Friday, February 28, 2014

What is that ball of fire in the sky?

It's the sun.  That's what it is.

Last weekend, we loaded up and headed to Largo, Florida (close to Clearwater) to do some music at First Baptist Indian Rocks.  We go to this area at least once a year, sometimes more, and we were beyond pumped to go.  Because we love the people there and the church, but let's face it…BECAUSE SUNSHINE.

I don't know about you, but we are so over winter.  I'm ready to wear flip flops and shorts.  For realz.  

We split up the trip and spent the night in Valdosta, GA.  It should've taken 6 hours or so.  It took 11.  For the love.  There was an accident near Chatanooga which caused us to go about 3 miles in 1 1/2 hours.  Joy.  Then, well, Atlanta.  But Oliver did awesome, of course.


We got to Florida, unloaded our stuff, and hit the beach.  Oh, how sand in the toes does a body good.  We just walked around, enjoying the sun that we hadn't seen in what seemed like forever.  

Friday night, we played at Smileys.  I was finished with my sound check and so I snuggled with this cutie while Trent finished.  And don't ask me what's going on with my hair because I don't know. 

Shortly after this, we headed to the car before the show started so I could nurse.  Then, Oliver decided to have an up-his-back-blowout on Trent.  It was funny.  And Trent was kind enough to mention it to folks so they didn't think it was him that smelled like poop.

Our friends Elissa and Amy got sitters for their kids so they could hold our nugget while we played.  So thankful for them!  

Enjoying a little porch time on Saturday.

I propped O up and it was like a whole new world to him.  And this photo shoot?  I can't even.  I could gobble him up.

Saturday was our day off, so we went to the beach again.  It was a bit foggy and a bit pointless with a 2 month old.  We can't wait to go when he can enjoy getting in the water and grabbing the sand.  (And putting it in his mouth, let's be honest.)

I call this one "Family Selfie Photo Fail."

We had to get to the church at 6:45 AM on Sunday and O was such a trooper.  He slept (praise Jesus) during sound check and we were finished in 20 minutes!  This picture just makes me happy.  

We always stay with the same family when we go to Largo.  (Hi Madeline and Christina!  I can't believe we didn't get a picture this time!  Argh.)  Anyway, Madeline watches church on-line from home and she got these pictures of us leading worship.

Now, let me tell you about my sweater.  I got it last week for $10 (yay).  You can't tell, but it's beige and florescent yellow striped.  Well, before the stage lights were on us, while the pastor was giving announcements, there were black lights behind us.  Translation:  I WAS GLOWING.  Think Ross Geller's teeth incident but a sweater version.  I made a mental note to not wear it while near black lights, so no worries.

And so thankful for Elissa, who played nanny for us on Sunday.  God bless her.    

In addition to leading worship and playing special music during church, we always head over to Smileys (it's a coffee shop on campus) to lead the young adults group.   

We left right after church and drove to the Atlanta area for the night…but not before capturing this lovely.  I really wanted to take it, but that would be wrong.  Darn laws. 

It was great to see our Florida family.  They always spoil us in so many ways.  We love you Dawkins!

We stayed the night with our friends in Hampton, GA.  It was nice to not worry about checking into a hotel late at night.  (And also nice to not have to pay $70!)

They fed us the next morning, gave us fresh eggs from their chickens, and some baby clothes. 

I'm continually amazed that we get to do what we do.  God is so good. 

Next stop, Arkansas then Arizona!  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Oliver is 2 months!

Dear Oliver,

Where has the time gone?  You are 2 months old already!  (That means it's been two months since I've mopped the bathroom floors, by then way.  Oops.)

You're up to:
13 lbs 15 1/2 oz
(89th percentile)
25 1/2 in long
(you are off the charts for length!)

You got your shots and you cried and screamed and it just about broke our hearts.  Other than that, you had a perfect 2 month exam!

You are growing so big, so fast.  You have been on two road trips already and did fabulously.  And right now, you're in Florida on your third!  You are taking a bottle well.  (Daddy loves to feed you.)  You love your carseat and riding in the car.  You usually fall asleep instantly!  You're still eating every 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  BUT you've had a couple of LOOOOOONG stretches at night.  I'm hoping that becomes a habit soon ;-)

Your hands have officially made it out of sock prison and into your mouth and oh my word…it's like they're the best thing you've ever tasted.  

