Caring for the Bug

It’s not fun to have a sick little one. It’s not fun for her and it’s not fun for Mommy and Daddy. The weekend before Christmas, Paige was still pretty sick. She didn’t feel well – not like herself – and she was tired of not feeling well. She wasn’t into playing. She was not her sparkly, happy self. Her little eyes were still glassy and she was just a pitiful little thing.

Then, on Sunday evening, I got a text from a friend at church asking if I could come to the door. I missed the text at first, because Paige was just waking up from a nap. When I texted her back, she replied that there was a care package at the door. And what a care package! The box was full of lots of fun toys and even some fun family projects like Snoopy Doghouse Gingerbread Houses to decorate! But, by far, Paige’s favorite part was the light-up wand.

PicMonkey CollageWhat a blessing! That was the first time Paige’s eyes had lit up since she had been sick! She was our happy little girl who forgot for a few minutes that she didn’t feel well.

Our church family is a source of constant blessings for us. We were covered by so many prayers when we were in the hospital, and we knew it. The doctors were on the verge of admitting Paige because her fever was not coming down. They wanted to try one more thing before admitting her. I was not super optimistic. However, that one thing worked! In just one hour, Paige’s fever dropped from almost 103 (I don’t remember the exact) to 98.9! For sure felt the prayers of our families and church families.

It wasn’t our plan to stay in Lafayette. Jeffrey and I were planning to move back to Nashville where I did my undergrad after I finished my graduate work. But, in the first semester of my PhD, we realized that we felt more at home in Lafayette than either of us ever had before. That “home” feeling came from our church family, and we couldn’t imagine moving. So we made the choice to stay. I’m not doing what I thought I’d be doing when I grew up, but I actually work for my church family now, so you can’t beat that. We’re so blessed to be part of the Elmwood family!

A Visit with Santa

There needs to be a holiday name for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s one of our favorite days of the year and includes a number of family traditions that are important to us. Tradition number one: Be at home and eat leftovers, glorious leftovers. Tradition number two: Go cut a Christmas tree. This year, we added a third tradition: Take the Bug to see Santa!

Last year, we got Paige over to see Santa at the mall. It worked out to do it when Grandpa and Grandma Ravellette could come, too, and it was fun! Paige even got to wear the new red velvet Christmas dress that her Grandma made her. However, when Santa visits the downtown shops instead of the mall, he brings his awesome wife, Mrs. Claus, which makes for an even cooler experience.

So, this year on Family Saturday (Does that work as a holiday name, or does it just sound like we never spend any other Saturdays together? I’ll keep working on it.) we headed up to Cassen’s tree farm in West Lafayette to pick out the perfect tree. My mom was in town, so she came with us, which turned out to be a great thing not just because we love having family visiting us, but also because no-nap Paige finally succumbed to a nap on the drive out to the farm, so Grandma Rose stayed in the car with her while Jeffrey and I picked out a tree. So we didn’t get any pictures at the tree farm, but we also didn’t have a 1-year-old to keep track of while we were felling a tree, so there’s that.

IMG_6605The tree we found was great. Perfect for our spot at home. But here’s what I’ll say about cutting down a Christmas tree: it never looks that tall in the field. Jeffrey had to get out the extension ladder to put the star on top and get the lights all the way up the tree. The star kinda scraped the ceiling. Oops.

Anyway, after we finished at the tree farm, we drove downtown for our visit with Santa. I changed Paige into her Christmas dress. (Which, by the way, was a 6 month dress from last winter that still fits her… sweet tiny baby. The dress I got her for this year might fit her when she’s six.) I imagined this beautiful photoshoot. The shop we were going to (which is owned by a lady from our church) has tons of indirect natural light and is just beautiful. Paige in her dress with her bow and red sweater. Santa. Mrs. Claus. Big smiles. Classic.

You may think that I’m insane to think that my toddler would do well and smile when she visits Santa, but I was not wholly basing my expectations on fantasy. Last year, Paige was an absolute pro with Santa. PicMonkey Collage
So, yeah. I was expecting to add some more natural light, Mrs. Claus, a cute little shop. Boom, baby. Christmas photo magic.

But Paige is older and wiser now, and apparently that means that she is no longer trusting of strangers with long white beards.

PicMonkey Collage

PicMonkey Collage Recovering from the Santa trauma of ’13 with Daddy snuggles and a candy cane… still in the wrapper.

PicMonkey CollageThen, Paige’s good friend, Joel, came to the shop with his family. We thought that maybe if the two kiddos got to see Santa together, they’d like it better.

It didn’t really work. Paige was a bit more curious about Santa, but they both affirmed the other one’s trepidation about Mr. Kringle.

