be a stay at home mom 24/7...I admit and embrace that fact now. This little shop is giving me a purpose, a to-do list to check off which I need, and still lets me be home with my babies. Win-win.

But I also knew there was more. I knew there was something I needed to be doing that gives back to other women, that helps them build community, that gives them something to look forward to. I started a little Thursday night dinner club with a bunch of random friends of mine earlier this summer that has been fab, and I'm going to be a table leader this upcoming year for MOPS. Both of those things were exciting and fun, but I still felt like there was more.

And wouldn't you know, all of the sudden my MOPS group needed a publicity leader. I don't know if anyone knows this about me, but I have a degree in Public Relations. I read the job description and was like "Huh. That's crazy, that's sounds exactly like a job I would apply for". But I thought I'd let someone else take it on. And then a week later they were still looking for someone. So I was like "God? Is that you?", and I reached out to the girls leading MOPS and they were immediately on board and suddenly I'm on the leadership team for this ministry at a church that I just started regularly attending a few months ago. Like, what? But I'm telling you. God is so funny.

So I went from searching nonstop to find my "thing", and all of the sudden I have so many things. So many wonderful fun things that are filling me up to the tippy top with contentedness and joy. I am super overwhelmed, but it really is in all the very best ways. I know there is more to come. I attended Declare, which is a Christian women's blogging conference last weekend (again, what?), and I feel like I had a few experiences that gave me a glimpse into some things that are to come. I don't know when. Years from now? Next week? Neither would surprise me. But it's exciting stuff.

So. I haven't been around here as much as I would like because of all these things, but I am happy and loving life and planning to make my way back here. Even if blogging, writing, whatever, isn't the "thing" like I have always thought, I do know that it's something that I love and will always keep up to some degree. I felt like I got a VERY clear message that I needed to "let go of the idea of what it's supposed to look like" at Declare, so I'm not going to force anything anymore. I'm not going to try and force myself to come here and blog regularly or anything that doesn't feel right. So I hope I'm here often, but I'm just not sure. Life is a crazy mystery, I'm apparently just along for the ride ;)

Gavin - Eight Months


Oh, you sweet little thing. You are the craziest little baby I have ever known, but you are so sweet that I just can't be mad! I just told your Daddy the other day one of my favorite things about having kids is watching their personalities develop. It's such a surprise because you have no idea what you're going to get. And let me tell you, after the sweet, calm baby that you were, you are definitely a surprise. 

I've thought for quite some time now that you are going to be a bit of a daredevil, and you certainly are. Your brother started climbing up the outside of the staircase for the first time the other day, and when Nana asked him why he was doing it, he said "Gabin does it!". So at just eight months you are already influencing your cautious big brother to do wild and crazy things. You are going to be a handful I just know it! 

You are constantly into things that you shouldn't be. Eating rocks out of the fireplace is a major attraction these days, as is attempting to stick your fingers in power outlets and chewing on electrical cords. You escape into empty rooms all the time, and the fact that they are pitch black doesn't bother you at all. You just crawl right in to the dark and find something to chew on. You also just discovered the little trampoline in the playroom, and if I can't find you that's typically where you will be, perched up there trying to bounce. Unfortunately it's way too tall for you, so I'm pretty sure you're going to dive off head first before long and hurt yourself. 
You have gone from laughing and smiling nonstop to becoming quite studious. Grayson was studious as a baby, but you're developing the trait later. You are always looking around, studying every little thing with a serious look. But you're still easy to make giggle, and you love when Daddy tosses you in the air, when I put you on my legs and pump you up and down, and when we tickle you. You also love when Grayson chases you through the house and then catches/tackles you. Mommy does not love the tackling as much, but you're pretty good to scream at him if he takes it too far. You guys wear me out. 

We are having the hardest time getting you to eat anything other than milk straight from Mommy. Just within the last few days you've gotten a lot better about eating about a third a jar or pouch of baby food at a time, and you're really into eating pieces of bread or veggies that I put on your highchair tray for you. We've been attempting some formula because I'm so busy that it's getting hard to exclusively feed you myself, and it is NOT happening. You straight up refuse that. But you loooove to drink water. If you're freaking out about something, giving you a drink of water generally will calm you down. Strange, but helpful. 

You are crawling like a little maniac, but you still don't crawl normal. Now you crawl with your legs almost completely straight, and you look like a little jungle/cave baby. It's hilarious, and you are so fast! I actually took you to the chiropractor to see if something is out of whack, because you refuse to crawl normal. I'm hoping now you're all fixed up and can crawl like a normal baby, but if you do I'll honestly miss your crazy little cave baby crawl. You also pull up and climb on everything, but you have zero balance if you're not holding on to something, so I don't think you'll be walking anytime soon. 

Just in the last couple of days you've been doing A LOT of the "mamamamama" thing, and yesterday for the first time I got a few DEFINITE "Mama"s, so I think it's safe to say that Mama is your first word! Yaaaay! Grayson's was Addie, so I'm so happy I won this time! (Although I'm sure if Addie were still around she would have beat me). You only really have said it when you've been upset and crying for me, but hey! I'll take it! Last night you woke up and started SCREAMING "MaMaaaaaaaaaa!!!!" It was kind of hilarious, but it sure made me come running quick! 

You and your brother are playing together so much these days, but are also starting to fight a lot more frequently, too. So far nothing too extreme, but he hates when you don't play the "right" way with him or come touch his toys when he's playing with them, and you absolutely do not like when he takes a toy from you. But the way you two light up around each other sometimes is the BEST thing I've ever seen. When I picked Grayson up from his class at church on Sunday and told him we were going to get you, he said "I missed Gabin!". Ugh, I love it so much. 
One of the cutest things going on these days is all the dancing and singing you're doing. If you hear anything that even resembles a beat, like something thumping more than twice, you start moving your little shoulders and hips and it is so cute! You go fast or slow depending on the beat, so I'm thinking you got your brothers natural rhythm. You have no idea how exciting this is for your parents because we both like to think we are excellent dancers ;) You also sing along with me and Grayson when we sing to you, and it is hilarious. You're basically screaming/squealing, but you'll do it through an entire song of "ABC's" or "Twinkle Little Star" and stop immediately when we do. So cute. Also, anytime I start singing "You are my Sunshine" you almost go into a trance. It's what I sing when I'm rocking you to sleep, so I think it just turns on some type of sleep switch in you. So funny. 

The only way I can get through a diaper change with you is to sing "ABC's" or distract you with something you shouldn't have, like a remote or diaper cream or something. Getting you dressed is no easy task, either. Basically, any time you have to sit still you can't stand it. You are ALWAYS on the move. Like, never ever are you still unless you're about to pass out. I'm excited for/secretly dreading the day you start walking. You will be unstoppable. 

Once again, 8 month old Gavin is my favorite Gavin, but there seriously has not been one single bad phase with you. I think I say it every month, but you are a true JOY, baby boy! You are so smiley and happy and funny and ornery and sweet and cuddly and smart and cute - I know, I know all mamas think their babies are the best, but I swear, you are the best little angel baby out there! I adore you so much, sweet Gav, and I love watching you grow into this crazy sweet little mama's boy you're becoming!