Monthly Updates · Ruthie

Ruthie // 9 Month Update

Ruthie just had her 9 month doctor’s appointment on February 7th. Of course I’m posting this on February 25th because the night she had her 9 month appointment I got the stomach flu, then Dave did, then Gammy came to visit, then we were in Chicago, so life has been crazy. I died putting this 9 month sticker on her because WHY ARE THERE ONLY THREE STICKERS LEFT??

Weight: 16 lbs (15th percentile). She’s actually rising in percentiles for weight since her 6th month appointment.

Height: I actually don’t have her heigh measurements in front of me but she wasn’t even on the charts for height this month! The doctor said maybe close to the 1st percentile.

Eating: Ruthie is still on a schedule where she either nurses or has bottles 4ish times a day. When I got back from a weekend away a few weeks ago, she went on a nursing strike and refused to nurse except for her first feeding. It was really sad and hard for me. I think it was the perfect storm of me leaving for 4 days and her teething. She’s now back to nursing twice a day and having bottles twice a day. Sometime soon I might drop one of the bottles. She loves to feed herself and recently her favorite food has been blueberries. Ruthie got 2 teeth the week before she turned 9 months! They are so cute and it was so rough the days when she was cutting them. I kind of felt like she would never get teeth (maybe because I feel like she’s been teething for months). Her bottom ones came in first and I’ve heard the top ones come in next.

Sleeping: Ruthie will go through phases when her first nap of the day is only 45 minutes long. It seems like it happens every other week. I hope she’s not one of those babies who drops their first nap early. Besides that, her sleep is great.

Leaps: Ruthie finished her 6th leap and she is changing so fast. This month she: got two teeth, can wave, can stand while holding onto something (but can’t pull herself up into a standing position yet), and she tries to say these words — Dada, bye, hi, duck, “all done,” and cup. I don’t think she has any idea what she’s saying, she’s just trying to repeat the sounds she hears me make. There’s no meaning attached to the words and I’m the only one who can understand what she’s saying.

Diapers/Clothes: Ruthie wears size 3 diapers but size 4 at nighttime. She can fit into 9 month clothes pretty well, except footies which are always too long on her. The rest of her clothes really vary in size depending on what brand they are. I really love the Burt’s Bees clothing line and Old Navy always has great baby clothes. I’ve been trying to buy a lot of things for her off season because they’re on sale for next winter.

Highlights of this month:

  • We went to Disneyworld with Dave’s family the second weekend of January! It was such a blast and Ruthie did great and even went on a lot of (slow) rides!
  • Our house is in the finishing stages and our furniture is getting moved in next week.
  • We closed on our first rental property and we’re excited to start finding tenants to move in soon.

What we’re looking forward to this month: Moving into our house! We’re looking forward to having Dave’s mom visit us and help us move some things in.

I love how this sweet girl can stand up now. And I love her thighs 🙂

Ruthie · Travel

Disney Marathon Weekend (with an 8 month old)

One of my goals of this blog this year is to be able to print out these stories and have them in a book for our family to look back on. I love the idea of scrapbooking, but I don’t like writing things out by hand so the idea of having a digital scrapbook that I can print out sounds great to me. I want to start documenting more of our trips on here so that I can have all the stories and pictures in one place, and what better trip to start with than Disney World?

I broke this up into three parts – one for the marathon weekend, one for Animal Kingdom, and one for Magic Kingdom. I can’t keep anything short when writing about Disney because I want to remember all the details!

Dave and I booked this trip back last July when Ruthie was only two months old. Dave and his sisters were going to run the marathon together and then we planned to go to the parks for a few days afterwards. We also booked our plane tickets in July, which was great because they were already done and paid for and we didn’t have to think about the travel part of the trip again until January.

Things that save your sanity while traveling with an infant: baby carriers and coffee
Waiting for our plane in the Grand Rapids airport. This airport is so easy to fly in and out of!
Keeping an 8 month old entertained on an airplane is not easy.
We had a connecting flight through Chicago (really typical when you fly somewhere from Grand Rapids).
This picture describes how I felt at this moment- so jealous of Dave for sleeping while I was desperately hoping Ruthie would stay asleep for long enough for me to finish a podcast. She did!