In the end, Joel’s mommy, Katy, had to sit on Santa’s lap and Joel sat on her lap.  Santa and Mrs. Claus were very patient with our family when the Travises were done and let us take the same approach to trying to get a good photo of Paige with Santa. Here’s the best we got:

IMG_6600It wasn’t the perfectly perfect photo with Santa, but we had a great time with this new Saturday-After-Thanksgiving tradition. Maybe next year Paige will be old enough to understand bribery and we can bribe her with the candy cane to sit and smile with the Clauses.

When Momma’s away…

This weekend I was incredibly blessed by being able to attend the Pray. Reach. Challenge. Conference at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY. The conference was an awesome blend of times that refreshed and fed me spiritually and amazing, practical suggestions and examples for my work at church. Plus, can I just say that it was such an amazing thing that I just got to be a consumer (for lack of a better word/metaphor) of the weekend instead of being involved as a producer? Yes. I can say that. It’s my blog and I just said it. I just showed up and was fed. I needed that. Big time. Take a minute to think of how you can feed the “producers” (pastors, teachers, etc.) at your church this week, then do it. It’s important.

Anyway, it was a short conference – noon on Friday until 4:30 this afternoon – but it marked the first time that I left town by myself since the Bug came along. I missed two days and two bed times (I didn’t get back until after 10 p.m. since I had to stop by church and print worship programs for tomorrow). That part of the weekend STUNK.  I survived, though, and Paige and Jeffrey had an awesome daddy-daughter weekend complete with sleeping in until 9:30 (why doesn’t that happen when I’m here?), eating at Mary Lou’s Donuts with the committee (you know, the old people who always sit at the counter in places like Mary Lou’s or diners and solve the world’s problems over coffee) and lots of snuggling.

But, when Momma’s away, things get a little crazy and silly and… dangerous. But, Jeffrey has not learned to destroy the evidence yet, so I get to see what really goes on when I’m not here. It’s a good thing he kept this particular piece of evidence, though, because it’s a video that is impossible to watch without smiling, and the world could use more mandatory smiling.

Watch this little video and be happy.

That’s my brave, dare-devil, no-respect-for-gravity, fun-loving, silly daughter, and I can’t wait until she wakes up in the morning. :)

 

 

Italian Dinner with The Bug

Jeffrey’s working late in the fields tonight. There’s been snow in the air the last couple of days, so winter is chasing him. He’s so close to being done with harvest so that he can put his “farmer hours” away until it’s time to plant in the spring. We’re looking forward to him being back on a normal schedule so that we can see him at breakfast and supper, not one or the other (or neither).

Since it’s just us girls tonight, we decided to go on a fancy Italian dinner date… in our kitchen. Bug was afraid she didn’t have anything fancy enough to wear, so she just came in her diaper. But we had a great time anyway.

I learned tonight that the Bug loves selfies. Help! (See the middle photo.)

I learned tonight that the Bug loves selfies. Help! (See the middle photo.)

 

I took a little post-nosh video because this girl was just being too yummy. Enjoy! I’m off to throw that girl in the bathtub!

The Bug is Turning One!

We’re getting geared up for – can you believe it? – Paige’s first birthday! Invitations to her birthday party are going out in the mail this week. You can RSVP in the comments on this post, or by emailing me or by calling 812.890.4161. Please RSVP by August 15 so I know how much food to make! It’s going to be a fun, casual party with snacks, drinks, and – of course – cake at Shelter #2 in Murdock Park in Lafayette. We’re looking forward to celebrating our sweet Paige-Bug with family and friends and we hope you can join us.

Final invite

Concerning Gifts

You know how parents always say, “Our kids never play with their toys! They’d rather play with [insert: pots and pans, sticks, dirty socks, paper, boxes, etc]?” Yeah. That’s true. Paige is most happy when she’s pulling dish towels out of drawers, carrying mail around the house, or chasing our dog, Lucy. Because we have a small house and we try to avoid clutter, we’d appreciate it if Paige didn’t get a lot of big toys or stuffed animals at her birthday party. We just don’t have anywhere to put big things and it’s hard to justify the space in our tiny house for big toys that she doesn’t play with! (Does that sound rude? I hope not! We really appreciate all the gifts she’s already been given and the love with which people have given them, but we’re already having a hard time corralling all of her toys and she’s not even 1 yet!)