Music calms you.  I think it's because that's what you're used to from being in my tummy!  Sometimes, it's like you sleep better when daddy is playing his guitar really loudly at home.  People still talk about your rockin' hair and how good you are.  (And why wouldn't they?)  When we went out to eat for Valentine's Day as a family, an older man was leaving and commented on how good you were.  (You were awake and the restaurant was very loud.)  We agreed.  Then, he said, "What is he? Four months?"  And then we told him you were 8 weeks old.  So, that should tell you that you're a big un.  You are pretty much wearing 3 month clothing and some 6 months.

You love bright lights.  And when we turn off the lights, your eyes get really big.  You are smiling A LOT and even laughing.  It's adorable.  You love older women…especially when they talk baby talk to you.  It makes you show that perfect, gummy grin.

You still like the hair dryer, though we haven't had to use it hardly at all.  And getting your forehead rubbed puts you into your happy place.  

We have plenty of nicknames for you:  Grunts, Squirms, Mister Man, Sir Drools A Lot, Buckaroo, Buckarooster, Sugar Booger,  Shoogs, Hims, Ollie (duh), Hey Mister Crit Man Baby Friend (that's your daddy's creation.)

And we make up really ridiculous songs for you, too.  Anything to make you smile!

Oliver, Oliver, Oliver, Oliver
You're a cute baby.
(Or sometimes we say, sweet baby or fussy baby or poopy baby.)

  You are the best thing I've ever done.  You made me a mommy.  

We are so honored to be your mommy and daddy.  God picked us to take care of you and raise you and we are more than thankful.  We love you, Oliver Tuck!   To the moon all the way back to our hearts...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Arkansas or Bust

Our second run is on the books with our little man.  (At some point I'll stop keeping track, I'm sure.)  He did great, again.  We're still learning the best way to travel with him, so there were some screaming moments, but nothing too bad.  

Yes, we sometimes listen to ourselves.  Not a lot, I promise =)

A sweet friend (Hi Denise!) sent Oliver a box of goodies and this was in there.  He liked having something to look at!

The drive to Arkansas has some really pretty spots, especially when the sun is doing its thing.  Beautiful.

We had made plans to meet friends for dinner at 7:00, once we got to town.  Well, about 30 minutes before we got to the hotel, Oliver got hungry.  I was able to keep him calm for most of that time, but at about 6:50 he had HAD IT.  FEEEEED MEEEEEE!!!!!  

So, we pulled into the hotel, Trent unloaded, I stayed in the car and nursed and then we went to eat.  It was a new Texas Roadhouse in town and was very crowded and very loud.  Loud noises don't bother Oliver, unless he just wants to be DONE.  And he was.  He. Was. Over. It.  

Our lesson learned was not to plan dinner after a long travel day.  Bless his heart.  Once in the hotel, he was a happy boy and had fun with Daddy!  

Trent forgot his fan (he needs the noise to sleep and I now realize I do, too.) so we didn't get a whole lot of shut eye.  Plus, loading the car, eating breakfast, and having to be at the church at 8:00, made for an early morning.  Translation:  after Oliver ate at 4:30, I didn't go back to sleep.  I tip-toed around the room, had coffee and got ready with minimal light:

We had an awesome Sunday morning with the folks at Community Church at Chaffee Crossing in Barling, AR.  We were there last May, when I was 7 weeks pregnant, so being there this time with Oliver was a full circle, sweet, made me teary-eyed moment.  

Oliver slept while we played, in the arms of MiMi.  (Churches seem to have the best substitute grandmas!)  And I had a prepared bottle just in case he needed to eat and I couldn't get away.  He took it like a champ.  Good boy.

There was an adorable older woman who commented on Oliver's size.  She said, "well y'all are tall!  It runs in the jeans…and I don't mean Levi."  It cracked me up.  She reminded me of my Nana.

O wore a new outfit I got for him for $5!  I just love it.  He looks like a little man. 

And this is him chilling out while we load up!  

Another woman made a blanket for O.  Seriously cute and soft.  I'm still amazed by the kindness of people we meet on the road.  

We left right after church and made it to Collierville to see Carrie and Blake. That stretch of road was the first time I pumped in the car…while it was going down the road.  Helloooo milk cow.