Disney makes the marathon weekend really fun, even if you aren’t one of the runners. The marathon is on a Sunday (we arrived on the Friday before), but the kids races take place on Saturday. They were held at the ESPN World Wide Sports Center, which is on Disney Property. I hadn’t been there before but I think a lot of high school and college athletes do for different competitions.

Saturday was FREEZING, especially in the morning. It was in the low 50’s and everyone was in jackets.

Since Dave signed up for the marathon back in July, we didn’t know if Ruthie would be crawling yet at 8 months old (she wasn’t) but we signed her up for the baby diaper dash anyways. I’m so glad we did because it was SO adorable. Ruthie’s cousins ran earlier in the morning.

Girl cousins reunited! I love them. 

Enter a caption

They put down big foam mats so that the babies could crawl across the finish line. Six babies crawled at a time and parents went to the “starting line” and Mickey was waiting for them across the finish line. Dave helped Ruthie crawl across. They gave every baby a shirt, bib with their name on it, and a kid’s race medal. So fun!

Mickey was there! 

Cousins playing together back in the hotel. Ruthie had so many people to entertain her!

For the most part, Ruthie slept really well on this vacation. It was really nice to be on Eastern time still – a benefit of vacationing in Florida! I did a series on my Instagram stories of me waking her up from her first nap to get ready for the day.

Dave had to get up with his sisters at 3:45am to make the marathon start time of 5:30. The runners started and finished the race in Epcot. Disney allows family members to sign up for text updates for their runner so I would get texts when Dave started the race and then passed 5 miles, 10 miles, and 13 miles. The texts had an estimated finish time. We underestimate the traffic a little bit and we had to run to go watch them at the finish line. We made it just in time to see them.

Gammy and Papa took care of the babies while we were at the finish line. 

The Bills were in the playoffs later that day. Dave requested I bring his hat with me. They lost…

I don’t feel a strong desire to run 26 miles, but I could possibly see myself doing the half marathon sometime – maybe after I’m done having babies!

We went to the hotel pool later in the day. It was Ruthie’s first time in a pool. She smiled and laughed for a few minutes and then got kind of quiet – I think she was exhausted from all the morning events. There’s nothing better than an outdoor pool in January! What a nice break from our Michigan winter.

Click here to move onto the next part of our weekend.


Ruthie // 8 Month Update

Ruthie doesn’t have a doctors appointment again until 9 months, so I’m not sure about all her stats right now.

Weight: My guess is that she’s somewhere around 16 lbs based on my mom’s scale.

Height: She’s probably not much longer than when she was measured at 7.5 months. Such a shortie!

Eating: Pretty much all Ruthie does is eat. We still do pouches/purees but have added a lot more “table” food. She loves anything she can pick up by herself. We found out this month that Ruthie seems to be allergic to peanut butter! I gave her some on Christmas Eve and she got itchy red hives everywhere it touched. She was grabbing at her face and it was scary, but I washed it off and gave her a bath and in an hour the hives were mostly gone. I have given her peanut butter before but it was the organic kind and the one she had a reaction to was Skippy – which also has soybean oil in it so maybe she has a soy allergy? I know some people say to keep trying the allergen even if they’re allergic but I don’t really want to and would rather wait until later to re-introduce it. This is something I’ll have to ask the doctor about at her 9 month appointment.

Sleeping: Still doing 2 naps a day. That 3-5pm in the afternoon is such a rough time of day, especially because we’re snowed in the house a lot. Ruthie’s nighttime sleep is great. Usually when we travel with her, the second or third night isn’t so great and I hear her fussing in the middle of the night (she puts herself back to sleep) and she sometimes wakes up early. This is super hard when we’re in a different time zone and one of us is up with her at 5:30.

Leaps: Ruthie is in Leap 6 right now. I don’t notice more fussiness or anything than usual (I think that gets better as they get older because they can nap better?), but I think she just looks and acts so much older. She says “Dada” but I’m not sure she knows what she’s saying. She recently started saying it around Dave though so maybe? She “growls” all the time, especially when she’s happy or she’s excited to see someone. I think she has a bottom tooth that is ready to break through. She leans forward on her hands when sitting up and sometimes looks like she’s about to crawl, but hasn’t quite figured it out yet.