For those of you who would like to get Paige a birthday present (it’s certainly not necessary, but we know that her awesome grandparents, aunts, and uncles may not be able to help themselves!), here are some ideas of things that don’t take up a lot of space and that, given Paige’s interests and growing skills, she would like to play with and we have room to store. :)

  • Books – – Paige loves looking at board books on her own and she loves cuddling up in Mommy or Daddy’s lap for us to read to her. Also, we’ve got a lot of space in her cabinet in her room and our shelves in the living room to store books. We’re of the opinion that you can never have too many books and want to instill a love of reading in Paige! We are not opposed to used books, either, so if you happen to see any great kids’ books at a yard sale or library sale, that would work, too! Here are some suggestions of books that she doesn’t have yet that would be good additions to her library (and other books are great, too… these are just ideas):
    • She doesn’t have any Berenstain Bears books yet.
    • Paige also doesn’t have any Curious George books yet.
    • Corduroy
    • Chrysanthemum
    • Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom
    • Tiki Tiki Tembo
    • Where the Wild Things Are
    • If you Give a Mouse a Cookie
    • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day
    • Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type
    • The Little Engine That Could
    • Caps for Sale
    • Sheep in a Jeep
    • Duck for President
    • Olivia
    • The Rainbow Fish
    • Is Your Mama A Llama?
    • The Giving Tree
    • Miss Nelson is Missing!
    • Stone Soup
    • Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
    • Eric Carle: The Very Hungry Catepillar; Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?
    • Dr. Suess: The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax, The Sneeches, Horton Hears a Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Clothes – – Since our Little Bug is quite petite for her age (she’s still working on growing into her 9-month clothes!), a lot of the 12 and 18 month clothes that people have already gotten her are the wrong season for her to wear, so her wardrobe could use some adjusting. Here are some things she could use:
    • Warm clothes for cool weather in 12 and 18 month sizes
      • jeans
      • overalls
      • long-sleeved bodysuits (or bodysuit + leggings sets)
      • sweatshirts/sweaters
      • wool tights for church
      • long-sleeved church dresses
      • socks! (Grandpa Rose, did you read that?)
    • PJs in 12 and 18 month sizes (Paige has long feet, so PJs without the footies work best for her because her feet usually outgrow PJs before the rest of her has really even grown into PJs! [I know, sad, right? The footie PJs are sooo adorable!])
  • Toys – – There are some toys that don’t take up too much space that we think that Paige would enjoy:
    • Wooden Puzzles with Big Pieces (you know, the pieces with the handles on them, like this awesome puzzle from our favorite toy company, Melissa and Doug).
    • Paige loves to push things around the floor, and toddler cars (not little matchbook cars, please!) like these wooden ones would be fun for her and not take up a ton of space.
    • Like most babies, Paige loves our remote controls. Maybe she would play with one of her very own? Here’s a great remote control toy. (My bet is she’d still want the real thing, but who knows?) :)
    • Finally, Paige loves to be in the kitchen with us while we’re cooking or cleaning up. We have a few friends who have this Fridge Phonics magnetic alphabet toy and their kids love it. It’d be something she could play with in the kitchen without getting into trouble. :)

Please don’t read that list and think we’re greedily asking for a lot of things for Paige. Trust me, our sweet little girl (the first grandchild on both sides… let’s all say “spoiled” together!) is not wanting for anything. We just wanted to help give ideas to people who wanted to get her a gift.

Concerning the Food Pantry

Our family has “adopted” our Food Pantry at church for the month of August. The Elmwood Food Pantry serves more than 400 hungry families in our county each month. The Food Pantry always needs donations, but that is especially true this August because we will not be able to buy government commodities – which usually make up about half of our stock – for the entire month. Our family will be including Food Pantry buys in our grocery shopping trips all month long. We’d love it if everyone who came to Paige’s birthday party brought some nonperishable food items for our pantry to help out. Here are some ideas for items that our clients at the Food Pantry usually like:

  • cereal
  • bakery items like English Muffins, bagels, or bread
  • non-refrigerated juice
  • canned soup with meat in it
  • Rice-a-Roni or other similar meal helpers
  • Pasta
  • Pasta Sauces, especially something other than plain spaghetti sauce
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly/Jam
  • Canned Fruit – especially mandarin oranges or pineapple
  • Canned Vegetables (not carrots – that’s all we seem to be able to get from Food Finders lately!)

We hope to see you at Paige’s party. Nothing will mean more to us than for Paige to be surrounded by family and friends to celebrate the big 0-1! :)

Grace and peace,

Rachel

2012 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas!

We’re so thankful for everything that has happened in our family in the last year! First and foremost, of course, we’re thankful for our sweet, sweet Paige Esther! Little Bug brings so much joy into our lives each day, sometimes it’s all hard for us to believe.

Paige is four months old now and is learning more and more each day. Her latest trick is picking up her paci and putting it in her mouth by herself. She’s a pro at rolling over and is getting really good at scooting. It’s not crawling yet because her little body hasn’t quite caught up with her mind. She’s got the motions of crawling down, but she’s not strong enough to hold herself all the way up, so she mostly just scoots around on her belly with her head up. She’s dying to be able to crawl by herself and tends to get a bit frustrated when she can’t go where she wants, when she wants. We’re pretty sure that as soon as she starts crawling, she’s not going to stop! Time to baby-proof La Maison!