Blake was so excited to see Oliver again.  He was sharing his toys, laying Buzz Lightyear on the blaket, and it was adorable.

He also was very curious how babies eat.  Referring to it as "magic" and "coming from that word I can't say." (Boob.)

It was a great trip.  We're slowly getting our road with baby legs under us.  Today, we go for Oliver's 2 month check-up and tomorrow we head to Florida.

Can't wait for warmer weather!

Monday, February 10, 2014

The First Show with Oliver

As you may know, this past weekend was our first road trip/show with our little guy.  We were invited to perform on Friday in Bluffton, IN (umm, hello cold.  More on that later.) for a Forgotten Children Worldwide benefit.

Gone are the days of leaving the day of the show, especially if it's a long drive, so we left Thursday. 

How I checked on Oliver:  I took a picture and then looked at it =)

Our tunes when Oliver got a bit fussy.  He loved it!

Oliver did great.  He slept pretty much the whole time.  We made two pit stops during the trip, and they were about 45 minutes each.  They looked like this:

- get out of car and get in back to feed O
- Trent goes to empty his bladder and get either coffee or lunch
- T comes back to car
- I finish feeding
- T gets diaper bag and I get O
- go into bathroom and change diaper (and one time, the outfit, too)
- take O back to car
- I go back in to use the bathroom and wash hands
- hit the road
-repeat in 2 1/2 hours

We handled it quite well!  The only thing is, it was freezing.  And it only got colder the more we headed north.  The area where we were going had just gotten LOTS of snow, courtesy of The Winter That Won't Quit, but thankfully all the roads were fine.  (I will say, I was prepared with snacks and blankets and water, thanks to the lessons learned from the Atlanta debacle.)

By the time we got to our hotel, it was -12 degrees.  And that's when I was even more thankful I didn't have to unload the car.

Oliver and I got in the room and this was waiting!  (I've said before, we don't require snacks, so it is always a big treat.  And a baby gift was included.  Thank you Nichole!  So sweet.)

I made a random decision to bathe Oliver.  I hadn't planned on bathing him on the quick trip, so I didn't have my supplies.  BUT…warm water + a little ivory soap + an ice bucket = baby bath.  Ha!  

Hotel tummy time.

Pack 'n' Play assembly!

The next morning, we ate breakfast and worked out and got ready to head to the venue.  After napping, of course!

Pretty set-up!

Oliver's first sound check!  He was mesmerized by the LED screens.  

Then he got fussy.  I calmed him and was sound checking while holding him, but that lasted only a few minutes.  A baby's screams really sound a lot louder and more severe while being directed into a mic.  Luckily, the sound guys were very patient and understanding.  I left and nursed Oliver and then we got back to it. By this time, Nichole (our contact person) had made it, so she watched O while we finished.  He just sat in his Rock and Play in the kitchen while she cut cake.  

Here we are hanging out before show time.

I nursed O again, so he'd be satisfied while we played.  Then I handed him to Nichole and we took the stage.  I have to admit, it made me a little sad.  But he slept the whole time!  I'm sure the music he heard all while being in the womb, calms him.

He woke up right when we were finished!  The night was set up with the music split up (two 40 minute sets).  We planned it where Trent would play the 2nd set by himself, so I could go to merch and nurse O.

The timing was such, where I didn't have time to nurse before people came to buy CDs.  But, Oliver held it together pretty well and only started getting fussy right as Trent came to join us.  Then I headed to nurse and came back to merch.


(We realized we should get Oliver used to a bottle just in case we run into crazy timing issues again.)

It was a long day.  Sound check was at 4:30 and we didn't leave until 9:30.  And that's when Oliver started SCREAMING.  It was so sad!  It was like he had reached his limit…he was over it.  

(I can't blame him.  Sometimes all I want to do after a long day of socializing is scream and cry and put on pajamas and eat and then sleep.)

That night, he slept from 11:00 to 4:45!  It was awesome…except one word:  engorged.

We left the next day with a feeling of "we just rocked that."  Yes, it's more challenging traveling with a baby.  Yes, babies require a lot of stuff.  Yes, pit stops are longer.  BUT, for first time parents on the road with a 7 week old in this:

we will not be ashamed if we toot our own horn.

Toot, toot.