Highlights of this month:

  • Ruthie’s first Christmas was so sweet. We were in the Chicago area at my parent’s house and Ruthie was loved on and got a lot of presents. She was great during a church service on Christmas Eve. I know she won’t remember this year but Dave and I will.
  • We are almost done painting the inside of our house. The kitchen cabinets and countertops were installed as well as the showers. I’m very eagerly looking forward to moving in someday.

What we’re looking forward to this month:

  • We’re going to Disney at the end of this week! It’s one of my favorite places so I’m excited to take Ruthie.
  • I’m going to Denver for my sister in laws Bachelorette party and my parents are watching Ruthie for the first two days, and then Dave will be with her on the weekend. I’m nervous to leave her (especially because I’m still breastfeeding) but excited for some time by myself AND I get to fly on an airplane alone…!!

Michigan · Moving

After you say yes.

Four months ago, we packed up our house in Colorado to move across the country to Michigan. Dave drove a car here with our (drugged) cat and a baby swing and my succulent plant. I flew here with a three-month-old.

Looking back, I can’t believe we did it. I was barely over the hump of crying on my couch while breastfeeding and we moved across the country. Before we moved, I wrote a blog post about saying yes to God, even if it’s hard. I guess this is a follow up to that.

I think the first thing that happens in a big life transition is that the honeymoon period is mostly thrilling. The first day in Michigan, the house we wanted was listed for sale and we bought it. I filled my days with fun new things like the farmer’s market and trying different coffee shops. I felt like we were on an extended lake vacation and we would just pop back into our Colorado lives soon.

Culture shock is a real thing even when you’re just moving to a different state. It is crazy to me how states can be so different from each other depending on what part of the country you live in. This is hard for someone who likes to blend in rather than stick out because I don’t want people to perceive that I am different than them. But, different is good and it is part of my story. I’m learning to love Midwestern casseroles and trying my best to pronounce all the Dutch street names.

There’s grieving in big life changes. Even when you feel called to make that change in your life, it doesn’t mean that it’s automatically better right away. That’s ok. It’s a grieving process, leaving behind the things you love. There were many sleepless nights when my heart ached for the things I couldn’t have like coffee dates with my best friends and time with Ruthie’s cousins. It was (still is) a hard realization that life is moving on in Colorado without me.

Finally, hope. As always. God never leaves us without this. I realize that I listed these things in an order, but the reality is that you can feel all three at the same time: grieving, shock, and hope. It’s bittersweet. And it’s so, so good. There’s usually still an empty seat across from me at the coffee shop, but someday that seat will be filled more often than not.

We’ve driven back and forth between Illinois and Michigan a few times now since my family lives in the Chicago area and every time we drive back into Michigan, I feel a fierce love for my new state. The definition of home is completely redefined for me. Home is Dave, home is Ruthie, home is wherever God goes before me.


Monthly Updates · Ruthie

Ruthie // 7 Month Update

I see such a combination of me and Dave in this picture. Usually I just see her Daddy.




Better late than never – amiright?

Ruthie had a doctor appointment around 7.5 months because she was sick with a cold! The weights/percentages are from that visit.

Weight: 14lbs8oz. Still in the 9th percentile for weight.

Height: 24.25″ – the 1st percentile. I notice that her feet finally *kind of* touch the floor when she’s in her jumper or exersaucer.

Head: They didn’t measure her head at this appointment. She still has a pretty large bald spot on the back of her head. I’m hoping that because she’s sleeping more on her stomach now it will start to grow back.

Eating: I feel so lucky that Ruthie loves solid foods and she’s still a good nurser. It does seem like her milk intake has dropped during the day but I think that’s to be expected because she eats solid foods 3 times a day. If I skip one of these three times, she’s hungry and cranky. I do a mix of baby food purees and “real” food by giving her whole slices of bananas, pears, toast with peanut butter, and anything else I’m eating in the kitchen. She loves cheese sticks and she’s OBSESSED with those baby rice teethers. Sometimes I bribe her with them…. bribery starts early, folks.