Paige is still a great sleeper. We’re in a great routine of reading a story, “topping off the tank,” and putting Paige to bed around 8 p.m. each night. She’s a champion sleeper. We put her down in her crib while she’s still awake with her paci and she’s usually completely zonked within about 10 minutes. She sleeps just like her mommy – flat on her back with her arms above her head. She usually is up once (sometimes twice) a night, but she goes back down right away with no trouble. And, about once or twice a week, she sleeps through the night. We couldn’t ask for a better sleeper!

Paige is growing taller each day. She’s still a skinny little Bug; she weighed in at 13 lbs, 1 oz. at her four-month well-baby check-up on Monday. That beautiful hair that so many of you have asked about is growing longer and darker and red-er each day, it seems. Mommy’s having a lot of fun coordinating “hair prettys” with her outfits each day.

Bug’s personality is blossoming, too. She is the happiest baby in the world. No, seriously. The happiest baby in the world! Several people – at church, at the doctor’s office, at the grocery store, at the mall – have commented that they’ve never seen a baby as happy as Paige. It’s not that she’s never fussy. When she’s hungry or she needs a diaper change or she’s fighting sleep (a new trick – she’s so afraid of missing out on something!), Paige fusses. Most of the time, though, she’s not just not fussy, she’s smiling. She’s very interactive and alert and her face lights up anytime that anyone pays attention to her. She hasn’t met a stranger yet! She is also so talkative, that she’ll strike up a conversation with anyone whose willing to listen and talk back. She’s an absolute joy!

As for the rest of our family, Jeffrey and I are just soaking up being Paige’s parents. We’re having so much fun! Paige is a true gift from God and we feel so blessed that God chose us to be her parents and to be part of teaching her about His love for her and helping her to discover His plans for her life.

Jeffrey’s work at Purdue is still going well and he still enjoys and looks forward to going to work each day. In January, I started working at our church, Elmwood Church of Christ, as an office manager. I never thought I’d want a job like this, but I love it. I love working for and with our church family and I get to use my creativity, too.

We hope and pray that your family has experienced the fullness of the love and grace of Christ this year and that, as you prepare to celebrate Christmas together, you are reminded of His great love and use opportunities to share that love with others.

Grace and peace,

Jeffrey, Rachel, and Paige

P.S. – – We’re super stoked about The Bug’s first Christmas. Here’s a couple of fun videos of Paige and tissue paper to show you what we’re looking forward to on Christmas morning.

Paige vs. Tissue Paper, Round 1

Paige vs. Tissue Paper, Round 2

And, for good measure, if you’ve missed our recent “Jabber Bug” posts on Facebook, here’s a couple of videos of Paige having some serious conversations with Mommy and Daddy… and a video of her holding her bottle all by herself.

Jabber Bug, Pt. 1

Jabber Bug, Pt. 2

The Bug and the Bottle

All the news that is news…

Oh, hello there. What’s that you say? It’s been way too long since the last Ravellette family update? (OK. Maybe you only said that if you are Aunt Abby.) Never fear! A new update is here!
Here’s an update to let you know what’s been going on with our little family of three. The Ravellette top-ten for the last three weeks:

  1. Paige is six weeks old! Our little baby is getting to be not-so-little. By our estimation (you know, weigh yourself with the baby, weigh yourself without the baby), she’s pushing 9 pounds. She’s still just as skinny as ever, though, because she is stretching out like crazy! It seems like every day her legs and arms get longer. But, because she’s tall and skinny, she has a bit of a wardrobe problem. Newborn clothes (especially onesies) are too short to snap comfortably, but 0-3 month clothes (the next size bigger) are so big around that Paige looks like her Mommy doesn’t know how to dress her! She also has another wardrobe challenge, which brings me to highlight number two…

    There’s our happy, happy baby!

  2. We’re finally able to use the cloth diapers! After keeping up with disposables at a whopping $25/a week (perspective – that’s a quarter of my household budget, food and all, for the week!), we’re thrilled that our Little Bug is able to fit into her adorable bumGenius Elemental diapers. For those of you who aren’t hip to the new cloth diaper trends (oh yes, there are trends in diapering), these aren’t your momma’s fold-’em-up-and-pin-’em-up diapers. These diapers, which will adjust in size with snaps to fit Paige Bug until she’s potty-trained, are as close to using convenient disposables as possible. They are one-piece diapers so there’s no worrying about separate liners or covers. As I mentioned, they’re adjustable in size (both length and waist) with their durable snaps. We bought 18 diapers for about $400. Recall that a box of 96 disposable diapers (about a week’s worth) costs 25 dollars. That means that as long as Paige Bug isn’t potty-trained by the time she’s 4 months old (umm… she won’t be), we’ll save significant money. We have an energy-efficient washer/dryer set, so the cost of cleaning them is negligible and so far we’re only having to wash diapers every two days. And, yes, they come out very clean. We took the advice of the cloth-diapering, home-improving bloggers over at Young House Love (the best, most addictive DIY blog I’ve found to date) and also purchased a bumGenius diaper sprayer that is attached to the toilet so that we can quickly and easily spray any… umm… material off of the diapers before they go in the laundry. We have yet to have a diaper come out of the wash that was stained. Something else that has yet to happen with cloth diapers? A blow out. (And trust me, Paige has given it the ole college try.) As the parent who has been pooped on 7,348% more than the other parent (oh, there have been some doozies), I’m thrilled with the extra-strong, hold-it-in-ness of the cloth diapers. Finally, as an added bonus, Paige’s diapers are really super cute.   I mean, a. dor. able. We ordered several different colors and they are just so sweet-looking! They do create a bit of a wardrobe problem (as I mentioned above) in that they make our skinny little girl have quite the big booty. Note: A baby wearing a body suit and fake jeggings over a cloth diaper booty will make you laugh until you cry (at least that was true for me). We’ve learned that coverall-jumpers, shirts + pants, or dresses are much preferable to the ever-popular body suit + legging combo when it comes to Paige’s outfits when she’s wearing cloth diapers. OK. I promise that’s all I will say about cloth diapering. For now.

    Coverall jumpers like this one work better than onesies and leggings with cloth diapers. Also, they’re adorable.

    The diapers are so cute that we just pair them up with t-shirts and skip the leggings/bloomers sometimes.
    Like I said, a. dor. able.

  3. Daddy’s gone back to work. Jeffrey got three weeks off for parental leave (I told you – we are so thankful for Purdue benefits!). He made the most of that time with Paige-and-Daddy-chest-naps, helping Paige explore, and working around the house (just wait until I tell/show you all that he canned from our garden… future post!). It was hard for Jeffrey to go back to work, and it was hard for Paige and I to let him! We had grown quite accustomed to spending all day every day with him! Jeffrey truly is my best friend and we understand how to be in the same space and still give each other space. We really do work/live/play well together. Some people might think that being “cooped up” at home together for three weeks straight would have led Jeffrey and I to get a little tired of the constant together-ness, but we didn’t. We didn’t even have an argument! danae has been talking/writing a lot about enjoying each season of life in its turn (check out her great post about it over at danae: student of life), and, let me say, I am. What a fun, joyful, blessed, amazing season we’re in right now! But, I am looking forward to growing old and retiring with this guy. I can’t wait until we can both hang out at home all the time – what fun! (I mean, obviously I can wait. I’m only 26 and am not looking to retire anytime soon.) Anyway, Paige really misses Jeffrey during the day, too. She’s happy and content pretty much all the time, but she knows that something’s not right when Daddy’s not there. How do I know? Well, this baby is determined to get her quota of Daddy-time each day, no matter the cost. Since Jeffrey’s gone back to work, when he tries to put her down for the night when it’s her bedtime, this girl fights sleep to the bitter end. If you’ve ever been around small children, you’ll know what I mean when I say she has the “no, really, I’m not *yawn* sleeeeepy” look. Those big, beautiful, blue eyes are open, but boy are they ever tired, heavy, and glazed over. Paige doesn’t want to miss a minute of her Daddy-time since she doesn’t get to see him as much during the day now! But don’t let Jeffrey fool you – he’s just as determined to get as much Paige Bug time as possible at the end of the day, too. In fact, he’s quite the baby-hog in the evenings!
  4. It’s Autumn! Hooray! It’s our favorite season and we’re so thrilled that football, pumpkins, apples, and chilly nights (and chili nights!) are back. In fact, we celebrated the return of Fall by taking Paige to the Apple and Popcorn Festival a couple of weekends ago in nearby Brookston, Indiana.We had never heard of it until I stumbled across someone’s Facebook post about it, so we decided to be spontaneous and check it out. It was a fun trip and we got some delicious kettle corn and yummy apple dumplings (not as good as mine, but they required far less effort), and Jeffrey even got to go to a fish fry (this was a treat for him… I was a good sport, but it’s not my thing). We had a nice family outing on a beautiful day, but I have to say, there was a disappointing lack of apples and popcorn at the Apples and Popcorn festival. It was really more of a craft bazaar. I think next year we’ll try to go earlier and catch more of the live music… and try to find where they were hiding the caramel apple booth.

    All dressed up for her first Apple and Popcorn Festival! As Grandma Rose said, “Cutest little apple blossom EVER.”

    The kettle corn at the Apple and Popcorn Festival did not disappoint. Yummy!

    Pit stop at the car for a diaper change.

    Can you tell how excited Paige was to go to the festival?! This is the excited face she wore the whole time.