Sleeping: This month she can finally take a consistent two naps a day and I did drop her catnap shortly after she turned 7 months because she wasn’t always falling asleep for it and she was waking up early in the mornings. Her morning and afternoon naps really vary in length. Sometimes they last 45 minutes, which is the worst and sometimes they last two hours, which is the best. Usually, if one nap is longer than the other is shorter and vice versa. My sister-in-law gave me a really valuable tip that if I want her to nap longer in the afternoon, then I can wake her up early from her first nap. This does make for a really long morning though.

Leaps: Leap 6 starts in a few days, although we did go through that “gray” period in Wonder Weeks when they’re supposed to be needier. Ruthie was already needy though so I’m not sure much changed. She can sit up for a long time now by herself. Occasionally she loses balance and falls over and then screams. My mom bought her a playmat so a few times a day I’ll put some small toys in a basket for her and sit her on the playmat. This will either keep her entertained for 3 minutes or 30 minutes. Ruthie’s love of thumb sucking really reached a new level this month. I waver between thinking it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen and also being extremely worried that she’s going to be thirteen-years-old and sucking her thumb in 8th grade. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. She is SO CUDDLY and it warms my mom heart so much. Sometimes when she’s fussy, I’ll sit her in my lap facing me and she will find her thumb and put her head on my chest. Those are the best moments right now.

Highlights of this month:

  • We visited Dave’s family in Colorado for Thanksgiving and it was the best trip. We stayed at Crooked Creek ranch in a huge lodge. It was so fun to watch Ruthie with her cousins, especially Lucy.
  • The Christmas season is the best with a baby. We got Ruthie’s first tree and she even got to open her first present early (a baby Cinderella costume from Dave’s mom!) I spend a lot of days trying to get her to pay attention to the Christmas books I’m reading her, but she just put the corners in her mouth. I’m feeling so grateful and blessed to be a family of three.

What we’re looking forward to this month:

  • Christmas in Hinsdale with my family. I can’t wait to walk downstairs with Ruthie on Christmas morning.
  • We are going to DISNEY!!!!! on January 5th. Dave and his sisters are running the marathon and we’re going to the parks for two days after that. I’m not really sure how that’s going to go with a baby and even though Ruthie will have no clue what is happening, just the thought of taking her to Disney makes me cry. We listen to the Moana soundtrack so much that now when I turn it on, she looks at me and starts smiling and laughing.
The only way I could get her to be happy for these pictures was by giving her the 6th month sticker  to play with 🙂

Ruthie // Six Months

Weight: 13lbs11oz – she gained over a pound in a month! She’s now in the 9th percentile for weight. 

Height: 24″ – the 1st percentile! 😂

Head: 59th percentile (I forgot the measurements). The doctor said even though she’s small her brain must be big! Ha. 

Eating: Ruthie is all about solid food this month! So far she has had stage 1 and stage 2 baby food as well as some other solids like whole pieces of fruit and sweet potato. There’s no food so doesn’t like! She loves sitting in her high chair and opens her mouth for the spoon or whatever food is in her hand. I’m still nursing Ruthie three to four times a day and she gets a bottle of formula before she goes to bed at night. Dave almost always gives her this bottle. 

Sleeping: Her nighttime sleep is still great. Her schedule during the day is a little inconsistent because she takes between two to three naps a day. I would love to move her to two naps, but it doesn’t always work with other things we have going on during the day and she loves to fall asleep in her car seat, which sometimes throws things off. 

Leaps: Ruthie is on the tail end of leap 5 and she is changing so much developmentally. She can sit up with assistance (sometimes for a few seconds on her own), she can roll over from front to back. She’s not interested at all in crawling or moving and prefers to be on her back. I think she will be a late crawler/walker. The best thing about Ruthie right now is she laughs SO much 🙂 She loves when Dave carries her and I “chase” them around the room. She’s pretty needy and not independent. I try a lot to leave her to play by herself for a few minutes and she almost always cries for me. I can’t tell if she likes being around a lot of people or not. She likes when all the attention is on her, but is really tired after being with a lot of people. She loves her toys and soft books that she can put in her mouth. Pretty much anything in her hand goes in her mouth!

Highlights of this month:

  • Halloween!! I had such a fun day with Ruthie at home for Halloween. She dressed up in her pumpkin costume at night and we drove around downtown looking at the trick or treaters. We didn’t go trick or treating, but next year!
  • Ruthie’s granny (my grandmother) came to visit for a few days. Ruthie is lucky to have so many great grandparents. 
  • Our house is slowly but surely coming along. We can’t wait to move in someday. 