  5. Paige is going to church! Paige has gone to church for three Sundays and Wednesdays now. She’s even gone to LIFE group. Surprisingly, we’ve actually been getting to Sunday school more on time with Paige than we were pre-Paige! (And, in a very impressive showing, our first Sunday at church, all three of us were color coordinated. It will probably never happen that way again, but at least we can say that we had our act that together once.) We’ve got a pretty good Sunday morning routine down that starts Saturday evening with Paige’s bath. She’s done great at church. Because she’s still so young, we’ve been keeping her with us in class and service and, for the most part, keeping her in her car seat/carrier to help deter people from asking if they can hold her.   We want to avoid Paige being passed around at this point to help decrease her exposure to those early Fall colds. This has meant a couple of times where Mommy’s had to be a bad guy and say, “No, I’m sorry. You can’t hold her right now,” but for the most part people have been really great about admiring sans touching. As for how Paige is handling church outings, she has pretty consistently fake-slept through church. “What’s that?” you say. “Fake sleep?” Yep. That’s how Paige copes with outings – she fakes sleep until she’s home safe and sound with Mom and Dad. We know she’s fake sleeping because 1) Paige has distinctive breathing patterns when she’s really sleeping and 2) we catch her peeking through her beautiful eye lashes to see where she is and what’s going on from time to time, only for her to hastily close her eyes again until we’re home. We did have a bit of a hubbub this past Sunday. We walked into our Bible class about 5 minutes late (first time being late since Paige started going to church!). I took Paige out of her car seat after we sat down and gave her to Jeffrey, who looked down and saw that he had poop on his hand. First blow out in a public place! So, I had to get up (after only just having sat down) to take Paige to the Ladies’ room for a make-shift baby wipe bath and diaper change. While I was gone, Jeffrey discovered that we didn’t quite wipe all the poop off his hand before we left, so he had to get up to wash his hand. Did I mention the door to the classroom is very noisy? So Jeffrey came back to class, then Paige and I came back. Then, barely 15 minutes later, I had to take Paige to the nursery to feed her (we always plan on leaving class a few minutes early so that Paige can eat and get a fresh diaper in time to be in service). So, in case you lost count, the Ravellettes noisily interrupted class by coming and/or going through the squeaky door six times in one class period. Did I mention we go to a class of mostly older people who probably haven’t had to worry about young children disrupting Bible class in years – nay – decades? It’s a good thing that everyone loves Paige!  This past week, Paige also got to spend her first snuggle time with Mr. Sam. Sam is the super-sweet, wonderful Grandpa to every child in the church and he was tickled pink to get to hold Paige. He even sang his special Swinging, Swinging song with her while, of course, swinging her! Sweet Ms. Margaret got to hold Paige, too.

    Daddy, Grandpa Sam, and Miss Paige Bug

    Mr. Sam and Paige – Swinging ‘neath the old apple tree.

    I wasn’t able to find an audio file of Mr. Sam’s song, but if you can read music then you should be able to see how sweet of a song it is.

  6. Paige has new skills and new ways to play! Our Little Bug loves to spend a few minutes each day on her tummy. She’s a pro at holding her head up and looking around. She also tries to scoot with her little pudgy legs. She hasn’t quite figured out what to do with her arms yet, though. Paige also likes to lie on her back on her gym-mat and play with the animal toys that hang just low enough that she can reach them with her little hands. She loves to to hold on to things these days, and the rings on her elephant are at just the right height for her to grab. (Which is much preferable to grabbing Mommy’s hair in her freaky-strong baby grip.)   Paige is also becoming more of a chatterbox each day. She’s figuring out that, instead of just sighing and cooing (or crying) she can intentionally make loud and different noises. You know that she’s about to talk when she’s quiet for a moment and gets a look of concentration on her face (not entirely unlike poopy-face-Paige). Then, suddenly, she’ll let out a clear, loud “Oh!” or “Ah!” We’re not sure exactly what she’s saying, but we know it must be a funny joke, because every time she says one of these Paige-words, she smiles and smiles. She’s very proud of the funny jokes she can tell and we can’t wait to hear her next punchline! She’s also started trying to sing along with Mommy and Raffi when we sing and dance. Her favorite song to sing and dance to is Goin’ to the Zoo. Finally, Paige has a new way she can eat! Last week, Daddy gave her her first bottle. For the most part, she’ll only get bottles when she’s not with me, but we wanted to start slowly introducing them to her since there are some times coming up that she won’t be with me (e.g., when her Daddy and I go to the Michigan football game next week and when Mommy goes back to work full time).
  7. Mommy’s working again. I’m not technically “back” at work yet, but I have started working from home this week for about 20 total hours a week. For the most part, Paige does really well listening to her music and playing while I work nearby. [Yesterday was not one of our better days though, because Paige was dealing with a tummy ache and she just wanted to be held. Thankfully, I didn’t have very much in the way of time-sensitive things that I had to do yesterday and I was able to hold her all day. I hate that she didn’t feel well. My normally very content and happy baby would cry (I mean really cry – tears and all – talk about breaking her Mommy’s heart!) anytime I put her down. Like I said, I hate that she felt puny, but I did not mind the extra snuggle time at all. Thankfully today she’s back to her smiley self.] In addition to working on the computer from home, I’ve also had to pop into the office a few times to print things, so Paige has come to the office with me. We’ve got two more weeks of me working from home before I go back to the office full-time on October 15. I’m not looking forward to going back because I love my time at home with Paige. I love taking singing and dance breaks during the day and being here at nap time so that I can snuggle and snooze with her. However, I am blessed to have a great job working for and with my Elmwood family, whom I love. I’m also blessed that Paige will be with me at work part of the time. And, when she’s not with me, she’ll be with Ms. Carol! My brother and sister and I were very blessed when we were growing up that, although we lived several hours from our grandparents, we had “adopted” grandparents at our church (we love you Nobe and Phyllis!) who loved and cared for us (and yes, spoiled us) just like grandparents. They’re still part of our family to this day! I’m so glad that Paige will get to spend time with Ms. Carol because I know that it will be like going to Grandma’s house during the day. So, although I’d rather just get to stay home with my Little Bug, I’m blessed to be going back to a job I love while a person I love looks after her.

    Paige with Nobe and Phyllis, my adopted grandparents, when they came to visit!

    Paige with Ms. Carol and Mr. Bill when they came to visit on her first full day at home!

  8. Paige loves her bath! The last post about bath time with Paige may have left you with the impression that, at best, Paige tolerated bath time and, at worst, she thought it was cruel torture. And, that was the case. Since then, we’ve been giving Paige baths in her bath pod and she L-O-V-E loves bath time! If you’re not familiar with a bath pod, Jeffrey would tell you that it’s essentially a five-gallon bucket. While it’s a bit more sophisticated than that, I can see where it could give one that impression. Paige gets to sit upright (with a little help from a hand towel in the bottom of the tub and Mommy’s hand on her back) in the pod and the warm water comes up to her little armpits. She smiles for her whole bath! Her favorite part is still getting her hair washed but that’s no surprise because, really, what girl doesn’t love to have a nice scalp massage? We’ll try to take an updated bath video soon!
  9. Paige sleeps (and sleeps… and sleeps) at night! One of the first questions that people always ask us when they see us is some variation on “How’s Paige sleeping?” or “Are you guys getting any sleep?” The short answers are “Like a pro!” and “Yep!” Paige only gets up once during the night for a fresh diaper and a mid-night snack. Yep – just once! Her first block is usually between 6 and 8 hours and her second block is usually 3-4 hours. The only trick is getting her to go to sleep for the night in the first place because, as I mentioned above, she likes to fight sleep to stare at Daddy. But, we seem to be getting better and better at a routine that helps her go to sleep quickly and she’s usually in bed for the night around 9 p.m. She’s even doing a good job taking a nap in the early afternoon and, for the most part (minus a few cat naps) staying awake for the rest of the day. The only time that we really have trouble getting her to go down at night is if she’s been held a lot during the day. She sleeps hard when people hold and cradle her, so it’s no surprise that on those nights after she’s been held a lot, she’s really not all that tired. But, we’re doing good at making sure that she has the appropriate amount of awake time during the day so that days and nights don’t get switched around in our house!
  10. Paige’s newborn photos are ready! The amazingly talented Beth W. who took our maternity photos stopped by La Maison before Paige was two weeks old to snap some newborn pictures of her. She did a great job (no surprise there!) and we’re thrilled to have these great photos of Paige! If you’re in the Lafayette-area and are willing to barter for family photos, Beth does wonderful work and is just a wonderful, light-filled person to know! I’d be more than happy to get you in touch with her. You can click here to see all of Paige’s newborn photos.

So that’s all the news that is news in the Ravellette house. Hopefully I can stay more on the ball so that it’s not another 3 weeks until we update you on life within our house.

For now, please keep our little family in your prayers. Also, we’d be honored to pray for you and your family – let us know how we can pray for you!

Grace and peace,

Rachel

Quick Update – 3 Weeks Old!

It’s hard to believe, but Paige is officially three weeks old! Here are a few quick updates on how she’s growing and changing:

This is Paige’s “I’m-older-and-wiser-now” face. She’s three weeks old already!

Getting Bigger!

Paige had her two-week check-up earlier this week. She’s now 7 lbs, 15.5 oz and 20 inches long. Mom and Dad think that the new 3/4 inch is all in those long, skinny, kicky legs! Dr. Mulder says that Paige’s head control and neck strength are at a level that he’d expect to see by two months, so she’s getting quite strong for a little girl!

The most visible sign of Paige growing is her hair! When she was born, her hair didn’t reach her ears and now we brush it behind her ears. This girl is going to need a hair-cut before she can crawl, at this rate!

 

New Skills!