What we’re looking forward to this month:

  • Thanksgiving in Colorado!! Ruthie gets to go back to her birth state 😊 
  • I’m looking forward to when Ruthie can sit up independently and I can put a toy in front of her to play with. 
  • The Christmas season will be so much fun with a baby. I love the holidays!
One month through six months. I’m so lucky to be able to watch her grow.

Ruthie // Five Month Update

Weight: 12lbs7oz at her weight check last week (20 weeks). She’s gaining half an ounce every day, which is the minimum but she’s still gaining. Still in the 7th percentile.

Height: 23.25″ at the height check at 20 weeks.

Eating: I tried a four hour schedule for about two days and then quickly went back to a three hour one. I nurse Ruthie four times a day still (7, 10ish, 1ish, 4ish, and 7) and then her last feeding is a bottle at bedtime (usually with Daddy). She’ll take a 7-8oz bottle at bedtime. We introduced solids!! It’s going great now but it was a slow start. Around 17 weeks, I started to give her some rice cereal. She didn’t love it and spit a lot out. I switched to the Beechnut brand and she started to love the cereal. She’s had pears, sweet potatoes, and apples and she LOVES all of them. I mix the baby food with some milk, per my doctors recommendation to add some extra calories into her food. Her spitting up has been slightly better with solid food. She will still spit up after meals and a few times in between meals but it definitely not the level of what it used to be.

Sleeping: I only saw one night of the four-month sleep “regression,” but it was such a fluke that I wouldn’t really call it a regression. When we were visiting Chicago for my parent’s birthday she woke up crying at 3:30am and wouldn’t go back to sleep. I nursed her, which I haven’t done in the middle of the night in months. I was worried that was the beginning of the dreaded regression but the next night she was completely fine and has been every night since then. She’s taking three naps a day and definitely not ready to move to two (which I’ve tried several times and it’s terrible). She usually naps pretty well. The second I lay her in her crib she turns on her side and sucks her thumb. I feel like all my previous training with her has TOTALLY paid off and I’m so glad I went through some of those hell weeks around 2-3 months to get to where we are now. She is the best self-soother.

Leaps: Ruthie finished the fourth leap and is seriously in such a fun stage. She loves interacting with me during the day and loves when her dad is home with her at night. She’ll try to grab our faces or put our hands in her mouth. Last night she rolled over from her stomach to her back! I practiced with her a few times and then she did it on her own.

Clothes: I think this girl will be in 3-6 month clothes forever, especially since she’s tiny. It’s funny because I don’t think she looks that small – she doesn’t look skinny and she has big cheeks. When people have only seen Ruthie in pictures and then they meet her in person, they’re always surprised by how small she is. Ruthie has A LOT of clothes and I need to give some away because she never wears them all. She wears fleece footies most nights because I like to keep the temperature cooler and we usually go through at least two outfits a day, especially now that she’s eating solid foods.

Likes: being with Mommy (she’s such a clinger), when people smile at her, her swing, her exersaucer (for 10 minutes at a time), her Bumbo, sweet potatoes, when Daddy walks down the stairs in the morning and walks up the stairs after work (oh wait… I love that too), being at home

Dislikes: when she’s in one position for too long, when she’s left by herself, when a stranger gets too close to her, when she can’t reach a toy that she wants, when something doesn’t fit in her mouth

Highlights of this month:

  • Dave stayed home with Ruthie overnight alone while I went to Chicago to celebrate my sister’s birthday.
  • Ruthie and I go to baby storytime at the library every week and it’s so cute and she loves it.
  • I take her to MOPS with me and she has been doing great in the childcare there.
  • I tried to jog with Ruthie in a 5k and she screamed the entire time. But we got to watch Dave finish a half marathon and that was the highlight!
  • We closed on our house last week. I’m already envisioning Ruthie’s playroom and her and her future siblings living there.

What we’re looking forward to: I’m looking forward to celebrating fall. Holidays are ten times more fun with a baby! I’m excited about taking her to a pumpkin patch, dressing her up for Halloween, and going to the Fall Fest here.

A blurry picture but I had to capture her sucking her thumb 😊