Paige has started to respond to some of the frequent kiss attacks from Daddy and Mommy with her priceless, toothless smile. She’s also started to “talk” more. She’s not cooing yet, but she’s recently discovered that she can make little sigh noises and sometimes we’re sure she’s just sighing to hear herself sigh. It’s pretty precious.

Paige is starting to have a lot more awake time during the day and it’s a lot of fun to see her discover ways to play and interact. She loves to sit up with the help of her Boppy and look around the living room (she loves our brightly colored living room walls). She also likes laying on her back on her play gym and looking at the different toys and patterns. Her favorite toy is a small stuffed cow rattle that can make different “crinkly” noises. She loves to lay on Mommy’s lap and follow the cow with her eyes.

She turns her head to respond to different sounds – especially Daddy or Mommy talking. Finally, she’s a rock star at studying people’s faces – especially ours – and also does really well tracking things with her eyes and by turning her head!

 

New Experiences!

This week, Paige enjoyed her first Michigan Football game (she enjoyed it because she went to bed before it got really ugly) during her first play date with her friend Joel (it was his first U of M game, too!).

Thanks to Uncle Matt, Paige was able to sport some awesome “Wolverine Baby” fan gear (along with her ducky PJs) for her first U of M football game! Go Blue!

Paige also took her first trip to Mommy’s office at church, the BMV (we lead a glamorous life), and Meijer for grocery shopping. She’s getting all geared up for her first Sunday at church this week!
Paige also had her first professional photo shoot last week. Sweet Beth W. (who did an excellent job on our maternity photos) came by our house to snuggle with Paige and take some newborn photos of her. We’ll share them with you when they’re all ready, but for now please enjoy this awesome preview picture that Beth posted for us.

 

New Likes!

Early last week, we finally introduced the paci to Paige. She does really well with it. She doesn’t depend on it and she doesn’t have to have it all the time, but it is a good soother for her when she gets fussy (which is usually only when she has a bit of a gurgle-y belly). She really likes to hold on to the paci and she even likes to pull it out – but she needs to grow in motor skills a bit to master putting the paci back in. She tends to get a bit frantic when she pulls it out but can’t get it back!

In case you thought our growing baby wasn’t still tiny, please note the pacifier that looks like it’s eating her face!

Paige has also discovered that she really likes Raffi and the Pastoral Symphony from Handel’s Messiah. Raffi for play time, Handel for nap time.

Finally, Paige really likes the new way that Daddy swaddles her with her arms out. Just like Mommy, Paige prefers to sleep with her arms above her head.

 

Sleeping Update

A lot of you have been asking about how Paige is sleeping and the short answer is, she’s doing great! Paige consistently gives us two, four-hour blocks each night (four hours from start of feeding to start of feeding) and usually adds on another three-hour block in the morning. Our only struggle is getting her to start her night earlier – she’s a bit of a night owl. We’re getting better, though. Instead of 1 a.m., we’re now averaging about 10 p.m.

We’ve developed a bedtime routine of putting Paige in her PJs about 2 hours before we want her to go down. Then, she gets her last feeding about an hour before bedtime and then about a half-hour of snuggle time on Daddy’s chest. For almost a week, she’s been sleeping in her room instead of in the pack-n-play bassinet in our room and she’s sleeping much better now that she’s in her crib. (It makes Mommy a little sad to have her that far away, but I’m adjusting.)

 

We continue to be amazed by the way that Paige changes each day. One thing hasn’t changed – the way Mommy and Daddy love Paige more and more each day!
Grace and peace,

Rachel

Splish Splash!

Time for some squeaky-clean adorableness from our little Paige-Bug!

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Paige’s first bath at home was not a pleasant experience for her. She was pretty sure that she was being wrongly punished for another person’s crime. Mom and Dad learned two important lessons from that first bath: 1) don’t wake Paige to bathe her – wait until she’s already alert and awake and then introduce bath time and 2) don’t bathe Paige on an empty stomach – a milk drunk baby is much more amenable to a bath.
By bath number two, Paige only screamed for half the bath. By bath number three, Paige didn’t cry at all – in fact she seemed to be relaxed by the process!

If you’d like to see Paige’s first bath, check out the video below. Disclaimer: This video is almost 20 minutes long and the Bug screamed for almost the whole bath. However, we thought that Paige-Bug’s grandparents would appreciate any video of her, even if she’s unhappy in the video.


Grace and peace,
Rachel

Rest in safety, Little Bug

In Paige’s first week of life, we took more than 500 pictures of our sweet little girl. We just can’t get enough of her adorable face, baby stretches, cuddly wiggles, and countless expressions! We photograph her when she’s awake and exploring, and we photograph her when she’s sleeping.

Oh, my! Is there anything more peaceful and joyful than a contently sleeping baby? Here’s a taste of our sweet, sleeping girl. The only thing missing is the tiny sighs and yummy baby smell.

No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.

– Psalm 16:9, NLT

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